Revving up for the twos!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Our lil’ bookend boy had a big weekend and rang in the “terrible twos” with family and out of town grandparents who came to visit and celebrate the birthday boy!

Get your party on with customizable banners from She and Co. 

Although Eden was born on the other side of the globe and has lived over half of his life in Asia, our “fairest of them all,” all-American boy has quickly adapted life in the USA and loves trucks, tractors, fast cars and everything with wheels (and minions and cheezits and shoes and soccer among other things!)

His “dump truck” inspired party was executed by big sisters Abi and Britain who pretty much singlehandedly pinned, planned and prepared the celebration for our little guy.  Its been a long time since we’ve had a birthday party that didn’t revolve around “pink” and “princesses”!!  Super fun to be “doing” a little boy again!!

Way to go Britain!  You nailed it!

Eden, you have brought so much joy to this family and give us reasons to laugh every day!  You live up to your name meaning…”pleasant”, “delight”, “perfection”.  We’re so glad God saw fit to give us YOU!

Sweet southern jonjon custom made by our friends at  Soda City Sewing

-You’re all boy and we all get a giggle because you get this mischievous smile of satisfaction and say “beeeep” every time you have gas or burp!
-You are potty training yourself.  (maybe before mommy is ready!)
-Your favorite thing to do is bring your book bin into bed on Saturday mornings and read together!
-You’ve been our slowest to wean and still love nursing to sleep at bedtime and nap time.
-You totally dont sleep through the night because you’d rather come to our bed and snuggle…and thats ok!
-Daddy has a big soft spot for you.  And your long hair matches daddy’s!  (and you may have some OCD tendencies just like daddy too!)
-Your matchbox car collection (that used to be Tristan’s) entertains you for hours!  Your favorite thing to do is play “crash” and shove them as fast as you can across the big coffee table glass top into each other!
-You insist on having socks on and blanket off when you sleep!
-Your stuffed minion “Lala” is your lovey.
-Tristan is your favorite person in the world.  Whenever he finishes school each day, you take him by the hand and beg him to take you outside to kick the soccer ball around.  (I think he kinda likes you too)!
-Your soccer skills are ridiculous for a 2 year old!  (child-prodigy in the making!)

How adorable are these cookies our friend Helen made?  Check out Cakey Bakey’s facebook page!

Happy birthday to our bear cub.
Our sometimes rough-n-tumble, sometimes cuddle bug.
Blue-eyed, crazy-curly tow-headed, petite prince.
Light of everyone’s life around here. Trouble-maker and entertainment.
No matter how many birthdays and how old you get, you will always be baby-Smith!
We love you bubby!

London with The Queen Mum

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


This week confirmed my suspicion that I was indeed born in the wrong century and quite possibly, on the wrong continent.  My own “happily ever after” began 18 years ago when I met my beloved in England while we were at school, and the beauty of this country still holds a special piece of my heart with a thousand magical memories which we added to this week… sweet mother, turning 70, invited her girls to celebrate this monumental birthday with “tea in London”.  I was made for this life (well, aside from the cold!).… The astounding architecture, rich history, romance and relics, pomp and circumstance, those adorable British accents!!…it still takes my breath away!

The plan has been in the works for a year.  Our Daddy sourced a perfect flat in the heart of London to rent for 4 nights putting his girls within walking distance of Hyde park and Oxford street window shopping.  The time flew past, but not a moment was wasted from evening strolls along the Thames River at sunset, to gusty, breezy double decker bus rides, sitting through mass in St. Pauls and gallivanting around galleries.

Being quite the versatile ladies, we spent leisurely afternoons in tea rooms, and visited local evening pubs where we we’d discard layers and warm ourselves by way of roaring fires and hearty food.

After walking home and thawing, we’d don our pjs, pour some wine and prop up our feet for The Crown series – giving substance and meaning to all the attractions and landmarks we were seeing!

Our mother is the queen of tea parties….and the queen of parties for that matter!  It was the tradition growing up that she’d bring a tea tray with rock sugar and a cute creamer pitcher and something sweet up to our bedroom for slumber parties with friends or on birthday eves or when we were sick and bedridden.  That tea tray has served us thousands of times.  How fitting to have a 4 day celebration and see her waited on and treated like the “queen mum” that she is!  High tea was a must!  Check out our review posts on the a charming morning spent at Betty Blythe Tea Room and high society afternoon tea at The Dorchester!

  Because, “when in Rome”!!

Hard to imagine a more extravagant, memorable, enjoyable 4 days with some of the people I love most! These opportunities dont come around every day, so we made the most of every moment and are combing through thousands of photographs. (Kindly indulge me as I download here.) Tho Ive made a handful of stops in London over the years of living here, there and everywhere, this was the first time I felt I properly got to “do” London!

Id say the only low-light was nearly getting my camera confiscated and us kicked out of St. Pauls Cathedral.  Overcome by the beauty, I failed to take note of the dozens of “NO PHOTOGRAPHY” signs posted everywhere! oops!  Yep, that’d be me embarrassing everyone raising a scene in a 300 year old cathedral!   Note to self….must pay better attention!  I was however, not the only one whose camera was a nuisance.  My sister managed to bring our bus screeching to a halt and the driver came huffing up the stairs to the top to scold her for standing and taking photos (which we’d already been doing for 2 days straight!)  Apparently these sisters are a bit camera crazy – but the pictures are worth it!

So thankful for my sweet man who was a single parent for a few days to give me this time with my mom and sisters (Eden’s first night away from Mommy!!)…..and for my daddy who gifted us this stay….and especially for our mother – for the 70 years she’s so intentionally poured into the lives of those around her and the devotion and dedication to her family. If anyone deserved the royal treatment, it was her!  Trip of a lifetime for all four of us!  Sweetest mother-daughter-sister memories!

Our Classical Christmas

Friday, January 5, 2018

The large yellow house with the wide white porch has candles lit in the windows and wreaths hung with red bows.  Beckoning you inside is a pathway illuminated with glowing lanterns and the smell of cider in the crock pot greets you before you step over the threshold.  Vintage Christmas books from my childhood are close at hand by couches where cozy throws invite you to snuggle up under the sprawling 15 foot Christmas tree adorned with huge silver balls and white twinkle lights.
Here the hearth fire is always burning and the coffee pot is never empty and the Christmas playlist in the background enhances the ambiance.  Mother has been at work for weeks prepping all our favorite holiday dishes and stashing away sweets in tins on the sideboard.
The door constantly revolves with suitcases and baby cribs and wrapped gifts being lugged in by uncles and aunts. The squeals of cousins reuniting and thundering footsteps amplify the constant noise as little ones pair off in twos and threes and scamper off to the trampoline or the game room.
Board games are pulled out.  Cookie trays are passed around.  Laughter ensues.
The Santa mugs, the sentinel nutcrackers, the greens gathered in every vase; the duchess of decor has left no corner bare or undressed.  Tables are set with Spode Christmas china and linens and festive centerpieces.
Snack baskets and “pillow presents” grace beds where each person will lay their head tonight.
This….this is what home-for-chrismtas looks like!!

We’ve spent more Christmases out of the country than at “home”, and we’ve made our own memories and created new traditions as our family grows and our life has led us down distant roads.  But, the nostalgia and sentiment of the season always leaves me a bit “homesick” at this time of year and this Christmas was beautifully memorable and fun to take our Eden home for the holidays for the first time!!

Grateful.  Just so grateful for family.  For siblings who are my favorite people.  For the beauty of 4 generations gathered.  For cousin-best-friends for my children.  But most of all for the reason we celebrate!!
Grateful for Emmanuel
…God with us.

Grandmoni and Grandenny

Eden and his buddy cousin Roman

Everyone loves Uncle Adam

Christmas Eve

Christmas nightgowns from Santa

Obligatory Christmas Morning photo

Aspiring artist and her artsy aunt Katherine

Our lil drummer boy LOVES his drum

Cousins and 97 year old great-grandpa!

Siblings and spouses