Monday, May 28, 2012

A Graduation and a Birthday

About 3 weeks ago we traveled down to Tampa to celebrate David’s sisters college graduation and his dad’s 60th birthday! It was such a wonderful weekend!!

Jamie graduated with her degree in Special Education. I do love that there are so many educators in the family! Me, Jamie, my SIL Missy, and my MIL are all educators. Even though I’m not actually in the classroom anymore, I’m still using those skills everyday with my precious kiddos at home.

I think Jamie is going to be such a WONDERFUL Special Ed Teacher!! Here she is getting ready to graduate…

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with our girls..

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and with all her nieces and nephew…

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and with the whole clan after graduation… So proud of you Jamie!!

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After graduation, we all headed back to the Smith house to change for a nice dinner at Charlie’s Steak House. Wow, was it one of the most delicious dinners I have EVER tasted!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. This dinner was to celebrate many things in the Smith family – Jamie’s graduation, Joe’s 60th birthday, Ryan gradating Nursing school,  Dave finishing residency, and Casey getting a raise at work. So many wonderful accomplishments!! Yes, Casey and Rebecca even came down from Minnesota! Smile

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The next day was Joe’s birthday and we had a party at the Smith’s to celebrate. We ate food, went on the boat, did the slip and slide, and just had a great time. Dave and his dad have been in a burpee war and still are. They each had to do 60 burpees on Joe’s birthday to celebrate his 60th! They even took some Birthday burpee pictures. Watch the pictures unfold. It’s hilarious!

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My favorite part of the afternoon was taking Cori tubing for the first time. She was a little afraid at first, but she LOVED it once we got going. It was so much fun!!

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Then it was off to the slip and slide! Cori went down it once but didn’t like it too much. She said she rather watch. Smile

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and have a cupcake…

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Finley watched too

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but these guys had some fun slippin’ and slidin’

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Time with the entire Smith family is always a good one. Looking forward to beach week!! Just 3 weeks away! Smile

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Day for Moms

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Mothers Day was such a special day for me this year. We dedicated Finley to the Lord. We did the same thing with Cori 2 years ago and I love that this has become a tradition in our family. I plan to do it with future kids as well.

My mom, dad, and brother drove up from Tampa to be with us. David’s sister came up too. My sister met us at church the morning of the dedication. My heart was full of joy as we stood on stage at the Family Church, where we have attended church since we got married 6 years ago. My family and Dave’s sister sat in the audience to support us as we promised to raise our precious babies to serve the Lord with their whole hearts. Jonathan and Lacy, our dear friends, introduced us and said some sweet words about our family and Finley. Pastor Max spoke to the congregation about our family as well and how much he has appreciated us, loved watching us grow, and how he will miss us as we move to Birmingham. Then, he prayed over us and specifically for Finley.

Finley’s name means valorous solider. The verse they read over her at church was Proverbs 12:28, which states, “In the way of righteousness is life, and it it’s pathway there is no death.” We are praying so much for a righteous life for our girls. It really is the only kind of life to lead. We also have a special verse we picked out specifically for Finley when she was born and it is Psalm 3:8, which states, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

David held Finley as we stood on stage and she just kept gazing into the eyes of her daddy. She truly adores him and it’s so sweet to see. I pray she always loves her daddy like that.


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So thankful to have Lacy and Jonathan in our lives.


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So thankful for this sweet group of family members who came to support Finley on her special day. We missed those of you who couldn’t make it.

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So thankful for my precious family of 4. What a blessing they are!

What a beautiful day Mother’s Day turned out to be. I got to spend it with my mom and with both of my beautiful girls. We enjoyed a nice family lunch at Willie’s after church. Willie’s is a new burrito place, just incase you were wondering! Dave’s dad joined us for lunch before heading back to Tampa. It was great to have him there too. My parents stuck around until dinner and Dave made all 8 of us Tilapia and homemade Mac and Cheese. The perfect ending to a wonderful Mother’s Day!!


Thank you Lord for the abundant blessings in this life. Everything I have I owe to you. Lord, I’m amazed by you and how you love me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sweet Sister Pictures

I took a series of pictures of the girls the other day. I was trying to get one good picture of them together! Ha! As I looked back at them after loading them onto the computer, I could not stop laughing at both girls personalities coming out in each photo! I thought I’d post them to share! These girls melt my heart!!

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Mommy – “Girls, let’s take some pictures together.”


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Cori –“Okay, hold my hand baby and sing with me”


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Cori – “I said SING!”


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Finley -  “Please stop jerking me around!!”

Mommy – “Cori, stop hurting your sister.”


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Cori – “okay, sing with me baby!”


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Cori – “Why won’t she sing?”

Finley – “Yay! Big sister let me go!”


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Cori – “Uh oh, baby won’t sing.”

Finley – “Now it’s my turn to get my sister!”


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Cori – “Mommy, look at this!”

Finley – “My sister is so funny!!”

Thursday, May 10, 2012

10 Months!!

The day after we got back from Alabama, our sweet Finley turned 10 months old! I definitely have not been very good at keeping up with her “What I love about you” posts. Tis the life of a second child. But, oh how I love that little sweet girl!!

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  • Your sweet, loving personality. You always have a smile on your face and you are so easy going. I know I have said this before, but I can tell that you just have such a genuine heart!

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  • The snuggler in you. You LOVE to snuggle!!
  • The way your face LIGHTS up when your daddy comes home.
  • Sweet sister pictures! Oh, how that melts my heart. I just can’t believe God blessed me with TWO beautiful girls!!

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  • Practicing sign language with you and the way you try to say the words as you sign.
  • Watching you grow! You have become a very fast crawler and cruiser. I can’t wait to watch you learn to walk!!

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  • This sweet picture of you standing, holding Ms. Erica’s hand over the weekend. Precious!

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  • Seeing your independent play. I also love watching you and your sister play together!

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  • That you just started swim lessons on Tuesday (ISR) and are doing great! Ms. LaVonne says you have such a pretty float and you hold your breath so well! So proud of you!!
  • The way you hug me and grab ahold of my shirt. It makes me feel so loved by you!
  • Playing outside and watching you explore the sidewalk, leaves, grass, dirt …

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  • The way you are always working your tongue. You can see it in the picture above. You have a super long tongue and you are always sticking it out, especially when you’re thinking hard! :)
  • The great routine we’ve got going on! Up at 7:15 am. Breakfast and play. Morning nap from 9:30-11:30. Lunch and play. Afternoon nap from 1:30-3:30. Snack and play. Dinner, bath, and bed by 7pm. You have been nursing 4 times a day, but just yesterday you decided 3 times a day was all you needed. You nursed when you woke up, before nap, and before bed.
  • Pictures of me and you!!

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Sweet Finley Grace,

I am so blessed by you! I fall more in love with you everyday and I just adore watching you grow and change. I love your squeals of laughter and tender smiles. You are such a special gift from God and I am SO thankful for you!! I love getting to be home with you and your sister. What beautiful memories you have given me already! I LOVE you!!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

God at work…

As I sit here and type this blog post, I am looking at a list of events I need to blog about. SO much has happened in the last few weeks that I just don’t want our sweet family to forget. Here’s to praying that I get some time to myself in these next few days so I can take a moment to capture all those sweet memories on our blog.

In November, David and I found out that we would be relocating to Birmingham, Al for his fellowship program. We have spent many nights, mornings, and afternoons praying about the plans God has for us in Birmingham. We prayed for a home, friends, the specific neighborhood God would have for us to live, a church home, taking Premier to a new city, etc. God has been at work in all of those things and it is SO evident!

The last weekend in April we dropped our sweet girls off with my mom (you saw those Steak n Shake pictures!!). We then made the 6.5 hour drive (not too bad, btw!) from Gainesville to Birmingham. We arrived in the mid afternoon on Friday and spent some time driving around the city. Friday evening we had dinner at Flip Burger with a few of the current fellows Dave will be working with. Amazing food, I must say!! Best burger I have EVER tasted! The fellows were super sweet. I really enjoyed getting to know Ari and David who have two little girls as well. We had such a great conversation about our move and their passion for mission work, which is a huge passion of ours as well.

Saturday morning we met up with, Boyd, the Realtor that Dave had been talking to for the past few weeks. He had 5 houses lined up for us to see. When we got into the car with him he said that he just happened to check MLS that morning and found one more house we could see. He said he hadn’t seen it yet, but if we were interested, he’d take us. We said sure! So, we went from house to house and really liked almost all of them. Then, we arrived to that last house. The one that had just popped up on MLS THAT morning. We walked into the front door and I just had this overwhelming feeling of being home. I literally stopped in the foyer upon walking over the threshold of the front door and said, “This is it. I don’t even need to see the rest of the house. This is it.” David laughed and said he agreed with me! We walked through each room of the house and just knew it was the house for us. We absolutely adore it!!! Oh, and the street address could not be more fitting .. Sunshine Drive! Smile

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God was at work in getting us to this house. I have no doubts. It randomly comes up on MLS THAT morning. No one had even looked at it yet. It is absolutely PERFECT for our family!! It’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bath. Has 2 living spaces, dining room, kitchen, office/school space, 2-car garage, covered back porch, and backyard! Amazing!!

Our Realtor was so wonderful in this house hunt and he even took us to lunch after we were done looking at houses. We went to this quaint little Mexican restaurant close to our new house. I had the best Fish Tacos!!

Celebrating our new home!!

Saturday night we went to dinner with some new friends. Andrea and Britt. Funny thing was that Andrea actually went to UF and we spent some time with her our junior year of college. She is friends with David’s cousin Kalin. What a small world! She called me the Tuesday before we headed up to Birmingham and we set up a dinner date. God truly at work!

Sunday morning we headed to Church of the Highlands with our friend Val. We also know Val from college at UF. We were so excited when we found out she was living in Birmingham. … Church of the Highlands was such an awesome church! We seriously felt right at home walking through the doors. Before heading up to Birmingham, we kind of thought we would attend Church of Brookhills because that is David Platt’s church and we have read his book, Radical. However, most of the people we met that weekend were attending Church of the Highlands. We really felt God calling us there. It was one of the most beautiful church services and the worship moved me to tears, just knowing that God had already chosen such a special church for us to be a part of. Again, God truly at work.

After church, Val took us to lunch at the Irondale Café. If anyone comes to visit us in Birmingham, we will most definitely be stopping for lunch there! It is where the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, was filmed. And let me tell you, the fried green tomatoes were delicious!! We had such a wonderful southern lunch! And some real southern sweet tea!! Be still my heart! Smile



Sunday afternoon we got to meet another new friend named Becky who lives just down the street from us. Val said that she had been praying for a new “couple” friend for Becky and her fiancĂ©. Just another God moment of moving us so close to them. We also drove by our new home one more time and prayed over it with Val. It was a beautiful moment.

Sunday afternoon we met up with yet another new set of friends named Joann and Ron. They are the parents of one of the nurses Dave worked with on nights the last few weeks. When she heard we were moving to Birmingham, she quickly said we HAD to call her parents who lived there. Joann and Ron were the sweetest couple and spent their Sunday night driving us around town and then took us to dinner.

Monday morning Dave had to wrap up some things at UAB and I got to meet his boss and some very friendly people he will be working with. We celebrated our successful weekend at the Summit eating lunch overlooking the mountains around the city before getting back in the car for the 6.5 hour drive back to Gainesville.


As we ate lunch together on that Monday afternoon we could not help but reminisce about the weekend. It was so evident that God’s hand was at work in every situation. We found the perfect house, met lots of wonderful people, were able to have real life conversations about God with each one of those people, found an amazing new church, and I was able to talk about Premier with each woman we spent time with, all who were very excited about what I do. We have spent months praying about each one of those things and God answered them all! I have to admit, I am really excited about moving to the “south”. I really feel that is where we are supposed to be. It just fits and I can not wait to see what God has in store for our family there! God was and IS truly at work!

God is able to do immeasurably MORE than all we could ask or imagine! – Ephesians 3:20.