Cold Night

1.30.2010
It was negative twenty degrees.
It made me very grateful for my nice warm home.

Shoes

1.26.2010
When you're pregnant, everyone seems to think that your well-being is their personal business.  While I appreciate the concern, really, it's not necessary.

During the past few weeks all I've heard are protests--especially from men--about my wearing high heeled shoes at church.  I thought, "Just because you can't walk in them doesn't mean I can't!"

I have nine pairs of heels.  I'm not about to let them go to waste!  I enjoy dolling up occassionally.  Anyhow, I can't wear flip-flops because I already discourage my young women from wearing them to church.  Plus, there's snow and ice everywhere outside.  Maybe towards the end of my pregnancy I'll walk the halls barefoot, but I'll definitely have my heels in hand.  I just simply don't plan on attending church without them.

So, I want to know from all you experienced mothers out there: What did you wear when you were pregnant?      

Someday

1.16.2010
College students are supposed to be poor, right? However, we continually look forward to the inevitable “someday” in the future when Bron will be done and finally start his career. Then we’ll actually have some of that green stuff we call money; at least that’s the plan.

When we moved out here to New York, Bron and I knew we would need to cut our spending back a bit. It was a little tough at first, but we’ve adjusted to fewer dinners out on the weekends and other non-necessities. Now that I have no job and a baby on the way, we need to cut our budget again. It’s possible to live on what Bron makes alone, but it’s a tight squeeze. I think we can do it though. I hope so. It would mean so much to me to be able to stay at home with my baby and smother him with the love only a mother can give. Anyhow, it just doesn’t make sense for me to find a mediocre full time job, purchase another vehicle, and pay for daycare too.

Because of our lack of funds these days, we seem to do a lot of dreaming. “Someday,” we say. Last night we browsed through the big furniture shop in town and lay on every new mattress there, pretending to have money to spend on a luxury that will just have to wait. Then we went grocery shopping. Bron saw the shelves stashed with sprinkles, cherries, hot fudge, and caramel. “Someday,” he said, “I will have this kind of stuff on hand all the time.” Yes, and someday we’ll own a house out in the country with a steer or two or three and I’ll have my friendly dog to go running with me until the snow sets in. Someday we’ll eat Sushi on the weekends just because we can. Someday we’ll retire, purchase a sailboat, and spend our summer sailing the Mediterranean Sea.

Last night though, I crawled into bed next to Bron inside our sparsely decorated house with its empty white walls and placed my freezing feet on his warm ones. He teased me. We then lay face to face to chat. We laughed and watched as our baby made my stomach take on a life of its own.

You can’t buy that with money. Money makes life a heck of a lot easier and even more enjoyable, but it definitely can’t buy happiness. Bron and I have a lot to be thankful for. We have always had enough. Most importantly, we have each other. I hope we can keep our lives in perspective and learn to enjoy the little things each day as we struggle through this period in our marriage together feeling like we often go without.

I know we’re not the only ones out there who have ever experienced poor college life, nor will we be the last. If they can do it, so can we! I actually think Bron and I might be better together for having this experience. It’s stressful, but someday I hope we’ll be just as happy as we are now.

The Best Christmas Vacation Ever

1.15.2010
It really was the best Christmas vacation ever!  I spent two blissful weeks at home and was spoiled rotten.  It felt so good to be able to spend so much time with family!

Christmas Day was spent at home in New York, just me and my Cowboy.  We spoiled each other, of course, (Bron made me think he did all of his shopping two days before, but he had a special surprise ready all along) and spent the entire afternoon on the phone.  I had sent home a little box with blue booties and a card to announce our baby.  My mom called almost in tears; she didn't know whether to be mad at me for keeping it a secret so long, or ecstatic!  Ecstatic won over.  She's excited for her first grandbaby. 

Our trip out West began two days later with a Smith Family Reunion to celebrate my grandparents' 50th anniversary.  Family means so much to them and they were generous enough to pay for Bron and my airplane tickets to see them.  I hope they know how much it meant to us.  To read more about my grandparents, click here.  The entire family stayed in condos at the Homestead Resort in Midway, Utah. Our reunions usually occur during the summer time, but the winter activities proved to be a lot of fun!


The Smith Clan: only a few members were MIA
(Credit for this picture goes to my cousin.)


My brother and sister: Joe and Lauren


Their light shines through!


Lauren and her hubby, Don
Our Mom always says, "They're such a cute couple!"

We spent three days at the resort.  On arrival, we played around these incredible ice fountains.  Later that afternoon we went on a sleigh ride.  We also went swimming in a 60 foot deep natural hot spring inside of a crater.  One morning (Bron went twice) we went cross-country skiing across this massive golf course.  It was great exercise, but my balance was a little off.  We spent our evenings around the kitchen table playing a game called, "Killer Bunnies".  As my grandma would say, "It was a hoot!"  So much fun squished into so little time.


The Sleigh Ride


My cousin, Rachel.  She's been teaching me all I need to know about my new camera.
And that's me in Bron's snow pants nearly six months pregnant.  I looked so akward, the moment just begged to be photographed!


A great picture of my brother.  He's now stationed with the Navy in Sicily, Italy.


My little brother, Ryan, playing in the snow.
This was one of the few shots I took in RAW.  I switched back because I only had one memory card an entire vacation to memorialize.  But wow.  I think I'll stick with RAW from now on.


We also spent an evening at Temple Square.  First, a bunch of us girls took the trolley to get some chocolate at the mall though.  I love the lights at Temple Square!  The beauty there makes me so proud of my Church and my heritage.  It was hard to leave.

Ririe, Idaho

Bron and I took a shuttle from Salt Lake and arrived in our beloved Ririe, Idaho around midnight.  Mom was there to meet us, having no idea that we were expecting a baby.  When we finally broke the news--about five minutes later--and I unzipped my jacket to show off my protruding tummy, all hysterics broke loose.  She screamed in excitement and a lot of people looked our way.  It was so much fun to see her reaction in person!

Bron and I spent three more days hanging out with the Nelsons on the dairy farm.  Everyone was there.  We even managed to get together at "the usual" one afternoon for lunch with the guys. It was so good to see them! It felt like nothing had changed. We also saw the new movie, Sherlock Holmes, with the family. Then we ate at one of my all time favorite places: New Fongs in Rexburg. I'd been craving that fried rice!  Bron has a new favorite game now too.  It's called Ticket to Ride.  We played it at least three times.

Although the snow came a little late for Christmas, it was jaw-dropping gorgeous!  It snowed inches.  So we played in it!


My nephew, Tannon, looking out the window.


The humungous snow man the boys made!


Kaleb pulling my nephew, Micah, on skis.


And this is how we plow the snow.  Yes, the gehl is pretty sweet.



Bron was able to explain why I love the farm so much: Farming is a lifestyle.  Almost every other job is a means to create the lifestyle you choose.  A farm is synonymous with work, but it's beautiful.  No wonder I'm attracted to those manly farming arms of my hubby!  For more about the dairy, click here.


Bron with my favorite dog, Sandy.

We also celebrated birthdays and ate a lot of food.



Amber and Kaleb

People sometimes ask if I like my in-laws.  I have to admit: I totally lucked out!  I love mine.  They've truly become my family, or maybe better said, I feel like I've become one of them.  There's nothing quite like family.  We had a fantastic stay and miss you all already!


Bron with his mom

Meridian, Idaho

Because I just couldn't stand the thought of flying back to New York so soon, I decided to stay an extra week with my mom in Meridian.  My sister, who I hadn't really seen in over a year and a half, was staying for a couple of days too.  Bron flew back to NY without me because he had to work.  I missed him dearly and I felt so selfish, but between my mom, sister, and me, we got in some much needed girl time together!

Each day we sent the boys off to school and picked a different place to go shopping.  I found some maternity clothes and the baby got spoiled with the most adorable new clothes too!  We cooked some of our favorite meals, took the boys ice skating, and laughed.  A lot of laughter.  I love hanging out with my sister.  We have a lot of fun together, making goofy faces and even faux tattooing our bellies!  (I'll spare you those pictures.)  My mom and I even got to watch a chick flick together.


Ice Skating
(I know, I'm a loser and cut off the skates!)


Ryan
Five year olds are still really cute.
"Does baby Jed like popcorn?  What if he's seventy feet big?"
Saying goodbye at the airport, Ryan had to hug my tummy too.


Michael
Eight year olds are full of attitude.
This kid is obsessed with football.  Why in the world he was rooting for TCU against Boise State during the bowl game, we'll never know.


'Nuff Said


My Mom and Me
She limped along with a metal boot the entire time, but she's healing nicely.  She's one tough lady.

We love you all!!!  Thanks to everyone who made our trip out West so memorable.  We miss you and can't wait to see you this summer.

Update

1.14.2010
25 weeks
My baby just keeps growing... and so do I!
It's nice to finally look pregnant and not just chunky.

I just spent two blissful weeks at home with all sorts of family.  Pictures to come eventually.  (As soon as I figure out how to use my new gift from Bron: photoshop!)  I am now at home in New York and settling into my new role as at Stay-at-Home Wife/Mommy-to-be.  It occurred sooner than anticipated, but what's a girl to do?  I know: clean, organize, photoshop, scrapbook, exercise a little, and best of all, get our baby's room ready for his imminent arrival.  I have lots of projects planned for myself.  I think I'll stay plenty busy.  I think.