Wednesday, January 28, 2015

the best

It's been a rough past few days. I'm not totally sure why, but my patience with my family has been really short. I think that all the stuff we have going on with buying a house is the biggest factor and knowing that we're going to have to pack up all our stuff again in the next few weeks is (while really exciting) daunting. I have this long list of "to do"s and a teething baby girl who wants to be held all the time. The boys are just being boys (a.k.a. making lots of messes) and I find myself being frustrated and speaking in a way that I'm not proud of. It happens, and I'm trying not to beat myself up about it too much, but I keep hearing one of my favorite quotes over and over in my mind a lot these days... "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." - Thomas S. Monson.
There are so many women I know who I feel do such a better job at this mom thing than I do (and I'm related to a BUNCH of them), but then I look at my kids and I see them for who they are and I think, "Part of that has to be because of me, right?". There are about a thousand ways to be a good mom and my kids deserve the best. My husband deserves the best. I can't offer them someone else's version of "the best" but I can offer them my best.

Remember "Everybody Loves Raymond"? Man, I loved that show. Anyway, I will always remember a scene where Debra asks Ray, "Doesn't your own family deserve the best of you?" I've thought about that a lot and how sometimes I offer my best to others and my family gets what's left over - which is, often, not much. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying - here in my dirty pajamas and bags under my eyes - is that "tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it yet"... I'm so grateful for forgiving children and a husband who give me second chances. Again and again. :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

my sweetest gift

Quietly while you were asleep
The moon and I were talking
I asked that she'd always keep you protected

She promised you her light
That you so gracefully carry
You bring your light and shine like morning

And then the wind pulls the clouds across the moon
Your light fills the darkest room
And I can see the miracle that keeps us from falling

She promised all the sweetest gifts
That only the Heaven's could bestow
You bring your light and shine like morning

And as you so gracefully give
Her light as long as you live
I'll always remember this moment

I've been singing that song lately to my boys as I've put them to bed. It's so beautiful and I've been having some incredibly sweet moments with them lately especially. I just love them with all my heart. They are a handful (x1000) and sometimes I feel like the circus came to town when I try to go to Trader Joe's with them (let's all boycott those dang kiddie carts, ok?) but even though my hands are full, my heart is fuller. Being a wife and a mother is definitely the sweetest gift.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

life lately: according to my iPhone

A few photos of our life lately as a little catch-up. Most of these are of Louisa because I can't stop! I am just a little obsessed with her. Be prepared for some adorableness below. Life with three kids is pretty crazy sometimes but I feel so grateful to have three healthy children, that I love so dearly, call me Mama.
These two - they sure love each other! It is heart melting to watch!
We loved watching the Seahawks game the other day - such a great game (and that's saying a lot coming from someone who does NOT enjoy football). We're pretty excited that they are going to the Super Bowl again this year. The entire city is bursting with excitement! It's really contagious! "FritzWilliam" (that's what I've been calling these two lately), have been loving some nice winter weather to play football outside. And by "play football", I mean William runs around with the football and Fritz chases him.
This is my new favorite picture. This is a REAL Louisa smile. Isn't she just the sweetest thing?
The weather has been amazing! Sure, we've had some cold spells and plenty of gray days, but we've also had several sunny and somewhat warm days. Plus, since it doesn't get super cold here in the PNW, it stays lush and green all year. One of my top most important things for me about loving where I live is the beauty of the place. I can handle the weather pretty well (but I'd still rather be cold than hot) but as long as it's beautiful, I'm a happy camper. The other day it was sunny and 55 degrees (!) so we went to the park. It was lovely. I love appreciating the sun.
We had my brother's family over for dinner on Sunday and I made a little snack platter while Leone and I made dinner (really, mostly her). I love lining things into rows. Also, have you had the Unexpected Cheddar atop the Raisin Rosemary crackers from Trader Joe's? Delightful.
And... another one of cutie Louisa for good measure! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

louisa: six months grown

Even though Louisa is technically almost seven months now, I wanted to do a little update on her at six months. She is such a joy in our family! David and I have been blessed with really sweet babies so far, but there is something different about this little girl. The only way I can describe her is angelic. She has this little soul inside her that I can just tell is kind and good. Ooooo! I just love her!!!! Mom shivers all around!
At her six month well check, she only weighed 15 pounds 1 ounce. She is a peanut! She's 26.5 inches long, though, which is really typical for our kids - long and lanky - but she's definitely my smallest baby. She is just as active as Fritz was at his age. Always moving! She loves to scoot and stand up (with my help) and just bounce forever. She is getting more of her "chicky fur" on the top of her head and it is definitely brown and stick-straight! She looks so much like Fritz, but she also looks a lot like my baby pictures. I'd say she has mostly Nielson genes, but my kids are so lucky to have David's adorable twinkly smile. I love it!

She loves her brothers, especially William (who got the first real chuckle out of her - just like with Fritz), and they love her back. I am so excited to see them all play together. I loved having brothers to play with (but I also really hope she has a sister someday to do "girl stuff" with)! We love our Lovey Loo!

Monday, January 19, 2015

birthday pop

Happy Birthday to my dear, ol' dad! My dad is a quite a guy! He loves God, he loves my mom and he loves his children / grandchildren. Those three things alone make him an A+ in my book, but here are a few more great things about my dad.
Copenhagen 2013
// My dad is always up for some quality conversation. If you go to my parents' house, you can count on my dad putting down whatever he is working on and coming to visit with whoever is there. You won't receive meaningless small talk, either. He'll dive right down into the important stuff and give great advice too. I didn't appreciate that enough when I was younger but I realize now that it's a really admirable talent.

// With 11 children in my immediate family, there are a lot of birthdays to be celebrated. Whenever we sing "Happy Birthday", you can count on my dad leading the group in a rousing, upbeat tempo. Nothing bothers him more than a mournful, slow version.

// On a related note, my dad is an eternal optimist. He always sees the sunny side of every situation and has mounds of confidence that things will turn out right. This presence in my life has always been one of the most comforting things to me during hard times.

// He makes exceptional steel cut oats every single morning. He tops his with ground flax seed and honey. On Christmas morning, he makes delicious omelettes and I was really homesick for one this year (onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach and cheese, please!)

// I've never met someone who is so consistent with their daily routine. It is so admirable. My dad's dedication to his routine has made him successful in so many areas of his life. I'm really good at creating goals to be more consistent with my daily life, but I have yet to master the follow through!

I'm wishing I could be at his birthday party tonight with my family, but I'm thinking of you dad! XOXO