Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Snoozin Cousins!

LAST vbs of the summer!

And we're all OK with that! It's fun and awesome and all....but after 7 rounds of it...even new themes and locations aren't enough to get us excited. We're done. Bring on Fall and school!!:)
(note Lily talking on her Gizmo... crazy fancy new little phone/watch toy!)

She asked me to take her picture

And I couldn't resist. Because I adore every hair on her little head.

Someone has a drinking problem...

Playing with veggies

Every kids plays swordfight with the tops of giant carrots from the garden, right?! 

Smoothie girls

Chillin with lily

Sent from my mobile.



Sometimes she LOVES bath time, sometimes she hates it....but tonight was a good night! No tears, even through the shampooing.  Then allllll the cute faces and random phrases and funny questions we've come to expect from our fantastic little toddler.  She's just a wonderful ball of amazingness and I want to munch on her all day.  

Hello, soup!

That's what Charity said when she glanced into the pot. So cute.
My favorite way to make soup is to just take a can/box of premade soup and add a bunch more veggies and good protein sources!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Sent from my mobile.

   Rode our bikes over to the school, along with a couple friends, and officially signed the twins up for kindergarten! I know, Master procrastinator here :-) but I got exactly what we wanted, the twins are in the same class, and afternoon instead of morning! So happy.  

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Teaching swim lessons!!

Back to my roots!  
I taught swimming lessons for....10 years or so? Something like that. Best job ever.
But what's even better?  Teaching my own kids!! It's so fun! We've been doing formal lessons this week everyday for about an hour, right after lunch at the Y (right after my workout/their childcare play time at the Y.  Yeah, we're at the Y at LOT!)  We've invited others to join us - cousins Lily, Bethany, and friends Ava, Reese, and Maddie. 
They're making excellent progress and are pretty good at following directions! I'm excited to help them get a head start on this important skill. I'd love to get them on a swim team when they're a bit older. I feel like it's such a gift to teach a person how to swim properly (especially with efficient breathing), so that they will always have lap swimming as an exercise option, and be safer in open water. Too many adults can't swim well, it's so sad!  I have a dream, people [lights dim, enter dramatic voice]. I want to have an indoor pool and teach swim lessons to the whole world. For free. It makes me happy. And, not to brag....but I'm pretty good at teaching. I can get these kids doing what they're supposed to do relatively quickly, and while having SO much fun! 
It's so gratifying to see that happy look of pride on their faces when they accomplish something monumental, like their first solo swim across the deep end, or their first dive. I love it.  I just don't know if we should keep this house and add an indoor pool (not much room for it), or move.... 
Oh wait, I have to find an extra 100 grand for it first! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


I've been looking forward to taking them here for literally YEARS! Just never made the time. But we finally did it!  SO much fun!! Charity's squeals of happiness were so sweet. And the other's looks of FEAR were pretty entertaining too! Seriously though, I think it's so healthy to do things that scare them. Then they learn to conquer their fears. Right?  We brought Lily, Maddie, and Nonny. It was about 90 degrees outside, which was perfect, because Splashdown doesn't heat the water. I remember coming here in middle school as our end-of-the-year party! So fun to come back with my kids! And it made for some really crazy people-watching. There are lots of weirdos in this world. Some of the tattoos people't believe they actually PAID to have those done.   Anyways... Splashdown. Super rad. Wanna go again asap.

Beet beat

We got the beet we got the beat we got the beeeeet, yeah, we got the beat!  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Another day at our favorite spot

Summer Days at the lake with the kids are what it's all about!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

snuggly toddler

I could just hold her like this forever!

So grateful for a toddler who loveslovesloves the snuggles. 
Even when we're just sitting in front of the oven examining dinner's readiness :)

BDC not VBS...

But still basically the same thing:) Bible Day Camp at Holy Cross Lutheran was lots of fun! They had a "Rooted" theme...and Cat in the Hat...not sure how those tied in together...but the kids were happy to break away from the Cave Quest theme :) Only one more VBS left for the summer! I wonder if I'll look back in the future and be glad we did all these Vacation Bible School events at the different local churches...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Whoopie Courtney!

Toddler Dilemma

I don't even know what to caption this. Or why I love this picture so much. It's just so... Charity!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Early Halloween prep

Candy corn witches!

Froyo with friends!

This is the Guertin Family, new to the ward, just moved from from WY. They've got a few kids matching up in ages to ours, so weve basically got no choice but to be besties :) Forreals though, it feels good to be the first to reach out and befriend new people.
Moving is tough.
Making friends quickly makes it easier.

Why rent when you can buy? :)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Toddler friends of mommy friends

This cutie holding hands with Charity is Alyssa, my good friend April's daughter! They get to play together everyday at the Y while we work out. April and I have been friends since for freshman year, lost touch a bit after high school, but recently reconnected (having the same gym helps a lot!)

Zucchini magic!

This photo doesn't show it very well because of the shadows, but Courtney is standing right next to a giant zucchini! It's half her height! I didn't think we'd get any this year, because I didn't see any bees out there doing their pollinating job. But they must have been busy anyway, because we came home from our trip to find about 6 big zucchini! So fun. And especially fun to see how excited the kids are about it. Are tomato plants are also doing really well. We've picked a bunch today and brought some to Bishop Stumm and we'll bring some to other neighbors. This makes me want to invest more time in gardening!

Monday, July 25, 2016

baby on my shoulders

The other day I tried getting Brianna up on my shoulders, and was sad to realize that she's getting too big for it! WAHHHH!
So I'm enjoying having Charity travel this way as much as I can before she, too, does that terrible thing called growing up. 

Parading in SF

Since Pioneer Day (State Holiday in Utah) fell on the Sabbath this year, it was celebrated on Monday. So we stayed for the morning festivities! Which was mostly just the parade. Many of the towns/cities in Utah do holiday parades. It's a Utah thing, maybe? Not aware of other states who do all this parading.
I'm not personally a big fan... I feel like all that CO produced by the cars driving slowly is pretty gross. And throwing candy to kids obviously does nothing positive for them. And all the effort put into planning and executing events like this could do so much good for the world if directed towards alleviating global hunger or something along those lines. Party pooper I am? Okay :) Anyway, I actually had to miss it because little Courtney slept in until 11am (ELEVEN) !!! Crazy! She's never done that before. Her poor body must have been exhausted from staying up too late every night on this trip, and eating way too much junk food. I'm glad she got some sleep, and will be glad to get back to normal healthy life.
While she slept in, I got cleaned up after a BEAUUUUTIFUL long morning run through the countryside of Spanish Fork and the golf course. It was fantastic. Felt amazing. Also got our stuff all packed up, car ready, rooms and bathrooms all cleaned up.... it was quite the effort! But felt great to leave on time having everything organized.
In the passenger seat of that red car (Camero?) is Grandpa McKell...almost 98 years young! It was awesome spending time with him. He's a great example of a positive, loving attitude towards everyone.  Brianna sat on the back of the car with her two cousins Kandalyn and Allison.  With them being so close in age, it will be sweet to see how their cousin-relationship plays out as they get older!

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Getting ready for their turn with the photographer! I just adore them. And I love the color scheme we went with! It was mom's idea, obviously... mine would've included some (lotsa) YELLOW. But I suppose it's ok to do family pictures without yellow every once in awhile...
Forreals tho, when I look at this picture and think about these four humans I brought into the world... I just feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Like - there's nothing greater I, as a person, could contribute to the world than these amazing spirits. I'm so grateful I get to be their mommy!!

Does it get any better than this?!!

ooooooo, that WATER!! So CLEAR! And it was just the perfect temp. Absolutely refreshing. We had SO much fun playing in it everyday! Whether in this little raft (yardsale score!!), or on the boat, jet skis, or just splashing around. Lake Chelan is probably the best lake I've ever been to!

Saturday, July 23, 2016


One of the McKell fam reunion events was renting this person's backyard! Kind of an interesting idea, right?! Some fabulously wealthy Spanish Forkers have a killer backyard with a gorgeous pool, playground, garden, etc., and they rent it out to people for relatively CHEAP prices! Pretty cool. The kids had a great time swimming and playing for a couple hours here! We got some fun slo-mo iphone videos of them jumping off the diving board. Courtney especially is super brave and getting to be a great swimmer! I need to invest more time in teaching her and Bennett proper stroke and breathing form. And reviewing it with Brianna.

organized Fish torture (aka, Fish Rodeo)

I'm not sure how this event passes Animal Cruelty laws... but apparently it does cuz fish don't have feelings?! Poor little things suffocate to death in those bags...if they survive the heart attack it must give them to be chased after and scoped up by little children in the giant wading pool. So messed up. Not doing this again...I know they had fun.... but there are other ways to have fun that don't involve harming slimy things.
(I know... Party Pooper I am, again).

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


I didn't get to do as much Stand up Paddleboarding as I wanted to during our Smith reunion... partly because Lindsay's board was having inflation issues, and mostly because I'm lame and didn't buy our own. I really should've. There was a great deal on one on eBay a few months ago... I put it in my cart, then hesitated...then it got away. Lesson learned. Just BUY it next time!
I have a life goal to do a headstand on a paddleboard and get a photo. Noble life goal, right?!! Lotsa work to do to make that one happen!!

Unofficial Smith fam photos

Family pictures were the first day full day of the reunion (thank goodness...cuz after that, I was so happy to not have to worry about my hair or makeup all week!!)
These pics were taken by Jenny on the sidelines as the hired photographer, Elizabeth Humble (a lucky find from Craigslist!!) was working with the various groups/families.
I was so proud of my kids - they cooperated really great for pictures!! It's getting easier as they're getting older :)

I haven't seen the official pics from the photographer yet, so I'm crossing my fingers she got a decent one of the whole group. It was tough because Bethany was having a tantrum, and some other little ones were fidgety. I didn't envy that photographer's task!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Oh these too.... in case I haven't said it enough.... I reallyreallyreally love having twins!! Especially boy-girl twins. It's an awesome brother-sister relationship to witness.
They play together SO well the majority of the time. Their little worlds of pretend are pretty adorable.  

Lots of beautiful little girls!

We've got a big fun group of little girl cousins from ages 4-8...I think 7 of them? They did a great job being kind and inclusive with all their playing this week. I love them! And I love doing their hair :) I want to spend some time watching YouTube videos teaching me how to do fun hairstyles on them. For now, it's lots of "Elsa braids"  (side french braids) and variations of that.