Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm the proud new owner...

Of a piano!

I bought it for 150 bucks on craiglist, spent three insane days painting it in our dining room, and now have a lovely piece to show for it. At least, I think it's lovely. :)

I first painted it this awful tan color. It was pretty in my head but seriously so wrong in execution. So at 8pm on Monday night I called it quits and drove back down to Home Depot, bought black satin paint, and painted the first coat of black that night from 9 to 11pm. The second coat went on during Trenton's nap the next day, with finishing touches that night after the boys went to bed. (I sanded some of the edges just a bit so it looks "distressed.") I still have to finish the bench (photos to come), but mostly we are just SO grateful to have our house back! We thought the piano was too heavy to move to and from the patio, so we tarped the dining room and did the whole project inside. It consumed our whole household for a few days. But now things are back in order, and I'd say it was all pretty well worth it.

I may not be the world's best pianist, but having a piano in our home growing up was the biggest way I felt the Spirit as a youth. That's the main reason I wanted one for our family.

The original:

It has a great sound for such a little piano, by the way!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ryan's Century Ride

Ryan rode his fourth century ride (100 miles) this weekend! He actually did more like 110 miles with a couple little detours they accidentally took. :) He did it with a team of about 15 other guys from Ernst & Young. The firm even made them jerseys for it, which was fun.

They started in San Francisco, rode across the Golden Gate Bridge, north through Point Reyes National Park, and finished the race in a town called Ronhert Park. It was a hot day (mid-90s) to spend on a bike, and at one point, Ryan tells me he was riding alongside an open reservoir and was so hot that he just parked his bike, took off his shoes, and dove in. Twice. The he hopped back on that bike and rode another 40 miles. That cracks me up because it's SO Ryan. That boy has never met a body of water he didn't feel compelled to jump into.

The boys and I drove a couple hours up north to meet him at the finish line. They did great! Trenton didn't quite "get it" at Ryan's triathalon in July, but this year he understood that we were there to cheer Daddy on. He kept pointing to every man on a bike, saying, "Yay Daddy!" in a sweet little high-pitched voice. He loved to clap for all the finishers, even if no one but me was noticing. :)

Sailing through that finish line.

Daddy's biggest fan.

His second biggest fan.

Oh wait, maybe I'M his biggest fan! Guess it's a tie... (Gotta love Trenton's face in this picture. So cooperative. :)

Like I always say, Nielsens have grit. Go Ryan!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Aunt Rachee

My lil sis was here last week, thanks to her new hubby who bought her a plane ticket to see us for their six-month anniversary! While she was here we went to two H&Ms, bought a ton of berries at a fruit stand, bought some wholesale hydrengas on our way out to Half Moon Bay, attempted to fly a kite (for once, it wans't windy enough!) at Crissy Field in San Fran, and ate at the family favorite, Fenton's, in Oakland. The boys loved Rachel. Thanks for coming, Aunt Rachee!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Time Out for Women

Last weekend I went on my first ever girls' trip! We drove to Sacramento for a women's conference Deseret Book puts on all over the country, called Time Out for Women. Can I say this is the BEST THING I'VE DONE IN AGES?? It was exactly the spiritual boost I've been needing, I relished the hours of meaningful conversation with the girls, and I was so excited to see the boys when I returned! Perfection.

We left mid-day on Friday, checked into our hotel, dined at the Spaghetti Factory, and went to the evening session of the conference. Afterward we ladies hit up Target (because who doesn't love Target??) and then chatted until too late before going to bed. I slept uninterrupted (wa-hoo!) before it was time to head back to the conference Saturday morning.

All of the speakers inspired me to become the woman I want to be and to enjoy the journey. I loved all the jokes about being buried in laundry or worried someone would see your messy house. It's reassuring to know that motherhood is hard for all of us—no matter our age, financial situation, etc. But more than anything, it was good to be reminded that motherhood is also an amazing opportunity to practice what I've already promised my Savior.

Ryan did so well with the boys, and I owe him a heartfelt thank you for always being so supportive of me doing things for me. And to my weekend companions—Theresa, Sarah, and Misty— let's do this again! And SOON!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


This is how the boys were chillin' this morning. I asked Trenton if he liked relaxing with Chase, and he exclaimed "Hair!" He actually seemed to like having Chase play with his hair. Poor Chase was trying so hard to get it into his mouth, but it kept slipping through his fingers. Better luck next time, kiddo!

Sometimes I think the only thing I do is monitor the distance between these two. Trenton likes to be VERY close to Chase. If it were up to Trenton, he would spend his days standing on Chase, sitting on Chase, holding Chase, hugging Chase, or ignoring him altogether! It's all or none with that boy! Trenton means well; he's just so little that the concept of personal space is still foreign to him. :)

Here's some more "togetherness":

Chase wasn't a big fan of this idea, but Trenton thought it was hilarious.


Fresh out of the bath Trenton darted away before I could even get him diapered. Anything Chase does, Trenton has to do too. Even if it's just lying on his stomach on the bed, it's way more exciting if Chase is doing it too!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Tonight when I sat down in our glider to read Trenton stories before bed, he ran and grabbed Daddy's hand, brought him straight to the glider, and said, clear as day, "Daddy's Turn." (He's just breaking into putting words together, and this one really shocked us! It was so deliberate!)

So quick as that, I was replaced!

...Not that I really minded, since I've been the one to read him stories before nap and bedtime for the couple of weeks that Ryan has been out of town. And I can't blame Trenton for wanting some alone time with Ry, because I know just where he's coming from! :)

But as I listened to Ryan act out the voices in "Are You My Mother?" I couldn't help but be more than happy to share him with Trenton.