Friday, December 30, 2011

Family newsletter 2011

Yet another year has come and gone and it is amazing how the older we get the faster the year flies by. We are so lucky to have great friends and family with which to spend time and make memories.

Brodi is now in his third year of medical school at Des Moines University (DMU) and enjoying it all the more. This year is his first, of two, rotation years so he gets to be out in the field with doctors and patients, which he is thoroughly enjoying. He has now made the decision that he wants to become a plastic surgeon. This means after medical school he will be doing a five year general surgery residency (which we have no idea where that will be) then he will do a two year fellowship with a plastic surgeon. Brodi has a little more time to dabble in his hobbies this year and is still enjoying his tabletop games and video games and more time with his son. Brodi is now teaching the 16-17 year old kids in Sunday school and loves being able to work with them (he is a really great teacher).

Dana has been keeping herself busy (as usual). The most time consuming is being a mother, but it is worth every minute. She has also joined the board for SOS (Significant Other Support) through DMU (Des Moines University) where Brodi is going to school. She is in charge of the craft club, so she gets to teach and learn all sorts of new things. She has been knitting quite a bit and truly loves it, and loves being a part of the knitting club through SOS. She has also joined a cooking club, photography club, and a couple different play groups. Her Acrobalance team has really been doing a lot this year and she even convinced Brodi to do some things too. If you would like to see the video go to and type in “Flying Eagles Acrobalance Art Festival” or watch Brodi and I by typing in “Brodi and Dana Acrobalance”. She is still working with the young women (12-18, but mostly the 12 and 13 year olds) in her church, and has loved every moment of it. She has a great group of leaders to work with and a great group of girls who teach her so much.

Atticus turned one at the beginning of the year and about a month later started walking on his own and hasn’t slowed down since. He is now talking in small sentences and has a lot to say about everything. It is amazing how much he knows and understands. He may not be able to say every word, but he sure seems to understand everything we say. This is very helpful when trying to find the keys or phone that he has hidden. We may be bias, but he really is a cute kid(but really he is adorable!). He loves to dance and jump around or pretty much do anything to be the center of attention (a lot like is mom). His favorite things seem to be cars, animals, guns, and really any type of weapon. He LOVES the PBS TV show Dinosaur Train and Dana has learned a lot about dinosaurs because of this.

We are all out in Idaho right now because Brodi had four rotations out here. He left Iowa in the middle of October for a OB/GYN, plastic surgery, anesthesia, and is currently in general surgery rotation. Atticus and Dana stayed in Iowa for the first two months then went out to Florida with her mom for a small family reunion. It was great to see all her family. She spent lots of time with her Aunt Marti, Berti, and Heidi, and Cousins Lindsey, Emily, and William. Atticus had a blast playing with William and Dana liked having a little alone time. We also were able to see both Uncle Phil and Uncle Pete and his wife, Julie. My grandparents seem to be doing really well and it is hard to believe my grandfather will be 90 this coming year. Dana misses her family a lot and wishes she could be around them more. They are all so much fun to be around. After Florida, the family was reunited again and we are currently staying with Brodi’s parents until the end of January, when we go back to Iowa.

It was nice being able to spend Christmas with Brodi’s family, but we missed Dana’s parents too. Brodi’s sister, Morgan recently got back from a year and a half mission in the Czech Republic and is now engaged to her high school sweetheart. They will be getting married in March which means another trip out to Idaho, but this will have to be a very short one.

It has been another great year and we have truly enjoyed being able to be a part of so many things. We hope you are having a fantastic end to your year and we look forward to hearing all about your adventures as well. Here are some pictures to sum up our last year:

photo taken by Christia Palizzi (Oct 2011)

photo taken by Christia Palizzi (Oct 2011)

One year photos taken by Christia Palizzi (Feb 2011)

One year photos taken by Christia Palizzi (Feb 2011)

My little stud (photo by Dana)

Family vacation in Idaho

Photo at Ren Faire, where the acrobalance team performed this year

Atticus visiting Santa with the same friend from last year

4 generations J

Flying Eagles Acrobalance team performing at the Art Festival (Brodi is on the ground on the left and Dana is directly in the middle)

Atticus relaxing by the pool


Brodi and Dana doing their routine

Best wishes,

Brodi, Dana, and Atticus Smith

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Ok, after this post I am all caught up with my blogging until next month; unless I am feeling ambitious and write TWICE in once month...Probably not lol :)

February was a really fun month for all of us. Brodi has been staying home and studying once or twice a week, which is great! We don't really get to hang out, but it is just nice to have him here and when he does take a break he gets to play with Atticus a little bit, which is really good for both of them. We found out that we will be staying in the Des Moines area for Brodi's third year of medical school which is great. We were hoping to get the surgery rotation at Mercy, but that didn't work out which is probably a good thing because it would have been a little more demanding on Brodi's time so this way he can spend some more time with us. We are all looking forward to him being done with his second year so that when he is home, he is actually home and shouldn't have to study the rest of the night like he does right now.

We had a lot fun things go on this month, starting with the Chinese New Year's celebration at DMACC that I performed with our acrobalance team in. It went really well, which I was very happy about because it had been about five years since I had done any of that stuff. It has been great getting the team back together and working of new and cooler things, while perfecting the old stuff too.
For Valentine's Day we were not able to do anything on the 14th because Brodi had a really hard test the next day, but I decided I would make a special diner at home the next day and sprung to buy some crab legs at Wal-Mart. They tasted great, but there was one problem, I did not think about how we were going to eat them; so, we ended up having to use our hands to break them and our fondue skewers to get the meat out. It was actually pretty funny. The next weekend we used one of our gift cards to go to the Outback which was a lot of fun. We brought Atticus with and he ate almost an entire loaf of their pumpernickel bread by himself! He is now eating whatever we eat and no longer eating any baby food.

That same weekend we went out Atticus was really sick, but he also started doing a TON more stuff. He started pointing at things, dancing, clapping, putting his toy balls in the toy they belong in, and walking a lot more. He will now walk across our living room!!! It is amazing how he just all of a sudden started doing all of this at once. It is hard to believe he is already 13 months. We also had a good friend, and great photographer, take some one year pictures of him and they all turned out so well, it is really hard to decide which ones I want to post on here. (If you live in the Des Moines area and want her info, let me know and I will get it to you, she's awesome)

As for me, I just finished up my level one sign language class. It was a ton of fun and I really loved it. I need to figure a way to keep it up though, I really want to go on with it and become (somewhat) fluent in it. It is really hard, but so fun to do, my only complaint is my hands would always get sore lol. (It was worth it though) There is a woman my mom knows a the library who is deaf, so I am hoping to get together with her a couple times a month to learn more and keep up what I know. My knowledge is limited to VERY basic conversations about family, weather, dates, colors, and numbers :) and a few others that I learned through baby signing. Atticus seems to understand certain signs I use now, but he is not doing them for himself yet. It is great being at home with him and watching him grow every day. Other than that, I am not really up to much. My church position is going great and I LOVE working with the youth girls, I learn so much from them all the time, including how old I am getting :( But it's ok.

Finally, last weekend was the DMU Winter Gala, which was soooooo much fun!!! We went out the dinner at the 801 Chophouse with our friends Ellen and Bradly, which was AMAZING! It was, by far, the most expensive meal I have ever even seen, but it was so worth it. We got a great deal through groupons and were able to eat there for about half the price, but it was still a pretty big chunk of change. When we walked in we were kindly greeted and they took our coats, then we were shown to our table. Our waitress brought us the "meat tray" that showed all the different cuts of meat and she explained them all to us along with the different ways to prepare them. I got the ribeye and Brodi got a 2lb lobster and then we shared so we could have a little surf and turf. The steak was the BEST steak I have EVER had in my entire life. I honestly didn't know steak could taste this good, it just melted in my mouth. We also shared a fried zucchini side which was really good too. Our friends got the veal and a lobster pasta dish and they said they really enjoyed it too. When we were done with dinner we walked over to the dance because it was only about two blocks away and we had dessert and talked with some of our friends there. They had a great dessert table with Bachlava (I don't know how to spell that) and a chocolate fountain with cream puffs and fruits to dip. It was delicious, but I was so stuffed from dinner I could barely eat any of it. When we were done there we went to the other room where there was a lot of dancing going on and danced the night away. It was a lot of fun, but there were quit a few inebriated students there though. At one point a random guy just jumped between Brodi and I and was like "Woo hoo!" and jumping all over/I think attempting to dance lol, but it was still a lot of fun and just made us laugh. I really enjoyed the Gala even more this year than last. I thought the DJ was much better than a live band and the Temple of Performing Arts was a great place to have it. The staff there was great, plus having the two rooms made it fun so there was loud music with dancing in the one room, but there was another room that was quiet enough you could actually have a conversation without screaming at each other. I really want to go again next year and I hope they have it at the same place.

The Smiths

Sunday, February 27, 2011


So, I thought I had written a post for January, but I just posted my family news letter from last year, so that doesn't really count, so I am attempting to make up for that by pretty much typing what I wrote in my journal for January because my goal was to write on our blog at least once a month.

January was not really an eventful month. We got back from Idaho and got right back into the swing of things. Brodi started school up again and has been going strong with that. I am staying busy with a couple play groups a week, groceries, bills, knitting, and running around chasing Atticus. He is getting so big. Sadly, he is still not walking yet, but he is crawling really fast. It is so fun being at home playing with him.

We celebrated Atticus' birthday the last Saturday in January and it was a TON of fun. I was running around like crazy getting ready for the party and trying to stay in budget. We decided to go with a dinosaur theme party and I made a lot of the decorations with my Cricut machine, the rest I got all around town. It was pretty stressful, but worth it. I even made his cake! I think it turned out really well. I wasn't able to socialize as much as I would have like to, but that's part of being a host, and I think everyone had fun still. There were about 35 people who who came to his party, and that was keeping it low key. He is so loved :)
Atticus is starting to walk a little more, but he is still not walking on his own. He does really well with a toy or along furniture, but he will only take about 2-3 steps and basically fall into me. He is playing by himself a little better now, which is nice for me so I can actually get some cleaning done and cook diner (occasionally lol) It seems like it is taking forever for him to start saying words, he occasionally says "dada" but he doesn't seem to say "mama" but I think he might be saying a form of Dana because he says "nayna" when trying to get my attention.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Smith Family newsletter

This year has been one of our craziest years so far. Throughout the year we have had our ups and downs; welcoming life and saying good-bye to a dear friend and some family, but overall it has been a pretty good year.

Brodi is enjoying medical school (as much as he can) and thoroughly loves learning, but is ready to get out there and start practicing on real people. He has been a TA (teacher’s assistant) for his surgery class and has been teaching his fellow classmates how to tie surgical knots and all sorts of things. When he gets a free moment (as they are rare) he enjoys playing some tabletop games and his video games. He has been teaching the 12-13 year old kids in Sunday school and loves being able to work with them (he is a really great teacher).

Dana has been keeping herself busy (as usual). The most time consuming is being a mother, but it is worth every minute. She has also joined the board for SOS (Significant Other Support) through DMU (Des Moines University) where Brodi is going to school. She is in charge of the craft club, so she gets to teach and learn all sorts of new things. She has been knitting quite a bit and truly loves doing it and being a part of the knitting club through SOS. She has also joined a cooking club, photography club, and a couple different play groups. At the beginning of the year she started working with the young women (12-18 years old) in her church, and has loved every moment of it. She has a great group of leaders to work with and a great group of girls who teach her so much.

Atticus has been growing like crazy! He has hit almost every milestone to be expected in the first year. He started rolling over when he was just two months old, from his back to his tummy; he has never liked being on his back. Then when he was about four months old he started sitting up on his own. At six months he started crawling, but it was a weird “army crawl” that I called my “wounded soldier” because he looked just like a wounded soldier crawling to safety. He finally started crawling for real about a month later, and not much after that he was pulling himself up and walking along furniture. He is now babbling like crazy and pushes toys around to walk, so I don’t think it will be too long before he starts taking a few steps on his own, but we’ll see. We have been struggling with getting him to eat solid food, but he is finally starting to get the hang of it.

Throughout the year we have hit some milestones worth mentioning. First, and most important, was the birth of our son Atticus Bradon Smith. At a whopping 8lbs 11ounces and 21 inches long, he was a big boy! We were so happy to welcome him into our family.

He was given a blessing in our church in Waukee, Iowa in March and both sets of parents were able to come to that, along with our friends the McGee’s (who also welcomed a son, Colton, into their family just three weeks before us). Also in that month Atticus got his first cousin, Elijiah!

For Easter Colton (the McGee’s son) and Atticus, got dressed up in the same outfit and took some pictures with the Easter Bunny. In May our good friends Dave and Brandy got married and were able to be a special part in their day as an usher and greeter. This was the first wedding Atticus ever went to. Our other friends, Mike and Angela also got married in the same month, so it was a great month for us and our friends.

We spent June in Idaho with Brodi’s family and had a great time. We did so much it is hard to put it in words. While we were there we took a Smith family vacation up to Glacier National Park and had a blast. We loved the hiking and wildlife and got to see all sorts of things from waterfalls and elk to BEARS (that was Dana’s favorite). It was fun to let the cousins play together and to be with family.

While in Idaho, we also got to see our great friends Scott and Roberta White (and their son Logan) and Mike and Jenny McCullough (and their daughter) it was great being able to catch up with them, I just wish we had more time.The month went by way too fast.

At the end of our trip we made a detour up to North Dakota for a family reunion/50th anniversary (on Dana’s side). We met her parents there and enjoyed seeing almost all her family.

On the way home we stopped at the Mall of America for a day of fun and the world’s largest ball of twine!

We didn’t get to celebrate the 4th of July much because we were traveling on that day, but lucky for us, the fireworks back in Iowa were postponed due to rain so we were able to see them about a week later on the 9th and our friend Brandy joined us. Surprisingly, Atticus really enjoyed them.

Brodi started school back up at the end of July, it was really hard getting back to “real life” after having over a month to just play as a family. We also celebrated our 4th year of marriage on July 7th. In the beginning of August, Dana and Atticus traveled back out to Idaho for the funeral of our dear friend Mike McCullough, who died unexpectedly. It was nice to be around family and friends again, but a very trying time as well.

Brodi and Dana celebrated their birthday in September, but there is not much to be said about that, just another year older and wiser too. For Halloween this year we dressed up as Star Wars characters! Brodi was Anakin, Dana was Padme, and Atticus was our Yoda.

They were great costumes and I suspect we will be doing this for many years to come. We spent Thanksgiving at Dana’s parent’s house with the missionaries and a friend of her parents’, M.L. and that pretty much brings us to today. We are excited for Christmas and Atticus recently saw Santa for the first time! He and Colton McGee got their picture taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus together dressed alike again, we had so many people ask if they were twins! We will be leaving soon for Christmas in Idaho and can’t wait! We look forward to seeing friends and family again when we get there. This year the whole Smith family will be there, except Morgan, who is currently serving a mission in the Czech Republic. We look forward to an even better year to come with new milestones and love in our lives…

The Smiths

Friday, April 16, 2010

Daddy and son

I took these pictures for the photography class I was doing. I LOVE the way it turned out.


So, we are all doing well. As you can see Atticus is sleeping through the night, which means so am I! I! I never thought this day would come. We officially have a thumb sucker, he almost never takes his pacifier, but he loves his thumb. It is sooo fun being a mom. Everyday we work on sitting by ourselves, standing, playing with toys, and so much more. I love watching him grow and develop. Yet, I am almost sad to watch him grow so fast. I feel like my baby is going to be gone before I know it, so I am treasuring every day with him.

I am currently staying very busy. I have a new calling in church, that I am loving, I am the Young Women's Secretary. I think my other calling in life (other than being a mom) is to be a secretary. I was the Relief Society Secretary in our last ward and I had a job as a secretary for about 2 1/2 years in Rexburg. I love it so I am definitely not complaining. I am still participating in the knitting club at DMU and loving that. I have learned so much already and hope to continue learning more. I started getting more into photography again and there is a girl in my ward who is teaching some classes which is great. I NEED the refresher, I feel like I have forgotten almost everything. I have also been working out more (trying to lose that baby weight). I do aerobics on Mondays and Wednesdays and I go walking about a mile or two almost every day. I am still having a hard time with losing it though. I want to start learning sign language, but I need to find/make the time. There is a deaf woman willing to teach me and I can't wait to learn, but I am just now feeling like I might be able to make the time with my son, so I think I will email her soon.

Brodi is doing well. Not a whole lot to report with him. He is doing very well in school and I think he is enjoying it, at least as much as he can. It's hard to believe he is almost done with his first year. He is finished the last week of May and then we are going to head out to Idaho for the month if June. We are very excited for this trip :)

That's our life in a nutshell for now. I will write more as things change.


Atticus has started sleeping through the night!!! This is how I see him pretty much every morning when I go to wake him up to eat. He is so precious :)