It's my Birthday!

1.31.2013
I've noticed the following scenario happening more and more often:  
"Hey, I remember when that movie first came out.  I was about seven or eight years old."   
*Pause* 
"Holy Crap!  That was twenty years ago!"

I am officially old enough to remember what life was like twenty years ago.  Whoa.  
Hello ya good 'ol 90's!  Miss you teeny stretchy shorts.  
(Not really.  Just missing the fact that I could pull them off without a second thought!)

So in honor of my 28th birthday today, 
let's rewind time and take a peek at who I was two, ten, and twenty years ago!

 Twenty Years Ago: 1993
My brother Joe and I.  This picture just makes me laugh out loud.

:: I was 8 years old and in the second grade
:: We lived in Hawaii at the time.  We loved swimming!
:: I was baptized by my dad in February
:: My best friend's name was Emily
:: I was learning the Seitz Concertos on the violin
:: I was a very bossy big sister

Ten Years Ago: 2003
  Wow.  Look at that hair!  Haha

:: I just turned 18
(I feel like I stopped aging then.  I still don't feel a day older than eighteen.)
:: I was a senior at Eagle High School
:: Thought I was in love with a boy
:: Auditioning all over for violin scholarships to college even though I knew BYU-Idaho was where I really wanted to be.  Lucky for me, I got the scholarship I was looking for.
:: Crazy stupid.  I should have died that summer cliff jumping and such

Five Years Ago: 2008
Newlyweds!

:: Bron and I celebrated our first anniversary in May
:: Working full time at the Idaho Eye Center
:: Taught violin lessons after work while Bron milked cows and did homework
:: Our weekends were blissful and busy.  We were newlyweds, remember?  Oh, those sweet days!
:: Learning and growing into my roles as wife and homemaker

Two Years Ago: 2011
Fourth Of July

:: The busiest year ever!
:: I was a new mom to Jed, adjusting to his constant little needs and timetable
:: Working in the evenings feeding calves on Miner Farm
:: Bron graduated with his master's degree, found a job, and we moved from New York to Idaho
:: Went on a dream vacation to Hawaii with my love, Bron
:: We bought a house in October!
:: Got pregnant again in November = hormonal mess

Today: 2013
My boys and I!  Picture taken today on my 28th birthday

:: Embracing my roles as a wife to Bron and a mother to Jed and Levi
:: I still struggle to put my role as wife first sometimes
:: Learning to balance my time between two little boys and house chores.
I'm learning that playing pretend with Jed rocks.  There will always be dishes and laundry no matter what I do.  I might as well play!
:: Goals to run some half marathons this year = work off that post prego belly
:: I now have more responsibility than ever before, but with that comes more independence and happiness that I've never known before too!

Two Years From Now: 2015

:: I'll turn 30 years old.  Ouch!
:: I'll be pro at balancing my different hats
:: Still be head-over-heels in love with that man I call my husband
:: Expecting baby #3?


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Bron started it off right for me by bringing home five pounds of strawberries and chocolate last night.  I have a sore in my mouth from eating so many strawberries!  Strawberries are my favorite.  Today, the little boys and I spent a few hours in town this afternoon.  Then Bron surprised me with a brand new dress when he walked in the door after work.  Isn't he romantic?  The man knows how to choose a dress too!  It is slimming and absolutely adorable.  So I put it on {of course!}, dropped the kids off with some babysitters, and Bron treated me to dinner at Jaker's.  Delicious!  Bron treats me so well.  He insists on spoiling me rotten.  I've told him that there are much cheaper ways to keep me happy, (I would have been just as thrilled with some strawberries and him throwing together dinner at home) but that's just the way Bron prefers to show his love for me.

I have definitely felt loved today.  I've gotten so many messages, texts, phone calls, and cards in the mail from countless friends and family.  Thank you!  I'd say 28 is starting out pretty great!  

Suhweet!

1.28.2013
Meet the 2013 John Berry Tournament Wrestling Champion of his weight division: Kaleb.
There were over twenty schools at the tournament.  I'd say Bron's "little" brother earned himself some bragging rights.
#whatastud #muscle
#winner #daisyduke

See more pictures HERE.

Note: It should be written, "Thou shalt not take your two year old to a wrestling tournament else ye be glutton for punishment."  Thankfully, Kaleb won and made our parental misery partly worth it.

It's Friday!

1.25.2013

Highlights from this week included but were not limited to...


:: A full night's sleep--multiple times!  All happiness depends on a good night's sleep.  True story.

 :: Driving my new Acadia to town, giving it a car wash, and going shopping all afternoon.  My friend Amy and I spent waaay too much money at Target, but it was so much fun!

:: A family dance party in the den before bedtime

:: Making baby food for Levi.  I cooked a bunch of different vegetables, pureed them, and then froze them in heart-shaped silicone ice cube trays I found in the dollar corner at Target.  Nothing screams "made with lots of love!" like heart-shaped peas.

:: Teaching three violin lessons.

:: A little bird taking up residence in my dryer vent each night.  It must be cozy and warm in there.

:: Napping with Levi's little head on my chest.  I could hold him and listen to him breathe like that for eternity.  It is so relaxing!

:: Hearing Jed's bedroom door slam followed by quick footsteps around 7:15 each morning.  It's too bad that the seven o'clock hour is a completely acceptable time to wake up because I am missing sleeping in till after 8:00AM already!  (Waah, waah, waah!  I know.)  Oh well.  At least Jed is happy and cute and we get to have breakfast together, just the two of us.

We made a few extra lettered breadsticks for our neighbor friends because sometimes when you're feeling sick, a good meal without the cleanup is all you need!  Recipe found HERE.

:: Making alphabet letters in breadstick dough.  (I got the idea from a friend's blog.) Jed is finally taking an interest in learning things like colors and letters.  We made a "J" for Jed and two others.  I felt like a stellar mom!  Then after taking more than an hour to put dinner together, I remembered why I don't like to cook.  Short thirty minute meals are a young mom's best friend for a reason.

:: Holding Levi in the shower for more than twenty minutes and just letting the steam roll.  Poor kid has a very stuffy nose.  I held him close under the spray and Levi fell asleep on my shoulder.  I couldn't help kissing those sweet cheeks, admiring his fat tiny wrists, and stroking his bare little back.  It's moments like those that I just want to bottle up and save forever!  I sure wish he'd stop growing up so fast.     


I'd say we had a great week!  Here's to an even better weekend which should include a trip to east Idaho to see Kaleb wrestle in the Sugar-Salem Tourney, dinner with "the guys", and some good 'ol quality family time with the Nelsons.

Utah Weekend Part II: My New Ride and an NBA Game

1.23.2013
Saturday was the biggest, busiest, and most exciting day of all last week--maybe of this entire month or even quarter!  We woke up that morning with intentions of buying a "new" car.  Bron and I had been shopping around for a while, trying to decide on our next big move: the vehicle that would replace the dying Impala and carry our family through its growing years.  (And just to be clear, a minivan was out of the question.  Bron's pride won't let him own a minivan.)  So off we ventured!  My aunt was so kind to watch Jed for us the entire day.  Frankly, I don't know if we could have done it without her help!  Coming back to see Jed's toenails painted blue was totally worth that one.  We were lucky.  We found exactly what we were looking for at a small used car lot in Woods Cross, Utah.

So without further ado, meet my new ride!

      
Isn't she a beauty?  She's a 2008 GMC Acadia.  She has heat and headlights!  She also has leather, heated seats, a third row, 54,000 miles, all wheel drive, and a price tag to fit our budget.  (Wait, what budget?)  It's basically a minivan on steroids.  I am in loooove!  Our three hour drive home on Sunday was a treat.  I am officially spoiled.

That night Bron and I ditched both children and met up with a dairyman and his cute wife to go to a Jazz game.  We had tickets Bron's boss had won at a charity auction.  Little did we know, they were VIP tickets.  We arrived at the arena and soon found ourselves on the top floor in front the Sports Bar.  A delicious dinner, dessert, and endless drinks were all provided.  I am not exaggerating one ounce when I say that it was fancy pants.  These yellow beets we ate were to die for!  We went back for seconds.  For vegetables!  And the dessert was even better (duh).

Then it was time for the big game.  We scored seats on the tenth row at half court.  Those players are huge!  Are people really allowed to be that tall?  I think we were just as entertained by the Jazz's mascot running around doing silly pranks as we were the actual game.  It was pretty much amazing and a blast of an evening with my husband!

Utah Weekend Part I: A Winter Swim and Family

1.22.2013
View of Utah's Painted Desert.  Elevation: 8,000 feet

We had a very busy four day weekend in Utah.  We mixed business with family and fun and I now have a lot to report. 

We began our weekend with a road trip to southern Utah--Richfield to be exact--Thursday morning. (Bron travels down there twice a month for work.)  Seven hours, one stop, ten books, a bag of animals and cars, and a tablet full of toddler apps later, Bron dropped us off at the hotel while he went  to visit a few dairies in the area.  

The little boys and I had an entire afternoon to ourselves free of all our normal responsibilities.  I really enjoyed giving all my attention to those two sweethearts!  So after chilling in the room for an hour, we donned our swimming gear and headed down to the indoor swimming pool.  Levi leaned back in his floatie and relaxed with a thumb in his mouth.  He was so stinkin' cute!  Jed, on the other hand, had a death grip on me the entire time even though he was wearing a full blown life vest.  (It made me determined to get a pass to the pool this summer to remedy that.)  But we had a grand time floating around together, pretending to be dogs and pretending to eat pretend fish.  Then we warmed up in the hot tub.  Ahhh, the hot tub!  Then Jed got to press the buttons on the elevator again.  

Bron brought back a giant pizza and dessert to the room that evening and we all crashed early.  Sleeping and sleeping arrangements the entire weekend were kind of crazy and a bit unconventional, maybe even a bit hysterical.  That night Bron slept in one queen sized bed with Jed (that had to be uncomfortable!) while Levi slept with me in the other bed.  We never had that kind of problem traveling around when Jed was a baby because Jed was an excellent sleeper; Levi is not.  So Levi faithfully kept a hand on me the entire night and we survived the night feeling relatively well-rested!

Then it was back into the truck for another half day.  The boys travel really well!  Levi passes out as soon as the truck starts rolling and Jed has become accustomed to entertaining himself.  Bron and I have some time to talk and we enjoy that.  We climbed up into the mountains and Bron showed me some dairies he works with.  Even in winter, the views and red rock were still amazing sights!

We finally made it to Utah Valley in time to meet my grandparents and Aunt Mari and family for an early dinner followed by frozen yogurt for dessert.  Levi got lucky.  My Aunt Mari spoon fed Levi from her bowl.  He loved it and he cried for more!  I'm not sure if it's legit that Levi eat dairy products before he's one, but it sure was some good entertainment.  

And now, views from our hotel room!  (I didn't take very many pictures.  Gasp!)

 Talking on a real phone with a cord!  So cool when you're two.  Don't worry, we unplugged it.
All ready for the pool!
Jumping on the hotel bed is one of my all time favorite childhood past times.  I couldn't help handing it off to the next generation.
 Just chillin' on the bed after a swim discovering his yummy chubby tiny toes!  I love this stage.
 Dessert spoils for Levi

One of My Favorite Things

1.21.2013
Aren't these thighs just scrumptious?  I could eat them whole.
I love them.  I love them.  I love Levi!

Snapshots and Life Lately

1.13.2013
Tyke came inside to warm up and play with Jed
Is Levi really big enough for this toy?  Yes, yes he is.  And I can't get enough of that open mouthed happiness!
Brownie making and learning to sit...
although I think Levi prefers to lay back on the bobby instead and enjoy his view of the world from there
Words can't quite describe the love I have for this boy
Levi helped me set up for a photo shoot.  I think this picture is almost absolute perfection!
We made s'mores one afternoon with our new s'mores maker.  There's no such thing as too many marshmallows and too much chocolate, is there?
Jed has become very proficient at the puzzle app we have on our tablet
Just look at those eyebrows and Levi's look of concentration
Helping Mom cook dinner!  No worries, I keep a close eye and hand on him at all times.
"Uhhh, I dropped the spoons!"
Just hanging out on a cold winter afternoon: Jed running laps, Levi craning his neck to see

The cold weather has enticed us to cozy up inside the house these past two weeks.   We've been reading lots of books, playing with play dough, puzzles, and cars, watching movies with popcorn, and taking extra long evening bubble baths.

We started another round of sleep training with Levi.  It is sooo HARD, but it is even harder to get up with him every three hours.  The lack of sleep I've endured for weeks on end has made me a grouchy and energy-less mama.  I'm ready to enjoy my days mothering again!

Bron has gone skiing with friends the last two Saturdays.  He said it was epic.  There was fresh powder and they had a blast!

When the guys arrived home last Saturday, we ladies had a girls' night out to see Les Mis.  There were four of us: three brought babies, the other is pregnant.  What a sight we must've been!  But the babies slept like angels and we were all in tears by the end of the show.   It was a fun night out.

Yesterday, I took the boys sledding on some little hills near the college (with some friends, of course).  Even Levi went for a few rides and gave up a few squeals of delight!  Then last night Bron and I went out to dinner ALL BY OURSELVES!  Yup, we were childless and it was wonderful.  It was three hours of rejuvenation we both needed.  Wow, I love that man.  He is so good to me, even when I don't act like I deserve it.

And that concludes our lives as of late!  I hope you're staying warm and enjoying January too!

What January Looks Like Over Here

1.11.2013

Except the world doesn't look quite like that today.  It's crazy nasty over here.  There's new snow and wind howling at 30 miles an hour.  I think we'll stay inside today.  The roads are closed anyway.

This is also January 2013 at our house...

Let's Talk About Jed for a Minute

1.09.2013
 At first I told him to stop blowing bubbles in his milk, but then I succumbed to the fun and took pictures instead.

This little boy is my first born.  There is something terribly special about him, or how special he is to me.  I can't explain it; everyday I love him a little bit more than the day before.  It's an aching joyous kind of love.  My heart lives on the outside of my body and his name is Jed. 

Some days Jed is the perfect model of a terrible two year old, but he's actually quite a good kid.  He's silly and cute and happy, and maybe even a little crazy.  He's learning to listen.  He can ask for help without whining.  He's also learning to share and be gentle, especially with girls.  Best of all, he's beginning to actually talk!

He certainly isn't perfect at these things though.  We are constantly reminding him to use words and to be gentle.  But the point is, he's come a long way this year!  I am so proud of him.

With this growth, I've begun noticing some qualities that distinctly belong to Jed.

One in particular is his ability to think of others before himself.  When scampering to the kitchen on a Sunday evening to grab a cookie, he brought back two: one for him, one for Dad.  No one asked him to.  Sometimes when I'm nursing the baby Jed brings me my water jug.  Or when Levi is laying on his bedroom floor, Jed often brings him a toy.  He does little things like this all the time!

Jed is obsessed with puzzles right now and he's good at them!  To me, it is a sign of intelligence.

However, his perspective on the world makes us laugh out loud from time to time.  For instance, according to Jed, Bron's name is "Dad", my name is "Mom", Levi's name is "Bae" for baby, and Jed calls himself "Mine".  We'll keep working on that.  Oh yes, and everything is the color blue; apparently there are no other colors in the rainbow.

Compared with Levi he seems so big now!  But I have to remind myself that he's still in nursery at church.  He's just barely bigger than a baby.  He loves finger plays and his unsure footing when he hops is endearing.  (The play dough eating isn't though.)

I love Jed's sweet hugs.  I want to pause those moments when he cuddles up next to me to read a book.  I cherish the times he holds my hand as we walk together.  I know these carefree school-less days with my innocent little boy won't last forever.  I want to make the most of them.

Jed is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  I never knew love like this before he was born.  Jed has changed me from the inside-out.  He is going to teach me and humble me and amaze me.  I'm really looking forward to what the next few years of growth will bring because mothering Jed these last two and a half years has been the best adventure of my life. 

Repurposed

1.08.2013
Between caring for a new baby and the Holidays, I haven't had much opportunity to accomplish anything extra.  That, and because honestly exercising and playing with my pictures on the computer are higher on the priority list than honing some of my homemaking skills.  BUT I have managed to do a few things.


These beautiful pillows are my first project.  I've been working on them for weeks.  Literally.  I cut out material here, sewed a few stitches there, and they finally came together weeks later.  My favorite things about these pillows are:

1. I used the stuffing from old unwanted pillows from Momma Nelsons house 
2. The bright colors and adorable prints 
3. The gray minky on the backside of one. 

The gray minky was actually inspired by Bron.  He said that if I was making accent pillows for the couch, he had to be able to fall asleep and drool (just kidding, sort of) on at least one side.  I think I came through!  It's sooo soft!  That minky pillow has actually become my favorite pillow to nurse with.  I want to make a couple more!

We also have a "new" coffee table!


Do you recognize it?  It's our old kitchen table, courtesy of good 'ol Walmart.  (So you know it's cheap.)  This summer I found a replacement for it at a garage sale.  I love my new kitchen table very much, but I knew this one still had some life left in it.  So Bron took her out to the garage and cut her legs!  Nice, huh?  My original plan was to place a layer of foam on top of the table and cover it with material so that Bron and I would have a nice spot to put our feet while we cuddle and watch movies.  It turns out, however, that my plan will be put on hold, perhaps indefinitely.  We still like putting our cups and snacks on it.  Better yet, it's become the perfect place for Jed to run his cars.  So here's to our short re-purposed kitchen table!

    A typical Sunday night at our home: popcorn and games... on the "new" table.

It's a New Year

1.05.2013

There's a small part of me that is sad the Holiday Season is over, but another part that is relieved.  I'm a little grateful to be getting back into a more relaxed routine.  And I think my midsection is too.  All those parties and holiday treats were starting to show!  (Not that my midsection looks great in the first place.  I'm still working off that post-baby flab.)

We had one last holiday hurrah on New Years Day at Bron's childhood home with the whole Nelson family.  It was an all day party that consisted of food, board games, and a load of new presents.  We were loved and spoiled.

(Yes, we visited my mom the week before and were showered with presents there too.  It's been a great Christmas season.)

Our nephews Tannon and Jaden
Grandpa Nelson made these incredibly awesome tugboats and barges out of wood.  They're painted in all different colors, connect together, and even float on water; they're practically unsinkable!  The barges came with all sorts of wild animals to load onto them too.  They were A HIT with the kids!
Grandma Nelson made all the grandkids soft warm blankets.  Jed is attached to his now.  (And I may have stolen Levi's blanket a couple of times already.)
Modeling my new scarf!  Bron and our boys.  Love them.
Yup, a shotgun.  He looks mighty pleased, doesn't he?

As a gift to ourselves this year, Bron and I had the first two years or so of this blog printed and bound.  It is 349 pages!  I can't explain how special it is to have a physical copy of our personal and family history.  I've enjoyed flipping through the book, reading passages (I didn't realize there was so much personality!), gooing over Jed's baby pictures, and just remembering.  This folks, is exactly why I blog.  I hope to have at least ten volumes lining the shelves of our home one day.

Bron and I escaped for a half hour on New Years Day to do some cross country skiing.  I wish I had brought my camera.  It was take-my-breathe-away beautiful!  However, I'm not sure my camera could have captured what Bron and I were feeling.  We love having a few moments to ourselves.  And when the world is white with snow, sun pouring through the trees, and it is quiet--in that moment, all seems right with the world.

Snapshots of our home in a winter wonderland

The New Year has brought with it snow and freeeezing cold temperatures.  They're the kind of days I don't leave the house, even to go to the mailbox.  (Pathetic, I know.)  But the New Year has also brought with it a determination to achieve some new goals.  Here are some of mine in writing... so you can hold me to them!

:: Run 3 half marathons.  We are planning on running one in San Diego in August.  The other two just might be a Bron and Jessie Saturday Special.
:: Teach four violin lessons a week.
:: Attend the temple monthly with my husband.
:: Pray with more meaning; listen for answers.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
HERE'S TO A HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2013


P.S.  On a totally unrelated topic, Levi's little system has been struggling since we added some solid food to his diet.  He FINALLY pooped today.  Wow.  There are no words.