4 Flights, 3 Kids, 2 Bags and 1 Happy Momma: How we survived a trip to Italy.

I have been asked lots and lots of times by those of you following me on Instagram, “How was your trip to Italy?” Shortly followed by, “You are so BRAVE!”

Honestly it didn’t feel brave at first it felt mostly stupid and somewhat irresponsible. I mean who takes 3 little kids OVERSEAS? Who does this when they have NEVER planned a vacation, never been anywhere with out a local or someone else who knows that they are doing? This girl, I guess. Well, when tickets have been paid for you put on your big girl panties and say, “Let’s do this!”


We had such a FANTASTIC time. I actually feel like that is an understatement. We didn’t want to leave, we loved walking around the city.  I can’t say that I know exactly how we accomplished this but we did. I didn’t even get that need to leave my family and head to Tuscany by myself not once, how is that even possible?


I feel like our photos will tell the story much better than I ever could so I’ll be adding some photos below and I’ll also attach a link to our whole album.

You can view all my photos here.

If I really think hard about the different things that made this trip successful they would be:

  1. We packed light. One large bag and one carry one. We each had a backpack with a few personal items, water bottle, snacks and headphones.
  2. DO NOT book an over night flight with small children if possible. They don’t sleep. If someone says their child slept it’s a lie.
  3. Hire a service to get you to and from the airport.
  4. We hired someone to show us around. With three little kids YOU DON’T WANT TO BE LOST. It would just end with a tired frustrated family. Plus in a place with so much history there is no way you can “see” it all by yourself.
  5. We only made plans for 2-3 hours in the morning with two days on and one rest day. So for example we had a tour day, our family photos and then nothing the next day.
  6. Pay the extra to stay with in walking distance. It was so nice to know that we didn’t have to be worried about hopping on a train and leaving a kid on the wrong side. Like you on the train and them on the platform. Is it just me who worries about things like that?
  7. Do not think about all the things that you need to do when you get home. It’ll all be there when you get back.
  8. If you can afford it try to hire a photographer for an hour or two to get some photos of all of you together. You all know that I value photos, this is always an investment I am happy to make. My thought was how often are we going to be in Italy? I want BEAUTIFUL photos of ALL of us. Not selfies or chancing it with a stranger. Those photos can be found here by http://www.rosysite.it/
  9. Don’t let others tell you the kids are too young. They are young, who cares, You have the pretty photos to show them. Yes, it’s true they won’t remember much, but YOU will. You will remember all the gelato nights and you will remember their little faces in Italy. That’s what matters. You will have these precious memories of when your family was young and you bravely took them overseas.
  10. Eat lots of gelato and tiramisu and drink all the cappuccinos.
  11. I didn’t do this but it would have been smart. Pack a VOMIT preparedness bag for EVERY person you are traveling with. It is a very unfortunate time to realize that planes have NOTHING if your child throws up, when they are covered in vomit.

We stayed the whole 10 days in Rome and there was PLENTY to see. This was easier and cheaper for us than to travel to another city. It would have been more feasible if I had planned it before had but I didn’t.  We hired a tour company that is geared for children (click here for link) that also provided airport transportation. We hired a local photographer (see above for that album)  for two hours so I didn’t feel sad or stress about not being in photos. We did also hire a babysitter for two nights so we could have two date nights while we were there.

I did also take a solo trip out.



So that was our trip. I am already thinking about our next trip. I do feel like I can do ANYTHING now. So if you have been debating taking a trip with your family DO IT! Life is short. I recently was listening to a podcast and she said, “Live your best life now.” That really made me think. Think about how Kyle and I are living right NOW. Not to get weird on you, but we are not promised tomorrow. What are you doing right now that you love? If you don’t love it why are you doing it? Maybe to get to do something you do love? Maybe you are just in a hard season? For about 7 ish months now I have just been on this incredible journey about living more simply and living it well. Thank you all the podcast…

Ok enough on that. Hope this helps anyone thinking about planning a trip!

We also gave my oldest a camera and here is what she ended up with.

A few phone photos…


Dear Fellow Social Media Mom…


These are some of my most recent view-able phone photos. The others were repeats, Annaka took my phone or of inventory. From this it looks like I’m healthy, taking my kids cool places and letting them do cool things. It also looks like I am somewhat maintaining a social life. The truth is that what is happening in between these photos is SO MUCH MORE. It’s better than the photos, it’s worse than the photos and everything else. It’s my REAL LIFE.

Here is where this thought is coming from, I forget, I think that we all forget that there is so much more to each of us that what we see on Facebook and Instagram. So here is my little… rant? request? prayer? begging? rambles? Whatever it is here it goes.

Dear Fellow Social Media Mom,

Please stop judging each other. We are on this very difficult, exhausting, all consuming ride together. Kids are hard work all of them, all the time! Some days feel so terrible that I would like to just erase completely from my mind. Either because my kids were horrible or I was horrible or my husband and I are fighting or maybe I am just failing at life.

Please stop assuming that just because one mom post all smiling happy photos of her kids doesn’t means she is lying to us all, trying to make life seem perfect. Maybe that is just when she has a hand free for a minute to take a photo. Maybe it means that when her kids are screaming, crying and throwing fits she is trying to manage them and doesn’t have time to post a photo of “Real Life” photo.

Maybe you have a mom friend that rocks Pinterest like no other, she is always a Pinterest win. All she post all the time is her amazing Pinterest crafts and sometimes it makes you want to vomit with jealousy; but what if instead we celebrated her. Let’s like that post and heart that post all day long; cause let’s be serious how many mothers are really appreciated for all they do. You know that her 3 year old isn’t saying, “Wow mom this party was so fantastic. I love that My Little Pony cake you stayed up all night making. I really appreciate all that you do. Oh, and sorry I was kicking you in your bed for the only three hours you were “asleep” last night; cause I know you were up most of the night working on this party for my friends and family to enjoy.”

We all have that friend that can manage to cook a healthy meal for her kids EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. #momwin Let her have that win, maybe she can share some tips with you. I have one mom friend that Rocks her socks off when it comes to meal prep but can never remember where she put her car keys. No one is perfect!

Some children RARELY have fits and total meltdowns in the middle of Target. They are so obedient don’t talk back and seem to always do what they are told. Cry for a minute it’s okay to feel sorry for you self for a hot second as your toddler is yelling on the floor screaming because you gave him the red bowl and not the blue. Then move on.  You can bet your bottom that this mother has other areas that she is working with her child.

If you have a mom friend who seems to be rocking it in the Direct Sales game always happy and seems to be making millions of dollars, does that bug you? Turn off notifications. When you see her ask her how she doses it all? How is she always happy? How is she waking up at 6 am to rock her business when you are barely able to make it out of bed when the baby wakes up. I would bet you that she has her struggles too.

The point is that, FACEBOOK IS NOT REAL LIFE! None of it is, no matter how candid someone is or how many good and bad photos that are posted it’s still just a tiny snippet of someone. It’s just not possible to know all of anyone from Facebook alone. This is why it is so important for face to face relationships. It’s so important to meet up with someone have coffee or a drink with them and really get to know them. See who they really are!

That’s it, I’m done. I am guilty of this as well guys. I can see photos and post on Facebook and Instagram and be jealous or frustrated, mostly jealous of what they have and I don’t have. Or what they are doing and what I am not doing. At the end of the day who cares! Just BE YOU! With all the uglies and imperfections just be who you were designed to be and keep working on those imperfections, we’ve all got them.

Lately I have been focusing on, “your vibe attracts your tribe.” Looking for my tribe while figuring out my vibe. Like I mentioned earlier we are all on this wild ride together and finding people who love us, the real life person us is so important. Get past the social media and building true lasting relationships. Some will be home runs and some will be misses, but you’ll never know till you try….

Love you guys, now go find your tribe!


world’s okayest mom’s summer bucket list

Thrive Summer-13

Ok, I am one week into summer, YIKES. For some reason the days are feeling long. The kids are waking up and after a few snuggles are asking to go play outside. I had to make the rule, “No one can go outside until I have my coffee”. So far it has not worked one day.

I see all of these list going around Facebook and Pinterst. I LOVE them. I make them. I post them. I don’t do them. This year I thought to myself, Let’s be real Beth; how is this summer really going to go?”

So I’m making my realistic list.

  1. Start my day with a shower even if that start time is 10am.
  2. Don’t yell at the kids so much.
  3. Drink more ice coffee.
  4. Fit into my bathing suit enough so I’m not embarrassed.
  5. Take the kids to the beach at least once a week and try not to remember sunscreen.
  6. Avoid places that MAY have ticks.
  7. Make Kyle grill more.
  8. Visit as many ice cream places as possible with or without kids, preferably without. They eat all my ice cream
  9. Don’t let the baby fall down the stairs.
  10. Don’t let any of the kids drown.
  11. Prepare to wake up earlier than I have in a while to get Annaka to school on time in September (Gotta start mentally preparing).
  12. Take more photos.
  13. Out of two camping trips planned have ONE successful night.
  14. Go on an overnight BY MYSELF!
  15. Eat S’mores

This is my list. It’s nothing fancy. Maybe we’ll be able to cross a few off maybe we won’t. I’m okay with that.

Cheers to summer, cheers to motherhood and surviving it with laughter, grace and a whole lotta mess.

Thrive Summer-23Thrive Summer-18Thrive Summer-15Thrive Summer-7Thrive Summer-11Thrive Summer-17Thrive Summer-20

when my greatest joy stops being enough

Spring 2017-6wm

Being a mother is my favorite job and I have had A LOT of jobs. It’s the only one that if I quit I would feel more empty than relieved. If I got fired I would cry, be miserable and feel less than for a long time. I would beg for the job back and promise to improve cause let’s be real if I were to get evaluated at the moment I would get a good old “needs improvement”.

I am starting to understand that children really are “our greatest masterpiece”. If today was it for me, if I was fired from this mom position (and I’ll be honest some days I wish I was fired.) it would be the job that I would feel the most proud of. No matter your parenting style you are the one who keeps them from being A holes. You have the responsibility to make sure that these gross, smelly, sticky little humans, known as children or offspring turn out to be decent additions to the world. People who leave a mark on the world in some way; they turn out to be a little bit better than who you turned out to be. Or at the very least someone who says please thank you and stops throwing blocks at people’s heads by the time they are 2. No big deal, that is not an intense amount of responsibility or anything.

My children fill my cup some days, not everyday.  Sometimes it feels like they are taking way more than I am capable of giving. Then I stop and think about it; there is nothing better than snuggling in bed in the morning watching a Story Bots together. I love when we are all squished on the little couch reading books. Being the only person your baby wants when they fall is a nice little ego booster. I love seeing them grow, change, learn, discover. Those little monsters sure do know how to keep me humble and boy oh boy have I learned more than I would have liked to from them. Truth be told I love being a mom.

Then why doesn’t it feel like enough? Why do I feel a little bit empty and unfulfilled some days. Is it when I am unshowered, haven’t brushed my teeth in who knows how long; is it the fact that most days it’s hard for me to actually finish a full coherent sentence? Is that what it is? I’m not really sure.

The days when the house is clean the kids are happily playing together nicely dinner on the table and a clean bra on those are the wins. I feel like, I got this, I can do this! Then bedtime happens, and I am back to feeling….. what is this feeling?

So I try to fill this…this whatever it is. I workout for a week, fill out my calendar, make a meal plan, shop, volunteer for things, have a girls night. None of it works though long term. So where does that leave me?

So about a year ago I started selling LuLaRoe. It seemed like a great way to help bulk up our savings and help support my retail therapy; because for whatever reason being responsible for three little lives isn’t enough (What is that?).  Recently I hopped into a group for retailers only from one of the tops dogs. I love her, I think she is fantastic and I wish we could be buddies. She loves her job, it fulfills her,  it fills her cup. She has been having morning motivational tips and when I watch them I actually feel worse? Not because of her but because I feel like damn why don’t I love this as much as her? What DO I love about this? Why am I doing this? Why am I staying up late? Spending weekends away from my family? Then I asked the more important question she was asking, “What motivates you? What fills your cup? Why am you doing what you do?”


I can’t help it I am a relationship junkie. I want to know all about YOU. I want to know what makes you tick. I want to share any little bits of knowledge that I have to share. I want to encourage, share my failures and wins. This is what I have loved about any job that I have had,getting to know the people. When I get to build on current relationships. Foster new ones and strength old ones. I have also always loved connecting people. It wasn’t until last week that I realized this is a gift. It’s not just something I am good at by chance. This is something that I am now realizing is something God has gifted me with, which I believe that when the big guy gives you a gift you better put it to good use.  You better figure out how to use it best in the best way to bless others. Thinking about ways to use this gift fills my cup.

Thinking that there is more to me than wiping butts, emptying dishwashers and trying not to loose my cool is relieving. Thinking that I may have other gifts than raising small people, cause let’s be real, that’s a gift, is like, PHEW!

So when I finally had a little time to breathe, get out of my own head and stop trying to fill my void in my own strength I began to not feel so… whatever that feeling is. When I stopped asking ME what I could do and starting focusing more on Jesus, more on how I can serve others the best way he has created me to do the more it became clear that just being who I have been created to be will fill me up. It’s okay to have OTHER joys, other things that get me out of bed in the morning, because I was created for more than just the very important role of mom. I have many talents, skills and interests. Just like all the other wonderful mothers I know and love.

So there it is, when I focus on loving people, serving those who cross my path, it makes these fleeting moments with these little faces my greatest joy.


What’s the blog for?

I originally had this blog when we started the whole baby thing. Kyle’s family is on the West Coast as well as some of my family, I have friends all over the United States, what better way to keep in touch? I also felt that it would keep me picking up my camera as well as sharpen up my editing skills. I guess too, that I have this deep dark desire to say all these profound things that can help all the sleep deprived, perfectly imperfect moms feel a little bit better, let’s be serious here.

Well, maybe now that I am not quite as tired and I have a few years under my belt, I have nursed and cloth diapered three babes. I (or my husband) have dropped them all at least once. I have had so many failures, a few successes. I yell and scream A LOT. I am saying sorry to my kids all the time, we have countless hugs and kisses here as well as countless timeouts and tantrums. Yet we have survived on Netflix, popcorn, fig bars and peanut butter and fluff. We have fun and we love pretty hard in this house.

So the reason for this blog is because in this house there really are no secrets. So weather sharing my stories is just for the sake of sharing, to help another sweet lady out, or just to embarrass my children in the future here it is.

I hope you enjoy, laugh a little maybe even cry a little but welcome. smith kids

Playing catch up.

I can’t believe that the last time I blogged my baby was 6 months old, it’s been a year! I want to first say that not much has been going on here at the Smith house, but how can that really be true with a 5, 3 and 18 month old. Really so much has changed, I have actual kids now, diapers and onesies are becoming a thing of the past. Annaka starts Kindergartner in the Fall, Thaddaeus starts preschool as well. This means I will have ONE child two mornings a week, I won’t be very pregnant and I won’t have a newborn attached to me at all times while a toddler is trying to climb my leg.

Some things of course have not changed. I still drink too much coffee, have a full calendar, a stack of mail to go through and we are still living in our two bedroom apartment.

We still want to adopt and foster, our family is still going to grow but we are about to enter a new part of this journey. So here I am not picking up where we left off, because like Beverly said it’s too much to “catch up” I’ll never get everything down and so I’ll just stay where I am. Stuck with a 6 month old. So we are moving forward. Isn’t that all we can do in motherhood when we feel bogged down, behind. The feeling that we will never catch up and always feel stuck trying to pick up the pieces, working on that ever growing to-do list. So here is my first step in part of motherhood I’m moving forward.

So here we go.

Thank you to http://www.themainetinker.com/ for the lovely Mommy and Me session this past Mother’s Day. ❤

6 months and counting

Oh our sweet chubby boy. We made it to 6 months. Enoch is such a joy to our family, nothing but happiness and contentment. Talk about easy going, I guess for us third time really is charming. He falls, bumps his head, gets slammed with toys, shoved over, sometimes ignored and forgotten yet he still always greets with the sweetest smile. We got our “easy” baby. He brings so much joy to us all, his sister and brother both love him so much. Even as I sit here and type he is playing quietly and sweetly on the floor with his toys letting out a squeal of delight every now and then.

Enoch is our most chatty baby, he plays by myself the best. Goes for the things that he needs without waiting for any help, already a go getter. He has been enjoying breakfast with the family. During month 6 he went from barely sitting up to full on crawl. He wasted no time! He is not spitting up as much which means less clothing changes. He loves to pull hair and still enjoys a couple snacks at midnight and 4am. He wants to always be part of the action, like to walk while you hold him and tolerates when you hold him facing out.

We love our boy and I promise we have many more photos of him than this.