I have just returned from a first-ever visit to Idaho Falls to spend time with the Kaufman family and their newest little member, Sam. Since my dear friend Jen and I graduated nursing school, our actual time together has been few and far between. That's what starting a new career, marriage, and a 1-state-away move does.
Fortunately at 2 months, Sam is a decidedly smiley and easy-going baby. At first, I was a little overwhelmed with all the simultaneous tasks Jen was deftly managing...and then awed at the level of communication, collaboration and patience she and her husband Joe share in order to manage this little mister. For such major life changes over a mere 2 month period, these two have adapted very well. They *almost* make it look easy.
Even though it was a relatively short visit, we managed to squeeze in quite a bit!
Jen and I took a walk with baby Sam and their 2 dogs to see the great and glorious namesake of Idaho Falls. Jen told me I would be 'under-whelmed'. Well, by the looks of this photo, do you think Jen was right?
On the walk home, I had a nerd moment where I couldn't resist snapping some photos of a statue at the local library honoring local writer Wilson Rawls, the author of Where the Red Fern Grows. To this day, this is the only book I have ever read that made me churn out waterworks rivaling what you see here. Luckily for you, I was also fascinated by Sam's little hand curled outside his sling and snapped a few of those too. Napping in the nice sunshine while Mom carries him around and feeds on demand--this kid is clearly enjoying the good life.
We stopped at a local bakery on the way home where Jen and I were surprised to notice that her two dogs generally received more attention than the the angelically snoozing Sam... Doc and Schatzi are pretty cute, but c'mon people! Oh, and BTW, Doc makes a great bed-buddy. He made sure I didn't miss my own doggie (too much) by cuddling up at the foot of the futon.
Later that nite, while Mom was readying for bed and night-time baby rituals, Joe and I had some Sam on-the-floor playtime. He was giggly, coo-ey and very smiley for the camera. It was also great to spend some time talking to Joe and getting to know him a little better. By this time, I was becoming decidedly smitten with all of Sam's wee little charms...and very pleased with the fact that once any minor complication developed, I had the benefit of an unsuspecting parent available to attend his needs. Definitely not a luxury you can ever indulge in with your own child!
On Saturday, Joe loaded up the car with baby-gear and we set off on a 2 hour car ride to Jackson Hole for a day trip. My photo fascination with Sam's cute little feet was finally rewarded with this shot... (Apparently he has rather long toes for a baby, but aren't they just wee bits of perfection?)
There were some beautiful sights on the drive to Jackson Hole, interspered with some comical moments where baby-bottle feeding attempts occured with the simultaneous bends and twists that only an Idaho road can offer. Once in Jackson Hole, we were clearly in 'cowboy country' with many of the stores offering Western style leathers and cowboy hats. I later teased Andrew on a phone call home that I'd splurged on a black rhinestone-decorated cowboy hat for him. He was a little less than pleased, needless to say. We spent the day browsing the shops and discovering a little art fair at a nearby park. Here's a few highlights...
Our only 'group photo' with the ever-popular elk horns. Even though we waited for this photo to be free of extra people, some little old ladies walked up and sat down on our left--that's why it's cropped so oddly.
The best Dad n Sam photo taken while Jen and I were enjoying some hard-earned Haggen Daz milkshakes. Great minds think and crave alike: Jen had the Bailey's and I had the Belgian Chocolate (but I was hard-pressed to decide between that and Bailey's.) We spent a long enough day in Jackson Hole that Baby Sam was down to the very last diaper. These adventurous parents decided to live on the wild side and not make a diaper run prior to the 2 hr ride home. Luckily, we made it just in the nick of time.
Eventually...rather unfortunately, all good things come to an end. I had to say goodbye to this comfy little home and make the trip back to Seattle. I am in Sam withdrawals already, so hopefully I'll be able to see that baby before he gets even bigger!
Oh yeah, and maybe I'd like to see his parents too. I guess they can come along.
The last photos snapped before embarking on the trip home...notice Sam is snoozing and sticking out his tongue a bit in this last one...