Friday, December 31, 2010

For the love of Anke

Yesterday our little Anke went to sleep. She was surrounded by those that love her more than anything... Some there to hold her and others (including myself) in spirit. She was almost 14, and the last 14 years have been so amazing because of her. She became "The Baby" of the family the summer after my freshman year of college. We'd asked for a dog so many times and never dreamed that she would actually come home to us and be ours. But Dad and Mom surprised us all! We even bought her a squeaky pacifier. And her favorite place to sleep? Mom's slipper. The perfect spot for a little 4 pound bundle of love to curl up and rest.

I NEVER.... NEVER cried when I left for college or had to go back after a holiday. But after spending that first summer with Baby Girl, I bawled like a baby when it was time to go. I remember holding her close and she licked the hot tears off my cheeks as they came down. I kept saying, "This isn't fair! I waited my whole life for a dog, and now I have to leave her!" She forgave me since I kept coming back for more each summer and Christmas. :)

Anke was the best snuggler EVER. If we settled down for just a moment on the floor or couch, there she was curled up and ready for love. My mother was her everything. I mean, she adored my daddy, was very submissive to him and her morning routine always included plopping herself down across his stomach for a good tummy rub. But if she couldn't be by my mother, the world was just not right. Sometimes Mom would be so busy around the house that Anke would bark and scold her until Mom would settle on the couch for just a few minutes so that little girl could just snuggle for awhile. :)

My Abbie LOVED Miss Anke. Anke at first tolerated my little whippersnapper, but soon they looked for each other to snuggle and play. We always joked that Abbie learned manners from Anke, and Abbie was Anke's personal trainer! I really believe that the reason I have Abbie today is because I had Anke in my life first.

First day home... She squeaked like tennis shoes when we left her alone!

Trapping flies on the window sill and watching the golfers

Her "room with the curtains" under the bed...

I wish that I could have been there with her yesterday, and with my family because I know that this is the hardest thing that anyone could go through. To make a choice and to decide that it's time. Especially when your little love seems to have had a few good days. But I know that Little Girl is happy and pain-free and loved where she is... Until we can be with her again. Thank you for all your love, Anke. You will always be our Puppers.

These are my mother's words. I hope she will forgive me for posting this, but it's a glimpse right into her heart and no one could say it better. She sent us this email yesterday:

Goodbye Dear Friend

Dear Family,

Today I said goodbye to one of my dearest friends. It's hard to explain why it is so hard because this friend never spoke to me in words. She has been my one constant through the past 13 years. The one friend that was always there for me when my kids grew up and left the house and then got married, never to return home for good again. But Anke was always there to give me a reason to get up in the morning, to snuggle with me when the house seemed too empty and I was having a tough day.

She would follow me around the house wherever I went and curl up close by. She waited up for me when I came home late and she came to find me if it was late and I wasn't in bed yet. She made me feel special, because she loved me unconditionally and truly missed me whenever I was gone. And now I will truly miss her.

This morning we made our farewell walk around the neighborhood. Anke's mind still wants to do all the things she used to do, even though her body doesn't let her anymore. I watched her as she hobbled along (her gait is very unsteady these days) and when her legs would give out on her, I picked her up and carried her for awhile. I talked to her about all the things we've done together. We listened to the birds and stopped at her favorite bushes for one last smell.

I reminded her about the time that she would run with reckless abandon on the golf course behind our house, chasing birds... her legs bounded out just like a deer and her hair would flutter in the wind that she created as she ran. She was so free then. I told her that we would be setting her free again. That she could run to her hearts delight... forever.

I hope she had a nice journey home and that she will be there to greet me when I get my chance to go. I know for sure that I will be looking for her.

So goodbye dear friend. Happy running!

For the love of Anke,


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sneek Peek...

Ho Ho Ho!

Here's a little glimpse of how yesterday morning came and went... There were glittery ribbons, paper and bows, web-camming, breakfast casserole, AND...

... a santa hat. Hope you didn't shout or pout!

More coming soon.


Mrs. Claus

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry, Merry, Merry....



Kevin, Nicole, Noah, and Abbie Mae

Friday, December 24, 2010

NEWSFLASH: Cute little ELF meets Santa... Tells him he's been good.


Back to our story... Noah finally got to sit on Santa's lap and tell him that he's been a good boy this year at our ward Christmas party last Friday. 'Course, in true Noah fashion, he couldn't go plain-clothed. He donned his ELF apparel! And he was absolutely adorable. But maybe I'm just a biased mommy. :) No, he was really that cute. But by the end of the evening, he'd kicked the jingle bells right off his pointed toes. The party was that great!

Then he told his daddy all about it!

Goooooooood Party... Now it's time for bed.

We love you all! All is calm and all is bright here in 'Braska. Have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow... and to all a GOOD NIGHT!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


After 11.5 months of anticipation, Noah could barely contain his excitement as we went to the Santa Celebration a few weeks ago. Last year's experience was super awesome as well... but we were without Daddy. This meant that:

A) I had to try to put little dude up on MY shoulders.
B) I couldn't take a single picture of the awesome event.


C) Well, Daddy wasn't there to meet Santa, his elves, Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch, and much more. Poor Daddy!!!

So Noah was quite excited that his daddy was going to join us this year. And since he was a little afraid of Rudolph and Frosty last time, he was anxious to greet them this time around.

UNFORTUNATELY.... Frosty the Awesome Snowman wasn't there. We told Noah that maybe he had a cold... Ha! Ha!... Ha!... Heh.... yeah.

But everyone else showed, including some REAL LIVE REINDEER! After Santa flipped the big switch and turned on the lights on the massive Christmas tree, we made our way around the outdoor mall watching jugglers, elves making balloon animals and candy canes, saying HELLO to all Noah's favorite Christmas characters, enjoying free hot chocolate and pastries from Panera, and we even went to the book store to hear Mrs. Claus read a few stories. Noah mailed off his awesome letter to Santa, asking for Buzz Lightyear for the second year in a row (Don't worry... He's been a good boy!). Then we called it a great night and headed home.

Here's the awesome moment when Santa turned on the lights!

We LOVE the Santa Celebration here in Lincoln. It is definitely on the events list for next year!


Because my little boy believes.... And so do I.

Merry Christmas Eve EVE!!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mmmmm... Pomanders.....

A Smith family Christmas tradition... In its finest form! Sorry, Mom. I still don't add nuts. :) Kevin starts drooling when he sees me washing our Christmas tins to get them ready.

I call this "quality control."

Only 3 more days 'till Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Force is Strong in This One

So Noah has been getting into Star Wars lately. From our post last month May The Force be with you you're probably already aware of Noah's Obi-Wan phase. Now he's been experimenting with the Dark Side ;) Note his awesome lightsaber skills!

Behold his ability to sing The Imperial March!

Now I don't want anybody getting too worried about our son's dabbling with the Dark Side, so be advised that we watched the following public service announcement before letting him go too far.

But it's still out little boy in there. I wonder if that's how his mom felt about Anakin/Darth Vader. (Or would have felt had she not... y'know... died.)