Monday, June 13, 2022

Mountains to Climb (In Africa)

For the next few weeks, Christian and I will be joining
 a team of burn survivors, medical professionals, and donors to
 climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. 
Christian and I had to climb some pretty steep mountains in the burn center
 with some pretty amazing doctors, nurses, and staff by our sides
 keeping us alive and cheering us on. Climbing Kilimanjaro 
with those same people, and other burn survivors,
 will bring us full circle in our recovery. This time we’re climbing
 a mountain that we can choose to climb, 
and we’ll be cheering each other on. 
We’re so excited to conquer this mountain and prove to the
 the world that our scars can’t hold us back.

You can follow along daily with our climb HERE.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

My Little Oruguitas

I love the song Dos Oruguitas from the movie Encanto.  
It's such a beautiful song; I cry every time I hear it because
 it reminds me of my two beautiful girls, 
Claire and Jane, and our love story together.
They are my two caterpillars who are learning to grow,
change, blossom, and eventually fly away
as they serve missions, begin a new life, live away, 
leave the nest and the family, and find their own life journey.  
Ahhhhh, I can't!
This part:
"Don't you hold on too tight
Both of you know
It's your time to grow
To fall apart, to reunite
Wonders await you
Just on the other side"
Here are the full lyrics. 
 It's just. Too. PERFECT for how I feel:
Two oruguitas
In love and yearning
Spend every evening
And morning learning
To hold each other
Their hunger burning
To navigate a world
That turns, and never stops turning
Together in this world
That turns, and never stops turning
Two oruguitas
Against the weather
The wind grows colder
But they're together
They hold each other
No way of knowing
They're all they have for shelter
And something inside them is growing
They long to stay together
But something inside them is growing
Ay, oruguitas
Don't you hold on too tight
Both of you know
It's your time to grow
To fall apart, to reunite
Wonders await you
Just on the other side
Trust they'll be there
And start to prepare
The way for tomorrow
Ay, oruguitas
Don't you hold on too tight
Both of you know
It's your time to grow
To fall apart, to reunite
Wonders await you
Just on the other side
Trust they'll be there
Start to prepare
The way for tomorrow
Two oruguitas
Cocooned and waiting
Each in their own world
What happens after
The rearranging?
And so afraid of change
In a world that never stops changing
So let the walls come down
The world will never stop changing
Ay, mariposas
Don't you hold on too tight
Both of you know
It's your time to go
To fly apart, to reunite
Wonders surround you
Just let the walls come down
Don't look behind you
Fly till you find
Your way toward tomorrow.

I love you, Clane!!!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Good Kids

This afternoon after church Ollie was my ministering companion,
 and we visited a dear sister at her apartment complex.  
This time Oliver prepared and blessed the sacrament for her 
since she is homebound.
I've seen this done many times and have even had 
the sacrament blessed and handed to me in my own home, 
but watching my own son give the sacrament to my friend was an honor.

I am so thankful for good children who take seriously and understand 
 their covenants and responsibilities to the Lord.
And, who comes with me to minister to my sisters. 

Friday, June 03, 2022

Stay in the Tent!

This weekend the Nielsons went camping in the beautiful smoky mountains
 to celebrate the end of school (which, for Lottie, is actually on the 8th).
 And we tried out of Nie-Pee for the first time; 
let me tell you, it was EPIC!  
Before heading out, we made one last stop at Krispy Kreme for
a few dozen donuts because roasting donuts by a campfire is amazing.
Also, it was national donut day which also meant free donuts.
The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold.
We set up camp and ate the veggie tinfoil dinners I had put together 
earlier that day.  We ate more donuts and roasted marshmallows, then 
had a little fireside chat.
We talked about our new tent and how putting our sleeping bags
 close to the center of the tent
will protect us from water or dew that could get on the sides 
and get us wet and cold.
This is also a metaphor for staying close to God, His gospel, and His people.
We read in the Old Testament that tents were tabernacles for the people,
places of refuge and worship.
Similarly, today we find refuge and peace by staying close 
to the Lord, centering our lives around Him.
Through covenants, we can enter God's tent and receive 
the blessings of His love and mercy, a place 
"for a defense and for a refuge from the storm."
We want our kids in the tent, especially in the center of the tent
where they can focus on the Savior, hear his guidance, and love,
where keeping His commandments and where following His prophets is easiest.
We know lots of people who are in the tent but insist on staying near
the edge where outside influences continue to sway them, making
it difficult for them to keep the commandments and hear the voice
of the Lord.
They're not happy and always seem conflicted.
We don't have to be conflicted.  We can be happy, we can have peace,
and the faith and confidence in God and His plan for us.
"We need to stay close to the Lord every day if we are to
 survive the adversity that we all must face."
In the morning, we went on a 5-mile hike and
Christian and I packed our bags full of gear for our Killi prep.
We saw spiders, remarkable rocks, a tree with bear scratches, annoyed each other,
and got lunch and ice cream on the way home.
Next stop:

Thursday, June 02, 2022

But I wasn't in my car...

Today was Lottie's field day at school.  Ahh, the end of the year festivities. 
Good times!  I loaded her with sunscreen,
 packed her bag with snacks and water, and then
sent her in the car with Jane, who dropped her off before work.
I had an appointment in Chapel Hill that morning 
and couldn't be a parent volunteer
for the much-anticipated field day.
And she desperately wanted me to.
I'll send treats, money, or whatever; I just hate field day!
As I was driving home from my appointment later that morning
I started to feel guilty for being the worst mom and not volunteering
at field day, so I decided to ride to her school to see if I could see her.
The parking lot was closed off and surrounded by a few police cars 
guarding the park since there was a
strict no parent or car rule.
But I wasn't in my car; I was on the motorcycle and was easily able to
go to another area of the parking lot and squeeze my way through 
the trees just to see if I could see Lottie, and sure enough, she was
practically right in front of me, just
about to embark on the giant bouncy house slide.
I yelled to her, and she yelled back and pointed at me, telling all 
her friends that I was her mom on the motorcycle!
She came running up to me, and we hugged; then, I could see out of the corner
of my eye, a police officer headed my way.
I told Lod I had to hurry and go, and she hugged me again 
and thanked me for coming.
"Maggie, this is my mom," she yelled to her friend who
was with another group of kids watching us.
I quickly fixed her hat and added one more blob of sunscreen under her eyes
then jetted out of there just as the officer was getting closer.

It turned out that I'm not the worst mother in the world,
but perhaps the coolest?

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Probably would

 Happy June!
One of my favorite things about living on the golf course is when
it's dusk, and all the golfers are gone; we can go outside and putt
around on the 6th hole.
Tonight was extra special because Gigs was working and called me to tell me
he would be driving past the house to do his end-of-the-day sweep-through.
We all ran outside just as he zipped past us in his cart.
I yelled,
"Gigs, Gigs!!!! I'm coming, wait, WAAAIIITTTT!"
He zipped right on past me with a wave.
And this was the only photo I got:
Later I asked him why he didn't stop, and he told me
that he was with his buddy, and he knew I'd probably make
a big deal about him working, and I'd probably take tons of photos,
and probably make him feel stupid.

All factual statements, and I couldn't argue with him.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Dad! I went kneeboarding again!

 To celebrate this memorable Memorial Day holiday,
we went to the lake, boating with our good friends.
The water was so warm and the weather amazing.
We went pretty early and beat the crowds, and perhaps the
the very best part of the trip was when I fulfilled the dream 
to kneeboard again!!! 
The last time I was on a kneeboard was Lake Powell, 2000
when Christian and I were dating.
Kneeboarding seems like an 80's sport, and maybe it is,
but it's so fun, too! And I've been doing it since I was five.
My dad was tireless with us kids, taking us out and encouraging us
to keep trying. Those were some of my favorite memories as a child.
Twenty-two years (and an airplane crash) later, I got back on
and was doing 360s like the good 'ole days!
Laughing aside, right after the accident, I had made a list of all
the things I wanted to reclaim and do again because I was determined NOT
to let the accident dictate my life and my abilities.
There are only a few left on my list of about 75 things.
Kneeboarding was on there. 
Well, it ain't any more!
Now I have bruises and cuts up and down
 my paper-thin skin knees and shins.
But it was totally worth it.
Next time I will wear my wet suit.
Because there will be the next time.
(And someone to take my dang photo!)

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