Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life Update

It's time for a Smith update.  I keep planning on doing lots of smaller blog posts but now I think it will be easier to have one big update post.  Because I'm kind of a lazy blogger.

School is back in full swing for Billy.  This is his last year of course work, which he is really excited about, but for now classes are just as stressful as ever.  He has also started his teaching assistant responsibilities; he is teaching two discussion sections (one all freshmen, one all upper classmen) and seems to be enjoying it.

We recently went to Notre Dame to walk around campus while the weather is nice.

My work schedule recently changed.  In order to get benefits, I needed to increase my hours to 24 a week.  So I work full days on Thursday and Friday, and on Tuesday and Wednesday I work from 4pm to 7:30pm.   Thankfully I really like my job and my coworkers.  But it is hard to be away from Maryn so much.  It has also become more difficult to coordinate our schedules, and getting things done around the house, grocery shopping and errands, and spending time with other people has become more of a challenge.  Our new schedules also caused transportation issues for our one car family.  Which leads to my next update.

We bought a car!  We found a 1998 Subaru Forester in Indianapolis that is just perfect for us.  Obviously it's not new, but it's a great car and it will be nice to have all wheel drive in the snow.  It was the first time Billy and I have ever bought a car and it was definitely the biggest purchase we have ever made so it was exciting.  And it feels really good to know that we saved up our money for something we can afford to pay cash for and not have a car payment.  We've never had a car payment and would like to keep it that way for as long as possible!  Here is a picture.  This isn't actually our car because I am too lazy to go take a picture of it, but it pretty much looks just like this.

In other news, we had our first family member visit from Oklahoma!  My Gramps and Grammy were vacationing in Chicago and came to see us.  It was so nice to see them.  We went to a restaurant on campus called Legends, which is basically a shrine to all Notre Dame sports.  Gramps had us cracking up while accosting the waitress about how much he hates Notre Dame because they beat OU back in 1957.  Somehow he ended up getting a free ice cream out of it.  Of course, Maryn charmed Gramps and Grammy with her cuteness.

Speaking of Maryn, she has officially entered toddlerhood.  She is walking everywhere and getting into every thing.  Which can be exhausting but lots of fun.  She's also learning lots of new words.  And Curious George is her ever-present best friend.

Also of note, we recently switched to cloth diapering.  We're kind of late since we're starting with a one year old, but better late than never, and we can use them for any future kiddos too.  We really love them. I'm sure lots of my friends would say, "I told you so."  :)  Maryn seems to like them too.

One other development that has been fun for us is a new monthly date night tradition we have started with our friends Kevin and Erica (parents of Maryn's BFF Elliott).  They watch Maryn while we go on a date and we watch Elliott likewise.  Last Saturday Billy and I got to eat at a fun Irish pub downtown called Fiddler's Hearth.  I had yummy authentic Irish stew.  Then we walked around downtown and got dessert and coffee at the South Bend Chocolate Company.  It was so nice to have some alone time together, and we are definitely grateful for and looking forward to more of these monthly dates!!!

Wall of local family coat of arms.   

Another huge part of our lives is our church, and I have lots to write about that so I'm going to dedicate an entire post to it.  Would you believe we have been there a year now and I still haven't done a single post about it?!  That travesty will soon be remedied.  :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Maryn has a new BFF.  Her name is Elliott, and she is just 3 weeks younger than Maryn.  She and her parents, Kevin and Erica, just moved here for Kevin to get his PhD at Notre Dame.  We knew them in Oklahoma, and boy, are we excited that they are here!!!  We have lots in common - 1 year old girls, husbands in grad school, and Erica is also a PA.  How crazy is that?  It has been so nice to have them here.  We are already planning OU football watch parties!!  They are also going to church with us, so we have had the pleasure of spending lots of time with them and are looking forward to much more!

So anyway, Maryn and Elliott are destined to be best friends forever.  It's funny because developmentally they have a lot in common.  Both crawled about the same time, both took their first steps within a week of each other.  But in personality they are very opposite.  Maryn is very outspoken, and in-your-face friendly.  Elliott is very sweet, introverted, and contemplative.  And I think this means they will complement each other well!  We have had lots of fun watching them hang out together.

Swinging at the park!

I think they look guilty...double trouble :)

They think it's funny to drink their sippy cups together...and sometimes swap.

Pajama girls

At the zoo!!!