Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More About Me

This is a fun tag I got from my friend Jenny's blog:

Write what you were doing 10 years ago, 5 years ago, and 2 years ago. Then write what you hope to be doing 2 years from now. Then tag a few friends if you want to.

Ten years ago I was in my senior year of high school. I was way into the drama of high school life (i.e. boys... stupid boys :). Luckily, I involved myself with activities that brought me out of the drama and into something I truly loved - dance. My senior year was my second year on our high school Dance Company and I was the historian. Some of my best high school memories are because of Dance Co. and the friends I had there. Luckily I've been able to keep up with some of my Dance Co. friends and we still enjoy time together every once in a while.

Luckily this picture is too small to notice how drunk I look! Not a good picture of me, but everyone else looks good :).

Here's me and my friend Jenny. Don't we just look sexy :). Oh, and btw Jenny, as I was looking through all my old pictures I realized again how many blackmail pics I have of you. Sweet :D. Maybe one day if I get bored I'll post some... :D.

My senior year dance portrait.

All my good high school girl friends at graduation.
L to R: Melisa, Jenny, Me, Tiffany, Jennifer, Jessica, and Shannon.

Another fun thing I did ten years ago was go to Europe... twice! I went the summer before my senior year with a school group and then I got to go again towards the end of my senior year with my family. It was so much fun! My dream is to go back to Paris again. I absolutely loved it there!

Here's me by the Neuschwanstein castle in Germany.

Me (on the far left) and my tour buddies by the Eiffel Tower.
I want to go back there so bad!!!

I kept dancing into my first two years of college. I was on the drill team at Snow College and I loved it even more than I loved dancing in high school. So even though it wasn't technically ten years ago I still had to include pics from that. It brings back such great memories!!! Plus, my first year at college was really a great year for me. I learned a lot about myself being on my own that first year. There's a lot of nostalgia for me at Snow College. Plus, my second year at Snow I met JR, so that was pretty great too :).

The girls on my second year of drill at Snow. That year was the best ever!!!

Ok, so these next two pics are from my first and second year on drill. I think I grew up a lot from the first one to the next. Maybe the 'not having braces' thing helped a little... :). Thank goodness I didn't meet JR until my second year! I looked much better that year :).

My first year on drill.

My second year on drill. Much better :).

Sorry, that was a lot for my 'ten years ago' part. Luckily for you, the rest isn't going to be that long :). Five years ago I was starting my last year of college at Southern Utah University. I had been married for just over two years. I got pregnant with Cali just about the time school started, so I was eight months pregnant when I graduated. It worked out great timing wise :). I was really glad I got to finish school before I had kids. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Psychology major, Communications minor, and a 3.95 GPA. I was in the Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology, and was on the National Deans List. I never thought I'd finish college, so this was a really cool achievement for me. Sometimes I think about going back to school and getting my masters in psychology or counseling, but I think I'll wait on that for a bit.

Here's me and JR at the beginning of my senior year at SUU.
Yeah, I know, my hair was dark!

Here's me in my large eight month pregnant glory. My feet got so swollen during graduation! Oh well, much easier finishing school with Cali still in my tummy :). Oh, and look at how long my hair was! I don't think it's ever been as long as it was when I was pregnant with Cali.

Two years ago TODAY actually, JR and I moved into our first official home. We bought a town home in Spanish Fork and have been here longer than anywhere else. Stability has been nice, especially now that Cali's getting older and going to school. Two years ago I was also pregnant with Isaac. I was only a couple months along so the move wasn't bad, but feeling nauseous wasn't fun :). Luckily I had unpacking to keep me distracted from feeling sick.

Two years from now... I'm not exactly sure where I want to be. I've never been much of a planner or goal setter, but I can say that I hope to be happily married and enjoying my kids as they grow up. I haven't decided yet about baby number three. I'm playing that by ear - any by my sanity :). I do hope to be more out of debt and in a better financial situation. But I guess that's everyone's dream right :). Just like Jenny said, I hope I'm rich by then :D. As long as I'm happy and with my family, I guess nothing else really matters.

Now, I tag anyone who wants to take the time to dig out your old photos and scan them for this blog post. Trust me, it's not for the faint of heart going back to "pre-digital". Scary!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Love Story...

For those of you who haven't heard about Stephanie and Christian Nielson and the plane crash they were in a month ago, you can check out their story using the links at the bottom left column of my blog (NieNie and CJane). To sum things up they are both in an Arizona burn unit. Christian was burned over 30% of his body and Stephanie was burned over 80%. I have been touched many times by their incredible love for each other, their beautiful children, and the stories of their accident and recovery. For reasons I won't explain right now this story I read today touched me very deeply - so deeply that I needed to share it with you. It's a simple story of the love they have for each other, but it's also a very deeply moving story of what they're facing together now. Stephanie's sister Courtney (CJane) blogs about life, taking care of three out of four of Stephanie's children, and Stephanie and Christian's condition. She wrote the following story and I cried reading it. I mean sobbed...and I don't cry :). So, even though the story may seem simple, it really spoke to me. I hope you enjoy it, and remember to keep Stephanie and Christian in your prayers.

September 18th, 2008
Do you want to hear a love story?
-by Courtney

(Ok, but I must warn you, the ending is still in the works.)

When Stephanie was a teenager she fell in love. With a boy. A boy who I will call Grant. This was a remarkable occasion because Stephanie was terribly shy when it came to boys. And therefore notoriously picky. She couldn't even look at one without her cheeks turning to scarlet. But Grant was an easy going kid (who reminded me of a less-goofy shade of Shaggy from Scooby-Do) (where are you?).

Stephanie and Grant were essentially the same person on either sides of the gender spectrum. They were young teenage artists and nothing in high school was cool enough. They were cool. Then one day high school was over and Grant was preparing--as any good Mormon boy should--for his mission. This was very cool.

Then at his appointed time and place Grant was shipped to his two year mission leaving Stephanie devastated. She wouldn't eat. She couldn't sleep. And as I remember, she rolled around on the family room floor a lot, as though she were in actual physical pain. I think my mother went so far as to call the whole missionary mourning pathetic. And it went on-and-on for months. On-and-on, I tell you.

This was bad news for those of us still living in the house. Two years of this? No hope in sight either, we all agreed, because our delicate sister would never resort to dating anyone else ever. Her love and loyalty would never allow it. So she spent her days working at our father's business answering calls and filing away files. Counting dragging days . . .

But one day the phone rang at our home.

I picked it up and the caller asked for my father. I notified the caller that he wasn't around and asked if I should take a message.

The caller said yes.

So I wrote this message:

Dad, call Christian.

Then I hung up.

Next to me, on a dizzy bar stool stooped Stephanie. Shoulders slouched. Head down. Gloom. Despair. Doom. Pointless doom.

"Make sure Dad gets this message." I bossed, passing the paper to her as I was headed out.

Steph looked at the paper and BOOM! Her being startled to life.

"Did Christian really call here?"

"Yes." I said, looking curiously at my sister who suddenly had a bit of light in her soul.

"He is hot." She said back to me. "Like, really hot."

"How do you know?" I asked.

"He comes to the office to sell Dad cell phones."

And then the flush of red in her cheeks as she sat staring at my scribbled message.

"Christian." She repeated in a trance-like monotone.

And suddenly: Grant who?

In the weeks to follow Stephanie did her best to look transparently cute every day at work. One day Christian, The Charming Cell Phone Salesman, asked my little sister out. Turned out that Christian (Christian, well-named man) was not only hot, but intensely passionate, intriguing with a head full of ideas. In a month's time they were talking marriage. Young, young and why not?

But before they could meet at the altar, Christian was off to Africa to help film a documentary for a month. The night he left felt sickeningly familiar. It was Steph, rolling around on the carpet again groaning. We braced ourselves and hunkered down for a month more of her dramatics. Up until now, it may have been the longest month of my mother's life.

Then a December marriage, an October baby, moves, jobs, baby, baby, baby.

Then today.

Christian was able to visit with his young bride for the first time since their airplane crash. You'll want to know that he was strong. He told her to fight. He thanked. He prayed. Hearing this gives me the feeling Steph won't be long in recovery.

After all, Christian woke her up before . . . he can do it again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Like Mother Like Daughter

I am a BIG organizer. I recognize that everything has it's place and I love it when things are where they're suppose to be. Nice, clean, uncluttered, organized. As of about two weeks ago this trait manifested itself in Cali. All of a sudden she was organizing her room and cleaning it up ALL by herself. Next came the top drawer in our bathroom. She got after me when I didn't put the toothpaste back where she'd put it. "Mom, this is where it's suppose to be" she'd told me. I KNOW! I was so proud my buttons would have burst! - if I wore buttons :). I've come downstairs in the morning to find the dining room table cleaned off, the toys organized how she wanted them, and two towels perfectly folded up on the kitchen counter - that she'd used to wipe off the table I'm guessing. She even got after Isaac because she didn't want him moving the toys after she'd cleaned them up. "Now you know how I feel" I thought :). Last night she asked me if she could 'sort' something. I told her she could pick up some of the toys and she got all excited and went to it. She said her preschool teacher had taught them about sorting, so she wanted to practice. Thanks Ms. Adrienne! I told her she was getting to be such a big girl. "Ah, it's nothing", she responded. She's so funny :). It's so nice now having a child that understands me! She's been so much cleaner and she actually wants to help clean up. This makes her so much more grown up now. I love it, but I realize how big she really is getting, and it's kind of sad. She's just a big little person now!

Look at how organized this drawer is! Well, I guess you'd have to have seen it before, but this is even more organized than I get. She did this all on her own. I bet there's things she's organized that I haven't even noticed yet!

Here's her hair clips she organized.

Here she is organizing all her toys. It was quite the long process, but she did it all by herself and didn't even ask for help. She was so proud of herself when she was done :).

Here's her beautifully organized room. She hasn't even taken a stuffed animal to bed lately because she wants it with the other's where it's suppose to be. She's not suppose to be that big yet!

So, we'll see how long this organizing kick lasts, or if it's an ingrained part of her personality now. If nothing else I hope she goes easy on me the next time I put the toothpaste in the wrong place.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I'm stalling, so instead of doing more important things I thought I'd give this a try. For those of you who would like to join in you're more than welcome :).

Type only ONE word for each of the questions below. It's harder than you think!!!

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket
2. Your significant other? Sexy :D
3. Your hair? Ponytail
4. Your mother? Peacemaker
5. Your Father? Talker :D
6. Your favorite thing? Happiness
7. Your dream last night? Long
8. The room you are in? Rearranged
9 Your favorite drink? Lemonade
10. Your dream/goal? Gym
11. Your fear? Loss
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Backyard
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Motivated
15. Muffins? Blueberry
16. One of your wish list items? Flooring
17. Where you grew up? T-ville
18. The last thing you did? Chat
19. What are you wearing? Pink
20. Your TV? On
21. Your pet? Nope
22.Your computer? Slow
23. Your life? Good
24. Your mood? OK
25. Missing someone? Friends
26. Your car? Blue
27. Something you're NOT wearing? Shoes
28. Favorite Store? Craft
29. Your summer? Short
30. Your favorite color? Purple
31. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
32. Last time you cried? Forgot
33. Who will re-post this? Bloggers

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cali's First Day of Preschool

I can't believe Cali's in preschool. She's getting so big! At least it's at a lady's home in my ward, so she's not too far away. Plus it's a small class with some of the other kids in the ward. I need to take baby steps I guess before I can officially send her off to "the big school" :). She has been excited about preschool all summer. We visited her preschool at the very beginning of summer, so you can imagine how long it's seemed to Cali waiting for today. I've been excited too because I know how good it will be for Cali to get out to socialize and learn. She gets so bored at our house. She had a blast today and I can't wait to hear more about what she'll be learning throughout the year.

Here she is ready to go to class. Can you tell she's excited? :)

Her teacher made all the kids bags with their names
on it for their school work.

Here's Cali with her teacher Ms. Adrienne as I was dropping her off.
She was so excited :).

p.s. - When JR got home from work tonight he asked Cali how her day was in preschool. She said, "I had a fantastic day!" She's so funny. She must get the big words from JR :).