Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Under a Crape Myrtle Tree

This afternoon right before lunch Christian and I spontaneously
 decided to go on a day-date to visit the Raleigh temple.
Since the temple is closed due to C-virus, we haven't physically been 
inside to serve and worship, and it's been a deep hole in our lives.  
Monthly (sometimes more), Christian and I go to the temple
  to feel close to the Lord especially when making hard decisions,
or ask questions we so badly want the answers to.
It's good for me personally, good for our marriage, and our family too.
The temple is where I feel closest to God, and where stress and worry 
seem to slip away, and I find peace and clarity.
So monthly Christian and I go to the temple grounds to sit on the grass under a
 beautiful crape myrtle tree to pray and feel close to the Lord.  
We still ask questions to the Lord through prayer,
sometimes we study from the scriptures together, 
 and we always reflect on our faith and hope for good times ahead.
It's not the same as going inside, but it's close to His holy house,
and we'll take it!  

We came home and talked to Claire on our bed about her life.
We also looked up places on the map where we'd love to travel to,
we talked about her school plans, working, and to serving a mission.
She has a lot of options.
Christian and I talked extensively about Claire while at the temple.
She is such an incredible girl.  She is obedient and steadfast. 
She's dedicated and loves God.  It's inspiring.    
I know these quiet lazy afternoons with my first-born
 are fading as she matures and grows. 
 Her life will take-off someday and I
won't be able to go with her.  I am excited for her, but always get
a big ache in my heart when I think about it.

Monday, August 03, 2020


Tonight at dinner our family talked about how much of a bust 2020
has been, but I reminded the Nies that I think the best is yet to come.
(Remember when I used to call them my "Little Nies"?
They're not so little anymore.)
We have a wonderful family Back to School Feast to look forward to
and a beautiful theme to accompany it.   
It was funny how easily this year's theme came to me and Christian.
We felt so guided by the Lord on how to guide our family now and into the future.
I love the way God works.
We've got some challenges ahead but feel optimistic about the future.
(Look at my "Little Nies" in August of 2013 at the ranch)

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Home Church Week 21/New Layout

Our home church this week focused mostly on chastity 
and sexual purity and it wasn't even awkward at all!
We watched a few great videos the Church produced (age-appropriate for Lottie!),
and read what modern-day prophets are saying about sexual purity.
I love what President Ballard said on this subject:
“As our children grow, they need information taught by 
parents more directly and plainly about what is and is not appropriate. 
Parents need to … talk to [their children] plainly about sex
 and the teaching of the gospel regarding chastity.
 Let this information come from parents in the home in an appropriate way.”
 It was very positive and open and I got choked up
a few times because this is such a beautiful and powerful topic,
and I want my children to have the same respect and 
positive feelings about it too.
Over the weekend, Claire worked hard recreating my
 blog header and gave me a whole new look.  
And thanks to Mr. Nielson who helped with the computer 
side of it.  (I mostly just watched while eating chips and hummus).
For the most part, everything was handpainted and created by her, and
 good news, Claire has agreed to update it monthly!  
It's almost ready to debut! 

A hurricane has threatened Florida and the Carolinas.
On Saturday evening we gassed up the cars, bought more water,
and stocked up a few other essentials.
I've prayed so much and so hard these past few months
I often wonder if God is sick of me yet.
But I keep on feeling His love, so I keep praying.
 It's amazing.
Hello August, see ya later July!
Another calendar filled and ripped off our kitchen wall.

Thursday, July 30, 2020


This is the last day of July, where on earth did the month go?!
As we enter this hot month of August,
 I have to wonder what it will look like.
Chrisitan and I have a lot of decisions to make, especially with school
 (homeschool, online, other options) work, and other plans.
It's overwhelming and I have to admit, I have been
discouraged and worried about what the future will look like.
Today Christian and I lay on our bed and finalized the
 new upcoming 2020-2021 Back to School Feast theme.
 Immediately I felt peace and hope for the upcoming year and while
all the unknowns still feel unknown, at least I have peace and hope.
 Christian and I felt so inspired and guided by the Holy Ghost
as we chose our family's new theme.  It's exciting!

On Monday I am going to unveil my new nieniedialogues blog banner, and
I've asked my ultra-talented daughter, Claire, to design it.
She has monopolized our dining room table with her
 paints, markers, brushes, and paper for the past week designing
the new layout while listening to Taylor Swift's new album.
She has been researching and getting ideas from 
some of our favorite children's picture books.
It's going to be adorable!!

"Choosing to do what the Lord has defined as right will, 
in the long run, always lead to the best outcomes."

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


Dear Claire,
Thank you so much for recreating this fantastic photo of you when
you were four years old.
 It's the best, and I miss your cute little face!
* * 
Today, my brother, Topher would be 48 years old.
Happy birthday to you dear brother in heaven,
I miss and love you!
Another great article about Topher