Friday, February 21, 2020


All you need to know is that IT SNOWED.
But if you want to know how I feel about it, read on.
On Wednesday night before The White House went to sleep, 
I got a phone call from the school district informing us that 
 a storm was coming, and school would be canceled on Thursday.
You'd have thought the Nielson family won the lottery.
We were thrilled!
After that news, we Hygge-ed it up; lit candles, 
turned on the fireplace, pulled out the blankets
and watched a movie in the living room excited
to be able to sleep-in.
When we woke up it was a little cloudy, but nothing threatening.  
Around lunchtime, we noticed light flurries, 
then gradually it started snowing and it didn't stop.
I just received another phone call from the school district letting
us know that school is canceled AGAIN for Friday!  
I made a batch of liquid gold (hot chocolate), lit more candles around the 
living room, and as I type this we are on our second movie
(Return to Me & The Count of Monte Cristo),
and the snow is still coming down!
* * * * * * *

Spiritual Enlightenment: Nurturing Marriage
"Marriage brings greater possibilities for happiness than does 
any other human relationship. Yet some married couples fall 
short of their full potential. They let their romance become rusty,
 take each other for granted, allow other interests or clouds of
 neglect to obscure the vision of what their marriage really could be.
Marriages would be happier if nurtured more carefully."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

My Love

For Valentine's Day, Mr. Nielson and I decided to honor
 each other and our love by spending quality time together.
We decided to do something special every day during
the week leading up to Valentine's Day.
Things like: working out together in the mornings, lunch out, car drives, 
temple trips, getting treats, writing love notes, 
and going for walks together around the neighborhood.
(Barre3 Class together)

This year's Valentine's Day has been my favorite
 because of how deliberate we've been with our time together.
It's been so fun planning simple (naps), exciting (hotel in Raliegh), 
and quality (temple) activities to do together.
Also fun: we've been listening to all the love songs we claim as ours
since we met in 2000.
And for a special Valentine's Day treat,
Jane compiled them all on a playlist.
It's been so fun to listen to them and remember our life
and our love and everything good in our marriage.
Some songs made me weepy and nostalgic
thinking about Mr. Nielson and every bit of our life together:
the good, the bad, the hard, and the absolutely sublime.
(Honeymoon in the Bahamas 2000)

And I couldn't help but get these amazing Love coupons
for Mr. Nielson (they'll work nicely for me too!).
With this little pad of coupons, we can surprise
each other with goodness all year round!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sweet Jane!

Yesterday Jane turned 17!
Before bed, we sat down together and she told me the 17 top
favorite things she did to celebrate her special day:

1. Christian, Claire, Jane and I take an early morning 
Barre3 class together.  I had asked our favorite instructor Hope
 (who is one of the most beautiful genuine Southern souls I know,
and is someone Jane just loves and admires)
to make a playlist of Jane's favorite music for our workout
It was too perfect.  There were several times during class I 
wanted to cry, I felt super emotional.  
Mostly I felt so thankful for Jane and for Hope who loves
 Jane and appreciates her music.
(Tom Petty, The Killers, INXS...etc)

 Grecian bust, and Scandinavian cookbook
to name a few of her favorite presents.

3. Acai bowls after Barre3 class.

4. A nice long hot (unrushed) shower.

5. Playing her new My Chemical Romance vinyl record
from Claire.

6. Receiving so many nice messages from friends and family.

7. Spending a good portion of the day with just Claire
driving in the car listening to David Bowie sing "Major Tom".
(Jane LOVES Claire so much)

8. Seeing Little Women with Claire in an empty theater.

9. Recreating this photo 15 years ago in 2005 on Jane's 2nd birthday
in the Harvey Circle house in New Jersey:
10. Me waking her up in the morning and singing happy birthday.
(She really REALLY said that!)

11. A chilly, cloudy, rainy day.  Her favorite (and mine!)

12. Hanging out in the kitchen and eating the
 birthday cake frosting out of the mixer
13. Having dinner out with the family.

14. Blowing out her candles and making a wish.

15. Going around the table as a family to share why we love Jane.
16. Finding a special gift on the front porch WITHOUT a note.
The works of a secret admirer?  (I think so).

17. Missing school.

 I love you Jane!