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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Your Questions Answered Part 1

Thank you to all of you who asked me some great and fun questions. I love doing posts like this!  This will be a 2 part series, so I hope I don't bore you too much! Today's questions mainly focus on adoption and becoming a parent.  And tomorrow's will focus on everything else.  Enjoy...

Tamara, Jax, Neely, and Carolyn asked:  Do you know yet if you'll be able to name your little one yourself? Do you have any names picked out? 

We do not know if we will be able to name our little one, but we'd really like to have that opportunity.  If we do get to choose, our little boy would be Eli and our little girl would be Sloane or Stella.  We're still iffy on the middle names and the first names are always subject to change.

Neely asked:   What have you learned most about yourself through your struggles with getting pregnant and now going through adoption?

I've learned that everything is God's perfect timing.  We cannot control everything that happens to us.  We make choices and we must accept the life we're given.  I've definitely learned to be more patient even though I don't like it.   I've learned a lot about myself and it's really helped me to grow. 

Heather asked:  What are you looking forward to most about being a mom? The least?

I'm really looking forward to holding our little one for the first time.  It will be such a magical moment.  I also can't wait to see him or her taking their first steps, speaking the first words, losing their first tooth, and scoring the first goal.  I'm not looking forward to disciplining, the dating years, or teaching them to drive. Does any parent look forward to those??

Carolyn asked:  What has been the hardest part about adoption so far? What has been your favorite part? Is there anything you're nervous about?

The hardest part of the adoption so far is the waiting.  We've waited almost 3 weeks to have our next home study interview.  I'm ready to do it all today.  My favorite part so far has been gathering pictures of us over the years for our profile.  It's been fun reminiscing.  And I'm a ball of nerves about everything.  From when we will get matched to the day we finally get to bring home our little one.  There are so many things that can happen with adoption, but the joy it brings is worth it.

Amber asked:  Are you doing an open or closed adoption?

We are doing a semi-open adoption which means we will send photos and letters to the birth mother through our agency.  We are not open to visitation or other interaction at this time.  In the beginning, we are open to speaking with the birth mother before matching. 

If it is open, and the mom insists on naming the baby, are you open to this?

We would really like to name our baby.  If the mother insisted, we could always consider it as a middle name.

How do you think your dog will handle the new addition?

I think it'll take some getting used to, but he'll adjust.  He's been around kids and babies his entire life and he's great with them.

Cassie asked:  What is one place you can't wait to take your child?

Disney World.  I can't wait to see the look on a child's face of this amazing theme park for the first time!  

Would you be open to adopting a multiple sibling group right away?

 We actually said that we would take twins.  Right now, we are looking for a newborn and there aren't too many sibling groups in that age range. 
 

Do you worry about being a good dog mom after having/getting a baby? (BC I do, lol pathetic I know)

I do.  Knox is our baby right now, but I love him so much that I know he'll still be a priority!

Courtney asked:  Have you decided if you will continue working after the baby gets here? 

Since we are adopting and we have no idea when it'll happen, I haven't made that decision.  Thankfully a lot of my work can be done from home, if needed.  I'd love to stay at home one day, but I'm not sure when that day will be.

Up next, Part 2....

Monday, July 30, 2012

DIY Project #1

Last week, I mentioned some DIY projects I wanted to attempt.  Over the weekend, I made the DIY card keepsake for our wedding cards. 

I forgot to get some wedding ribbon to finish it off with but I got started.  I bought some card stock from a local scrapbooking store.  I cut the bride out of a piece of scrapbook paper.  I bought the "I Do" stickers and added some jewels to accent the bride's dress.  

We have a lot of cards so, I might should have made two. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Team USA

The 2012 Summer Olympics officially kick off tonight! I'm so excited!

My favorite sports include swimming, gymnastics and track and field.  In honor of the games and Team USA, I thought I'd show my support on the blog.
Team USA

Will you be watching this year's Olympic Games? If so, what's your favorite event?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Training: RRS 5K

On Sunday, I ran in my first 5K of the Memphis Runner's Track Club's Road Race Series

While I am still getting back in the groove of running, I think I did quite well.  I even got to run with Christin.  It was so nice to finally meet her!

The only hiccup with the race was that my chip did not clock me when I crossed the starting line and when I finished so, I had to go by what time was on the clock.  

I finished in 27:25 according to their clock, but I know it was a little faster.
Although I did not have a PR (personal record), I still think I did pretty awesome!  And it felt good to get back to racing. 

Up next...5 MILES!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Got Questions?

Who doesn't love a good Q&A session? 
I did a post last year just like this and it was so much fun! 

Ask me what you want. Nothing will be off limits.  I'll answer your questions and post answers next week. 

I'm actually interested in seeing how my answers have changed or stayed the same.  There's a lot going on in the Smithwick house, so ask away.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My DIY

I'm always seeing these cute little DIY projects on Pinterest and there are a few that have really caught my eye!  I hope I can tackle these soon and post pictures (if they're presentable).

Card Keepsake
I still haven't done anything with our wedding cards 4 years later.  This would be perfect! 

Anthropologie Inspired Metal Letters
I love these letters at Anthropologie, but I don't want to pay $15 for one letter.  These are cute and cheap!  

Travel Memories
What better way than to remember a vacation that these cute shadowboxes?

Workout Shirt
You can never have too many shirts!  

I've seen these on etsy, but I could make these for the little bambino. 

Are there any fairly simple and fun DIYs out there that I should tackle? What have you made?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Girls Weekend

Over the weekend, my best friend, Laura, came into town to visit. I haven't seen her in three years so it was great to finally get some time to catch up!   We met as sorority sisters in college, traveled to Europe together and have been best friends ever since!

We did a little shopping and a little sightseeing, but mostly, we ate.

We made sure we took her to the famous Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous for yummy BBQ!
Some of the other local restaurants we took her to included:
 Over the weekend, we also went to see the new Batman flick, "The Dark Night Rises".  I won't spoil a thing, but it was really good!
I had so much fun catching up!  I just hope it's not another 3 more years before we do it again!
OBIC

So, what did you do this weekend?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Girls Night Out

With my best friend visiting me this weekend and the hot and humid temperatures, I thought it'd be fun to create a little "Girl's Night Out" outfit. 

A black tank with white shorts is pretty standard for me. You can always accent it with accessories.
Girl's Night Out

I also had to add a little vino in there. What's a girl's night without wine? 

What's your go-to Girls Night Out outfit?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Training: Running on the Wall

I decided a while back that if I was going to keep running races, I needed something in my home to collect my souvenirs.  Too bad I threw my first few running bibs away.

So, I went online to easy and found the perfect etsy shop!  Running on the Wall had exactly what I was looking for to hang my race bibs.  The service was fast.  The delivery was fast.  And they had such a great selection of colors and styles.

Here's the one I chose:
I went with the black bib holder because it's what would look best in my house.  I am so proud of this hanger because I can now look and see all of my accomplishments (well, minus the ones I don't have bibs for and those to come).  

If you're looking for something to hang your medals or race bibs on, shop Running on the Wall today and show off your accomplishments!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The 411

I've been in sort of a blogging funk for the past few days until I saw this cute little "411" link-up from From Mrs to Mama.  So, I decided to participate...
 
1. How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed? 
I started blogging in December of 2008.  We'd been married 8 months and we were in the process of getting our dog, Knox.  I started blogging as a way to keep up with what was going on in our lives.  The blog has definitely seen it's fair share of ups and downs in our lives.  As we evolve, so does the blog.

2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study? 
Yes, I attended the University of South Florida in Tampa. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Public and Cultural Communications

3. Where have you traveled?
I love to travel. I've been to 44 of the 50 US states.  Internationally, I've been to Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Italy, Spain, England, Greece, and France.

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy? 
I would buy an all-expense paid vacation for my family.

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
People who don't write thank you notes.
People who don't say "excuse me".
 Childcare centers with names like 'KIDZ KARE".

6. What is your favorite movie? 
Sixteen Candles

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
I'm a Diet Coke kind of gal.  I know it's bad.  I know.

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
I enjoy running, shopping, blogging, traveling and spending time with my hubby and our pup! 

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be? 
I have an obsession with Lululemon.  It's sad to say, but I could probably spend $10,000 there and if I couldn't, I'd take the rest to Nordstom. 

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.
My friend and I went to Hawaii for Spring Break.  We went to a luau and as they were throwing flowers for good luck, I dove for one and split my pants.  Then the woman next to me said, "Well, that's one way to hang loose".

11. What day would you love to relive again? 
I would want to relive my wedding day.  I married my best friend.  Why wouldn't I want to do that again?


12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?
I think Reese Witherspoon would be prefect.  :)
  
13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years? 
I worked at Old Navy and as a math camp counselor.  I loved being a counselor, but not an Old Navy employee.
14. Show us a picture from high school or college. 
This picture was taken on Bid Day 2000.
15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
Bora Bora - huts over the water...yes, please

16. Show us the most current picture of you or you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you.
This is our most recent family picture taken on the Fourth of July! 


 17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?
I see Fred and I as parents to our soon-to-be adopted child and maybe even working on another one!  I see us still playing with our fur baby, Knox and traveling more.  

Now, tell me about you...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Parent Track

Whoever said adoption was a lengthy process was right.  We've been steady spending our weekends and evenings working on our requirements for our adoption.  Here are some of the things we've been working on this week:

We read Dear BirthmotherIt's a great book about thinking about what it's like to be the adoptive parents and the birth parents.  This book is great for anyone who is thinking about exploring adoption.

We passed and finished our online parenting class!

We had our first meeting with our Adoption Specialist yesterday. One of the next times we speak with her will be when she is calling to tell us about a match.

We're also working on collecting our photos for our online and print profiles.  After we choose the photos, we have to come up with captions.

We are writing our "articles" about our lives and views on parenting as well as a generic letter to the birth parents.  Our goal to complete the pictures, articles and letter is the end of this month.  So, we're steady working.   

Thank you again for all of your support and prayers. We'll be sure and keep you posted.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Box Office

What better to do on a rainy/sunny/rainy weekend than to watch movies?

Well, that's what we did.  Well, not entirely, but still.

Friday night after our sushi date, we rented "21 Jump Street".   Since I'd never seen the old TV show, I didn't really know what to think other than Channing Tatum is in this movie and he's hot!  

To our surprise, this was actually a "laugh out loud" kind of movie.  Perfect for a date night at home! 

On Saturday, we were tired from running errands and trying to work on our new "office" so, we rented "Safe House".  How'd a girl get so lucky seeing two of her boyfriends in one weekend?? 



This movie was very intense, but it was a great story.  I'd highly recommend renting it. 

I'm a little pumped because we're getting "This Means War" from Netflix today.  I'll be sure to let you know how that is too!  

Have you seen any good movies lately?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Girl

I saw this on Natasha's blog earlier this week and it sparked my interest. 

Just because it's hot doesn't mean you can't look cute and summer-y.  Here are some of my favorite products to use this time of the year.  
Summer Girl
Neutrogena Sunscreen - you have to protect your skin
Too Faced Lip Gloss - long lasting and cute
Emi-Jay Hair Ties - they don't leave markings in your hair like regular ponytail holders
Origins Vitazing Face Moisturizer - it gives you a little glow
Wide Tooth Comb - perfect for the beach or pool
Jergens Natural Glow Lotion - to add a little color to your skin
Johnson's Baby Oil - to keep your skin smooth
Paddle Brush - the best brush around
Bobby Pins - pin back those fly aways
Hot Pink Nail Polish - for some fun

What are some of your favorite summer beauty  products?


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday Training: How to Run

We all learned how to run as a child. But as a runner, it is very important to know "how to run" properly. 
I recently came across this picture and I thought it was a great representation of how to run (and keeping your body safe).  I know I tend to slouch and clench my fists when I run; so, this helps keep me in check.

Now, can I have her body??

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Office Space

With an impending adoption on the horizon, we're making some changes around the house.  

Our first order of business is to move our home office from downstairs into a bedroom upstairs.  We want our baby's room to be on the bottom floor; so, the office has to go.  And since we're not quite sure when the adoption would take place, there's no time like the present.

In the move, I'm thinking I want to do something a little different than just your standard, blah office.  I want to make it more user friendly and more up-to-date.  So, here are some of my inspirations for our new home office:
Do you have any ideas or simple ways to update our home office?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baby Proof

As, I mentioned yesterday, Fred and I have been working diligently to "make room for baby". We read in our home study packet that we must "baby proof" the house for the home inspection. 

Let me tell you, this is not an easy task.  Fred spent the majority of July 4th installing the locks on all of our cabinets and drawers.  You never really know how many you have until you start a task like this.  I don't know how people do it with a toddler running around. 
 Since deciding we're going to adopt, we've been...

fingerprinted
 gone to the county courthouse for our background checks and back because they misspelled our last names...
And we also spent our time filling out all of our home study paperwork all before our initial meeting.
 Last Friday, we had our first meeting with our social worker who is conducting our home study.  (for those of you in the Memphis area, we are using Jewish Family Services)  We talked with her about what's to come and what she expects of us and what we should expect of her.  Our current timeline for the home study is as follows:

July 6:  1st Home Study Meeting
July 27:  My Individual Meeting
August 3 :  Fred's Individual Meeting
August 9: Our In-Home Visit
September:  Finalization of Home Study

We've also been instructed to complete an online parenting class and read a couple of books on adoption and parenting.  Honestly, I think all soon-to-be parents should be required to do this. 

In the meantime, we've signed with American Adoptions
 One of the reasons we loved their program was because we could begin working on our print, online and video profile all before our home study is complete (don't worry, I'll post the links once they're complete).  This way, we can go "live" as soon as our home study is finalized.  Now that we have a timeline, we can start working on our profile right away! 

Adoption is a lot of hard work, but it's worth every minute.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Red, White and Busy

Happy Monday! How is everyone? 

 To say we have been busy would be an understatement. We've spent the time from the Fourth of July on working on our house to get ready for our baby (no idea when she or he will be coming home), but there's no time like the present to start preparing. We've also been baby proofing since it's one of the requirements for a home study.  More on all of this later.

We did take some time to enjoy the 4th with Fred's family!
And his sister was sweet enough to give us a plaque about being adopted.  This was given to Fred's mom and dad when they adopted his sister and she has since passed it on to us.  I hung it up in the hallway of the nursery right when we got home.  
"Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute
You didn't grow under my heart,
But in it."

And for the weekend, we headed back to the lake to spend some time with my family...
 We had fun spending time with the family and going boating.  We even caught a great 4th of July fireworks show from our boat!
 Now, back to reality!

How did you spend your 4th of July??

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

American Beauty

Today we celebrate Independence Day, one of my favorites!  I love the cookouts, the love for our country and the fireworks!

On the 4th of July, you will always find me sporting some sort of red, white and blue combination. I hope you do too!  I feel like it's my patriotic duty!

Here is one of my favorite looks for this American holiday:
American Beauty


Thank you to all of the men and women who serve our county.  Without your hard work and determination, we would not have the freedom we cherish. Thank you also to their families who give so much. 

Happy 4th of July!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer

Happy Monday! 

With the temperatures already above 100 degrees, it's officially the "Dog Days of Summer" and I've got the pics from the weekend to prove it:



Stay cool!