Tuesday, December 23, 2008

*A Winter Wonderland*

Merry Christmas Everyone! We Love You So Much!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


There is simply nothing more genuinely rewarding than listening to your child sing for their first time, "I am a child of God". Even more priceless is to hear her belt out this tender melody as a source of comfort from her crib after exhausting the phrase, "Mommy, open the door...Mommy, OPEN THE DOOR!..." And then, after several verses, realizing still that Mommy is not coming to rescue her, I hear, "Ga-ma! Gaaaaaaa-ma! I wanna see Ga-ma!" How could I resist a brief phone call to "Ga-ma" after listening to my 22 month old exemplify such faith and courage from the dark, quiet corner of her room. After a brief chat from her crib with her Grandma and another verse of "I am a Child of God" through the phone, I lay my sweet baby down and while on my way out I hear, "Thank you Mommy".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Come What May, and Love It"

Oh, how I have drawn much comfort in these sweet, reassuring words from Elder Wirthlin from his final General Conference talk in October. We sold our home in a matter of about 30 minutes and were given one week to move. We have two more days left. This home has become such a treasure to me. We have been here five years since Jordan and I took our first steps together as husband and wife. Then we were here to watch our first little angel take her first steps. We survived the natural disasters that inevitably blew through our walls; the multiple floods and then our ceiling caving in; somehow these disasters only made our foundation stronger.
We are moving across the street temporarily while our home is being built. We have already had to fix leaks, dysfunctional heaters and swamp coolers, and whitewash the place from top to bottom. I can feel myself on heavenly surveillance right at this moment. Two days ago I went to get Charly up from her nap, only to find an entire white wall, crib, changing table, sheets, blankets, stuffed animals and a little innocent girl COVERED in permanent green marker. While I thought she was napping away, she was really playing Picasso all over the nursery. Where she came up with the marker?? Only heaven knows!
Then, about 20 minutes ago, I was lifting a heavy box of my nice dishes from our wedding and lowering them into a wagon I have been using to cart everything back and forth. On my way into the living room, the bottom of the box broke and my dishes shattered everywhere!!
Just to give you an idea of where my emotions are at right now: Yesterday, it was a pretty breezy day and while I was walking back and forth from house to house, I noticed a bird's nest that had been blown from the tree. I started sobbing and sobbing uncontrollably at the heartbroken reality that they had lost their home. I knew how they felt because WE were losing our home too and so I cried and cried some more.

So there is a big pile of shattered dishes downstairs and a nursery covered in the finest work of art from a 22 month old. But you know what, I am okay. I know that the Lord blesses us with these great trials, which oftentimes come at us all at once ("When it rains, it pours!"), but then He showers us with His sweet tender mercies if we endure through it well. I know that the Lord will look after this little family of robins as He will also look after us.

So, today I am taking on as my new motto for life, the blessed words from Elder Wirthlin,
"Come What May, and Love It!"

....Yes, there are TWO little birds in that nest! We will soon be adding another little one to the flock!...which may also explain my extra tank of tears!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Idaho Studs!

For my birthday, I wanted so much to go visit my Grandma Dahlquist and cousins in Boise, Idaho. My wish was granted and oh, what a time we had!! Since pictures speak much louder than words, here is how we spent our heavenly weekend with all those Idaho Studs!;-)

Mmmm...baking the yummiest Oat and Wheat Bread with the Champ!
...we also made Grandma's famous peanut brittle...yummy!
Mmmm...the finished product!!

Oooooh! I love the Boise Mall! They have the BEST pet shop!!

This was my favorite!
Ohhhh, luvs!
The best little pooch EVER!..even Jordan LOVED Grandma's new dog, Peek-a-boo
(just look at Jordan's expression!)

Giddy-up Peek-a-boo!

Watching the pro put on her "face" to see how it's done!;-)

Playing beauty parlor with the pooch!

Uncle Craig and little Maggie

Me and my Baby Cousin, Rachael...not much of a baby anymore...in fact, she'll be having HER first baby in June!!
Ahhh...it just runs in the entire family!

Charly's BEST friend of the night, Uncle Craig!
(she's got her cowgirl boots on JUST for him!)
Uncle Craig and Aunt Jan live on an 18 acre farm in
Middleton, Idaho....he is a TRUE cowboy and wears his
cowboy hat and boots faithfully!...except that day he wore a ball cap!:-)

(Digressing slightly...) Jordan took me to the Roof on the day of my birthday!

My Birthday Prize...a Toaster!! Can you believe, in the 5 years
of our marriage, we have deprived ourselves of having a toaster!?!

Going to the Boise Philharmonic Dress Rehearsal...fascinating!

The Crew

The absolute best part of our trip!
My Grandma, Afton Dahlquist
Isn't she lovely!?

Thank you so much for all your heartfelt birthday wishes! It was truly wonderful!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Brand New Day

Every one of my sisters have overcome something truly remarkable. Today I want to share my sister, Julie's inspiring story with you. She recently posted an entry about her long, grueling journey to a brand new day. I look at her and my other sisters and see what they have achieved in their lifetimes and I am overcome with renewed feelings of hope and faith in enduring well through my own Gethsemanes.

Thank you, Pulsie, for making the choice to make a change. You are truly one of my greatest heroes! It has been SO GOOD to have you back!! I love you!

My sisters, Jill and Julie in their singing group, Illuminata

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Have Learned

"Cha-ee pay in da yeaves"

Today is my 28th birthday. It is 5:30am in the morning and I feel the same anticipation and excitement as I do Christmas morning. I feel this way every year on my birthday. I am always sad to hear people say, "Oh well, it's just another day"... because your birthday is what you make of it!! I am a firm believer in doing all you can to celebrate your big day, whether that means sending yourself a bouquet of flowers at your work desk or taking a birthday walk JUST for you, where you can pretend that all the birds are planning a surprise party with fancy flight formations and the ants are collecting every granule of dirt leftover after the snow to make you a most delicious mud pie. If we expect to be showered with extravagant gifts and parties, we are only setting ourselves up for disappointment. BUT, if you simply take pleasure in the little things, you can turn a very ordinary day into something EXTRAORDINARY! Remember,

"Today You are You
That is Truer Than True!
There is No One Alive
Who is YOU-ER Than YOU!"

-Dr. Seuss

Now, there's something to celebrate!!

My mother has always lived by the motto,

"Life is not always what you want, but it's all that you have,
so I say HAVE IT!,
Stick a geranium in your hat and BE HAPPY!

So today looking back on my past 28 years, I have learned many things, five things in particular. I have learned that:

1. We cannot take life too literally...but rather we need to keep our eternal perspective in focus and remember that this life is only temporary. We are on heavenly surveillance 24-7, as our Heavenly Father is watching how we react to our earthly trials and daily situations placed before us. Humility is key. We are simply away at school, working on our Ph.D.'s...Prayer, Happiness and Dedication.

2. It does absolutely nothing to think ill of another person. All it does is strip you of the energy you could be investing in finding something good about that person....and once again, "Smile! You are on heavenly surveillance!"

3. You are never too old to lean on your parents. Oftentimes, I feel like a 13 year old girl in a 28 year old body! I think to myself, "What am I doing?!? I don't have the slightest clue how to do this?!" But they did it, so I guess I can too.:-)

4. There is nothing on this earth that can adequately measure up to the unconditional love you feel for your children. My cousin, Marilyn Williams told me shortly before Charly was born, "To have a child is to consent to having your heart walk outside your body for the rest of your life"

5. Life is too short. We simply MUST embrace every moment we have here; to learn and to grow, to teach others through our experiences and learn from others' experiences, to be steadfast and true to what we believe. Look around and find joy in the little things! Be grateful for what you DO have! If our home is sufficiently stocked with Toilet paper, Tide, and Tasteful Treats, well then, what more could we possibly need?! We are Together, and that's all that matters. We only have one shot at this journey...we might as well live it up!!

So, if I may, for my birthday this year, I would love for you to share with me what YOU have learned! Truly the greatest gift to me is having each of YOU!!! Thank you, for blessing my life!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hugs All Around!

I have never been a "huggy" person (my friends and family can attest to that!)...that is until I married into a "huggy" family! I am notorious for my whimpy little "one armed 'pat-pat-pat'" hug. As an EFY counselor, I learned that there is much more to life that the "one armed pat". EFY was like one ginormous hug fest! Then when I married into Jordan's family, I was introduced into a whole new world of hugging! Whenever we see each other, we make the "hugging rounds", making sure not to forget anyone. Whenever we leave, we do another round of hugs. It was very foreign and uncomfortable to me at first, but now, I must say, I love it, I absolutely love it!!
I really feel the whole world needs more hugs!! When I was growing up, there were times my dad would just hug me out of the blue and I would just melt into his embrace, completely overcome by the most insurmountable joy and a kind of peace and rejuvenation that is indescribable.

Now I hug as many people as I can everyday! Today I hugged someone that felt like I was hugging a block of ice. I think it took her completely off guard.

Do you remember that guy in New York who carried a sign all around the city which read
"Free Hugs", soliciting an actual embrace for anyone who needed it? Well there were people LINED UP around the corner for a very much needed squeeze! We truly underestimate the power of a warm embrace.

In Germany, where I lived for three years, it is natural for people to greet each other with a big hug and a kiss on both cheeks. Oh, how I love that beautiful custom.
One of my favorite poets, Shel Silverstein got it right on the nose when he so profoundly wrote:

Just think...how different this world would be if hugs were as frequent as "high fives" or "hellos". Today is not here for very long, in fact, it's almost over! If you can't find someone to hug, hug a tree! Find people to hug who normally go everyday unnoticed or unappreciated...the janitor, the lunch ladies, the church members who serve in the library, the crossing guard, the mailman, the school teachers, the people who slice all the cheese at Harmons, the neighbor up the street who nobody knows, the sweet grandmas at Costco who serve the samples, and the people at Farnsworth Orchard who make fresh cider daily from a cider press and then sit for hours and hours before someone comes in to buy it.
Then keep on hugging those you see everyday and don't let a single day slip through your fingers where you have not given your loved ones their daily squeezes...or as my sister, Heather calls them, their "SQUATCHES"! Thanks Babo!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Pumpkins!

I must admit, the actual holiday of Halloween has never been a favorite of mine. I do, however, love the autumn-like ambiance that accompanies this otherwise frightful holiday. Those of you who know me, know that I am a "happy pumpkin" person, decorating my home with joyful jack-o-lanterns and witty witches that give sweets instead of spells! Do you remember, back in the day when we were able to just go out trick-or-treating on our own, foot-loose and fancy free! Today is such a different day where we would never dream of sending our kids out unaccompanied by an adult. I'd much rather steer away from the ghouls and goblins of today and focus on the delicious sights and smells of the season! One of my greatest thrills in life is crunching a freshly fallen autumn leaf! Oh, what joy! :-)
PS- Don't you love this awesome picture of Charly, spoiled by a typical stream of chocolate drooling down her chin! HA!


Isn't family just wonderful! In the Dahlquist family, we have a family party every month, celebrating the birthdays for that month. We also get together often on Sunday evenings and when we hold our adult Family Home Evenings. We just can't get enough of each other! Last night, my mom made my same delicious birthday dinner I have had every year for as long as I can remember!...Cornflake porkchops, half potatoes (or funeral potatoes), and my yummy strawberry banana jello. Oh yum!! Thank you so much, Mom!

Birthday Kiddos for Oct./Nov (Heather's friend, Kate, Me, Seneca, and Chas)

Charly LOVES her cousin, Taylor!

What would we ever do without Aunt Kimbo!?

Skeleton "Mummy"
My cute friend, Kim is making these adorable, trendy maternity shirts for the "mummies" to be! It can be tricky to find a costume when you are "scaring for two"! :-)
(*Black Maternity shirt with glow in the dark print. Great way to tell family and friends the good news! Call with your size you'll be a hit! You can contact Kim at 492-9981.* )

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I was just "tagged" by my good friend, Jill (Porter) Harkness! I'll have you know I took these pictures yesterday after she tagged me and today my house is MUCH cleaner!! Anyway, presenting the Nelson abode, right here, right now! Enjoy! :-)...PS-For those of you who don't know, you are supposed to take pictures of certain rooms/objects around the house exactly how they are at that moment, UNTOUCHED!...uh oh!
Voila! The Living Room/Family Room!

Thanks to Jenna for the awesome pumpkin canvas paintings! Charly spends half her day playing with this "Chichen"(kitchen)!

*Thank you Shkapich's!*

...And the kitchen! Notice my dining table doubles as a handy
gathering place for laundry!

My least favorite feature of our home...the laundry "room" is IN the kitchen

Is it weird for me to say this would be my favorite room? This room is my quiet sanctuary away from my noisy world! I go in here to pray, to meditate and to catch up on my pile of archived "Good Housekeeping" magazines that go unread for weeks before I'm finally able to catch a minute to endulge myself!

Okay, so we're on an all time LOW as far as groceries go! Do you see that tupperware in there with the blue lid? Those are leftover Spaghettios I randomly bought, just to see if Charly liked them. Well, she loved them, but I will not buy them again because sadly I think they taste and smell like vomit!

This just seemed like a fitting look for this post...I look like I have a bruise over my right eye.

Here she is, folks!...by the way, any tips on how to keep those naps rollin'? She's down to 30 minutes a day instead of 2 hours and I don't know what to do!!