The last six weeks have been a total blur. I suppose that is what happens when you have 2 kids, move 1400 miles across the country, attend school and start a new part-time job during the holidays. Life has been moving at a tremendous speed lately, but you know what? We are all doing just fine. We are together and we are taking care of each other and things are good.

With the big tradeshow coming up and lots to do for that, things will continue to be busy for a while but we will just keep taking it all one day at a time.

I wanted to get down a few thoughts about our holidays before I completely forget! This year we really scaled back. We just didn't have the time to do everything we wanted to but it made me evaluate what is important. Even though it was the last thing I wanted to do after unpacking all our boxes, we did get the christmas decorations out. Overall, the boys couldn't care less about decorating the tree, but they did love this little toy. It has always been a favorite of Charlie's and now Cannon has discovered it too.

The one thing Charlie insisted we do is make cookies for Santa. He didn't care about anything but making sure he got the Michael Jackson Experience game for his Nintendo DS. He was pretty sure Santa was bringing it for him so we had to be sure to take care of the big guy by leaving him some treats.


The boys slept pretty well and even waited till 7am to get up. They got lots of great things from their friends and family and we all felt very blessed and loved this year.
Cannon figured out the presents thing pretty quickly.
After presents we got ready and drove to Des Moines to spend some time with Eric's sister and her family. It has been a while since the boys got to play with their cousins. It was great to relax and catch-up.

Because of all the craziness lately, I was happy to get all the decorations put away and get things back to a little more "normal". It was nice to keep things simple this year and focus on what is most important. I will definitely have to keep this in mind next year.


A special little boy in the Smith household turned six this weekend. We have spent the last few days celebrating him and all the amazing things he brings to our family. I don't remember being as reminiscent of his actual birthday in the past as I was this year. Throughout the weekend, I noticed I kept thinking about that day that he was born. It was the scariest day of my life. I had never felt so helpless and terrified. But it was also one of the most wonderful. Six years ago, this little boy made me a mama.
The boys got gift cards to Build-A-Bear so we started the day there. Neither of them have really been into stuffed animals (or plushes, as Charlie calls them) so we have never thought to take them there. They really liked it. They were quick to decide on their animal. Charlie picked the monkey and Cannon picked the panda bear.
Cannon holding his panda's heart and making a wish. You can see he was very serious about this.
Charlie didn't like the noise the stuffing machine made.

Making sure his panda was filled just right.

Naming their new friends. Charlie had already decided right away that his monkey would be named Monkey Man. Cannon had no idea so we came up with Pongo.
Charlie had gotten a kid's meal coupon for Rainforest Cafe from school and decided that is where he wanted to celebrate his birthday.
Another failed attempt at a group shot.
Cannon loved when the little show would come on. The lights would flash and there were rumbling noises.
They sang happy birthday and Charlie got a birthday sundae. We were lucky enough to have our friend's Heidi, Tanner and Chloe at dinner with us, but of course I forgot to get pictures of them. So typical.
Then we headed home for cake and presents. We didn't really have a party theme going on so we went with the good ol' standby for the cake. Charlie can always use a little Spongebob.

It was a very, very good day.