997th post (me and nienie)

i first heard of stephanie nielson during the early days of my blogging. someone, somewhere out in the world wide web linked to a home tour of her house.  and that was all i remember.

but during my 3rd pregnancy i found myself stuck in bedrest for an amount of time i don't want to remember (20 weeks) and i followed a button that said, "pray for nienie".  so i followed it, and it was one of the best things that happened to me during that summer of 2009. i read her entire blog...twice. i was captivated with her optimism and sense of style. her children were cute, she loved being a mother, her recipes were surprisingly simple and tasty.  but really pulled me in were how she was surviving her trials. when i found her she was just coming back to her blog after a near fatal plane crash and could barely walk, and couldn't even button her daughter's jacket. she wouldn't show pictures quite yet of her burned face. and i followed her every post from that summer onward.

still pregnant, a few of us were talking in Young Women's at church (a church assignment where you teach girls from ages 12-18) and stephanie nielson popped up. apparently she had lived in our ward when she was first married, and they all were talking about her accident and how she lives in the neighbrohood again. i was totally and completely such a stalker that i got Wendy to tell me where she lives. creepy mccreepypants! so i started to drive by there after my doctor appointments. it was still a way home to my house, so i didn't consider it "stalking", it was just a little longer of a way home. bwahahahaha. *i drove by CJane's house everyday to take lucy to preschool.

and then phoebe was born, and i sent her an email. i don't know if she ever recieved it, but i had to thank her for her blog. it had saved me during bedrest. just at my lowest point, i caught up to her crash and oh, what a heartbreaking story. i knew if she could do what she was doing, i could get through this. besides, i got a new baby in the end! what kind of a trial is that? In hindsight, not a very difficult one.

after the email, i became even more brave, and dropped off some cookies for their family. my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip recipe. thank you Betty Tidd! and she mentioned it on her blog the next day, (i was shocked! and excited!).  well that just fueled the fire, and i got the guts up to just go and meet her. luckily my friend megan (the sweettooth fairy) told me she was pretty chill and would love to meet me. i'm pretty sure she didn't say, "love", haha. probably more along the lines of, "she wouldn't mind."

so a few days before ty's graduation, i went over to her house with just abigail. knocked on the door. and her little ollie opened the door in his transformer pj's. "mom!" he called out. and there she came to the door, nienie. "hello!" she bubbled out. and then i completely embarassed myself, "i dropped off cookies the other day, but you weren't home, but, but, but, i had to meet you before we moved back to Nevada. i have to thank you for your blog, it saved me during such a hard time (insert tears here on both her and my parts)." blah blah blah, i just was a complete bumbling idiot hormonal stalker lady.

nienie though? she was kind. oh so kind, and easy to talk to. her eyes are piercing and i found that her face wasn't anything to bring stares at all. you could feel her happiness. we chit chatted about school and where we were moving to. she made me promise to give our house a name. and to get bees. i was so glad i stopped by, i was so happy to meet her, to tell her thank you. to give her a hug (i think i squished her too hard) and to talk about her gardne gnomes that still had the price tag on them.  she was so kind about the cookies, and asked for the recipe.  i never gave her the recipe, i never sent the thank you card. i wrote it! but never sent it after the move.

and then once we moved, something happened. and i am going to be 100% honest.  her posts changed, or i changed, and i wasn't interested in her blog anymore. i think it boils down to just plain human pride, avarice, and petty greed, but i really couldn't swallow all of the "stuff" that was happening to her. a new basement! vacations! sailing! anthropologie galore! perfect clothing! perfect friends!  it really was just too hard to swallow. i started to become less enchanted, and stopped reading. every once in awhile i'll stop in. but i find the jealousy starting to creep up onto me again and i have to log off.

but when her book was coming out, i first didn't have an interest in it. and then i thought, "you know, she, her, herself, was really very kind and honest, i'm going to give it a try."  and i am very, very glad i did. i loved her book. i couldn't put it down. and i was reminded of what a wonderful person she is. i'm going to admit that i think her blog is not really "her" anymore. she does it to just keep it up for her reader's but i don't think she is in it. i know she doesn't realize that 90% of us in america and 99.9% of the rest of the world don't have the kind of money she does. a yacht! plans to build a new house on new property! travel! those are so out of the picture for us for our entire life. we work hard to pay the utility bills and registration fees for music lessons. we buy our clothes at Ross and thrift stores. we don't have priceless antiques or custom home renovations.  but we do have our bodies, our faces, and how many times do we consider those priceless gifts? and i bet my booty that she would give all of her possessions to have a whole body and face again. so i'm going to apologize for being so petty, and love her for her. love her for who she really is. and not let the "other stuff" get in the way.

in passing, i highly recommend reading her book. i especially laughed out loud in one part on the 4-wheelers. tell me you didn't also! she has an amazing spirit and i'm grateful to have great examples of perseverance and faith to reflect on.


Anonymous said...

As sad as it is to me too, I don't read her very often any more either... BUT she just had her baby!

Annie Leavitt said...

yes! i'm so excited for her to have that privilige (Sp?) again!

Lara H. said...

I just ordered her book last night, posted about it on FB and then happened to read your post. Kinda crazy! She has inspired me in so many ways. I can't wait to read it! - Lara

Becky J. said...

I probably became aware of her blog around the same time that you did and was captivated by her story, too. Although I still read her daily, I would agree about the change in it over the past year or two. It no longer captivates me (and not just because she isn't still so fresh from her accident, either.) I love her sister's blog so much more and never miss a post there. But I would like to read her book, so I'm glad to know that you'd recommend it. And I'm so happy for her that her body was able to have another baby that she's been wanting so badly. Oh, and I entered her "Motherhood is..." essay contest on a total whim. I don't think I will even come close to winning it, in fact they'll probably be hard-pressed to not send it back with a "Were you kidding?!" attached. But it was fun for me to write my thoughts down about being a mother and good for me to write again, and I will definitely share it with my children someday because it is, after all, about them. Whoa, sorry for the wordy comment! :)

Trent & Tara said...

I can't wait to dive into it. I didn't know you went and met her at her house. I wish I would have I stalked her on walks wanting to knock on the door but never ever did. (jealous). Think about how many lives she has changed, thousands:D I love hearing of other peoples lives & what they go through, it makes you realize just how easy our lives are. Wasn't it you that got up at Rodney's blessing and mentioned a story about a stonecutter that worked on the Salt Lake temple? Did you see the movie or hear read the story? We fed the missionaries tonight and they showed us that video. Holy tear jerker. I lead such a wonderful easy life. I hope that was you who I thought I remembered the story from, lol.

Katie said...

I loved the honesty of this post. Although I never got into reading Nie Nie, there are lots of bloggers that I've become disenchanted with over the past year. Nice to know that they are probably kind people in real life.

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