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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.



Last night I laid in bed thinking about this year. I became a mom & Ryan became a dad. This year we became parents! Today I will kiss 2017, the best year of my life, farewell. I've always been the sentimental & emotional type, but since becoming a mom I find myself even more sensitive to precious time. This entire year has been full of hundreds of "firsts" with our sweet Magnolia & all of them bring the happiest of tears to my eyes. Remember when you were a child & you'd let a balloon go up to the clouds? Remember how you'd stand on the ground, gazing up as the balloon slowly drifted away? And then all of sudden it was gone. Life is much like a balloon set free to drift off into the blue sky. Each day is a gift to be cherished.

I set out this morning to pick my favorite photo from each month of this year, and I could not do it. There were just too many & I ended up going down memory lane. If I could end this year with a piece of advice for you my friends, this is it: take a photo every single day. And on the special days, take a bunch of photos! As I was looking through each little square I relived the emotions I felt on the most special days & even on what I once thought was a normal day. To have a phone or computer full of photos is so very good for the soul. I'm always grateful to have taken the time to document our days.

This photo was taken on a cold March morning. I was running on little to no sleep & Magnolia's diaper had just exploded over the both of us. A few candles were burning in the bathroom window sill as we soaked in the warm bubbles. Only a few months prior I'd soak in the tub with her under my skin, and my mind curiously dreamed of her, what she'd look like, how her skin would feel on mine, how she'd sound, who she was. And then on this morning, there she was. The answer to all my questions laying on my skin in the quiet of the morning. This is time. Watching her grow is watching time.

Getting to Magnolia was hard. Childbirth & postpartum was hard. A baby with acid reflux & sleep deprivation was hard. I could make a list of all the hard stuff that happened in 2017, but I'd never do it. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for every single part of this year. The pain of IVF was washed away the moment the doctor said I was pregnant. The pain of childbirth was washed away the moment she laid on my chest. The postpartum pain was washed away as I held our baby girl. The sleep deprivation was washed away each day my burning eyes gazed at our gift from God.

My sweet baby is awake now. I greeted her with good morning kisses and told her today was the last day of her birth year! I'm going to play her a few Auld Lang Syne songs on YouTube as we sit at the kitchen table.

As the calendar flips from 2017 to 2018, I want to wish you new days full of love, health, & faith. Cherish your days & snap that camera!

Happy New Year's Eve xo
Wendy Correen Smith
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First Christmas

On Christmas morning I woke up before my loves. They stayed cozy in bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, while I sipped coffee at the kitchen table gazing at the twinkling tree. All I could think about over & over again was how long I prayed for that morning. Waking up on Christmas morning as a mommy was definitely one of the best days of my life, and certainly the best Christmas of my life!

Ryan surprised me with a video camera and a tripod. We were able to record the entire morning & I know we'll cherish the memories we have recorded forever. We sat on the floor in our jammies listening to Christmas carols as Magnolia ripped her ribbons and paper off each gift.

The first gift she opened was a wooden peg & hammer set. She would have been completely happy with that as her one & only gift. She was so caught up in playing with it, and specifically the blue peg, that we really had to encourage her to open the other gifts. 

Magnolia got her fur sister Mrs. a box of cheddar + bacon strips (her all time favorite treat) & peanut butter cookies from a local pet bakery! We thought Mrs. might be nice to her for the day, since she got her a gift, but that wasn't the case.

My first Christmas gift from Magnolia, wrapped so pretty by her daddy. Funny story, Ryan had to watch a few YouTube videos on How To Wrap a Gift. And he did a great job!

Her little piggy rocker was her "big" gift & she still has some growing to do before she can climb on and off of it. She was all giggles for her first ride! 

My only caption for this photo is "sibling rivalry!" Magnolia's face & Mrs face, both have me giggling each time I look at this photo. This is them, always.

My common days are full of thanksgiving because of these three! Forever grateful for this sweet little family of mine.

After we opened all our gifts Ryan made us the most delicious breakfast sandwiches. We showered & got dressed in our Christmas clothes. We had lunch at my in-laws & dinner at my sister's house. It was a day full of family, food, & love as we celebrated the birthday of our Savior!

Ryan spoiled me this Christmas, as he always does. Of all the gifts he's ever given me, this little baby girl is by far the best. She's almost a year old & there are still days that I think "oh my goodness, I'm a MOMMY!" I'm in a constant state of awe with her. 

On the drive home from my sister's house we were fully prepared for Magnolia to cry the whole way home. She was exhausted from the full day of new toys & Christmas magic, plus it was well past her bedtime. To our surprise she crashed out for the entire drive home. Ryan and I were able to talk about the day & go down a long list of all we have to be grateful for. I asked him what was his favorite part of the day. He said when Magnolia & I came to the bedroom to wake him up as I had Magnolia jumping on the bed saying "SANTA CAME" over & over. We have many sweet memories from this day that will warm our hearts forever. 

There is a small part of me that is sad our first Christmas with Magnolia is already over. I'm going to miss the twinkling tree, Christmas movies, & excuses to eat unlimited amounts of sugar. I do however have a feeling that Santa Paws will continue to be played into the New Year. There is much joy in the anticipation of such a big day. All the reasons to be merry & kind I hope to carry on each day of the New Year. I also have a Swan Lake inspired first birthday party to plan for our babe. It is bittersweet putting the details for her big day together. Good news though, the last cinnamon roll was eaten this morning! 

I hope you enjoy every last minute of 2017! Love xo The Smiths
Wendy Correen Smith
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A Christmas Eve Tradition & My Grandma's Cinnamon Rolls

My family can all agree, the holidays just aren't the same without our grandparents. I know that's true for all families that have a piece of their heart in Heaven. I daydream about my grandma in the kitchen this time of year. On Thanksgiving, as we drove home from my sister's house, I told Ryan how much I miss my grandma's cinnamon rolls. The next morning I went on a hunt for a handwritten recipe she had given me that I just knew was in our house somewhere. To my delight, I found it! I decided in that very moment I was going to start a Christmas Eve tradition & make her cinnamon rolls each year.
Wendy Correen Smith
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Early Mornings

A few times this week Magnolia has slept past her usual six am wake up. That girl, I've said since day one, does not want to miss out on a thing. She's got #FOMO all the way. This week I've had a little bit of extra time to myself before the sun comes up. On those rare mornings I've sat at the kitchen table sipping my coffee, enjoying the soft glow of the Christmas lights, with the baby monitor under my nose, and I've had time to catch up reading some of my favorite blogs. I've also discovered a few new ones!
Wendy Correen Smith
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December, Baby

Christmas Day is less than one week away. I'm counting down the days like I did when I was a child. I cannot wait to see Magnolia's surprise on Christmas morning when she gets to open all the pink & gold wrapped gifts that Santa leaves under the tree for her.

I've been snapping photos of our month like a mad woman that doesn't want to forget a thing about this season. I've got a computer & phone full of our days with our blue eyed babe. She literally wakes up smarter & stronger every single day. She's growing right in front of our eyes. 

She's obsessed with the sparkling Christmas tree & all the gifts that I prematurely put under tree (because this will be the last year I can do that). I can't blame her for this obsession of hers! If she knew what candy was I'd say she thinks the tinsel was silver licorice. It belongs in her mouth, not on the tree! I have to watch her like a hawk around it, and it's exhausting, but totally worth it. 

She already knows how to unwrap gifts, thanks to her great grandma and my aunt & uncle. On Christmas morning she'll know exactly what to do with all her presents!

I laid in bed last night thinking about our day yesterday. I remember when I was a kid I'd overhear my mom proudly telling strangers the oddest things about me. And I'd think, "wow, that impressed you!?" I didn't understand the whole 'proud mama' thing until I had Magnolia. Pretty much everything she does makes me proud, and I surely brag about normal things to others, but I just cannot help myself. Yesterday she pulled up on a table in her playroom, and pulled down a few books. She also almost pulled down a few picture frames & her heavy snow globe. We are at the point now where I follow her around all day long and try to figure out what to move to prevent her from breaking something or hurting herself. Anyway, she pulled her books down as I sat at my desk. The next thing I know she is pretending to read the book as her itty-bitty pointer finger is tracing the words just like I do when I read to her. She was jibber-jabbering as she went along and my heart almost exploded. I never would have guessed she'd start trying to read a book at ten months old. YES, I totally wished for that and I've been reading to her since she was in my belly. I'm just so proud of her. She continued to pull down more books from her shelves through out the day and pretend to read them. I managed to get a tidbit of it on video yesterday! 

We have several fiddle leaf fig trees & the one in the kitchen has recently been blocked with our kitchen chairs because I found her with dirt in her mouth the other day! Yesterday she out smarted my blocking of the tree, crawled underneath the chair, and managed to get her hand inside the pot. It's hard to keep up with her, but of course, to see her learn new tricks makes me very proud. 

Her new winter coat arrived, light pink with a fur hood, just like her cousin Addy. I'm closely watching the news waiting for our first snow fall. Snow angels are on our winter to-do list! The sleeves are a bit long, but with her current growth rate, surely she'll grow into it. 

When the days permit, once she falls asleep on me while nursing, I'll leave her on me so that I can watch her dream about puppies & rainbows. I remember the days when this was the ONLY way she'd sleep! 

Avocado is our favorite food. When we go out for tacos, which seems to happen on a weekly basis, I'll order her guacamole. 

We've got a ways to go before we can say she eats like a lady!

Our house feels so warm & cozy with the sparkly Christmas tree & stockings on the fireplace. I'm sad to think it'll all have to come down in a few weeks. 

I've been drinking a lot of iced coffee & hot chocolates lately! Never with too much whipped cream on top. 

Our dining room has been converted to Christmas Grand Central Station. This year's Christmas cards are my favorite of all time. You can guess why!

Shopping with Magnolia is always a good time! She is very patient & admired by each person we meet. Look at her feet in the stroller, I laugh every single time she does it. 

We go to Target several times a week & she watches the ladies at the register as they scan each item with the most serious attention.

This photo was taken the first time she met Santa at Bass Pro. I'm not even going to share the photo of her on Santa's lap. It is way too sad. Now, thanks to Santa, she's scared of ALL old people! Crap, what have we done? By the way, she did have on shoes that she was sick of wearing by the end of the day.

I've always loved my nieces & nephew like my own. Before I was a mom, they filled that longing in my heart with so much love and joy. Now I get to gratefully see my sisters love on Magnolia like their own. 

Moments we prayed for right here in a little square. When Magnolia hears the garage door open she'll start saying Dadda Dadda over and over again. Then when he walks in the door she'll start to make her sound for a kiss. Her love for her daddy is the most beautiful thing to witness.

Magnolia looks up to her nieces & Mylene is the coolest! She's getting a pretend cell phone from Santa & I hope she thinks its real because she really wants ours. I wouldn't be surprised if she knows how to take a selfie at her first birthday party. Kidding, totally kidding. 

I hope you are having the most magical December! 


Wendy Correen Smith
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