Friday, December 14, 2007

Snow Storm

We had a great storm yesterday, the snow fell for hours. The boys and I really loved watching it accumulate outside--it was definitely mesmerizing.

For the last several weeks, I have been surprised how cold it is every time I go outside. I think that my mind is stuck in August. Watching the storm pass through has made certainly made the reminded me it is winter and has made Christmas feel more real!

Sometimes it's nice to be grounded at home. I gives you a minute to sigh, relax, and make some yummy treats while you're stuck inside!

Our street as the storm began . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and ended.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Analysis Group Christmas Party

We had a great time this evening and Michael's company Christmas Party. It was at an amazing venue. The food was wonderful, company great, dancing . . . super fun. Merry Christmas!

I love Jacob

I peeked in on Jacob while he was taking his nap . . . it just melted my heart. Love that kid.

I'm not feeling so well

It's been a while since Andrew has been sick . . . with the stomach flu. But, today he had it all. Poor little guy. We tried to keep it a slow calm day--we watched a lot of Pixar, read books, and took great naps. We hope he's better in the morning . . . and that no one else gets it!

Make way for Ducklings

Make Way for Ducklings is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Robert Mcloskey. First published in 1941 , the book tells the story of a pair of mallard ducks who decide to raise their family on an island in the lagoon in Boston Public Garden, a park in the center of Boston, Massachusetts.

Make Way for Ducklings won the 1942 Caldecott Medal for McCloskey's illustrations, executed in charcoal then lithographed on zinc plates. As of 2003, the book had sold over two million copies. The book's popularity led to the construction of a statue in the Public Garden of the mother duck and her eight ducklings, which is a popular destination for children and adults alike. The book is also the official children's book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Praise for the book is still high over sixty years since its first publication, mainly for the enhancing illustrations and effective pacing. It was criticized for having a loose plot, however, as well as poor characterization. The book is extremely popular worldwide. The city of Boston, where the story is set, as well as Novodevichy Park, Moscow, have both built small statues based on the story.

. . . just a tid bit of information on this book from wikipedia.

While my parents were in town, and after Thanksgiving, we finally journeyed out on the town. Andrew loved the ducklings. In fact, I've spared you from the pictures where he is fighting out other children (twice his age) for a ride on the ducks!

We also took a few family pictures in Beacon Hill for our Christmas card . . . just a preview in case it takes me weeks to get these cards out. In that case, they will be New Year's cards.

This picture is of the side of Beacon Hill. It is such a gorgeous part of town that runs right along side the Boston Common and Public Garden.


to be continued . . .

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Hampshire House

It was a magical evening. There was only one thing that I would have wanted to change . . .I didn't want it to be over as quickly as it was.

After weeks of planning, the event has come and gone and I am so sad that it is over. We held a fund-raising event for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on Monday the 26th of November at a beautiful venue in downtown Boston across from the Public Garden. This classy historic building was decorated beautifully for Christmas, the hors d'eouveres were amazing, the desserts looked beautiful, and the dancing was so much fun. All in all I would call it a very successful night.

The evening was so enjoyable. We had about 60 guests in attendance and I was pleased with the turnout on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. After mingling for an hour as the guests arrived, I took a few moments to talk about the motivation for this event. I thanked everyone for coming, talked about the mission of Dana-Farber, gave an update Catie's battle against cancer, and then proudly announced that we have raised over $5,000 for cancer research. I was amazed by the generosity of such a small group of people.

Several times that evening people commented that I must feel grateful that this part of my commitment to Dana-Farber is over--now I can focus on the real tough part-training for the marathon. I had to disagree. I think that training for the marathon might be easier than planning and executing a fund-raiser, but it was definitely worth it!

A few weeks ago I met for the first time with members of the Dana Farber marathon challenge team to begin our group training. I was overwhelmed by the dedication and motivation behind each runner. Listening to their stories as we ran made me realize what an enormous impact our combined efforts will make. Being a part of this incredible team is truly a humbling experience.

I didn't have my camera--terrible mistake--but, a friend took a few pictures for me. Hopefully you can use your imagination to put it all together.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thanksgiving Day Rule #1: To be operated by sober adults only

Really, this was the first rule on the operating instructions for the Bayou Classic. Classic. This year we decided to deep fry our bird and the Bayou Classic is the only way to go. Michael's family was a little nervous for Michael to fry his first turkey, so they called to make certain that we weren't doing it in the apartment. Thanks.

This was my first time to ever host Thanksgiving and we had a wonderful time. My parents were kind enough to join us for the holiday and we loved having them around. Andrew especially loved having Grandma here.

As it is our great tradition to eat amazing food on Thanksgiving, we thought a fried turkey would be a great addition. I know it sounds White Trailer Trash, and it is, but we made it as classy as we could. Here was this years menu:

Butternut Squash Soup
with Chived Mashed Potatoes

Caramelized Apple Salad
with walnuts and a cider glaze

Cornbread Stuffing
with fresh mushrooms, sausage, and apples

Whipped Sweet Potatoes
with a sweet walnut topping

Steamed French Green beans
with roasted pine nuts

Fried Turkey
enough said

Homemade Rolls

Cranberry Relish


Stone Fruit Tart
Fruit Trifle
Pecan Pie
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

It was amazing. I was full after the soup and salad hors d'ouveres, but I kept eating and so did everyone else. It was really amazing.

We have so many things to be grateful for all year round. I am always appreciative that there is a holiday to help me put things back into perspective at least once a year!

Here is the bayou classic in action (but that picture is not of Michael):

Monday, November 12, 2007

How addicted are you?

68%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Looking for payday loans?

Come on, be honest. Take the quiz by clicking on the image. You might be surprised!

Maybe we should start an addiction recovery group? Or not.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Super Happy Halloween

It wasn't until Andrew realized what happens when you keep your costume on that Halloween came alive! We loved watching him catch on to the kind of crazy tradition that we celebrate--knocking on some one's door and begging them for candy . . . dressed up in costume. Kind of weird, but very fun.

So, as I was writing this, my curiosity got the best of me and I googled Halloween history--and of course, I found loads of fun information. gave a very nice review of the ancient history of this modern holiday that we celebrate--dating all the way back to the Celts 2000 years ago. If you want to know more visit:

Anyway, we took the train to well known area of Boston, called Beacon Hill to trick-or-treat. It was amazing. The homes are INcREdiblE! From what I hear, they all have very strict standard they have to follow in this area for keeping up the inside and outside of their homes--down to the way they decorate. Pretty shnazy. Most of the homes share a wall with the home next door--some call that town homes--but these were so much more amazing than your average town home. Michael and I were drooling the entire evening. Michael wants to find a way to make enough money so we can move there. I wish him the best of luck--but if it's not too much to ask, I'd still like him home in the evenings to help me put the kids to bed. If he can find time to earn loads of money around that schedule, I will be immensely impressed!

I am already excited for what next year will bring--Jacob will probably be able to participate more than he did from the stroller this year. Happy Halloween . . . very very late.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Boston Marathon, April 21, 2008

For several years now I have had this intimidating desire to run a marathon but never the motivation to commit, until now. Several months ago my dear friend Catie was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, called Ewing’s Sarcoma. This is a disease in which cancer cells are found in the bone or in soft tissue. Catie was 22 weeks pregnant when she was first diagnosed and because of the progressive nature of the cancer, it was imperative that she begin chemotherapy immediately. It overwhelms me to imagine being in her position: a mother of two and pregnant with her third with seven months of chemotherapy, medical appointments, surgery, and radiation ahead of her.

Sarah was born on October 3, weighing 2 pounds and 4 ounces. She is doing remarkably well as of today she should have been sent home from the hospital—a month early!

Catie is so courageous, strong and beautiful. And Steve is steady and full of humor. Leave it to Catie and Steve to make this insurmountable trial seem manageable! I owe them the world for the lessons they are unknowingly teaching me. Soon after I became aware of Catie’s diagnosis, Michael and I became involved locally with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Through this involvement I have been invited to race in the 2008 Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team. DFMC directs 100% of funds raised to this program, which enables scientists at the leading edge of discovery to achieve better cure rates and to enhance patients' quality of life.

This April, I will embark on one of the biggest challenge of my life: completing the Boston Marathon. But my personal effort, no matter how difficult, can in no way compare to the challenge facing those diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, nearly everyone knows someone who is affected by cancer, either directly or through a loved one. To support cancer research, Michael and I have set a personal fund-raising goal of $7,500. In a few weeks we are kicking off the fundraising by holding a formal cocktail party at a reception center in downtown Boston. (

If you happen upon this blog and you are interested in supporting Dana-Farber and cancer research, you are more than welcome to donate to this great cause by following the steps below.

Here's how to donate:
1. Go to
2. On the left side of the page, click on the "Support a Runner" button.
3. Enter my first and last name: Jennifer Smith, and follow the prompts from there.

Photography 101

I started a photography class a few weeks ago and I love what I am learning. There is a whole new world that has been opened up to me filled with terms like aperture, f stop, and ISO. I have so much to learn and no time to practice. I feel like the most valuable aspect of the class is exposure to my camera. I just need to find the time. So be forgiving, I need lots of practice. And although I LOVE the subjects that I photograph, they aren't always cooperative.

Rhode Island--Our second home

The Newport Marriott in Rhode Island is almost our second home! We love visiting this little state--Michael's birthplace and a favorite of mom and dad Smith. While they were here for a long weekend we took a few days off from our crazy life and drove south.

Andrew loved being with his dad for several days straight. It was really refreshing to have the family together again. We ate, sailed, ate, walked along the cliffs, ate, and then had dessert! I love when vacations revolve around one great meal after the next.

Here are a few snapshots of our trip:

This chariot is the only way that I survive in the city. It's called a Phil and Ted--love it!!!

This was the biggest lobster I have ever seen! It was at least 2 feet long.