Thanksgiving 2017


^^Jed and Levi coloring in their jammies.  Long live slow, cold mornings!^^

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone and I didn't take nearly enough pictures of the people we enjoy it with.  I surprise myself with how much I look forward to our silly traditions!  We do them every year: we gather at the Nelson Dairy, we eat a fantastic dinner, pies line the kitchen countertops for dessert, we play board games in the evening, the ladies shop til we drop on Friday morning, and we all meet for bowling that afternoon.  It's a riot!  This year, however, Mama Nelson changed it up for us girls.  Instead of playing games, we made a Christmas craft after the kids went to bed.  I enjoyed it so much!   

I accidentally made Bron really worried on Thanksgiving day.  I left the house with Conrad and my camera in hand (but not my phone) intending to spend just a few minutes outside.  We wandered down the trail towards the river and suddenly 15 minutes turned into 90!  Ooops!  But with views like this, can you blame me?  Thanksgiving day was sunny and sixty degrees and BEAUTIFUL.  Lesson learned: I'll remember to take my phone with me next time I decide to go for a walk.

All Jed Wants for Christmas are His Three Front Teeth!


All Jed wants for Christmas are his 3 front teeth!

I'm so proud of this kid.  Just two weeks ago, he was honored as the 2nd grade student of the month at school. Last year was such a struggle, from reading, to social skills, to emotional outbursts that made us all worry.  But this year something just clicked and Jed is on fire.  His emotions have matured and his reading level has soared from an alarming sub first grade level to a 2.4 in just two months!  It is nothing short of amazing.  And such a sweet, sweet blessing.  Jed's successes make me so happy for him!  He has worked so hard to get this far.  It's the best feeling as a mother.

We love you so very much, Jed!!! 

Arizona for My Sister


During the last weekend of October, Conrad and I flew down to Arizona to visit my sister Lauren!  I'd been looking forward to the trip all month long.  We talk on the phone often, but my heart has been aching to give her a hug, to be there physically.

(For those that don't know Lauren's story, check out THIS POST and the TAIL END OF THIS POST). 

Lauren is doing well.  I am continually impressed with her grit and attitude.  Lauren puts on a brave face and smile; she's good at finding the silver linings and things for which to be grateful.  If you need someone to laugh with, Lauren is your girl!  But it's hard.  Cancer sucks.  She is tired.  Lauren just survived 8 rounds of chemotherapy and all of its noxious side-effects, including but not limited to: the loss of her hair (including her eyelashes and eyebrows), sores in her throat and mouth, painful knife-like stabbing neuropathy in her hands and feet, and feeling so tired and heavy that even watching tv was too much.  It makes my eyes tear up just writing about it.  But she did it!  Now Lauren is anxious about the next phase in her treatment which is surgery to remove both breasts next week.  We're all praying that surgery goes smoothly and complication free.

Cancer will forever change my sister, in every way imaginable.  From her physical looks, to her energy levels, to her outlook on life, she (and her family) will be changed because of this experience.  But for all the negative, I'd like to think that the little tender mercies of becoming a better and more intentional person will ultimately win out for Lauren.  I also think her family will be tighter because of it too.     

This is Halloween 2017


Another exciting and candy-filled Halloween is over and down in the books.  The boys had so much fun this year.  I love that Jed and Levi can pick a costume theme, actually agree on it, get super excited, and stick to it!

This season, Jed and Levi wanted to be characters from Guardians of the Galaxy.  They happened to choose their theme just as the second movie made it to Red Box.  Naturally, we had a movie night with popcorn to watch it--crude jokes and all.  Ooops.  Mom fail; I should have previewed it.  Fortunately, most of those crude references seemed to whisk right over their innocent little heads.  Haha.  Whew!      

It was Conrad's very first Halloween!  He just began walking this month.  I actually thought he'd make a better Frankenstein with that funny little hands-in-the-air toddle than anything else, but he didn't have a choice.  Conrad is a member of the Nelson trio and therefore a part of their shenanigans.  It's so strange to think I was hugely pregnant just last year.  And now my baby is walking!  After handing Conrad a lollipop, he surprisingly caught on to the festivities as well.  Conrad insisted on a combination of walking and crawling up to the front door for candy with everyone else!  Smart kid.

ONE Photo: November


pink rose with rain water droplets

Some professional photographers and I have collaborated on a monthly project to shoot just one picture each month that speaks to our hearts.  I hopped on board because it sounded like something I could stay excited about and not become overwhelmed! 

It rained one night a couple of weeks ago.  As I sent Jed off on the bus that morning, I knew I needed to get out there with my camera.  I took a gaggle of photos of Levi splashing and playing in the puddles in his new rain boots, but it was the roses in the front yard that stole my creative heart.  There is something so clean and beautiful about water droplets clinging to the colors in nature.

Please click on over to Tara's blog post to see her ONE photo!  I'm looking forward to clicking through the blog circle myself.  There is so much talent in this group.  I just know there is going to be some show-stopping imagery.

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