Monday, April 30, 2012

Lucky Lilacs

Ahhh, the grand old Nielson Family tradition of Lucky
Lilacs.  Is there anything funner when you're a kid?

Are you NOT SURE what a Lucky Lilac is?

Does YOUR FAMILY not celebrate this wonderful 

Well, you're missing out.  

Lucky Lilacs is celebrated in Spring.
(usually in May--we had
a very mild winter making the lilacs "ready"
earlier this year.)

First, one must FIND a "lucky lilac".

A "lucky lilac" is a flower that has got
ODD numbered petals, 3 or 5 is a good
number, no 4 petal flowers are allowed
and no "cheater" bushes are allowed
either.  (french lilac with MULTIPLE

Second, one must present the "lucky
lilac" to the person with the "magic
glasses", in this case it would be
Grandma Regular--she then mummbles
some gibberish and magic words and a
"higgledy piggledy" or two and then
gives the grandkids the "clue" as
to where the Lilac Fairy hid the

Third, have no grand expectations
for a present from the Lilac Fairy (who
may or may not include Becky, Penny
and Kathleen).  The gifts are silly
things like nail polish or squirt 
guns...but you can be certain that
the Nielson clan gathers in great
numbers, both old and young, to 
celebrate this family tradition
that goes back several generations.

It may be my all time favorite thing
the Nielsons do.

Presenting Lilac Lilacs 2012...

 Meet at Grandmas house

 Gather around waiting your turn for the lilac reading

See?  This one is lucky!!  A "fiver!"


Olivia's turn. Grandma does some blowing
on the lilacs to "read" them better.
(Along with the higgledy piggledy's)

The clue has been given, now the child must search.
High and low.

The crowd

Grandma's Lilacs

A toothpick ALSO makes a fine lilac holder
while waiting for your turn on Grandmas lap.

Glasses adjustment.

"Magic" glasses--

Almost the princesses turn

Ah yes!  A clue with few words.
This sends Grace back to Grandmas lap
multiple times to get it right.

BINGO!  NOW I know where it is!

Eliza's turn for the magic.

And Josh.

He thinks he may know where to search.

Baby Will's turn.

And this is my kid who says he is "never getting
married or having kids"...he is the SWEETEST baby
holder/tender you would ever want to see.

But don't tell any girls...YET!

Also someone is having a birthday!  
Little O--grandma got her a strawberry cream
cheese ice cream cake to celebrate!
(she is a cake hater)

Taking turns.

Hi Josh!  Hi Will!

Some presents for Puddy/Olivia/Bompie/Fluffy

Good bye Lilac Day til 2013~

Thursday, April 26, 2012

where was i?

Ah New York!

The next day, we headed out as usual.

Two yellow bikes.


The choices

Morning "coffee" (aka diet coke) and some food

Next stop, Dylans Candy Bar to find
some treats for the little girls.

These are the steps, lighted glass with candy under them.

No one was slightly hungry but I have been to NYC
FAR too many times and never crossed "frozen hot
chocolate" from Serendipity off my "to do" list.

So we went and had a frozen hot chocolate.

We thought about ordering the "Opulence Sundae"-
but the $1000 price tag did us in and well, actually
we really didn't even think about ordering it! :)

Regular Frozen Hot Chocolate

Peanut Butter Frozen Hot Chocolate

Let me say for the record that IT IS, 100% worth
adding to any "when I visit NYC" list.  HOLY SMOKES!!!
It was so good.  Josh and I like the peanut butter
one best--Kyle and Grace voted for regular.

And even though no one was hungry--we split
two between the 4 of us (plenty!) and managed to finish
them BOTH off.  

Seriously chocolate divinity!

Next was a little H&M shopping--it was so much "cooler"
when SLC didn't have an H&M--but we still love it!
Olivia scored here and I have a secret stash of 
clothing I brought back for her, for her birthday
(which is on MONDAY!)

Grace kept spending her hard earned money!

After shopping Josh and Kyle had (free) tickets to the late
show--all the TV shows are free, you just have to be 
able to get them.  We tried for Letterman, Fallon and Kimmel.
This is what we got--two to Letterman.
So the boys went to the Late Show taping and
the girls, what did we do?  Well, what we do best...
took the subway to Chinatown (heaven help me!)
and shopped some more.  Chinatown is so gross--but
they DO have great deals, so off we went.

After the Late Show we all met up in Times Square
and went down to the 9/11 Memorial.

As I said before, this was a hard place for me
(personally) to be.  The emotion of what happened
here on that day hit really hard.  That said,
the Memorial is SO beautiful and such a fitting
tribute to both the victims of this senseless act
and those who died tried to save any
survivors.  It is hallowed and majestic and I think
a place of healing for the many who come to visit.

These pools are beautiful...there and two that
stand in the footprints of the old Twin Towers.

Around each of the reflecting pools are the names of EVERY
person who died that day.  Seriously, the enormity of it
is very overwhelming!  There are a LOT of names.  :(

Then I saw ^^^^ THAT name,  "Grace Catherine"--I don't know
WHO she was or how old--but her and the lady next to her
had the same last name....the lady NEXT to her was  "Mary 
Something or Other AND HER UNBORN CHILD"...

It was a lot to take in.  :(

After the 9/11 Memorial we headed to dinner-
it was 8 PM by this time and we WERE hungry this time!
A BBQ joint (I forget the name of it)

Our table was right by the "kitchen" (the place they
did all the cooking and cutting) so it was fun to
watch these guys at work!

It felt like we had (literally) stepped off the streets of NYC
right into a town in Texas somewhere--serious culture
change from Big Apple to cowboys & boots!

We all split some dinners--it was a lot of food and 2 dinners
to share with all 4 of us was MORE than enough.  I can't 
imagine if we had ordered 4 meals!

We did good!