Sunday, May 27, 2012


There is something about turning something ugly into something beautiful that is fulfilling  to me.

Yesterday we went to a few garage sales. I am on the prowl for old ugly furniture for me to fix up and beautify for our new place. When you go from 1600 sq ft of house to over 3000 sq ft.... you realize that you do not have enough furniture to fill it. As of now- we will have 2 completely empty rooms and the kids will all have their own rooms and as of yesterday, shared one dresser.

We got quite a lot of stuff- all for $25 bucks.... I think I really like garage sale Saturdays. One piece I got was a really ugly, dirty old dresser. There was damage to the bottom of the sides from who knows what so he let me have it for 5 bucks.

I was able to sand down the problems on the sides of the dresser and looks pretty good. All together- washing, sanding, painting 2 coats, drying, and putting the finish on it took less than 24 hours. It helped that I didn't have to prime it. This is for Khloe's room at the new house. She picked the color too... She loves purple.

Also, this is another one that I finished a while ago. We got this dresser at the DI- I fell in love with it for some reason. I think it is gorgeous- even before I redid it. We payed $50 bucks for it I think. It is solid wood, super heavy and super sturdy. We kept our fish tank on it for years. I am happy with how it turned out. My first few projects taught me a lot... and I made a lot of mistakes but I am getting better :) yay.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Those Darn Tonsils!

Anavy had her tonsils and adenoids taken out last month and Khloe had to have hers removed yesterday. Not too fun for anyone.
Anavy was very upset while we were at the surgical center. She fought getting her blood pressure and pulse and was a big mess. They gave her a liquid sedative which made her very loopy... after that she was giggly and happy

Funny story:  A couple days after Anavy's surgery she woke up around 11 at night and had a lot of blood in her mouth. We called Alyssa and Kellen to come over and sit here while we took her to the ER. They wanted to monitor her for several hours, so Brett stayed there with her and I went home so that Lyss and Kellen could go to bed. He was just going to call me when they released her. I was watching tv, waiting for him to call and apparently I fell asleep. And it was bad luck that my phone was on silent. They let them go about 2am and he tried calling me about 40 times. I was dead asleep on the couch. Anyways, he sat there so long, waiting for me to answer the phone that the front desk guy at the ER offered to drive them home. I woke up to Brett tapping me on the shoulder..... I felt terrible.

 Khloe was very happy and calm- I started this new thing that I take them to get and ice cream sandwich after any doctor visit where they are brave and don't cry. We used to have a very hard time with this- They were just scared of every doctor and any new place.

Anavy's surgery went perfectly. She woke up pretty calm, no crying, no pain. She was very easy as a post patient. Until she had an allergic reaction to her Lortab medication! They day of her surgery she had it every 4-5 hours and the same through the night. She woke up puffy and rashy and itchy. It was horrible. So we switched to Tylenol.

Khloe's surgery had a few problems. Right after they put her under, Her oxygen levels dropped from 100 down to 65-70 which is not good. They panicked a little because they didnt know why- ended up that there was some congestion in her lungs and it had clogged the air tube that was breathing for her. They fixed it quickly. Other than that, it went well. She woke up very very upset. She was clinging to a nurse yelling "mommy, mommy". I sat down with her and she calmed down. They did a chest xray just to make sure everything looked ok- she didn't like that too much.  So far at home she is pretty good. She is the over emotional, over dramatic one and I was fully prepared for days of whining and crying. She is not allergic to the Lortab- thank heavens and Popsicles help


We need to move!

Reasons to move:

-We don't have enough bedrooms for all of us
-We don't have a playroom for the kids
-We don't have enough space. Period.
-I'm tired of living in townhouses where I can hear the neighbors
-It's about time that we get into a real house
-We need to move during the summer before school starts back up
-I have no room for my scrapbook stuff, therefor I am SO behind
-The kids need a real backyard, not a strip of grass
-We want to be closer to Trevor and his family
-Brett is going to be at his job at least another 2 1/2 years so we need somewhere we would want to be for at least that amount of time.
-and the last reason that we want to move.... is because we found a gorgeous house that we love!!

It is 2 miles from Trevor and Elise's new house, cheaper than any other 5 bedroom that we found and huge! (over 3000 sq ft)  Big back yard, big play room, big master bedroom, and a craft room for me :) We have been looking for a few weeks and it has been quite a frustrating process. We found one that we liked, but the family room was very small and would not fit our couch and entertainment center. So that one was out. We went and looked at probably 6 other houses and none of them felt right to us.

The strange thing about us is that we have moved every year for 3 years... this will be our 4th move. We lived in a basement apartment for the first 3 years we were married. we moved to Provo in the summer of 2009. We spent one year in our Provo Townhouse then moved to our Lehi townhouse because of our jobs, spent a year there, then Brett graduated and we moved to our current Ogden townhouse and we have been here for 1 year and 2 months.

Every time we have moved, we have been and to find places that we loved and that were absolutely right for us at that time. Even though we have been looking for a few weeks and no luck, we knew that if we were patient, our perfect house would come along.

On Tuesday, I called about this house, and was told that someone had turned in a contract. I had called so many houses and we had looked at so many that I forgot that I had called that specific one. So on Thursday, I called about it again. They told me it was available. We went to look at it that night and fell in love with it! It was everything we needed and everything we wanted. It was even cheaper or equal to every other house we had looked at and almost double the size of most of the others. After walking through it, I called the management and left a message that we wanted it. We filled out an application online and uploaded all of the required forms. After we had done that, we realized that we had called that same house on Tuesday. That really made me anxious because they told me then that it was taken. What if the girl I talked to on Thursday was misinformed and they sent us to look at a house that was already taken. I have anxiety and so that night was rough. I didn't sleep very good. I was convinced that I would call the next morning and they would tell me it was taken. 9am came around finally and I called. They told me that the other people application fell through and that we were the only ones with an application in on it.... Yay!! I was so so excited.

They left us hanging until the next Tuesday and then told us it was officially ours. We are working on signing the least agreement now. We gave our notice here on the 18th so we have to pay through the 17th of June. We will be moving into the new place on the 16th- so It worked out perfectly for us.

Its a bit early to start full force packing yet but I have started with the attic, and my craft stuff, and board games and such. Also jut straightening things up and getting a big donation pile together :) We are very excited and we love our new house!


Adoption Update

 We are still shooting for July 15th to be our adoption date, as long as all the paperwork gets finished by then... there is a lot of it :) Brett and I will go back to the office and sign some papers early next week and also we will get our attorney next week too- hopefully. The paperwork for their new birth certificates are in the works. It is fun to see their new names in written and we are excited that they will all be officially Smith's soon.
We chose new middle names for the girls- We wanted to use family names.... My 2 sisters middle names are Brooke & Brin, Brett's sister's middle name is Lee, Brett's mom's name is Lynn, and I have a dear cousin named Paige. These were the people we wanted to incorporate.

We decided on Anavy Paige. The other two- we combined names together. We chose Khloe Brookelynn and Savannah Brinlee. They all seem to fit. :)

We are excited that the process is moving right along.... yay!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Becoming a Mother

So this post is really long.... I am not one to ramble on about stuff but this is also for documenting before memories become cloudy :) 

This was my first mothers day as a mother. I am finally a mom... I love being a mom. I wondered for so long when it would my turn to be a mother. I was never jealous or upset when other people around me were having babies, but I would think of those teen mothers or mothers that are incapable to care for a child and ask why God would give them a child not allow 2 good people like me and Brett that chance.  We always had faith that things would turn out how they were supposed to and so we waited. We had a wonderful 6 years alone together but there was something missing. We wanted a family and were very disappointed to find out that neither of us could. Both of us had problems that kept us from being able to have children. I was told that we could try Invetro and it may work and may not work but, where were we going to get 10,000 dollars to do that?

Deciding to become foster parents was not an easy decision. Brett had no idea about foster care or the processes. I grew up knowing a foster family and also a family that adopted many, many, many children. These families were always examples to me and had a positive view on foster care and adoption my whole life. I always thought I would adopt a child even if I did have my own. I brought it up to Brett one day about 2 years ago. He was very supportive and accepting of the idea. We spent a few months going to trainings and classes to get certified. We always thought we would get one small child and we thought we would get it soon after we finished the classes. That wasn't the case.

 We waited quite a while. We had 2 calls about potential placements but 1 ended up going to live with family instead of a foster family. and the other had a child in a wheelchair which was not conducive to our house with a lot of stairs. We got a call one day about a placement of 2 kids, one boy and one girl ages 3 and 1. They were already in a foster home but they were looking for an adoptive home for them since their parents were about to lose their rights. I went in to DCFS and read their case files and talked with Brett and we decided that yes, we would be an adoptive home for them. We were not obligated to adopt them if it ended up not being the right fit but we were saying that we were willing to take them and we had intentions to adopt them. A couple weeks later, we got a call that said that  their mother got an extension from DCFS because she checked in to rehab and they were going to let the kids temporarily live with her. We never met these kids which is a good thing but it was a bit hard to go from being excited about something and not have it happen. We ended up moving to Ogden. Brett had a new job and I got a job too... Later, I got a phone call letting me know that sadly, these 2 children were back in the system and if we still wanted them. We had the 3 girls by the time this happened and they were adopted by another family.

June 28th: I got a call from Clearfield DCFS asking if I would take in 4 kids ages 1-7. I told them that we did not have enough room in our car and also in our house. We only have 3 bedrooms and each kids is required a certain amount of square footage. They said - Ok thanks anyways. Another placement that didn't work... bummer. An hour later I got another call from the same case worker. She asked if I could take the 3 girls. I told her that I would have to call my husband and get back to her. She told me to hurry. I called Brett and we talked about it for a minute. 3 kids!! We never thought we would get 3 and we never thought that we would accept 3 even if they asked. It was very strange though because when I was talking to him we both felt good about it. We knew it was right and that it would be ok. I called her back and said that we could take them. The only thing I had in my house was a twin bed (bought for the other girl we were going to get). That was all. What was I going to do with 3 kids. So I thought ok- I will have some time to get some things together..... She said that the kids were taken because of domestic abuse and neglect and that the grandmother had them for about 10 days and could'nt do it anymore. The next thing she said on the phone was- You can come pick them up tomorrow morning.  WHAT?? Pure panic. I had so much to do. I emailed my family to see if anyone had a crib... and I did have an aunt getting rid of one. Good old KSL classifieds provided us with a toddler bed and portacrib to use until I went to get the crib.

June 29th: I drove over to DCFS in our little Honda Civic :) I talked to the case worker and also the psycologist before I met the girls. The psychologist told me that he had been watching the visit between the kids and the mom and we quite disturbed by her inability to be a mother to them. He also told me that he was concerned about where the kids were at developmentally. He told me that Anavy had some kind of autism and pica (where you eat uneatable things) Great... I was in for more that I thought. She did not end up having these things. She was just a 1 year old stuck in a 5 year old body. But they were sure cute! I drove away with 3 screaming kids in 3 car seats in the back of my little car. Not the best moment in my life.

The hardest months of my life followed... wow, I never thought being a mom was so so hard. I had my share of breakdowns. I doubted that I could do it often. I realized that I had NO idea how to be a mom.  Gradually I have made it work. I had to change things about myself to become a better person and a mother to these kids. They deserved it.

It is still hard. I can't say that I never just go to my room and cry because it is overwhelmingly hard. But the positives out number the hard times by far and now I am about to adopt my 3 daughters. They are a great gift. I took home three 1 year olds. (at least developmentally) and they have just blossomed. All they needed was someone to teach them and take care of them.

Being a foster parent is not easy. It is not for everyone and now that I have been through it- I'm not so sure it is for me. But looking back now, I understand why we were not meant to have our own kids. Things did turn out the way they were supposed to. This was supposed to happen to us. These kids were supposed to ours.


Thursday, May 10, 2012


Tuesday was the day that the girls saw their biological mom for the last time. Final visits are a few hours, at a public place, ours was at Layton park and lasted 3 hours. Brett and I dropped the girls off at 3 at the park and left for a while.  We were told to come back at 5 to start wrapping things up. We got back, they took some pictures of them with their mom and brother. Their mom spent time with each of them after that. It got pretty emotional on her part. Of course there was a good reason to get that way. I actually started to get a bit emotional myself at that point.... What an awful thing to have to do. She handled it pretty well. Around 6 she helped them into our car and said goodbye. I gave her a bag of a few things of theirs, current pictures and a letter I wrote to her.

She also handed me a letter for the girls to have. Its a hard spot for me to be put in because the letter is completely inaccurate about what really happened. So its hard to imagine that I would actually give them something like that. It also said that she would be waiting for them to come back to her when they are old enough. Scary thoughts.... To think that I could raise them till they are 18 and then they run back to her. I just have to know that in our home, they will grow up to be amazing people and know how to make good decisions. And hopefully they will understand what really did happen and be thankful for where and how they were raised. And if they do want to find her, which is ok, that they realize that because of this mess, that they were given chances they never would have gotten otherwise.

I am beyond grateful that this part of the process is over and there is no more dealing with visits and interactions and drama that goes along with that.

We also did find out that our adoption date is going to be in July.... probably July 15th. :)


Friday, May 4, 2012


It may be to early for me to write this post, but I am going to try...

I have had Mimi in my family since I was 13 years old. My mom brought her home from the animal shelter as a baby. I remember the day, where we were when she brought her into the room to surprise us. She spent 8 years with our family and after I got home from college, and got married, I adopted her because all of us kids were gone that were taking care of her.

Brett and I had ourselves a dog and we loved her so much. She lived in 4 different houses with us, went on vacations with us, went camping with us and all sorts of things. She was our baby when we coudn't have our own and she made me feel so much better about that.

4 or so years later, we got Lucy, another old lady that needed a home. They didnt love each other, but tolerated each other and gradually learned to like each other. 2 more years later, we got our girls and they loved them, sadly, soon after we got the girls, Lucy has a stroke and died. ... Mimi, being an old cranky lady, didn't like them all to much but tolerated them to an extent. She went from an only child and then one of 2 when we got Lucy one in a house with 3 real kids. I'm sure it was a huge adjustment for her, not being the center of attention anymore.

Mimi got diagnosed with a brain tumor a couple of years ago. The vet back then said she may not have 6 months. 2 and a half years later she was still with us. Less than a year ago, she started to experience side effects of her tumor. Her left side of her face went dead, paralyzed and numb. Then the nerves in  her face and upper body began to twitch. The vet said at that time that it was getting worse but he didnt think she was any pain but we should watch her to monitor her quality of life and eventually we would have to make the hard decision to put her to sleep.. 3 months ago she started coughing and hacking. We took her to the vet and he gave us some medication and made it a bit better for a while. Then it started back up again a couple of weeks ago. Itwent from a cough to pneumonia. She was having a hard time breathing and definitely had liquid in her lungs that got worse and worse. Her quality of life was getting worse and worse and we knew that we would have to make that decision soon.I was watching her closely and monitoring what she was eating.

Monday she was acting pretty weird. I watched her all day and she just seemed different, she wasn't eating much. Monday night she had a couple of spells where she was so week that she fell over and couldn't stand or walk. Tuesday she didn't eat anything all day. She spent the day laying around and then occasionally walking around outside- I assume, trying to find a place to die. I called the vet that day and they didn't have any appts that day so I scheduled it for Wednesday morning. We didn't know if she would make it through the night. I slept very little. I was waking up often to listen to see if she was still breathing. She did make it through the night. Wednesday morning she seemed better than Tuesday but still strange.

We took her in to the vet and they put us in a small room with a couch. We spent a few minuets with her and then they took her to put and IV in her arm. They brought her back to me and I held her for a minute and then the doctor put the medication in the IV. It was extremely fast, almost immediate and she was gone. Her heart had stopped and she went limp in my arms. I tried to contain myself until the doctor left the room and then we broke down. Our baby, our first baby was gone. We sent a little while with her in that room after that and then they took her, wrapped her in her blanket and gave her back to us. From there we took her over to the Weber County animal shelter. We chose a private cremation for both Lucy and Mimi. Today they called for us to pick up her box. Brett went to get it after work.

 I feel very guilty because I had to make that decision, almost like I killed her. I know I shouldn't feel that way. I know that she was in a horrible state of life and it was cruel not to. The whole thing jut felt wrong to me and I hate that I had to do that to her.

I miss her so much... People that don't have dogs would never ever understand the love you have  or the pain you have when they die. She will always be in my heart- the dog that I had and loved for more than half of my life.

I always thought that we would get another dog, I wanted to get another one before Mimi went but we didn't and had no idea when she would die. But now that she is gone, I'm not sure that we will get one right away. We will have to see. I can never replace Mimi. Never. But we will have another dog someday.