Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just making Mama proud....

This is my new band.
We are called The Offspring.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Feasting on The Word

I have always hoped that my daughter would develop a love for the scriptures and learn to enjoy them....
Rule #1: never leave even a semi-mobile baby alone with anything important. But if you do... you can either get upset, or go grab your camera.
Fortunately she only destroyed a title page.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pioneer Day Parade in Vernal

Instead of whining about having to work on a holiday, Brian used this huge Utah celebreation of PIONEER DAY to his advantage as a marketing opportunity!
His Volunteer Executive Manager of Marketing and PR (ie: me) created these fabulous eye-catching and persuasive signs for the rentals driven in the parade down Main Street.

Brian hired a couple drivers to cruise at 4 mph while he ran around with the energy and enthusiasm of a Uintah High Cheerleader, passing out Enterprise coupons and telling everyone “We will pick you up!!”

As you can see, Brianna was really enthusiastic about all the holiday festivities....

Monday, July 21, 2008

Actually, I find it to be more the opposite: when Im talking to Brianna, people look at me like Im talking to myself. Hmpf.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brianna McKell, MPH (c)

For those who dont know, the (c) after MPH indicates "candidate" ie - one who is in-progress of completing the degree.
For those who really dont know, MPH stands for Master of Public Health.
Brianna is wearing the tshirt they sent me for filling out the graduate survey. I love filling out surveys, in general, but especially when there is a reward.
So my feelings about the program...
I learned lots of good stuff      (like that superb display of advanced vocabulary there).
The world of Public Health is truly fascinating. I mean - the social context of disease and health, featuring topics such as vaccinations, water fluoridation, public policies like seatbelt use and non-smoking laws, epidemiology  (who is peppy for epi?!), environmental/social/behavioral/occupational health... and my personal favorite, biostatistics  (jk - biostats is the only course that repeatedly frustrated me to tears)... what could be more enthralling?
In all honesty, it wasn't a waste of 2 years, though some may think that as I am now a SAHM and will likely never be employed in PH.
I met amazing people and gained invaluable experience and knowledge.
It wasnt a waste of tuition money either... I never paid any! Thank you, track and cross-country. I sometimes tell people I went to grad school just so I could finish my sports eligibility. Half-joking. 
Public Health has quite a noble cause - the goal is to improve lives through the prevention and treatment of disease.   
But my current job feels a tad nobler.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fieldtrip to the Dino Museum

Whenever I tell people we live in Vernal, the response is often something like "'oh, where the dinosaurs are."
No, the dinosaurs actually died. But Vernal has a fabulous museum and monument dedicated to them! Im almost embarrassed to admit Ive never visited there, despite the fact it is less than a mile from where we live. But Brian works during their open hours, and who wants to visit a museum alone with their baby? Also, its $6. Im cheap.
Thanks to my new friends - the VERNAL MOMS group - Brianna and I finally took a trip there! The official name is the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum. "Dino Museum" is much catchier, dontcha think?
Awesome displays, fascinating info, and fun ladies. Had a great time!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls with Ivy

Seriously, our new friend Ivy is the coolest.
Since I am car-less during the day, she came and picked me up and brought me over to her house to hang out for a few hours! She taught me how to make her amazing cinnamon rolls. I also got to tour her beautiful home with super-cute decorating. I cant wait to get started on my own!  (someday!)
As you can see in the picture, Brianna was ready to dive in to the treats.  {sigh}  Sadly, she must have inherited her mothers sweet tooth. The poor child is doomed.

Brianna lecturing her Mommy

Brianna often "lectures" me. At least that is what I think it sounds like. What do YOU think she is saying?
(ps - this video is also available on you tube: )

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


this morning i laid Brianna under her gym-mobile toy and left the room.
i came back a few minutes later because she started making lots of happy-shrieking noises.


i cant decide whether to be happy it happened, or upset cuz we missed seeing it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Outdoor concert

Sitting on a blanket at an outdoor concert on a summer evening... definitely on my top ten favorite things. Amara Doxey opened for Throwing Randy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New headband from a friend

Be honest - is the headband a little ridiculous? Why am I even asking... I don't care what anyone else thinks. I LOVE it! And I love it even more because of how we got it.
I just got a new friend here in Vernal. So that makes like 3 now. Her and her cute little daughter met up with Brianna and I at the Dinaland Rodeo Roundup Craft Fair on Main Street in Vernal yesterday. It was the largest community event Ive seen yet in Vernal. Held in conjunction with the rodeo (which was so noisy we couldnt fall asleep those 3 nights), there were TONS of fun booths in a fair-type setting. Ivy, Abi, Brianna and I went "shopping." I told her I really wanted to find one of those hair pieces with a ridiculously large flower and a wide band (the thin ones always seem too tight and uncomfortable on my baby). But sadly, I couldn't find one at any of the tents. So we went home, I put Brianna down for a nap, and later that afternoon Brian walked in the door for a short visit (his office is only a mile away, so he sneaks in visits occasionally). He came in holding this super-cute headband! I was so excited, I hugged him and started thanking him... but he stopped me and kindof sadly admitted that it wasnt from him. He just found it on our doorstep. So who could the thoughtful and generous anonymous giver be?
Thank you Ivy!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 5 months!

Today Brianna is 5 months old!
She continues to be a joy, and occasionally a trial :)

Brianna is:
  • Loving toys, especially anything that makes a sound
  • Talkingtalkingtalking (in her own ohhhahhh oww AH oooo language)
  • Spitting, camel-style
  • Going longer between feedings, but eating more
  • Putting EVERYTHING in her mouth
  • Getting a stronger grip (especially on my hair, which can be uncomfortable)
  • Frequently smiling, occasionally giggling
  • Turning 360 when on her tummy
  • Scooting around the room on her back
  • Lighting up our lives more than we ever imagined possible

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Smith Reunion, Day 5

The final official day of the reunion was spent mostly at Riverfront Park, home of the LARGEST red wagon in the WORLD. Brian and Brianna had fun sliding down it.
Completely ignoring this sign (like any good Public Health Professional would do), we fed the ducks. Though it was a bit anticlimatic because the ducks weren't too interested. They looked pretty fat, so they must get fed often by other sign-ignorers.
On to the Carousel, where Brianna got her first ride. The bright lights and music seemed to fascinate her. The speed was a little too mild for her - she kept shouting "FASTER!" At least that's what I heard.

Happy family, on the steps at the Carousel. This pic doesn't show her outfit well, but it is one of my favorites. It's purple tie-dyed, so she looks like a hippie... which would make her fit in well with some of the crowd in Spokane.
I didn't get my own snowcone, so I had to steal some of Brian's. He really likes it when I do that. Oh, and he asked if he could give Brianna a little. NONONO! Scary! I'm going to have to protect her from her daddy and his experiments with feeding her.
Some of the neices and nephews playing with the garbage-eating-goat. This goat is awesome. It even eats dirty diapers.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Smith Reunion, Day 4

A Smith Family Reunion can't be complete without the Family Olympics and the Talent Show. Today we had both, in addition to a big family picture and fireworks. I was in charge of the Olympics. We got in 3 teams and had 3 intense competitions to determine which team could cheat the best (at least that's what ends up happening!) There was a colored-numbered-ball-chase game, an ultimate super strength relay, and a shoe fetch.

Our family hairdresser, Meredith, spent the day doing hair cuts in between activities. Gotta love free cuts. Well, for Brian anyway. I have a compulsive fetish with cutting my hair as infrequently as possible.

Mom was awesome, as usual, helping with Brianna. She was the official diaper-changer, which Brianna thanked her for by urinating when diaperless. Then Brianna got mad at McKay for taking the toy-station thing. What are those called??! Whatever it is, she loooovvees it. We'll have to teach her to take turns and share, especially with all those cousins her age.
Brian has been the designated videographer during this reunion. We want to make a cute video of the reunion and give it to all my siblings as Christmas presents. He is wearing a crown in this pic for his funny skit, where he was King of Vernal and demanded his "important papers" from the court jester. My "talent" show contribution was an interpretive song and dance with Meredith ("just what makes that little ol' ant think he can move a rubber tree plant...") hence the crazy hair and makeup, which stayed on for Brianna's talent. She danced in her cute 4th of July sparkly dress to a special singing toy her grandma gave her.

The day ended with fireworks, purchased in Idaho (we all know what THAT means...) That really made Brian's day. He is a major pyro. He would rather set off a few Roman Candles than watch the biggest firework show in the world.
Fortunately this house is located at the top of a huge hill, so we get a great view of the firework shows going on miles and miles away. It's too bad Brianna won't remember this 4th of July - it was tons of fun!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Smith Reunion, Day 3

Though I woke up feeling a little "hung over" from yesterday's fun, I went on a great run through another of my old trails. Papa watched Brianna and helped her have fun in their toys. My parent's house is so baby-ready, it's awesome - they are fully stocked. Toys, babytub, diapers, wipes, carseat, strollers... I didn't have to bring anything!
Brian re-sized his visor and gave it to Brianna to wear instead of the cute bonnet. Hmph. I have a feeling he is going to be one of those Dads that refuses to allow his sons to play with dolls.
Today was LAKE DAY! We went through Priest River on our way to Sandpoint and stopped at a Hippie joint.
Then we spent the day on the beach of Lake Pend Orielle in the quaint town of Sandpoint, Idaho.
Becky, Jenny, and I had fun posing with our babies, then having their dads take over. Not-pictured is Meg/Steve and their baby Nathan, who is just a few months older than Brianna. So she has 3 boy cousins her same age!
Nonny really enjoys all her grandbabies, and she is SO much help. She took care of Brianna so Brian and I could enjoy the wave runners and take a swim a few times. It must be fun being a grandparent...just play with the babies til they're crying/hungry/tired, then give them back.

Becky and I figured out a way to get our babies to nap, since obviously they were out of their usual routine and were having trouble relaxing with all the fun going on. We just drapped towels over their strollers and went up and down the Boardwalk. Brianna still didn't get great naps, simply because I wasn't going to continue walking in 90 degree weather for 2 hours. But she crashed as soon as we got home, so I'm hoping she'll make up for it by sleeping in **crossing fingers**
There was a big log about 50 yards out into the lake that we liked swimming to. This is myself and Meredith, then Brian and I. Lindsay and I also went, but were attacked by Brady throwing seaweed at us. We could've handled it if Brian wasn't trying to tip us off at the same time...
Brianna really enjoyed just hanging out in the shade on a beach towel in her favorite outfit (Huggies). When she got hungry, she simply reached for her feet and chowed down.
On the way home we stopped at The Ram for Huckleberry Icecream... but little Connor (and several of the rest of the group) were too pooped!