Saturday, January 27, 2007

Words of Affirmation

Things I have learned in my first three weeks back at school:
*Snow can represent Irish Patriotism. (as long as I can prove it)
*3+5=5+3= Associative law of Addition
*What I feel when I read a poem or a story has no relevance in New Critisism.
*There is such a thing as 'New Critisism" and it's not new. It 'began' in 1920!
*I like the essay by George Orwell, "Politics and Literature" (I recommend it highly).
*To be 'good' a poem or short story must include Music, Diction, Metaphor, and Compactness.
*An acronym for the above information is MDMC.
Need more to remember it? Try this: My Dear Monkey Child.
*A Wake is more of a party than a funeral.
*Passive voice is a way to avoid responsibility or avoid identifing the responsible party.
*Pied means Multicolored.
*Math is just one big puzzle, if you are in the right mind set.
*I can earn money by taking good notes.
*My brain can process math. (No, I didn't know this before!)
*What the literary community calls the "Best Poem Ever Written" is what I would call "Blah, Blah Blah". (It's actual title is "Canonized".)
*By liking "The Heart of Darkness" I am branded as having a lack of taste.
*By liking Firefly I am branded a Browncoat. That brand I don't mind.
*Superman is symbolic of America. Kryptonite is symbolic of communism.
*Katherine Mansfeild is my kind of writer.
*James Joyce is not.
*An Elephant can represent Great Briton. Or Tyrany. Or Burma. Or anything, really. . .
*I can calculate the number of dots around a line of squares using a simple equation. Now if only i could figure out that simple equation . . .
*I love to write with a pencil.
*Scarves aren't worn primarily to keep one warm about the neck.
*Wearing headphones does not spare you from conversation.
*The Express goes to the Dee Events Center from the LL building.
*The SS building is a cruel joke. I am quite sure there is a man somewhere laughing wickedly while we STILL struggle to find our classrooms on time.
*"A poem should not mean, but BE."
*Alliteration can be found anywhere in the word, not just the first letter.
*Assonance is different than Alliteration. I didn't even know Assocance existed at all!
*If you mulitply any two whole numbers where one is an even number, the product will be an even number.
*Always save your documents. Twice.
*Always do all the research. Count on no one else. If you have done it all for nothing - at least it was done.
*Being "Wound up" is funny in some circles.
*People think I'm smart. And funny. And wonderwoman.
*I respond to words of affermation - even if three weeks ago i didn't know the person and my life doesn't hinge on their approval or disapproval, I love hearing how great I am.
***I love school!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Here is my Grinner. In a back pack in the snow - still she smiles and lights up the world.
P.S. What color are her eyes?
This is the man we all know and love. This is Caleb Nelson, handsome, regal, contained and mellow as the day is long . . .

But when Caleb and I were on our first date, I expressed that I was having a deja-vu. He turned to me and said, "Was this part of it?" and pulled a hilariously animated face. Some people, when they hear that story, cannot imagine my husband doing such a thing. Now I have the proof. Who was that masked man?!
Hooked on Phonics worked for me!

What is this thing on my head?My precioussssss.

I have only one question for you: How can I keep from singing? Beautiful River with her beautiful mother in the beautiful cold.

One of the perks of Caleb's new schedule is that he has the same days off every week. We took advantage of one to go to the park as a family. Sure there was snow on the ground, it was overcast and cold, but when has that ever stopped a True Nelson?! Liam loves the snow, as you can see. He is happiest when he is a little cold and holding either snow or his new favorite winter marvel: an icicle.
How adorable is my son?!

Monday, January 8, 2007

First Day of School

The last time I had a 'First day of school', I was twenty years old. My hair was black, my skin was still not quite recovered from the self tanner I had applied all summer long, and I weighed a healthy 125 lbs. I was a vice president in a committee at the LDS institute (though no one had told me it was the least popular committee), and had auditioned for the Folk Dance Team.
I don't remember the 'First Day of School' that year. But I remember how it felt walking to the Institute so early in the morning, there weren't any cars around. I remember feeling lucky and blessed and special. I had a sense of pride knowing that I had earned the money that paid for this sememster of education. I was proud of the way I looked. I remember practically (and sometimes literally) dancing from class to class across campus. I remember meeting so many people I couldn't remember their names ten minutes later. I remember looking for an attractive mate. I remember looking at boys looking at me. I remember most of all that for the first time in my life, I didn't care what they thought. I was so happy to be me in college and learning.
This "First Day" was different. My hair is a natural light brown. My skin is porcelain white. I weigh over 200 lbs. I have recieved a Pell Grant which pays for me to attend college. I'm married. I have two children. And yet, there was something deeply similar in these two "First Days".
The similarity is this: I still love to learn.
I sat in a math class - A MATH CLASS! - and was excited at the possibility that I might know more when I walk out than I did when I walked in. Most of the credit goes to the teacher, but I also give credit to my nature. I'm so grateful that I love to learn.
I was walking along familiar paths today. Paths I haven't trod in almost five years, and I felt reconnected with a simpler and purer part of myself. No doubt it is the same part that wanted this earthly experience: the part that yearns for moments of quiet, moments of beauty, moments to enjoy a good walk from one place to another, and moments of insight. How could I have forgotten this part of me?
How grateful I am for the sacrifices of my husband and my family that I may find rediscover these things. It is the wisdom of my husband that I have tried again. May I always remember that although it was mainly his idea, this was entirely my choice.
I look forward to my "Second Day of School" and all the ones that follow.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Remembering the Year

Lauging with my siblings.
Aren't my parents the cutest? I love when they make faces like this!
I enjoyed reading the memories of Judy and Teisha of the past year. So here are a few of the things I recall . . .
Throwing up in my downstairs bathroom and first ‘meeting’ my daughter - only six weeks pregnant as I was.
Liam taking care of me while I was sick.
Hearing his little voice say, "Mommy, lay down."
Judy taking care of me when I had migraine headaches.
Bob taking care of me when I had migraine headaches.
Ariane taking me to the hospital, stroking my hair and telling me everything was going to be okay.
Jeff playing with Liam when I was sick
Caleb making me a delicious dinner and watching "Cinderella Man" together.
Going to Wolf Creek for our anniversary where it was so cold, our electric door froze OPEN. Poor Liam.
Playing Trivial Pursuit with Caleb on my dad’s lap top.
Watching Liam play in the snow while Caleb grilled Salmon.
Finding out that my baby was a girl.
Camping’ with our ward in Mantua. Washing Liam because they said the water was contaminated; walking with Kaylee to the country store for some penny candy. Playing Catch Phrase with eight or ten couples from the ward until midnight. Sleeping in the car - at five months pregnant. And it was freezing.
Sitting around the Nelson living room while we all went through some names for the baby. River Afton. Catherine Cait. River Nylie. River Ayn. Laef Canyon - oh wait, that wasn’t me.
Arriving in Steamboat Springs, CO at sunset.
Reading books out loud to Caleb.
The drive to Bethany’s.
Visiting Bethany: delicious food, Trivial Pursuit, the Zoo, the unfinished park in their back yard, taking Liam to Cherry Creek Reservoir where he played fetch wearing only a shirt, a diaper and a hat.
Seeing John’s home-in-construction on our way out of Colorado.
Taking Liam’s picture on the Sinclair dinosaur at Little America.
My uncle Wilford passed away.
Judy’s voice when she called me about Teisha’s accident.
Seeing Teisha in the hospital for the first time.
Caleb making her laugh even though it hurt.
Seeing Teisha in the Wasatch Center for the first time, and the second and the third.
The heat of the summer!
Not being able to leave the house.

Walking to the park with Liam before the day got hot.
Wading our feet in the stream.
Sitting in the green lounge chair at the bottom of the stairs in Bob and Judy’s house because that’s where it was coolest.
Reading the Left Behind series.
Reading the prequels to Dune.
Reading Rebecca again. And loved it again for different reasons.
Seeing the fireworks with Liam and Teisha and Aaron in a big field.
The night we heard fireworks going off in our neighborhood. Although Liam was already in bed, we put some clothes on and I carried him out onto the lawn where we watched two sets of neighbors
setting off firework after firework.
Missing the Michaelson and Meyers Family Reunions.
Spending time at Heather and Rob’s. The girls playing with Liam and letting me sleep in Amberle’s cold room. Quincy playing Barbie for me to watch.
Playing Settlers with Michaela.
Playing Bohnanza with Teisha and Aaron at various times throughout the year. Playing Blockus with Teisha, Aaron and Caleb.
The one day that Oakley, Landon, Liam and I ‘played’ Blockus.
The day my daughter was born.
Everyone who stayed around the hospital for varying times during the sixteen hours that I waited to have the C-Section.
Recieving a blessing from Caleb and my Dad.
The doctors playing country music during the surgery. Laughing through the whole thing.
The first time I heard her cry.
The first time I held her.
The first time I saw Caleb holding her. He was enamored.
The first time each member of the family met her.
The first rain storm after she was born.
Ariane holding her for three hours while we talked.
The first visit from my Dad in the hosptial
Deciding on the name River Grace Nelson.
The first time Liam saw her and was so confused that the baby wasn’t in my stomach any more.
The first time I walked after her birth.
The first shower after her birth. It was just as great as I remembered.
The drive home with my new daughter in the car. I was looking around at the world thinking, "How can this all be exactly the same as it was three days ago. I have a new child! You all should be celebrating with me!"
Teisha and Aaron moving to Logan.
Comforting my mom when things in her play went awry.
The first time Liam kissed River.
The first time River smiled.
The first time River laughed. At Liam.
The first time each of my Grandmother’s held River.
Caleb in Scarlet Pimpernel.
Calling Bob one night, just because I felt I should, and telling him to rest after he mentioned that his arm hurt.
Hearing about Bob’s heart attack.
Visiting Bob in the hospital.
The night a few weeks later that Bob called so late that I was sure he was in trouble. I rushed up to the house with my kids in tow, and ran up the stairs afraid that something was wrong. There was Bob, laying in bed watching a concert on T.V. I can’t express my relief. I kissed him on the forehead and told him that from now on, he is to leave me a message if I don’t answer.
Having dinner with friends from Scarlet Pimpernel.
Playing cards with Grandma Betty.
Taking pictures for my Mom’s plays.
Writing emails to my brother while he was in New York.
Walking to the park with my kids.
Suddenly being able to cook anything and have it taste delicious!
Reading the last three Dune books.
Caleb getting the regular position at the post office.
Caleb and I watching 24, movies and enjoying eachother’s company.
Thanksgiving with my parents. I didn’t make the turkey, but I was able to give my mom a restful day and did most of the cooking.
Walking with Liam through the lights at Temple Square.
The wonderful Anniversary dinner at Taunya’s.
The first time River sat up.
Making Favorite Potatoes with my Grandma Helen.
Having everyone love my homemade bread!
Christmas festivities at Kira’s.
My first ward choir Christmas program performance. Angels attended. So did my family.
Christmas caroling with the Steven’s family.
Seeing John and Emily for the first time in seven months.
Spraining my ankle Christmas morning and hearing Liam yell, "Mom, I"m coming!" as he jumped from bed and ran to my side. Once there he held my hand and said, "Mom, calm down. Deep breath."
My Aunt Donna passing away. I didn't cry the first day, but couldn't seem to stop crying the few days after that.
Playing SkipBo with my Mom and watching Buffy until midnight New Years Eve.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Christmas 2006

Twas the morning of Christmas
And all through my house
came screams of poor Chelsea
That scared even the mouse
of her son who woke with a start
and yelled, "I'm coming" -
A child with such heart.
Caleb came too and so started the day
Of German pancakes and presents
Liam shouting "Hooray!"
at gifts of Curious George,
Cars, Lift the Flap and such,
though his favorite was easily
the Spiderman Umbrella which he liked very much.
Bob and Judy came
with a warm howdy do,
Bob ate a pancake with cream,
Even Judy did, too.
We talked and we shared,
the parentals encouraged
dear Caleb and me, we, feeling quite nourished -
said our farewells and with hugs then we parted
Realizing this day of giving had just started.
A shower and some clothes found us soon at another
tree packed with gifts at the house of my mother.
There we sat and we laughed, we aimed and we threw
wrapping paper at Grandma - quite a merry crew.
We giggled and chuckled - there were squeals of pure glee
although the loudest of all were from me,
and all realized as we sat there, the loot only half looted
that we were sure glad to be rooted
In famlies that live by this thing we all share
This thing that makes every last one of us care
About the health of another, if they're happy or sad
If they move or they stay, what makes them feel glad.
I know the past year has been rough on us all,
plagued as it were by pain from a fall
from a horse, or a stair or a fast motorcycle
a widow maker or things of the like'll
just make us more grateful for all that we got
Now, give it a moment and spare it a thought
For look at the things that have made us some smarter -
It takes 64 stitches to fix up Teisha, for starters -
We're more aware of our friendships and such
and although we don't get to see some siblings as much
as others we know that our hearts are bound, can't you see
By great love of a super great loving family.
So Merry Christmas, Glad tidings and lots of good cheer
Have a prosperous and suffering free Happy New Year!