Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!!

 McKay was up bright and early before 6am. Daddy 30 min before he started waking up the other two kids.

                                                              No ready to be up!

                                                   We woke some kids up a little to early.

Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm not crazy!!

So yesterday, Michael tells me, in the afternoon he is going to be doing Clinic and he was going to be doing some OMM, it's the stuff DO's do, with another Doctor.  I asked him if he is not to busy can I come in and you can learn some more stuff on me by this other doctor, he thought it was a great idea. Because I have back problems and he has tried.
The doctor looks at my back, thinks I need an x-ray because my back indented so much. Before I now it I become a patient. They make me a chart.Michael watched kids while I got the X-ray. It was great I didn't have to go back or get a babysitter. They look at my back nothing, thought maybe a slipped-disc. It looked pretty good. So they get the radiology report back.
Michael calls me, "Well I'm holding your radiology report in my hand."
 "Anything exciting?"
"Well sort of.."
"You have a kidney stone. And I feel really bad because, well you kept telling me you were in pain but I kept telling you were OK. Sorry."
I'm laughing the whole time.
Like a few weeks ago I was having lots of pain and I jokingly said it's probably my kidney, my kidneys are failing. He just rolled his eyes and said it was probably my period coming or gas. He believed I was having pain but just didn't know what it could be.

I just laughed and said see I'm not crazy!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Getting big!

Grant went in for his 2 month check up.
12 lbs ( 37%)  and 24 inches (70%).
Head: 15.5 inches (20%)

Monday, July 22, 2013


Three years ago today, Christina delivered our second son. He never took a breath, never opened his eyes, but his impact on our lives has not faded.

As I sit tonight, studying neonatal resuscitation in preparation for an exam on Wednesday, I am awash in emotion. This is a strange week for us. McKay turned 4 two days ago. Grant celebrated 1 month today. Even Talmage had a milestone this week, as he hit 18 months last Tuesday. All of these things, all celebrations of varying magnitudes, each cast strange contrast on this shadowy week. They are all reminders that life moves forward. Always. And that is both good and bad.

Still, tonight, it isn’t sorrow I am feeling. Homesickness, maybe. But mostly, I think, gratitude. Christina’s sisters and their beautiful children took time today to visit and decorate Connor’s grave. This action, as simple as it may seem, brought an immense amount of love and comfort into our home and our hearts. It isn’t always easy to be so far away from home, especially at times like this. But I am happy to report that distance doesn’t dim a family’s love. I am so grateful that others remember Connor as an important part of our family, too.

Thank you.

Photo: Happy Birthday Connor!Photo: Wishing Connor a Happy Birthday!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Grant Charles

 Grant C. Nielson was born on June 22, 2 1/2 weeks early
He was only 8lbs! And 19.5 inches long

This isn't the best picture of Grant, he is purple because he is so busied. He is a lot cuter now!
Love my boys!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rapid City

We were sitting in the parking lot at the zoo – Christina, the two boys and I. I had met Christina there after a short morning on service with a gastroenterologist. It was hot; like Phoenix hot. A massive miscommunication had relocated our small e-mail opening ceremony here, and after a brief but intensely frustrating technological argument with Christina’s new smart phone, I got the e-mail open.

Rapid City, it said. Rapid City – as in South Dakota.

We sat quietly for a moment while I stared at the tiny screen: rereading, processing. Then we went to McDonald’s.

“The Match” had dealt us something of a surprise. OK, a huge surprise. It certainly wasn't Plan A. Or Plan B. Plan F? Maybe.

“The Match” is a system of placing potential medical school graduates into post-graduate training spots, commonly known as “residency.” This moment had been near my mind for well over a year, with the anxiety of this day weighing on mind since early in my third year of training. Preparations for this moment had taken me to Indiana and Pennsylvania; to Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho. It had taken me away from my home and family for nearly six months. And just like that, it was over.  Match Day had gotten the final word, and there was no room for argument. Rapid City it would be.

I found it interesting, on a personal level, that despite all the preparation, all the travel, all the anxiety, I had a difficult time praying about the Match. I can’t explain it. When I prepared for my personal prayers, the words wouldn’t seem to participate in the journey from heart to brain to tongue. Finally, in the last few days prior to the Match, I stammered out a combination of words that made the trip: “Please bless that I may end up in the place I am supposed to be; the place where Thou would have me be.”

And with those words stumbling out during prayers, should I really be surprised?

Our family visiting Mount Rushmore during November 2012.
Rewind to November. Christina and the boys had patiently endured a road trip stretching into its sixth day when we crossed into South Dakota. We had endured horrendous Wyoming wind, a hotel door that locked us out without all our belongings, and car sickness; not to mention all the frustrations of two young boys cooped up and strapped down in car seats. Each stop on the journey seemed to be further away from where we were hoping to be – until the sun rose on the second largest city in South Dakota. We found a beautiful city set in the wonderland of the Black Hills. Though lacking in the majesty (or magnitude) of the Rocky Mountains, the Black Hills carry a unique beauty all their own. We found Rapid City to be a family-friendly paradise filled with pleasant people next to a wildly inviting outdoor playground. During our one-day visit, we saw deer, big horn sheep and mountain goats. (Side note: Rapid City only made the list of possibilities because I saw it on an Outdoor Life ranking of the best cities for outdoorsmen – it was No. 2.) Swirled into this location is a residency fitting nearly all the criteria I had set forth when I began to search for the perfect residency.

Two rams pose for pictures during our first visit to Rapid City.
Talmage at the "Art Walk" in Rapid City.
Time marched forward, and though we remembered Rapid City fondly and continued to discuss South Dakota as a place to consider for a future home, we also managed to find reasons to move it down our “Rank List.” Among other reasons, it is difficult to travel to Rapid City, and when we learned our family would be growing this summer, the desire to be close to family grew stronger and stronger. At the time the rank list was sent into the Match Masters, Rapid City had found its way down to No. 6.

One of many beautiful views of the Black Hills.
Fast forward now, to the present. We have settled in a home in a quiet Rapid City neighborhood near the hospital, have enjoyed multiple trips to the Black Hills, been to the Reptile Gardens and the Rapid City Aquatic Center, toured Custer State Park and evened happened upon a small herd of elk. Our garden is planted and green, and flowers are blooming in the yard. We have found friends in the church and the residency, and each day Rapid City begins to feel more like home.

Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park.
A Canadian goose at Sylvan Lake.
A buffalo grazing in Custer State Park.
A ram grazing near Keystone in May 2013.
The "Profile View" of Mount Rushmore.
One of many views of Mount Rushmore as seen from Iron Mountain Road.
Residency training starts a week from tomorrow. Not every day is perfect. Sometimes we still feel horrendously isolated. Sometimes I doubt, and sometimes I wonder. Some days I would like to wake up and have the plan in front of me; to have that moment when I see clearly that this is, in fact, the place where we are supposed to be. But I know, from experience, that while the knowledge will probably come, it probably won’t happen in one day. Instead, in three years, when we set out yet again on another adventure, I’m sure I will be able to look back and say: Thank you, Heavenly Father, you knew better than I did.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Talmage's Caterpillar party/ 1st birthday

I used grapes instead, mainly because I didn't want to waste my money on something many won't eat.

 Talmage feeding himself grapes. Talmage was making McKay very upset about eating the grapes. McKay was not a happy camper for the party. He fell asleep right before the party on the floor, when he woke up there were a bunch of people at the house and he doesn't do well when he has late naps.

This isn't the cutest picture of Tallie, but it's a good picture of his shirt I made him. He also had a lot grapes in his mouth.

 Michael spent a long time on Talmage's cake, he made it from scratch and tried a new recipe for the frosting. I think it turned out great! It was great having his help, couldn't of done it with out him!
 Now that is cake!

 Wait this is all I get!

Talmage got lots of fun stuff for his birthday: New clothes, a cape, some puzzles and books.

I'll have to post the gift bag, don't have any pictures of it. We did some activities too.

This a a great theme to do right after the Christmas, because a lot of the stuff is red and green. I hit the clearance racks after Christmas,  it worked out great.

I got some of my ideas from other blogs and some stuff from my head. I'll post later some of the blogs I used to print stuff from.