Blog Archive

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spy Moves, Humble Abode, Dad's Birthday: BYU Game Just for Him

For travel to be delightful, one must have a good place to leave and return to.
- Frederick B. Wilcox

The life of an Investigator/Traveler has its ups and downs

There’s one useful and underrated skill you might need if you decide it’s the life for you. You already have it if your parents put you in ballet when you were a kid.

(Look Natty! I loved you then too.)

You probably got lots of practice walking on your toes in such ballet classes. Or if you just dressed up in tights, a leotard, and ballet slippers every day, you can't help it, tiptoeing around comes easily to you.

This has its advantages. Now you can sneak around and not throw off people's grooves.

(Don't throw off his groove!
Beware of the groove..... the groove. [That one was for you Shay!])

When you walk, being spritely or jaunty has its advantages. You can be sneaky

Random side note: I love to watch the way people walk. Not just sneaky spy moves, but also strutting around like John Travolta on
Saturday Night Fever, power walking, prancing, and model walks

(walk off!)

You name it. People's walks are great, kids' included. If my children are spritely and skip around merrily, it’ll be so adorable; I think I’ll flip.

People's Distinct walks: Just one of life's fab things nobody talks about.

The ability to walk around unnoticed is one of the many handy skills you didn’t know would come in handy in life. I hope I’ve opened your eyes.

Unfortunately, detectives' and world travelers' lives aren't just filled with jauntily strutting about. We've gotta deal with lots of colorful people

Life can get stressful

We're going to want some place awesome to come back to for our hideout.

How about a library?

Beauty and the Beast style with a Sherlock Holmes-like study would be all a P.I. would need. I mean, sure... a little kitchen and bathroom tacked onto the back are probably a good idea too, but I can't think of much else.

Said library must have a secret door behind one of the bookshelves that opens up when you push on a certain book

This will lead to a passageway that can be used for quick getaways.

Ok, so I gave away my secret, sort of. But you don't know the right book in this very large library that you'll need to push on, do you?

What if the secret passageway lead to this?

Or what if it was the only way to get here?
Forgive me, I watched/read too many movies and books as a kid about little girls who run away to gardens where they plant lots of flowers.

I wanted my own flower cottage, where my life as a hermit could be complete

I almost forgot! For the P.I. hideout, there needs to be a separate office with a chair that spins. (My house will have lots of chairs that spin, because I may or may not be immature enough to spin on them for fun when no one is looking.) That way, when someone walks in, you can have your chair facing the wall, then turn it dramatically and say, "I've been expecting you."

So I have this friend, no relation, who’s like a total room design addict (...weirdo.) She watches Extreme Makeover Home Edition in awe of the room designs, jealous of the stuff in the kids’ rooms (...such a crazy. I don’t know why I stay friends with her, I really don’t.) She goes to Ikea and nearly hyperventilates from all the ideas she gets (...sort of like that time she went to a Jazz game and was only 5 feet away from Deron Williams and got this overwhelming urge to leap out onto the court. This girl should probably seek help. She frequently has these sorts of psychotic ideas.)

She gets old issues of Better Homes and Gardens and home design magazines for 15 cents from the library, and I happen to know she watched Trading Spaces for fun when she was a kid while other kids were watching the Disney Channel.

Said friend has so many room ideas, it would be a gigantic mega-caboodle. But this kooky obsession comes in handy, cause there are lots of fun ideas for a hideaway.

One place that's like a caboodle is ANTHROPOLOGIE. That place has room schizophrenia. Me too. I love that the rooms are always changing from Indian and Bohemian
to Silky/Cozy, to Antique old style.
Yeah, I pretty much love room changes.

The store always has something rad hanging from the ceilings. Most of the time it's bobbles. This is Christmasy and happy, but why should you just have bobbles and ceiling decorations during Christmas?

My cukoo friend practically passes out with giddiness in this store from over-stimulation. Do not go in there with her. You have been warned.

Shelby wants this Ikea room:

And check this one out:

How about a bed that's like a surf shack with a slide so you can slide out of bed in the morning?
(It's from this site, they've got some cool ones.)

A friend of mine, Mandy Greeff, has "love lists" which contain her simple pleasures and favorite things. She has cataloged her favorite room ideas, many of which come from kids' rooms. We agree, kids' rooms rock. (Thanks Mandy, for this post's inspiration!)

Speaking of kid themes, Disney gives us tons of great ideas (other than just Beauty and the Beast libraries.)

I always wanted the Peter Pan Nursery, especially the window seat complete with window

If you've ever seen Swiss Family Robinson
you'll get where I'm coming from with the Disney thing.

There's this fantastic treehouse that has everything you could ever need in it if you're stranded on an island being hunted by pirates
I want a roof that opens with a hatch so I can see the stars, just like the one on that movie.

Speaking of which, who wouldn't want to sleep here just one night?

Beach houses are good for a getaway, but treehouses are paradise for kids. Especially when they’ve got zip lines coming out of them. No kidding, this was like Little Kaitlin/Little Shayna’s paradise

We liked it when there was irrigation water at the bottom and we got to go zooming down in our swim suits. Our hands would get these calloused blisters on them from going on the zip line so much, but it was totally worth it. All the Smith cousins loved to go on the zip line.

And did I mention the tree house? I wish I had a picture. It had a heater and a sink, plus a secret passageway or two. It had a deck and two ladders (One that cranked up and down so you could put it up to keep people you didn’t want to come up out, the other a rope ladder that folded up and could be blocked by a piece of wood.)

It was the coolest. Can adults still like to play in tree houses without being considered foolish? I hope so, cause me and my Dad would be all over it if we ever found a Swiss Family Robinson treehouse in real life to play in. (There's one at Disneyland, but it's more like a museum, plus they changed it to Tarzan's treehouse cause they're lame.)

If I could, I'd get Dad a Swiss Family Robinson treehouse for his birthday. That movie is one of his favorites of all time, and I know he wants that treehouse even more than I do.

But Dad's such a down to earth guy, he never complains about a thing. He doesn't ask for much in life, just BYU tickets.... and I can't think of much else. He loves his birthday because every year, there's a BYU football game right afterward (sometimes even the day of!)

Every year we do our best to make his birthdays special.

I never know what to buy him because he never asks for anything. He lives in a house full of females who can tend to get kind of moody. And you know what? He doesn't even complain or ask for something cool for his birthday.

He doesn't ever buy stuff for just himself, which is weird to us Smith ladies. We like treating ourselves, even if it's just once in a while.

Not Dad. He'll buy food sometimes, but it's usually to share. He also doesn't buy his own clothes. If it weren't for the clothes the women in his life buy for him, he'd only have free T-shirts from BYU games and a couple cheap pairs of Walmart jeans.

Since Dad never brags about himself, I will, since he's such an awesome guy.

Dad went to New Orleans to help build homes for flood victims. He was in the paper because of it, it was quite the humanitarian project.

Dad Worked with

Dad teaches us to work hard, like he does

We loved being carried on his shoulders when we were little

He teaches us to dance

Dad likes to have fun... he loves to ride roller coasters (his girls do too!)

He likes the great outdoors

He fishes whenever he can.

Dad was in the Olympics!

He was at Soldier Hollow

He took his family there.

They had so much fun tubing

He didn't even mind when they were moody teenagers who hid from cameras.

Dad's proud of his girls

Happy Birthday Dad! Sorry this is late. I'm glad you got to watch your team play and win last night.

(And Dad, I'm glad you got to eat some really good sushi. I hope you liked the blue and white BYU balloons.)


  1. Kaitlin, I cannot believe I have never seen some of these photos! This is such an awesome tribute to your Dad. HUGS!

  2. Oh yes a library with a secret passageway! I've always wanted one of those, how cool would that be!!!


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