The Park

3.31.2011
There was still snow on the ground, but we went to the park anyway.

Jed's New Do

3.30.2011
Have you heard?  Food in your hair is the cool thing to do!
It's a good thing Jed still really enjoys taking a bath. 

Confessions of a Young Mother

3.27.2011
Blogs have a tendency to make lives look perfect, but we all know they’re not. My everyday reality is a little different from what I think is portrayed on this blog sometimes and I just want you to know about it. I want to “keep it real”! At least for today. So here are a few confessions about me:

1. I HATE the month of March. I dread the six weeks between Valentine’s Day and April 1st every year. Those weeks are freezing, snowy, muddy, and gray. It’s just downright depressing. I am dying for some sunshine, but it’s too cold to play outside. Being cooped up in the house all winter long drives me crazy. If I could, I’d hibernate.

2. I never make the bed. Ever. Why make it if I’m just going to climb back in it that night? Poor excuse, I know. My own mother would be so embarrassed. Someday I will have to start being a good example though if I want to teach Jed to make his bed.

3. Two things bother me: clutter and a dirty kitchen. Our entire home revolves around meals and the kitchen. The kitchen seems to be in constant use. Therefore, it must be clean. I don’t like going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, but it happens anyway.  (Remember, I have no dish washer.  I am the dish washer.)

4. Nursing is the only reason I am skinny again.  I want to nurse FOREVER!  (Note: I plan on weaning Jed around his first birthday anyhow.  I don't want to be one of those weird ladies that nurses her child until he is five.)

5. Instead of sweats, I sometimes wear scrubs. Weekly. What’s the difference? I don’t think there is any. They just feel so good!

6. I wear makeup as often as I don’t wear it. That means I wear makeup about half the time. Poor Bron. Half the time he gets to see his wife in jeans, a t-shirt, and a pony tail. It’s hard to motivate myself to look amazing when I’m spending my day with Jed around the house (who seems to want me no matter what I look like!) and feeding calves in the evening. But I do make a point to wear makeup when I go to town. And I still LOVE dolling myself up for Bron every once in a while.

7. Whenever I think of church, I feel bitter and angry. The Gospel is true, without a doubt! The church—with all its needy weird members—however, isn’t. Or at least it really feels that way to me.  I need to change my attitude because I know it will eat me alive. But it’s very hard. I love my young women and look forward to seeing a handful of people at church each week. Otherwise, I spend my time avoiding people as much as possible. Sundays are so backwards! But I will stop complaining here because I could write an entire book about how dysfunctional our branch and the people in it are. It blows my mind to think of how Heavenly Father truly loves everyone. I have a lot to learn about that.

8. I must be an awful mother because I often let Jed chew on items he probably shouldn’t. I do my best to keep plastic, candy wrappers, dead flies, and the like off the floor and out of his reach, but I don’t worry very much when he’s gnawing on my lip gloss or a fat pen. I figure I have to pick and choose my battles. I just pray that God will protect my baby boy and help me raise him into adulthood because I know I can’t do it by myself.

9. Our Daily Routine: I often wonder what other mothers do for their daily routine. I hope I am a good mother and am doing everything “right” for my little boy. So this is what we do: Wake up. Eat breakfast. When the weather turns warm, I hope this is when Jed and I can go running outside! Mornings are also the time of day when I am most productive and Jed is most content to entertain himself. So this is when I take an hour or so and get some kind of chore done: dishes, the bathroom, vacuuming, etc. I try to do one or two things each day. Then by Friday there is nothing left to do or I am pooped and I take it easy all weekend. I read Jed some books and put him down for a nap around 10:30AM. That’s when I hop in the shower… or take a nap too. Jed usually sleeps long enough for me to read or do something that I enjoy; in other words, something non-productive. When Jed wakes up, it’s time for lunch. Lucky us, Bron sometimes comes home for lunch! Then the rest of the afternoon is open to play! Jed and I often visit Amy at the library, dress up warm and go down to the barn, or play with toys on the living room floor. I can’t wait for the weather to change! We can go on long walks, spend more time on the farm, go to the park, and best of all, go swimming at the lake! Jed gets a mid-afternoon snack and I start getting dinner ready around 4:00PM if I have to work that night. Otherwise, I wait until 5:00PM. I am a fan of 30 minute meals. And crock pots. Then I’m off to feed calves and Bron takes over, or some nights I get to stay home. Whether I’m home or not, Jed has the same bedtime routine: bath, book, (boob), bed. He goes down around 7:00PM. Then it’s time to party all evening! Or work. I get home around 9:00PM these days. Bron does homework. We usually talk for a long time too. I love to read or scrapbook. Then we do it all over again the next day!

10. I love being a mother!  I feel very lucky to be able to stay at home all day with Jed and enjoy every little moment.  I also have a man who loves me and understands me and makes me sooo happy.  Life is good.

If you’re up for it, I’d love to read about what your everyday life and routine is like! (I’d like more ideas.) What are your "confessions"?

I have a sneaking suspicion many moms are much like me… at least I hope so.

Our Trip Home: Part 2

3.25.2011
Cousins
Jedediah (10 months), Leah (4 months), Brogan (9 months)

Definitely my favorite picture from this part of our trip.  (Can you tell Jed has spent way too much time in front of the camera?)  All three of these babes were born in 2010.  Not kidding, I think everyone I know either had a baby in 2010 or got pregnant in 2010.

We crammed as much as we possibly could into one week at home in Ririe, Idaho. We were really looking forward to spending time with lots of family and friends, eating at favorite restaurants, doing a little shopping, and just having some plain old fun.

First, I went shopping all afternoon with Momma Nelson. We had a lot of fun trying on clothes –including a cute pair of skinny jeans that I purchased—and going crazy over baby clothes and shoes. It is way more fun to shop for Jed than it is for myself! And even more fun when Grandma spoils us a bit.

That night we invited Bron’s best buddies from high school over for pizza. Bron and his friends are tight, like peas in a pod. I can’t describe the kind of bond they have because it is beyond anything I have ever experienced. But I know their friendship is worth so much to them, they will do just about anything to keep it together for a lifetime. Luckily for me, these guys have great taste in women and married well; I really like Kim and Stef. So when the conversation turned to farming, (as is typical), we girls separated ourselves and talked baby. We all had our first babies in 2010! It was so much fun to talk, laugh, discuss, and compare. It was almost weird to see Travis with a baby in his arms! These guys are all daddys now. Crazy. I know they will all do a great job though.

Bron and Jed (10 months), Tyson and Brooklyn (2 months), Travis and Dakoda (4 months)

Bron ventured out to the barn every morning that week. I know there’s a part of him that misses working on the dairy. Some mornings he took Jed down to the barn with him for an hour or two. Jed loved it!

A morning out on the Nelson Dairy

One night, we made sushi with the whole family. Bron’s little brother, Call, was excited to try something new! He dug in with both hands, cutting the ingredients and rolling them together. The sushi was a success, even when Kaleb slathered a large glob of wasabi on his sushi and stuck the entire thing in his mouth! Ouch!

Homemade Sushi!

We traveled out to Aberdeen one afternoon to see Tyrel’s new place. He just purchased a bunch of property for a calf operation with a view of the mountains and the reservoir. I think it’s awesome. We’re glad he took that risk and wish him the best! Oh yeah, and then we stopped at Rupe’s on the way home for a milkshake. Mmmmm…

Bron's brother, Tyrel, has six little boys.  They loooved wrestling with Bron.  Their youngest, Brogan, is just six weeks younger than Jed.  It is always fun to get them together, though Brogan handles being beat-up upon better than Jed.  He's used to it! 

Out with the calves.  Garrison gave me a cute grin.  The three oldest boys jumped from hay bale to bale for me.  In the back you can see Jaden who is just a little bit too small to make the leap.  He fell to the ground every time.  But then I'd see him spring back up and climb right on to the next bale.

I got together one afternoon with my good friend, Katy. It was sooo good to see her! We gabbed it up, shopping around Porter’s in Rexburg and then headed across the street for sickeningly sweet cupcakes. I can’t wait until next time, Katy! I really miss you! Then Bron’s brother, Talon, gave us a tour of the new buildings on campus at BYU-Idaho. Wow. It’s changed a lot in two years.

Katy about to snarf a yummy cupcake!
Don't judge.  She's pregnant.

I also took Jed into the Eye Center in Idaho Falls to meet my old co-workers. Jed knew just what to do: he smiled and flirted and was a hit with the ladies there.

The entire Nelson clan (except for Garret who is on a mission in Uruguay; Bron is the second of six boys, in case you didn't know) stayed on the dairy for the weekend. We played lots of games and ate lots of food and made ourselves really tired. We went on a triple date one evening with two of Bron’s brothers. It was so good just to laugh and talk! After dinner, Tyrel was determined to get some brownies and ice cream, so we ended up at Coldstone and overate. It’d been a year (a year!) since Bron and I had gone to the temple, so we did that too. However, I think my favorite part of the entire trip to Idaho was when Momma Nelson offered to babysit the hoard of grandkids and allowed us adult/teenage kids to play three games of laser tag! I screamed my head off and pretty much sat in the middle of the arena getting a worse score with every game. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to be “killed” by a laser! I think Kaleb won every single game, the little stink. It was soooo much fun! (Too bad I didn’t get any pictures of the best stuff! Must’ve been having too much fun for that.)

Grandma Nelson playing with Jed

One of Jed's favorite things to do was stand at the windows and look out.  They were just his height.

The week flew by way too fast and it was hard to leave. But we will be back soon. We love you, Idaho!

Check back later for part 3 soon...

The Sugar Bush

3.23.2011
Fact: It takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

Just before Jed was born last year, Bron took me to the Parker Family Maple Farm to taste some real maple syrup. It was such a delicious and fun experience, I couldn’t help but think about taking my baby there the following season. Well, here it is a year later, and we’ve taken Jed to the sugar bush twice! His favorite things are the ducks there and getting a taste of maple ice cream.

Mmmm.... the good stuff!

Pure maple syrup is one of the best things about living in the Northeast. The smell of the maple sap being boiled is intoxicating. The syrup is thick and sweet. I am addicted. This year, I found one of my new favorite foods: Maple Cream. It is pure maple sugar in spreadable form, like Nutella. Enough said. I like using it as a fruit dip. I plan on making some homemade bread for it too. Ah, my taste buds are in heaven!

Enjoying our afternoon and the smell of maple

Our Trip Home: Part 1

3.20.2011
Jed rockin' out to some tunes on his very first airplane flight February 24th

We are back! We just spent three weeks gallivanting around the Western United States. We visited family and friends, gorged ourselves on delicious food, and did a lot of fun things. And now we are home recovering. It feels like a dream to sleep in my own bed again. I am relieved to have Jed in his own bed again and to feed him in a high chair. (Little people just need to be contained sometimes.) As happy as I am to be home among my own things and among my own quiet routine again, it’s also a let-down. “Now what?” I ask myself. There is nowhere to go and not much to do; it’s still quite cold and there’s still that sickly white stuff on the ground. Plus, Bron is studying his brains out for his comprehensive exams. We are back to our boring existence.

So on that note, let me regale you with tales from our fantastic trip home complimented with lots and lots of pictures!

On the first leg of our trip, we visited my dad in San Diego, CA for a long weekend. I grew up there and it always feels like home. The weather was beautiful! The grass was green. Bron worked on his farmer’s tan. We were definitely on vacation.

My dad's boat: The Gryphon
Just look at that GORGEOUS sky!

Jed having a riot in the v-berth before bed

Our first day there, my dad showed Bron some Navy ships first-hand. Then we spent an hour on the beach in Coronado. It was Jed’s first encounter with the ocean. It was breezy and cool, but the familiar smell and sound of the beach made me happy. Then we met my Grandma Linda—who I haven’t seen in ages—for pizza. I learned a lot about my Grandpa Wade from that conversation! What a character. I think my dad is more like him than he’d ever like to own up to. It was sooo good to see my Grandma again.

The Hotel Del Coronado

I really was at one of my favorite places in the whole wide world: The Beach!

My boys on the beach

On Saturday, Bron, my dad, and a handful of his coworkers, participated in the Spartan Race! It was actually more like an 8 mile hike through freezing temperatures, rain, and hail with some obstacles thrown in. They waded through the lake with buckets, jumped over a fire, crawled through tires, climbed over walls, pitched a spear, and other physically taxing feats. But miraculously, they managed to survive it all without any incident! I’m proud of my two men.

My hunky muscle man!

Bron and Dad and the Obstacles

Run Away!!!

Dun. Finished. Triumphed. They totally deserved those medals!
Apparently, that cute little lady in pink is now my new step-mom!  Grandma Liz!!!

Sunday was a gorgeous day to be out on the water! So that’s exactly what we did. We simply hung out in the bay and enjoyed each other’s company—and Jed’s reaction to a life vest.

Jed looks a little squished!  His face makes me laugh.  Doesn't everyone feel like this in a life vest?
Learning to navigate the boat at a very young age.

Just keepin' it real.

Family picture: My dad, me, and Jed

We love you, Dad!  Thanks for everything!  We made some fun memories.

Jed wasn't quite sure what to think of his Grandpa at first, 
but he warmed up to him quickly.

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 coming soon...

10

3.18.2011
San Diego, CA