September 25, 2016

I'm moving!!!!

Well, my blogging will be moving...to Wordpress! I'm sad to have to make this change, but unfortunately, blogspot is not available for iPhone anymore and I need to be able to blog from my phone.
So Smith Force Five will be retired for now and I'll be blogging full time over at...
nicoleemsmith.wordpress.com
(Don't forget the double Es)


Thanks for your love and support..whomever you are out there! I'll be working on the layout of my new blog here and here over the next weeks.





September 11, 2016

Missing out?

I read this article in the current issue of the ensign. I recognize that this was a big problem for me growing up...

I've never quite understood why or how I could love school and learning and do really well when I studied, and know how I needed to study to do well, and be a relatively smart person, understand people, and et along with people so well, but throw so many good things away when I was a teenager and in my early 20s because of my love of being social and being with people and having a good time. I'm still a very social person, but much more balanced. Having kids has kind of forced me to be so. And my husband is really good at making decisions, and has taught me so much in terms of thinking through things before acting, planning ahead to reduce stress, making plans and sticking to them, committing and following through. I have always been afraid to do ambitious things.  But I have done a lot on my own and for myself. I don't have the desire to make a name or brand for myself, to sell myself. I am very satisfied with the education I have gotten for now.  I feel that someday in the future, I will pursue education in birth or lactation or art history or mathematics. Did you know I love math? I love algebra and geometry so much. I don't know if I like anything beyond that because I never took anything higher than the requirement to graduate. (The whole social thing being more important.) I love writing but don't have the desire to write for anyone but myself. I don't desire to be a midwife but would love to assist births just to continue to be a part of the birthing world. I would love to help people with breastfeeding someday after my kids are grown. I love art and music history, love the memorization and inspiration. Well, this article inspired a lot of reflecting within myself and I encourage you, blog world out there, to read it and think about it, too. 
Sincerely, Nicole Elizabeth Money Smith

--------------------------------------
Are You Afraid of “Missing Out”?
By Natalie Cherie Campbell

Do you know young adults who feel frustration or even severe anxiety when trying to decide between attending a spur-of-the-moment social event and staying home to finish an important assignment or responsibility? Do they usually choose social activities ahead of everything else? Does it seem to become easier and easier for them to turn a blind eye to the consequences of disregarding responsibilities? Perhaps you have even had these same feelings yourself.


I have had friends like that and have wondered how it seemed to become easier for them to deny impending consequences as time went on. When I talked with my friends about it, they admitted having an overwhelming “fear of missing out” that they felt they couldn’t control. It seemed like the more they gave in to their anxiety and did what they wanted to do, the less they felt any accountability for the consequences of missed responsibilities. This seems to be a growing phenomenon among some young adults.


We are all trying to learn to balance our pursuits. But when fear and anxiety control our choices, the results can be damaging. For my friends, it was as if they had sometimes stopped consciously making responsible decisions and were in turn surprised when the consequences came. They made excuses that the decision was out of their control, and thus they undermined their own agency by disregarding the things that matter most (see Matthew 23:23). These outcomes seem to be typical of the fear of missing out. But there is hope.


Using Our Gift of Agency
We know that exercising our agency--the gift that allows us to make choices--is one of the important reasons we are here on earth (see Abraham 3:24–25). It is by making choices and learning from experience that we can progress and gain eternal life. President David O. McKay (1873–1970) testified that “next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man.”

We also know that we have a responsibility to make wise choices. Sometimes it seems overwhelming to have to decide certain things, like which job to accept or whom to marry. Often it feels easier to say, “I won’t decide--whatever happens will happen,” or “I’m too afraid of missing out,” or even “Why won’t the Lord just tell me what to do?”

But the Lord rarely just tells us what to do. Instead He allows us to prayerfully work out our decisions. Sometimes He confirms them (see D&C 9:7–9), and sometimes He lets us make our choices and learn from them (see D&C 122:7). He would never take away our agency, instead counseling us and teaching us how to best use our agency, because He wants us “to act for [our]selves and not to be acted upon” (2 Nephi 2:26). Similarly, we should not allow our agency to be controlled by outside influences such as natural occurrences or a fear of missing out, recognizing that in the end, we will always make some kind of choice, whether or not we make it consciously.

Finally, we can’t expect that making bad choices or not making any choices will yield the consequences we want. It may be that such courses of action or inaction will make us feel less pressure in the moment, but the results--whether good or bad--will come. So when choices arise, we should actively decide with the end in mind.
Choosing Balance
During the general priesthood session of the April 2009 general conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, noted: “I imagine that any priesthood holder listening to my voice today, if asked to prepare a talk on the subject ‘what matters most,’ could and would do an excellent job. Our weakness is in failing to align our actions with our conscience.” It can be difficult to ignore what may seem paramount in the moment, even though it will be insignificant in the long run.

For example, college students may know they are at school for the sake of gaining an education, but aligning their actions with this knowledge becomes increasingly difficult if concern about missing out on a party outweighs their commitment to getting good grades. Similarly, we may know that “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God” (Alma 34:32), but it is still hard to choose to make time for scripture reading when we’re compulsively looking at social media before bed or feeling too tired to wake up to our alarm because we stayed out too late.

Thus, we would do well to ask ourselves this question: “Is my fear of missing out preventing me from choosing to have a balanced life?” If we do not ask ourselves where our real priorities lie, then we may find ourselves attending to every triviality and to nothing of eternal importance. Of course, sometimes finding a balanced life may mean putting relationships ahead of homework.

Actively Making Choices

Whether or not a fear of missing out on social events is governing our choices, we all have to confront the consequences of the choices we make (see 2 Nephi 2:27–30). This can feel stressful, especially when what we want isn’t always where we should be devoting our time. But we must remember that our agency is a gift that we should never relinquish and that choosing what matters most will be the most rewarding in the long run.

Actively making wise choices will require us to act according to determined priorities. As Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” As we do this, we will begin to view our agency as a blessing and not a source of anxiety.

No matter what we choose, it is inevitable that we will miss out on something. We just need to be sure that what we fear missing out on is what matters most eternally.

The Doctrine of Agency “Think of it: in our premortal state we chose to follow the Savior Jesus Christ! And because we did, we were allowed to come to earth. I testify that by making the same choice to follow the Savior now, while we are here on earth, we will obtain an even greater blessing in the eternities. But let it be known: we must continue to choose to follow the Savior. Eternity is at stake, and our wise use of agency and our actions are essential that we might have eternal life. …

“… Whenever we choose to come unto Christ, take His name upon us, and follow His servants, we progress along the path to eternal life.

“In our mortal journey, it is helpful to remember that the opposite is also true: when we don’t keep the commandments or follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, our opportunities are reduced; our abilities to act and progress are diminished.”

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 25.

What Matters Most
“Pause for a moment and check where your own heart and thoughts are. Are you focused on the things that matter most? How you spend your quiet time may provide a valuable clue. Where do your thoughts go when the pressure of deadlines is gone? Are your thoughts and heart focused on those short-lived fleeting things that matter only in the moment or on things that matter most? …

"Our Heavenly Father seeks those who refuse to allow the trivial to hinder them in their pursuit of the eternal. He seeks those who will not allow the attraction of ease or the traps of the adversary to distract them from the work He has given them to perform. He seeks those whose actions conform to their words.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down,” Ensign, May 2009, 60, 62.







September 8, 2016

Freddie started school

Frederick, my first born child, my baby, my son, my reason, growing up so fast, started preschool this week. It was such a big moment for our family. He's 4.5+. He turns 5 this month in two weeks. I'm so glad I had him home with me for as long as I did and that we have shared and experienced so much together. He's has been healthily attached to me and I to him. And this is just another step in letting go. I love him so much. We all rallied around him, preparing, and Collin ans I buying supplies, worrying and planning, all so he won't have to. All so he can feel secure and confident and just go and be a child at school. 
Though I have had tears through the preparation, when the time came to walk him to his new classroom, the Meadowlarks, and leave him with his loving teacher, Ms Atara, (with extra shoes, extra outfits, a vegetable he chose (broccoli) for the class soup, some acorns Freddie and I gathered to share with the class, and rain gear just in case), I had no tears. I knew he was ready. (Though I get emotional about it now!😊)

He had been excited all morning and ran into the front door of the school, me trailing behind. He had slept 12 hours the night before and had an awesome breakfast and lunch. He was happy and ready. He sat right down at a table and started rolling out some playdough. I knelt down and said goodbye and he kissed me right on the lips and said, "bye mom." With a thankful swollen heart, I was able to walk away and back to the car where my mom was waiting with Harriet and Ella. Hattie did not have an easy time. She was quite emotional Tuesday and again today. She didn't want Fred to go or wanted to go with him. She wants to go to preschool. I am going to try my hardest to make this a special time for Ella and her and I. We are going shoe shopping today! 
And she has been telling us all about her preschool at her home and that we can all visit it tonight. 
Today when we were walking from the park to his school, Hattie was getting very sad and Fred put his arm around her and said, "I'm so sorry Hattie. I have to go. I'll miss you." 
When I picked Freddie up after his first day, I have never seen him so happy, balanced, well. I'm so happy too. 

So far in this new home it has been a simple life. Things are still chaos inside with boxes everywhere and not knowing where the broom is or finding time to do dishes. When Collin gets back we will work together and find a rhythm. But life feels quiet out here in the trees and mountains. It feels calm and like there is plenty of time to do and be and rest. 
Heavenly Father knows me and loves me. 

















September 3, 2016

Treehouse

We are now in our new home. We left the city and moved down south. Our first night here something so strange happened: it was quiet. So quiet we could just hear the humming crickets and rustling trees. Not like Capitol Hill with the city lights and the noises of people passin' and talking late into the night. The cars whizzing by, ambulances blaring. The Capitol building is lit the entire night. It's never truly dark there. But here it is dark, really dark! It's just different. 
And it's also quite peaceful. Restful. Relaxing. It's 5:16pm on Friday. It's early September and is turning from summer to fall out there. I sneak upstairs to begin dinner and just sit and listen, so still. The trees are blowin' loudly. Nothing else. Not even a lawn mower. Out ever single window in our house is mountains and trees. Birds and sky. It reminds me of the woods and ever since I lived in Flagstaff, I've always felt I belong in the woods. 











Oxytocin is awesome.

It really is. So many purposes and one of them is to blast a super happy feeling all throughout my body when I first start nursing. It's been stronger than ever this time around. When I finally lay down with Ella to nurse (after she's been showing lots of hunger signs, but waiting patiently while I finish up whatever I'm doing for the other kids or house or whatever as long as I'm holding her. She's been sucking her fingers and my neck for a few minutes now...) we snuggle tight and she's so giddy...a big giant dimply smile explodes on her beautiful soft face, I'm smiling so hard too and we stare into each other's eyes...those blueberry eyes!!  We latch and an overwhelming feeling of happiness come over me. Then compete relaxation and peace. We talk (her with her mouth full) and blink and slowly nod to sleep. 


August 28, 2016

Babies babies 1, 2, 3

Name that one day old babe. 




Name that panda babe. 


Name that sweet sweater onesie babe. 

Sister love?

Hattie: (as I'm putting Ella to sleep and shushing her and trying to keep her from squeezing E) "when the sun is up and Ella is up I'll touch her and hug her and lick her and bite her!!" (In the most dramatically separate Anne of green gables voice ever.) and then oracles out into the hallway to spin and dance. 
Hahhaa....this girl.  😬😂


Charity

Moving is always an emotional thing. And we really do it a lot, it seems!! Today we gave talks in sacrament and were released from our callings and said goodbye to Capitol Hill Ward. Here is my talk I gave on Charity. 


We moved here from Phx about a year ago for Collin's job; he works for the church with Family Search. 
We are going to be moving out of the ward this week to a house in Sandy, and although it's sad for us to leave this ward, I have faith and know that it is where God wants us to be right now.  We are excited for what the future will bring. We have loved living in this area; it's been a wonderful experience for my family and for me.  I love seeing the temple every single day and waking up to the Capitol building right out our front door. 
I love meeting here in this beautiful church every Sunday. I love our ward. In this short time we have lived here, it feels like home. It feels like this is our family. You are our neighbors and our friends. 
When we moved here a year ago it was on a leap of faith. We had received strong impressions to take this job and move into this area. It's wasn't easy moving to a brand new place that we weren't familiar with at all, to a house we had only seen on the Internet, then within a month, finding out I was pregnant, and dealing with the long cold sometimes lonely days of winter for the first time in many years.  we had to find people to watch our kids for different things and had our third child. We were able to deal with all of this because we were shown so much charity from people in this ward.

The Book of Mormon says charity is the pure love of Christ, it
suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

We felt welcomed here right away. we  jumped in and got involved and started to meet people. 
Then only 2 months after we moved here, the stake was reorganized. I was kind of wondering how it would be to pretty much start over with a new ward.  the Christmas party was right after that and I remember so well, bishop Clayton really setting the tone and welcoming everyone together as a ward family and encouraging us to meet someone new. We met tons of new people that day. There was so much love, acceptance and faith. The activities in the ward and relief society have been geared towards getting to know and serve each other. I have felt sisterhood and brotherhood. I have made lifelong friends through visiting teaching. 
We have loved serving in our callings and going to choir. The choir director and choir members have become our close friends. Freddie comes to choir with me and he is such a good boy. He sits quietly and helps as much as he can. Roger gives him a jobs to hand out the music and be his helper. I am so grateful for the love and charity that has been extended to my children. The primary leaders are examples of the pure love of Christ every week. It can't be easy to not only take care of so many kids but also teach our children the gospel. My kids love primary. They love CTR 4 and nursery. They love their teachers and their classmates. They love Jesus. They learn about love and being a good person and following our savior. 
My daughter, Hattie, asks me all week long if it's time to go to nursery. 

In the past few months since giving birth to my baby, we have had an immense outpouring of love and support with people bringing meals, stopping by to say hello, offering to watch my kids or asking how they can help, texting to ask how we are and talking with and listening to us. 
Thank you to everyone who has helped us. I have a pile of thank you cards to write and I'm sorry I haven't gotten a chance to finish them but know We are thankful and that we know who you are and that you have made a huge difference in our lives. 

Life is beautiful and life is also hard. My point is that when we show each other charity which is pure love, when we forgive each other and help each other and genuinely listen to each other, we are serving Christ and following him and making it easier to get through this journey. 

In general conference this past April,  Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President said:
-There will be times when the path ahead seems dark, but keep following the Savior. He knows the way; in fact, He is the way. The more earnestly you come unto Christ, the more deeply you will desire to help others experience what you have experienced. Another word for this feeling is charity, “which [the Father] hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ.” Then you will find that in the very act of following Christ, you are also leading others to Him, for in the words of President Thomas S. Monson, “As we follow that Man of Galilee--even the Lord Jesus Christ--our personal influence will be felt for good wherever we are, whatever our callings.”

The people in this ward are in all different seasons of our lives. I have met people I have almost everything in common with, people super different from me, and all in between. We all have something to offer each other and all have struggles within ourselves. As we show charity and receive charity, we are bonded together, as children of God. 

Its not always easy to have charity. Maybe it's easy with your best friend but what about your tantruming toddler at the end of a long day? What about your spouse when he or she leaves the kitchen gadget out of place for the hundredth time or says something that offends you. Or that neighbor who hasn't cleaned up his leaves? Or the cashier who is being rude. Or the coworker who you just don't see eye to eye with? It's not always easy to cut people slack let alone LOVE THEM with the pure love of Jesus Christ! But we have to. 

Moroni 7
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
Wherefore, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, 

So to have charity We have to be open to inspiration and we can pray for patience and long suffering. We can pray for understanding and for the ability to love others. 

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have shown me an abundance of charity. When the recent inspiration first came to us about moving to a home with some things we needed for our family at this time in our lives, we started looking and realized that we would most likely have to leave Capitol Hill. I started questioning it right away. I didn't want to leave. For the first time in my life I was holding on instead of just accepting a new adventure. But I didn't want to feel this way so I prayed to Heavenly Father for help. He answered my prayers in some very specific ways. Then after months of looking, and the emotional roller coaster of finding a new place to live, we had a few places to choose from. My husband and I prayed together and separately and talked and talked and talked and weighed different options. We were confused! Collin went to the temple and he found peace and clarity. 

-now, side note, neither Collin nor I have never been the types to say, "hey I got this inspiration; this is what we should do; just support me and let's go for it."
We usually bring it up and ask the other person to pray about it and get his own answer.  I don't know if it's because we just don't want the blame if something goes wrong or what, but when we turn to God, we always somehow get on the same page. 
Sometimes it's months and months later, but that's ok!

So he had gone to the temple and felt that one of the houses was the right one.  But I wasn't quite there. I had had some specific things I was looking for and kept feeling so overwhelmed and thinking about how much work it was going to be to pack and move and how much work it would be getting my kids to activities from farther away and for Collin to be further from work. Then I prayed to God for peace and clarity and I read the Book of Mormon. This is what I read: (in 3 Nephi 27, and Jesus is speaking)

Verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, 
I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil--

I felt the spirit tell me that this was my work and that I am so blessed to be able to have this time to raise my children and I'm so lucky that I get to drive them to school. This is the season of life I'm entering into now and this is the work God sent me here to do. And we are so blessed to have had this awesome year here and to be guided by the spirit to continue on our path. 

because of the amount of love and charity Christ has for us, he came to earth to do the work that God sent him to do. He came to live and atone and die for us on the cross and to be resurrected so that we can also be resurrected and live with our families and friends and him and God forever if we choose to be faithful. 

2 Nephi 2:
Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

I am grateful to the Savior for what he has done for me and the example he is. 
I'm grateful for our father in heaven for the lessons he teaches me, and forgiveness he continuously extends to me. for the relationship we have, that he guides me through the spirit. 
I have been able to learn so much  from living here and have made some amazing lifelong friends. 
I know God loves us. I know Jesus Christ loves us and that charity is what we need to have to follow him. 
In the name of Jesus Christ amen. 

...Views from my walk home. "Old Rock Church"
Down Main Street and the SLC Temple
Pioneer Museum. This was one of the first things that got me weeping with joy and gratitude when we first moved here.  


Corner house with the hill. When we first moved here and went on walks everyday, the kids would climb up and over and in winter, slide down in the snow. Hattie could barely do it.  So much can change in a year, huh. Eventually kids came out of the house to see who was sliding down and we met three boys and their family who lived there. We became friends with them because of my friendly kids. 

Ensign peak over the Capitol Lawn and through these trees. 

Our house. Our sweet lovely little cottage that has been everything we have needed it to be his past year. But look at that busy street and no garage or parking or fenced yard. To the suburbs we go!!!!
Above my beloved Capitol Building. 
Below my first born who will be 5 in a few weeks.