A Journey into the pink Bubble

A literal pink bubble .. because we all need a visual

This past weekend I had the privilege to not only celebrate my Second year with this awesome company but to go to National Conference. What a blast! For those of you that don’t know , Thirty-One Gifts is a great company that provides Bags, totes, home décor and jewelry solutions. I was a customer for 5 years before I took the leap to become a consultant and I can honestly say its one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Before I get carried away with my weekend adventures I’d like to share my “why” . Why I joined, took the leap, whatever you want to call it.

My why is this: I’ve always wanted to be seen as a contributor in some way. Whether it be to society and my community as a giving person, or to my family by contributing to our way of life by teaching our kids to give back where we can, and by teaching Illa that you can go for your dreams AND be a kick butt mom. I just want to set the world on fire (in a good way) I love meeting new people and I love to light them up as well. By partying with new people I get to meet them,spread a little joy and have a lot of fun. I also wanted one outlet/area of my life I could control.

You see at the time when I decided to join, we as a family were elbow deep in trying to figure out what was wrong with Greg. We had been to SO MANY doctors. No one could tell us why he was in pain, where it was coming from and how to make it stop. I felt so helpless and frustrated. I mean there are only so many times you can call insurance and doctors before they start wanting to put YOU on a ” Do not call” list. I figured if I could just focus on one area where I got to be myself and throw my whole self into it I could focus on that and not what was scaring me to death with Greg.

So in many ways joining this AWESOME sisterhood has set me free! I have loved it.

Ok moving onto last weekends adventures .. SO to make matters even better.. my awesome friend joined with me on the same day and we get to go together. My sponsor is my great friend of 10 years as well. So this really is lots of friendships coming together when we meet up!

Customary “The party is on it’s way ” Picture

We flew out Thursday afternoon and with the 2 hour time difference it was 10:30 by the time we got to Columbus, OH. Some of our friends were kind enough to come pick us up from the airport and go back to the hotel. A lot of us were staying at the same hotel which made it fun!

Columbus was experiencing a heat wave and I don’t do HEAT very well anymore… especially combined with humidity. To say I was hot was a GROSS understatement.. here’s a look at my lovely sweat beaded face…

I sent this to Greg after walking outside for 10 minutes. Good grief. On a side note : I’d like to give a shout out to my Maskcara makeup. Y’all my eyeliner was the only thing that budged. Even with me sweating like a blacksmith my face stayed on. So props to them!

That first day was filled with sweating (jk) registration, picking up our amenity and shopping!

The line was long but thirty-one knows how to keep things moving so we had a blast. I got everything I wanted from the conference store and a dash extra. After all that we were tired and went back to the hotel for approximately 30 seconds before headed back out to meet up with our friend and sponsor.

Walking into general session like we own the place

That first night was filled with people getting recognized for achievements and a few tips for us to take away.

The next day we had an amazing speaker named Kindra Hall. It was on Strategic Storytelling . I didn’t even know that was a thing! She was amazing and I learned SO much from her! I also sensed a kindred spirit. She is a tiny blonde ball of energy and I instantly loved her!

I’m a big quote person (pun intended here) I feel like surrounding yourself with positive messages can TOTALLY affect your outlook and attitude. So I jumped at the chance to snap a pic with these. Both of them I loved for different reasons. I’m not sure if you’re aware but Thirty-one has what they call the Gives campaign. or Be the Give. They partner with different organizations throughout the year to help give back ( something very close to my heart) They have partnerships with Ronald Mcdonald house , Girls on the Run, National Network to end Domestic Violence just to name a few. The Domestic Violence Campaign Slogan this year is “Actually, I Can” This quote has just the right amount of sass and strong will in it and I’m 100% here for it! I have family members who have been affected by domestic violence, it’s a large reason of why I did the Zipper pouch Mothers Day fundraiser. I want to help in anyway I can.

Our last General session had another amazing speaker, Michelle Pohler. She talked about facing our fears and getting out of our comfort zone in a way I hadn’t really heard before. One of the best take aways from her speech for me was a story she told about facing her final fear . When about to face it someone asked her ” What’s the worst that could happen?” Now if you’re like me I’m sure you’ve asked yourself that question MANY times. Who hasn’t?! But my favorite part was when she said she changed one word that made it ALL different . ” What’s the BEST that could happen?”

After that Conference was technically over so we had lunch with some more amazing friends and had lots of laughs . Y’all I can’t emphasize enough how fulfilling, fun and rewarding it is to go to conference. You should just come with me and find out for yourself!

I’m so excited for Conference next year ! It’s gonna be blast as well! I’m already counting down the days.

Till next time

~Laura

Red, White and Blue

Photo Cred: Steve F. Gray

We love to go to the Rodeo as a family. Illa and I love the horses and well honestly the food (corn dogs and funnel cakes anyone?!) Wes loves the tractors and heavy equipment and Greg loves watching the bull riding. It really is fun for all of us.

One of the things that Greg and I both love (and the kids are starting to catch on) Is the bringing in of the Flag and the National Anthem being sung. The Ute Stampede Rodeo has the most amazing way of doing it. A guy skydives in with a HUGE American Flag strapped to him . As he comes in Lee Greenwoods ” God Bless the USA” is played and because I cry at everything I tear up every time.

Beautiful night, Beautiful Flag, Great Night

One of the things that got me extra teary this year was watching the National Guard members hustle as soon as the flag touched down. They scooped it up as fast as possible and then held it in such a way as the National Anthem is sung that it waves a little in the breeze. Why do I tear up? Because I think about what that flag means to me and to those that have served and how could you not be moved to tears?

I’m sure you are probably wondering why I’m going on about the flag and not more about the rodeo stuff. Well here’s why. It’s something that is very important to me. I’m not sure if it’s the way I was raised, or the fact that I had family members that served.

I LOVE the month of July. I LOVE seeing all the flags and pride in our country. I wished it was carried out throughout the year honestly. I wish that as a country we could pull our heads out of you know where and get back on track. Truly listen to each other and love thy neighbor.

To quote of my favorites :

” Love thy neighbor, not Love thy neighbor if they look and act and think like you. Not Love thy neighbor so long as they wear the right clothes and say the right things . JUST LOVE THEM”

– Rachel Hollis

I am personally trying my best to be better about this. Join me won’t you? Next time you look at the flag think about what it means to you. Dig a little deeper this July and Blast a little Lee Greenwood and let’s all remember what America is all about .

I’m gonna leave this pic of Wes because its just too funny not to. I was trying to get a cute pic of him and the flag… **SIGH**

Till next time!

~Laura

Flaming Gorge Trip

This trip was interesting from the start. First off I had mixed feelings about going because I was unsure of my kids and being on the river with what I was picturing in my mind to be severe rapids. I mean what kind of mother takes small children in a boat on crazy water?!

I was finally convinced to go and we packed the motorhome and our truck and set off. It was actually really nice because Greg had both kids and Artie (our cocker spaniel) in the motor home with him and I had The whole truck to myself. I mean Moxie was in her kennel in the bed but basically I was ALONE . Peace and quiet for a 4 hour drive.. YES PLEASE!! It was glorious, I listened to my book the whole time and the only person I had to feed snacks to was me. (I think that was secretly my favorite part of the trip) Anyway back to the point, We started driving and were in the canyon and I was behind Greg when something strange caught my eye. A SUV in the oncoming lane was acting weird. It lost control and veered right for the bed of my truck. How it missed me is a miracle. It then over corrected and flipped. Rolling several times. I watched this all through my side and rear view mirrors. It was my greatest fear I was watching unfold. Many people stopped so I kept going to get to a spot where I could call for help because the signal in that area is awful. I was able to call it in and get help coming and to this day I wonder what the outcome was. Did help get there in time? Were they ok? I guess I’ll never know.

We continued on without incident to camp. We had the dinner assignment that night and I was ever so grateful that I had spent time before we left making the majority of the meal. Easy warm up and serve Fajitas! I even made and brought with me fried ice cream! We eat better out camping than we do at home ha ha .

Getting Ready to get on the Boat!

The next morning was River Time! We had to pick up our rafts by 8 am so the morning was a blur packing our cooler and getting everyone dressed and out the door on time but we made it. I wanted to debut my new Family Picnic Cooler from Thirty – one but Greg was skeptical. I think because it was pretty and didn’t look sturdy enough to go down the river.

Pic of the Cooler in question

The time came and we all got loaded into the rafts and we set sail for adventure! I ended up being in a separate raft from Greg and looking back I will never do that again. The kids and I were in a raft with my brother and sister in law and their kids and we had a great time. A few small rapids, working together to paddle and singing songs it was a blast.

Meanwhile on Greg’s boat things were a little different. He ended up getting thrown out not once but twice. He got beat up pretty bad and once I finally laid eyes on him I could tell he was hurting pretty good. Thankfully (or not) all of this happened where I didn’t see because my boat was so far ahead of his. We were almost done with the river at that point and I was grateful.

The rest of the day was pretty chill but that was a different story the next day. So the little town we were staying next to was having a big 4th of July Celebration on Saturday. They had a car show and vendors, bouncy houses, the works. Well we had decided that we wanted to go to the car show because we love going as a family. We are all car nuts. So we went and it had a really good turn out for cars. I was quite impressed by all the cars that showed up. They also had a large sandbox with toys for the kids to play in. Of course that’s were Wesley wanted to hang out. So I let him play while Illa and Greg saw the cars. After they were done looking at the cars they joined Wes and I at the sandbox and the kids played while Greg and I chatted on the railroad ties that lined the sandbox.

As we were talking Greg and I noticed a commotion at the front of the sandbox. One of the cars that had been parked on the incline by the sand box was rolling towards it. I’ll be honest, it took me a hot minute to process what was going on . The lady that was driving the car laid on the horn and hollered out ” I HAVE NO BRAKES!!” As the horn was blaring and she was yelling this the car crossed over the railroad ties and into the sandbox filled with kids. MY KIDS. The car hit an older gentleman, knocking him down and running over his legs. As this was happening three men ran forward to try to stop the car and Greg went running towards our kids. He gently tossed other kids out of the path of the car. The car was finally brought to a stop by hitting one of those large Excavator sand toys and the help of the gentlemen. When it finally stopped it was 2 to 3 feet away from Illa and Wes.

Greg and I grabbed the kids and got the heck outta there. We got a few yards away and I bent down to ask the kids if they were ok. Illa just nodded blankly but Wes teared up and said ” Mommy that car scared me!” It scared me to. I mean Greg and I were RIGHT there and yet even being vigilant it could have been so much worse. I’m forever grateful that both the kids are ok. The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful compared to all that .

There was a fireworks show that the town put on . It was really good. The kids loved it. I admit I loved it to . It was a good ending to a crazy day and trip.

I’ve never had ALL of us at some point in such a short amount of time be so close to an accident or worse. It made me really look at our family, the love we share, the fun we have, the little things that make us all crazy. It’s funny how you view it all differently when reminded that it could be gone in the blink of an eye.

Till next time

~ Laura

Welcome to Our New Blog

“You, and only you are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are”

— Rachel Hollis

This is the first post on our new blog. I’ll keep it short and sweet. I decided that since I am such a story teller… I needed a place to tell my stories. So here we are.. Hopefully you’ll be entertained, maybe even uplifted. Who knows? Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates and find out for yourself!

I’m gonna Introduce Ourselves

Who are the Smiths? That’s a loaded question Ha Ha . We have been married for 13 years and have 2 kids. We also have 2 dogs and go on countless adventures. We are always on the go which is good and bad. I love keeping busy but sometimes it’d be nice to not have anything to do ( dare to dream right?!)

We love to camp and travel in our motorhome. We also love to ride the RZR and go rock crawling. We have a boat and enjoy boating and water activities although we don’t have a ton of time to go. We enjoy hunting and just being in the mountains.

Everyday is an a chance to build memories and I wouldn’t have it any other way!