Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Wrap-Up

Christmas was relaxing for us this year. We stayed home and started some of our own traditions. With the economy the way it is right now, it was a good year for Ryan not to be asking for time off, but next year, I'm crossing my fingers for Mexico!

Ryan worked most of Christmas Eve, and Trenton and I helped a resident with her fire alarm for a couple hours... But once Ryan got home, it was party time! We dressed Trenton up and took him to a children's mass at our local Catholic church. It was great to reflect on Christ on that special night and to return to our Notre Dame roots with a Catholic service. :) We hope to make a Christmastime mass a Nielsen family tradition for many, many years to come. Plus, everyone at mass just ate Trenton up!

On the way home we drove around looking at Christmas lights and even got caroled to from our car. Then we made peppermint ice cream (not as good as Sally's!) at home before the missionaries appeared unexpectedly. We spent the next couple of hours visiting with both the elders and sisters and doing everything we could to reach Christmas Island by phone. Finally we got through and arranged to have the missionaries come back over the next night to talk to their families. Ryan remembered what it was like trying to get through to Las Vegas while he was on his mission in Chile, and he was bound and determined that we would get a hold of our sweet missionaries' families. Thank goodness his persistence paid off!! We really enjoyed spending time with the missionaries over the holidays.

On Christmas morning, Trenton woke at about 7:15, so we came out to see what Santa had brought. Let me just say - Our families spoiled us big time! I think we got more gifts for not being with them than we would have had we been together! Thank you, everyone! Our gift to Trenton was a handful of Spanish story books, as I've been reading to him in Spanish every day.

After we opened our gifts, it was off to IHOP for pancakes! Then we went on a coastal drive before returning home to relax for the rest of the day.

Here's Trenton coming out on Christmas morning. I think he missed the excitement. :) Maybe next year...

And this is Trenton and I in our Christmas jammies. You can't tell, but his say "My First Christmas" on them. Thanks for sending these, Mom!

By the way, happy 101st post!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Santa was good to us this year...

Many thanks to both our families! More details to come.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Three Years Going Strong

Happy anniversary to us! Today marks three years since Ryan and I tied the knot.

For posterity's sake, the following is where life has taken us in the last three years.
  • When we were first married, I took the bus from Provo to downtown Salt Lake while I interned at the Ensign. Since we've always shared a car, he drove me every day to the bus stop before the sun had even risen and in the freezing snow/ice. Then he was faithfully waiting for me every day when I got off. Knowing him even better as I do now, I realize how much effort it probably took for him to wrap up his studies or conversations with professors or friends every single day at the same time. And looking back, I can hardly ever remember waiting for him. Even the bus driver was impressed! Thanks, honey!
  • We took a weekend trip to Denver once, just for fun, and spent a week camping in the Canadian Rockies. In both places, we found natural hot springs to relax in. Now that's how travel should be done.
  • We graduated from BYU at the same time. Ryan decided to skip out on his college's ceremony and join me for mine instead. He knew how much I wanted to hold hands while we walked across the stage. :)
  • Next it was off to Palo Alto for the summer, and what a blast that was. As you may remember, we lived in the weirdest little sublet in which, by the end, we had lived with two girls and a guy. Interesting, to say the least. But we also did every fun thing we could think of while we were in California, including visiting practically every beach within driving distance. I think we'll always remember that summer as the most carefree time of our married life.
  • Next it was Notre Dame. The first thing I think of when I remember that year is ice, freezing rain, snow, poooorly plowed roads, and more potholes than I could have imagined. The next thing I remember is all of the wonderful friends we made there. Those football games were wild, by the way. Go ND!
  • And now here we are in beautiful California, with a chubbly little fellow smiling at me from the swing as I write this. We love everything about living here. And nothing can compare to the joy of being a family forever.

I don't want to paint a fairytale here, so I hope I'm not too bold in saying that being married is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I've begun to see one reason the Lord sends us to the earth in families—so husbands and wives can be each other's refiner's fire! That is the blessing I never really expected to come out of marriage: two imperfect people who love each other deeply but clash against each other occasionally will hopefully someday make for two smooth stones! (Does that make any sense?)

Anyway, Ryan is a good man, everything I was looking for. He supports me without question in anything I want to do. And I mean anything. He is a worthy priesthood holder who loves the Lord. He is a tender father, and down the road, when parenting gets tough, I know I'll be thanking heaven every day because I have a rational, wise man to help me raise our kids.

Words don't mean as much to Ryan as they do to me, (I better go iron his shirts or something!) but I still hope that reading this helps him know that I couldn't imagine my life without him. I love you, babe. Happy three years!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Chub's in the Tub

Too big, you say? I agree. He has officially outgrown the sink. The fact that more water ends up outside the sink than in it by the time we're done makes me think maybe it's time to move on, but I'm dragging my feet. Our guest bathroom has only a shower, so Trenton will have to bathe in our bathroom, which has a tub complete with glass shower-like doors. The doors and the proximity to the toilet will make it tricky and uncomfortable to bathe him there.

Which brings me to my point—Does anyone have any ideas to make bathtime easier? I'm considering buying one of those brightly colored baby bathtubs. Maybe I could set it in the guest bathroom's shower and fill it with the detachable showerhead? But how soon would he outgrow that thing?

I also heard about a baby bath gadget in which the baby sits snugly the whole time. Anyone know where to get one? Maybe it would extend the use of our glorious kitchen sink!? Any ideas will be much appreciated!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Deck the Halls (Literally)

Our house is singing with Christmas cheer! AND Santa came early this year: Grandpa and Grandma appeared, bearing gifts!! It was so great to see them, especially since we won't be making it home this month. Thanks Mom & Dad and G&G for sending the gifts. We are one spoiled family!

Here's Trenton, anxiously anticipating the big day! (Thanks, Mary, for the darling onesie!)

And here's Trenton trying to get a head start. He's a mischievous little guy...!