No, I am not dead nor did I fall off the face of the planet.  I've just been busy.  I expected life to slow down after Christmas, but so far, it hasn't happened.  But that's good for me during these long winter months.  Life has been treating me well.

One of this month's activities was practicing my photography skills on my newest niece.  Photography is a fun but challenging hobby for me, especially with such a tiny person involved.  I came home and thought, "I should've done that differently," and "I wish I'd noticed that," and "How do I...?"  Sometimes I wish I could just follow a professional around and learn a heap of new knowledge that way.  It'd be so much easier!  But I digress.  Victoria is DeAnn's first GIRL.  She's a big deal following SIX BOYS.  We had so much fun dressing her up and changing her hair bows about a million times.  So without further adieu, may I present beautiful Victoria, just eight days old.

 Babies just look good in black and white, or a little pink too when said babe is a girl.

 My favorite.  Love the pink, her hair, and her precious pouty lips!

 This was a fun fail/success!  Oh, Anne Geddes...

 Bundled January baby.

Last but not least, tiny toes!

This Week's Highlights

Helping Mom take out the trash.  It's fun!
Now if only I can get Jed to give me this same look about chores when he is fifteen!

Bron insisted that I join the local symphony again this semester.  I'm so glad he did.  It felt great to get out of the house and make some music.

Talking all things baby with other women at a baby shower for a friend.  Pink everywhere!

Eating chocolate chip waffles with fruit and vanilla ice cream... for breakfast AND dinner!  Yum!

I yelled and threatened to put Jed in daycare.  Working full time was going to be easier than listening to him whine. all. day. long.  How is it that I want to pull my hair out some moments and others my heart is overflowing with so much love and joy I feel it might burst?  I guess it's called motherhood.

Driving all the way to Boise to get my hair done.  Yes, I did.  Jed got to play with his grandma while I got prettied up.  Sooo worth it. 

Jed partied hardy at a two year old's birthday party.  He stayed out till 9:30PM.  Partay. Animal.

 We have a new niece!  Victoria was born Thursday evening.  Congratulations Tyrel and DeAnn!

A productive Saturday.  It felt so good!  Bron showed Jed how to burn some old tree branches in our fire pit outside.  Pyros.  He also finished painting the last three doors for the inside of our house!  Wahoo!  As for me, I cleaned the entire house, FINALLY packed up Christmas, and put up some more decor.  This house feels more like home all the time.

An evening party with some friends.  We enjoyed salisbury steaks and potatoes for dinner accompanied by lots of talk and laughter.  When Jed was put to bed, we ate chocolate melting cakes a la mode for dessert.  Heaven in our mouths.  Then the house shook (thanks to that awesome sub woofer) as we watched Thor.  "This mortal form grows weak.  I need sustenance!"

We had a good week.  I think it was just the "winter blues" talking in that last post.

I Need Dorothy's Red Slippers

 Last July, Jed enjoyed a delightful evening with Anna.  Bron was out of town and I had to feed calves.  But Jed didn't mind.  He loooved Anna.  And she was so good to Jed.  That night, they played on Miner Farm's trucks and tractors.  Lucky boy.

We moved from New York to Idaho six months ago.  I'll admit, I still miss New York sometimes.  I miss the farm.  I miss the trees and greenery.  I miss the lake.  I miss hopping over the border for a day visit to Montreal.  I miss being on our own and exploring new places.  But mostly, it's a few special people I still miss the most!  Perhaps I'll always miss them.

I've moved nearly a dozen times in my lifetime.  You'd think I'd be used to it by now.  And I guess I am.  I know what to expect.  I know that it takes about a year to completely feel at home in a new place.  It takes that long to know the ins and outs of a new town and the area's politics.  It takes about a year to make worthwhile friends--the kind that can tease you but also understand who you are.

It takes a long time to finally feel a part of a new place, to feel needed in the community somehow. 

I'm still struggling, I guess.  I had just enough time in our apartment to start getting to know a few folks.  Then we moved into our new house and winter hit.  Winter is cold and boring; everybody goes into hibernation for a few months, including me.  So it's been a quiet few months.  There are some other young mothers in the neighborhood.  I just need an excuse to get to know them, and sometimes that's hard and scary.  I also sat among some friendly faces at church.  We talk a little on Sundays, but that's it.  I'm just waiting for things to pick up speed.  You can't force friendships.  They occur naturally, but they always seem to have a common pattern and it takes time.  They often start with a friendly smile, then a few words, perhaps an invitation to do something together, and then it's repeated until that acquaintance blooms into friendship.

Waiting is tough sometimes.

I try to focus on the positives of our new surroundings.  I may miss the green of New York, but I love the openness and incessant sunshine of the Idaho desert.  I love how the roads are laid out in a grid; I never get lost even when I miss a turn.  I love living in a HOUSE where the living room is filled with sunshine every afternoon.  I love A LOT of things.

I'm happy to be within a few hours' drive of family again.  I think it makes this whole move worthwhile.  Bron loves his new job, most of the time.  I know we are meant to be here.  Too many things just fell into place for me to believe anything otherwise.  We are blessed beyond measure! 

But again, I am still waiting for a true love of this place to grow within me.  I know it will come.  It just takes time.  One day I will look out my window and FEEL that this is home.

I hope that day comes soon... because right now I feel empty.

Tech Savvy at Age One

Watching Looney Toons on Dad's iphone.
This little gadget has saved us many headaches on "long" trips in the car to see family these last weeks.  Whew!  Jed loves himself a button to push, annny button.


The Old 300

10 Days of Christmas

Christmas came and went and we just kept celebrating!  I guess that is the advantage of living so close to family again.  We are so spoiled.

Our little family of three spent Christmas weekend at my mom's home in Meridian, Idaho with my two little brothers.  My sister and her family traveled 20 hours from Arizona to be with us.  It felt so good to see her again!  I just hope the trip was totally worth the effort for them.  I love you, Lauren!!!  Even though I pretend to be the "all knowing" and ever helpful "big" sister (it's a hard habit to break), we're really pretty much at the same stage in our lives.  It's a lot of fun!  I got to meet Carter for the very first time.  His pictures don't do him justice.  He is an exceptionally good looking baby boy considering his copious amounts of rolls, dark hair, long dark lashes, and beautiful blue eyes. 


Carter Wade Thompson
Just shy of 6 months old
I want to EAT those cheeks!

We had our Christmas feast on Christmas Eve.
Ryan (7) watched Bron carve the turkey.
Jed ready for a prayer.  He was anxious to eat!

Then we had our annual re-enactment of the Nativity, which I'll admit, sometimes gets a bit irreverent.  Each year, however, the costumes are worth a good laugh!

Ryan as the hairy inn keeper.

Mary, Baby Jesus, and Joseph (who looks more like a potential terrorist.)  Don't wear a turban to airport, okay Don?

Carter in the manger.


Santa brought Jed some John Deere trucks!
And I made the three of us matching jammies.  Yes, I had on blue doggie pants and a black sweatshirt too!  I think it's going to become a Nelson Christmas tradition at our house.

Jed licking his fingers and eating candy for breakfast.  Mmmm!

My mom, Lauren, and I played a violin trio in church.  I love playing Christmas music with my family.  It brings back so many memories.  I'm glad we got to do it once again because it means a lot.  It was wonderful to remember Christ, the real meaning of Christmas, on Christmas Day.  After church, we gathered around the tree to open more presents!

Jed received a giant Tonka truck from Grandma and Grandpa Kelley!
Can't you just see the admiration and joy on that boy's face?  Priceless.

Michael's strange face.  Lauren and Carter.

I have to toot Bron's horn for a minute.  He went shopping for shoes for me!  My old black Sunday dress shoes were worn out.  I told Bron all I wanted for Christmas was a new pair.  "Just pick something sexy that you'd like to see me wear," I told him.  And boy did Bron come through... with TWO pairs of trendy black heels!  They're going to be sooo much fun to wear!


Jed and I accompanied Bron on a business trip down to Utah.  We used the trip as an excuse to visit my grandparents--Jed's GREAT-Grandparents.  I'm glad we went.  I know Grandma and Grandpa Smith enjoy seeing their littlest grandchildren and I loved seeing them interact.  I could hear Grandma playing with Jed while I showered and dressed for the day.  When Grandma finally left to do her hair, Jed went around the house looking for her.  "Gama!  Gama!"  It doesn't get more precious than that.  Grandma and Grandpa spoiled us by taking us out to dinner on Thursday night--followed by a shopping trip with my Aunt and cousins--and to lunch at Tucano's the next day.  My grandparents are genuinely good people.  I only hope to emulate a bit of them someday.


We spent New Year's weekend at the Nelson Dairy in Ririe, Idaho with all of Bron's brothers and their families.  It was a crazy, noisy, chaotic, house full of people!  But that's what always makes it a ton of fun too.

Jed is totally a mini farmer in training.  He loves being outside with the cows.

We exchanged presents...

Leah, Queen of the box!  
Look at all those kids swarming!

Momma Nelson apparently got just what she was wishing for!

We ate enormous amounts of rich foods prepared by Merri Sue herself and played lots and lots of boardgames.  In other words, we perfected the art of relaxation. 

We all played a couple rounds of BINGO and won silly prizes like candy!

I didn't bother staying up to welcome in the New Year.  Something about having a one year old who gets up early in the morning kind of remedied that.  But Happy 2012 anyway!  I have a good feeling about this year.  

Thanks to everyone who made Christmas 2011 a memorable one!  We feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many people we love.