Sunday, October 12, 2008

Heavenly Fire

Chup and The Chief at the Homecoming parade. Homecoming will now be capitalized in this post always and forever.

And now a word about my village of sister-in-laws.

Saturday was the BYU Homecoming parade and football game. We all bundled up--it was snowing--and headed to the parade route. The only aspect to this event worth braving the cold is that revelers throw out fistfuls of candy. One does better to collect candy during one hour of the BYU Homecoming parade than one whole night of trick-or-treating. Plus, all sorts of coupons for carp your kids will never use!

I was in a bittersweet mood. A free front row ticket had become available for the afternoon game, but I had decided that I was no longer in a position to spectate. In short, motherhood made it hard for my to be the BYU Cougar football fan that my past had allowed. He Who Nurses Every Fifteen Minutes, or, The Chief was one issue. My three little additions was another.

So I sighed, and gnawed on some miniature Twizzlers I had stolen from Ollie's stash.

Before the parade, Lisa was first to greet me with her lovely smile and appreciated funny. After the parade Megan--ever ready with support--dished to me a compliment which was locked into my brain ready to be pulled out on insecure days.

Later in the afternoon Suze insisted that I go to the game. She offered to manage The Chief so that Chup could also have an afternoon alone to build a relationship with his new computer (which computes!) Katy gathered Claire, Jane and Ollie, and refused to release them until I had sufficiently promised to go. Lindsay offered her services, that of nursing The Chief if needed (which is something we do in our family, we are tight like that) as well as her newborn, Sweet Marie.

So I accepted, and outfitted myself in an old snowmobiling outfit and off I went.

The game was great. The atmosphere sport-o-rrific. My dad bought me a sweet hot chocolate which I am sure was blessed before serving to the masses. At half time I chatted with my dear friend Trish. Before I knew it time was calling me home. Chup met me at the corner and we--along with The Chief--capped off the night with a couple rolls of sushi and chocolate cake. My great band of sisters had taken care of me. I was recharged, indeed.

I'd like to thank my brothers for marrying such compassionate women. Not bad looking either. I mean, my sister-in-laws, not my brothers. Ok, my brothers aren't bad looking either. A couple of them don't have hair and one has fake teeth (my brothers I mean, not my sister-in-laws). Oh good gravy this paragraph is a mess. Time to be done.

Anyway, to my sisters in the law, I love you all. Thank you for marrying my brothers and becoming my sisters. And for giving me chewable nieces and nephews. Our village is growing stronger each day.


I also want to thank Steph's sister-in-laws in Arizona who have been a huge support to me as well. Darin owes me a Chipotle Burrito and Diane promises to be my personal jewelry shopper at Last Chance. Liz sends me photos on demand and Sarah keeps me informed of media personal who have celebrity status. Heidi sent us adorable handmade quilts, while Helena helps answer e-mails. I could go on, but the Nielson's have eleven children in their family, while we only have nine. The difference overwhelms me. But it suffices me to say that I know Steph is in good hands when I am not there. Alice is singing. Debbie is smiling. Good women in a great cause.

All of this charity makes me think of this quote on my mother's fridge:


“There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.” -Washington Irving




You know what? Writing such nice things about people makes me plum tired.



Honk shoo.

81 comments:

Joy said...

WOW... you and your family are amazing.. what a pleasure it is to come here and read how you all band together and you all take care of each other. what a blessing. you are awesome to write about it.

~j. said...

carhartt.

Sparcam said...

Inspiring, as always! Love the quote and miss the snow!! But only until I have to scrape a windshield...!

freshandvintage said...

GREAT POST! And I love the honk-shoo at the ending. That's exactly the sound my sister and I used to make to pretend we were sleeping when my dad would come check on us to make sure we were snoozing when we were young. Oh the memories. And BYU football when it's snowing...I miss that too. Warm Hugs, Eva

shawn said...

I am glad to hear your spirits were again lifted. I love the stories of your strong family. PS- If you aren't using your carp coupons, maybe my kids would like some discounted fish. :)

Noodle said...

Great picture of Chup and the Chief, and wonderful quote! I'm so glad you were able to enjoy yourself at the Homecoming, and that your Sisters had the good sense to marry your Brothers. :)

Diane

Pink Lemonade Bags said...

It is so good to hear to you got some time for yourself to do something you enjoy! You are so blessed to have such a loving family to help!

Mrs. Morty said...

Oh dear you are a crack up!! I'm so glad you got a moment to recharge and that you have an army of great women standing by your side.

Meredith said...

I love your blog, and I love that you are surrounded by a strong sisterhood as well!! So glad you got an afternoon to enjoy yourself. You really deserve it.

Prayers for you and yours, and prayers for Nie and Christian at our church in Knoxville too.

God bless....
Meredith

Kris said...

Women are just wonderful, aren't they? Your families are truly great examples of brilliant support-systems. I hope and pray that my family will be like that when they are all grown up!

Sierra said...

I love that you nurse each others' babies. It's awesome that you allow someone else that closeness to your child that typically, only the mother has. But then again, your family is NOT typical...thank God!

Jodie Allen said...

I kept reading the "we're tight like that" paragraph over and over. I am in love with the fact that your sil would nurse your baby and you would let her. really. what an amazing closeness you all have. i love my sister but i know she would freak out if i had ever offered to do that for her. it just seems like there are no boundaries in your family and i love that. where one ends the other begins. it's inspiring.

Thora said...

Wow, I think nursing each other's children is amazing. I wish my sisters and I did that - for one thing it would mean I could go out with my husband alone for once. I think they would think it was too weird.

I remember reading Stephanie's post about nursing her nephew (I think) after her sister in law died. I thought it was great then too.

I love reading about positive days - they make my early Monday feel more positive and uplifting already.

Mary Poppins said...

you must be tired, indeed, for you have been writing nice things about people for a long time.

divrchk said...

What a great family!

Also... Snoozers is a big fave here too.

April said...

i *love* that you are tight like that.

makemineaquad said...

I love quote at the end. Thanks for sharing.

Know that you deserved that time, and that, as you do know, you have an incredible family, probably envied by many.

Peace to you today,
Aileen

wendy said...
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megan said...

I'm glad you and Chup got a night out together! I'm going to try and implement the "shared nursing" thing in my family when I start having kids - hopefully it will be accepted!

wendy said...

I am praying your mother is right...my heart is so broken right now and I am right in that adversity of which you wrote.

Angel Olivia's Mom, Wendy

cristie said...

now that quote should be committed to memory. xox continued blessings to you and yours.

a.men said...

Very sweet! I am also lucky to have not only have three awesome sisters but many many awesome sisters in the law(4), all of which I consider my sisters! Where would be with out them. Heaven only knew what it was doing when they made us sisters! Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

You are truly blessed and lucky to have such a loving and tight family around you. I'm glad you had fun at the game, you need some time for yourself too! You suddenly went from a mother with her newborn to a mother of four. You are doing a FAB job!

A Beautiful Mind said...

I am so glad you got some time to yourself to recharge. I imagine it is all too easy to forget yourself with all of the recent changes in your life which makes you having a chance to reconnect with yourself ever more important. I also marvel at the balance you manage to achieve i.e. morning all together at parade, afternoon with yourself at football game.

As far as SIL's go, for now I only have one (eventually I will have two), but you can be sure I'll be calling her today and reminding her how grateful I am to have her in my life. All my sweet girlfriends and my two inspiring sisters will receive some extra love, too. Thanks for the reminder, Courtney.

Love, hugs, prayers, and positivity to you and your family who remain in my thoughts every day <3

Rhonda said...

Mother's used to ALWAYS nurse other mommy's little ones... I LOVE it! Again...truer words never spoken. I also have five AMAZING SIL's. All of whom I Love so very much!

Beautiful post.

Laura Smith said...

what a great family....aren't women amazing?

tharker said...

I've never heard this quote before, but now I think it will have to find a place on my fridge. Beautiful and so true.

I'm so happy that you were able to get away for an afternoon. And what better way to get away than to watch your Cougars!!!

I have no sisters, so my sisters in law have become so. I love them dearly. You are so blessed to be surrounded by such loving women on both sides of the Nielson and Clark families.

Love and prayers.

ClistyB said...

nothing funnier than nursing a sister's wee one and watching the baby's confused face!!

Marilyn said...

That quote is awesome! I am printing it right now and putting it on MY fridge.

Being that the only sisters I have are in-laws, I am grateful for them, and will try harder to show them how important they are to me.

Butternut Sage Designs said...

AWESOME (shouting) Courtney, what an awesome post...you are the best, and what an army of women to support you! I am so happy to read that you had a day for yourself (so deserved) and are regenerated to start a new! God's blessings are on you! (Smile) love and hugs and prayers, ~Donna

adorable pearsons said...

Just like Sister Julie Beck said, "Tie yourself to Relief Society" but it sounds like you have your own little society of relief......which is greatly needed and deserved! I am so glad you are letting them help too. Service goes both ways; those who offer and those who accept! You are a great example to us all.

Creole Wisdom said...

Okay, so I just read the Irving quote to my roomie, and we're going to put it up. I love it!!!

Family is fabulous. One thing that I hope to marry into are GREAT sister in laws/brother in laws. Cannot wait.

: )

Enjoy homecoming. Ours isn't for a while, and I can assure you- it's not about candy, but booze instead!

Shawna said...

Love the sweet picture of Chup and the Chief. Soooo cute! Glad you got to recharge yourself too. You can't draw from an empty well, right? Also so jealous of the snow! It was nearly 80 in Wisconsin yesterday and I already flipped the families seasonal wardrobe, ugh. I love checking your posts in the morning while I am making my kids breakfast. It's a great way to start my day off.

Emily said...

I think you mentioned all but one Nielson sister. Better do a shout-out for Leoni, no? I have never met her.

Aprilyn said...

What a wonderful family you have. I love that the Nielsons are close to your family too. You're all looking out for one another and that's how it should be.
Oh, and GO BYU!

Leisha said...

Did you know I gave you that quote in the midst of your infertility trials? I'm happy it is on your Mom's fridge. It is one of my favorites.

You have an incredible family. Even close families don't often get to live so close. It is a rare opportunity. How much easier life would be if we could all live close to loved ones. I'm glad you appreciate such a rare blessing.

flori said...

I thought our family was the only one who said "Honk shoo" and it made me laugh and almost cry to know that other families say the same silly things. Thank you for sharing the simple grace of your family's life. It is always inspiring to read your blog. I hope my daughters will grow up to be as close as you are to your sisters.

Kalli Ko said...

how lucky you are to have such wonderful women around you...

my only lactating sister-in-law is thousands of miles away and so many times I've thought about how nice it would be if she were closer.

Dear Daddy Blog said...

You are blessed indeed!

And thankful too which is just the icing on the cake. : )

Michelle

Lynne said...

I only have a couple of sister in laws who live far away and frankly we don't really know each other THAT well. (one I know more than the others) I do have 2 sisters of my own, though, so I can relate to the closeness you share and appreciate great women in my life. I love the way you write!

Lynne O.
Illinois

Ma'ama said...

Thank you Courtney! I laughed until I cried and then I cried until I laughed. You are the best. Creativity to the Max!
The nursing part just made me laugh with the memories. I'm going to call my youngest and let her know who her "other mother" was when we were both nursing, 23 years ago. She'll get a kick out of that.

dani said...

thank you, sweet c:)
l,
d

sarah, rsm said...

courtney, you are a gem! there is nothing more valuable than a circle of women at your side.

Anonymous said...

Hi Courtney,
I am sooo glad to hear that you finally allowed yourself a break! It is well deserved!! I'm glad you had such a great time and that your sisterhood made you get out and have some fun. They sound like a great bunch of women--but then, I'm not surprised! Love that photo of Chup and the Chief. And the "honk shoo" at the end cracked me up! Hugs and prayers, Lori

Tristan said...

Great post!

Maggie May said...

I'm so glad you have all this support. It's beautiful to hear about it!

Honk Shoo, Indeed.

Debbie said...

You deserve it!!! What a wonderful family you have! The support is AMAZING!!! You are so blessed! I don't know how we get through times like this without our families and our faith in HF and Jesus Christ.
Prayers and hugs from CA

Brooke said...

What sweetness. Not much to add, just a thank you.

ec said...

incredible.

families rule.

period.

lundgrenville said...

Courtney-

Im glad you were able to get away from the cares of the world, even for a brief moment. Those are the times that rejuvinates us back to somewhat normal.
Sushi?? Wow, I try so hard to like it...but...
Our prayers remain with you my friend!

Rachel Clare said...

lovely post. i'm glad you're being taken care of.

curly girl said...

Um, "we only have nine" verses the Neilsen 11?! Only?! You are all so blessed to have each other. Thanks for sharing your "tightness" with all of us.

LOVE the quote...it's SO TRUE!

crystal said...

CJane- you are one amazing writer. I have been reading what you have to write over at Segullah (spelling?) and just love it. I loved the one you wrote about your Grandma. You paint with words like an artists paints with well... paint. Loved it. Still have you all in my prayers

Cheryl said...

What a wonderful family! Glad to hear you got a much needed break.

L.G. Fife said...

that is great you went to the game with your dad. People feel better when they can help so I bet your sister-in-laws were happy to help. I love the weather we are having- it is my favorite time of year when it is crisp!how cute is your husband really??

Mary T said...

Nice. And hope you don't mind me noticing but, uh, Chup is hot!! : )

Cameron/Melissa said...

I love your comment about how your family nurses for each other. That is wonderful. I have been reading the blog and thinking and praying for your sister. I think that is amazing to go from 1 to 4 in a blink of an eye. I am sure that your sister is grateful to have somewhere wonderful for her children to be.

AzĂșcar said...

WHAT? You were at the game too? El G and I went (legitimately) and could have dropped in to say, "Hey"

Oh, and to share some of my dad's hot chocolate (contraband.)

Anonymous said...
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cluffconstructionclan said...

I am so glad you got some ME time. Your family is wonderful, you are truly blessed. You deserved that time.
love like a sis
Tif
safford az

kiki said...

A funny thing happened while reading this post. While reading about your dad buying you a hot chocolate, I read, "My dad bought me a sweet ass hot chocolate..." because of the juxtaposition of "sweet" and "masses". I did a double-take because...um...you...don't...swear? That's not the reason. The reason is because it didn't gel. I laughed a bit.

Starr said...

YOU MAKE ME MISS MY SISTERS and MY ONE BROTHER.
Not being Mormon any longer, I still believe that FAMILIES are INDEED forever and the God I once believed in would never keep them away from me because of a different belief system.
Energy begets energy- love entangles in love.
Thats what I know for sure.

Starr in California

Becky said...

Bless those sisters! That is heartwarming. And I think it is so cool that you guys cross-nurse. A great way to love your nieces and nephews!

Emily said...

When I read this there were 62 comments left at the bottom of the post. "One from each of her sisters in law" I thought.

Yeah for support systems!

Nicole's crazy Blog said...

GO COUGARS!!! Cold but always rewarding: football games! Love how close you guys are. We are tight like that too. But as My little band of Indians is contemplating a move to Alaska we will be outside the 8 hour loop which we live. I love my sisters blood and married and would do anything for them...maybeb even stich your mother's quote for them for Christmas!

Cindy said...

Great Quote!!
I know you already know this...be we women can only get through the things we have to get through, only by the help and goodwill of other women!!! Whether it be sisters, neighbors, or strangers. We (women) cant do it alone. And thats ok!! Thats the God made us. We're social, and compassionate and generous, and empathic!! Thank HEavens!!!!!!!!! Bless you and your family in all that you need.

Amy said...

sisters of all sorts are the greatest!

And I'm so glad you were able to have some very well deserved time for yourself...

Glad you had fun!

Elena Thurston, Family Realtor said...

I also love the quote. How I miss BYU Homecoming. When we were there I was so wrapped up in the day to day of student/mommy/wife life that I forgot to enjoy the mini-moments. And now miss them every fall so much. I'm so glad you have good sisters to take care of you while you take care of others. And love the quote.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

What a wonderful tribe!

Shayna said...

I have been so inspired by your family and their amazing strength. I am also an LDS woman and thought you might like to know of a singing program that I am involved in. We have been traveling to different wards throughout Utah to sing praises about women and our trials. I thought you might find it enjoyable. If you are interested in hearing more please email me at shaynadevey(at)hotmail(dot)com.

fern said...

Not that it takes much to make me regret having only 4 children, but reading about all of the support Stephanie and Christian's children are getting makes me REALLY want to insist on a vasectomy reversal. (After we are once again gainfully employed, of course.)

What a gift, to have so many siblings to steady you.

You guys are doing great. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

My friend asked if she could nurse my baby once in the mothers lounge as I was struggling with nursing and she was a pro and my baby was crying with hunger. I was fine with it and she did and he ate. It was such a bonding moment for us,one I will never forget. Why not share the closeness of nursing.

Stacy J-m said...

That was a really lovely post. And the part about your SIL nursing your baby for you was extra touching. That is closeness defined. What a good deal for you and them and all of us who get to read about strangers and be reminded that the world is a good place.

Jumpin J's Mom said...

That was so well said! I don't have any sisters myself but I am blessed with a bunch of best friends from all walks of my life that might as well be sisters! What a lucky world we live in to have sisters!!!

CMN said...

LOVE the quote by Washington Irving - Thank you!

Tricia said...

Wow, I think you do it to me every time I come and read...little bits of liquid run down my cheeks! This was beautiful! Wow BYU homecoming games...how long has that been...let's not count! LOL!
And Chups dimples....does The Chief have those??? Oh my goodness I am a sucker for dimples...why my youngest son is completely spoiled....
Thanks for sharing your life and family you are inspirational! Love you mom's quote! Tell her thanks for letting you share it with us
Have a great week
hugs
tricia

Lewis Family said...

What a cute daddy!

Anonymous said...

Sisters-in-law, not sister-in-laws.

Elizabeth said...

God Bless the caretakers....
and the caretakers of the caretakers. Good to hear you are being lifted up-

Go, Courtney, go!

Kristen Duke Photography said...

having only brothers, I've come to look at my sister in laws as my sisters. It's all I have. What a nice tribute to all in your army, and how great that you got to cheer on BYU in person...I miss those days!

Jenn S. said...

Cutest picture ever. Is there anything more delicious?

Glad you got to see the game (and talk to Trish - tell her I say hi okay?)

xoxo
j.