June 27, 2009

Noah's First "Real" Haircut

Let me be honest.  I am just not in the mood to write.  But what a dilemma this poses.  It is currently my time for "hobby time."  For the first time in weeks (and that's no exaggeration), I have finally been granted some time for myself.  Lest I leave my husband sounding like a controlling, fascist dictator-type, we've been traveling and visiting family and there just hasn't been much alone time for anyone.  (Which I have finally matured enough to realize that I need to keep my sanity.)  So nows my time.  That means time for what, oh the luxuries!  There always seems to be a list a mile long and sometimes it's hard to prioritize just what needs to be crammed into my sacred "alone time."  And then, what do I do when I'm attempting to write more and I just don't feel in the groove at the scheduled time?

The answer: leave you with pictures instead!  After all, isn't a picture worth a thousand words, anyway?  And let me just say, I have some good ones from this month.  I won't bombard you with all of them at once- I don't want to pull out all my best material at once! :)  But here are the first from the beginning of this month, and in the next couple of days I'll try and post more from our travels home.

This was the before look.  Just call him "Birdman".  I can almost smell the product in his hair just through the picture!  This was taken one week before I finally found time (ie: caved in) and got him a real haircut.

Concentrating oh so hard for this haircut!

Haircut chairs have come so far since I was a kid!

The after look

June 6, 2009

Redefining Normal

For those of you who tune into this blog for updates on our family, kids, and current pictures, let me first apologize and “redefine normal” for you. Initially when I started this blog nearly two years ago, the intent was for me to keep all of you out of town friends and family current on our family. It was mostly a place to put brief glimpses of what we were up to, with as many pics as were pertinent. And now, after two years, I have learned several things. #1) I’m not so great at keeping this as updated as I had once envisioned. #2) I have very few hobbies of my own these days. #3) I miss writing. #4) Why not solve all of these problems in one fell swoop? I have consciously decided to be more proactive about spending some time on hobbies of my own, rather than bemoaning that Tim gets to have all the fun! Writing is fun for me, a creative outlet, and it’s FREE!! That said, I know several people who maintain multiple blogs simultaneously. Who’s kidding whom? I’m starting with baby steps. I can hardly keep this one up to date, so rather than dive in over my head, I’m adding my ramblings into our family updates. Really, they do all blend together anyway. My ramblings are usually relative to what our family is experiencing. And not that I really think there is a world out there dying to know what is happening in my head. I’m not that delusional. I know this is more for me than for any of you out there. So for those of you who were hoping only for current pictures of the Nielson family, filter through my mumbo jumboed attempts at mental clarity and know that pictures will still be here!

We all know by now that there really is no such thing as “normal.” What’s “normal” for me is not necessarily so for you. And once we do think we’ve discovered “normal”, it changes anyway. That’s what we’ve discovered in the Nielson house over the last year, anyway. It feels like a long time since we’ve had “normal.” That picture of routine was disrupted last October when we found that our days at Mission Hills were numbered. So we’ve been living the last 7 months knowing that “normal” would be changing for us at any given point in time.

Prior to that point, normal for us looked a bit like this: we’d have family breakfast together, frequently preceded by some form of working out for either Tim or me, then Tim would head off to work and the kids and I would get ready for either a day of play or a day of running errands. More often than not, Tim would be home by dinnertime, and then we’d either have family time at home, or head out for whatever event was scheduled that night. Seeing as how Tim works with high schoolers, that would frequently involve people nearly half our age (or “Daddy’s other kids,” as Sophia calls them).

Right now, that normal has changed quite a bit. It looks more like this: an approximately 6:30 wake up and kiss for Tim and I, proclamations of “I love you,” followed closely with the question, “What do you want to do today?” And then we discuss what’s on the agenda, IS there an agenda for the day, and what all can we pack into this agenda of play for one day?

I am not sure how long Tim will be content with this shape of normal, but we’re taking advantage of it while it lasts! It is so great to be uninhibited by a schedule, by time constraints, vacation days, and not enough hours in the day or week. When I first suggested to Tim that we take some time off between jobs, I think he thought I was crazy. And when I said a minimum of four weeks, I think he thought I had truly lost my mind. I could see him processing: how can I talk her down to three?

And then I started thinking of all the things I wanted to get done in those 4 weeks. I very quickly realized four weeks was not going to be enough. So once Tim adjusted to that idea, I started stretching him to see that four weeks simply wasn’t enough; 6 was my new minimum. I think it’s helped that Tim hasn’t had an official offer yet (and therefore hasn’t had to extend any kind of start date as of yet). Otherwise he might be trying to bargain with me more.

We’re only one week into this new kind of “normal,” but so far, it’s been fabulous! We’ve had time to play, time to reconnect, time to do the things we love, time to spend as a family, time to spend with friends, and even time for a little bit of side work to keep some money coming in. I could get used to this new kind of normal very quickly!

We’ll see how Tim feels about it in another couple of weeks! And really, I think that by the time six weeks are up, we’ll all be ready for yet another new kind of normal. But for now, we’re taking advantage of what we have and trying to savor every moment!

Swinging over the water on the rope swing

One VERY tired boy!! (Notice we are not getting very far in our "Project Stop Thumb Sucking" with this one...)

Enjoying s'mores by the campfire in her new "dragonfly horsie" camping chair

She definitely thought this swing was the best part of the lake

Ready to ski

June 1, 2009

The End of an Era

This building doesn't exist yet, but next week is the ground breaking ceremony for it.  It will likely be a couple of years before it looks anything like this, but this is the projection of what is to come.  It's funny how the timing of it has all happened.  Tim and I have talked about this building for a long time.  It's been the topic of conversation in our household far too many times to count.  Between just Tim and I, with high schoolers, with friends, with people who attend Mission Hills, with people who used to attend Mission Hills, and with people who have never been to Mission Hills.

Tim has said for years that he would never see the inside of the new building.  I'll modify that statement just slightly.  He'll never see the inside of that building as an employee.  He knew all along that although we had prayerfully submitted to the leadership's decision to make this building happen, and although Tim actually got to do some consulting on what the youth would need and should have in this building, and although we have actually in small ways contributed to the funding of this building, we will never actually get to be a part of it.

Next week is the ground breaking.  All families from the church are supposed to bring their shovels to be a part of the ceremony and celebration.  

We will not be there.  Next week will be the first week in over seven years, the first week since our very first Sunday in Colorado, that we are not a part of the Mission Hills body.  Everyone will be there, celebrating together, and we will already be a part of Mission Hills history.  A part of the past.  Part of the old building.  We "built on the legacy" at one point in time, but our legacy at Mission Hills is now a part of the past.  it's done.  

I've said a few times over the last few months that it's a bit like losing a limb.  It's with you for so long, that you take it for granted and don't even think about what life would be like without it.   Until it's gone.  And then you have to learn how to function in a whole new way.  You have to start all over again and create a whole new kind of "normal."  We know that that will happen for us, but for right now, it's still a little painful.  

As I write this, Tim is cleaning out an office that no longer belongs to him.  I wish that I could be with him to help him with the emotions that he is surely packing into those boxes, right along with all his books.  I am sure that a tear or two is slipping into those boxes, along with his books, files, pictures, mementos, and memories.

Please don't misread me.  We know this is for the best.  We know that God has big plans for us.  We know that He is preparing a new legacy for us.  We know that He has held us in his hands throughout this whole process.  We know that we have been sustained by the prayers of faithful friends when we were unsure how to pray on our own.  We know that God loves us and desires to give good gifts to His children.  We know that this was inevitable.  We believe that where ever we land next will be a better fit for us.

But just for the moment, we are looking back, saying our good-byes, and all the while wondering where we will go to church next Sunday.
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