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The Christmas Letter

I’m still working my way slowly though posts from my trip around Europe, but I haven’t had a lot of time to post about much else. It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to an end, and so much has happened in the past twelve months that I hardly even recognize my own life. So in the spirit of the season, here’s my little Christmas “letter.”

I saw a lot of farm country, especially during the summer.
I saw a lot of farm country, especially during the summer.


Last December, I accepted a position with a state agency that offers organic certification services. I learned a lot about the National Organic Program rules and regulations, met some incredible organic producers, and got to see more of my beautiful state than I’ve seen in the last 9 years of living here (well, living here off and on…).

But unfortunately, the job was not a good fit for my career goals (or my soul), and I’ve ultimately decided to part ways with the agency. The conditions of my future are still a bit uncertain, but big things are coming down the pipeline. You can expect some big announcements on the blog in the next couple of weeks.

Where in the World is Jess?

After finishing school last year, I lived in Boise, Idaho, for six months during training for the ill-fated job mentioned above. In June, that same job transferred me to a field office and I moved to Idaho Falls. I was apprehensive about the move (eastern Idaho is known for harsh winters), but it didn’t take long for Idaho Falls to win me over. I live in an adorable apartment with my cranky cat, attend the best ward I’ve ever been in, and I’ve even grown to love the snow. (Kind of…)



Moving also meant that I had access to new territory to explore, and I certainly did that. Since June, I have been to Yellowstone three times and the Tetons twice, visited friends in Utah, and camped several times in Targhee National Forest. I also hiked to an incredible waterfall with my sister and her husband, spent two weeks at a state park in Ohio where my neighbors were a group of adorable groundhogs, and visited not one, not two, not three, but four zoos. There were lots of pictures, and I’m sure they’ll end up on the blog at some point.

Bucket List

I had the opportunity to attend a riding clinic taught by Karen O’Connor, one of my equestrian heroes. I didn’t ride in the clinic, but a good friend of mine did. Mrs. O’Connor is an Olympic gold medalist several times over, so just being in her presence was an incredible experience. She is an excellent teacher, too, so I came away feeling like I learned a lot even though I wasn’t in the saddle.


Because of that whole soul-sucking nature of my previous job, I wasn’t as diligent at focusing on my goals for the year as I normally am. I did manage to visit Babby Farms, sold a photo print, got an apartment, read The Raven King, drove past Craters of the Moon (although I still need to actually visit), went camping, and blogged a little more consistently than before. Some of those unfinished goals will likely end up on my 2017 resolutions list because I am bound and determined to make 2017 the best year yet.

How was your year? What big changes have you seen?

And MERRY Christmas!!

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Jess Friedman
Jess is a Canadian-American who’s always ready for the next adventure. She loves all things living, always has a million creative projects in progress, and polishes her nerd badge daily. She is passionate about helping families make and preserve treasured memories that strengthen bonds across generations. You can read more posts by Jess here.

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5 Responses

  1. So sorry your job didn’t work out, but am anxious to hear about what comes next.
    watch the movie Pontiac Moon before you visit Craters of the Moon if you have not already seen it.

    love you!
    aunt Beth

  2. We love you, Jess, and hope 2017 is a happier year for you than 2016! I always enjoy reading your posts. I’m looking forward to hearing what comes next for you and hope we can see you sometime!

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