my joanie. thank you.


August 2008

Joanie is my freshman roommate from college. I'm not sure you could have put two more opposite girls in the same dorm room…but somehow it worked. We are so very different, and yet have just clicked since day one. When I transferred to Iowa and decided to rush, Joanie (the anti-sorority girl) sent me her mom's chocolate chip banana bread in the mail with a note that said, "Good luck with Rush and I hope you get into a good house. I love that we are so different but still such good friends."

Don't "aww" just yet – this is also the girl who has never hesitated to put me in my place 🙂 Once when I was acting particularly spoiled, Joanie said to me, "I feel like someday you will sit on a throne and just tell people, 'bring me things'." 🙂 I guess you could say I return the favor. At breakfast when she was visiting, vegetarian Joanie didn't want part of a friend's pancake on what had been the bacon plate. While other friends at the table looked for a different spare plate, I told her to "frickin' quit whining and get over it". Ah, friendship.

Despite our sarcasm, I do love this girl. Have you ever met someone who is just good at EVERYTHING and in general, makes you want to be a better person? That is totally and completely what Joanie is and has always been to me. The girl with her dry humor and quirky sense of style makes her own clothes, her own jewelry, is a cross-country runner, paints, plays in the orchestra, writes her own songs, plays the guitar, cuts hair, and so much more. Joanie has spent time abroad in Ghana, and recent years in DC, working in an AIDS shelter for
women. Treat yourself and check out her amazing photography from her adventures.

In sharp contrast to her many talents, Joanie was handed me – a flighty roommate from CR who chatted on the cell or IM constantly, often decided not to attend classes, and is still to this day trying to decide what she wants to do with her life. (I've long since given up on trying to measure up to her and I am totally okay with that). 🙂

Today, Joans is impossible to keep in close contact with, since she takes forever to answer emails or facebook messages. (It will be at least a month before she checks my blog and reads this). I am terrible about phonecalls, or checking voicemail more than a couple times a week. I don't get to see her very often (this month was the first time in almost two years), and we certainly aren't what you would call "great" at keeping in touch, but she still means so much to me. I know for a fact that I have gotten so much more out of our friendship than I have given back.

To Joanie: Thank you. Not only for putting up with the less-talented, fashion-princess, often shallow and ditzy girl you were assigned to live with six years ago, but for being my dear friend to this day.


i love the olympics.

Note: I tried posting this last night with no luck from Typepad. Finally got it to post this morning – better late than never!

I get so into the Olympics. We've been watching gymnastics and swimming tonight. So proud of local celeb Shawn Johnson's beam routine, and I think Page and I woke the neighbors with our screaming for the US men's relay team beating France by hundredths of a second! (Just goes to show – don't talk smack about the US – we'll put you in your place!) I LOVED Phelps' reaction! 🙂




one of my faves.

I can make one of these and munch on it all week long – my own version of California Pizza Kitchen's Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Pizza…yum!!

Here it is before going into the oven…


I start with a Boboli whole wheat crust and brush it with a little olive oil (a trick from Dad!) Top it with a GOOD pizza sauce – current fave is Everything Sauce, from RockPower Pizza here in Des Moines – you can also buy it at the Farmer's Market. Add a couple handfuls of reduced fat shredded mozzarella, red and yellow bell peppers, and some little pieces of turkey bacon for smoky flavor. Now for the best part – put big globs of goat cheese all over and you're ready to bake! (Not too unhealthy…goat cheese is one of the lowest-cholesterol cheeses you can eat!)

Bon apetit!


hubby turned web designer!

As a joke a month or so ago, Page set up this website for fun and for some basic web design practice. He has since gotten really into website creation and will be launching a new site, PageSmithDesign – he already has a couple future customers! Right now his site is what's called a "holding page" – explaining to anyone who goes to his site that there WILL be a site there, it is just still under construction. I'm amazed by people who know how to animate web pages, the way those little blocks move around and break apart. Good job, babe! 🙂


heritage layouts

Dana and I both got some scrapping done in the hotel this week. I took a break from current stuff and went back to my heritage album – a constant work in progress because I’m always digging up new photos and stories. For now I’m just focusing on my side but eventually I’d like to take on the Smith side of the family as well. Keeping the layouts simple and not too trendy…see the pic of me as a kid in the wedding dress? That’s my grandma’s dress – seen in the wedding photo on the “Carol” layout!







grown up furniture

Page (Monday night, about 4 hours into furniture building): "Ten bucks says there's a blog post about this tomorrow."

You know it! 🙂 So excited to have bedroom furniture that doesn't look like it belongs in a dorm room, and that actually matches! No more college leftover hodge podge, woo hoo!

We had a fabulous weekend in Chicago, driving into Galena Fri night, then heading out early Saturday. We were able to hit every spot on our list: Ikea, Trader Joe's, Crate & Barrel, Container Store, H&M, California Pizza Kitchen, Potbelly's, and Z Gallerie! We got back to CR in time to celebrate Mom's birthday on Sunday, then headed back to Des Moines on Monday to begin the massive Ikea building session:




for some reason these pictures will NOT rotate right side up – and I'm giving up after ten minutes of trying…this is Mom getting all excited about her iPhone from Dad for her bday and blowing out her flip flop cupcake cake 🙂


our car, packed down with shopping souvenirs…




…and completion! 



Two dressers, two bedside tables and six hours later, Mr. Wonderful himself had these all put together – what a stud! I wanted to rearrange them and play around with the layout but these things are HEAVY and Page had definitely had his fill for the day haha. My favorite part was when I realized the lining in the drawers is a yellow stripe!


Hope your weekend was just as fun! Happy Tuesday!


mid-week catch-up


It’s starting to resemble a quilt – miraculous! Loving all the random colors and prints together – there’s no real rhyme or reason to how it’s laid out, I wanted it to be just crazy and fun. I am calling this my "happy quilt" and in my typical jump-with-both-feet style, I need more fabric, so I will be adding a fabric store run to my list of to-dos for the weekend.

Still haven’t watched my Tivo to see Idol from last night, but I hear that my boy Jason didn’t have such a hot night, and neither did Brooke, who’s also one of my faves. Anxious to hear how David Cook pulls off Andrew Lloyd Webber. I like him more every week now that he’s losing his cockiness factor.

Mr. Smith is super excited because he has a new set of golf clubs! I think this will help him "make it through" until ski season returns in only 8 short months! We’ve both been much better lately about eating healthy and working out on a regular basis – pool season here we come!


Preparations are in full swing for a BLOWOUT GARAGE SALE (seriously, it’s unreal the amount of stuff!) at my parents’ house in CR the last weekend in May. Minus furniture and bigger items we’re selling, the laundry room has become the garage sale staging area – this is just a small section of the mounds of stuff coming from our house. My parents have about 30 times as much, so I’m hoping 2 days of sale will be enough. As it gets closer, I’ll post times and the address for anyone who likes to garage sale shop in the CR area! I cleared out my closet big time in preparation for this sale and discovering I have nothing to wear, ended up at TJMaxx checking out the latest goods – very cute stuff right now – add it to your list of stores to hit! 🙂



And in more Smith family news, it’s official: Page is onto Hard while I am left in loser-ville aka the Medium level of Guitar Hero. I knew he wouldn’t be able to handle it for very long when I reached the same level he was on – we’re two firstborns and thus we are super-competitive. We both have to be the best. Sad…but true. Game on.

Looking forward to the weekend – only 2 more days! NO ONE would get remotely excited about what we’re doing Saturday, but I am ecstatic – we’re cleaning out our garage!! It’s disgusting from the winter and literally, when we moved in right before the wedding, things just got dumped and stacked in all corners. It got cold and we just never dealt with it. In other words, it’s a cleaning/organization project just waiting to happen –  I can hardly contain my excitement! Friends  are coming over Sat night to grill out and the rest of the weekend will be pretty mellow, which is totally fine by me. I wish the pool in our neighborhood would open – I would so be there! How many weeks ’til Memorial Day?