It's a New Year! 2016 Quick Review


It's been a good year.  As I look back, I am amazed at how much we did!  We were busy.  This year was one to remember for sure.  We've been blessed with so much: health, loving family members and friends, and the opportunities to travel and adventure.  The crowning highlight, of course, was welcoming Conrad earth side.  I have to pinch myself.  We're a family of five now and I couldn't be happier.

Here's what happened: 

January:  We celebrated Kaleb and Chantee's wedding!  We visited the Living Planet Aquarium in Utah and hiked to Ross Falls as a family when there was three feet of snow.

February:  We enjoyed a fun day of sledding as well as an epic date snowshoeing in the South Hills with our friends, the Horsleys.  I also attended my very first photography conference, but the highlight was getting to hang out with my Grandma.

March:  I traveled to Arizona to see my sister and cousin's new babies.  I also found out I was pregnant!

April:  We celebrated Jed's 6th birthday!  We took the kids to Park City to see the Imagination Movers live in concert!  I don't remember anything else because surviving morning sickness was all I could concentrate on.

May:  Bron and I went on vacation to Kauai!!!  We will never ever forget our legendary overnight backpacking trip to Kalalau.  It was an amazing trip.

June:  We celebrated the beginning of summer with a party and a pool full of kids.  We had fun at the Nelson family reunion.  Jed played his first season of t-ball.

July:  We rock climbed and sat under the best fireworks show we've ever seen on Independence Day.  We found out our growing baby was a boy.  Bron exhuasted himself on a week long 50 mile backpacking adventure with the scouts in the Whitecloud Wilderness.  Jed and Levi learned to fish with hot dogs and we went camping.

August:  We celebrated Levi's 4th birthday, Bron conquered Pierre's Hole for the third time, and Jed started the first grade!

September:  Two of my photos won prizes at the county fair.  Jed played soccer for the first time.  We saw the Wagon Days Parade in Ketchum.  Bron and his brothers tinned a barn in just one day.  And Bron and I stayed out way past our bedtime at a Boise State football game one evening.

October:  We took the boys to the Hogle Zoo and celebrated my grandma's 80th birthday in Moab, UT surrounded by the beautiful chaos of family.  My girlfriends spoiled me with a baby shower and pedicures.  And the boys were the Dark Side for Halloween.

November:  We welcomed Conrad to the family!!!

December:  Bron did some snow skiing.  We adjusted to being a family of five and enjoyed another magical and blessed Christmas.


Christmas Day 2016


Due to the demands of a newborn, this year was a little bit harder for me to catch that magical Christmas spirit that makes me so excited.  I mean, I didn't even have anything wrapped until two days before the big day!  Instead, that Christmas spirit came in waves as we visited the lights at Rock Creek, made peanut butter balls, went sledding on Christmas Eve, and of course as I anticipated both Bron and the kids' reactions to the presents I'd bought.  Plus, it was Conrad's first Christmas!  Having a baby at Christmas feels so special.  I told Bron to just wrap Conrad up and place him underneath the tree.  I didn't need any other gifts this year.

The boys are still at such fun ages.  Young and innocent, they believe!  And they make the magic of Christmas come alive.  We got out the globe and tracked Santa on Bron's phone as Santa made his way around the world on Christmas Eve.  "Where is Santa now?!" they'd excitedly ask.  "He's in Colombia now and heading North towards us!"  They screamed.  "We gotta go to sleep so Santa can come! Hurry!"    

The boys slept in with the sun.  No one got out of bed until 7:45AM!  Santa brought Jed and Levi big Nerf guns this year complete with refillable magazines.  And he brought Bron an automatic Nerf gun because dads need an unfair advantage against their formidable offspring, right?  Right. 

Upon seeing everything that Santa had brought, Levi exclaimed, "I guess we WERE good this year!"  Bron and I laughed, but Levi's comment means one of two things: A. We're awful parents and make our kids feel guilty or B. Levi knows when he's being naughty but tries to get away with it anyway.  I'm going with the latter.

I'll let the pictures do the talking.  We have been blessed with so much.  I am grateful for my Savior who made it possible for this family I love so much to be together forever.  It was another magical Christmas!



^^Christmas Eve. This sweet scene stole my heart for a minute.^^

I have never co-slept with any of my babies... until now.  I've cautiously thrown the experts' safety warnings to the curb in exchange for my sanity.  Sleep deprivation is REAL!  And it is hard.  I was an absolute mess for a few days, teetering between flat out bawling and irrational anger.  I wasn't myself.  So for the last week or so, Conrad has slept curled up on my chest or next to me all night long.  We wake several times to nurse, but I'm finally feeling rested. I love hearing his soft sighs of contentment and feeling his small comforting weight.  There is no better feeling than snuggling a sleeping baby... except my arm starts to hurt being in the same position for so long!  A part of me knows that this is just a phase and I tell myself to just enjoy.  But the other part worries that I'm creating bad habits.  Motherhood is so perplexing.  Third time around and I still have no idea what I'm doing.  Just hoping for the best and loving with all I've got and then some.

My Three Boys


Adding a third child has come with its challenges (read: the witching hours are REAL!) but for the most part Jed and Levi are adjusting to their baby brother's presence like champs.  They're not actually sure what to DO with Conrad because he just just kinda lays there; that's very boring when you like to run laps around the couch.  But they smother the baby's face with kisses and declare over and over how cute he is and even sing him made up lullabies when he's fussy.  It makes my heart smile.  I think their brotherhood is off to a great start and can't wait to see what unfolds over the years.

Such a tender scene!  I often hear Jed comforting his baby brother by singing, "Baby Conrad don't you cry," over and over. I couldn't have asked for a more caring biggest brother.

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