Bathtime Fun

12.23.2011
More reasons to love this little boy of mine...

 Drinking from the bathtub faucet

Brushing his teeth all by himself (with somebody else's toothbrush, of course).

Jed, you make me laugh.  I love you!

Happy Birthday!

12.21.2011
Yesterday, the man who makes my world spin had a birthday!  He is 28 years old.  Bron doesn't put much stock into birthdays.  To him, it's just another day on the planet; nothing special.  Well, Bron is definitely special to Jed and me!  (I also know for a fact that he's liked by a bunch of people called family and friends too.)  Bron is the best husband and father anyone could ever ask for.  We are lucky people to have him in our lives.  So I know he secretly appreciated the birthday sign and balloons we put up in honor of him.

 We celebrated Bron's birthday very simply. We had homemade sushi followed by the opening of one present from under the tree.  Then after putting Jed to bed, we did one of our most favorite things: cuddle on the couch and talk the evening away.

Bron had a busy year!  A year ago, our lives were totally different.  We were living in upstate New York and Bron was feeling a little overwhelmed in the midst of earning his Master's Degree.  He honestly didn't know where he would be or what he would be doing six months from then.  Our lives were open to endless possibilities!

Let's recap the year:

Bron began the year by passing both his comprehensive and written exams (hooray!) and then slaving away writing his thesis. In July, he presented his research at a worldwide dairy science conference in New Orleans--where he was also nearly eaten by a giant alligator on a swamp tour! Bron’s hard work paid off and he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Dairy Nutrition from the University of Vermont and Miner Institute. Shortly before graduating, Bron was offered his dream job as a Dairy Consultant in Idaho for a feed company known as J.D. Heiskell.  He has hit the ground running for this new company and really enjoys working with farmers and their livestock from Utah all the way to Montana.  I am so proud of him!

In late July, we (read: Bron) packed up all of our belongings and moved across the country. Jed and I played at a family reunion in Zion’s National Park while Bron and his brother made the cross country trek in a gutless truck… that broke down in the middle of nowhere Kansas. What an adventure!  I'm glad I wasn't there.

Bron and I celebrated his big accomplishments by spending five heavenly days in paradise: Hawaii. We had the time of our lives—just the two of us—exploring, swimming, eating, and relaxing with no stress and self-imposed deadlines (aka, the thesis) to meet.

Shortly before Halloween, we closed on our very first home in Kimberly, Idaho.  We've already experienced a few mishaps in home ownership, but we are thrilled!

And life isn't showing any signs of slowing down for a while either...

Happy Birthday, Bron!!!  You deserve more than I can give you.  I hope this year is just as adventurous as the last.

Jed "learning" how to make some sushi rolls from Dad.

Six December Happenings

12.16.2011
Look at those lashes!  Grown women would die for those!
  1. My baby boy is sick today.  I hate how babies startle and spasm when they have a fever.  Poor kid.  We've spent most of the day on the couch reading stories, watching videos, and napping.  I love holding my baby close.  I love staring at his sleeping face.  Jed has the looongest lashes.
  2. Earlier this week Bron got up with Jed.  He changed him, dressed him, and brought Jed to see me in bed with his favorite book.  It felt so good to snuggle with my little boy, propped up against the pillows first thing in the morning.  It made my whole day!
  3. A couple Saturdays ago, Bron and I went to work pruning and clearing out the yard--the entire acre of it.  It took ALL day!  When we came in that evening, I was feeling chilled.  I drew myself a big bubble bath and prepared to soak when Jed wanted to join me; I let him.  Soon the timer on the pizza in the kitchen went off.  Before I knew it, Bron came into the bathroom with the pizza on a cutting board and glasses of root beer.  Yes, Jed and I ate pizza while soaking in a bubble bath!  It was awesome!  And I'll admit, a little weird.  I hope we're not the only family around that does sporadic things.  At least dinner was an easy clean up on Jed!
  4. Our new home runs on propane: the water heater, the stove (I cook with fire!), and most importantly, the heat.  Well, we're brand new home owners and had no idea how long our tank of propane would last.  Bron checked it one cold night and came in with some bad news: we were at 10%.  The propane truck wouldn't be coming around for another three days!  So we turned the heat down, bundled up, and waited.  I've never been so grateful for heat!  The propane truck will be making a regular stop at our house from now on!
  5.  Have I ever mentioned that the fan in our red impala only works about half the time?  There's AC and there's heat, but the fan only works when it feels like it.  Then, a week or so ago, the headlights went out in the car too.  We haven't quite figured out why.  So I now have a car that I can only drive between the hours of 8AM and 4PM.  Oh well.  It's not that big a deal to a woman who only leaves home occasionally to go to the grocery store or the post office.  Maybe we can get a Christmas miracle for that?  Ha!
  6. It just worked out that this month, the month of December, we're making two mortgage payments plus a rental payment on the apartment we moved out of (we signed a six month lease).  Merry Christmas to us!  I got a house!  It was going to be tight.  Neither Bron or I were too worried though.  If we could live in New York on a shoe string budget, then we could get through the next month or so.  Then, to our surprise, Bron got a raise!  (That's my incredible hard working husband!)  And as a Holiday gift, the company also pays for taxes and other expenses like health insurance that are taken out of his paycheck this month.  Whoa.  What sweet surprises (blessings)!
 Snuggling with my sleeping boy.

The Heiskell Christmas Party

12.12.2011

Saturday was the night of Bron's Holiday work party.  And boy, was it a PARTY!  We dropped Jed off with an overnight babysitter (Thank you sooo much Adam and Alesha!) and headed an hour south to Jackpot, Nevada.

We checked into our room at the hotel and began our evening with some delicious appetizers.  I was a little nervous to meet Bron's boss and co-workers for the first time, but there was no need for that because everyone was nice and friendly and the conversations just started to roll.  I think I ate more dessert than dinner--there were just so many decadent chocolate goodies to choose from!  Then once the dinner plates were cleared, the real party began. 

We all donned hats and boas and climbed into a photo booth for some goofy pictures.  The DJ kicked up the music and we danced the night away.  Bron and I have so much fun dancing together!  Plus, Bron is pretty talented at it.  I love that man. 

Then, when our ears began ringing, Bron and I went downstairs to the casino where his co-worker, Butch, taught us how to play the game of craps.  Butch even encouraged me to bet a few of his chips.  I was on a roll, doubling and tripling the chips, until it was my turn to roll the dice and I lost everything on the table--a whopping six bucks!  It was fun!  Luckily, Butch still walked out of there five dollars richer than when he began.  It makes me feel less guilt.

It was a very fun, even much-needed, night out together (because truthfully, a girl can go stir-crazy all week at home.  And as much as I love my little boy, it's nice to have a little break; it makes me miss him.) Even more selfishly, it felt amazing to sleep in and enjoy a slow morning with my husband.

Thanks for a great weekend, Mr. Handsome!  I love going out with you.  We are so incredibly blessed to have found this job.  I am happy you work with so many great "real" people and that the company is growing and treats its employees so well.  Thank you for working so hard for us!  This new reality of ours sometimes seems surreal.

20

12.11.2011
December Sunset

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

12.09.2011


Christmas tree and lights {check}
Snowman full of chocolate candy {check}
Christmas music playing perpetually {check}
Presents wrapped (with big curly bows!) and waiting under the tree {check}
Snow {check}


Hot chocolate with marshmallows {check}
Cuddling under blankets {check}
Cards in the mail from friends and family {check}
Homemade cookies {check}



Jed loves to help me bake.  He insisted on wearing an apron (just like Mom) and couldn't wait to get his hands and mouth on the dough.  That's my boy!

Excitement for Christmas bubbling over! {check}

36 Hour Concertmaster

12.05.2011
Last week I flipped my calendar over to December.  I felt a pang of guilt as I read,

Thursday December 1st: Dress Rehearsal 7:30PM
Friday December 2nd: Symphony Concert 7:30PM.

You see, I began practicing with the small local symphony this fall and even made it through our first performance, but then we bought our house, we moved, we painted, we spent time with family, and life just happened.  Before I knew it, I'd missed at least four rehearsals.  I thought for sure they wouldn't want me waltzing in like that.  I decided to just wait until January to begin fresh again.  I was definitely going to have to miss my favorite concert of the year: the Christmas Concert.

Well, Thursday morning I got a phone call from the concertmaster.  She had an unfortunate family emergency to attend to and wouldn't be able to play in the Christmas concert.  She knew I had some experience "leading" an orchestra and asked if I'd fill in for her.  The concert was the very next night! 

"Uh, sure."  I replied.  "It shouldn't be a problem.  I'll just practice lots between now and the concert." 

What was I thinking?  I had less than two days to learn music the symphony (and choir) had been practicing for weeks!  On top of that, I was supposed to act as the leader.  That means I had to get it right: the notes, the rhythms, and precisely when to come in.  That's a lot of pressure.

Crazy thing is, I thrive under pressure.  I love it.  I love to play my violin.  And I love to perform.  The challenge is a thrill to me.  It's my niche.  Making music makes me feel alive.  And happy.  It's salve to my soul.  (Remember West Side Story?)

I turned on a show for Jed so that I could practice for a half hour without interruption.
This is what I found when I checked in on him.  Jed was snoring!

I consider myself a talented violinist, but not exceptionally so.  There are hundreds of other talented musicians out there, many of whom I competed with in college.  That thought makes me wonder where my fellow orch-dorks are today.  Where did they move to?  It would be so much fun to play with them again.  Aren't there other talented violinists in the valley that could act as concertmaster?  I can't be one of just a few.  Who are they?  I wish I knew.    

On Friday evening I dressed up in my fancy black and headed out the door.  I got a few miles from home when the headlights in my car suddenly went out.  It was pitch black dark out on those country roads!  What was I going to do?  I returned home and sped off in Bron's big truck instead.  I roared down the road at 70mph.  I was going to be late!  I was stressed and on the edge of freaking out.

I came clicking in as fast as I could in heels and made it just five minutes before the concert was to begin.  "Don't worry," they said.  "We wouldn't start without you."  Despite their reassurances, I was feeling anything but calm and put-together!

Well, needless to say, the show went on and it was a lot of fun.  It put me in the Christmas spirit!  As for how I personally performed though, I did okay.  I'm actually a little disappointed in myself.  I made more mistakes than I would've liked.  But I guess I ought to give myself a break--I did learn five pieces in about 36 hours.

Whew!

Just Jed

12.01.2011
chasing the dog.



Got her!  And feeling pure joy.

P.S.  This is the farm dog, not ours.