Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.



You guys rock.  I knew lots of you would send me virtual love and hugs but I am just floored by how many of you took the time to say you are thinking about us.  70+ Comments and countless private email and even an e-Hallmark yesterday.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  And for those who worried that “I’m sorry” wasn’t sufficient – it isn’t the words.  Just knowing that so many are thinking of us and care enough to say so touches me greatly.

I’m feeling pretty good today.  I had myself a little pity party while Sabrina napped yesterday then I pulled myself together and spent the day kissing and hugging Sabrina to the point of annoying her.   The most annoying part of all of this is knowing that I am just waiting for the pregnancy to end itself but I still feel pregnant.  No, not throwing up just assorted sore body parts and minor twinges associated with it.  They wouldn’t be worth complaining about it they weren’t a constant reminder of my impending miscarriage.  But, that just proves what I tell my hubby sometimes – it sucks to be a girl.

Today is the END of NaBloPoMo!  WOOHOO!  Thank God November doesn’t have 31 days.  I’m taking the weekend off (unless something interesting happens) so I’ll see you kids on Monday.

Okay, can’t have 2 downer posts in a row so here is some Sabrina cuteness to hold everyone through the weekend.   She is doing great – walking a little more every day but still wouldn’t say she has taken off yet (Phew!).




posted under family | 28 Comments »

Got the mop?


Sorry for the suspense…I was hoping to have good news to share with Blog Land today.  Alas, not the case.  The secret I’ve been keeping?


I was briefly hoping this pregnancy might end differently than my others.  Unfortunately not the case.  I am 7 weeks today and the ultrasound showed no heartbeat.  The doctor gave me the same spiel I’ve received each of the other times I’ve gone through this (felt rather Groundhog Day-ish) about how I might not have ovulated when I thought and it might be earlier than we think – yada yada yada.  She scheduled me to come back in for a follow up but I anticipate this will resolve itself before that is necessary.

I’m okay – really.  Having Sabrina makes this easier than my past miscarriages.  We weren’t trying but we weren’t not trying either – it was a happy secret for a week.  I wasn’t going to share at all if things didn’t turn out well…but hell, I blog everything else I knew I couldn’t keep it in regardless of the outcome.

Sorry to the my play group mommies that I missed today because my appointment went so long.  I hope we can do it again soon.

posted under family | 83 Comments »

Home stretch


This NaBloPoMo crap is almost done!  I post frequently but this daily requirement has been a bit of a thorn in my side.

I started this blog a little more than 18 months ago.  At the time, I felt a little silly.  I couldn’t imagine who would care what I had to say.  I had no idea how cathartic writing to my stranger friends could be.  I didn’t realize the kind of relationships that could be developed in this forum.  But I’ve reached a point where it is part of who I am – I am a blogger (which makes me feel like I should have “GEEK” tattooed on my forehead).  There are occasions when something happens that I don’t feel like I can share with the whole world wide web and the longer I blog, the stranger it feels when that happens.  I look forward to the cheering or support from my blog peeps.  I point this out because I’ve been keeping a big old secret for about a week now.  It has taken a lot of will power to keep this secret from all of you.  Tomorrow I should finally be able to discuss this piece of news.  We will either celebrate a little or you can all mop me up because I’ll be a big old puddle on the floor.

Blame NaBloPoMo for the suspense…if it wasn’t for my daily posting requirement, I wouldn’t have said anything until tomorrow.  But I have nothing else for you today so you get a little cliffhanger.  Tune in tomorrow afternoon!

posted under Misc. | 40 Comments »

First Pigtails


How on Earth do all of you manage to get pigtails in your child’s hair?  Sabrina is way too busy to sit still and let me play with her hair.  I’m luck to get a barrette in.  I did finally manage to get her very first (and very messy) pigtails in today.  They lasted for 15 minutes until she realized they were there and promptly yanked them out.



Does anyone else have this toy cat?  You press a button on it’s belly and it meows and vibrates.  It is really loud and rather annoying.  Somehow we ended up with 2 of them without buying even 1.  Sabrina can honestly play with this thing for an hour straight.  She will just hold the button down and laugh while it meows and vibrates.  Or maybe she is laughing at the nerve in mommy’s eyelid starting to twitch after 5 minutes of listening to it.  And she has figured out where the on/off switch is so I can’t even turn it off.

Steve’s out of town for a couple of days so I am playing single mom.  Hats off to all of you out there who do it 365 because it is rough knowing there is no one to hand off to in the evening.

posted under family | 23 Comments »

Photo Shoot Aborted


I’ve had several people comment on always having such good photos of Sabrina to post. When asked, I share that my secrets are taking A LOT of photos (I probably only keep 25% of what I take and only post a small portion of those) and good cropping. I decided that I would take a photo for our Christmas card this morning. Sabrina is usually a semi-cooperate subject. That wasn’t the case this morning. Shall we see the best of the best?

Smiling but eyes closed and walking away from me. The only smile in the bunch.


Not an expression wishing others a season of joy.


Oh look, something shiny.


When she pulled out the pouty lip, we knew it was time to give it up. This is my favorite photo but obviously not Christmas card material. We’ll try again another day.


posted under family | 15 Comments »

A few of my favorite things


With the holidays coming and NaBloPoMo requiring daily posting, I thought I would share a few things I like that might give someone a gift idea. By the way, I’m not Oprah so don’t think everyone in my audience is getting one of each thing I love.

We went to the monthly flea market yesterday. I was so excited to find one of my favorite vendors. It sounds stupid but they make the best vegetable peeler ever. My Aunt Helen bought me a peeler and a knife years ago. An old roommate accidentally threw away the peeler with the potato peelings and I spent years searching for a decent peeler again – I drove my mom crazy with it. I finally found the same one at a flea market and promptly bought one for everyone I knew. I was at my mom’s and she still had one of the knives I had given her and the sucker was till sharp. Today, I bought some knives – they are a decent knife for a good price. They hold their edge well.

I was excited to finally find my favorite hair product in a store around here. Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray rocks. When I moved to Pittsburgh, I had to start ordering it on line – now I can just drive to a ridiculously expensive pedestrian shopping area and buy it.

Every 3rd person has a RAZR phone these days. I’ve had one for a couple of years and am quite happy with it. I found this leather case for mine to protect the phone (although mine is a cute apple green and right now they are only showing black). I love the case and it has held up for 2 years. I was hesitant at first because it was a little pricey but it was worth every penny.

I tried this make up starter kit last year and after getting the hang of using it, love it. Bare Minerals is especially great in the summer when you don’t want heavy make up running off your face while glistening in the southern sun. And it lasts a really long time. I will say that I still use another concealer under my eyes because this stuff doesn’t even touch my ever present horrible dark circles. Anyone have an under eye concealer they love?

My SIL, Krista, always gives fabulous gifts. Last year, one of my favorite gifts was a basket of Burt’s Bees baby products. The products aren’t super cheap but it was so nice to get to try them all before deciding if I wanted to invest in them for regular use. We like Burt’s Bees products and have really enjoyed trying all of the baby stuff. A great gift for a mom of a little one.

My mom is a huge fan of Origins products. She has given me some gift sets over the last few years. I love them – they smell amazing and feel wonderful. I like them enough that I’ve gotten gifts sets for others. Here is a great way to try some of the products. Trust me…the ginger smells heavenly.

We all love the coffee in Guatemala but Starbuck’s Guatemalan blend just doesn’t cut it (at least for me). I haven’t ordered from this site yet but I’ve been told it is as good as what I brought home from Guatemala. I had some at my mom’s and thought it was pretty darn close.

We used to have a big professional looking digital camera. It took great shots but was so big that we rarely took it anywhere with us. It was stolen and we replaced it with a pocket size camera that we love. It is small enough to put in my purse or Steve’s pocket and goes with us everywhere. It is easy to use – it has a huge screen on the back and most of the menus are accessed through a touch screen navigation on the camera – no more remembering what button does what.

I love having self inking address stampers. I always buy one for every place I live. Here are some particularly nice ones that would make a lovely gift for the parent or friend who has every thing. If they are out of your budget range, you can always find a cheaper version here (the one I have).

And lastly, I always enjoy getting and giving products from The Children’s Art Project. All of the products are based on the art work of pediatric cancer patients – the revenue earned is used to enhance patient services. The products are cute and the proceeds go to a good cause – helping children with cancer have more normal childhoods. Doesn’t get much better than that!

posted under Misc. | 9 Comments »

Not Miss Congeniality



Starfish was given this award and then passed it on to several other bloggers who (in her words):

“You are receiving this honor because you have embodied perseverance in the face of difficulty and shared the journey of your experiences with others proving that a single voice can both be a light of support and a source or humor for those in the midst of their struggle. You are acknowledged here today for allowing others to share in your personal story and providing camaraderie through the power of your words.”

I was incredibly honored when I saw I was one of her choices for this badge of courage.  I didn’t immediately post about it because I wasn’t feeling very worthy of it at that moment.  I’ve seen many of the people I would consider passing it on to have already received it from others and I’ve lost track of who hasn’t received it.  So my lazy butt is simply going to dedicate it to all bloggers who put themselves out there to make connections with other people out there in blogland.  It can be hard to as honest as is safe (can’t reveal some things to the internet) and just putting it out there for anyone to read and criticize.

posted under blog | 2 Comments »

Please ignore the fact my pants are unbuttoned


Yesterday? Fabulous. We missed being with our families but I have to say that aside, it was a great day. The meal was outstanding (if I do say so myself). Later we went to visit Cynthia and her mom.  We played Boggle and Steve was amazed to find that not only are there now 2 women who can kick his ass, there is one out there who can kick mine. Huh. We also spent about an hour just laughing at the antics of Miss Sabrina.

No Black Friday shopping for me.  I don’t do 4am and I’m not a big fan of crowds.  Especially when those crowds are made up of frenzied women willing to beat me down for 50% off the latest Elmo toy.  I just can’t imagine there are any deals good enough to compensate me for the pain of actually dragging myself out of bed at that hour and standing in line in the cold (holy crap is it cold – I thought we moved to the south!) while I dodge the elbows being throw by others jockeying for position.

Sabrina and I are excited to have Steve to ourselves for a long weekend.  If it gets a little warmer we might venture out but for now my butt is planted solidly on the couch.  Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

posted under family | 11 Comments »



The top 10 things I am thankful for today:

1.  The most wonderful husband in the world.

2.  Sabrina is home.  She brings immeasurable joy to us each day.

3.  Friends and family – everyone is healthy and happy.

4.  Last year I listed financial stability.  I’m not sure I can say that this year but I am thankful that we have managed to survive with both mortgage and rent.

5.  New friends in Nashville.  This city is very welcoming and for that I am thankful.

6.  My step-mom’s recent health scare has been resolved and she is okay.

7.  All of the amazing people this crazy adoption process brought into my life.

8.  The fact that I am able to stay at home with Sabrina and see her grow everyday.

9.  Being safe, warm, full, loved and with my family today.

10.   Chocolate.

posted under family | 4 Comments »

Only 9 days of NaBloPoMo left


I will never do NaBloPoMo again – it has taken the joy out of blogging for me.  I was going to post a recipe tonight – I made a Bailey’s Irish Cream cake for tomorrow.  But it is ugly (didn’t come out of the bundt pan very well) and doesn’t taste all that great.  It is very boozy.  So no photo of the cake and I don’t think I’ll post the recipe either.

In other news, Miss Sabrina had her first real boo-boo today.  She was trying to stand up in her crib, slipped, and hit her face on the bars.  Her tooth cut her bottom lip and it was bleeding.  My poor baby.  She is fine now – just a little boo-boo on her lip.

I hope everyone who is traveling has a safe and stress-free trip.  Steve, Sabrina and I are spending Thanksgiving at home.  We will be joining some friends for dessert later in the day but otherwise we will have a quiet celebration together at home.   Tomorrow I will post 10 things I am thankful for but I’ll give you a bonus one now:  I make the BEST stuffing ever.  I love stuffing – honestly I can take or leave the rest of the meal as long as I have good stuffing with some good gravy.   It took me a few years to perfect it but I declare my stuffing the best ever.  I am thankful for that because it means I get to eat heaping plates of it.  Steve saw the amount of bread I bought and asked if I was making extra to donate to the homeless mission.  Nope, all for me!

posted under Misc. | 6 Comments »
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