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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.

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The End of 2021


Yesterday I sat on the sofa with Ryan on one side of me and Magnolia on the other. And I just cried! I do this at the end of every year. The reflections and emotions just overwhelm me. We talked about all of our big moments, all of our everyday moments, the grand times and the sad times. Watching Magnolia grow up right before our eyes is the absolute greatest blessing of our lives & also the one thing that makes my eyes fill with tears. I had no idea that motherhood would make my heart so raw. I'm four years in and I'm still blown away by the blessing of motherhood, the blessing of Magnolia. I re-read my post from the end of 2017 and I was reminded of how hard life can be, but it's always full of blessings. The past three months have been tough for me, and I'm sure I'll share more soon, but even during the struggles there are so many blessings in the storm. 

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Christmas Family Photos 2021


Merry Christmas, friends! 

I cannot believe Christmas is only four days away. I really wish we could add an extra week to December! This month has been a total whirlwind & as always we didn't do all the things I put on our wish list, but we still made the best memories and feel incredibly blessed. I even got Christmas cards sent out just in the nick of time, YESTERDAY

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The Christmas Our Doll is Four Years Old


The Christmas our sweet Magnolia is FOUR! She wakes up bright-eyed every morning, pops-up out of bed, and runs downstairs to look for her elves. The Little Drummer Boy is her favorite Christmas song and the version by Lauren Daigle is the one we listen to on repeat. After three years of skipping a visit to Santa (because she was terrified of him) she is finally ready and excited to see him. Every night we cuddle on the sofa by the fire and watch Christmas movies & most nights she falls asleep in my arms because Daylight Savings has not been easy on her. Our little ballerina is going to be a tick-tock mouse in The Nutcracker with her dance studio & it gets me all emotional because she was obsessed with the movie when she was only one. At night we drive around town and she literally screams with excitement every time she finds a new house shining bright - OMG HOLY GUMBALLS - is her new saying! Her list for Santa grows by the day and I've told her I cannot email him anymore, but she doesn't quite understand the concept, ha! She is the most excited for Santa to bring her a Disney laptop. We drink hot chocolate and gingerbread cookie tea daily. Sugar cookies were baked this past weekend and she is becoming quite the cookie cutter. 
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Nutcracker's The Land of the Sweets Tea Party


We've officially kicked off the holiday season with a house full of twinkling Christmas trees, packages arriving daily, hot chocolate on demand, The Elf playing over and over again &&& this past weekend we attended The Land of the Sweets Tea Party at Magnolia's dance studio. One word for the day: MAGICAL!!! To see the wonder & joy in Magnolia's eye is the greatest gift of the season.

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Deck the Halls


We got most of our Christmas decor up this past week! The way it lights up Magnolia's world is my very favorite part of this season. All I can think about now is scheduling a carriage ride on the Country Club Plaza, Christmas in the Park, Santa's Bake Shop, The Nutcracker (Magnolia will be a Tick Tock mouse), our annual gingerbread house making party, hot chocolate with all the whipped cream, watching The Elf over and over again, cozy nights be the fire, and truly my list goes on and on. I know the season will fly by so fast and we might not get to do it all, but I'm hoping to squeeze in all the merriest fun while also saving time for quiet moments at home by the twinkling tree & warm fireplace. Last year we bought a clearance tree from Home Depot that we put in our hearth room this year, and we moved our old tree up to the master bedroom. I had no idea how cozy it would feel to fall asleep by the sparkle of the tree, and then to wake up and have coffee in bed by the tree the next morning is just magic. We had our first snow flurries this afternoon! Ryan, Magnolia and I were talking about how much we love to play in the snow. I told them both I am buying a snow suit this year! They both have warm snowsuits and can play for hours while I'm freezing my butt off in leggings. On my Christmas wish list is something super warm so I can play in the snow all day long too!!! 

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Cruella for Halloween


The night Magnolia and I sat on the sofa watching Cruella we both knew we had to be CRUELLA for Halloween. We have so much fun dressing up together & I hope she lets me do this with her for many more years to come! I was never a Halloween fan until she was born, and now I just can't help myself. She debated back and forth if she wanted to be mean Cruella or nice Cruella and decided on the mean one. And her facial expressions are just the best. I was struggling to make all the serious faces and she was a total natural. We hosted a little Halloween party before we started trick-o-treating. We walked for hours and the kids went home with buckets full of chocolate and candy! 

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October 2021


October was a complete whirlwind! I cannot believe we are already packing up the pink pumpkins, spooky spiders, and cute little ghosts to start putting up the Christmas trees!!! How can it be?!? Grandpa Golden (our skeleton guest) isn't ready to go, but I'm afraid it's already the first week of November so to the basement he goes as we wait for the arrival of Poppy & Little Girl (our elves). 

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Hey BOO!


Good morning, WITCHES! 

For the first day of Fall we got to crack the windows and turn on the fireplace. Magnolia and I were in Heaven. Comfy + cozy makes our hearts the happiest. We host Halloween each year & our home really needed a new house guest -- Magnolia named him "Grandpa Golden." Pumpkins, ghosts, spiders, crows, & skeletons all making their way into our home for the funnest season ahead! 

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Essential Oils with Estrogenic Properties and Endocrine Disrupting


As I type this it all seems like common sense now, but looking back I realize I was like most women with essential oils. I assumed they would provide only the best + natural health benefits without the risk. I believed in the power of plants, I still do, actually even more so now. 

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From baby dolls to...


My sisters and I went from playing with baby dolls to this! Our girls (and Ollie - not pictured) are the best of friends & when they are together it is literally NON-STOP LAUGHTER. As always, summer flew by way too fast, but I can tell you we made some magical memories. This pink camper session with pink flamingos & our girls in matching leopard print swimsuits was the best wrap up to our summer 2021. 

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Florida 2021 - MEMORIES


Two weekends ago, my sister and her family & ours, packed up our cars and very excitedly set out on a road trip to FLORIDA!!! Five out of six of us were very naive to what a 20 hour drive to the ocean would be like. Ryan warned us, but we insisted anyway. Oh what fun it would be!!! OMG it was B-R-U-T-A-L!!! We even stayed in a hotel at the halfway point in Tennessee. The kids did way better than the adults - thank goodness for iPhones + iPads and the ability to nap in the car. Magnolia said the coolest part of all was seeing all the cities and big buildings along the way, and I have to say the absolute worst part of all were some of the bathrooms we had to use. NEVER AGAIN. New roadtrip rule: EIGHT HOURS MAX! 

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Summer Lovin'


Hello there! We've been so busy enjoying summer this little space of mine has been on the back burner. I was looking at photos of Magnolia in 2019 & my heart was taken back in time. I'm a broken record when I say this to the mamas - TAKE ALL THE PHOTOS - even the simple things that don't seem like such a big deal! The last photo on here is Mag's being a loving mama bear to her Elsa doll & I just want to cover her in kisses when I look at it.  

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Father's Day 2021


I'm sure some of you reading this remember the summer of 2016 when we had a gender reveal party and found out our baby was a BOY! And for months we planned our life with little Alfred (to be named after my grandpa). Ryan dreamed about all the fishing they'd do & all the hot summers they'd spend watching the Royals play at Kauffman Stadium. Meanwhile I googled "raising a son" every single day because I felt very clueless to all things "little boy." Like any new dad to-be he was ecstatic to have a son. And then one August morning we sat in a cold dark sonogram room and the nurse repeatedly referred to our baby as a girl & all of his dreams of having a son were squashed in an instant when we were told it was a "typo" mistake. I'll never forget the drive home when he literally went down a list of all the things he dreamed of doing with Alfred that would no longer happen. By the time dinner rolled around that day he was in a new state of mind & was equally if not more excited about having a daughter. 

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The Start of Summer 2021


Our home has been filled with the pinkest peonies from our yard, the brightest sunshine after a cold winter, and smiles + giggles that warm my heart like no other. 

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Mother's Day Weekend & Joy


Mother's Day weekend was perfect. All that I wished it to be and so much more. Ryan came home from a work trip on Friday night with a bouquet of white roses in his hand. Flowers are always a nice surprise for me because I'm an Ennegram 8 (known for buying their own gifts) and usually buy my own flowers. We had brunch on Saturday with New Orleans style beignets and fruit. My little brother works at the cutest place called The Market at Meadowbrook  and after brunch we went there for cappuccinos and cookies (two desserts in one day is always a good idea in Maggie Mermaid's world). Adding flowers to our yard and ferns to our front porch was my one and only wish for the day and so that is what we did. 

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Boho Motherhood Photographs to Cherish


We are going into Mother's Day weekend & as always my heart takes me back to life in 2016. Five years ago Magnolia was a five day old embryo frozen in time and stored at a hospital 45 minutes away. I know all of us have moments in life that are frozen in our hearts & minds, stored away just as vividly as the day they were created. I remember this time of year in 2016 like it was yesterday. I remember it so richly that tears are flowing down my face. Today, five years ago, we were exactly two weeks away from transferring our baby girl to my uterus. The life we live now was just a dream in our hearts then. Oh my goodness the grateful tears...

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Cheers to 40! A List of 40 Random Thoughts, Reflections & Loves.


40 feels like such a strange number, but also feels like a number full of all the best.  When I was 20 the age of 40 seemed so old, but now that I'm here I must say it's way better than 20. And before I get into any deep thoughts or reflections, I have to say that I thought I'd have a head full of gray hair by now & I don't. I am celebrating that. I have lighter brown & gray popping in right at my part & I also have my sweet sister that covers it for me every few months! I certainly don't want to sound vain talking about how age affects hair color & the body because at the age of 40 I think all my friends have come to realize the body is simply the seat of the soul. Although, I do believe loving the body & soul are equally important. I am a firm believer in taking supplements, drinking lots of water, meditating daily, getting enough sleep, moving the body, eating healthy, laughing often, finding joy in the simple, & practicing gratitude. If I could tell 20 year old Wendy one thing it would be this: "fall madly in love with yourself before anyone else." If I would have loved & protected my soul tenderly through my 20s and early 30s I would have saved myself from a lot of heartache. I don't have regrets, but I do have a heart full of lessons & for that I am grateful. 

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MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL WHO IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL


The other day she ran to the mirror and said "MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL WHO IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL?" ✨✨✨ And since then we've been playing a game of swapping out the word "fairest" with other words like kindest, sweetest, funniest, prettiest, bravest and so on. Her confidence is off the charts! It's my mom mission to make sure the world doesn't take one single bit of 'four year old Magnolia's' confidence away from her. I just want to bottle it all up right now so every time she looks in the mirror she sees this little girl full of that matters plus some. ✌🏻

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Easter 2021


I think it goes without saying that Easter 2021 was a special one for so many! Last year we did Easter basket exchanges between a window of glass & this year we were all together again. The sound of the kids laughter was that much more beautiful. 

This was the year that Magnolia asked the sweetest questions from the backseat of the car. One sunny afternoon she asked, "mom, what does the Easter bunny look like?" I said I wasn't sure & asked what she thought he looked like. She told me she wasn't sure, but she'd dream about him and get back to me. A few days later she dreamed of the Easter Bunny! We found out that "SHE wears a pink & blue tutu, a princess crown, and she's tiny. She also goes apple picking in Grandma's woods!" 

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Well Mom, it's just YOU & ME now!


The other day my sister texted & reminded me of a story I cannot believe I forgot to write down. 

It was the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day. Ryan left for a work trip. Magnolia & I had my mom, sisters, and cousins over to our house. We had a little impromptu St. Patty's Day Heavenly birthday party for our grandma nanny in Heaven. The kids all wore their matching green lucky charm t-shirts, they ate cupcakes, and danced the afternoon away. Nothing lights up Magnolia's world more than playdates with her sweet cousins. As the fun day came to an end and dinner was approaching my mom decided to head home. Then my sister Haley & her girls left. Mallory & her babes stayed a little longer so the kids could play and we could chat. When it was time for them to head home, we walked them to the door & watched them load up the car. Magnolia & I were standing on the front porch. She took her little hands & put them on her hips and cheerfully said "Well Mom, it's just YOU & ME now!" She said it in a way that I knew she was looking forward to going back in the house & hanging with just me. I'm tearing up as I type this because in that very moment I was washed over with joy & peace. And a huge sense of relief. I cannot tell you how often I worry about her being lonely because she is an only child. All I know about siblings is that my sisters are my best friends. I cannot imagine life without them. I always felt we needed to give Magnolia that same blessing. 
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It's Feeling Like Spring Around Here


It's feeling like SPRING around here! It might be nine days from now, but we are already enjoying the sunshine + fresh air, birdies singing in the trees, and all the spring + Easter decor around our home. Last night the sky was illuminated with lighting and the sound of thunder boomed in the distance. Mags and I stayed up later than we had planned just to enjoy the strange blissfulness of the weather. 

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Don't Trade Your Authenticity for Approval


I turn 4-0 in April! And she turned 4 in February! 

I look at her & think about all that life has taught me that I am blessed to teach her. When I'm in deep thought, I realize she is the one teaching me. She loves with purity, she does what she wants, she never worries about what anyone thinks of her, she speaks her mind, she is kind & true. She is her authentic self. She is MAGGIE MERMAID full of all that sparkles and shines. I promise to do my damndest to keep her light shining bright always.

As I consciously parent her, one of the many things I have to be careful of doing is granting "approval." And saying this is good or this is bad, or you should say this or do that. As I make this effort to let her soul shine in its truest form I see that I get to relearn the same lessons.

+ It's okay NOT to be everyone's cup of tea.
+ It's okay to say no to things that you don't want to do. "NO THANKS!" carries a lot of power & the freedom feels so damn good.
+ Create boundaries that support YOUR flourishing.
+ Don't do things out of obligation. Do things out of love & joy.
+ You need to know who you are so you aren't told who you are.

I want unshakeable confidence to be her guiding light. Her love for herself should rise above all else. She only has one person to please - MAGGIE MERMAID. I hope she spends time in prayer and meditation so listening to her heart and following her dreams is as natural as eating, sleeping, & breathing.

Thanking God for the gift of motherhood & the gift of Magnolia. All children offer a gift - a reminder of how to be TRUE & AUTHENTIC!

p.s. off to make her toast with ketchup for breakfast!



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A Slice of Heaven on Earth


I often ask Mags what is her favorite thing that her & I do together. She always says "when we go to the park!" 

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A Valentine's Day to Remember


A Valentine's Day to remember. Magnolia, age four, her favorite love day gift: GLITTER PRESS ON NAILS! Mommy wore a robe around the house LITERALLY all weekend long #noshameinmygame! I added some red lipstick and mascara to spice up my look before our romantic candlelit dinner at home Sunday night. The house was full of fresh blooms thanks to the guy that spoils us rotten and puts up with a whole lotta sass from his two ladies.  Over a dozen shiny heart shaped balloons floated from room to room because Magnolia insisted we carry them around the house all weekend long, even to the bedroom for our attempted V-day nap. We made dark chocolate covered strawberries for dessert & they are to blame for the failed nap! The weekend was spent watching the snow fall as we blamed Magnolia's friend Elsa for freezing the town. We listened to a good share of romantic music. Ryan and Mags talked me into walking out in the bitter cold to watch a rom-com at the carriage house. Water was served in wine glasses for our carryout romantic dinner by candlelight. The living room became a dance floor. And my favorite part of the whole entire weekend was Magnolia's giggles as she was sandwiched between her mommy and daddy singing and dancing to our first dance wedding song "From Here to the Moon and Back" by Dolly Parton + Willie Nelson. Ryan is setting the bar very high for our Sweet Magnolia. He is the kindest husband and gentlest daddy. We didn't get fancy and go out on the town, but I have a really good feeling when we are old and thinking back on our life this will be the kind of weekend we miss the very most. 

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Freedom


Reflections on motherhood, because she is FOUR now & I get so sentimental around her birthday. 

If I had to describe my mom & grandparents "parenting/grand-parenting style" in one word it would be FREEDOM. As a grown woman I see so many children (& adults) that are constantly seeking the approval & validation of their parents and/or another person. And it makes me sad. If there is one thing I hope Magnolia grows up knowing it is that we will love her unconditionally no matter what. I didn't now this as a child, but I do now, that having the FREEDOM to be me is a huge blessing. I read this quote & felt like I needed to print it out for our walls, I WANT MAGNOLIA TO ALWAYS FEEL THIS FREEDOM!!! She might not always please the world (actually I hope she ruffles some feathers), but I pray she'll be happy, secure, and authentic. I pray that she follows her dreams & the path God has set out for her. 

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Magnolia's Frozen Fourth Birthday Party


MAGNOLIA CAROLINE IS FOUR YEARS OLD!!! How can it be!?! I feel like I've known her FOREVER, but I also feel as though it was just yesterday she was an itty-bitty baby. 

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A Valentine's Day Love Basket


January always feels like an extension of the holiday season as we have Magnolia's birthday party to plan the first week of February & we have one of our very favorite holidays to get excited about at the same time. VALENTINE'S DAY! 

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The Most Magical Month of 2020


December 2020, the most magical month of the year, unless of course we want to count February (also Maggie Mermaid's birthday month) when the whole entire world was naive to how it was all going to change right before our eyes. Christmas this year was nothing like years past, and I know that is true for anyone reading this. While many traditions were sadly skipped, I know Ryan & I felt the absence in our hearts much deeper than our sweet girl. I pray that Magnolia remembers this December as the one when her Elves - Poppy Poppy & Little Girl - arrived from The North Pole. The little stinkers TP'd our house on Christmas Eve. How dare they when 2020 is the year of the TP shortage? She will probably remember video chatting with Santa Claus and how he convinced her to use her electric tooth brush again. December was the month we also drank hot chocolate by the roaring fire literally every single day as Christmas movies played on repeat. We also tried hot chocolate bombs for the first time and they are as delightful and fun as they sound. And hot chocolate covered in whipped cream + chocolate syrup at all the restaurants and Starbucks too, of course, because we are obsessed. Santa's Bake Shop with my sister & nieces was a special night as the girls danced under the faux falling snow! We went shopping as much as we could, but we also had Amazon, FedEx & UPS at our house pretty much daily. We wore Christmas jammies for long afternoon naps cuddling together, Mag's did her usual modeling for Little Lucca Love, and we got fancy for our Christmas Tree Farm photos! We made the cutest Salt Dough Santa ornaments for the grandparents. I had the most fun decorating every inch of our house so that it would feel merry & bright for all of us to enjoy. Christmas music started playing on Alexa every single morning as the sun came up. We got dressed up fancy for dinner on the Country Club Plaza & then drove around after dinner to see all the mansions shining bright with the very best Christmas decorations. The Annual Gingerbread Party with the cousin crew was a day filled with too much sugar, lots of crazy laughter, and some not-so-structurally-sound gingerbread houses. Magnolia & I used the cute Gingerbread House decorations, that didn't make it on her crumbling house, to bake a cake for Christmas Eve. Our traditional dinner reservations were cancelled so we did carry-out and sat by glowing candles at our kitchen table. Mags & I drank out of wine classes and she felt as special as can be. We talked about our blessings together and to be honest the romance & intimacy may have been better than eating at the actual restaurant. And THEN SANTA ARRIVED with all her wishes and then some. It didn't snow on Christmas, BUT it snowed on New Year's Day & it was BEAUTIFUL. Magnolia laughed and screamed "THIS IS SO MUCH FUN" as Ryan pulled her rosy cheek baby doll face around our neighborhood. On Christmas break we went to the park & went for walks in the warm winter sunshine. Lastly,  I'm mushing a bit of January in here because my mom & I took Mags to my brother's restaurant earlier this week. We talked about her upcoming birthday party & he's going to bake her an extra special Frozen + Elsa cake & we CANNOT WAIT to see + taste it.  And now onto all the photos I have saved & need to share in my special spot here. 

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