August 11, 2017

Lots of thoughts last night. Things I want. Things I want for myself. I think it's good to want things. But my gut tells me otherwise. And then later the spirit reminds me of what God has done for me. The Eternal potential he has prepared for me. And what really matters. Perspectives shift. More and more and more of the spirit. There is Joy in the Journey. Not always happiness, but true joy is available to find. I can take what I'm learning and take what I want and need for myself, and suddenly things become more clear and I realize I can have both.

July 29, 2017

52 Stories week 7

What have been the most important and valued friendships in your life?

My parents and brothers have always been important to me. I have always found myself wanting to please them. I've not always been certain of their approval and trust of me. My family doesn't like to talk about how they are truly feeling. It seems there is a lot of hurt and shame from the past. I have always known I'm loved and cared for, but am I liked? Unconditionally?

When I was little, my cousins were everything. But as I grew up, friends became very important to me. Friends whom I could trust became my family. I'm a social person. I'm pretty open about my feelings and who I am. I have a lot of friends and love people. I try to be considerate and kind. I have insecurities when it comes to wanting others to like me and approve of me. 
To this day there are only a few people in my life who know everything about me. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for friends in my life. 

Best friends:

Morgan Cummard Skeen
Jayna Brugman Hedges
Kim Valenzuela Woodbury
Anne Costa
Emily Larsen Dyer
Samantha Crowther

These women have been unconditionally supportive, loving and understanding when no one else was. 

My relationship with my parents has grown in the last 8 years. My mom is my best friend and my dad and I are seeing more eye to eye and meeting each other with more understanding and courtesy than ever before. I view my mother in law, Ludona, as someone I can talk to about most things. She has a different perspective, and also is forgiving and understanding of me. I know she truly cares. 

I am developing my relationship with my sister in law, Amelia, whom I ADORE with all my heart, and want to repair damaged relationships with my other two sisters in law, Ashley Smith and Kendra Mattox. 

July 2017

Well, it's BEEN A WHILE. But I'm just going to go from here.

3 kids is a lot sometimes. It's the happiest and saddest and most rewarded and challenged I've ever felt. It is hands full and heart full, trying to care for my 3 babes, get through each day, and treasure every moment with them as they are so little.

Frederick starts Kindergarten in a month. He will go to Granite Elementary here in Sandy, Utah. After talking to lots of people in the area, and meeting at the school for a K orientation, we feel that this is the absolute right thing for Fred and for us. Nothing will be perfect, but it seems like the right fit. as always, Collin and I will be involved and helpful as much as we can.
Fred is my bud. He is my right hand man. He is a leader in our family and among his friends and neighbors. He is discovering who is is, little by little.

Harriet is growing and changing a lot too. She is more agreeable and able to talk things out. We still have our days of misunderstanding and frustration, but mostly due to my trying to control her. She is a beautiful butterfly. She and fred both have wonderful imaginations. They play well together and also fight together. They learn so much from each other and love each other very much.

Ella is still my baby, but is also developing her likes and dislikes and her personality. She is a stubborn little thing, and nothign gets past her these days. She is smart and cunning just like her siblings. She has a special and unique bond with each one. She has started fighting back when they pester her, which has resulted in biting, hitting, and scratching. She sticks up for herself. She is on the verge of speaking. She understands much and she does her best to communicate her needs and thoughts.

I'm evolving as a mother and person. I'm looking deep within myself to the person I am currently and the things I need and want to be fulfilled. I am asking myself many questions and finding the answers to them, little by little. I have learned much and have a lot to learn. I love getting out and exploring new places, as always, but I find myself not wanting to be quite as busy as before. I find myself wanting to cherish and play with my children. I'm realizing that where I felt discipline, sternness and justice was necessary, along with (and sometimes in place of) that needs to be understanding, trust, loyalty and unity for my children, husband and family. I'm not exactly sure what it all looks like, but I'm excited for some new chapters in our lives.

July 28, 2017

52 stories week 6

Do you know the story of how your grandparents met and fell in love? 

No, is the answer, so I asked my parents. 

My dad said, about his mom and dad Fred Money and Constance Frehner:

Dad was a very popular Brigadier at BYU (The big campus social club of the 50s). Mom was the Las Vegas Homecoming Queen.   They met at a BYU Dance, Dad thought mom was beautiful.

My mom's parents, Robert Nesbit and Cecil Abbott
“The First Time I saw Cecil”
I was in Church at Philadelphia Branch and I saw Cecil for the first time. She caught my attention immediately. She had on a white dress. I had just come down from Atlantic City where I was stationed at Pamona Naval Air Base. We had a church group meeting in Pleasantville, New Jersey,  I was 21 at this time and enjoyed going to all the activities.
                We started talking at the activities and one night we ended up washing and drying dishes.  I mentioned to Cecil that I wanted to go to the Pageant in Palmyra, New York. She asked her Father to go and off we went. I remember we drove upstate with her Mom and Dad and Eloise. Eloise was a friend that had heard we were going and wanted to go.  I sat in the middle of Cecil and Eloise in the back. We had a good time. We stayed together the whole trip, we went to the pageant, toured the grounds, walked through the Sacred Grove together. It was the beginning.
                From that time on we were always together. Our youth group was very active and we were always having some sort of activity.  Cecil and I served refreshments for all the firesides.

Cecil's side of the story...
...they started talking about Palmyra. He needed a ride. I asked my dad if we could take Bob. I figured he would get there and go off with the missionaries. My dad said yes, and we all went up. Bob spent the whole time with us. He got a room where we were. We took Eloise Thomas with us so she could go. We had a wonderful time teasing Bob all the way up and back, he sat between us. I guess that is where I began to fall in love with Bob. When I met Bob, after a week or so, after I had gotten to know him, I had a strong feeling of here is the man I’m going to marry. It wasn’t like “Oh I’m in love,” because you don’t fall in love like that but it was just that when I was a kid I read Added Upon and had this feeling that when you met the one who is going to be your husband you would know him, so this was it, I felt like I knew him. He used to laugh at me and say ...there wasn’t just one person that was the right one for you, there could be any number of people that could be just the right person for you. I was sure there was just one, and he was it so that was just fine.

Our first formal date came about due to a misunderstanding. Many of the adults were talking and Cecil said to me, “They’re all going to the Ice Capades and I thought she was trying to tell me that she was being left behind and wanted me to take her. So I told her I would take her. I bought the tickets and we went together that night. We watched half of the show and than left. We were more interested in each other than watching the ice show. We went to Cecil’s home and decided when I would receive the Priesthood; we would go to temple to be married.  Now remember we had spent quite a bit of time together.    (Approx. Sept-Oct 1948)
Mom’s version: ...we were always together, doing things together, but we never went on a bonified date. Dad must have thought I was hinting, but I didn’t really. All we really wanted to do was be together. I’m sure he would have kissed me that night, because we talked about getting married. It was nice, because before when I was going out with your dad, every night before we would leave each other we would have a prayer together or when we were finished we would have a prayer together. That gives you a nice, sweet feeling about things, you’re not going to do anything you shouldn’t. That was what kind of relationship we had.

One night we were at the church having such a good time with June and Al, who were real good friends of ours, and so funny. When it came time for us to go home we went outside to catch the trolley to go home.  Daddy said to me, “Would you like a dime to go on the trolley” and he didn’t go with me. I thought, "what’s going on?" I couldn’t believe it! Well I found out he had one dime to his name that night. And that dime was the only thing standing between him and getting back to Atlantic City. He didn’t have two dimes to take me on the trolley so he couldn’t take me home. Why didn’t he just say to me, "Hey, I don’t have the money to take you home," and I’d have supplied my own dime. I had to anyhow and then we could have gone together at least. I just felt so bad that he couldn’t take me home and all he had was a thin dime. He probably had to hitch hike home that night.

March 9, 2017

SPRING TIME Waldorf blessings

In our Winter garden, seeds lie warm below,
flowers are waiting, waiting, waiting
for the Spring to show

Where are the froggies when the north winds blow?
We cannot see them in the ice and snow.
Deep, deep down in the mud they lie,
froggies sleeping with tight-closed eyes.
When the warm spring sun comes out,
froggies wake and jump about.
Oh, how happy they will be,
a springtime world they will see.

Where are the turtles when the north winds blow?
We cannot see them in the ice and snow.
Deep, deep down in the mud they lie,
turtles sleeping with tight-closed eyes.
When the warm spring sun comes out,
turtles wake and crawl about.
Oh, how happy they will be,
a springtime world they will see.

Where are the bears when the north winds blow?
We cannot see them in the ice and snow.
Deep, deep down in a cave they lie,
baby bears sleeping with tight-closed eyes.
When the warm spring sun comes out,
bear cubs wake and run about.
Oh, how happy they will be,
a springtime world they will see.

Where are the squirrels when the north winds blow?
We cannot see them in the ice and snow.
Cracking nuts in a hollow tree,
squirrels are cozy as cozy can be.
When the warm spring sun comes out,
squirrels wake and jump about.
Oh, how happy they will be,
a springtime world they will see.

King Winter be gone,
then soon cometh the spring!
The ice is a breaking,
the flowers awakening,
and green groweth each thing!
King Winter be gone,
then your rule put away,
the birds one and all,
now with jubilant call,
now bring tidings of May!

Winter goodbye, winter goodbye.
You may no longer stay.
Springtime is on its way.
Winter goodbye, winter goodbye.

A little seed for me to sow.
A little earth to make it grow.
A little hole, a little pat,
a little wish, and that is that.
A little sun, a little shower,
a little while, and then a flower.

I can't see the wind, but the wind can see me.
It follows me dancing across Lanternlea.
It blows round my ankles, it puffs through my hair,
it tangles me up 'till I do not know where,
or whither or thither or why I'm this way.
The way of the wind on a merry March day.

Splish, splash, splish, splash
here's how we walk in the rain.
Splish, splash, splish, splash
here¹s how we walk in the rain.
And splash -we run through the puddles.
And splosh - we skip in the rain.
And splish - we turn round the corner
until we come home again!

This is a house for a robin
(make a nest with hands)
This is a hive for a bee
(two fists together to make a hive)
This is a hole for a bunny
(thumbs and pointers on both hands to make hole)
And this is a house for me!
(Arms and hands form roof overhead)

Little brown seeds so small and round,
Are sleeping quietly under ground.
Down come the raindrops
sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle.
Out comes the rainbow,
twinkle, twinkle, twinkle.
Little brown seeds way down below,
Up through the earth they grow, grow, grow.
Little green leaves come one by one.
They hold up their heads and look at the sun.

Let us go back home,
and wash our hands and face,
brush our hair,
change into a clean shirt, and pants.
Tie your shoes and we are off to go to the fair!

Good Morning, Mistress and Master!
I wish you a happy day!
Please to smell my garland,
'cause it's the first of May.

A branch of May I have brought you,
and at your door I stand;
it is but a sprout, but it's well budded out,
the work of Nature's hand.

February 11, 2017

recent spiritual revelations and impressions. things I'm learning and trying.

I am supposed to be in this ward; supposed to learn from these women. They are going through things that I will be going through in the next 13+ years. They are sending their chidlren into tthe world at school, on missions. Their children are preparing for educations adn adventures and marriage. I am blessed to have all of these mentors and examples.

We need to have more fun in our home with our kids. I know everyone will say, "Nikki and Collin are so fun!!! And we do have a lot of fun...but life has gotten stressful with another baby (also wonderful, of course). But stress is added to everyone, and less time and more things to do, fewer hands to do them with. We become short. When kids don't cooperate, we make threats, which they never respond well to. We are learning and coming out of certain things and starting new things. The period of adjustment is big for us all. The holidays were quite emotional and stressful on us this year and we are also learning and adjusting from that. Learning to let go and forgive and grow. Not judge. Understand and accept. Teach forgiveness. So all of this is going on and our kids start getting stressed out and acting out and I realize that they seem quite unhappy at the moment. They are having a hard time even wanting to go to school, or with even the smallest amount of cooperation. I prayed. "How can I help them figure this out? How can it get better? Please inspire me."
And then I start cleaning and thinking. And it all comes to me.
We need to have more fun. We get out on adventures, do "fun" things, keep busy. But day to day, at home, I rush myself and them too much. I demand the word, "hurry!!" too much. Collin and I put too much pressure on ourselves, take ourselves so seriously, get offended more easily. This transfers to when our kids want to play, us either saying no, there's not time, or just playing a little and getting tired out. Not laughing about things enough. Not taking the time to let them do it their ways. And when we do an activity, taking too much control. We barely have the brain space to think. And being a parent takes a lot. So we are learning and adjusting and this is part of it.
So we discussed this and Collin agreed and we agreed to try so hard to just have fun.
Say yes.
Have more energy and a happier attitude.
Let our stamina outlast theirs in any game or activity instead of ending it, leaving them to beg for us to keep going.
But how??
According to the Happiness Project, you make it till you make it.
If you need more energy, pretend you have more energy until you have it!
If you need to be happier and let things slide off your back and bounce back and have an upbeat, optimistic attitude, just pretend you can do all those things, and I honestly believe that they will happen.

Goals. I've been listening to The Alison Show podcast. SO inspiring.

Two pieces of advice have stuck out to me.

PRIORITIZE. She insists that if you don't prioritize your life, then someone else will prioritize it for you. MIND BLOWN. So in everything I do, when I start getting overwhelmed or start multitasking to the point that I'm just running around and not realy finishing anything....
prioritize. "What are the most important 3 things right now?"

(this morning)
1. Finish this post. I need to clear my head, write this down, type with my fingers, and feel like I understand myself.
2. Make the kids breakfast.
3. Set up Monopoly JR so we can all play during breakfast and throughout the day.

(in my life this weekend)
1. write down a few things I want to do in Stockholm in a book.
2. help Collin with bringing in the shelf.
3. finish VT report.


52 stories week 5

What will be the greatest achievement of your life?

Raising my children with Collin. It's what I'm on this earth for. I think this is different for everyone, and there isn't one right answer. My kids have big dreams already and I want to dedicate my life to guiding them and helping them reach their goals. 

After they leave the house to live their lives, as I continue to emotionally support them, I would love to be involved in the birthing world: educating, supporting, assisting, encouraging other women as they become mothers.

I would also love to live long enough to celebrate 60+ years of marriage with Collin Smith. I want to travel and serve with him all my life.

January 26, 2017

Video clips

Unclassified movies Sunday from Nikki smith on Vimeo.

(HAHAHAHAH I think I'm funny. My kids are ZOMBIES in front of the TV. sheesh! Tough crowd!

El standing up from Nikki smith on Vimeo.

Ella Standing at 6 months

Splash splash first bath!! Ella from Nikki smith on Vimeo.
The above pic is her face 90% of the time.

Ella splash was stand from Nikki smith on Vimeo.

Good morning from Nikki smith on Vimeo.

Freds song from Nikki smith on Vimeo.

Mount eerie afternoon and popcorn from Nikki smith on Vimeo.

Disney WORLD

DISNEYWORLD!!!!!! We spent 2 days there. Because it was Christmas time and there were blackout dates for Magic Kingdom (Collin's Aunt Sarah works for Disney and gets us in). So we decided to go to some of the other parks! I had never been before and was super excited!

January 25, 2017

some lovely Waldorf winter verses. We say these together and feel unity, warmth and love.

A candle's but a simple thing,
it starts with just a bit of string,
But dipped or rolled with patient hand,
it gathers wax upon the strand.
Until complete and snowy white,
it gives at last a lovely light.
Life seems so like that bit of string,
each deed we do a simple thing.
Yet day by day on life's strand,
we work with patient heart and hand.
It gathers joy, makes dark days bright,
and gives at last a lovely light.


There was a giant big and bold
Whose feet were getting very cold.
He came along to our town
And walked the stairs all up and down
Calling "Is no one hearing me?
My toes are freezing bitterly!
No single shop that I could tell
Has stocking giant-size to sell."

A little gnome both old and wise.
He gave him very good advice.
He brought two pretty bits of stuff.
The giant thought them good enough.
He wrapped his feet, his pain was eased.
And home he walked content and pleased.


See the little snowflakes
Falling from the sky,
On the hills and housetops,
Soft and thick they lie.
On the window ledges,
On the branches bare;
See how fast they gather,
Filling all the air!


Look into the garden
Where the grass was green,
Covered by the snowflakes,
Not a blade is seen.
Look outside the window,
All looks still and white;
Under snowy blankets,
What a pretty sight!
(J.D. Macey)


Look Out! Look Out!
Jack Frost is about!
He's after our fingers and toes;
And, all through the night,
The gay little sprite 
Is working where nobody knows.

He'll climb a tree,
So nimble is he,
His silvery powder he'll shake;
To windows he'll creep,
And while we're asleep,
Such wonderful pictures he'll make.
Across the grass,
He'll merrily pass,
And change all its greenness to white;
Then home he will go,
And laugh, "Ho, Ho, Ho!
What fun I have had in the night!"


Snowflakes falling soft and light, 
Snowflakes falling in the night,
Soft and Light, pure and white.
When the sun shines out so bright,
All the earth is dressed in white.


Christmas Wish

To every hearth a little fire,
To every board a little feast,
To every heart a joy,
To every child a toy,
Shelter for bird and beast.

observations on a snowy Wednesday afternoon

It has just been snowing and snowing and snowing. We wake and it's snowing. We drive and it's snowing. We go on walks and it's snowing. The kids play together at home fantastically. We don't do TV during the week at all and it has made a huge difference with their patience and moods. We all feel happier and go to sleep easier. Plus now when they do watch stuff on weekends I don't feel guilty. We have been playing a lot. Playing board games like Monopoly Jr, and Hoot Owl Hoot. And puzzles and painting. We do chores. I mostly do them, but they like to help too. They love doing dishes, vacuuming and sorting laundry. When they have to do things that are actually their chores (cleaning up the table, setting the table, cleaning up messes) it's like pulling teeth. 
They pretend a lot. "Pretend you're my mom and you have to chase me a put me in time out." hahah. Collin and I made them some wooden clothespin dolls for their Christmas presents and they LOVE them. They are just wooden clothespins that we have painted clothes, skin and hair on. (no faces so that they can decide how the people are feeling). They play will those like crazy. Ella loves them too. She loves to mimic and follow her siblings around. She thinks she's part of every game and it's so cute. Today popcorn and hot chocolate and gingerbread tea for snacks before music class. This was sort of a dreamy afternoon we had. Dreamy because it was fun and relaxing and we were listening to "Singers" by Mount Eerie et al. (and it was only relaxing until we had to get out the door to go to music class. NO ONE LISTENS TO ME. I give plenty of time and ask them nicely and help them but inevitably they wont get in the car or get their socks and shoes on and we are pretty much always running late these days.) But we all talk about it and forgive each other and say we're sorry. We're all practicing that lots: "Sorry," and, "it's ok."

a bunch of popcorn dropped on the ground.
This one is THERE to eat as much of it up as she can before I can get the broom.

52 stories Nikki week 4

What would you want your friends and family to learn about making and achieving goals from your example?

I love to journal. It is a part of me. It's not hard at all. I was raised by a mother who was a record keeper, list maker, letter writer, and documenter. I've always kept journals. I have hundreds of notes from friends in high school, notebooks written back and forth from Jayna, and letters, postcards and cards I've received throughout my adult life.  My senior year of high school, my friend, Sarah Pace, gave me a red notebook with lined white paper in it for Valentine's Day. She told me to write everything down in it. (I'll have to find it for the exact quote on the inscription.) From that day forward, I kept "books," as I called them. I wrote down my thoughts, funny things people said to me, observations, poems and stories, drawings, kept clippings from magazines, and more inside. I would go through them like crazy. I've lost count lately but I have at least 200. I remember counting to about 120 just before I was married. I have them all in boxes. Collin has to deal with them each time we move! (sorry!! -not sorry- hehehe)
Now, they have evolved and even slowed down as I've had children and have had less time, and fewer hands to write with. But with smartphones came easy blogging, instagram, and chatbooks. So I'm still ever observing, documenting, journaling. I still bring whichever notebook I'm working on to church every week and I still take notes and write down impressions I have. What will this all amount to? 
What does this have to do with goal making and keeping? 
Did I even answer the question? 

The world may never know. 

(oh yeah---moral of the story....I write things down and it helps me remember things better. and I feel accountable because it's in writing. I can look back on different things I've learned and changes I've made and goals I'm still working towards.)

Collin's #52stories

What Goal Do You Hope to Achieve This Year?

in 2017, my goal is to bring daily happiness into my home and family. Why? Because we need a little Christmas, right this very minute! And a ton of other great broadway songs floating through the house to lift us all up and help us feel joy.

When I was in the MTC, I sang like crazy; in the halls, in the shower. At first my other 19 year old peers were generally confused, and some put off by my unabasehed enthusiasm. But over time, as I kept it up and sang out of the sheer joy that I felt, other’s did the same. Better yet, our MTC District was happy and had a sense of connectedness.

My family is not used to winter; or waiting until 8 am for the sun to rise; or snow to cover everything and freeze us to the bone. We want to feel warm when we are together and bring light in both physical and metaphorical ways, into our home and to others. 

So singing will be one way to bring happiness into our home every day.

What else will I do this year to bring happiness into my family daily? 
  • Read my scriptures every day
  • Pray personally and as a family twice daily
  • Attend the temple monthly
  • Prepare and take family names to the temple bi-monthly
  • Talk to my brother, sister, mom and dad at least once a month
Say nice things, be nice, sing, get down on the floor, say yes to whatever my kids ask to do with me more. Less trying to get “me” time, less time on my phone (at anytime: work, transit, home, bed), less complaining, less waiting for others to do something before I do something.

January 17, 2017

52 questions week 3

What goals are you actively working toward right now?

I have been walking in the mornings with a few friends on my street. It wasn't working out to do stroller strides right now, so we've been loading the kids up in the double stroller and heading out in the freezing, foggy, snowblizzardy winter. I hate winter, guys. At least when it snows it's pretty. Jan and Feb are just ugly when it's cold. 
The air is starting to get bad, so I'm not sure how long these walks will last. But I am also making a couple of friends while walking. 

But still, I miss being with people who KNOW me and LOVE me for me. I feel a great unrest within my soul right now. I feel lonely. I feel so much all at once. I want to 

a. attend yoga weekly. I am so inspired by my yoga instructor of 1 year now. She is the most incredible person, Alicia of Salt Lake Prenatal Yoga. (and post natal yoga, and mommy and me yoga). She made a HUGE difference in my pregnancy with Ella. So much healing happened. So much confidence and faith developed. Tonight was no exception.

b. forgive

c. have confidence. I know I'm doing what is right for me and I cannot feel sorry or regretful for that. 

d. be happy RIGHT NOW. choose happiness!