Friday, September 26, 2008

This movie is a MUST SEE!!!!!!! We had the chance to see this movie in Jan. at the LDS Film Festival & Ryan Little did an amazing job directing it. It is a great film & you will really enjoy it. It is filled with an all star cast........ Sean Astin, Penn Bagley, Sean Farris, Big Budah, & many others.
Forever Strong

Thursday, September 25, 2008


With all this
talk I ask what is your opinion on who really is responsible for this mess our country is in? Do we really put billions into the pockets of the wealthy & trust them or is there a right answer? How did we get to this point in our country? I think it was best discribed today on CNN:
"We were all enjoying the punch at the party until the punch bowl went empty & now everyone wants more of the punch."
So I would love to hear what you have to say. There is no right or wrong answer. It is time to voice your opinion.

Dear Family & Friends,

Dear Family & Friends,

I am writing you today to tell you about an upcoming event that I am participating in that is both very important and very exciting to me. It is NAMIWalks for the Mind of America, NAMI’s signature walkathon event that is being held in Salt Lake City, UT at Franklin Covey Field on September 27, 2008.

My family has put a team together in my honor in helping to understand what it is like for me everyday dealing with BiPolar. I am excited to have the opportunity to share this experience with them & to walk side by side with them for something that is so real in all of our lives. If you cannot join us I hope that you will take the time to look at the website & learn more about all that NAMI has to offer you & anyone you may know struggling with any type of mental illness.

I would like to ask you to come and walk with me or to donate to support my participation in this great event. If you would like to register to walk with me, visit my team's page at Or if you just want to make a donation to sponsor me, visit Donating online is fast and secure, and I'll get immediate notification via e-mail of your donation.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the largest education, support and advocacy organization that serves the needs of all those whose lives are touched by these illnesses. This includes persons with mental illness, their families, friends, employers, the law enforcement community and policy makers. The NAMI organization is composed of approximately 1100 local affiliates, 50 state offices and a national office.

The goals of the NAMIWalks program are: to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness, to build awareness of the fact that the mental health system in this country needs to be improved, and to raise funds for NAMI so that they can continue their mission.

NAMI is a 501(c)3 charity and any donation you make to support my participation in this event is tax deductible. NAMI has been rated by Worth magazine as among the top 100 charities "most likely to save the world" and has been given an "A" rating by The American Institute of Philanthropy for efficient and effective use of charitable dollars.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Leah Smith

If you have questions about the NAMI Utah Walk, or your participation in it, please contact Mary Gully at or (801) 323-9900. Remember, you may access and manage your online registration anytime by visiting

For technical questions regarding your custom fundraising link or collecting online donations, please contact

NAMI walk for life.........

This Saturday is a big event in my life & the life of my family. It is the NAMI Walk. For those who don't know what NAMI is it stands for National Association of Mental Illness. My parents and siblings put a team together in my honor to help support BiPolar. I am excited to walk together with them & have their support & love with me this weekend. It has been a long 4 year road. (Really it is a life time) but since m diagnoses 4 years ago it has been a growing time for all of us. If you know anyone who struggles at all with any kind of Mental Illness I encourage you to be proactive. Get educated. Ignorance is the worst medicine. You can go to & get involved. Our team is LovelyLeah (that was what my Mom called me when I was little) & you can come & walk with us or make a donation in our honor to help with education research & all kinds of things. Most of all I would encourage ou to go to the website & become familiar with how real it is all around you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Weekly Football Update

So this past Saturday the boys played much better but still no wins. The important thing is they still LOVE it. Nate & I ran into Taylor's coach's son yesterday at the store and he made a very smart comment. He said if they win a championship when they are 8 or 9, what do they ever have to look forward to? How nice it would be but I would much rather they be learning the skills of hard work & they are boys enjoying the game which is the whole picture and purpose of why they are playing no matter what the parents want to admitt.

You can check out their website for the scores:

What's a MOM?

My cup runneth over.....
Eliza & I at the Great Salt Lake.....
They grow so quickly..... Easter of '06
Being silly at the family cabin
Lovin life down in Dixie!

Six months ago while sitting in m daughters maturation program the school nurse said that anyone can be a mother, but it takes someone special to be a "MOM". I do agree with her up to that point. But what she went on to sa next offended me & maybe because I didn't fit her picture. She then went on to say that you cannot become a "MOM" without finishing college, getting married & spending a couple of years alone together in your marriage together first before starting a family. With that experience than you are prepared to become a "MOM". See I got married at 19 & three months later was pregnant & only had one semester of college done. But I would have to say over the last 11+ years that I have had many moments with my children where I feel like I truly am a "MOM". I see people who are very well educated & have years behind them yet when it comes to children & how to raise them have know idea what to do. So is age & schooling really what makes you a "MOM"? Or is it how you were raised & loved & nurtured or for those who weren't raised with love do they learn to love because they yearned for it so much as a child? What truly makes you a "MOM"? I have been reading the book Latter Day Strippling Warriors by Ardeth G Kapp & she interviews a lot of the Elders & Sisters from their mission about what things did their mothers do that left lasting impressions on them. It has been so interesting to hear the simple things that effect a childs life. It has caused me to think back on m own life & my own mother & if there is a word about the home I grew up in I would say a home of laughter. We laughed so much growing up. My childhood is a happy one. That is something that a lot of children cannot say. I think of all of our family vactions in the car. We used to beg to fly. With 7 children that was a never going to happen sort of thing but still fun to dream about. But now I am so grateful we didn't because those car rides are long lasting memories of laughter. What things will my children remember about our home? If anything the one thing I try to stress the most with my children is you aren't competeing with anyone but yourself. Just try & do better than you did last time. If you are always improving yourself, that's what's important. I hate that we live in a world where we always think we need to one up someone. My beliefe is being a "MOM" has no degree or age. It has heart and love, unselfishness, unconditional love, heartbreak, lack of sleep, pain & lots of it, but most importantly, JOY! The job never ends. My "MOM" is still working at it full time and we are all out of the house & most of us married. It never ends once you you start so be prepared to hold on for the ride but the blessings & benefits last a life time & into the eternities.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


32..........that's how old I am. It may not seem very old to many & it may seem ancient to many but to me it is a nmber to ponder. You may wonder why. My brother passed away at the age of 32. I think this was all of his life he got to live before returning home to his Father in Heaven. It makes me ponder & ask myself "am I prepared if this was my moment?".... "or what dreams have still yet to achieve?".......... "who have I offended that I need to make right?"....... "have I done everything I could to share the Gospel?"...... etc. I think that until someone so close dies, death doesn't seem real. Even after my brother died it still didn't. But as I let go of my anger & pain & started healing I could evaluate m life & see WOW,, I have changes to make. With just turning 32 this past week it really struck a chord that I truly have the rest of my life ahead of me so I need to live it to the fullest.

We all have time in a bottle we just don't know when we might fall & break that bottle or have someone steal our precious bottle

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mrs Mary Selin

This week marks the one year anniversary of Mrs Mary Selin. One of the most important people that has been a part of Eliza's life. She was her teacher 2nd grade - 5th grade & then this week of 5th grade last year she past away due to cancer. I will never forget the phone call home Eliza made & hearing her crying on the line. I ran to the car to get to the school as fast as I could. She just wanted to be held. It was so quick & sudden for her & she was very caught off gaurd. I knew that Mary was sick but felt that Eliza was better not knowing because cancer to her means death ever since my brother died. Mary was still teaching full time & led us on to believe that she wasn't as sick as she was so we didn't tell her. IT WAS ROUGH! It was that same day she had her 3rd call back for "Taylor" in HSM on stage & she said she couldn't do it. I told her that Mrs Selin would want her to. It was her best audition. She now dedicates all her shows to her. We celebrated her birthday this past spring & talk about her to keep her memory alive. She brought so much joy in learning to Eliza's life that school became a place to go & explore not to go & work. They would go outside & find their own areas & sit & write in their journals about the world around them out in the fresh air. She wasn't a text book teacher. She was a teacher who got in their with the kids & got her hands dirty & worked right there with them. Her love & passion for learning was so powerful. Taylor & McKay both cried as they were told of her passing. They were so excited to have her as a teacher. She is a woman that I pray Eliza will always remember & cherish. That she will carry those memories in her heart forever. We will always love & cherish you Mrs Selin.
1 2 3 Zwoosh!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Football Update.....

McKay #5 running during his game!
McKay & Taylor before their games. Can you tell it's 6:00am?
McKay, Cousin Aiden, & Taylor after a Saturday of football
Taylor with his buddy & quarterback on his team Cooper

This Saturday was so much better..........TAYLOR'S team played 75% better than last week. They lost 7 to 20. They worked much better as a team & Taylor was glad to come out for a couple of plays. Hopefully next week will go even better..............McKay'S game was rough. His coach that does most of the coaching was out of town on business so that was a huge strike. They have only ever worked with 2 boys as quarterbacks. McKay & then another little. Well the other little boy was playing quarterback & McKay was playing running back. The line wouldn't block & Easton (the quarterback) got hit HARD. He was down for awhile. He was out the rest of the game. McKay stepped in as quarterback. The line still wouldn't block so he gave up finally & just tucked the ball & ran to get what ever yards he could. They lost & thank goodness McKay didn't get taken out too or really would have been hurting.

But we just love going & watching them & cheering them on & grateful to them enjoy it & we are so thankful it isn't snowing YET!

I'm the big 32! WOW

Here I am the day I was born 9/15/1976
I have always LOVED music. Got that from my father.

I LOVE pig tails!
I think these pants are like the funkiest you have ever seen.
This swing is at my G&G's & it's a cherished memory in my life.

This is my baby blanket that I had forever.
I mean can we say style or what?

This is my favorite school picture. It's kindergarten. Hated my teacher.
This is my famous dear family friend Matt Nolte. He is an animator for Pixar. He worked on Cars & is the head of there big movie coming out in 2011.
My Farrah Fawcett hair do
Classic not only the Flinstones but also Little Miss Shy jammies!

And here I am all these years later @ 32!
We have a tradition in my family that the night of your birthday you choose what you want for dinner. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted hamburgers. When I married Nate he has always been great to continue that. Tonight my paretns took Nate & I & the kids out to dinner @ Five Guys Burgers & Fries. They have been just back east like many other wonderful resturants & so it just opened here & we were thrilled. We had a wonderful time & I highly recommend you go. We then went & got ice cream. Thanks Dad & Mom for a fun night out!

Me having my first bite of an amazing burger!!!!!
Nate, the kids, & I at Five Guys
McKay & I enjoying some yummy ice cream
Me enjoying my 5th birthday with a yummy popcorn cake:)
Iam not sure if this is my second or third birthday but there's chocolate cake & ice cream so what more can you ask for?

So I had an AWESOME day. I spent time alone & went to lunch with Nate, got a fun call from my BFF Steph, got a sweet email from my KAK. Then we did dinner & made a Costco run. Last night we went to my in-laws & had dinner & yummy homemade peach pie;). So far I don't feel any older it just sounds so old. Some days I do feel 80 but I am thankful for each & everyday I have. I love birthdays & to think about how it seems time stands still while so much happens.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Trials & Tribulations..............

My thoughts this weekend have been so foccussed on one of my most favorite of all people, my cousin Andrew. Andrew & I are the same age & have always have had a special bond. He is my dad's only siblings son & though I don't see him very often the time spent together is cherished. I was with with him when I was offered my first can of beer. We were at his brothers wedding & his buddy snuck a bunch af beers for Andrew, I, and all their buddies. I declined & so Andrew did too so I wouldn't be alone. When I graduted from high school I choose my senior trip to be to Altoona, PA. Most peaople have never heard of it but it was 2 weeks of heaven. I went & stayed with my aunt & uncle & cousins & wanted time to stand still. You cannot be around Andrew & not have fun. He is the giving & loving people. As a father he is amazing. He ranks right up there to Nathan. Well we are waiting to find out if he has cancer. It is ironic in some ways because at this exact same time 4 years ago my brother Brandon was 31 just like Andrew and we were waiting to see if he had cancer. He did and we lost him a year later. My brother turned 32 that February after finding out he had cancer & Andrew also turns out this coming February. As I pray & wait to see what the Lord's will is for this special person in my life I have had several anxiety attacks. I want to get on a plane & fly to Virgina & fix everything but I am helpless except through the power of prayer. I am so grateful I have that power & I can help in that way. When my brother passed away our sweet little McKay was just 5 and when I called home because I was San Diego with my brother, I told him when he answered the phone & I was affraid at his reaction when he had prayed for a year everyday for his uncle. But he told me our prayers were answered, he was healed because now that he was with Heavenly Father he was all done with his cancer. I don't know what Andrew's out come will be but I know the Lord's plan is one of greatness & that through trials & tribulations we grow & become great people. We need to thankful for the things that bring us strength & growth. I will continue to pray for Andrew & I will except what ever the Lord's will is. I love you Andrew!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Football so far.........

Taylor the #1 HOG (lineman) on his team & the fastest!
McKay plays quarter back & running back & loves it because my dad was a quarter back But says it's too much pressure & he feels like everything is on him (he's a perfectionist)
Me still trying to figure out how the heck this game works. Is it 4 downs & how do you get them & why do they punt it when they are so far away & why don't they dive to tackel and why ..................?

So far FOOTBALL Braves Football has been a slow start. I am praying tomorrow that the boys on Taylors team wil step up to the plate or I mean line & become men for an hour. Last week they game up after the first touch down scored against them & then some of our key players all the sudden had "major injuries" & couldn't play & once the game was over they were heald. One of the parents was hugging them & the coach said "there's no hugging stop babying them" It was funny. They are in the national league so there is a lot expected of them & it will be interesting to see what tomorrow morning brings. Poor Taylor never once came out of the game but he never gave up & they had to run all of half time because they were playing so sloppy & they did play better in the 2nd half but still it was a major butt spanking.

McKay's team is doing a lot better & he is on a team of all 8 year old first year players. They have lost both their games but only by 1 touchdown not 7. His first game they played against a Bingham team & the coach got in the refs face & got a flag well that really got him going so he got another flag & then a third & finally a 4th. They brought a Sheriff over to stay by him & keep him under control. We were all busting up because it was the beginning of the first quarter & they were 3 yards from the touch down line & the ball was turned over to us. It was so funny to watch a 45 year old man watch through a temper tantrum & watch 8 year olds trying to figure out what his problem is because they are there to have fun.

So that is our football update we will keep you posted.

Eliza is going on TOUR!!!!!

The Jonas Brothers!
Eliza Smith

Okay so Eliza is going on tour June 15-19th & guess who she is going with? Not the Jonas Brothers but she is going to Disney Land. She is in a Preforming group & she is one of the 4 touring groups & they are going to Disney Land to perform several times a day for 4 days. She is so excited & cannot wait. We are hoping to make it a vacation & all be able to go & cheer her on. She will even have a solo number. So we will keep you posted on our rising star.

Happy Birthday Yesterday Steph...........

Stephanie & Todd right after she finished the Top of the Mountain Marathon 9/15/2007 which qualified her for the Boston Marathon which she ran this April.
This is Stephanie Jill Wilkins Victor my BFF for
the last 14 years. Yesterday Sept. 11, was her birthday & I meant to post this yesterday but we were all sick with the flu. Anyone who knows Stephanie is lucky. She is an amzaing person. She grew up in a little tiny town in Idaho & my senior year of high school she moved down to SLC to live with a family & study with Ballet West. The family she lived with was in my ward & I was thrilled to have someone new in the ward & someone from a small town in Idaho as well since I grew up in one myself until high school. We hit it off from the start. She has been the greatest blessing in my life. One time I had to be in the hospital for 2 weeks, she dropped everything she was doing left her 3 kids with her mom & drove down from Pocatello & sat at my bedside, watched my kids, redecorated my bedroom & kept Nate positive. When I have made really bad choices she will be so honest with me & tell me not to do that & that I will regret that if I I go through with it. When we were just recently planning McKay's baptism he got to choose who spoke. I thought for sure he would ask for a certain grandparent or aunt or uncle but he wanted Stephanie when I asked him why he said because she is my second mom & I love her so much I want her to speak. It moved me to tears. She has been such a cruicial part of my life from helping me build the confidence to see that I was good enough for Nathan & that I was truly a daughter of God. She is always lifting me up & serving me. Four years ago we came home from a 2 week trip to North Carolina & our kitchen ceiling was full of water. It rained the entire time we were gone & our roof had a leak & so it all soaked through. We called & got bids & the cheapest was $10595.00. Stephanie called to see how our trip was & I told her what we came home to & that we just couldn't afford that & our homeowners inssurance wouldn't cover it because our roof was more than 20 ears old. So the next week we got a phone call from Stephanie to start scrapping the roof so that the next week when her husband got there it would be ready for him to put on a new one. Now that is a friend who goes above the call of friendship. She is married to a saint & they have three of the most beautiful & wonderful children. I could go on for hours about Stephaine. We have done hundreds of crazy things some involve black nylons on our heads & fake animals noses, water fights at Baskin Robins with the emploees, roasting miniture marshmellows over candles with toothpicks, washing Steph's truck & running out of quarters & have to drive home to get more while the truck is covered in pink foam, were talking COVERED, oh I could go on forever. I never laugh so much as I do everytime we get together.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Eliza @ the Hill Field Airforce Musem
Me & Eliza @ the Hill Field Airforce Musem
My Grandpa Don who served in the Navy for 20+ years
Eliza, Taylor, & McKay with some soldiers who had just returned from Iraq
McKay, Taylor, Wyatt(cousin), Eliza, & Mara(cousin) @ the Hill Field Air Force Musem
With tomorrow being the 7th anniversary of the tragic day that took so many lives 7 years ago I challenge each of you to do something to honor those in your home towns who do the little things everyday to protect us & had our towns been NYC they would have been the ones on the front lines. Go to your local fire satation and take treats with your kids & your local police station & take treats. If you live close to a base then go there and take treats. Just because it has been several years doesn't mean our thanks needs to be over. We need to continue to show our thanks every day to our everyday heroes. Plus think of what a great lesson you will be teaching your children. I know everyday a emergency vehichal passes on the road I think back to when I was 12 & our home caught on fire in the middle of the night. I get so mad when people don't move over because I think of what & who is waiting for that emergency vehical to get there. So remember that too, where we have to go is never more important then where they have to go so always move over for them! Eliza sang at the State Capital for all the fallen heroes since 9/11 and said it was the needest feeling.

"Families..........Isn't it about time?"

Colby & Coriane's first dance
Colby & his Mom sharing a dance
My Uncle Donny & Aunt Becky
My little bro Devin & his wife Karissa with some kids they were taking care of
My cousins Ryan, me, Matthew, & Colby
My Gandpa Don & Grandma Bonnie & I
Eliza, Taylor, McKay & I
McKay, Coriane, Taylor, Colby, & Eliza
My little bro Devin & I

My cousin got married a week ago to a great girl or I guess I should say a great young women. I love when my mom's side of the family gets together becase it is one big party. My cousin got married here in the Bountiful Temple and it was a beautiful sealing. They then had a luncheon here in Bountiful and then a really fun reception at Engh Gardens in Sandy. They did a really fun thing at the reception, they had an ice cream bar & they used candle warmers to keep all the sauces hot. I thought that was so creative. It thought it was a great day for all. There were a couple of great grandaughters who were sad to see Colby get married because he has been their favorite for so long. Eliza was one of them. But it was family time well spent! Congrats to Colby & Coriane. Thanks for letting us be part of your special day!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Voice lessons.........

Okay so today I decided that I was going to be really brave and take a voice lesson. I love so much to sit and listen to Nathan & my children sing & I dream of being able to do the same. I have decided that I am no longer going to sit and wait until the resurrection to sing & so I have started taking lessons. Now who knows if I will ever compare with them but I want to just at least get to where I feel comfortable singing in church. I LOVE to sing & dream of singing with Nate one day. It may be years away but at least it's a goal I am finally working towards now. I was so affraid & yet I had the best time ever. I cannot wait for the next one. Now if I would dare to start running then I would have two goals down & a thousand to go. :)!!!!!!!!!!!

The movie Taylor played the lead in has sure been busy making the rounds at film festivals. If you go to this website you can see the trailer. It is fun to see all the film festivals it has played in. Here are a few pictures from filming. It is playing in Australia the weekend of his birthday next year. Since Nate served his mission there of course we would love to go but we are just excited for Andy Bailey the director and how great the movie is doing.