Thursday, November 14, 2013

Life in Twin

For months I’ve been saying that I would write an update about our life in Twin Falls, Idaho.  Here it is.  It’s long and scattered and a little dry, but hopefully it will give you a taste of our life in this new and different place. 

“Twin” (as the locals call it) has a population of about 40,000.  It feels like a good size to me.  We aren’t living in a tiny town with only one stoplight, but we also aren’t fighting traffic and crowds all the time.  In fact, one of my favorite things about this small city is that I never run into traffic.  I can get anywhere in town in 10-15 minutes (most places in 5-10).  Beyond that, it is farmland.  And the farmland is beautiful.  Before we moved to Idaho, I never thought that my two-year-old would know words such as “silo” and “hay bales.”   He loves seeing all the cows and horses, and he especially loves the spinning wind turbines along the highway to Pocatello and Boise. 

Twin Falls is quite literally in the middle of nowhere.  It does not connect to bigger cities.  Pocatello is 1 hr and 45 minutes east, and Boise is 2 hours and 15 minutes northwest.  On the drive to both of those cities, you’ll see some small towns, but mostly, you will see farmland.   When my dad recently asked Noah what he had seen on our drive home from Boise, he responded, “Cows.”  When my dad asked if he had seen anything else, Noah thought about it for a moment and then said matter-of-factly, “Nope.”  Sounds about right.

Twin has a small mall (where we did our Where’s Waldo photo shoot), and it also has a Target, Old Navy, and some good restaurants.  So it’s not exactly a shopper’s mecca, but I am not a huge shopper anyway, so it has been just fine for me.  If anything, it’s kept me from spending money because I’m not tempted to go check out sales at Baby Gap. :)

My favorite thing about Twin (even more than the lack of traffic) is that it is right on the Snake River.  It is gorgeous.  The Snake cuts through a deep canyon that is breathtaking, and we’ve found several places to walk and hike as a family. Pretty amazing.

This summer, we had a lot of fun exploring the outdoors of Twin Falls and surrounding small towns.  We found plenty to do, including a great little lake less than ten minutes from our house that is perfect for wading, swimming, and hiking.


I am a little nervous about finding stuff to do in the winter.  I’ve heard it’s not that snowy, but it is very windy which makes it cold.  Maybe I will actually have to brave Pinterest (that site gives me a panic attack) to try to find fun things to do with Noah indoors. I've started taking him to a nursing home near our house once a week to chat with the residents for an hour or so, and I'm thinking I will sign us up for a mommy-and-me swimming class at the YMCA this winter... any suggestions of things to do with a toddler in a small town during the winter?

To get into the city of Twin Falls, you have to cross a huge bridge over the Snake River, which is the memorable Twin Falls landmark.  It’s also one of the only places in the United States where it is legal to base jump.  People come from all over the country to jump off this 486-foot-tall bridge with parachutes.  Crazies!  Ryan and Noah even caught a video when they went for a Saturday morning hike together down in the canyon. (Click below.)

We love the house we are renting.  It is 1800 square feet, three bedrooms, two bathrooms. It is small enough to keep clean but big enough to feel like we have plenty of space and storage. It is all one level, which is awesome because I am lazy and don’t like climbing up and down stairs a million times a day.  We found the house on Craigslist and had only seen a few photos before we moved in, so we were so thrilled by all of the little extras it has, such as a laundry room with a folding counter, a three-car garage with tons of storage shelving, and a walk-in pantry.  Heaven!  I also loved the cute gardens this summer—the daisies in the front yard are my favorite. 

We like our neighborhood, though it is quiet and people haven’t really gone out of their way to be friendly.  (Kind of surprises me, since small-town Idaho is known to be a really neighborly place.)  I think I will have to make some pumpkin bread this month and take it to our neighbors.  We’ve met a few of them but not all, and those whom we have met we don’t know well at all.  I’d really like to know my neighbors.

There is a Mormon temple in Twin Falls, actually right by our house.  It is amazingly beautiful, and Noah sings “I Love to See the Temple” every time we drive by.  

Looking at those photos of the temple reminds me of another thing I love about Idaho...the wide open sky!  The clouds and the sunsets are absolutely amazing, and it doesn't get dark in the summer until almost 10 p.m.!

Photo taken at 9:30 p.m. in July!

We’re enjoying our church community thus far—lots of young families and friendly people.  One problem that I’m finding is that most of the young moms have 3-4 kids, so they aren’t in the same stage of life as I am.  With only one toddler at home, I am looking for friends who want to have playdates at the park, but these moms have elementary schoolers and are just in a busier, different stage.  So although I have “friends” whom I chat with at church, it’s been a little hard to get to know people on a deeper level.  I am someone who really craves deep friendships and kindred spirits, so I’ll admit that I’ve been a little lonely for the past few months.  But I am okay, and I know it takes time for bosom friendships to form.  There is one other young mom with just a two-year-old, and she is great and our boys have tons of fun together, so that’s a blessing.   Also, two of the families who went to church with us in Buffalo live here in Twin (isn’t that random??), and I’ve loved being close to them again--but they live across town, so I don’t see them as much as I’d like.  One thing that Ryan and I have been trying to do in order to make friends is invite a different family to our home each Sunday for dessert so we can get to know people better.  That’s been fun, but building friendships just takes a while.

Speaking of our church community, there are lots of Mormon people in Twin Falls, which actually concerned me a little before moving here.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Mormons (hello, I am one), but I’ve always had friends of all beliefs and backgrounds and I feel like it has really enriched my life.  I don’t want to only have Mormon friends.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised that there seems to be more diversity in this town than I thought before moving here.  There are tons of churches all over the city—lots of different denominations.   There’s also a refugee center here, and as I drive around town, I see lots of people who are clearly from varied backgrounds.  The problem is, now that I’m not working, it’s more difficult to meet people.  I’m trying to figure out ways to get involved in the community, but I’m kind of drawing a blank.  Does anyone have any ideas for me?  I’ve thought about looking into opportunities to volunteer somewhere, possibly at that refugee center, and I even thought about looking into teaching an English class at the community college here in town, but first we were moving and settling in, and then I started IVF stuff, so I just haven’t gotten to it yet.  I hope to do that in the near future and would welcome suggestions.

Ryan is really liking his job.  He is an associate at an office with two other pediatric dentists and one general dentist.  I think he joined a great practice, and I’m grateful.  When he’s at work, he’s crazy busy seeing about 30-35  kids a day.  I’m sure that is incredibly tiring because many of those kids are scared and/or crying, and their parents are nervous as well, so Ry is constantly trying to calm kids and/or parents in addition to doing the dentistry.  But he enjoys the work and the work environment, and he has great hours and never has to bring work home with him.  It’s kind of amazing.  So different from dental school and residency.  I love having my husband around.  On one of his days off last month, he brought me into the office  and did some of my dental work.  I had two cute dentists working on me...score!  

So there you go…that’s our life in Twin Falls in a nutshell.  It feels difficult to capture it all in words, but I did my best.  People often ask me if we are going to be here forever; the truth is, I don't know.  So far, we really like almost everything about it, but I am so hesitant to commit to "forever" in one I guess time will tell!


  1. To be honest I didn't realize Twin Falls would be that pretty. I've only been to Idaho once and wasn't really too wowed by it, but your pictures definitely catch a view I never saw. Good luck with the search for "bosom buddies." I think they are hard to find but DEFINITELY worth the work of looking.

  2. Hey, we go to a nursing home once a week too! When do you guys go? We should go together sometime. I'm also interested in volunteering somewhere. However, I always have 3 kids in tow and I don't know what to do. We should brainstorm about this sometime and make it happen! More drama at work this week... We should get together sometime...

  3. Wow I'm glad you shared those pictures! I'll have to add Twin Falls to my picture taking bucket list. I feel like I'm in your shoes right now with making local friends and wanting to know my neighbors. I think I'll copy you and bake pumpkin bread. I have a bunch of pumpkin puree in the fridge that needs to be used. Thank you for that idea!! Also, that is a good idea to go to the nursing home. I just wonder if my three would be overwhelming to the people or appreciated? I think a toddler swimming session is a great idea, and a great way to meet other moms with toddlers.

  4. One thing I did when I moved to Canada was join I, like you, like to have a variety of different friends. Coming from Utah, I didn't have any friends that weren't Mormon and I wanted to change that. I joined a couple local playdate groups and I have established a really good group of girlfriends because of it. I never thought I would say this, but sometimes I struggle to make time for all of my different groups of friends. It's definitely a better struggle than being lonely and wanting to do something but never having anyone to call. That would be my suggestion for getting to know people and having things to do. A lot of times, people will post meetups to activities that you wouldn't have known existed otherwise. It's pretty awesome!!!

  5. When you said that Ryan took you to the office on his day off, I was picturing the office/guest bedroom at your house!

  6. I have only been to twin falls once but thought the drive across the bridge was gorgeous. It sounds like a great place. Don't give up on people with more kids than you. I for one LOVE having friends in different phases of life. Sometimes it easier. People with fewer kids are more anxious to come to our house when we have game night which means I can put my kids to bed, they keep me young with their enthusiasm for parenting and they are more flexible with their schedules which works better with a packed schedule. But us parents of lots need time with other women too. I do agree thought its hard making close friends and its tiring moving a lot and starting over time and time again. Thanks for sharing your pics and stories from your move.

  7. It looks beautiful- a lot like where we are in PA- and we have our own balance rock as well! That is one thing I like about being here. I think it can always be a struggle to find people to really connect with- I know they are out there but sometimes it is hard and sometimes you (meaning me) look too much for certain similarities. Although our lives are not very parallel, I always felt that since you taught teenagers
    you understood so much what was going on in my life- (umm plus you're just a nice caring person). And I remember you saying in a church meeting something about getting to know me and that you were surprised by liking me or something along those lines! As far as winter ideas, I will think on it- I considered myself a pretty fun mom in those younger years! ( the older years have been much harder on me!)

  8. Such gorgeous photos! I want to move there now :) Thanks for the update!


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