December 7, 2009 will be a day that Jared and I will remember and treasure forever. Every day since has been an overflow of joy, love, and many firsts. Adalyn Maren entered the world at 7:39 p.m. weighing 7 lb. 4 oz and measuring 19 inches.
We have been blessed with a healthy baby girl and tremendous friends and family that have taken time out of their busy holiday schedules to bless us with gifts, food, and their presence. Thank you to each of you! We love you.
More pictures to come. :) We are heading to our first doctor's appointment. (This is only the third trip out of the house!)
This is a picture display in our hallway-Thanks to the greatest father-in-law it is up and waiting for pictures of Baby Smith. The thread and sewing essentials belonged to my Grandma Steen. She was quite the lady with her hands. Many people in the community have been blessed with items that Grandma created-crotcheted crosses, baby blankets, quilts, bookmarks, and the list goes on. Well, we split all her remaining thread, zippers, and so forth between the kids and grandkids. I received all the pink and green. I had simply mentioned I would like a Mason Ball jar to display them. Well, within two days, Marilyn said she had purchased one at Rural King for me. It couldn't have been any more perfect. I love it and I smile every time I look at it. Baby Smith will indeed know what a great lady our family was blessed with for so many years. Well, my due date as come and gone! We had an appointment on Wednesday; I am still at 3 cm and 80% effaced. If she hasn't made her appearance by the end of this weekend, we are to report to the hospital at 6:30 a.m. Monday morning. So, it is very possible that she will be sharing her birthday with the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. That is fine with me; I am extremely anxious to finally meet our little girl.
I know it has been quite awhile since I last posted. Sorry. Hopefully, I will do a better job once she arrives. A quick update on what's been going on-I have been away from my classroom since the Monday before Thanksgiving. (I guess I could have technically worked this past week, but with my early progression, I really felt we were going to be meeting Baby Girl before her Dec. 1 due date.) Being home, I have been able to finish washing walls (which my wonderful mother-in-law did the rest of the house while I still working--thanks Marilyn), all the Christmas decor I am going to put up this year is displayed beautifully thanks to my mom and Aunt Annalee's assistance, grading papers, wrapping Christmas gifts (I am not completing done, but closer), trying to stay ahead on my masters, and little household projects that I have wanted finish for some time. I think I will always have those few things on my list, but I am satisfied at this point. :)
As many of you know, on October 16 of this year, we lost Grandma Steen. She was blessed with 98 years here on Earth and more importantly, I was blessed with her for 25 years. It is hard at times to comprehend God's timing. Why would he take her just six weeks before Baby Smith arrives? I just want one picture of the four generations. But as I find myself wanting to call Gma with the latest update, I remember GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME and HIS TIME IS PERFECT. I find it affirming that throughout my pregnancy Jared has taken my picture in the same shirt to show progression. On the shirt, you will see it has a clock and the words read: God's Timing is Always Perfect. :) Enjoy. I hope to be blogging soon about our newest addition.
Smitty did it...this is a tshirt of Marilyn's (my mother-in-law)from when she was younger. I just had to share it!
As I posted yesterday, today was the day to find out the gender of Baby Smith. Well...........IT'S A GIRL! Jared will have two ladies in his life now to love and spoil. All night he has been reassured by friends and family that girls can farm and hunt, too. :) Baby Girl already has a CAMO sleeper, booties, and a cap thanks to Grandma Marilyn. She mentioned tonight that she will need to add a pink bow to it now. :)
Thanks to Ashley Smith, Jared and I have a 15 minute DVD of the ultrasound. I am so thankful. Again, thank you, Ashley.
Our little girl is already a gymnast. If you notice in the picture, her legs are above her head. Aunt Kristen, the gymnast of the family, should be proud.
It is so nice to finally use another pronoun other than "it"!
Thanks to all those that said a prayer for us today. Please, continue to lift us up!
Jared and I will be receiving an early Christmas gift this year...Baby Smith! I am 19 weeks TODAY!
Here are a few details that I wanted to make sure I recorded for myself:
Arrival Date: December 1 (This is a pretty significant date in my life, my dad passed away on this day sixteen years ago)
When we found out: Monday, March 30 (First day of spring break, just returned from Walk 38A where I presented a talk where I mentioned how Jared and I were praying for our unborn children) You must understand that I took a test on the previous Wed. before I left for the Walk... negative.
My reaction: I fell to my knees overjoyed, praising God. Then I ran and got my camera. I actually took of picture of me holding the test. :) Two more tests later, Jared and I were both stunned that this truly was happening.
How we shared our news: Well, that depends. Two days after we discovered our exciting news, it just so happen to April Fool's Day. Around 10:00 that evening, we started calling our family and some of our closet friends telling them that they will need to be purchasing an extra Christmas gift this year. We had some truly excited people on the other line until they realized what day it was...it went from screams of glee to actually Kristen (Jared's sister) hanging up on us after telling us she hated us. Jared and I had a great time with this prank; we never told them the truth. I, personally,and Jared agreed to wait until closer to the end of the first trimester. It was our little secret and we had a ball with it! Jared was constantly dropping hints to our friends. I truly believe he had a harder time keeping it a secret than I did. Jared has been ready for children since we first got married; I was the reason we actually waited. We had a house rule that I had to be so far into my masters program before we started trying. Well, I deliver in Dec. and finish my masters in Jan., so I almost made it! :)
I finally told Mom when she was at my house one evening while we were having general conversation. We were having a girls' night, I was finishing getting ready and she was "touching up" her makeup. You must understand that I am always speaking of our future plans. So, when I first made a comment about Grandma Jones coming to see the baby's room, Mom commented with a general reply. Then she stopped and asked, "Are you telling me something?" I instantly started crying. (Crying is something I do on a daily basis now) I ask her to start praying for our little one and its development.
We told Grandma Steen, Travor, Larissa and Denny at our Easter dinner. Having them look what I bought for Jared, they saw a little outfit that said "Daddy's Alarm Clock" (which from the few times we have kept Lindsee overnight, I don't this will be the case):) As for Jared's parents and sister, Mom and I had a blast purchasing little items for each of them. I wrote a little note from Baby Smith. Remembering our prank, they honestly didn't believe us. Marilyn actually tossed it down and said we were mean. Well, after some convincing, they were estatic.
At the end of May, I was 12-13 weeks, we spent an evening sharing our news with close friends and family members. There were several that I ended up having to call or text, so I knew they heard from me and not someone in the grocery store. Jared and I enjoyed this time so much.
North Daviess 6th grade takes on the faculty at the end of the school year in a game of softball. Having always played in years past, I knew I would be asked. So, I sent an email to the faculty and I personally told my students. They couldn't believe that I had kept it a secret for so long! The girls especially were extremely pumped. I told them they will be my future babysitters. :)
Sickness: I am overly blessed--thrown up ONLY twice--no more Mi Pueblo for Shaya and Baby Smith. Naps are essential it seems, but I keep being told about this burst of energy I be experiencing. I am waiting for it...I need it..there are only a few more weeks of summer and my to-do list is still pretty long.
Cravings: cheeseburger, slushies, (I am sure I will be adding to this list)
Gender: We find out TOMORROW! Jared is open in saying that he prays (literally out loud) for a boy. I really don't mind what the gender is, but I have always seen myself with a boy, but deep down I feel it is a girl. Two dreams say it is a boy though and one dream says it isn't Jared's baby. I have no idea... After Chinese mythologist, Waylon Bruce, (really he is one of Jared's closest friends) performed the pencil test AND the spoon/fork test TWICE, he is definite that it is a baby boy. All the suspense of waiting will hopefully be alleviated tomorrow.
Names: Pray for me! Jared and I don't seem to agree on many names. I know we only have to agree on one, but this is a big deal,in my opinion. Being a teacher, I don't want a name of any prior student or future student. Realistically, I know this is tough and I may have to be a little bit open minded, but so should Jared. Growing up with the name Jones and now I am a Smith, I want the first name to be something unique. Let me replay a scene from the life of Jared and Shaya while discussing baby names. We were driving home from church, he suggested one, I declined because I know someone that just named their little one this, so Jared replies with this, "Well, I better turn off the radio because someone somewhere may be listening to the exact same song." Needless to say, I snickered and enjoyed the quiet! See...prayers are needed. :)
Perks: Well, depends if you are asking Jared or me. With a due date, I feel we are getting things accomplished at the house, slowly, but I see it coming along. Jared commented that he didn't realize that having a baby meant our house was so unlivable. Here's what is going on at the Smith house:
new flooring in utility room and bathrooms CHECK diswasher ALMOST CHECK (should be installed tomorrow) new carpet in two bedrooms paint two bedrooms Jared's office/shed built CHECK (now just for finishing the inside) Hopefully putting a shower in the other bathroom, it currently has a claw-foot tub.
But as any home projects goes, it requires a great deal of time and patience..a lot more than it looks like on paper. The cleaning, organizing, purchasing, etc. adds up, but it is worth it! Oh, I love it how the normal house work is still there waiting on you, too. It doesn't give you a break. Can you put a cleaning lady on your baby registry? Kristen did actually come out and wash the windows, guttering, etc. yesterday AND pulled the weeds out of my landscaping for me. That was a huge checkmark off my summer list-wash the house-CHECK! Thank you, Kristen!
To-do list or not, I have enjoyed this summer catching up with friends and spending time with family. Jared and I are definitely savoring this step of our lives. God has truly blessed us and I praise Him every day for the joys and hurts of life. We grow in both.
This weekend was truly enjoyable! That is except for my masters paper that was due last night at midnight. In June, it will be one year since I began my masters journey and I should finish near the end of January. Although it is through Olivet Nazarene in Illinois, there are many people participating from here-Jessie Davis and Aaron Ash to name a few. I think we should all have a huge bash together next year to celebrate our completion!
Anyways, the weekend starting out by getting a few things ready in my classroom for the coming week, rushing home to finish dishes and laundry. (Jared and I have been actually having one of the most important talks for married couples--where do we install the dishwasher) YEAH YEAH YEAH! For those women out there who had to wash every dish by hand, but now only have to push a button, I am sure you can relate to my elation. Okay, so back to our Friday night, one of my best friends, Amy, who actually got me to the Vinc. YMCA to swim laps with her on Monday, came by to pick up all my glassware for her sister's wedding. While she was there, we made plans to go out to eat with our boys. Jared and I took a quick nap before they arrived and then we were off to Washington. We all agreed..well, actually Amy hid a coin in her hand and I had to choose which hand-I chose the wrong hand, and it represnted Mi Pueblo. So MI Pueblo we did, but WOW did it hit the spot that night. Amy and I even splurged and ordered a fried ice cream. When we got home, Jared and I immediately retrieved our pajamas, cuddled on the couch, and instantly fell asleep. So much for a Netflix night...guess it will have to wait.
Early Saturday morning, Jared went turkey hunting with the boys. Lee Smith had asked me earlier in the week if I wanted to meet at the Plainville church with a few girls to scrapbook. It was truly enjoyable. Lee mentioned she was bringing her Cricut machine along. Here's a little history: The best mother-in-law in the world gave me Cricut machine for Christmas, but I haven't quite mastered it. So, I thought this was a great opportunity to face my hesitation and learn how to use this thing. The group on Saturday including Lee Smith, her daughter, Sarah, Whitney Sprinkle Dyer, and Beth Yakes. We plan to meet once a month and that will be perfect for me. I am a deadline girl-I won't scrapbook unless I have a due date in mind. This encourages me to keep going. And yes, I used the Cricut--it is a cool machine.
When I got home, ready to clean the house, I found Jared taking a nap from his long morning of hunting. It looked too enticing, so I hopped into bed just finish the movie he had started, but I quickly fell asleep. We were awakened by a phone call from BB- Brent Baker. Brent and Abby invited us to go dine at the Log Inn in Haubstadt. This restaurant is known for the place where Abe Lincoln dined. Like the title says, eat and sleep! Before we could go, we made the deal that we have to clean for at least an hour before we started to get ready. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. Jared and I always have a blast with the Bakers and this time we had their newest addition-Cale. He did extremely well and was a cutie the entire night.
Sunday consisted of the 8:00 service at Odon Christian, cleaning the rest of the house, writing my masters paper (yuck), watching TV with my hubby -Celebrity Apprentice.
This weekend was relaxing. No, I didn't get everything accomplished on my to-do list, but it was full of laughs and memories. I would much rather savor those items than savoring the idea that my to-do list is complete.
Little Lindsee is officially Lindsee Porter! The adoption papers are signed! We couldn't be any more excited! There are many monumental moments in little Lindsee's life right now. On Tuesday, April 28th, she will be ONE! Unbelievable! Our families celebrated her birthday last Sunday. (Pictures coming soon....I am currently at my in-laws and I don't have my USB cable with me) That evening, Larissa calls me crying, telling me that Lindsee's took MULTIPLE independent steps! She has been pulling herself up for some time and walking herself along furniture, but has soon as she realizes she is on her own, she slowly lowers her body to the ground, the safe zone.
On Thursday evening, Lindsee got to enjoy the circus with Mommy, Grammy, and Aunt Shaya for the first time. I, personally, watched her more than the circus. I can't help it!
As I have been thanking God for our Lindsee, I have also been praising God for beautiful Bella McBride. Proud parents are Ross and Crystal (Taylor) McBride. God brought Bella into this world on April 16 weighing 6 lbs 6 oz. As many of you know, early in the pregnancy, it was revealed that Bella has spinal bifida. There were many unknowns, but the McBrides were chosen by God to be a witness. A witness, indeed, they have been. When Laura, Tab, and I visited them at Riley last Saturday, the entire family was praising God for every triumph.
Baby Bella has since endured surgery, various tests, casts placed from her precious thighs to little toes. On Friday, the McBride family: Ross, Crystal, big sister, Amaya, and Bella made the trip home together.
Continue to keep the McBrides and Baby Bella in your daily prayers. Their journey may be long, but their faith is even stronger.
I hope I am not alone in this, but sometimes I feel I keep my prayers too general. I find myself saying, "God knows the situation, He doesn't need every detail." But here lately, I realize, that statement couldn't be further from the truth. God wants every detail of our lives shared with Him. The worries, fears, hopes, desires, praises, triumphs, etc. I now am more specific when I pray. If you find yourself in this "Prayer Routine," I encourage...no, I challenge you to be specific, to share every detail with our listening Father.
Okay, well I guess Smith Family Fun Night is coming to a close at Marc and Marilyn's..first sign...Jared has asked the infamous question, "Are you ready?"
Tonight, we grilled out, took a walk in the park, played games,watched TV, and caught up on reading blogs. In my opinion, this has been an enjoyable, productive evening with the in-laws and my favorite sister-in-law, Kristen.
I hope to post again before the two week mark! Until then, savor each step!
Being back to school for two days, spring break is officially over. However, the past two days have gone extremely well. I think a break was exactly what I needed to become revived again. If I am not mistaken, we only have around eight weeks left till summer vacation. One by one, the items on my to-do list for spring break were placed on my summer to-do list.
Spring break was truly enjoyable. I started the break working Walk 38A at Camp Illiana. God's glory was evident and working is just much a blessing, if not more than when attending the weekend. On Tuesday, I had the joy of watching Camden in the morning. What joy he is! Then I went to Ross and Crystal McBride's to help with them get their house ready before they moved in this past weekend. Diligently working, they accomplished so much in such a short time. The McBrides have quite a bit on their plate currently. Next Thursday, they are welcoming their second baby girl into the world. Please keep praying for the McBrides We can't wait to meet her! When I returned home, Jared and I went to Vincennes to visit my Grandma Jones White at the hospital recovering from a hip replacement. One of her famous sayings is, "I'm good for the shape I'm in." She is definitely a fighter and is currently completing physical therapy at the Washington hospital each day. To finish off the night, we ate at Applebees.
On Thursday, Tabitha, Laura, and I went to Evansville for a differentiated reading instruction seminar. We also found time to eat, shop, shop, shop, and stop by Cold Stone before returning home! My idea of a great day is just this-eat, shop, and eat again! :)
Each morning during break, I was meeting Kallie at 6am at the Washington Park to walk. This week, I am desperately missing her and our walks. Her and I can not talk for a few weeks, but when we get together we quickly pick up right where we left off. As life gets more hectic, I appreciate this more and more in my girlfriends!
Friday morning when we are finished walking, I decided to grab breakfast for my Grandma Steen. Of course, McDonald's would suit her, she was craving Stop and Sea's biscuit and gravy..so that is what she got. Eating breakfast with my ninety-seven year old grandmom at 7:30 in the morning was extremely memorable. There are numerous opportunities like this every day, but many times I pass them up. God gives and God takes away. He has given some precious gifts-family & friends. I need to savor every possible moment and not always dwell on my to-do list.
Friday evening, Jared and I made plans to go to Evansville to eat with our good friends, Sherry and Danny Veeck. Meeting Sherry that semester at USI has been one of God's best blessings. Jared and I went down early to do a little shopping before dinner. Our dinner was at Max and Erma's, which I would recommend any day. It was a great time and we hope to start meeting once a month.
As I am writing this, I am getting more and more frustrated that I didn't take one picture during break.
Saturday was errand day, while Jared was at a farm sale all day. One highlight of my day was eating lunch with Jenn Wirtz.
Amy and Nate Alderson had a delicious dinnner, as always, prepared for us. We also got to share our evening with Cory Swartzentruber (Leslie had to work :( ) and Annie & Jordan Miller. Everyone had a great time! So much so that we all ended up falling asleep there. It was evident that only Cory and I knew how to really party---we made through both movies! Okay, honestly, I took a short nap during the first movie.
Getting with friends and family, exercising daily, and taking naps with your hubby...what else could you ask for?
As many of you know, my sister, Larissa, has had an amazing year. Being married for seven years and it looking that children may not be in God's plan, they received a call on a Monday night in September. By that Thursday, they had little, precious four month old Lindsee in their arms. Larissa & Denny became parents over night, I officially became an aunt, and Mom became "Grammy"; we can't imagine life without her.
The first week of November, I received a call from Larissa. She told me I probably should get off the treadmill to receive her news. She then said, "Will you be upset if I beat you to motherhood again?" I instantly started weeping. Of course, they were joyous tears. Our hearts were overflowing.
Her pregnancy was going well. She had an ultrasound Thursday, Jan. 30. Heartbeat was great, SHE was doing flips. Yes, that's right, that day they found out they were having a girl! As I said before, our hearts were overflowing.
This leads up to Friday morning around 4:00 a.m. Jared is standing over me & says he needs to tell me something. Mom had called Jared and now he was relaying the message. Then he says, "Larissa & Denny had a miscarriage during the night." My mind went instantly to my sweet sister. Jared meets at 5 a.m. on Fridays with a group of men in Odon for devotion & discussion. He said when he returned he would take me to Bedford to be with them. I quickly called Mom only to find out that as I was talking to my mom my sister was still at her home, holding her precious little girl in her arms. Larissa had unexpectedly delivered her baby. But only hours before, she was hearing the heartbeat watching her little one be a gymnast inside her. Apparently, two EMT vehicles got stuck at the bottom of their drive and were unable to get to her for quite some time. All these images & thoughts were going through my mind as I was praying for my sister.
Jared returned and we were off to Bedford with Travor & Mom. By the time we did get to Bedford, it was around 8 a.m. and they were releasing Larissa. So, we quickly ran by Wal-Mart and picked up some groceries to stock their shelves.
When I saw my brother-in-law and sister come into their door, my heart hurt for them beyond description. It was reality. Denny went to bring Lindsee home from his sister's house. Seeing Lindsee's sweet smile and simple actions, made me appreciate God's design. As I watched Larissa & listened to her words, I had a deeper level of admiration for my sister. Her strength & courage spoke volumes about her. Although, we don't know His plan, we know that Friday, Jan. 31, 2009 was part of His plan. This is a season of Denny & Larissa's life. Like winter, when the trees are bare, you know with time & patience that spring and new life is coming.
Like I said earlier, I had all these images in my mind. The hospital did take a picture for Larissa and Denny (they did get to hold her at the hospital). Larissa asked if I wanted to see the picture. God's design is miraculous and should not be taken for granted. She had long fingers and toes, perfect ears, eyes, nose, and mouth that seemed to have a smile of peace. The doctors told them she weighed 6 oz. Who can say that isn't a true, human life?
Jeremiah 31:3 God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! And so now I'll start over with you and build you up again.
Larissa and Denny have faith that God will we do just this, so it seemed perfect that they name her, Faith.
Continue to pray for them, all those that have lost a child, and those that are expecting.
Later that day, I was trying to put Lindsee down for a nap. She was restless and of course, didn't want to miss out on what Daddy, Uncle Jared, and Uncle Travor were doing. As I was standing, I began to rock back and forth singing, "Amazing Grace", softly in her ear as I rubbed her back. Within seconds she was asleep in my arms, but I didn't stop singing. It is amazing how God gives you a song, scripture, or words, just when you need it. I plan to keep singing His praises to Lindsee all of her life and letting her know what a true gift she is from God.
God is so good and has a way of reminding us that he is near and watching over us. On Sunday, what song do you think the worship team sang? You're right, "Amazing Grace." My eyes instantly filled with tears. Then later this week, we received our next Netflix movie (one of the best investments) and guess what movie.... Amazing Grace.
His grace is amazing and no matter what season of life I'm in, I will have faith that He will never quit loving me and start over with me again if I need rebuilding.
From the beginning of our lives, we each have been taking steps to get us where we are today. Some have taken smaller steps, while others went for an enormous leap. And at some point in our lives, we probably did both. My goal is to appreciate each and every step I have taken thus far and savor the many more that are to come.
My goal for my blog is to capture the next steps of my life story. In high school and college, I documented practically everything and all the girls knew they could count on me to have a camera nearby. As life's pace begins to pick up, I find myself documenting life's happenings less and wishing after the fact that I had snapped that picture. Blogging will hopefully diminish those after thoughts and give Jared and I a new way to savor each step of our lives together.
Jared and I have been beyond blessed with supporting family and friends. We have a saying in our house that says, "May our house be too small to hold all our friends." This is exactly how I feel!
Here is our story:
Thank you, Lord, for sand volleyball. Our story begins on a sand volleyball court, but I didn't realize it that night. Nor did I realize it for a while. Jared was with one of his best friends, Brian Alderson, and we were at the Armes' for the traditional Sunday night show down in sand volleyball. To be honest, I didn't even notice Jared. But still to my amazement, he noticed me. I went into our first date, thinking and believing that this would be the ONLY date. WOW...was I wrong. Our date was nice. No, he didn't fly us to New York or have fireworks set off for me that night, but I felt a connection that I hadn't felt in a long while. I longed to learn more about him. At the end of the night, he make the comment if I wanted to ever hang out again to just give him a call. I thought, "Okay, God, that is your way of saying you are in the clear. Shaya, he doesn't want anything more and going into tonight, you didn't either. Let it be." So, I did.
That was Tuesday, August 19, 2003. On Friday, he surprised me with flowers with the hopes of another date. The surprising part of this story was that he asked my mom to deliver them to me. Mind you, this is how Jared introduced himself to my mom. He went to Mom's workplace, introduced himself, and asked if she would be kind enough to deliver these. He's a smart one; he had her instantly won over. Needless to say, with every additional minute spent together, every small step we took together, he was winning me over.
By the end of November that year, I knew he was the one I desired to spend my life with, take the next huge step beside. God as a way, a humorous way, of teaching us life lessons. God taught me patience. August 19, 2003=the year we started dating, April 1, 2006=the year we got engaged, and June 23, 2007=the year we were united in marriage.
During those years, I finished college earning my bachelor's degree in elementary education, moved back home from Evansville, was a bridesmaid for at least seven of my friends at this point, and was enjoying every step of the way. Mom has always told me not to wish my life away. This is one of my new year's resolutions. Enjoy this step, this season ,of my life.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
So, fellow bloggers and readers: I want to savor this season of my life: my first years of marriage, my twenties, the beginning of a life long career, becoming an aunt, learning about investments, insurance, and the other hundred million things adults have to try to understand.
I do not want to look back and say, "I wish I had written that down or captured that picture."
Here's to the beginning of the Smiths' Savored Steps!
I am married to a wonderful man, Jared Marc Smith. We've been married for just over a year and a half;June 23 will be two years. We started dating in 2003. Amazing! This is my third year teaching sixth grade at North Daviess Elementary. Being able to do your childhood dream is truly a gift from God. I was raised in Daviess County. Jared graduated from North Daviess in 2000 and I graduated from Barr-Reeve in 2002. I continued at USI for elem. ed. Jared owns R & S Excavating with partner Clayton Ramsey. He also works with his dad on the family farm. I currently am completing my masters through Olivet Nazarene University. Less than a year to go....YAH!!!