Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Hehe…she said “wood”


I can’t believe I forgot – yesterday was my 5th anniversary here at Michelle Smiles.  In case you were wondering, the traditional gift is wood.  Feel free to shower me with wooden gifts.

Five years ago, I started this little blog hoping to become part of the online adoption community so that I could learn from all of you.  We had decided we were going to adopt and we were pretty sure Guatemala was the place for us but WOW I was naive and stupid.  I had no idea what I was getting us into.  But I made some amazing friends, spent some time in an gorgeous country, become a medium sized fish (briefly) in our little adoption blogging pond – now back to tadpole status out in the mommy blogger ocean, and brought home the most amazing little girl who is starting kindergarten in a few months.  Then I moved to TN, got knocked up, had a baby, and things started getting quiet here at Michelle Smiles.  That’s okay.  Despite the fact that I should probably hang up my blogging hat since I’m not much of a blogger, I’m too attached to my little corner of the blogosphere to give it up.

Thanks everyone for taking the ride with me.

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A lot of folks don’t bother with a blogroll anymore.  I don’t use mine much any more – I read through Google Reader most of the time.  As a result, it has been sadly neglected.  I did a little house cleaning.  I decided that there was no reason to categorize folks by country of adoption any more.  We are all just moms now.  And I weeded out some.  I took out those who went private or hadn’t blogged yet in 2010.  If you resume blogging or go public again, please let me know.  Thankfully, I am able to stay connected with a lot of folks who quit blogging via Facebook.

I read a lot of blogs that aren’t listed here.  I’ve branched my reading out to include random mommy bloggers, food bloggers, and even a few crafty/decorating bloggers.  I’m not sure if I will take the time to add all of those links.

Random cute photo (Tessa’s head looks ginormous in this photo for some reason):


posted under blog, Blogroll | 6 Comments »

See spot run


Steve’s parents arrived today so posting might be spotty while they are in town.  I’m drafting a post about adoption vs biology because I’ve been giving that a lot of thought lately.  I don’t want to rush it because I don’t touch on the subject often (I keep things pretty light around here these days).  Look for that – otherwise I’ll try and slap up some photos so you all know I’m still alive and well.

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How to make Michelle put on a dress


img000022Saturday night, I put on a dress, slapped on some make-up, did my hair, and had dinner downtown.  Thanks to Amy and Jamie for gathering some of the local bloggers who weren’t able to go to BlogHer for some fun right here at home.  (I snapped this photo with my webcam at 11:30pm so forgive the quality and the lack of make-up…I just thought I would preserve the proof that I did occasionally put on something other than a t-shirt and do something that doesn’t involved a clip with my hair.)

margaritahergroupIt was a lovely bunch of women!  I met Calie who lives down the street from me.  I sat next to Lori who was delightful (and I swear she is familiar).  I had a chance to chat with Meredith and Jordana and Ashley and Malia – all of whom I adore.  I was only able to say hello in passing to the others at our long table – and a few I didn’t even get a chance to do that much.  (This photo stolen borrowed from Jamie.)

It was great to get out and have some rowdy conversations and yummy margaritas!

margaritahersmallgroup(Also stolen borrowed from Jamie.  Flickr didn’t make it easy – I had to work at it!) That is Jordana, me, Lori, and Jessie.

dsc00215 (This one is mine.)  And yes, Ashley is really this smiley and cute and Meredith is really that gracious and lovely in person.

posted under blog, nashville | 8 Comments »

Top Ten Reasons I’m not at BlogHer


10. Can I still call it baby weight when she is turning a year old in less than a week?

9. I haven’t worn fashionable shoes in so long my feet would likely rebel.  I live in sandals but I would feel compelled to dig out my grown up shoes if I went to Chicago and likely would be rendered unable to walk before my plane landed.

8.  It seems like a lot of money to spend on my little blogging hobby – especially since my blog doesn’t generate any income.

7.  My tolerance is shot.  Between 27 9 months of pregnancy and having 2 small children, a single glass of wine makes me start winking suggestively at my husband.  Two glasses and I start snorting when I laugh and giggling at everything I say (because I am hysterical when I drink).

6.  My current wardrobe shouldn’t travel outside of my house let alone the state of TN.

5.  My tens of readers would be disappointed to find I’m no where near as witty in person (shut up – I am too witty on my blog sometimes).

4.  I’ve forgotten how to make small talk that doesn’t revolve around potty training and making the switch to toddler beds.  I used to be able to converse about exotic topics like politics, travel, and societal issues but I think that space in my brain is now occupied  by the words to the Dora the Explorer and the Olivia theme songs.

3.  Have you seen how cute my kids are?  And my fabulous hubby? I would miss them if I left for 4 days.

2.  I would miss my wine and cheese themed Bunco party tonight and Margarita-her tomorrow.

1.  Being a stay at home mom doesn’t pay particularly well.  I love the sloppy kisses and hugs but I’m pretty sure BlogHer and the airlines and the Sheraton in Chicago would want actual dollars and I don’t have a lot of extras of those lying around.


posted under blog | 19 Comments »

Ready for some football!!!


Look what I won on Mommy Bits Reviews – The Ultimate Super Bowl Party Pack from Pepsi!

This awesome prize includes everything you need to host an awesome Super Bowl party:

  • 1 football
  • 1 beverage pail
  • 1 snack helmet
  • 2 key chains
  • 2 hats
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 5 Pepsi 24 pack coupons (free diet pepsi – woohoo!)
  • 5 Frito Lay coupons

It came today!


So excited to celebrate the Super Bowl in style!


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Lessons Learned


Things Blissdom ’08 taught me

Edited to add: Blissdom 08 was a blogging conference hosted by Blissfully Domestic.  The lovely bloggers speaking talked about marketing, making money, branding, etc – it was all about how to maximize your blogging efforts if you are looking to take blogging to the next level.  It was born after BlogHer cancelled their Nashville stop.

* Despite my tendency to not act like a “normal” girl, I do have girlie moments as evidenced by my husband suggesting that my outfit would be fine with different pants and the resulting meltdown over my not having any other pants that fit my post-partum ass self and my rejection of the suggestion that we go buy some because I don’t want to acknowledge that this current body of mine might be sticking around long enough to make purchases for it.  That was the longest run on sentence in the history of sentences.

* I’m breaking all of the rules for successful blogging and not in a cool rebel kind of way – more of a clueless doofus kind of way.

* Keep it short.  Ha.  See above for longest sentence ever.  I’m incapable of keeping it short.

* Twitter.  I’ve been ignoring it despite everyone talking about it.  I jumped.  I have no idea if I will use it much or not but you can find me as MichelleSmiles on Twitter.  So what – email is too slow now?  But all of the cool kids at Blissdom 08 love it so I’ll give it a try.

* People who make money at this gig work hard to do so.  Really hard.

* Remember to respect the brand – don’t think of yourself as “just” a mommy blogger.  You have the power to communicate to an audience.  Don’t underestimate the value of that power.  (“Because I’m strong enough and smart enough and dog-gone-it people like me.” Sorry…channeling Stuart Smiley for a moment there.)

* I don’t blog to make money (good thing considering I don’t).  I don’t want to turn my blog into a job or obligation.  I blog because it lets me connect with all of you on days when I might not leave the House of Poop and Whine.  It is cathartic and fun.  But I like hearing what others are doing – maybe some day I’ll have an idea for another kind of blogging gig where I might make a buck or two.  And if not, I still get to meet all of these great blogging queens.

* I have a girl crush on Megan after hearing her talk all day.  She acts out loud like I do in my head.  Love her.  Yet didn’t speak to her – I’m a dork.

* Swag bags rock!  Does anyone know what to do with a soap nut?  Now that I know they didn’t put turds in my swag  bag I’m trying to figure out what to do with them.

* My husband and children can survive 9 hours without me.  My blouse, however, doesn’t fair as well when I go that long without nursing.

* Epson made it possible for this fabulous free event.  They sent some of the Epson Artisan 800 printers to the event so pictures were being printed all day long.  I have to tell you that the pictures were great!  And it prints 8x10s – not just the little 4×6.

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I think Google just insulted me


I always laugh when I check out the google searches that lead people here.  A couple of fellow bloggers have revealed their searches recently so I thought I would join the fun.

Fat+Heifer – that isn’t very nice google, just what are you trying to say?

35 weeks pregnant pants are tight – I feel your pain…hence the bad floral pants in the last photo of me

world smoles nipple – no idea what that means or how it leads to me

beautiful baby girl – so Google insults me but thinks my kid is adorable…guess that is fair

feeling cranky at 34 weeks pregnant – Steve stop googling…I said I was sorry for snapping at you

scrambled eggs + slang phrase – ummm…yeah, not sure how to use that one in a sentence “Back off or I’ll go all scrambled eggs on your ass”?

Very Cranky – Steve I said I was sorry!  Let it go!

Drive like a Nashvillian – This one is easy.  When the light turns green, stop and think about it before you rush to press the gas pedal.  Don’t use your turn signal and drive in the left lane while going slightly slower than traffic in the right lane.  And always drive slightly slower than the speed limit when a pregnant woman in the car behind you has to go to the bathroom.

Free cheesecake – Where?

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Blog World Saves the Day


Mere hours after I piously responsibly chose to have a salad rather than the grease/fat fest I was craving…what to my wondering eyes should appear?  Some super yummy cupcakes from my favorite red headed blogger.  Thanks my dear Tricia for satisfying both mommy and Tessa!  Despite all she has going on in her world, she wanted to make sure I had some sugary goodness to put a smile on my face and a kick in Tessa’s day.

I have decided to save 1 as a treat for after Miss Tessa’s arrival to be eaten in the hospital once I’ve stopped drooling from whatever good drugs they pump me full of.  The other 3 will likely be gone before the weekend comes to a close.  I’m circling around them and drooling trying to decide which one to try first.  Oh the joy!

posted under blog, Pregnancy | 5 Comments »

Meeting Nashvillians


Just a quick post from Michelle’s technical support team.

I very much enjoyed meeting other folks in town who share the same experiences as us. I rarely get to meet new people here in town as almost all of my time is taken up with work and being a dad, so interacting with other men (and women) who aren’t in that world is a big bonus. I’m really looking to meet some guys in my area who share common interests, and barring walking up to perfect strangers and asking, “Will you be my friend? I have beer, and my wife is hot!”, events like this are my best avenues.

As for the addition to Michelle’s site today, I am wholly responsible for that, so if you start seeing links that have nothing to do with the content of this site, please bear with me as I figure out the nuances of Google and get relevant items showing up.

I’m currently developing a small site that we can use to share information, pictures and details about any future picnics for us Middle Tennessee adoptive parents.

Coming soon to a theater near you…. adoptiveparentspicnic.org

And if you see any errors occur, please remember that it’s an undocumented feature…. not a bug.

posted under blog, nashville | 8 Comments »
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