Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bathing Beauties....a picture story!

AHHHH, the sound of water splashing.
The rays of summer sun warming your body.
Lazy days @ the pool.
Our family spends MANY hours each summer at
Evergreen Swim & Tennis Club.
(which is not NEARLY as "fancy" as
the name suggests)
Yesterday marked OPENING DAY
@ the club....and we were, of course,
among the first to enter in.
Josh has a summer job here this year
as a lifegaurd...pray for no drownings please.
SUMMER...bring it on!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Duct Tape ....revisited

Summer is swiftly approaching...
or rather it is barrelling full speed toward us,
like a train wreck waiting to happen,
like the spring run off from our majestic mountains,
churning and rushing through the rivers,
to the great Salt Lake Valley as I type,


well, let's just say there is no way to stop or prevent it from happening.

The children are thrilled as the last few days of school tick, quickly, off of the calendar, I am waiting with baited breath...baited, I tell ya! In the past, I have looked FORWARD to summer vacations, really. NO! really, really!

As the children get older, I find that I am somewhat less hesitant in my enthusiasm.

The reason for this has nothing to do with how much I do, or do not, love my children and spending time with them. It has MORE to do with the things that happen from sunrise to sunset (which in total is about 100 MORE hours a day in the summer...yup! 100 for real from sun UP to sun DOWN...and if you do NOT believe me, come over for a day!)

Things like, SMACK! (loud sound of hitting), followed by tears....not that my kids EVER hit each other (ahem!)
bickering, fighting, the classic "I'm BORRRRRRREEEEEEEDDDD!", more bickering, more calls of "bored", bicker, bored, bicker, bored.

Bicker, bicker, bored, bicker, bored, bored, bicker! (hey that sounds like a rap song if you sing that last line right!)

Well, you get the picture. Needless to say, all of the above joy leaves me yelling things out of all my open windows like "SHUT THE &@^# UP!" "I SAID STOP IT NOW!" "AHHHHHHHH!!"
(and leaving my neighbors to wonder about my sanity and fitness as a mother.... )

So please forgive me, but I am not 100% certain I am looking forward to the next 3 months at the moment, hopefully my "moment" passes.

I thought to myself, "what can we do to defeat the boredom and the bickering this summer?"

And as usual, a great idea struck me while I was laying awake in bed at 4 a.m., it seems to be my time for inspiration....sigh.

DUCT TAPE!!! The answer for EVERYTHING right? It's so colorful and pretty and allows the kids to CREATE, it can make for hours of fun. The ultimate answer to combat boredom!

So, I am off to Walmart this morning to buy about 1000 rolls. (Do you think that will be enough?) All of you are invited over this summer to help my kids create. I will leave you with just a FEW of the ideas I googled on the internet. Please feel free to add YOUR ideas (freely and in generous, and plentiful, and copious amounts) in the comments section of this blog! (or any other great ideas to combat the summer blues for that matter).

Wishing you all happy, "boredom and bicker free" summer vacations!

Friday, May 8, 2009


I claim blatent plagiarism in using the immortal words or the Grateful Dead in describing my feelings toward today...

"Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip its been..."

Life, the trip that keeps on giving! Around every corner COULD BE something unexpected, or maybe JUST what you expected is waiting for you there. Either way, it can turn out to be a surprise.

I once had a girl friend tell me, "It is NEVER too late to reinvent yourself." She explained to me about a co-worker who had shared this philosophy with her. My friends friend (are you still following me?) had unexpectedly lost her husband and she had no college degree. She decided to follow her heart, and through trial and error, and lots of perserverance, she ended up some years later WITH her degree and working at a job as a creative director for a really cool catalog. (Sundance...for those that know it).

She was nigh unto 60 years old and LOVED where lifes journey had led her. She did not discount some heart ache and pain along the way, but she was, she said, a better person for having lived and loved and learned along HER journey.

The path she had ended up on was the furthest thing from her mind the day she said "I DO!" all those years ago. But the ONE THING that she took with her from that experience was what she shared with MY friend, and that is that CHANGE and new beginnings are ALWAYS possible if you can believe. And if you can do MORE than believe and take ACTION. It may not turn out how you "thought" it should, it may not always go as smoothly as you "hoped" it would--BUT, it STILL TURNS OUT OK in the end.

It may just be a different ending. And possibly that is neither good nor bad, it just IS.

I promise no more commentary on Kyle finishing his degree....

But I was just decompressing after a long long day, and a long long journey. And as the sun warmed my face, and the breeze blew my hair, and a tear -or two- trickled down my cheeks (I know not why), I had a moment to myself. There were no other souls around to interupt my thoughts...and so I had a few last thoughts on my journey, our journey. This thing we call "LIFE".

And I repeat...

"Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip its been..."

Happy Graduation Day University of Utah Class of 2009!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

shape of an "L" on my forehead...

"...She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb, In the shape of an "L" on her forehead..." (sing it Smashmouth!)

well, i lost the Matilda Jane contest. as in "i am NOT the big winner!"

however, i don't REALLY feel like i lost--i made it to the top 4 out of all the entries sent in.
and it was REALLY truly fun to see my entry make it that far! so i feel like i won anyway! :O)

thanks so much to everyone who voted for me and helped me make it that far! It made me feel like an "ALL STAR!" (trying to work this pun as hard as i can people!)

on a brighter note:

i just completed my daughters 3rd grade CRT take home "practice packet." I scored 100%.
i am REALLY smart....


by the way, WHAT does CRT stand for?


"CAN you REALLY take a TEST"? (i guess that would be CYRTAT)

anyone know?

Monday, May 4, 2009


and now we reach it, the culmination of years of hard work.

"to culminate: to reach the end, or arrive at a final stage."

my husband is officially done with college.
his last paper was turned in this morning.
all the years of hard work culminate this week.

we (and i do say we, as i have had an active part of this--not so much in the "school thing", but in the "raising the family for 3 1/2 years without a husband around much thing.") have reached "the end, the final moment" on this part of lifes journey.

but this week kyle also commences, it is time for a NEW journey to begin. a new chapter and a new page in our life. Dreams, hopes, many hours of prayer, blood, sweat, and tears have brought us to this point. (ok, no blood was actually shed, but it sure does sound more dramatic doesn't it?)

"commence: to begin, to start."

with the finality of school, and the hopes to start down a new, and better--or maybe just different--career path for kyle, i find myself reflecting on the past.

HOPEFULLY, we learn from our choices in this life....and if i have learned ONE THING, it would be this....

i will physically torture and maime my children if they do not go to college and get a degree.

in anything.

in something.

i know there will be those that disagree with me...but i stand firm in this.

that little piece of paper, the paper that says "you did it", will open MORE DOORS for you in your life than few other things.

as we culminate, i will say i am glad the journey is at its end...for now. (my crystal ball DOES see a Master's Degree looming in the future--but, we shall cross that bridge when we come to it)

i will say that it was not nearly as hard as i thought it would be (minus the complete and total breakdown i had every 6 months....which, always after a good cry, a severe migraine and a few dt. cokes on ice....i found myself ready to "gird up my loins, fresh courage take" and dive into the next 6 months.)

we end this part, reflect on all that has gone past us and await (with baited breath) the new beginning we hope this brings into our lives!

Party at our house Friday night after graduation...bring your own anything (B.Y.O.A.) and come celebrate with us! A shout out of THANKS to any and all who have supported and held our figurative hands throughout this endeavor. We never could have done it without you!

The Nielsons

Kyle...officially done!
Dorien...officially still (mostly) sane!
and kids...officially still alive! (and that is saying something, is it not?)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Please VOTE FOR ME!!!!! I made the final cut!

Please vote for me, i made the final cut (i win a trip, clothes etc if i win) and am proud that my idea made it to the final cut! :O) I sent in my idea of what this really cool clothing company "reminds ME of". It is called Matilda Jane....

follow this link (click)

click VOTE on the top right corner and add me "HAPPY BOWLS" to your basket....i will take all the help i can get! THANKS!!!

Happy Birthday Bompie...better late than never!

Happy Birthday Bompie
(don't even ask WHY
she has all those names...)

there is no good answer!
She celebrated the "big 6" on
April 30th...
and got to have her cake
(Glaus cake, of course)
and EAT IT too!

are so glad you are a part
of our
would NOT be complete
without her sweet soul!

we love you,
mom, dad, josh, grace & eliza jane