Introduce Yourself!

February 6, 2012

Since it’s Monday morning, my brain is not quite geared up for the creation of a cogent, cognizant, coherent, and cohesive post. So instead, I am going to write in Flitting Blog Entry Style, which is a style of writing that is not yet included in the great classic writing books.  (I can’t imagine why!)

Basically, it just means that I will flit from one topic to another with no worries about flow or transitions or connectivity, or any of that other tedious stuff I usually sweat over when writing a post.

So let’s get flitting,  shall we?

 

Flitting Topic One (Your Photos)

You know how I always post pictures of scenery around Manteo, and you all are always so sweet to say how beautiful it is around here?  Well,  I’m convinced that every single part of the country (and the world) has plenty of its own beauty.  It recently occurred to me (when I was in a serious-thinking, non-flitting mood) that it would be  cool to provide a forum for you to share your own local beauty with the Smithellaneous community.

So here’s the deal.

Over the next two weeks,  e-mail a picture (or two) to me that showcases the beauty or uniqueness of where you live.   On Monday, February 20, I’ll post all your pictures, along with any accompanying  descriptive notes; I’ll also include your blog address, if you’re a blogger.  (I’m all about spreading blogger love!)

And as an added bonus?  After all the pictures have come in, I’ll draw a name from the participants and the winner will be the first Smithellaneous reader to get a pack of my new photo cards.

So get to shooting!  And when you’re done shooting, send your photo(s) to smithellaneousATyahooDOT com,   I’m so looking forward to seeing all the places where my Smithellaneous friends live.

 

Flitting Topic Two (Getting To Know You)

Last week Trine (from Denmark) had the great idea of having all of y’all (yes, I’m a Southerner) tell a little bit about yourselves in the comments area which I think is a lovely idea.  Some of you who have been reading here for a while see other readers’ names over and over in the comments area and I know it would be fun for you (and for me!) to be able to put a “story” with those names.

So over the next day or two (or three) would you take five minutes and leave a few words about yourself in the comments area underneath this post?  And then when you’re done writing, read through what the others have written and maybe leave a comment beneath what they’ve said, as well.

If you don’t know what to say, you can just list your three favorite things to do in your spare time, or how long you’ve been married, you have, or what your favorite kind of dessert is, or what your first job was, or even how many brownies you’ve eaten at one sitting!  Anything will work as long as it gives the rest of us a little peek into your life.     

 

Flitting Topic Three (Mysteriously Changing Header)

I’ve been on this new blog site for almost a month now and I am really loving  it!     Over the past few weeks,  you may have noticed that the header of the blog (the bar across the top with my picture)  has changed a time or two.  (Or three.)

At this point,   I’m just messing around with it on my own until I am able to hire a professional blog designer to lay out everything in a really lovely fashion.  Until that happens though, I’m just going to keep on experimenting and having fun with it; feel free to ignore all the random changes until a real professional can get a hold of it!

 

Flitting Topic Four (Social Media Guru)

One of the many things I love about blogging is the way the blogging community is very quick to offer help and advice when needed.  Recently, I went to my online blogging group and threw out a plea for someone! anyone! to help me with a particular technical issue I was having.   I said that I would be happy to hire someone to do this particular bit of work for me because my brain just wasn’t up to one more Blog Thinking Challenge.

Well, much to my delighted surprise,  Dustin Stout,  offered to do the task free of charge.  What would have taken me two hours of hair pulling and nerve shredding  took him just a few minutes to accomplish.   

So as a way of saying thanks to him, I wanted to mention that he blogs here about Christianity, Creativity, and Social Media and makes a living consulting, speaking, and building websites here.

If you’re a blogger and need practical help, his site is chock full of stuff you can put to use immediately.  Also, if you’ve heard of Google+, the newest social networking site, and have no foggy clue what it’s all about, Dustin is a Google+ Guru.  (I just made that up but it sounds pretty good doesn’t it?)

In short, his website has helpful info about Google+, Facebook, blogging,  Twitter and a whole lot more.

 

Flitting Topic Five (The Thin and The Thick Of It)

Remember back in the day when a book had pages and a cover and was really thick?  Well, here’s an interesting book comparison.

On the left you will see a beautiful, leather-bound, thick book containing the complete works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, one of Steve’s favorite authors.

On the right, you will see a Kindle (given to Sarah for her 16th birthday by a thoughtful blog reader) containing that entire book, along with many other books besides.  (Although Sarah adores her Kindle, she said she will never give up real books–she loves them too much!)

The thick and the thin of it.  It is truly amazing.

While I’m on this subject, I thought I’d share a cartoon that I love.  I guarantee that the Smith House library will never, ever look like this one—but it’s still funny!

Not that any of this book stuff has anything to do with any of the rest of today’s post, but when you think about it, the very fact that it doesn’t tie in means that it really does tie in because it’s another unrelated topic to flit to!   So actually,  it’s perfect!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Remember, to leave a comment with some info about yourself and be thinking of pictures of your town that can be shared here on Smithellaneous.

Flitting Topic Six  (The End)

 

164 responses to Introduce Yourself!

  1. I’ve been reading Sarah’s Spot since I found it nearly 10 years ago when I was in college, on a site called ShareTheLove.org (which is now defunct). The site was on a list of resources given to those of us training to be volunteers at an Information and Referral phone service at a local United Way. I am now 30 and married (4 years).

    Even though we had/have little in common in terms of our life circumstances (age, location, parenting status, religion, etc.!) your writing was so captivating, touching, serious, fun and unique all at once that reading your blog is not only enjoyable just because of the good writing, but also because I quickly came to really care about your family and I’ve been here ever since. I remember how painful it was, even as someone who had never met you, to read about Sarah’s relapse. It’s amazing to see her, through your words and photos at least, now.

    Also, you’ve always struck me as someone for whom compassion is a deeply important mission. Striving for kindness, for reducing the suffering of other’s however one can, is so important to me, too. So I truly respect and admire you as well. To me, this is the single most vital and beautiful human trait possible, and maybe also the most meaningful thing two people can have in common anyway – so perhaps we share more than it seems :)

    Your kids seem like wonderful people and it’s been fun (scary, sad, and joyous) following you all over the last decade(ish).

    Thank you!

    Ellen

    • Ellen,

      I’m not sure how I didn’t see this comment until just now! Sorry for the delay in responding.

      And what a comment to overlook–here you were being so nice and saying such sweet things about my writing. You made me smile and were a huge encouragement to me. Thank you.

      You “ten-ish year followers” are rare birds and I want to thank YOU for hanging around here for so long and becoming a part of what’s going on around here.

      And yes I agree with you completely–compassion is something we all need and something we all should share. So nice to have that in common with you.

      Thanks for signing in–hope you’re around for at least another decade or so! :-)

  2. Hi My name is MIchele. I am from Central New York. I’ve been reading caringbridge for about 5 yrs now. I am a school nurse and a mother of 3 daughters. (24, 21, and 17) . I am very involved in my daughters activities and sports (travel) and have been with all my kids. In my spare time I like to read, watch movies and travel. I will be turning the big 5-0 just like you Becky in March. Take care.

    • Michele,

      Thanks for the introduction!

      When I talked about teachers in my recent post, I didn’t mention school nurses but your introduction reminded me of just how important that role in school is. Sarah’s school has a had wonderful school nurse for many years (just retired a couple weeks ago) and I can’t tell you how much it warmed my heart when she would pick up the phone to update me on anything she thought I might need to do know about Sarah. Sarah and I just loved her and so appreciated her incredible contribution to the school.

      Happy early 50th birthday to you! We’ll just get “older and better” together.

  3. Hi,

    I’m from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in ON Canada. Although orginally from Dundee Scotland.
    I have been an avid reader from the early Caringbridge days and have enjoyed wayching Sarah beat the dreaded illness and watch her blossom into the young woman she is today.

    I love your photography.

    I am a mummy to 3 grown children and soon to be grandma (GG) to my first grandchild (Elizabeth).

    I’m still trying to get used to your new blog format :)

    • that should be “watching” I am typing in semi darkness here, should turn on the light.

    • Gail,

      You’ve lived in Scotland AND Canada? Oh my. My photography-loving heart is just a wee bit jealous.

      Congrats on the first granddaughter on her way. I can’t imagine how excited you are!

      Thanks for reading along with our family for such a long time; it’s a wonderful thing to meet another long termer!

  4. Hello,

    My name is Jennifer. :). I’m a lurker and I’m not sure how long I have been reading for. I live in central Washington state where the apples, pears and cherries are grown. I’m three hours from any large city. However, I grew in DC and my family used to go to the Outer Banks every summer.

    I’m 31 years old and just celebrated my forth wedding anniversary with my hunny bunny on last week. No children yet, at least not any two legged ones. We have three brown dogs, Rufus, Joey and Callie.

    I work for Catholic charities helping grandparents raising their grandchildren with services.

    It’s nice to be delurked!

    Jennifer :)

    • Jennifer, what a wonderful thing it is to be able to offer grandparents help they need as they deal with such a challenging circumstance as raising grand kids. My hat is off to you and your organization for that wonderful, wonderful service!

      I can certainly relate to being 3 hours from any large city which is a pretty big change for you after living in D.C.! Eat a pear for me! (I love pears.) :-)

  5. My name is Cheryl. I live in middle GA with my husband & 3 kids – 12, 3, & 19 months. I’ve been a Caringbridge/Smithellaneous reader since coming over from Kendrie Escoe’s site in 2006. The Smithellaneous story & the testimony of the Smith family has been a huge blessing to me numerous times over the years. Almost feels like I’m one of the family!

    • Hi Cheryl! Few things make me happier than to hear that a reader feels like part of the family–because that’s how I feel about all of you, who have taken time out of your busy lives to share in our ups and downs, and serious and goofy moments. I am indebted to ALL of you!

      I love the Escoe family and follow their blog, as well. They are an amazing family.

      And speaking of family, you’ve certainly got a fun and challenging range of ages in your family–two toddlers and a twelve year old! Whew! Enjoy the happy craziness of this stage of life. :-)

  6. I live in North Florida. I have been married for 26 years. We have a 20 yr old son and 16 (almost 17) year old daughter. Our son is a Jr. at FSU. My husband and I both graduated from there too! Our daughter is a Jr. in High School and plans to attend FSU also. She just got her drivers license last week and will start driving to and from school next week. Prayers for my nerves are appreciated! She won’t be driving to youth activities yet as she is not comfortable with that route. Whew.

    My husband is in the army reserves now, was active duty for 11 years. Our son was born in Germany. My husband was in Desert Storm and more recently in OIF. Becky, we lived for 3 years in Wilson NC, after my husband left active duty, and I went shopping at the outlets in Smithfield! This was the late 90′s. I still have friends in Wilson who I keep in touch with.

    Oh, I do love chocolate. Especially dark chocolate. Dark chocolate Ghirardelli brownies are my weakness. I do walk most everyday and try to get my exercise in.

    I enjoy reading your blog as we have a lot in common! I have been reading your blogs for several years and have gone back and read a lot of Sarah’s past in that time. I think she and my daughter would get along quite well! They have a lot of common interests and similar personalities.

    • Jill . . . hmmmm, I haven’t tried the Ghirardelli brownies yet. I shall have to do a scientific experiment to see if they are as good as you say they are!

      Nice to meet someone who knows right where the Outlets are in Smithfield. I think that back during that period of time, they were just called The Pottery, because of Carolina Pottery being the anchor store. I still can’t quite used to NOT calling them that!

      Thanks to your husband for his service to the country and thanks to you too, because military spouses and families make many of their own sacrifices.

      Thank you for introducing yourself. (And sending you calm thoughts concerning your daughter’s new driver’s license!)

      • Thanks Becky. And yes, you must partake in the brownie experiment. I may just have to repeat that experiment this week!

        I think you are right about Carolina Pottery being the anchor. I forgot about that. My daughter stayed a night in both Wilson and Smithfield going to and from a youth trip 2 summers ago. And my husband got to revisit the area while traveling to Ft Dix that same summer. I have not been back since we left in 99 but would love a cheese biscuit …and a hotdog from Dicks…

        Keep taking photos and writing!

  7. Hey y’all! I’ve been following the Smith Family ever since they came to our church as “Heartsong”. I remember one of the first times I met the family. Becky was at the Heartsong display table and Sarah was just a toddler hiding under the table playing hide ‘n seek. I fell in love with the family and their music and always looked forward to their visits. Although I don’t comment often, I have been following their websites from the beginning.

    Although I was born in Pennsylvania, I don’t consider myself a “Yankee” since I’ve lived in North Carolina since 1983 and have raised my family here. I am blessed to have the best hubby in the world, 3 wonderful children and 6 terrific grandchildren. During the day I have “Mema’s Daycare” and babysit my grandchildren and also do transcription work. We also have 6 dachshunds and do foster care through a rescue dachshund. Life is busy.

    Besides my family, the joys in my life are spending time at the NC beaches and in the NC Mountains with my hubby. We also enjoy visiting friends and family in Pennsylvania. When I have the chance to relax, I enjoy reading, working on x-stitch and other projects around the house.

    Thanks to Becky for sharing her beautiful pictures and for always sharing from her heart on her website. I look forward to reading her entries and check for them every day!

    • Norma, I’ve always said you have a very full life. Anyone who can be mom to three kids, grandma to 6 grand kids, and mama to 6 dachshunds (plus do transcription work on the side) is a busy woman!

      It brings back happy memories to have you talk about Sarah playing hide and seek under the Heartsong display table. :-) So glad we’ve had a chance to know you and Dale this long; thanks for being such a faithful reader!

  8. Hi – I’m SueEllen and although i rarely comment, I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning and Sarah’s spot before that. I live just outside Dallas in Mesquite, Texas. I grew up in West Virginia and also spent time in North Carolina (my favorite state), Georgia, and Arkansas. I’ve been married for 21 years and have three children. My son is 25, lives nearby and works for the city utilities department. We have two daughters, one a high school senior and the other a high school freshman. I am a paraprofessional sub for the local school district. The Carolina Coast is probably my favorite place on earth, so I especially enjoy all your photos, Becky! And it’s great getting to “meet” so many of your readers!

    • Sue Ellen, it’s so fun to have a “rarely commenter” turn into a commenter. Thanks for doing that!

      I can certainly understand why coastal NC is one of your favorite places; I’m sorta partial to it myself. :-) I’m glad my pictures give you a chance to “visit” it from time to time!

      I know having two daughters in High School at the same keeps you busy; one at a time keeps me busy enough!

      Thanks again for taking the time to introduce yourself; I really appreciate it.

  9. Hey, my name is annette SMITH and I have four children. ( a boy and three girls. One girl who happens to be sarah :) ) I am a prek teacher, wife of a cop and a brand new mother in law! I love blogging and am kicking that up a knotch recnetly. Im working on losing weight and am hosting a weekly blog hop called weight loss wednesdays :) come check out my blog and all I need is one more follower and Ill be giving away a bag of coffee to a random guest ! :)
    http://www.smithfamilyx6.blogspot.com

    • Hi Annette,

      Sorry your comment is just now getting posted; I found it trapped in a Spam folder!

      Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself. You sound like a busy lady, being a teacher, a mom, a mom-in-law and a policeman’s wife! Whew!

      Congrats on the weight loss; keep up the good work!

  10. Becky, this is sooooo much fun, I ‘m having a great time talking to everyone, thanks for getting us all together. Next step, we all have to meet somewhere, maybe in the fixture we can all get together somehow. :)

    • Nancy, you’re right; this IS a lot of fun. I never dreamed the Smithellaneous Community was so diverse, interesting, funny and inspiring! It’s been great!

      • groan,,,spell check is not working again “fixture” is supposed to be “future”, sorry. :)

      • This has been really fun, you are right Becky, our community (and it is ours right?) :-) is very diverse, we do all kinds of different things. And by the way, we are a family of two(empty nesters) and I can’t feed us on 70.00 per week. I need some pointers on how Heidi does that. If gas keeps going up, we are going to have to start riding bikes and eating creasy greens. On a side note, we are going to have Wedding Wednesday right? I know, I know, I have a one track mind :-)

        • Gail, yep, Wedding Wednesday is on its way in just a few minutes!

          I’m not sure what a creasy green is but I’m not sure if it sounds’s terribly appetizing! :-)

          • Becky, Creasy Greens are Tennessee’s answer to spinach, very tasty with vinegar and a big pot of soup beans and corn bread (you do know what soup beans are, right :-) )

            • Well, at first I thought it was a typo and you meant to say greasy greens! But I’ll take your word for it that the creasy greens are good. And yes, I have met a few soup beans in my time. :-)

              • I was scanning through the comments to get to where I left off reading yesterday (loving this) and creasy greens caught my eyes. Just had to say we just had some fresh one here in the Asheville NC area last week and they were oh so good. Very unusual to have them this early but the mild weather has been great.

                • Ah, at last someone else who loves creasy greens. Actually Becky, you would love them is you tried them :-)

  11. I’m Dana and I live in Greenville SC. I’m 36 yearrs old , I’ve been married for 15 years with 5 kids and 2 grandbabies and 2 more on the way. My husband and I had a blended family when we married. I had my twins and he had 2 kids all around the same ages. 5, 2 1/2, 2 1/2 (2 of them) and almost 2. We married lived in a 2!!! bedroom trailer with 4 very small kids( we had full custody of all of aur children) and survived it. We moved 2 years later to a much bigger home. I had a bout with bronchitis and got pregnant with my last little. Today my kids are 21, 18, 18, 17, and 12.

    I don’t really know how long I’ve been reading, but if I had to guess i’d say around 6 or 7 years maybe longer. i just know that Nathan had not even graduated HS yet much less thought about getting married . It’s one thing when your own kids make you feel old. It’s another story when you have other peoples kids making you feel it.

    I don’t comment much but I thought this would be fun.

    • Dana, so happy to hear from someone who doesn’t normally comment. And it’s also fun to be able to “picture” my readers a little better.

      As a survivor of life in a small trailer with 4 kids under the age of 5, my hat is off to you! And if I had a hundred hats, they would ALL be off to you. It’s wonderful to hear the story of a blended family making it so well, and for so many years. Wishing you and your family many, many years of blended happiness.

      Thanks again for leaving a comment; I look forward to hearing from you again!

  12. Rachel Kinneberg February 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Hi! My name is Rachel and I live in West Fargo, ND. Are you done laughing now? Yes I do have the accent like in the movie Fargo! Yes it floods here very year and yes we do have some brutal winter days. However, this year has been beyond mild and it probably won’t flood due to hardly any snowfall. I have been married for 9 years this week to my wonderful husband. I met him when I was 16 years old and he was 18. I work in the International Student Services Office at a local college and go to school part time online to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Accounting. We have two daughters, Morgan is 4 and Macie Dru is 18 months. My husband is a Project Manager for a local construction company and also serves in the Army Reserves. I’m not sure how long I’ve been reading but probably 4 years or so now. Your family is such an inspiration. I love seeing your photos and getting your recipes. In ND we do a lot of crockpot cooking during the winter so most of my recipes involve the good old crockpot. Thanks for the great blog. I hope to visit NC one day when I have time and tons of money to travel. I’d love to see every state and many other countries. My sister and I have a pact to travel a ton when we are retired.

    • Rachel, it’s just a little scary to read that you met your husband when you were 16 because Sarah is that age and I keep telling myself that she couldn’t possibly be old enough to meet anyone who could eventually be her husband. :-)

      Good for you for going back to school; I admire anyone who does that while working and raising a family. I know it must be tough at times but I’m proud of you for sticking with it.

      And if you have any good crockpot recipes to share, email them to me and I’ll put them under the Readers Recipes tab.

  13. I’ve been a long time Smith Family Blog follower…from the Caringbridge days. I was trying to remember how I came to follow all these beautiful Caringbridge kids and I traced it back to the first one. Allie Scott. A beautiful little girl, who was born the same month as my middle son. Her Mom and I belongs to the same online Mom’s forum for December ’03 babies. Allie was diagnosed with leukemia and her Mom blogged about it for all of us to read. From her blog, I found others and it has gone on since then. Somewhere in there I found Sarah, shortly after her relapse.

    My husband of 15 years and I have 3 beautiful kids – a 10 year old boy, 8 year old boy and soon-to-turn-3 year old girl. Needless to say, they keep us busy, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    I work full time for a large transportation company, as a network engineer and have always been a techno-geek type :) A proud graduate of Georgia Tech. Go Jackets!

    I’m a big time couponer. I love the challenge of it and try to keep our family of 5 on a budget of $70/week for all household/grocery items. It started out of a need to pay off a debt and has remained as a way of life and a great hobby for me.

    We live on a 7 acre lot in Georgia, not too far outside Atlanta. I tell my husband he is a wanna-be-farmer. He loves his garden and we also have 7-8 chickens that we keep for their eggs. Goats is next on his list…I’m not sold yet, we will see how that works out.

    • Heidi, $70 a week for household/grocery items? Wowser! You’re amazing! (And I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “wowser” before but it just sort of popped out after reading what you wrote.) :-)

      And to be a network engineer? And keep up 7 acres and 8 chickens and be contemplating goats? You guys have a full, full life. Enjoy!

      • I wish in Canada that couponing worked the way it does in the U.S., here we don’t have all the double and triple and as much 2 For one and such coupons. And, i find that most of the items I buy don’t often get coupons. It costs me $180.00 per week to feed my family of 4, and we certainly don’t eat like kings. I I sure do wish I could spend only $70.00 per week, you go girl :)

    • Oh my gosh! We seem to have much in common. Allie Scott was my first CaringBridge too. I live just outside Dallas and saw a news feature on her. I still read Jenny’s blog. I also lived in the Atlanta area for ten years and my oldest was born in Snellville. I still family in the area and love to visit.

      • Forgot to add my name- I’m SueEllen.

        • How cool, Sue Ellen! We do have a lot in common. I still read Jenny’s blog too!

          We live South of Atlanta, about half way between Atlanta and Macon in a town called Locust Grove. I grew up a few miles North of where I am now, but have lived within 30 miles of here my whole life.

          The $70 a week is very do-able for our family. That comes after building a substantial stock-pile such that on a given week our ‘needs’ are very few and I’m mainly adding to the stockpile each week. God is good and couponing has been such a blessing to me and my family.

  14. I’ve followed your blogging since about 2004. I’m 47 years old, married, with a seven year old son who will be eight in May. I love to travel, especially to offbeat places. In fact, I’m working on arranging a trip to tour Chernobyl later this year, only one in a list of quirky, offbeat places I plan on visiting! I’ve lived in Florida all my life, except for a year when I lived in Germany with my ex-husband who was stationed there in the military, back in the 80′s. I got to travel to quite a few places in Europe while I was there, so it was a unique experience. I’ve worked as a dispatcher at the local sheriff’s office for almost 25 years now. Five more years and I retire! I can’t wait because despite how much I like the work, it’s very stressful and I get a little more tired every year. I also can’t wait to get off of shift work and start living a normal life with normal hours. My main vice is that I drink way too much Diet Coke.

    • Melissa, yep, Chernobyl would certainly qualify as a quirky, offbeat place! But what a cool thing to do, instead of going to all the highly traveled places. I think that would be quite the adventure.

      I imagine being a sheriff’s dispatcher WOULD be a high stress job; you’ve done well to hang in there for 25 years. I hope once you retire you get to travel to all sorts of wonderful places–sippin’ Diet Coke all the way!

  15. Becky – you know me. I’ve been posting for quite a long time. In fact, I posted some rather rude comments about making sure that Nathan knew the WHOLE story about Palestine and Israel when he went to Israel so soon after my trip there. I keep meaning to apologize for that, and I guess this is the time. I’m truly sorry for my rude comments Becky.

    I’m still in Logan, UT, planning (God willing, please, God, be willing!) to graduate with my PhD 4 May 2012. My mother and stepfather will be there, and my father, well, I’ll be wearing his robes. After this summer I’m not sure where I’ll be yet. I’m finally starting the job hunt. Not fun. I am, though, using the book chapter where I named the school we did the study “Sarah Smith Elementary” as one of my writing samples for jobs that I’m applying for that require it.

    I grew up in Blacksburg, Va. I spent LOTS of time on the OBX growing up, and, in fact I have a great uncle who had a hotel in Nags Head for a long time, and another great uncle who grew up in Hatteras. The OBX mean a lot to my family, and the last time I was there was on a quick trip, staying in Buxton, with my father, stepmom, brother & his family. That was November, 2009, 5.5 months before my dad died of after working for 5.5 years to rid his body of prostate cancer. I miss him terribly.

    I went to Oglethorpe University, in Atlanta, for my undergrad. I then attended UGa for my Masters. I moved to Eugene, Ore. for 8 years and was a peace and social justice activist. Eugene is my adopted home. I’ve learned a lot living in Logan though. I finally accepted that I am a Christian here, and finally joined the Episcopal Church, the church my father was raised in. I love the liturgy of the Episcopal Church, and a liberal like me fits right in in the church. I’ve also found people who are more like family here. My best and dearest friends are conservative orthodox Mormons who keep having children for me to love on and play with. What a gift!

    Oh, this is getting long.. but I found Sarah’s spot through Christi Thomas’s spot. It was a blessing to read about others going through cancer, even if it was parents writing about their children, while my dad was going through it too. As the amazing and blessed Vickie Buenger has pointed out to me, there’s a lot to relate to with any loved one of someone working to defeat cancer. Everything that I learned through reading Sarah’s story, as well as the Amazing Erin’s, the blessed Christi’s and so many others helped me to help my dear sister-friend Melissa as she worked to rid her body of stage IVB cervical cancer. She didn’t succeed and we lost the beloved Melissa Saturday 28 January 2012. I’m grateful for Sarah’s story, as well as Erin and Christi’s because not only did it help me help Melissa, they are helping me be present for her 18 year old daughter K.

    Oh, and the kindle. I just got one a few weeks ago so I could more easily read articles I need to read for my work. I’ve found, though, that I’d rather read books for pleasure. I’ve already read 3, and am on my fourth. I didn’t read that may in all of 2011 combined! I love my kindle, but on the other hand, I still love books.

    • Brooke, apology accepted. It’s nice to “meet” someone who has strong convictions in a wishy washy world.

      Congrats ahead of time on your soon to be PhD. I cannot even begin to imagine how much work something like that takes. What an enormous accomplishment for you!

      Yes, I remember you writing and asking if you could name that fictional school after Sarah. That was so much fun for her to know you were doing that. :-)

  16. Well, my connection with the Smith family began all those years ago when Sarah was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. I was the person who actually collected her stem cells, and froze them until she was ready for transplant. I was then the person who thawed them and prepared them for her to receive on her “2nd” birthday! I meet lots of people, and have done this same thing for mayn families, but there are some families that are just special, and that I try and follow and keep up with! The Smith fmaily has definitely been one of those familes!
    I am married, and have three girls of my own. My oldest is 13, and in 7th grade, and my younger two are twins that just turned 5 in January. Between my husband and girls, and work, and church, my life stays very busy! But it is such a joy to be able to share Sarah and others stories of success over cancer, and to be able to help new families that are just going through this… to be able to tell them that there are children out there, who have beat the statistics, and to be able to share how God has worked in their lives.
    In my spare time (rare, these days! ) I enjoy reading, and I love my Nook!! I also enjoy cooking,, especially anything sweet, and/or chocolate! My girls all have a great love of chocolate, and we search for new recipes to try on a weekly basis!
    Thanks Becky for sharing your trials and tribulations ,and also your joy, so that others may have an easier journey!

    • Tiffany, what a blessing you must be to so many families in crisis. Pediatric cancer is an abomination, for sure. Why children must suffer such an insidious disease and the subsequent treatment that follows I will never understand. I always thought when I got to Heaven it would be the first question I posed to God. And then I really thought about Heaven and God…and it occurred to me that if it is all it is thought to be…well, that question would have no meaning. I believe Heaven is an answer to just about everything, so questions are irrelevant there.

      I am thrilled to hear that you speak of God and miracles and good outcomes from poor expectations! Not enough people in the medical field are willing to do that, and when I meet someone who does I am sure to express how grateful I am. In my own journey with cancer I have found that people who speak “God” to me (a language all its own) are the people who move me the most, be it in spirit or in action or in belief. So thank you on behalf of patients and families everywhere. You are a vessel for God. Thank you for allowing Him and His promises to speak through you!

      • Thanks Sue!! Although at times, this is a really tough job, it is patients like Sarah ( and thankfully many others) that definitely make it a wonderful job! I have been doing this for almost 17 years now… never in a million years would have thought that when I first started, but I do feel that I am exactly where God wants me to be! A simple concept… treat these familes and their children like I would want my children to be treated… so many people forget that simple phrase… “love your neighbor as yourself”. If only more people would do that in the world in general, not just a hospital… :)
        I hope that your journey with cancer is over, and that you have many healthy years ahead!!

    • Tiffany, I can’t tell you how special it is for our family to still be in contact with someone who was such an integral part of Sarah’s treatment. And as for your wish to treat your patients the way you would want your own family to be treated–well, you accomplished that beautifully while we were with you. You made us feel so comfortable, answered our questions and helped us feel hope.

      That is a gift.

  17. Hi Becky and your readers,
    I liked your post. We’ve met through MyKillerTribes.com but for your other readers (and you too) I’m pretty new to your blog and new to blogging. Most of my posts are about trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I say try cause it’s not easy! I’m Canadian and live in the lovely province of Nova Scotia! I will definitely be sending you a picture or two of the valley that I look at every day (I live on a little mountain that has a great view). The sunset is gorgeous in the morning along with the snow covered or fog covered valley.

    Thanks for sharing with all of us. Your header looks great!

    • Hi Erin:

      I used to live just outside of Halifax in Bedford, overlooking the Bedford Basin. I loved hearing the foghorns in the morning and watching the fog roll in. I love Nova Scotia, I have many, many fond memories of growing up there.

    • Erin, thanks for stopping by from Killer Tribes; so nice to “see” you here!

      Kudos to you for trying to live (and blog) a healthy lifestyle. We need more folks like you to encourage us all to make changes–even the smallest changes can make a big difference.

      My photographer’s heart is definitely jealous of anyone who lives in Nova Scotia. Oh my. I would take so many pictures it would be the next thing to ridiculous. :-) Enjoy!

  18. Oh….I forgot to say where I live. We live outside of Austin, Texas in a community called Pflugerville (the “P” is silent!). Born and raised in Austin all my life!!

    • Isn’t Julianna Banana an “Official Citizen” of Pflugerville? (She is from Manitoba, Canada and has a Caringbridge page) I believe it was through her website that I started following Sarah’s.

      • Julianna is an “official citizen” of pflugerville, I remember it well from her caringbridge page. I think that’s where I started following Sarah’s caringbridge page from as well but not 100% sure. I miss reading about Julianna and family, but am on her dad’s Facebook page. From what I can tell, Julianna is doing very well. :)

  19. I’ve been a follower for a few years now. I love to read your blog as it is so inspirational to me and I absolutely love all the photos – family and scenery. I will be 45 on March 29 and will be married 18 years on February 26 to my husband Steve. We have a doughter, Skylar who is 13 and a son, Trace who will be 10 on March 28 (my early birthday present!). I am a 7 1/2 year breast cancer survivor, currently going through my 4th round of chemo. I was in remission almost 4 years when it reared its ugly head in my lower lumbar spine. Two years later it showed up on my liver and it showed up in the liver once again a few months ago. I had “radio-frequency ablation” done in October to remove the tumor. I have been very blessed that I have not had multiple tumors at one time and this procedure is very new for the liver. I am currently “amost – so very close” to remission again! Praise God. To say this has been difficult is an understatement. I have total faith in the Lord that all will be ok. Our children keep us on our toes as they both play sports and we love watching them! Got to keep busy. My husband has been my rock….and he’s been through alot! God bless him!! We love to travel and hope to do so much more one day. We’ve been on 3 cruises and are addicted! The kids absolutely love it and I love to see them happy!! Becky….thanks for your blog…..love it, love it, love it!!

    • Lisa, I believe in miracles. I believe in God. And I believe in good attitudes and a grateful heart. You have them all. I just know it. Praying the remission shows up sooner rather than later so you can finally put this behind you once and for all. May God continue to bless you in this journey and keep you strong while covering your family with His grace, mercy, comfort and love.

    • Lisa, thanks so much for sharing your story–the good parts and the difficult parts. You have been through a lot and it sounds like you are keeping a strong spirit and an unquenchable zest for life. I know that people who are dealing with cancer have a renewed appreciation for every big and small bit of life. I’m sure your sweet kids give you something good to focus on during treatment; our children have an amazing way of bringing smiles into the darkest times.

      Bless you and your family during this time; keep us in touch with how things are going. (And try to fit a cruise in there somewhere along the way!) :-)

  20. Hi, I am a confessed lurker of sorts, although I have commented a few times. I’ve been following you guys for about…. 8 years. And I’ve probably commented….um, maybe a handful of times. I am 30 years old, and now live in Indiana, although I used to live in the bright, sunny, adventurous state of Iowa. (Ok, that was a little sarcastic.) I currently drive a school bus for middle school and elementary students, and in the evenings I work as a pharmacy technician. I have my MA in history (Russian) and LOVE traveling. I also love laughing, sarcasm, optimism, snowboarding, and writing. I participate in National Novel Writing Month, which I think Sarah could possibly LOVE. It is ever November and I’ve done it for 5 or 6 years. I love watching how your family has grown and changed over the years – everything from Nathan leaving for college, to graduating and getting married, and watching Sarah grow into a beautiful young woman who loves God AND loved God through her battles. And I also really enjoyed all your posts in and around your move to Manteo. And the photographs. I NEED to visit that direction sometime for its beauty.

    I enjoy your recipes. And successes. And I definitely was very heartbroken in a good way after you posted about inviting those 8 men over for Thanksgiving dinner. As someone who has lived in a treatment center for a year and a half (on my own now, though!), I definitely know that it meant the world to them, and that you showed them so much love by doing that for them.

    I look forward to reading more, and maybe after this I will have to “de-lurk” a little bit!

    • Kate, hooray! Another de-lurker! I love it.

      You sound like a talented, busy, multi-gifted person who has a very full life! To have a Masters in Russian history is completely beyond my comprehension; history was not a good subject for me in school but maybe it was the teacher more than the subject because now I think it’s fascinating.

      Thanks for being so honest about sharing about your time in a treatment center. Good for you for finishing it out and living on your own! If I was there, I’d pat you on the back, but if you’ll go ahead and do it for me, I would truly appreciate it. :-) Really, that is such a huge accomplishment. Some of the men at this center near us just walk off and decide not to do it anymore. So glad you finished the course and are doing well.

      De-lurk more often; it was great hearing from you!

  21. I am really not sure how long I have been a reader; probably several years. I started reading when the Married Dude was still a College Dude and Princess Groovy Chick, well, she is still Princess Groovy Chick.

    I am a homeschooling mom. I have six children and three of those children still live at home. My son Zachary and daughter Cayla are both in college. My son Micah went to be with the Lord almost seven years ago due to a car accident. I have often said that I could have never watched him go through the things that you had to watch Sarah do. I think that is why and how I found your blog. The strength of parents that had to do that or have to do that amazes me.

    I have a 15 year old (actually she will be 15 in two days!) daughter Cathryn, a ten year old son Nick, and an eight year old daughter Sage that are still at home.

    I am one of the luckiest people in the world because I am married to a perfect man. I can never figure out how I got this lucky and my children are extremely lucky to be able to call him daddy.

    Like I said, I have read for years, but I think this may be the first time I have ever commented on your blog. I love reading about you and your amazing family and I too have recently developed a love for looking at life through the lens of a camera. Although, I am not near as good as you are, I wish I had the time to just get out and take pictures. Life around my house gets into the way. Mostly, it is called homeschooling.

    Anyway, I plod through life with high expectation of getting a gazillion things done each day and usually only get through one or two. But, that is fine because the one or two things I get done each day are usually done very well!

    That is about all there is to me. I love being a mama and I love being able to call myself my husband’s wife.

    • Leigh Anne–drum roll, please. Long time reader and first time commenter! I always love it when someone introduces themselves for the first time; it just makes my day.

      As a former homeschooler, I completely and totally understood the commitment of energy and time it takes to school children. And yet what a rewarding way of life. I miss my teaching days!

      I love the name Micah–I know the boy behind that name had to be very special. I’m so sorry you lost him so early in his life.

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying looking at life through the lens of a camera; it really changes one’s perspective, doesn’t it?

      Thanks again for reading along and for signing in today. You’re now an official Smithellaneous-ite!

  22. Good morning, Becky and everyone. I was born and raised in New Jersey, looking out my bedroom window . . . across the meadowlands to the Empire State Building. Just 3 weeks before my first son was born, my husband had taken a job transfer and we moved to the Buffalo, NY area. (Not just chicken wings, but beef on weck, too!)

    I’ve been a widow for 20 years, so after I retired I decided to leave the snow behind and move to the Portland, OR area to get to know my only grandson (son of my older son) who was not quite 2 at that time. Four years later, he’s in school all day (who let that happen?????), and my younger son . . . now living in Orlando . . . and his wife are about to make me a grandmother again. I’m about to earn myself some serious Jet Blue frequent flyer miles.

    I divide my time between church activities, exercising in the pool at the Y, DAR and making fused glass. I try to keep my mind active with word games on the computer.

    I’ve been following the Smith family for about 9 years, and it’s hard for me to believe I don’t really “know” them!

    • Hi Jan, what is Beef on Weck?

      • I’m with Nancy. Beef on weck? Hmm . . .

        Our family was blessed to be a recipient of one of your works of glass art and display it proudly in our master bedroom. You’re quite the artist!

        Congrats on being re-grandmothered. Enjoy every single wonderful moment.

        • Becky, thank you for your kind words about my glass art. I love it because….well, because it’s glass, because I love the challenge of it, and because I meet a very different sort of people at the glass studio/school. We have so much fun it’s a wonder we get anything done.

          Becky’s gift piece of fused glass came about because Steve was remodeling their bathroom, and he had to break a large wall mirror to get it out of there. “Fracture” is a common type of fused glass project, so I made one for their bathroom. :)

      • Beef on weck is thin-sliced roast beef which is warmed in au just before serving on kimmelweck (hard rolls with salt on top). It’s usually served with horseraddish and dill pickles slices. YUMMY!

        • which bars sometimes like to serve to make people thirsty, esp during football season. distracts from how bad the bills are playing i guess,lol. i remember first time in a bar to watch bills play the dolphins and they had that set up. too cool to know someone else resided here that reads the blog.

  23. It’s five in the morning and I have been up since four. My intention was to be back in bed by four thirty. I am already behind schedule, so why not fill out a comment about little old (emphasis here) me? You said a few sentences. When have you seen me write just a few sentences about anything?

    I am a 63 year old woman from Chicago, now a resident of AZ for the past nine years. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 42 years and we have three beautiful daughters in their mid to late thirties. I have three wonderful grandchildren, the newest of which is almost fifteen months old. I also have a nine year old granddaughter who is a competitive swimmer and an all around great kid. My grandson is eight and is brilliant. No, really, brilliant. He has very high functioning Asperger’s Autism and the stuff he can do and say is truly inspirational. I could fill a comment section about him! Of course, grandmothers always think their grand children are amazing, but I am the ONE grandmother who is accurate when I do it!

    I am a reluctant writer, someone who studied journalism in college and intended on being a reporter. But due to a huge self-esteem problem, I stopped writing about the time people started complimenting me about it. (Go figure?) I worked at a high school for 17 years as an assistant to the head of technology and, thanks to all the teachers who wanted to write books but didn’t know about self-publishing (which at the time I was proficient at–can’t you tell by my ending that sentence with a preposition?), I became a book/manuscript editor. I guess my self-esteem had improved some because I can honestly say I am a pretty darn good editor of anything non-fiction.

    Eight years ago this month I received my first of three separate cancer diagnoses: kidney cancer, then followed by thyroid cancer, and finally a football size sarcoma. I call kidney cancer the gift that keeps on giving because of the metastasis that I have had for the last seven years. I am doing well and give all the glory to God, without Whom I never would have been able to make this journey, at least not with a smile and a grateful heart.

    I am Jewish and became a Christian about 30 years ago. Best thing I have ever done next to having my children! A few years ago I finally had a water baptism and what a joyous experience that was!!!! I am SAVED and CLEANSED and very, very grateful.

    I do not have a blog, but I do have a Caring Bridge site. I write sporadically, only when the spirit moves me.

    And do not look at the skipping back and forth styles of writing out numerals in words and then in numerals to assess my editorial skills. If I were editing this entry, which I’m not, I would tell myself to “pick a style, any style, and stick with it.”

    But, no.

    • By the way, Becky, as an aside…I really, really like the header at the top of today’s post.

      Really, really.

      • Thanks, Sue. I dislike it the least of all the ones I’ve done so far.
        Still learning and experimenting and waiting to hire a real graphics person who actually knows his or her stuff. At least I’m having fun in the process.

    • Sue, how lovely to read stuff about you I didn’t even know! You’re a fascinating person on many levels and I’m blessed you’re in my life. And all the people whom you’ve encouraged through your comments on a bajillion blogs are blessed, too. Thanks so much for taking the time to write some of your story. As always, I am inspired.

  24. Thanks for everyone’s comments and thanks, too, for those of you who are coming back and commenting on each others’ comments. That’s what makes it really fun.

    I have a reader, Kristina, who is having some trouble making her comment show up, although she has been able to leave comments before AND she when she replies to other peoples’ comments, it shows up just fine. One of those (many) technical mysteries I don’t understand.

    And so I am leaving this comment so that she can reply to my comment and hopefully her comment will show up. (Did you get all that?)

    Sorry for the trouble Kristina, and I’m glad you didn’t give up trying. Thanks for reading!

    • I’m an editor and writer (primarily of things most people would consider boring) who works for a very liberal non-profit, though I am not necessarily liberal myself. I am 29, single, and live in Fairbanks, Alaska. I have no children, which means instead I talk a lot about my dog, Kira, a German-Shepperd mix (read: mutt).

      I’m not sure how long I’ve been reading the Smith blogs, though I do remember that I first stumbled onto the Caringbridge site after linking from Nancy Bratt because Nanny had asked for prayers for Sarah who was sick with… something non-cancer-related, though I can’t remember the specifics.

      1. I love writing, reading, music, and especially TRAVEL. My dream is to someday be a travel writer, or a writing traveler. Either is as acceptable as the other. I’m working to get a blog started; hopefully it will be up next week, which is why I’ll be waiting until then to reply to Flitting Topic One. I’m trying to learn the ins and outs of blog development, but if it threatens my sanity I may cave and contact Dustin (of Flitting Topic Four) for professional assistance!

      2. I drive a bright yellow Jeep Wrangler, and I LOVE that vehicle, primarily because it has exponentially increased the likelihood of extricating myself from situations without having to admit to the stupid thing I did just prior to whatever problem I’ve encountered. Plus, they’re easy to maintain and repair which means I can handle a lot of the work myself.

      3. This has come up before, when Becky asked readers what they do to save money, but I live in a dry cabin — there is no water and no plumbing. Instead, I have a sink with a bucket beneath it, an outhouse, and several five-gallon jugs I use to transport water for dishes, etc. I know this sounds like an impossibility to many people, but rent is expensive in Alaska, and dry cabins are much cheaper. Living in one leaves extra money for things like traveling and playing with my Jeep!

      • Kristina, anyone who uses words like extricating, works on her own Jeep, and lives without running water is pretty cool in my book!

        Wow! What an interesting life you lead.

      • Kristina, what an amazing life you must lead. I am impressed by all your information, not the least of which is living dry. I cannot even imagine it. For me, roughing it would be staying at a hotel where they have an old fashioned television instead of a flat screen. Yep, I’m pretty shallow…but I do it well.

        When you get your blog up, please come back and add the URL here so we can support and follow you (yeah, just what I need…another blog to follow).

      • Wow… quite an interesting life! I can’t imagine what that would be like. I give you mucho respect for the dry cabin living… I am far too much of a city-boy to be able to survive that. lol!

        • I agree with Sue and Dustin, don’t know how I could live in a Dry cabin without all the amenities that I currently have. My hat is surely off to you.

          • Wow! I’m glad it sounds as though I have an interesting life. For me it’s just… life. It took some getting used to, but it’s not as bad as people think. My favorite human trait is the ability to adapt to whatever situation we find ourselves in!

            Thanks for getting my comment posted, Becky!

  25. Becky, I feel you know so much about me but I’ll tell the readers anyway. I am a former school teacher having taught in public school, christian school, community college and in Guam. I am retired — 25 years at Halifax Co. Social Services where I started as a clerk-typist, went to a social worker and then supervisor for child care services the last few years. I have been married for 26 1/2 years to a wonderful man who has put up with much the last few years due to my family situation with my parents and their health problems. I enjoy counted cross-stitch and photography and absolutely LOVE dark chocolate. I have two stepsons who are my sons and there is one grandson (3 yrs old) and a second grandchild due March 7. I’m so excited about this because this child will be 1 1/2 hours away and the other one is in Indiana and we live in NC. I have been to Germany, Japan, and Guam. I am a southern gospel fan and enjoy some contemporary artists. I have followed the Smith family since Sarah’s transplant and am so thankful for a great friendship. We have been blessed to have visited in the home and celebrated Sarah’s 16th birthday with the family. Guess that is more than you wanted to know but–also have a dog, Prince (shih-poo); cat, Oreo (black and white), and Mama’s dog, Luci.

    • Ann, you and Jim are a blessing to us. And don’t you forget that!!

      So happy you will soon have a grandchild close by–enjoy!

  26. Hi!

    My name is Gayle and I am from Enterprise, AL, home of the Boll Weevil monument. My husband of nearly 29 years and I are transplants from WA state, and came to the south via Army Aviation. My husband is a retired Army Aviator and now works as a government civilian. I am a substitute teacher (primary school) and LOVE my job!

    Our daughter, Samantha, will be 26 next month. She graduated from Auburn University in 2008, married in 2008 and has a newly 2-year old son, Charlie. Sam works at our city police department and her husband is the sports editor for our local paper. Being grandparents is the greatest!

    Our son, Adam, will be 23 next month. He graduated from Troy University last May (same day as Nathan), got married in July (the same day as Nathan and Megan’s wedding!) and is currently living in Fairfax, VA and attending George Washington University School of Law. We miss him and his wife A LOT!

    We love living in south Alabama, and claim it as our forever home now. It’s so nice to be so close to the beaches in the Florida panhandle and it’s not too far to drive to get into some mountains to the north.

    I love this blog, and it’s one of the highlights of my day when I find a new update! :)

    Gayle

    • Gayle, that is so funny about our sons have such similar time lines. They’re even fairly close in age since Nathan will be 23 in September. Sounds like you have some accomplished and interesting children.

      I’ve never even heard of the Boll Weevil Monument much less “met” anyone who lives near it. That’s why I love blogging–I get to live my life through all of you interesting folks. :-)

      • Becky, I believe the Boll Weevil monument is the the only monument in the US (world?) honoring a bug. This area used to be a huge cotton growing area and there are still plenty of cotton fields around here. The Boll Weevil started attacking and killing cotton plants, forcing people to start planting peanuts instead. Peanuts were (and still are) such a bumper crop here that the people dedided to erect a statue to the Boll Weevil for her help. Our local junior college’s mascot is the Boll Weevil also. :)

  27. Ok here goes: My name is Becky. I live in Buffalo, Ny, land of snow and chicken wings, although this winter the snow has taken a pretty good vacation. I have two boys, Joseph age 7 and Justin age 5. they have the same initials. I work in a group home with people who have individuals on the overnights. I am not married and prolly never will be. I am not quite single, it gets confusing. I love their father but he still has some growing up to do and i will sit here and wait for him to do that. I have recently turned 31 and in August almost died from bi-lateral pulmonary embolism, I thought i had just pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve in my back. I now take blood thinners and deal with everything that goes with that but have hope that at the end of the month I will get to know when i can be taken off, since mine were hormone induced. I also learned recently after a joyous thyroid biopsy that simply put my thyroid decided it wanted to be special and grow a little extra part.
    I also am loving this font and could type forever just to see it,lol. But i will end with grammar is not my strong point or is making all corrections when sending things. I have been reading the blogs ever since i read a comment she placed on a lil girl name hannahs blog, so its been a few years.

    • Becky, sounds like you’ve had a few challenges in life along the way–so nice to hear that you’ve kept a good sense of humor through it all. I really admire that. (A sense of humor makes a whole lot of tough thing not quite as difficult.)

      Loved your line about the “land of snow and chicken wings.” I sure didn’t know Buffalo was famous for chicken wings; another interesting fact to learn from a wonderful reader!

    • I, too, had a thyroid biopsy and of all the many biopsies I have had, that one was a bit much. That was most likely due to the fact that there was no anesthetic, topical or otherwise, administered. I pray that you are doing well and am confident that you will be just fine. Did you have surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid? Whatever you have been dealing with, may God continue to bless you. And I will pray about the blood thinners and expect that at the end of the month, you will bet your reprieve!

      God bless!

    • Land of chicken wings?? I wanna go there! :)

      Gayle in AL

      • and, boy are the buffalo wings, good, mmmmm, I go over a couple of times a year to shop (much cheaper than shopping in Toronto), and, we go to a really good wing restaurant while there. mmmm, now I’m hungry :)

        • Nancy do you go to duff or anchor bar or both??? i am not a wing fan but we are on the map for it, the buffalo wing, i guess that is from us. don’t quote me on it though.
          Sue i agree, i only need for pokes and each one was a little worse. i opted for no numbing because well thats just another needle to be poked with and it only numbs the skin. inside is where it hurt the most. no we are not removing my thyroid instead every 6 months i will have an ultrasound to monitor it. right now i can not feel it or notice it, unless my vocal problems are a result of it. not sure cause i refuse to sing for my dr,lol. that is strictly car and shower material only,lol. also the functions are just fine.

          • Becky, it’s safe for you to quote yourself. :) Yes, the Buffalo wing is because it was first introduced in Buffalo…at the Anchor Bar! (I have a friend whose husband used to own a bar with the owner of the Anchor Bar (the man who gets all the credit for introducing the Buffalo wing). My friends husband claims that HE thought up the wing, not the man who gets the credit. You want to be very careful not to mention “wings” when he’s around!! :)

            • I haven’t been to the anchor bar, we usually judy go to Buzzy”s I think it’s on Niagara Falls Blvd. in Niagara Falls. They are really good. Will have to try the Anchor Bar though, thanks for the head’s up :)

    • guess i should have proof read, i work with people who have disabilities which make them some pretty unique individuals.and yes humor makes thing easier sometimes.

  28. Hi -My name is Heidi and I live in Bismarck, ND! I am a single mom to a beautiful 8 yr old daughter. I work 45 to 55 hours a week I have been following your blog for a long time and check daily for updates! and… I love trying your recipes!
    I don’t really have any hobbies unless you want to count laundry and housecleaning – but I do love chocolate!

    • Heidi, we sang in Bismarck a couple times when we were on the road and my sister and her husband were associate pastors there. I LOVED our visits to ND; such a beautiful state.

      I can’t imagine how busy you are with two kids and long work weeks. I definitely think you DO need some chocolate at the end of every day. (And maybe midway through each day, too!)

      Thanks for the intro!

  29. Hi Becky,

    I am 56 years old and stay home full time due to a disability. I am from Kansas and have lived in Kansas my whole life. I have 3 grown children. My oldest is a girl and will be 31 next week. She is working on her disertation and has 2 masters degrees. My middle child is a girl, 28 years old and has a wonderful husband, but no grandchildren yet. My son is the baby in the family, 25 years old, he is going to school full time and also works full time. I love reading your blog and hearing about your family. I also love all the beautiful pictures that you post.

    Take care!

    • Shawn, thanks so much for introducting yourself. It sounds like you have a wonderful (and very smart) family; I know they must be such a joy to you.

      My main memories of our trips through Kansas were huge fields of rolling grain. Such a very lovely state you live in.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

      • This has been a really fun post Becky! I love everyones stories and hearing where everyone is from. Thank-you so much for the nice compliment.

        Have a great day!

  30. Hi, I’m Anna and I am a confused Yankee. I have lived in the South most of my life, but have never embraced “ya’ll”. I say “you guys” whether you are a guy or a gal. I grew up with three brothers and three sisters and I love noisy get-togethers with my family as often as possible.
    I have been married to my dear, patient husband for almost 29 years. We met at church playing volleyball. We have 2 children who are still at home with us. Our son will finish his master’s degree next summer and our daughter will graduate from Vet school next spring. I will be completely broken hearted at that time and will need much TLC. I have been preparing my dear, patient hubby for this fact…I may need to adopt many animals to fill our empty house.
    I work as a pediatric PT. I especially enjoy the 0-3 population. I also enjoy working with the premature babies and have thought about sneaking a few tiny ones home, but I am reminded they are not pocket pets. :)
    I have followed Smithellaneous and Sarah’s page for many years. I feel as if I could drop by for a cup of tea and be right at home. Thanks Becky for sharing your life with all of us. Have a great evening.

    • Anna, I love the “confused Yankee” line. Your job sounds really fabulous and so rewarding, knowing you are making a difference for those precious, darling children. Thanks for the work you do.

      And thanks too, for being a long time reader. Your words about stopping for a cup of tea and feeling right at home just made me smile; I’m so glad you feel that way. :-)

  31. Hi my name is Catherine,

    I live Zebulon NC. Been married for 17 and half years. Have two wondeful kids Zachary and Sarah. They are 16 & 14. The joy of my lfe. My husband is a correctional officer and I am a life coach for the disabled.

    A juicy tidbit I have known the Smiths since 1982!!!! Yep that’s right a LONG ITME!!! Also Steve married us and they sang at our Wedding. One of my best days!!! Thank you Smith’s!!!!! And the now marrid Nathan was our ring bearer. Such a cute little fella. Becky should show you all a pic of him in that little suit. Becky’s dad gave me away. One of my best memories of him. Love this family.

    Oh and the were my youth pastors when I was a teenager. Now I have teenagers of my own. WOW how time flies.

    Gotta love them and pray for them often. They were there for me when I needed them most. Again thank you Smith’s!!!!!!!

    Catherine

    • Catherine, how nice to see your name pop up here!

      Yes, I well remember your wedding day and Nathan walking about 100 mph in his little suit coat and blond curls. We told him to walk slowly but I guess his version of slow and ours was a little different.

      Steve and I are so proud of you and your family and the wonderful woman you have grown up to be. Thanks for letting us be a part of your life!

    • What a joy it must be to have lived so much of your life with the Smith family at your side. So many of us would just love to meet them, let alone be close friends. It sounds like they were there for you when you really needed them to be. Does that surprise me? Absolutely not. They are special people.

      And you must be very special as well to have them in your life, especially in the really significant milestones of your life.

      Be blessed!

  32. Hi…my name is Beverly. I read here regularly, but only only comment every once in a while. I am a mother to three wonderful but growing/grown children. My youngest turns 15 in 6 days and will get her drivers permit in 7 days.
    How did that happen?
    My oldest was diagnosed with a cancer syndrome in 2005, and I’ve kept a somewhat sporadic blog about his trials and triumphs at http://stevensjourney.blogspot.com .
    This past summer, despite our family thinking that we’ve already shown our strength on this road called life, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.
    Bummer!
    Day by day, I continue to teach kindergarten, putter around our garden, read untold number of books a week, love on my babies and hold onto hope.

    • Beverly, I had followed your blog for a long time and then somehow lost track of it, probably when my last computer broke. So I had no idea about your breast cancer-I hope you’re through the worst of that and back to feeling somewhat normal. That’s a not-so-fun journey and one that every woman hopes she never has to take. But you, and other wonderful women like you, prove that it’s doable and that you CAN do things which might once have seemed impossible.

      I’m with you on the book reading but not so much on the gardening. I’ve always admired people who could garden; it’s not my gift but I love admiring the loveliness that other people produce.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment; it was great to hear from you.

    • And you keep holding on to hope, Beverly. Hopeful expectation is what has got me through the last eight years of several cancer diagnoses, and what a blessing that has been for me. When I first told God I could not handle this burden, His response was, “No, but I can. Just give this to me and you show up and be a light.” I learned that being a light for me means finding the God in every situation and being grateful for it…and for Him. So, please, stand firm on hopeful expectation, praise God for your healing as if you have already received it (and believe that you have), and absolutely know you can do this…and you are not doing it alone.

      Blessings and prayers!

      • Oops. I posted this under the wrong name. Can you tell I have been up for hours? I will copy and paste under the correct person. And Becky, if you could remove this from here I would appreciate it. Sorry for the mistake.

        • Oh no, I DID post this under the right person…Beverly. And then I read Kaye’s comment about her life and thought I had made a mistake. Becky, please leave this one here and omit the one under Kaye’s comment. I am so confused. This is what I get by thinking I can write supportive comments on too many posts. Sigh.

  33. Hi all! I am 56 (yikes, how did that happen??) and I live in Mount Airy, NC..some of you may have heard of it as Mayberry. Andy Griffith was born and raised here. I have been married for 38 years and have one daughter, Christie, who is a nurse in the mother/baby unit. Our only grandson is Colby and he is ten. LOVE my family! I love God and I love my church and church family. I used to do acrylic paintings and sell them but my eyesight prevents me from doing that anymore. :( I like to read and play bingo games on Facebook. I was just diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago and so now my mind is preoccupied and I feel like I am in a dream. It is going to be ok though cause God said it is and He is going to carry me thru this journey. God is good.

    • Kaye, it’s funny that Andy Griffith grew up in your town and now lives 2 minutes from our house! I just love those old Andy Griffith shows–he did such a great job as Andy!

      I know that your breast cancer journey is not something you look forward to but it sounds like you hae a wonderful husband and daughter (and grandson!) to walk you through it. And how wonderful that your daughter is a nurse; she can answer a lot of your practical medical questions.

      Blessings and grace to you as you enter this chapter of life.

    • And you keep holding on to hope, Kaye. Hopeful expectation is what has got me through the last eight years of several cancer diagnoses, and what a blessing that has been for me. When I first told God I could not handle this burden, His response was, “No, but I can. Just give this to me and you show up and be a light.” I learned that being a light for me means finding the God in every situation and being grateful for it…and for Him. So, please, stand firm on hopeful expectation, praise God for your healing as if you have already received it (and believe that you have), and absolutely know you can do this…and you are not doing it alone.

      Blessings and prayers!

      • Kaye, I erroneously re-posted this comment under you thinking you were Beveryly. I am so sorry. But the prayers and blessing are for you, too. You both were just diagnosed with breast cancer, and I know nothing works as well as prayers. That is the real treatment. That is where the blessings are. May you receive them with arms and heart wide open!

  34. Hi,

    My name is Cindy and I live in Sonoma CA. I have been retired for just over a year and a half. My three cats Lexy, Sophie, and Milo seem to like that a lot. My favorite things to do are gardening, baking, and cooking.

    For quite a few years I wrote to kids with cancer and Sarah was one of them. I had the pleasure of meeting the Smiths on my first trip to North Carolina when I was visiting a good friend who retired there. She and I have fallen in love with the Outer banks and travel there about twice a year, so I’ve had the good luck to visit with the Smith’s on each of these trips. I can’t wait to see them again in April!

    I too love chocolate and eat far to much of it.

  35. Thanks for the shoutout Becky! I’m glad I could be of service!

    As for the “Google+ Guru” title you graciously gave me… I love it! Although, I think I’ll modify it to just G+ru. You’ve helped me coin a new term! lol! ;)

    A little about me:

    Husband to the most beautiful wife in the world (sorry ladies) and father to a 2 month old future Superstar. I was born and raised in small town Sharon, PA and moved out to Los Angeles right after high school to pursue my dreams of being in the film industry. Until I book my first big blockbuster hit, I build websites, blogs, and online presences for individuals, brands and businesses.

    • Would you believe I know where Sharon is? We used to live in Canonsburg, PA!! Small world!

      • Dustin, having a 2-month old in the house is such a sweet time in life. I miss my babies! (They have this nasty habit of growing up!)

        I also know where Sharon, PA is, having sung there several times when our band was on the road. I was happy to give you the shout out and glad to know that you are embracing your Guru title!

  36. Hi Becky: My name is Mel and I am from Woodstock, Ontario Canada. I have been married 20 years. I have 2 boys, 17 and 14. I’m not sure how long I have been reading your blog but I come from the Caringbridge days so I know it has been quite a long time. I work full time for a printing company and I have my Grade 8 in piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music. I am not so much a chocolate lover but I have nothing against those who are!! My niece just found out she has been accepted into Christ for the Nations Bible College in British Columbia where there were only 28 openings into the program that she wanted so we are all very excited for her but filled with anxiety as it is so far away.

    • Mel, Grade 8 in piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music? Wow! Remind me to never play piano in front of you! My very first song was published by Christ for the Nations Bible College in
      Dallas, TX. I’m assuming the two schools are related? I know your niece must be so very, very excited to be going.

      Thanks for following the blog for so many years!

  37. Hello…my name is Krista and I am currently living in Grand Forks, ND. I’ll wait a second while you all laugh at me……….. Really, it’s not that bad! We are having a very mild winter. Hardly any snow and temps in the 20-40′s. Usually we have 2-3 feet of snow on the ground and temps in the negative…

    Before living in ND, I lived in Boise, ID for 17+ years. I met my (now) husband on eharmony.com and he happened to live in Bismarck, ND. It was a short courting before we got married. We were matched on Dec 18, 2009. We talked on the phone for the first time on Jan 11, 2010. We met for the first time on Feb 17, 2010. We were engaged on Feb 18,2010. We went through pre-marriage classes in April and we were married on May 22, 2010.

    He had 3 children from a previous marriage; Morgan is 9, Nick is 6 and Ben is 4. So, I am a step mommy. The children live with us full time, so it was a big change, but it’s working out just fine.

    I work at Amazon.com and LOVE it!! I’m in the call center and handle pre sales calls. My hubby, Tom, stays home with the kiddos and is going to school full time. It works out great for us both.

    It’s funny because until 6 years ago, my parents were living in Boise, too. But, my dad got a job offer to move to Grand Forks, ND. Of course, he took it, but I decided I didn’t want to live in ND! So, 2 years ago, I met my hubby who lived in ND…apparently God was telling me that I was going to live in ND whether I liked it or not =)

    I enjoy reading Christian Fiction (Karen Kingsbury and Robin Lee Hatcher are my faves!) and cooking. I also love to watch the Boston Red Sox and pro-wrestling (WWE and TNA)…again…I’ll stop while you laugh at me……….

    So…that’s the story of Krista.

    • OH!!! AND I’ve been reading both Sarah’s Spot and Smithellaneous for years! I don’t even remember how long. AND I LOVE IT!!! I never miss a post!!

      • Krista, I agree with Dustin; that’s a great story! You and your hubby must have felt a quick and strong connection to get married so quickly. Glad it’s working out well although I know you’ve had tons of adjustments with a move to a new town to get used to along with an instant family! I admire your flexibility and adventurous attitude. Wishing you many happy years together!

    • Great story! My birthday is actually Feb. 17th!

    • Krista, I love that you work for amazon.com! I use the site frequently because I live in an area where there are few shopping options and when you find something specific that you’re looking for you pretty much have to go online. I always figured Amazon must be run by magical elves . . . nice to virtually meet one!!

    • Amazon.com is my very FAVORITE place in the world. My sweet husband wishes I had never found that site. You can find virtually anything on that site!!!! How nice to meet one of the magic elves of Amazon.com

  38. Hello Becky-
    I am long time reader as well- sometimes I am amazed at how long I have been reading your blog/caringbridge site- I have enjoyed watching Nathan and Sarah grow into such wonderful young adults! I am from Illinois a town about 45 minutes from Chicago… I am not married any longer but have two wonderful children daughter 18 and son 15. I don’t have much time for hobbies these days as I work two jobs and am going to school to fulfill my lifelong dream.. becoming a nurse! I am hoping to eventually be working on a pediatric cancer floor. When I have time again for hobbies I want to learn to play the piano and decorate cakes.
    Have a great Monday
    Kim

    • Congratulations on pursuing your dreams Kim! I have also always wanted to learn the piano. The closest I’ve ever come though was learning a Justin Timberlake song via YouTube, and I had a friend teach me “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith so I could play it for my wife at our wedding (it was a surprise).

      • Thanks Dustin! It’s been a long road but I know the reward will be worth it! Congrats on your new little Superstar!

    • Wow–I am amazed by your story! Two kids, two jobs, and going to school to be a nurse, all done as a single mom? Your are to be applauded and admired for your diligence and discipline and for sticking with a demanding schedule in order to fulfill your dream.

      Sarah and I know very well how special pediatric cancer nurses are. Thank you for your willingness to pursue a difficult (but very rewarding) area of nursing. With your kind of persistence, I have no doubt that you will learn piano playing and cake decorating–no problem! You go!

  39. Hi Becky and everyone else :), My name is Nancy Irving, I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I was born and bred here (although I did live in Nova Scotia for a couple of years growing up). I have been married for 28 years, and am 53 years young. I have 3 amazing children, a 25 year old daughter, almost 20 year old son and 18 year old son. They are the loves of my life and I don’t know what I would do without them. We live in a 3 bedroom townhouse almost in downtown Toronto and we have 3 cats (muff, little and chance) and 1 big beautiful dog named willow. I have been reading smithellaneous/ sarah’s spot and now this blog since 2004. I loooovvvvvvveeeee chocolate as well and my hobbies are also photography, reading and listening to music (all types). I went on my only “bucket list” trip of a lifetime to Scotland (where my ancestors are from), England (also where my ancestors are from) and took a quick trip over to the eiffel tower, in 2009. It was the most amazing trip I have ever been on and I fulfilled a lifelong dream to research my ancestory and visit cemeteries to “meet” my grandfather, great grandparents and great great grandparents. I truly recommend it. Shameless plug – I would love to communicate with anyone from Scotland or England.
    I love being a part of the smithellaneous community and I start each day checking for updates :). Phew, I guess that’s me in a nutshell (covered in chocolate of course) :)

    • Nancy, well, Sarah and I are officially jealous. Our big dream is to go to England together and I would love to go to Scotland to take pictures! Thanks for the fun introduction of yourself; so nice to be able to put a background with your name. With 3 kids and 3 pets, it sounds like you have a busy, happy life.

      • If you ever get the chance Becky, you would love it. I took my two boys and we had an amazing time. We stayed in Edinburgh, Scotland, and in Fort Augustus, Scotland right on Loch Ness (sadly, we didn’t see Nessie while we were there). We did all the touristy tours and it was so wonderful. We also went to Bath, Stonehenge and stayed in London. I just loved London, so busy and so much history. The buildings in Edinburgh and London are amazing and I would love to go back to spend more time there. Buckingham Palace is beautiful as is most of London (at least I think so) :) Definitely plan to go with Sarah, it’s expensive but so worth it.

    • Wow! You’ve been to a lot of the places that I hope to visit some day. I’ve actually only been to Toronto once… it was for a Blue Jays game, and we actually spent the night in the stadium’s box-seat hotel room! It was awesome.

  40. Hi! my name is Peggy, I live in southern Wisconsin near Mayville. I have been married 17yrs and we have 5 children (his, mine and ours) we have 4 and one due in aug grandchildren. I have been following since the early carnigbridge days. I run cheese store and I love The Chicago Bears!!

    • Peggy, hooray for Wisconson!! I spent most of my growing up years there and love driving in the country and looking at farms and fields. And it’s lovely to meet another person who’s been here since the CB days!

    • I love me some cheese! What’s your favorite?

    • You live in Wisconsin and love the Chicago Bears and not the Green Bay Packers? Well, good for YOU! Sorry you don’t have a winning team to root for…but we are also diehard Chicago fans of all of the Chicago teams. So we don’t need winners…we just have discerning taste and profound loyalty, right?

      • Thanks’ okay, I live in Toronto and an a die hard Yankee’s fan (sorry Blue Jays). although when the Yankees play in Toronto, I just cheer for the best plays and not the best team :)

      • Our day is coming! I went to college in IL. and joined the Bears fan wagon when they won the super bowl, can’t just switch teams because they lose right! and it makes watching the games with my cheese head hubby much more fun! 2 of our daughters are also Bears fans!!

        • I’ll stay out of the football chatter since I barely know a football from a golf ball and have no favorite team. But if you all want to root for your favorite teams here–feel free! :-)

  41. I’m Jessica and I’ve been reading Smithellaneous for a few years now. I live in a suburb of Minneapolis here in the Frozen Tundra – except that its not so frozen this year. I have a 16 year old boy, a 17 month old boy, and Baby Boy #3 due March 10th. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for 4 years.

  42. Well Becky, it looks like I am the first one to leave a comment. I have been married for 42 wonderful years to the same man and he still takes my breath away. I have two grown children, a daughter, who is my firstborn and still the apple of my eye and a son more commonly known as the blue eyed baby boy ( you can probably guess he is the youngest). I have four grandchildren ages 14, 10, 10, and 5. Three girls and one boy. And might I just say that they are the smartest kids I have ever known. I guess if I had to name a hobby, it would be them. (case in point, I am hosting a slumber party for my oldest granddaughter’s birthday, am I a good Momaw or what?) We are active in our home church and I LOVE to sing. I also love to take pictures, although I am not nearly as good as you and Sarah. And like you, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE chocolate (especially if it is combined with peanut butter.)
    Now, do you know more about me?
    Oh and this, I look forward to reading your blog every day! You have a precious family

    Gail

  43. Hello,

    I thought I would take some time to introduce myself. My name is Chase and I’m from Denver Colorado. I have been living in Colorado for 15 years now and I’m originally from Texas. I have been a Smithellaneous reader ever since Becky first started the blog and I enjoy reading it every day.

    • Chase, what a cool name!

      My childhood friend whom I have known for almost 40 years lives in Denver and loves it; also, Nathan has said several times he would love to live there. So you have great taste in cities!

      Thanks for being a regular Smithellanous reader and thanks for signing in today!