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my brother.

josh

My little brother isn’t so little anymore.  I remember the times when we were younger.  I was 8 when he was born.  Times like, having to wipe his little 3 year old tush after hearing him repeatedly yelling from the bathroom, “somebody wipe me!”, or him riding my brand new REI bike without my permission and having it stolen and not telling me for 3 weeks, even him coming to my horseback riding lessons and laughing uncontrollably when I almost fell off my horse during a gallop, or when I would hear a knock on my attic bedroom door in the middle of the night because Josh, around 7 or 8 years old at the time, was afraid of the dark — hey, what are big sister’s for??

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josh + greg!

Babies always love Josh — as long as I can remember, that is a known fact in my circle. My own babies are no exception.  They love him so much it’s quite interesting actually. You see it on their faces as soon as they lay eyes on him.  It’s like their thinking, “oh that’s my dear Uncle Josh.  I love that guy.”  Josh is a baby lover.  He would come home from college after midnight — you’d hear him walk in, throw his backpack down, and race to Greg/my bedroom — a quiet tap on our door would come next.  “Are the babies awake?” he’d always ask in a whisper.  And the answer would almost always be the same, “No, Josh, they’re sleeping.”  He never gave up though, so on occasion if a baby stirred at that moment, I would let Josh hold them.

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josh + my mom admiring the boys

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uncle josh singing to his niece + nephews

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loves his nephews to death

So my little brother isn’t so little anymore.  In the last few years I’ve seen him grow into a man.  He’s persevered through trials, put his faith into action, and has seen mighty miracles.  He’ll surely have many beautiful tales to tell his nieces/ nephews, kids, etc when they get older.  As of recently Josh casually walked into a career fair and landed a corporate job with his dashing good looks and pleasant ways and the unmerited grace of God.  Before he starts his job this coming June, he’s doing a 6 month Internship at the International House of Prayer (IHOP).  Even though he’s lived out of the house for 4 years now, and has been gone for summer internships, it’s the first time my family felt the heavy feeling that he’s really leaving Maryland, and we’re not sure when and if he’ll ever be back as a permanent resident.  Of course he’ll visit, but that’s never the same.

Life is interesting that way — you grow up with people, dear people, and because life’s paths are so different for everyone, you are left with the memories of days gone by.  We miss him alot, but we are so very proud of who he’s become.  A good brother, a humble son, an amazing uncle (their one and only uncle!), the loyalist of friends, annointed worship leader, a broken sinner, and best of all, a child of the Living God.  [My apologies for the sentimental post.  I had to get this all out.]

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graduation day

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greg, josh, and my paw paw

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rohan + josh

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kieran + josh

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greg praying over josh at Chi Alpha UMBC, josh’s last meeting

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brothers for life

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church eldership praying over josh on his last sunday at ICF

Josh, may “the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Number 6:24-26.  You’ll always be my little brother even if you’re not so little anymore.  Love you!

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december recap, part II: a smith birthday.

Dhara celebrated her 2nd birthday twice this past year.  Her first party was with the whole Smith clan at the Smith Christmas party — cousins, uncles, aunts, the whole shebang!  When the cake came out, Dhara began singing Happy Birthday to herself and everyone else joined in — it was hilarious.

dhara happily singing happy birthday to herself!

she loooves cake, just like her mama!

mom always does a lovely job wrapping gifts

a special moment when mom presents dhara with a special baby bracelet from her father — more on the story here

chatting with great uncle jack

these photos of dhara + her grandmother remind me of a scene out of the little town of heidelberg, germany. not to mention nutcrackers + matryoshka dolls too.

opening gifts

december recap: texas.

I knew the month of December would whiz by with all the holiday festivities going on.  The month started off with Greg’s parents taking us on a lovely trip to Wimberly, Texas. Once the twins are born, it’ll be difficult to go over there to visit Dhara’s bohemian great-grandmother, Granny Lanny.  So, we decided that it would be best to see her sooner rather than later.  The last time we went (last summer), Dhara was only 6.5 months old!

This time around we stayed in Uncle Phil’s amazing vacation home, Rim Rock Lodge, located in Texas hill country.  It was definitely a cozy Texas Christmas sitting by fires, chatting about the days when Granny Lanny was a little girl on her dad’s cotton farm, eating tasty vittles provided by the men from their hunting expeditions, and delicious kolaches provided by Aunt Teri, yum!!!  Dhara did get sick with an ear infection and fever for half of the trip, but nonetheless, it was a special time.

cozy warm fires

dhara spent alot of time “baking cakes” and cozying up w/ grandma + aunt beth

greg and another round of hunting

hunting, (l) dad shot a 10 point deer and (r) greg shot a 60 pound wild boar

our cozy room, equipped with a king bed — I think we’ll be needing one of these!

the ever sweet granny lanny

mom showing granny lanny a scrapbook she created documenting all of granny lanny’s handmade quilts through the years, and there were MANY of them!

dhara, beth, mom, aunt teri

she found a chair just her size!

aunt peggy and uncle phil

cousins: austin, greg, and drew

dhara loves her aunt beth

time with grandpa in hill country

grandpa smitty and dhara

dhara with grandpa and grandma

four generations of women

the end.

smith christmas card.

Hope your Christmas is as merry as ever and that you truly remember the real reason for the season.  Here’s to a cozy weekend with family and friends, and celebrating the births of Jesus and my daughter — He was so kind enough to share the day with her!  I can’t believe it’s been another year — seems like a few months ago we took last year’s photo! Blessings to you and yours!

[christmas card from 2010]

giving thanks.

Thanksgiving this year was quite the event.  With 4 thanksgiving meals over a period of 3 days, you could say this mama is stuffed!  It really was a wonderful time with family and just being together.  There is so much to be thankful for — the surprise of two little babies growing in my belly, a handsome-loving-patient-and godly husband, a beautiful little girl who constantly rocks our socks off, and for our families who are a constant blessing to us.  Most of all, I am thankful for His grace, which allows me to be called a daughter of God.  Without His grace, this life would be meaningless.

greg, dhara, aunt beth + snowball. bethany beach, delaware

dhara and I on the sand

talk about amazing clouds! we spent a beautiful morning on the beach

[The photos above were taken at the beach this past Thanksgiving weekend.  The Dhara-girl and Greg couldn’t leave without getting their toes wet in the freezing Atlantic.]

There’s so much I’ve wanted to post about, but the last few weeks have been a blur.  Photoshoots and sewing up some sweet baby goods have seemed to take up my time.  I’m hoping to post more on the photoshoots later this week.  A few weeks ago, Greg and I were Susie Mey vendors at a local consignment sale at a synagogue in Baltimore.  We met some neat people and made connections.  The best connection and what I’m most excited to say is — if you live in or are visiting the downtown Baltimore area, you can find Susie Mey goods (like bibs, swaddling blankets and wool hair clips) at Soft & Cozy Baby — Baltimore’s natural baby boutique owned and operated by one of my midwives!  Awesome stuff.

annual camping trip.

It looks like I have lots of updating to do on the blog.  So much to catch up on and so much I want to say.  Let’s start with our fall camping trip in Pennsylvania. Seeing that we had a lovely time camping with family last year, it only seemed right to do it again this year, but with more family and friends.

Our tents lined the banks of Gifford State Park and overlooked its beautiful lake of shining waters [for you Anne of Green Gables fans].  It was officially Dhara’s second time camping, and what a good little camper she is!  Our little family of three loved getting cozy in our small tent filled with Pottery Barn quilts, as Greg would say.  He wouldn’t call it real camping since we weren’t roughing it, but not sure how you do that yet with a wee one.  Anyhow I love my quilts, and camping just wouldn’t be the same without three, or maybe four of them.  : )

As we were taking down our tents after 2 days of outdoor living, my cousin asked me if the same tent would work for next year with 4 people — little did we know there would be more than that.

our first night in the tent and she loved it!

the gregor snatched me and the dhara-girl away from the rest of the group one evening to watch the sunset in a secret location : )

watching the sun set

lilia + dhara

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dhara + her daddy

nebo, north carolina. part I.

It’s where we spent our family vacation this summer.  My little family, including my immediate family, my uncle + his family, and grandparents [13 total] took our first summer vacation together as a group in late May.  We’ve been wanting to take a trip together for as long as we can remember [mostly to India] — but somehow, it never panned out.  So we did some research on VRBO, and found a lovely, lovely spot in the mountains of Nebo, NC, right on Lake James.

We stayed in a beautiful home made of timber.  It was full of the neatest little details.  We fished, swam, kayaked, canoed, cooked!, charged up the pontoon for boat rides at dusk, went zip lining, knit [me!], visited the impressive Biltmore Estate in Asheville, prayed + worshipped, and just laughed together. Laughing is something we love to do.  And not just any kinda laugh, but rather the kind that erupts from one’s belly. We had a grand ol’ time just laughing and being with one another.  [These photos are long overdue.  I took quite a few, so it was hard to narrow them down.  I’ll be doing a part II tomorrow.]

praising Jesus as a family

our woodsy, yet top of the notch home away from home

cruisin’ on a 15 passenger pontoon

our view everyday

[End of Part I.]

appacha + ahmana.

my parents wedding, india, 1980.

It’s Dhara’s Appacha + Ahmana’s [her grandparents] wedding anniversary tomorrow, and she wants to wish them a very, very happy anniversary!  They’ve spent 31 beautiful years together thus far.  Dhara says she’s grateful for the love and cheer that envelopes their home everyday.  She couldn’t imagine living anywhere else!  She loves you both dearly, along with the rest of us!!!

dhara at 8 months

dhara at 16 months

my parents after their ceremony. in order of appearance: chinamama, my pretty grandmother, my mom, my dad back from the States stylin’ in a linen 3 piece suit, my grandfather, and little 14 year old joji uncle — even though all these people look pretty stoic, they are all very happy inside, I promise.

a beach weekend.

We spent time at the beach this past weekend visiting with Greg’s family.  Had a lovely time outdoors on their new stone patio just chatting, enjoying mom’s beautiful garden, and watching Dhara do all her fun little antics.  I spent any free time knitting a shop order and cutting fabric for bibs.  I also couldn’t help but stop at the local yarn store and my favorite antique shop.  Scored some pretty wooden buttons, a lovely vintage leather travelers bag, and a 1961 quilt top (thanks mom!).

Dhara was a water baby all weekend — she loved it! She especially loves having Aunt Beth in the water with her.  Also had a nice father’s day dinner by the grill master himself, Greg’s dad — he loves to cook.  And what an amazing cook — he makes everything taste great.


nightly walk on the beach enjoying an outdoor band

also enjoyed a scoop of coconut (my favorite) gelato + a scoop of hazelnut

greg and mom, a father’s day brunch

happy father’s day to greg and dad!

blowing bubbles with aunt beth

someone’s ready to get back in the water