I think you will like Boise. I lived in Meridian for about a year but it was about 13 years ago so I'm not sure about the increased population. I loved it! Great people a ton of activities to do with your young family. The lakes and rivers were awesome for some great fishing. Some of the biggest bass I've ever caught. Tubbing down the river all summer was a must. Then there is all of the over the counter deer, elk, bear, and Mt lion tags that ID has and now with the wolf available, moose, goats ect it's a real Sportsmans state. For the drawbacks there is the very over population now from what I've read, ID sucks on their conservation of the elk and deer herds, way to many tags sold for the states income and not for the quality of game the state should have, lastly which kinda depends on were you live is it seemed to take a long time to get from town to town. They are very spread out so you drive time for a commute could be a real factor for you. Things I'm sure have changed in 13 years. I really liked The towns outside of Boise myself kinda like were you are now and just take the drive to Boise when needed.
So is the Boise area the only area your considering? If I was going to move back I would take a hard look at Idaho Falls. Much smaller then Boise but still big enough to have a walmart, Sportsmans, home depot I think, about the size of Carson City, and some of the best OTC tags a hr away. Tetons are about 2 hrs as well as Jackson Hole Wy.