Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Awards and Field Day

Friday was a busy, busy day for our family. I didn't do anything but run from one school to the other all day long. First, it was 6th grade awards. K got quite a few of them. I was proud of her. Most pictures that I took showed her name, so I tried to find ones that did not.

I was proud of her for all of them, but especially A Honor Roll. I didn't realize it would be such an honor. There were only a few kids that maintained A's the entire year. I think she worked so hard this year and it was great for her to be recognized at this ceremony!

After changing our clothes quickly, J and I headed to C's school for their field day. It used to be more races and such, but the last few years it has been a bunch of games. I love it. The kids have fun and just enjoy themselves.

I loved watching C on the climbing wall. They start at one end, climb up the wall and then go clear to the other end (if they can) and then they run to the beginning and keep going. Most kids dropped down before they got to the end. A few ran to the beginning. C did. He got about half way through on his second time. It was great to watch. :)

J and I were getting tired after many hours and I was about to head home when C requested that I stay for the tug-of-war. We did. It was fun to watch. The boys got beat by the girls in their class a couple of times. I think their pride was a little wounded and they quickly made up the difference with some very definite wins.

The school year is almost over and the awards ceremony and field day proves it! What a great life we lead! :) So blessed. So blessed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Family Anniversary = 14 years

Today my family began, 14 years ago. I am so grateful that my children are sealed to me and that we are a family. Life has not gone as planned, not even close, but, it is with gratitude that I celebrate the day my family began.

I look forward to two months from now when I will again be sealed. I am so blessed. I love CK and I can't wait to have a new anniversary with him. I wasn't sure how having him move here would be. We had not had the chance to experience daily life together. I thought there would be some adjustments and that it would take some time to get used to. Nope. It is awesome! I love seeing him every day. Now, not seeing him all day until after work seems like forever. How blessed I am!!!! :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

High School Musical

K has been in choir this year and loved it. As an end of the year finale, all the 6th grade choirs combined to perform High School Musical. There were three different casts of all the major parts. K was Kelsi Nielson for in one of the casts. She was part of the chorus for the other two. This is her during last night's performance (in the chorus).
There is some amazing talent in this group. The music overpowered the kids, though, and it was very difficult to hear and understand what was going on.

Here she is ready for her performance:
This cast, in many ways, performed better than the night before. I am sure a lot of it was the first performance for everyone last night.
The funny thing is...unlike the night before when the music was overpowering, the music stopped working mid-performance. K was sitting at the piano, pretending to play with no music being played. She said it felt odd.
K did a very good job. Her cast all did a very good job. I was also quite impressed with how they handled the music cutting out. They sang all the songs acapella. They just picked up with a "show must go on" attitude. Being a theatre person, I could tell on occasion that it was difficult to find cues without the music cluing them in to what to do next, but for a group of 11-12 year-olds, they were amazing in face of the unexpected!


Thursday, May 19, 2011


This year, preschool has been different. The way it worked out, J and only one other friend, I, did preschool. It was so perfect for us this year. If either mom needed to rearrange, it was so simple to do it: only two kids in preschool! I know that J will thrive with more structure next year as he will be so old (misses the cut off to begin Kindergarten by just a little less than a month), but this year, it was perfect for him and for me.

Today was the last day of preschool, so we went on a preschool field trip. I took J and I to the train. They loved it! They had so much fun. I loved listening to their conversations and just enjoying the ride. The day could not have been better: overcast but no rain, 75-ish degrees, slight breeze. It was perfect!

Waiting for the train to come:
Here it is!

I absolutely love the greenery of the park that we go through. It is beautiful.

We stopped and bought popcorn at the depot in the middle.

Afterwards, we were hungry and still celebrating a great year of preschool. Where did the boys want to go? McDonald's, of course! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


CK moved here this last weekend. Thursday night, before the kids went to XDH and I went to St. Louis, we celebrated a last night together by eating ice cream. (My grandma would love it!)

CK and I traveled to Oklahoma City, not arriving there until 2 am. The next morning, we headed early to the temple. It was so nice to be there in the house of the Lord. I love attending new temples and I love that CK and I are trying to visit them all (in the U.S.). What a fun goal!
Here we are, 700 miles done. CK's car did an amazing job pulling this little trailer.
Both he and I are planners, so we had the entire thing planned out...CK's new apartment and everything. We had reserved it in advance and paid for it Saturday night. I am so grateful that the Spirit bore witness to us that this was not a good place for CK to be and now he has a new place. Frustrating, though, when things don't go as planned!!!!

While we are adjusting to having him around every day (I think he has a lot more adjusting to do than we do....we can be LOUD!), we love it. I love it. The kids are happy. I feel so blessed. At times, the future seems scary-if I give my heart to someone, they can hurt me just like I have been hurt before. But, I am so happy and I look at the man that I am so blessed to marry this summer and I am in awe that I, of all people, am sooooo lucky!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pondering on Pain

This morning, I was listening, yet again, to a Conference talk from the last General Conference. It is by Elder Richards on pain and the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Here is the link if you would like to listen to it / read it.

So, I pondered a lot on pain. We all have it. Both physical and emotional pain is excruciating. I have been through the latter and I thought it would never end. But, it was my Savior that healed me. It was He that understood where I had been, the number of dreams that lay shattered at my feet. It was He that understood when I did not think I could face another day or cry another tear. It is He that has healed me enough to allow me to trust again, love again, risk again.

In light of all this, I concurred with Elder Richards as he spoke of the growth that comes through pain. I am a different woman. I have grown in ways that would have been impossible with a smooth, easy life.

Now, I have been pondering on the pain that some that are very dear to me are feeling. Oh, how I wish I could take away that pain. In certain circumstances I am very aware of the heartache, for I have felt it too. But, I have been wondering....if I was given the opportunity to take away their pain, would I be doing them a disservice? Would I be taking away their opportunities for growth? I think so.

It gives me a new perspective on the Savior. He is with us with every step. He dries our tears. He carries us when we cannot walk, but He does not take it away. I can learn from Him. My role is to support, lift, and sustain, but not to take away.

Hmmm...random thoughts on a Thursday morning when J is gone on a preschool field trip.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


So...I get very few Fridays with my children. They are usually with their dad. The last few that I have had, we have been traveling, so not having a normal night. This last Friday, for the first time in months, we had a Friday evening together. Being the planner that I am, I planned. We were going to go bowling, look at some dresses for K for the wedding at the mall, and get some ice cream.

It started out great-we ate dinner at 4:30 and were on our way. We got to the bowling alley and hit our first snag. The bowling alley tries never to schedule a tournament on Friday...leaving it free for open bowling...EXCEPT one weekend a year....and, you guessed it, it was this weekend. The kids were grumpy, but we headed out.

The next snag: the mall close to the ice cream shop didn't have the store we were looking for: a big chain in all malls....except this one, I guess. A little frustrating.

So, we went and ate ice cream....thanks to a gift certificate from Grandma and Grandpa K for Easter! There is only one store in our city and it is kind of far, but, oh so worth it! It was yummy. We loved it. Thank-you, Grandma and Grandpa!

We came home, played some WII bowling...since we didn't get to bowl. That was fun. :) I am glad that we came up with a Plan B.

But, there was another snag: The kids wanted to buy more stuff for the WII with some gift certificates we had for Game Stop and WalMart. We went to both places. NO ONE COULD AGREE! There is definitely something to be said for having only one child. It was a lot of fighting and complaining. -sigh- So much for my perfect evening, eh?

So, we came home, all frustrated. But, it was a perfect evening. The weather was awesome. So, I forced the kids on a walk around our neighborhood. It was amazing. The boys ran and played races. K and I talked. It was wonderful. We got home, the boys still raced and K and I still talked. Soon, there were neighbor boys joining us and the big water gun came out. Soon, we had a lot of very wet boys. :) It was perfect. I would not have traded these moments for anything.

Lesson learned: I try too hard to plan our limited fun time together. This creates expectations, which create disappointments. We just need to be when we are together. The fun times will come. :)

P.S. Saturday was great, too! K went to a water park with her choir. The boys and I worked on the garage, went out to lunch and finally went bowling. It was very fun! After K got home, we went out to my new favorite restaurant in celebration of Mother's Day. All four of us loved the plantains, pupusas, and beans. And...we topped it off with very small servings from Yogurtland. It was a wonderful night! :)

P.P.S. CK moves here in 3 days! I feel so blessed. Looking back to two years ago and what I was posting then, I see that the promises have been fulfilled. I knew I would be okay, but I couldn't see how-the sorrow was so overwhelming. I am here. I am happier than I knew possible. Thank-you, Heavenly Father!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Seven - Eleven


First, there are 7 days until I see CK again! It has been approximately three weeks since we have been together and it has been torture. The really cool thing about what happens in 7 days: CK is moving here! We will see each other almost every day for the rest of our lives. I am so excited about this. I am so lucky to have him in my life. He even took his place on the Chore Chart. :) I am so grateful for all he is willing to do for me. I cannot believe how blessed I am. For the many hours of grief-filled sorrow that I have experienced, where I thought my heart would never heal - here I am...soooo happy, soooo blessed, soooo in awe of the love of my Father in Heaven and the ways that He has taken care of me.


Next, it has been approximately 11 months since I first met CK in person. What a wonderful adventure we have been on, and the best is yet to be.... :) Here are the last 11 months in pictures:

June 2010: We met for the first time. We had fallen in-love over the phone, but this was the first time we had been in the same place:

July 2010: CK came to support me while attending the funeral of my grandmother. It was a time when I needed the support and he didn't hesitate, but, unasked, was just there. Thank-you!

August 2010: We didn't see each other this month. For a time, we were not to be together. We struggled with this, but both really listened to the Lord and followed His timing. Here is where I sought answers and solace:

September 2010: When I finally let go completely and left everything in the Lord's hands, He quickly returned to me the answer that I'd been looking for....move forward with CK. The "no" answers were gone and we were excited to pursue a future together. CK let me know he was excited, too:

October 2010: We got to see each other twice this month. It was amazing to reunite and be together again:

November 2010: We also got to be together twice this month, including our first Thanksgiving together:
December 2010: We had a while we had to wait between Thanksgiving and Christmas....but when the time did come, we were together for a long time, including Christmas and CK's birthday. This month ended with a ring on my finger....and an official engagement!
January 2011: Twice again this month! Yippee! We took all the kids and did some sightseeing in St. Louis. So fun!

February 2011: Again...once here and once there. We were so blessed to see each other every other weekend. I am so glad that CK and A got to be here this month for my birthday! This picture was Valentine's Day:

March 2011:
April 2011: This is the last time that CK and I were together. The kids made up a carnival for us...and these suckers were part of our prizes. It was great fun. :)

May 2011: We haven't been together yet...but that takes us full circle....7 days!!!! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Time Out

This last weekend, K, my sister, and I went to Time Out for Women and Girls in San Antonio. It was amazing. I am so glad we went. I am grateful to XDH for allowing K and I that time to bond.

There were some major accidents along the freeway to get there. It took us nearly 2.5 hours longer than usual. That was stressful. My sister is incredible, though, and she drove the whole way. I love her.

Once we got there, the conference had begun. The girls were with the women on Friday night and, as we listened to Sherri Dew, I thought for sure it would bore K. Nope. She said after, "That was sooooooo good!" The best part, however, was that K just leaned against me and hugged me and hugged me and it was awesome to be there...and give her that individual time as her brothers were with their dad.

After the session ended Friday, it was about 10:00....so we decided to go ahead and go up the Tower of Americas. It was awesome.

It was so windy...Just look at all the pictures. The one below is my favorite. K looked like a Troll Doll from years past.
And, I don't know how this panda came to be sleeping in our hotel room!
The next day was not only our conference, but also Race for the Cure. We were warned that it would be crazy traffic and to be there before 7 am. YIKES! We looked it up that night, and after calling the non-emergency police number to see when the roads might be closed to pedestrians, we decided to walk instead of drive. It was about 1.3 miles. Not bad, but with uncomfortable shoes.....still not too bad.

Here are some of the women from my ward that went:
Here we are: My sister, S (who is stunningly gorgeous!), K, and me:
When the Saturday conference ended, we decided to walk the Riverwalk. It was 90+ degrees and "incredibly humid" (as the weather guy said that night). We were also tired, especially our feet. Even in the shade it was uncomfortable, so we walked a little around the river, then chose to go back to the hotel.

We decided to take the streetcar back to near the hotel. AHHHHHH!!!! Air conditioning! Sitting down! Relief! It was awesome!
Then, we rested at the hotel a bit and walked over to Pizza Hut, across the street from the hotel. We laughed and laughed and laughed. The three of us had a so much fun together. It will be an experience that we will all remember for a long time.
Sunday, we went to church in a little ward in San Antonio. It was very cool. The Spirit was very strong. I am grateful to have the Gospel in my life. I love being able to go to church anywhere in the world and be surrounded by Brothers and Sisters with my same beliefs. What great love I feel for our Savior and our Heavenly Father.

I love my sister, she is amazing. I might be older, but I look up to her so much. She is so loving. She is so smart. She is so put together and stylish. She is a great mom. I want to be like her when I grow up.

I love K. I cannot believe she is almost 12. She is so confident and self-assured. She is very capable of making decisions. She is smart and funny. She is loving. I am so lucky to be her mom.