Thursday, February 24, 2011

We Don't Share No Stinkin' Birthdays

Today we celebrate the birth of the one and only Puff Daddy.
He's tough, he's rough, and most certainly a little puff, but that's what we love about him most.
Here a picture of the Big D with someone who may or may not have a birthday in two days. But we can't talk about that possible someone who might have a birthday soon after Puff Daddy's because only one person can have birthdayness at a time.

In other words - We don't share no stinkin' birthdays!
A birthday in the Smart family is cherished, exaggerated, and spread out as much as possible because we are THAT awesome. If you know Big D, you know that as head of the Smart family he takes his job seriously. He has led us, as only the true human compass could, beyond limits and up mountains since appointing himself supreme chancellor of all things Smartypants.
Leading our family both physically and metaphorically happens to be the Puff Daddy's forte.

For example, if you know this blog exists, then you have most likely either A) Climbed a mountain with Big D, B) Suffered serious injury while in Big D's presence, C) Weeded in the dark with a headlamp on, or D) Experienced A, B, and C most extensively in your lifetime.
If you answered D, then you mostly likely A) Share some kind of genetic composition with Big D and are probably his biological offspring, B) Married to one of Big D's offspring, C) Married to Big D himself or D) Just plain suicidal
If you answered D, congratulations! You are probably one of Big D's best friends! Consider yourself extremely fortunate, because not many people can keep up with the Puff Daddy and live to tell their tale.

In fact, most people cannot keep up with the Puff Daddy period. He has more hobbies, interests, and talents than everyone you know combined. You've say you've got a quirky friend? Well Puff Daddy will do your friend one better every time. Big D has often been quoted saying, "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing," and he speaks nothing but the truth. His hobbies include mountaineering, cycling (road/mountain), climbing (rock/ice), skiing (water/snow), snowboarding, snow cave building, landscaping, floral arranging, basketball (aka fouling), learning foreign languages, kayaking/canoeing, fishing, skateboarding, hiking, bragging, hunting, and fighting for the poor injured worker as Yakima's contemporary Robin Hood.

Listing his talents would simply take a lifetime, so here are a few of his most notable accomplishments:
1. Playing the harmonica with both his mouth AND his nose.
2. Unleashing the "bag of trick" at various family vacations.
3. Fitting 48 hours of work into a 24 hour work day.
4. Being more romantic, good looking, and mysterious than Edward Cullen.
5. Never loosing a game of pool basketball.
6. Being the world's best Grandpa
7. Entering and winning wrestling tournaments for more than 35 years.

Big D's life has been nothing short of zesty and way more than all that jazz. While it is clear that his many talents and hobbies inspire and motivate us to all be better people, it is his pure love for life that make us all happy to say we know and love him.
To the world's hardest worker, sexiest husband, most devoted dad, and coolest grandpa - we love you!
Of course we wouldn't make you share your birthday with anyone else!

Friday, February 4, 2011


When Darcee was 13 I took her, Chelsea and Sydney on a fairly long backpacking trip for young kids . Sydney was 5 and couldn't carry much. She had a small backpack, but could only carry her blankie and her sleeping bag. In order to get everything on our backs I placed a very heavy load on Darcee. She was always physically a very strong little girl. She didn't complain or question my wisdom in putting most of Sydney's stuff and most of the food in her pack (I had the tent, stove and fuel). On the second day Sydney began to fade. She started to cry and said that she couldn't carry her sleeping bag. I looked at Darcee and told her that she would just have to man up and carry her little sister's sleeping bag. She didn't complain. Again she didn't question my decision to put more weight on her back. The third day, she whimpered a little bit when we got ready to put our backpacks on.

"What wrong?", I asked.
"Dad, I think my hips are bruised from the weight."
"What you can't bruise your hips?! That's crazy! You just need to be tough for one more day. I know you can do it!"
She then hiked down her pants far enough for me to see the bruises on her hips! Who knew that you could bruise your hips from carrying heavy weight? I felt terrible. However, we were in a pickle. I couldn't fit anything more in my pack, or on my back. Again, Darcee was just going to have to man up and be in pain a little while longer.

I have always expected a lot from my kids, especially Darcee. Experts say that if you raise a perfect first child, the rest of the herd will follow. (Okay, I don't know if any real expert actually said such a thing, but I believe it to be true.) Regardless, Sheila and I raised in every way imaginable a perfect first child. And, in deed, the rest of the herd has followed.

I have always expected my kids to do hard things, whether it was climbing mountains, enduring epic bike rides, or simply working in the garden, I have wanted them to do hard things without complaint. Actually, I have expected a few complaints here and there. However, in looking back on the things we have done, I don't know of anyone tougher than Darcee.

She and Brent are facing a very tough battle right now. We keep telling her, "You can do this!" Although it breaks our hearts to see her carrying such a heavy load, if anyone can do this, it's our perfect first child. I have never doubted her strength, her faith or her courage. We stand in awe at what an amazing mother she has become. While we might falter and doubt, we have complete faith in a most remarkable daughter.