Happy 4th of July

^^My boys on the 4th of July! They were so stoked about their dollar sunglasses and bandanas and dressing in red, white, and blue. So of course, I gathered the three together for a quick picture in my favorite spot of the house. I've taken about a half dozen pictures of these brothers in this same corner since Easter. It's totally becoming a series that I know I'm going to cherish.^^

Independence Day landed on a Thursday this year, the most genius thing ever.  The 4th of July should always land on a Thursday!  It was a long weekend of celebrating and getting absolutely nothing done.  We deviated from "tradition" this year and chose to spend the holiday with the entire Nelson crew on the dairy farm.  (But first, we attended the annual Kimberly 5th Ward breakfast where I led the children in singing two fun holiday songs!)  The Nelson get together included loads of food (duh!), lots of chit chat, a tour of Talon's new home under construction, noise and chaos, cuddling babies, and finally, our very own fireworks show.  The kids claim we had nearly 100 fireworks.  I believe them!  It was quite the amateur production.

The next day, Nichole kindly babysat Conrad so that Bron and I could take Jed and Levi mountain biking with Grandma and Grandpa.  The boys biked five miles round trip on a singletrack trail!  I am so impressed with them... except for the part where Levi crumpled to the ground in despair on our way UP a steep hill on our way back to the truck.  I think the kid needed some lunch.  But he's only six, so considering it was his first big ride, he did really well over all!  We biked out to an old dam made in the late 19th century.  It's decaying now, creating two waterfalls on either side.  It was a beautiful destination and the trail was in pristine shape.  What a fun little adventure!      

Happy Independence Day!


Happy Independence Day!  My second favorite holiday of the year is here!

I drove the boys up Indian Springs last night just as a storm was blowing through.  The clouds made for a dramatic backdrop and inspired a few fireworks themed images in post process.  I love getting my creative late night hat on.  It's so fun to try new things and learn more about editing.  It makes me happy.

Anyway, the three boys stomped around the rocks and sage brush waving their flags and pretending to be soldiers while I snapped pictures.  I admire their patriotism.  Considering their family background in the military, I would not be surprised if one -- or even all three brothers -- joined the armed forces someday.  It's something Levi talks about often.

I love this country.  Despite a number of heavy and hard things she's currently dealing with right now, I have faith she will pull through.  There is just so much to be proud of and thankful for.  I am grateful to be an American.  "Land of the free, because of the brave!"  May God continue to bless America.

June in a Dozen Short Paragraphs

^^My bare chested boys of summer!  Procrastination at its finest.  They didn't want to read or practice, so they raided my craft closet.  I helped them make the headbands.  Then they promptly went off to "war" in the backyard.  But first, a picture.^^

June in a Dozen Short Paragraphs (ish)

1.  I WON a $100 gift card to Maverick from a drawing!  Pretty cool.

2.  Levi hit Jed in the head with a two by four.  Kid has a temper.  No worries, Jed is okay and probably partially deserved it.

3.  My hormones are all out of whack again.  I know because I have felt abnormally stressed and have a very short temper the week before I start my period.  Then I feel relief when it finally starts.  (At least I recognize the severe mood swings, right?)  It means I am hopping back on birth control, bringing a year and a half stint of trying for a fourth baby to an end.  It's really bittersweet, but feels like the right thing?  I think.  Secondary infertility is the pits.  My friend Danielle empathized with me and told me that it's okay to mourn that loss, that dream.  Bless her.  I could have kissed her and cried; she understands.

Slowly, I think I am learning to trust God and His plan for me, to be content with what I've been given.  Three healthy boys are more than enough to fill my motherhood cup!

A Day at the Zoo on Summer Solstice


Summer solstice.  I kind of wish we actually celebrated the day like it's a holiday because I love summer that much!  I love how it's still light outside til nearly 10PM.  I often lose track of what time it is and realize we should have eaten dinner two hours ago.  The boys are going to bed late and sleeping in.  We're not keeping to an exact schedule anymore; meaning I need 20 extra minutes to get anywhere on time.  Haha.  Our pace has finally slowed a bit.  The boys are enjoying less expectations and stress with the absence of school and I am enjoying all this extra free time with them just soaking them in, even if it does include more chaos from time to time because summer also means cuddles in bed, trips to the pool, and time to talk and to listen.  Ultimately, summer is time together as a family and more outdoor adventures, two things that make my heart and soul happy.  I love summer!

On June 21st, the longest day of the year, the boys and I made a quick day trip to Boise to visit my mom and brother.  Conrad was so excited to visit, "Gramma Kelley house!"  We enjoyed a really fun afternoon exploring Zoo Boise where Conrad took his time oogling over every animal and exhibit.  Two year olds are the best to take to the zoo!  I was glad to see that Jed and Levi haven't outgrown the excitement of it either; they actually started reading the signs and educating themselves a bit!

Afterwards, a child must have left the car door open or something because I had to find help from someone to jump my car!  But it all worked out.  We ate pizza for dinner and the kids had a blast riding down my mom's sloped driveway.  Good times and good memories.  Thanks for letting us come visit, Mom!

It's Baseball Season!


We are right smack dab in the middle of baseball season with two evenings a week preoccupied with games!  Jed and Levi are on the same machine pitch team this year.  Unlike many of their friends, neither of my boys have become fixated on any one particular sport.  They're just out there to have fun!  (And if we're really being honest, Levi is there for the treats afterwards.  Haha.)  It definitely feels like we're the odd ball family in our little town when it comes to baseball.  What?  They're not dressed to the nines baseball pants?  But I'm okay with that.  Jed and Levi will eventually hone in on their own interests and passions, and when they do, Bron and I will be all in to support them.

This season, both Jed and Levi love to play catcher.  I've watched them excitedly volunteer as their teammates shrink away.  Jed has also improved so much since last year; it's fun to watch him swing that bat.

Finally, Moms, please tell me your kids look like this in the dugout too?!  These boys just can't seem to sit still.

^^Levi playing catcher.^^
^^Kimberly has that All American small town feeling in the summer.^^