Raspberries

7.31.2013
We're visiting Momma Nelson's house this week and we're picking as many plump juicy raspberries as we can possibly handle... then stuffing our tummies full too.

Summer is sublime.


Also, the next few weeks are going to be wild.  So if I'm MIA from the blog for a while, no worries.  Just know that we are having fun and I will be busting at the seams to fill you in on all the details as soon as I can.

My Spudman Triathlon Stud

7.28.2013
And now, a post all about Bron!


Spoiler: Since Bron is proudly holding his "medal" you obviously know he didn't wind up on the bottom of the river.  Instead, I am proud to announce that Bron finished his very first triathlon with flying colors!  

Now let me tell you all about it... 

Saturday Bron participated raced his guts out in the Spudman Triathlon.  He and a couple of friends signed up for the race together.  Nothing quite like a little peer pressure, ya?  They swam 1 mile, biked 25 miles, and ran 6 miles.  It was Bron's very first triathlon ever.  I think he had so many nervous butterflies that he didn't sleep a wink the night before, but he rocked it anyway coming in at 2 hours and 55 minutes.  Words can't describe how proud I am of my man.

^^Modeling his goofy swim cap before the race began^^
 ^^There's my man!!!  Go get 'em!^^
I was so glad I left our little boys at home with a babysitter.  It was nice to be there to support him 100%.
 ^^Look at all those little goldfish go!^^
^^Just to give you a better idea of what the Snake River is like.^^  
It was the first year in the history of the race that it rained, but I think the racers welcomed the cloudy skies. 
 Next up: a little cycling followed by a nice long run.  Bron said that transition was pretty tough!  
Legs like jelly.  I can only imagine
^^And here he is!  Tired and running full speed towards the finish line.^^  
The Spudmen
Bron, Lorren, Dan, and Aaron

These guys are studs.  They're a little sore and stiff, but they had fun!  I hope they do it again next year.

I love you and am so proud of you, Bron!  

During Nap Time

7.26.2013
Bron likes to make fun of me.  Apparently he finds what I do during nap time amusing, but secretly I think he's just jealous. 

In my defense, some days I am awesomely productive, swooping through the house like a madwoman cleaning everything in my path: washing the dishes, mopping the floor, scrubbing the toilets, sorting laundry, paying the bills, and more!  Yes. I. Am. Amazing. 

But honestly, those mad dash nap time cleaning sprees happen just once or twice a week.  You're more likely to catch me showering, napping (oh, sweet silence!), or relaxing in front of my computer editing pictures.  Yes, that's what I really enjoy doing during those two--sometimes three--blissfully quiet hours!

However, every once in a while I catch the itch to accomplish some home enhancing project.  This week?  I painted a bookshelf red for Jed's room.


Jed has a library of books at his disposal.  Literally.  A library.  He has books from my childhood, Bron's childhood, a bunch from my dad's childhood, and an handful of his very own.  I love looking at the names and dates written inside the front covers.  Sentiments like To Lance Love Mom 1962 make me smile thinking of my dad as a little kid just like Jed. 

Anyway, there are so many books that I didn't have a place to store them all!  They were piled in boxes and bags in the closet and against the wall.  Frankly, I was sick of the mess.  Jed needed a bookcase.  (And as I've mentioned before, Jed absolutely looooves books.)


So I hopped onto Craigslist and found a sturdy wood number for $10.  Two cans of spray paint and one nap time later, Jed officially has a brightly colored bookcase worthy of his room!  (Note: It's a good thing this project was so cheap because my paint job really stunk!  Spray paint and I don't do well together.  A paint brush is better.  Oh well.  Next time.)


Ironically, that evening a traveling salesman came to the door.  He was selling books!  Traveling salesmen and I don't mix well either; I have a hard time being mean and saying "no".  Plus, when someone is selling children's books (books!!!) I just can't resist.  So $200 later, Jed has twenty new educational books to add to his collection library. I'm claiming it was meant to be.  I mean, I had just painted a bookshelf that afternoon after all.  :)


Much better.  Jed and I are both really happy about his new red bookshelf. 
^^And look!  There's still a little extra space for more.  hehe^^

What do you do during nap time?

An Interview with Jed

7.25.2013
I want to remember this little voice forever and relish in his funny little kid answers.

Snapshots of Life Lately: July

7.23.2013
^^What do you do when the temperature hovers around 100 degrees all month?  Buy a $6 pool, of course!  All of Jed's giant sandbox trucks (with earwigs...eww!) went swimming with us too that afternoon.^^
^^"Airplane" rides^^
^^The best night of Levi's little life thus far.  My friend Amy and I went on an evening bike ride and Levi was lucky enough to tag along in the baby seat.  I couldn't resist taking him--that cute face under that little yellow helmet is too much!  We rode along the canal enjoying the views until it grew too dark to safely ride anymore.  While waiting for Bron to rescue us, the clerk at the local gas station offered Levi his very first lollipop.  The kid was in heaven--dripping sugary saliva like a faucet and sticky from forehead to foot!  Plus, he was out past his bedtime with Mama; a very special occasion indeed!  It was a really fun summer night.^^
^^Cracks us up every time.  Jed often comes running with his plastic toy tools in hand ready to help his dad fix things.  "Wait a me!  I get my tools," he says.  It's the cutest thing.^^
^^Just look at that fluffy post bath curly hair and four little teeth.  Oh, that precious little boy makes me so happy!^^
^^Jed enjoys having his entire body traced in chalk.  One day he said, "Draw a caw in my haand, Mom".  So I did.  And I couldn't quit laughing.  The kid has had a car in each hand since he could grasp; it's only fitting that a drawing of Jed should have a car in his hand too.^^
^^How we occasionally clean-up after a meal.  Sometimes it's easier just to soak this child.^^
^^And then Jed insists on joining the "fun" too.^^

It's a good life we got here.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.
(Except for the week Bron and I both had the flu and the time my eyeball swallowed a bug.  Yuck!  That happened this month too.)

So Cal Solo

7.20.2013
^^Hey, look!  I finally hopped on the Instagram wagon.^^

So what else did I do for three full days without my two little ankle biters in tow?  Simple: I relaxed!  It was a strange wonderful thing.  If I didn't get enough sleep (I didn't), I most certainly came back rejuvenated.

I spent all of Saturday around my old stomping grounds in San Diego.  I met up with an old friend from high school, Henry.  We never dated but I remember our table having a really fun time in the back of our Spanish class.  Henry took me to the farmer's market downtown where I slurped down my very first oyster (fishy but not too bad) and introduced me to a chili strawberry lemonade that was surprisingly good!  Then we ate fish tacos on the beach in Coronado before heading back to hit some golf balls with another friend.  What a fantastic day, right?  And to think I topped it off with my ten year high school reunion

The rest of the weekend included reading a book, swimming with family, good food, "meeting" my brother's Hungarian girlfriend via Skype (she's a cutie) and being regaled with stories and pictures from my dad's recent trip to Europe.

Before heading to the airport on Monday, I got to spend some quality one-on-one time with my brother Joey (lovingly known as Hoey to my sister and me).  I've missed him!  We explored Laguna Beach and ended the morning with more fish tacos (I have a thing for fish tacos) at a local Mexican food restaurant.

So that's my weekend in a nutshell.  I'm already counting down the days till our next trip to So Cal next month!   

California will always hold a special place in my heart.  Upon stepping off the plane in Los Angeles, I smelled the salty air and immediately thought, "Home".  But as I drove to the dairy to pick up my little boys from the airport in Idaho Falls, I had a similar thought about Idaho: wide open spaces, mountains, and no traffic--it's beautiful.  I guess this transplanted military brat sets roots wherever she's planted. 

My Ten Year High School Reunion

7.18.2013
also known as: 
the weekend I spent three days in California sans husband and children.


All this hype leading up to my ten year high school reunion last weekend brought back so memories and feelings to the surface I'd long since forgotten!

One afternoon as I swept the floor, my mind suddenly became so cluttered with thoughts about my childhood that I stopped what I was doing to climb into the attic to retrieve an old black and red box.  I opened the lid to find the box stuffed to the brim with memories: pictures from high school and college, nick-knacks, and notes.

The notes were the best part.  There's at least a hundred of them from various friends (and one particular boyfriend) all folded nicely into triangles and hearts and little squares with a pull tab.  Nobody does that anymore; technology has taken over.  Better yet, many of these notes are at least a page long!  I stayed up late one night reading them, completely taken back to another time.  I winced at our awkwardness, laughed at our silly banter, and glowed in the memory of those long-forgotten friendships.  Our needs and insecurities were so transparent.  Why couldn't I see it then?  High school was awful, but it was also really really fun.  If I could be seventeen again for a week, I'd jump at it!  If only I knew then what I know now.

Posing outside.  If that sign doesn't take you back ten years, I don't know what will!
Nicole and Chelsea looking fabulous in black cocktail dresses
Tiffany, Carol, Kelsey, and Kelly
Michelle and Me
Kindall, Ashley, and Lauren
Nathalie and Jen with their husbands

I may have had a small anxiety attack on the elevator up to the floor of the RBHS Class of 2003 reunion.  Luckily, I was greeted with equally nervous old friends and lots and lots of smiles.  It floored me to suddenly see so many familiar faces!  Honestly, it was weird.  I had an easy time recognizing the girls; they're just mature versions of their high school selves.  I wouldn't say they even looked any older!  Haha  The guys, however, well some of them have put on weight and have grown facial hair.  I felt like an idiot staring at them trying to figure out who was who.  Thank goodness for name tags!

But that's when we starting talking and talking and talking.  I had so much fun catching up with everyone that I forgot to eat!  The reunion felt so surreal.  It was good hearing what people are up to, that they're mostly happy.  Some are highly educated, some have families, some are still single, some live on the other side of the country--it was all expected.  What I didn't expect, however, was for everyone to be exactly as I remember them: the way we talk, laugh, interact--essentially nothing has changed.  I think that's what was so cool.

I came away with a feeling of love, just plain love for people.  There is something about growing up together, being goofy teenagers together--the free time, the same classes and homework, getting into trouble, the sports and dances--that binds people together.  It's a unique comradery.  I just wish the other three quarters of the class showed up!

Till next time, RB!

Alaska Basin

7.11.2013
Warning: This post is eye candy.  It may make you want to pack a bag to visit Idaho asap!

^^View of the Tetons on our drive in.  I totally made Bron stop the car.^^

Friday morning we awoke at the crack of dawn to begin one of our favorite family pastimes: a hike.  Bron and I are in love with hiking.  The physical exertion, the quietness, the beauty, literally conquering a mountain by climbing to the top... the feeling is in a category all its own.  (That said, I don't know if I'm crazy enough to do something like Mount McKinley, but I do enjoy a good day hike.)  On that particular day we chose Alaska Basin, an eight mile--16 miles round trip (It totally felt like more!)--trail to the base of the South Teton.  The Tetons are an incredible mountain range.  I can only think of one word to describe them: majestic.  And the only word to describe the sights on our hike: phenomenal.  It's moments like these that fill my soul with awe for my Creator.   

^^Isn't Levi the happiest little backpacking baby on the planet?  I don't mind keeping him close like that and enjoying the day alongside him.^^ 

Our group that day included Bron's parents, two of his brothers, and both of our little boys.  Yes, we are crazy; we spent an entire day hiking around with children strapped to our backs.  But that's just our independent nature showing its colors.  In hindsight, we should have left Jed at home with a babysitter.  He is simply getting too big and heavy to be carried.  Before Bron even made it back down to the bottom, he vowed that this was Jed's last free ride to the top of anything.  Despite Bron's justified grumblings, both boys did amazingly well.  Jed and Levi love the outdoors!

^^We were lucky enough to see THREE mother-calf moose pairs just munching away a few yards off the trail.  Wow!  What a special treat.  I just wished I had a better zoom lens.^^ 
^^I couldn't get enough of the pretty wildflowers^^

We couldn't have asked for better weather.  It was overcast (and even rained a little) in the morning and burned off by afternoon.  It wasn't too hot either.  In fact, I was grateful I remembered to grab the little boys' jackets!

^^Taking a snooze^^

The hike spoiled us with views of at least two dozen different waterfalls and half as many water crossings, some were just little trickles but others were roaring mountain streams!  The sights were beautiful.

^^I really like this picture.  It gives you an idea of the mountain's vastness.^^

Oh yes, I should mention that I wussed out.  I made it six miles or so with Levi on my back, but he just started to become too much.  Luckily, we brought along a Garret.  Garret means burly, strong and kindhearted Nelson brother.  I really wouldn't have made it up and back down the mountain without his help! 

^^One for the books, don't you think?^^
^^And one giant shot for the wall!  Absolutely breathtaking views.^^
^^Jed stopping to smell the weeds.  
Snowballs in July!  So doesn't this qualify as a glacier?^^
^^Isn't Merri Sue the cutest?  I'm so lucky to have such awesome in-laws.^^

Finally, we made it to the top!  Our reward, a mountain valley full of small glassy lakes at the base of the South Teton.  It practically scraped the heavens.  I'm so glad we had Call with us.  His young energy kept us happily trekking upward.  It's a sight we would have regretted not seeing experiencing.

^^We made it!!!^^

It took us five and a half hours to reach the top and half that time to descend.  Our knees and feet were aching (in agony if you were Bron, not much to mention if you were Call) by the time we finally clamored into the car.  The trail felt like it just kept on going foooorrrrevvvverrrr!  

But... this hike will most definitely go down in history as one of the most fun and breathtakingly gorgeous things we have ever done together.  Thanks for a truly magnificent day!