A Low-Key September Weekend Highlights

9.29.2013

The weekend was just the kind we needed.  We were able to relax and recharge.  These are a few of the best low-key things we did this weekend:

:: Dinner at the Raiger's home Friday night.  We ate the best taco soup and homemade cornbread I have ever tasted!

:: Naps for everyone both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  I could get used to that!

:: Holding Jed under one arm and reading him stories for nearly an hour

:: Bron went shooting with friends Saturday afternoon.  Then I had a girls' night out.  After the church Relief Society Broadcast, three girlfriends and I went out for some frozen yogurt.  We left at 8:30 and didn't arrive back home till 11:00.  What can I say?  Great girls and fun conversation!

:: An exciting Sunday afternoon game of Hide and Seek.  Jed totally gave himself away with squeals of, "In here!  In here!"

:: Apples + Carmel = The most delicious Fall time dessert meal  (I'm kidding, just a little.)

:: Having Bron home all weekend long!  We sure miss Bron while he works long hours during the week, so having him at home all to ourselves for two days straight is a special treat.    

Baby's First Haircut

9.27.2013
Yesterday my friend Amy came over to give Levi his very first haircut.  It was time.  He had a mullet and his curls were starting to lay flat.  I'm glad Bron let me take my sweet time and make this decision on my own.  I know it's only hair and it grows back, but Levi's hair was so curly and gosh darn cute!  I just wasn't quite ready to let those curls go!  Plus, I knew once his hair was cut short he'd look a lot older.  Who knew I could be so attached to hair?!?  But somehow I came to terms with it all and let some scissors work their magic.  (A first haircut has to be documented, you know.)

^^How Levi felt about having his hair cut until...
...we gave him a sucker.  All better!^^

And now he's the most handsome baby on the block!  (In my humble opinion.)  Yes, he looks older and my heart wants to cry a little, but the good news is Levi's hair is still curly!  For now anyway.  I sure do love my baby boy.  Thanks for the haircut, Amy!

Porcupine Springs

9.26.2013
What good memories are made of...

^^Posers.  I love this picture of Lorren, Kendra, and Jed.^^
 ^^Jed's charcoal marshmallow.  Yum!^^

Tuesday afternoon we headed into the South Hills with some of our friends for some classic Fall fun.  Though the trees aren't quite sporting their flaming yellows and reds just yet, we were still able to enjoy some crisp cool air.  We roasted marshmallows for s'mores and went for a leisurely walk.  I'm not sure who loved being up there more--the kids or the adults!  We will most definitely be back again soon.

On another note, that was also the afternoon I managed to lock my keys in the car.  Whoops!  Thank goodness for some awesome friends who came to the rescue.  I now have a brand new windshield (the Acadia is a tank!) and two, yes two, brand new sets of keys.  You bet that is never happening again.

Have a wonderful day!

Snapshots of Life Lately

9.25.2013
We've been soaking in the last weeks of summer close to home and spending as much time outside as possible. Summer was very good to us. We made some wonderful memories. And as much as I hate to see the warm temperatures go, I'm equally giddy about the Fall. Something about sweaters and candles and colorful leaves {and Halloween!} is just good for the soul. Bring it on!

 ^^The little stink loves to climb that ladder and sneak some gulps of my water!  But he's sooo cute about it that I don't stop him.^^
^^These boys worship their dad.
On another note, I have a bad habit of unintentionally dressing them alike.^^
 ^^Weridos.  They're slurping water from the shower floor.  Good thing I'd scrubbed it recently?^^

Introducing some Instagram photos to this series.
I really fell out of the habit of keeping my camera handy these last weeks because well, I have a brand new smart phone.  It's like a new toy!  Unfortunately, it can actually be classified as a "dumb" smartphone.  Hey, I'm only paying $5 more monthly than with my last non-smart phone, so I'm okay with that.  But the camera on this phone really stinks.  I should use it more sparingly than I do.  Oh well.  Go ahead and follow along instead @jessieolean

^^I'm so thankful to have not one but two little boys with whom to start my mornings and bake cookies.^^
^^Levi loooves the strider bike.  I just know he's gonna be trouble.
At the park kicking a ball around one afternoon.  Jed surprised me with his skillz!^^
^^Bike rides and picnics in the backyard.^^
We've been going on a lot of bike rides lately!  Yes, they can both fit in the trailer comfortably, but I like Levi in the seat behind me; the boys are more quiet that way.  And also yes, pulling their weight eleven miles is most definitely a workout!
^^How we all felt about a family outing to OrangeLeaf Saturday night.  Froyo goodness!
The cutest running buddies, Ryan and Levi.  Er, more accurately, their mamas are running buddies.^^
 ^^Yes, we totally did.  Fresh raspberries, peaches, and whipped cream atop a waffle for breakfast.  Mmmm!^^
^^My view from the kitchen window.  Levi is just hanging out in there playing with giant rocks.  No biggie.^^
 ^^Jed chasing me with the hose!  And Jed learning to rollerskate inside the house, of course.^^
 ^^Entranced with the new magnetic chalkboards I made from cookie sheets.  Hooray!  Now for those alphabet letters and we may just have a little preschool learning going on here after all.^^
 ^^Would you look at that happy goober?!  Levi was having a blast helping mow the lawn.^^
^^I sure love this first born of mine.  He's such a good kid.^^
 ^^Our new afternoon (sometimes 10AM) ritual: air popped popcorn.  Jed begs for it.  "Pa-porn pleeease?"  I love how they share that stool in the kitchen.^^

Whew!  I feel like I'm finally getting all caught up!  But you know what the remedy for all that would be?  Take fewer pictures and post less often.  Hmmm... I'll mull that one over later. 

Shopping and Salmon

9.24.2013
Last week Bron flew to Washington for a business related fishing trip.  Tough life, ya?  Bron isn't a fisherman, but he came back all grins.  Good food plus a fight for some big fish made for a memorable trip.  He deserved it too.  With corn harvest here, Bron has been working long hours.  (Though it's nothing compared to you poor wives whose husbands actually run the choppers and trucks!  Boo.)  Some of this beautiful pink salmon arrived on my doorstep packed on ice Friday.  It's delicious!
     
^^Bron's exciting 20lb catch^^

So while Bron and his colleagues were working playing hard, I concocted a last minute plan of my own.  Honestly, I handle Bron being gone one night a week pretty well, but three nights (equals me four days alone and husband-less) just isn't very fun.  Luckily Momma Nelson was more than happy to accommodate her grandsons and me.  The boys and I drove to Ririe, Idaho on Tuesday--with a pit-stop at Rupe's in Blackfoot for lunch--and came back Thursday.  We girls turned the three day trip into a mad shopping spree!  It was sooo much fun.  Last week was a vacation.

So let me tell you a horrible little story about shopping with two little boys... 

Whilst shopping at Ross on Tuesday night, Merri Sue whisked our two little impatient shoppers from the dressing room.  While I quickly dressed, Levi began wailing and Jed choked on a piece of hard candy.  Thankfully, he got it up himself.  I came out to see Merri Sue's hand cupped and full with vomit while holding a screaming Levi in the other arm.  I dropped everything to help her just as Jed threw up all the contents of his stomach all over the shopping cart and the floor.  Ugh.  I'm not sure we or any of the store attendees knew what to do at that moment!  So I whisked Jed into the bathroom while Merri Sue got Levi calmed down and the vomit cleaned up a bit.  Lucky for Jed, I carry an extra set pants for him in my bag.  (That's actually the fourth time I've used them this summer!)  Everything turned out okay.  I even bought two new shirts!  (I suppose we owed the store at least that.)  But it was a shopping nightmare come true.  Needless to say, we hired a babysitter for Jed and my nieces the next day and went shopping without them!

Anyhow, I love how our trips to the Nelson Dairy seem to follow a pattern.  The kids play with Grandma's cool toys all morning, we somehow always seem to celebrate a birthday, and we usually spend some time outside visiting the cows or walking through the beautiful cottonwoods.  It's sweet and simple and comforting.

^^Jed playing with Grandma's potato head toys first thing in the morning^^
^^Jed and Leah watching cartoons.  These cousins are best friends.^^
^^Shopping on Wednesday with just Levi in tow.  He's crazy.  We were surprised at how many boutiques there are in Rexburg.^^
^^Amber showing off her new sun hat^^
^^Celebrating Garret's 23rd Birthday!^^
^^Cake + Ice Cream = Yum!^^
^^A little hike through the cottonwoods to the river on Thursday.  So pretty!^^
^^The dog with her bone... er, cow leg.  Impressive Sandy but very gross!^^
^^Grandma with Leah and Jed.  They sure love their grandma!^^
^^Old snail shells became prized finds^^
^^Just another really cute picture of these cousins^^     

Thanks for the memorable visit!  I'm so happy I married into this awesome family.


P.S.  Is anyone else sick of all these pesky flies?  It's Lord of the Flies Level 11 around here.  I'm actually looking forward to a frost.  Die, flies, die!

Family Pictures

9.22.2013
I have been waiting for these pictures and now that I have them, I am swooning!  Perhaps all four of our faces will show up on our Christmas card this year?  Since Levi was born I have been wanting a decent picture of the four of us together, but it just isn't that easy to do.  First, all family members must be clean, dressed, and happy.  Second, where do I find someone that knows how to use a fancy camera?

Enter the Smith Family Reunion and my extremely talented cousin, Rachel.  Rachel has been my teacher and muse since I first bought my dSLR almost four years ago.  She grabbed her awesome 135mm lens (That has now been added to my wish list.  Yeah, right!) and was kind enough to take the time to get some incredible shots.  Thank you so much, Rachel!  It means the world to me to have all four members of my family in one beautiful picture.       

^^The ever elusive practically perfect family photo.  Everybody looks good!  Wowsers, this makes me giddy!^^
^^I'm in love with this picture too.^^
^^Thy flying child.  Just look at that hair!^^
^^Levi worships his dad.  Whenever Bron is in sight Levi repeats, "Dad-dy!  Dad-dy!" until Bron picks him up.  Cutest little relationship ever.^^
^^Momma's boy?  Sure!  Jed's hugs and kisses are the sweetest.
He has me wrapped around his pinky finger, but I don't mind a bit.^^
^^This shot is just special.^^
^^My little boys and me!
Very true to life; I'm a happy human jungle gym.^^

I may be biased, but I think I live with three of the most handsome boys around!  Words can't express how my heart just overflows with love for this little family of mine.