Thursday, July 14, 2022

Moving and Mowing

We moved some more today,
AKA: plopped all our belonging into the front room of Stillested
because each room has some kind of construction going on.
Christian put up the lighting in the kitchen and dining room
and I am not happy about the alien-looking light over the dining room table.
It's been a few days, and I don't have the heart to tell him that I hate it
because he did some serious modifications 
to the light to make it work in that space.   
It reminds me of the lights hanging up in the Waffle House.
I've never actually eaten in that restaurant, but I have driven by.

We also bought a ride-on lawn mower and
Gigs took to it, and now I think he'll be the all-time lawn boy.
We have a large lawn now, and here in North Carolina, sometimes you need 
to mow the lawn twice a week.
He likes to meticulously mow straight lines 
or sometimes a pattern that would make Yankee Stadium proud.
I think it's a meditative moment that invites him to feel peace.
It's very Zen.
I think he likes the alone time and, of course, being outside
is a huge plus.
Sometimes when I watch him out the window, 
I can tell that he's happy and calm
by the way, he sips his Coke with one hand
 while driving with the other.
Or the way he casually watches a bird fly overhead.  
He's in his element.
He reminds me of my dad, who loves mowing the lawn, too.
When I was a little girl, I remember he'd wake up grumpy on Saturdays 
but then go outside to mow the lawn and come back in a totally different mood.
"Who wants Mcdonald's for lunch!?"

Also, today, Jane got her missionary nametags in the mail!
It's really real!  You can't stop Sister Nielson!

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Patriotic Pioneers

 Stillested is a mess.  Construction (and dust) covers the
 whole interior as we revamp the bathrooms and the kitchen.  
We're still living at a hotel in Durham while construction workers 
tear up and dirty inside.  
We aim to have at least one bathroom working before Claire gets home.

The construction dudes better work fast because the Nielson
have some significant changes coming up, and I'm feeling a little bit 
stressed out about it all.

I'm afraid to say, but the way they work, I don't think anything
will be done until after Christmas.
But I did happen to find our 4th of July buntings even though
we're a few weeks late.
We Utahans (and members of the Church) celebrate our pioneer heritage
on July 24th, so in that case, I'm right on time!
Christian happily put them up for me,
and it's starting to look like a Nielson home!

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Nielsons: OUT

Today we moved out completely.
After several days of slowly moving out room by room,
dragging this on, we finally cleaned up, locked up, and left.
Stillested is only 10 minutes from The House on the 6th.
I wasn't sad.  I don't think any of us were, really.
We're so excited about our new adventures in our new home!
Late tonight I went to the house with Christian, 
and he set up our bed.
Unfortunately, after he set it up, 
we piled it high with our clothes and more stuff.
I wish we could have gotten inside it.
I fear we are very far away from that night!
Every nook and cranny in that house is stuffed!
Praying for our contractors to hurry, hurry!

After, we drove to Chapel Hill and checked into a hotel for
the next week while renovations continue.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Take a day off.

 Today was kind of the calm before the storm, actually in my life,
 the "storm" has been swirling around for some time.  
It's just been so busy and chaotic.
But I let the kids spend the day doing whatever they wanted
before we start moving out heavier things tomorrow.
It will be all hands on deck for the next few days.
Ollie took his motorcycle out, and Gigs worked in his room, 
preparing to move all his critters and bugs.
Jane worked at Barre3 most of the day, and Lottie and I 
went out for treats and organized her room for the move.
We listened to her Taylor Swift playlist, and she took photos
of the house with her polaroid.
I don't think we'll be able to bring Claire home to Stillsted for
her first night home.  The renovations are moving slowly, and 
we're weeks away from having the bathroom done.
We'll have to stay in a hotel for a few days.
We're not too happy about that, but nice clean sheets
and fresh towels on the daily sound like a 
little happy indulgence for me.
Today they delivered the fridge and the oven!
And our dump pile out front is getting bigger and bigger!

Saturday, July 09, 2022

Moving on...slowing down.

 Today we started moving.
So many boxes. So much stuff.
Yes, we've moved a lot, and I don't love it.
But, I am so thankful for good kids who are game for it.
They never complain, and they're happy and ready to help.
They give me so much hope.
But Lottie wasn't feeling good today.
Last night she thought she was going to throw up.
Honestly, I think she just needed me to snuggle her
and give her some attention.
Between Stillested and moving, it's been hard, and we're
not connecting like we usually do.
Lottie is so tethered to me and my emotional state.
She knows and senses my stress.
I'm juggling a lot right now, and so is she.
Definitely, a reminder for me to slow down.

Friday, July 08, 2022

Selfishly Sad

 This morning Jane and I took a Barre3 class together,
then drove to the nursery and bought 15 hydrangea pots
and dozens of lavender plants for the front yard.
After packing the car, we grabbed lunch together.
Before heading home, we picked up the invitations
 we had made for her co-workers, inviting them
to come to church and hear her give a message about Jesus Christ
 and the missionary work she'll be doing for the next 18 months in Portugal.
Claire will also share her stories of faith and testimony while
living in Brazil at the same meeting.
It's going to be an EPIC DAY!
On the way home, I felt a little sad.
These days hanging out with her is becoming few for us.
She's been my buddy for so long, and soon it will end
as she moves on and leaves us for Portugal.
For the Lord.
I am so proud of her but also selfishly so sad, too.
I felt this way with Claire...
 but look, Claire will be home in a few short weeks!
I can do this again!
Together we will plant these pots in the Stillested soil
and I know I'll think of her every time I see them.

Thursday, July 07, 2022

I love boys!

 I am so grateful for BOYS!
My boys are such a HUGE help!  
There are some jobs I just can't physically do,
my hands can't grasp tools very well, and Ollie single-handed
hacked away at the 15-year-old iris bulbs in the front garden bed.
It was A TON of work, and there must have been 100 bulbs.
He hacked, pushed, pulled, and hacked some more
until all the bulbs were all out.  
The boys helped me unload the new soil into the beds.
They make me laugh so much, too.
Gigs especially is so funny, and Ollie thinks I am funny
and laughs at me, and then I feel cool.
I wonder if my mom ever felt this way about me.
The boys also helped Christian install some
of the new lighting inside.
I'm not crazy about the light I chose for the dining room.
The boys don't know it yet, but I'm going to ask them to take it
down. But I'll wait until tomorrow to do that.
One thing about Stillested is the internet is super spotty!
We're having a more reliable provider installed, 
but it won't happen for another month,
so the Nies can't do much on their phones, which means I
get their undivided attention and help!

A win for mom!

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Goodbye Pizza

 Today we stayed at The House on the 6th so we could start packing and 
preparing for our move.
We have SO much to do, and I am having a tough time
focusing on our jobs at hand because it's so much.
Move, pack, stack, go through, get rid of, repeat.
It's exhausting.
 Jane made dough, and we decided to 
make pizza in the backyard at this house one last time.
Christian is a pizza oven expert and has the pizzas timed
perfectly for sensational crust and flavor!
I'm enjoying our family pizza nights.
I'm going to miss this house.
It's been so good to us, with lots and lots of room
and wonderful landlords.
It was a pleasure being there.
Today Gigs let me ride his tricked-out bike,
and since it's a trick bike, I did some impressive tricks on it.
He wasn't impressed but did take my photo for his Be Real account.
Kids these days.

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

A Nielson Staple

A Nielson staple is a couple good well, built, sturdy porch swings.
Every house we've ever lived at has had one or two dangling
from the porch ceiling.
And they've all been handmade by Christian (and the boys).

Today the boys put up the swings on the porch on Stillested.  
They're heavenly!
NOW I feel at home!

Monday, July 04, 2022

Happy 4th of July 2022!!

Last month we reserved a campsite in Pisgah National Forest
in Ashville to spend our 4th of July.
Yesterday as we were planning our day, I broke down and told everyone
that I was feeling a little overwhelmed and felt like we should
stay home and work on Stillested and pack up the other house.
I know, I know I am such a killjoy.
Everyone was furious at me (especially Jane since 
she has limited days before embarking to Portugal for her mission).
So we stayed home.
Everyone was really thrilled. (Not).
We started pulling out the front yard garden beds.
Christian added handles to the kitchen cupboards.
At the end of the day grabbed dinner and lit more fireworks off.
It ended up being a fun day. Well, I think.
Exhausting but fun.
I have a feeling I'm not going to be a very fun mom 
in these coming weeks, maybe even months!
I'm going to be the focused, no-fun mom.
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