Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Why

I know I'm not the only woman who loved President Uchtdorf's message during this year's general Relief Society broadcast (a yearly broadcast just for women from our church leaders in Salt lake City). When he started talking about the "why," I felt like he had tapped me on the shoulder to make sure I was paying attention before proceeding to talk directly to me! Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the whys in my life and how much a difference focusing on our motives can make. I recently even registered the blogger address letwhylead (Let Why Lead) and have been toying with the idea of starting a blog along those lines. You can see why President Uchtdorf's words felt more than coincidental to me!

Of course, President Uchtdorf said it best:

...Seek out the majesty, the beauty, and the exhilarating joy of the "why" of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The “what” and “how” of obedience marks the way, yes, and it keeps us on the right path. But the “why” of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration.

Follow this link and watch the first video clip (2 min) to hear exactly what I'm talking about! And I'll let you know if I end up following through with that new blog... :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trenton the Protector

"Walk carefully, Chase. Like I do."

Melt my heart!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chase Talking at 19 Months

A cute video showing off a few of Chase's words, along with Trenton's encouragement.

The Chaseter isn't a huge talker, but at 19 months, he's regularly saying key, Dada, Mama, hi, woof woof, quack, key (for blankie), thank you, go (including "go, go, go!" from the Cat in the Hat song on PBS) ball, and hot. "Hot" is one of his favorites. He uses it for anything that he perceives as dangerous, like when he stands at the top of several stairs or like the other day, when he went poo poo on the carpet after hopping out of the bath and just stayed really still after doing the deed, repeating "hot, hot" again and again. :) He also looooves trucks. He'll be all excited and continue repeating "cuh!" (truck) for up to 15 minutes after seeing the UPS truck drive by through our windows. The beginning stage of talking is so FUN!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Buddies

Tonight before bed the boys watched a few minutes of Bob the Builder together. (It happens to be the first show Chase has shown interest in. He sits there and says, "Cuh! Cuh! Cuh!" (truck!) over and over while they watch those animated tractors. Since Chase plopped himself down right next to Trenton, Trenton said, "Mom, look! We're sitting together! You take a picture?" I always happily comply to requests to take a picture.

I love seeing their friendship unfold. Tonight in the bath, I noticed Trenton lean down to Chase's level and say, "I love you, Chase." A moment like that—completely unprompted—makes me treasure my job.

Tangent: As Chase catches up to Trenton in size, more and more people are asking if they're twins. It still makes me laugh every time...

The Last Hurrah

This is what happens by 9:45am when you decide to get up at 5:30. Regardless, I love that face. At nineteen months, I'm calling this the last hurrah of babyhood. He's still my sweet baby, complete with squeezable baby cheeks, legs, and buns. I could just eat him up! He also still lays his head on my shoulder when bedtime is approaching and I scoop him up, blankie and all. But new words are coming out of his mouth every week; he climbs into his own booster seat when he's hungry; he sometimes won't eat until I give him a utensil, even for a bowl of goldfish. By the time he's two, he will look more like a boy... I'm almost surprised to say it, but I don't know if I'm ready for this boy to graduate babyhood.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

T Takes on Academia

Today was a big day in the Nielsen house—T's first day of preschool!

He's going to a little preschool at local Lutheran church. There are only ten students with four amazingly sweet teachers, and it only costs 100 bucks a semester—unheard of around here! (Although part of that is due to the fact that it is only four hours a week... :) The school only accepts children born in even years (which both my boys were born in), because the whole class of ten kids stays there for two years before moving on to kindergarten.

T was so excited and proud that he actually stood still and let me snap some pictures! And Chase seriously thought he was going to preschool too. He kept saying "cheeeeese" during our photo op at home, and then when we were at the school, he dead-legged me to get out of my arms and was perfectly happy wandering around exploring the classroom. Trenton, on the other hand, told me he was "a little afraid" all the sudden and chose to "roar" and hide behind me instead of talking to the teachers. Great social skills, right?? But that only lasted a minute—until they told him they were going to PAINT today. Then he got all chatty and excited and actually told me, "I'm kinda ready for you to leave." Ha! Oh how I love that boy. He spells everything out for me.

Notice Chase, the wanna-be preschooler :) He could not figure out why he was stuck leaving with me a little while later.

T and his best buddy, Colton. This is going to be a wonderful home-away-from-home for Trenton!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Survival Guide

A week (or two or three) with Ryan away means a fun outing or two like this:

Lots of crazy simple (borderline embarrassing) dinners like this:

And just to make it a little more fun, plenty of bare baby legs like these:

When Ryan travels, a thoroughly planned week is essential. In a way, I actually do better when he's gone, thanks to that planning session on Sunday night. I start my week equipped with activity ideas, both at home and away; playdates scheduled with friends; meal ideas; and projects to fill my evenings after the boys are snoring softly in their beds.

The only problem is that by the time Ryan comes home—all ready to play—I am exhausted! haha Oh well, a good night's sleep works wonders on this girl. So good night, sweet readers!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Maybe this will be the season I finally learn to like the sport my husband loves! Well, it might take more than one season to get to that point, but I do like the college football atmosphere, whether it's in a stadium or watching it at home with two super hyped-up boys and some game-day food.

We talked BYU football up so much with Trenton that he was stoked when the game finally came on. And Chase—he took a cue from the rest of us and clapped his hands and rolled around in sheer excitement for at least the first 15 minutes of the game (which is about how long both of them lasted actually watching, haha).

Don't worry, Notre Dame friends, we kept tabs on the fighting Irish too!

By the way, I think I do like football; I'd just like it a lot more if games were shorter!