Monday, April 30, 2012


Dr. Nielson enjoys brushing your two teeth.  Surprisingly, you don't seem to mind either.  Dad lays you across his lap and sings "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" while he does it, and you are perfectly still and concentrated.  It is too cute.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

First Camping Trip!

Last weekend, we went on a camping trip with some friends from church.  I was nervous about how you would do, especially since it was still pretty chilly in the mountains, but you were great and slept like a rock.  In fact, you slept so soundly that I woke up every hour to make sure you were still breathing and not frozen!  (I couldn't believe you weren't making a sound!)

As I was getting everything ready for the trip, you decided to throw a huge tantrum because I couldn't carry you around.  You crawled after me, sobbing pathetically, and threw yourself into the pillows I had put by the door.  It was a total Drama King moment, and I couldn't help but laugh.

Fortunately, you cheered up and had a great time in the mountains!

You slept in your car seat in the tent
Dad wore his dentist glasses with the light :)

The next morning...I love your content expression here.
There was still a little snow on the ground from where it had been plowed.
It was a fun weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What a Mess

This is what happens when you try to feed yourself:

Oh heavens.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Love Letter

Sweetest Noah Boy,
You smiled up at me today from your car seat, perched in the back of a shopping cart at Target, and I couldn’t breathe for a moment.  I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t move. This happens to me sometimes, when your eyes fill with that utter adoration and contentment, that expression of complete devotion and total trust—like I am the most perfect being on the planet, like there is nowhere you would rather be than shopping at Target with your Mama.
Something in my soul stirs when you look at me like that. I can’t breathe because I know that I am so undeserving of such pure and guileless love.  I can’t move because I already feel the moment flying away, and I long to grab it—to clutch it tightly in my fist and press it deeply into my pounding heart.  I look at your innocent little face, beaming up at me with two tiny teeth poking through the gums, and I know that I will do anything—anything—to protect you and your heartbreaking sweetness.

I never knew love like this until I became your mother.

I love your pensive expressions, your chubby hands reaching for my finger, and your frantic splashing in the bathtub.  I love your wild blonde hair, your delicious thighs, and your fascination with the blow dryer as it hums in my hands.  I love the way you hide your face in the couch cushions when we are playing and the way you pant with such exertion when you are reaching for a favorite toy or trying out a new skill.

I love seeing you with your dad and knowing, in that most tender and sacred place in my heart, that despite all my shortcomings, you are both mine--and you both love me so completely.

I love your dinosaur noises during church and your spontaneous chuckle of approval when you are lounging in your car seat “throne.”  I love your little feet, kicking constantly while you are in your high chair or in your stroller taking an evening walk with Mom and Dad. I love resting my head on your soft hair as you drink your bottle in my arms, feeling your weight and your warmth against my chest, knowing that you are real.

I love that my heart now lives outside of my body, and that I get to watch it growing and grinning and learning.  It feels miraculous and vulnerable, exhilarating yet imprudent--to let my heart learn to walk, inching its way along the furniture, falling occasionally and sprawling across the carpet, bewildered. 

Soon, you will be running. The baby with the adoring blue eyes will run, and I will let you—my heart growing bigger and stronger with each of your strides.

It was there inside of me all along—instinctive and unconditional—and yet I didn’t know it until I held you for the first time.  Staring into those deep blue eyes, those eyes that were just seeing the world for the first time, I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t move.  I felt the stirring of something emerging, something swelling and coming alive within my heart—

A mother’s love.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy First Easter!

On our way to church...

We snapped a few photos before we headed in, just in case you were covered in spit up by the end of the meeting.

At the end of church, you were still happy and clean, so we got some photos in front of this breathtaking pink tree.  We love spring!

Thanks for being our Snuggly Bunny!  Happy First Easter!

March Madness

March was a huge month for you, Noah.  You flew through so many milestones that it was a bit mind-boggling for me.  I honestly can't believe how quickly you changed and grew this past month.

In March, you...
*learned to crawl
*learned to get into a sitting position on your own
*got your first two teeth
*became much more vocal and started saying things like "DaDaDaDa!"  (I think we know what your first word will be!)
*learned to pull yourself up into a standing position
*learned to crawl up stairs

I know--amazing, right??  Every time I saw you do something new, I was like, "What the heck???  How did that happen?"

You are fearless, and I think that's why you've developed so quickly.  As soon as you gain a new skill, you practice it over and over and don't seem the slightest bit phased if you fall down or get a bonk on the head in the process.  Now that you've learned to stand, you often pull yourself up on furniture, let yourself fall back down on the ground (sometimes with a loud thud), and then pull yourself up again.  You rarely cry as you are practicing your new skills.

You haven't been sleeping as well at night over the past month, and I wonder if it's because you are even practicing your new talents in the middle of the night. :)

It has been so rewarding to watch you growing and developing so quickly.  As adults, we don't really change very often or very easily--sometimes it's difficult to believe that we even can change.  But when I witness your determination to learn something new, I realize that human beings were made to progress, grow, and change.  You are always teaching me.

Some favorite photos from March:

-We had beautiful weather and loved hanging out at the park.

-Birthday wishes for some important people in your life!

-Hanging out with Mom while she blow dries her hair (you still love the sound of the blow dryer).

-Exploring the apartment!

-Helping Mom with laundry (amazingly, you will actually sit still for quite a while if you are trapped in a laundry basket).

Look at those teeth!
-I couldn't believe it when I first saw you pull yourself up to standing!  You are a little "hot shot" now.

After I walked into your room and found you like this, we immediately changed the setting on your crib so the mattress is now much lower.  Just a matter of time before you start climbing out! :)
-Now that you're more mobile, you are starting to tear the apartment apart. :)  Here you are after you pulled down the rod of the blinds.

I love you, Noah!  Thank you for teaching me so much and bringing me so much joy!  I can't wait to see what the next month holds for you!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Those Eyes

The other day we were in Walgreens, when an old lady walked by your stroller and said, "OH. MY. GOSH."  Then she just stood there staring at you.  I was a little taken aback by this reaction to my child and slightly concerned.  Were you bleeding?  Were you covered in poop?  Had you spewed sweet-potato-colored spit up all over yourself? (Wouldn't be the first time.)

I glanced at you, and everything appeared to be just fine, so I questioningly looked back at her.

"He has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen," she said in an awestruck voice.

Then today, we were out for a jog.  Our apartment is right by a high school, so there are always teenagers hanging around.  As we were waiting at a cross walk, a couple of teeny bopper girls came up behind me, and suddenly one of them said to me, "Um, not to be weird or anything..."

She paused, and I started imagining the worst for how she was going to finish that sentence.  Was my underwear hanging out?  Did I have a grass stain in an unfortunate place?  Was I dragging toilet paper on my shoe?

I looked at her, and she continued, "...but your baby has the bluest eyes I've ever seen."

Thank you, Katie!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Your Big Weekend

Dear Noah,

I can't believe it has been six weeks since you were sealed to us for time and all eternity, and I am just now writing about it.  Life has been busy busy--with you on the move and Dad working crazy hours--but more than anything, I think I just felt inadequate trying to capture in words how special that weekend was for us.  For that reason, I kept putting it off, but I can't wait any longer because I don't want the memories to fade.

The first of our weekend festivities was the adoption finalization in court, which took place on Friday, February 10th at the Jefferson County Courthouse.  That morning, particularly after we got to the courthouse, I felt giddy with excitement.  I didn't expect to feel that way because this event was more of a legal formality than anything--you've always been ours and it didn't take a judge's ruling for us to know that--but it was still so special to know that everything was going to be official.

You looked so handsome for your big day in court.


Your Grandma Nielson and Aunt Ashley had come to Colorado a few days earlier to spend the week with us, and Bapa and Aunt Sarah joined us on the morning of the hearing, so you had quite a little fan club at the courthouse.  You loved all the attention.

When we entered the hearing room, I started to feel a little nervous.  Our lawyer invited me, you, and Dad to sit at the table in front of the judge, while the rest of our family stayed back in the spectator seats. I was holding you throughout the proceedings, and you were so calm and content (quite a miracle with your spunky personality).  I felt so much love for you as we answered the lawyer's questions about why we should be your parents and how you had improved our lives.  (I didn't know quite what to say in response to such important questions, but I did my best.)  After our responses, we took the oath declaring that we knew that you were our legal and financial responsibility, and the judge ruled that the adoption was finalized--you were finally and truly a Nielson! :)

Our case worker and lawyer
When we walked back to our family, everyone surrounded you and kissed you and gooed over you.  This moment made me emotional, thinking about how lucky we are to have such a loving, supportive family.  They have always been there for us, and they will always be there for you.  We are so blessed.

And the family members just kept coming!!  That evening, Katie's and Drew's families arrived, and they came to our apartment to visit.  I held you in front of me when I answered the door so you would be the first person they would see.  At the sight of eight people crowded outside our door, you broke into a huge grin, and everyone said, "Awwwwwww!"  It was a perfect greeting for the people who had come so far to support you.  The relationship that we have with your birth parents and their families is so unique in the adoption world and such a blessing.  It was very special to have them with us for your sealing and blessing in church.

We were also joined by Aunt Laura (who flew in from California), Uncle Nate (who flew in from Idaho), and Grandpa Gordon, Uncle Derek, Aunt Alli, Uncle Cole, Aunt Sara, and Uncle Tanner (who flew in from Utah).  Seriously, child, you are loved!!!
Just a few of the many people who came to support you
Saturday, February 11th was the day I'd been waiting for ever since we started the adoption process, even before you were born: You were sealed to us for time and all eternity in the Denver Temple!

When Dad and I entered the sealing room, our friends and family were already seated around the room, and it was such a humbling sight to see a room full of people who love us and were there just to support us.  I imagine this is what our reception into heaven after this life will be like.  As I looked around the room at all of those loved ones, my heart swelled with gratitude, and I felt especially grateful to know that my mother, your Grandma Sally, was in attendance, even though I couldn't see her.

Before they brought you into the room, the sealer talked to us about the importance of eternal families.  He talked about the power of the priesthood to bind families together and promised that, even if children stray for a time, if their parents continue to faithfully live their temple covenants, the power of the priesthood will eventually draw the children back to God and to their families.  What an amazing promise.  At times, I have felt nervous about being a mother in this crazy world and worried that I won't be able to protect you and keep you on the path to God--I will remember the comforting words of this sealer in the years to come.

After the sealer finished teaching us about families, you came into the room with Grandma.  You looked so incredibly perfect and adorable in your white outfit and special white tie.  Aunt Sarah and Aunt Laura were sitting by the door, and you noticed them first and grinned at them, then looked around the rest of the room a bit bewildered by all of those people.  It was so precious.

The sealing ceremony wasn't long.  Dad and I knelt across the altar from each other holding hands, just as we had when we got married, and then Grandma held you and put your little hand on ours.  You were not too happy about being held in one place, and you fussed a bit in protest.  (It didn't help that you had missed your afternoon nap--the timing of the sealing wasn't great, but oh well.)  It was darling how the sealer sort of "baby talked" directly to you as he said the words of the covenant, trying to get you to cheer up.  Everyone was smiling and chuckling a little.

Once the ceremony was over, I held you and stood by Dad, and we looked into the double mirrors on the wall, which reflected our image as a family going on and on into eternity.  So beautiful.

Then all of our loved ones got in line to come and hug us and congratulate us.  At this point, you really went crazy.  You had had it.  It is pretty funny looking back on it now (though I will admit I didn't think so at the time).  I was trying to hug people and be all sentimental, and you were thrashing around and grabbing my hair and wailing.  You pill!!  I am laughing as I write this just picturing it.  I am grateful that you keep me humble and remind me that I will never be in control of everything in my life, no matter how carefully I plan.  It's good for me.

After we calmed you down and gave you a bottle, we went outside for some family photos.  It was freezing cold, so we had to make it quick, but I am grateful that we got a few good pictures of such an important day in our lives.


The following day was your baby blessing in church.  After your fussiness at the temple the day before, I was a little nervous that you wouldn't want to hold still while your dad blessed you--but you were an angel.  You were perfectly content and still as Dad gave you the most beautiful baby blessing I've ever heard.

He blessed you to feel Heavenly Father's love throughout your life. He told you that the circumstances surrounding your entrance into this world were miraculous and had increased the faith of many people.  (I know this is true because family and friends and even acquaintances have told me how your adoption story has touched them.)  He told you that the love and sacrifice of your birth parents is an example of the Atonement, and it will be something you can think about throughout your life as you strive to understand Jesus Christ.  He blessed you that your mind and body will be healthy so that you can pursue your goals.  Then he blessed you with a series of gifts (I loved this part): the gift to understand the Gospel of Christ, the gift of happiness, and the gift of service.  He said that you already have a happy spirit and that, as your parents, we love your energy and enthusiasm.  He encouraged you to "learn from your mother how to serve and impact others."  (This made me feel so great.  I love that Daddy of yours!)  He ended the blessing by encouraging you to resist temptations throughout your life and blessing you to see clearly the path back to our Father in Heaven.

I felt so much peace, love, contentment, and gratitude as I heard your father giving you such a beautiful blessing.  I think this may have been my favorite moment of the entire weekend.  I am grateful for your father and for his faith and goodness.  I often tell you that you are "the best thing that ever happened to me," but then I always add, "well, the second best thing, after meeting your daddy."  I am so grateful that I married such a stalwart, kind, and faithful man, and I hope you will try to emulate him as you grow up.

After the blessing, when Dad brought you back to your seat, you were giggling and smiling at the congregation.  It was perfect.  You are such a charmer.

That afternoon, everyone went to Bapa's for a family dinner in your honor.  It was a huge crowd of people who love you.  We talked, took pictures, and just enjoyed each other's company.  It was so good to be together.

I tried to get a photo of you dressed in white with everyone, but you were so tired by this point in the weekend that it just didn't happen.

All in all, it was a perfect weekend.  The overwhelming emotion that I felt was gratitude--gratitude for our family who all came to support us; gratitude for Katie and Drew and the immeasurable gift that they have given us; gratitude for temple covenants that ensure that families can be together forever; gratitude for your sweet dad who is the best life partner I could've ever hoped for; gratitude for you and your precious spirit; and most of all, gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who comforted me during my difficult years of infertility and then entrusted me with a perfect little being to love through the miracle of adoption.  

My cup runneth over.

I love you,