I woke up on my 37th birthday with Mr. Nielson standing over my
bed holding a big steamy bowl of steal cut oats with peaches and cream on top.
I leisurely devoured breakfast, then did some yoga.
I could tell Mr. Nielson was keeping the Little Nies at bay downstairs
so I could have an unhurried morning.
Eventually, I let them in my room so they could all wish me a
happy birthday along with hugs and smooches.
All I really wanted for my birthday was some new furniture for our home
(which I ordered weeks ago), so I wasn't expecting anything.
However, I did want a new apron for my new life in North Carolina.
I believe a woman should have a new apron at least once a year
and especially if she moves into a new kitchen.
So Mr. Nielson took me to Anthropologie in Durham where
I am happy to announce that I picked out the cutest apron in the store.
We packed up the car and drove a few hours to Wilmington Beach,
where we set up camp for the rest of the day.
The weather couldn't have been better,
and the water was almost like getting into a bath.
We found a beach where dogs are welcome to roam and play.
Angus had the time of his life.
Everything was going wonderfully until 8:00 when I announced to the Little Nies:
"Ok, take your last swim because it's time to get dinner."
So, they all ran gleefully into the water and
Oliver dove into a wave with his hands behind his back,
(a beach rookie mistake).
He came out of the water, not breathing and as white as a ghost.
I was sure my son had broken his neck or back or was going to die.
Yes, die. I was sure he was going to die.
Mr. Nielson, who has broken his back twice, was very calm,
lifted him out of the water and onto the sand, were we examined him.
He offered a very comforting Priesthood blessing to Oliver
which calmed us all down.
Still, Jane and Lottie were crying, and Nicholas
was nervously walking around the beach with Angus.
We called our Dr. friend, who helped us assess Oliver's situation.
He was going to be alright.
We skipped dinner (and rinsed the sand off) and headed to a grocery store
for Motrin and sushi for the kids (I hate sushi).
We drove home with sand in every nook and cranny of our swimming suits,
sand in our shoes, in our toes, in our hair, ears, teeth, and car.
I am sure you can imagine what Angus looked like.
We got home before midnight.
The children showered, and I put Oliver to bed.
"I'm sorry I ruined your birthday, Mom"
Oliver said to me as I kissed his forehead.
"Oh bud, you didn't! I am sooooo grateful that you are OK.
I will always remember this birthday. Always."
And I will.
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UPDATE from Claire in Samoa:
Mixing cement, moving rocks, and digging holes:
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Spiritual Enlightenment: Young Women in the Work