I’m sitting here typing with my groovy new manicured hot pink fingernails with sparkle flowers adhered by Elle and Grace. Boy howdy do they ever look good.

My heart’s been melting lately as I watch my kids. I love how in every prayer they say they thank Heavenly Father “that we have the cutest baby in the world.”

I love that I got to overhear the girls make up a “play” to the Wicked soundtrack this afternoon.

I love that Max lets his sisters play games on his brand spanking new cell phone.

I love that Lucy always figures out some way to maneuver her left arm out of her seat belt straps and then she looks at me like she’s the smartest girl in the world when I go to get her out.

I love Max’s smile when he “gets” something sarcastic Dave says.

I love that Claire is really into bugs right now…and wants to save them and have them as pets. She kept a legless grasshopper for three days until I finally convinced her it’d be better to let it go.

I love how Elle & Grace not only gave me a manicure today, they gave each other one and Claire…and tried to talk Max into it too.

I love the deep, velvety sound of Lucy’s total belly laugh when we tickle her chubby little body.

Little things, but I love them.

I’ve been soaking in my kids more than ever lately because of Stephanie (Nie Nie). For anyone who has not heard this tragic story, click here. She was one of the teachers at Blissful Living Studio. I only met her once, at our first teacher meeting, but she left an impression on me. She was so impressive. So outgoing. So on-the-ball. I could just tell she was awesome right from the start.

When I was in China I got an e-mail that she had been in this horrible airplane accident. She’s in critical condition as a burn patient (along with her husband). Their four kids are now being taken care of up in Utah by other family as they watch and pray for the future. To hope with everything they’ve got that she’ll make it. That she’ll come back to them and wrap her arms around them again. And my heart aches for them all. If you read her blog, you can tell she is one heck of a mother. I ache for those sweet kids who’s hearts are no doubt yearning for her presence near them. I ache for her who even through her coma I’m sure she’s longing for those kids to surround her. I’m sure her sedated heart still yearns to hear their voices around her…even if they were fighting. Even if they were pulling each other’s hair. Even if they were jumping on the couch for the thirtieth time after she told them not to. Even if they left their dirty socks around for the hundredth time. Because I’m sure she misses them like crazy. I’m sure she’d love to have that euphoric feeling a mom gets when she stops all her “important” things and just hangs with her kids.

It makes me realize how lucky I am to get every day that I get. It makes me think about what’s most important. It makes me want to soak in each day because, crazy or not, good or bad, I have that day. I get to be with my kids. I get to be with my husband. I can walk, run, talk, teach, feel. And it’s so easy to take all that for granted.

So, whether you know her or not, send some prayers her way. There are massive efforts to raise money for her (doctor/hospital bills, household/childcare, etc.) all over the Internet. I put a link on the right side of this blog if you’re interested.

I’m off to go tuck my kids in bed and snuggle them off to sleep. Because I can. And I’m so thankful for that. Thanks for giving me a heightened realization that I need to soak in the little things, Nie Nie!


  1. I don’t even know them, but heard about it. And have read all about it on her sisters blog cjane. So so so sad!!!! I can’t get over the tragedy. What a beautiful women, mother and person. It sounds like she has an amazing family that has rallied around her and the kids. I am thinking of her and checking her sisters blog on the updates of her recovery.

  2. I have had many of the same thoughts you have expressed. Their family has been in my prayers since the accident. I don’t know them personally, but my uncle was also on the plane with them, and passed away from his injuries. The whole experience has really made me reflect on how short life is and how blessed I really am. I hope their recovery goes as well as it can, and they are able to reunite as a family again.

  3. I have only met Stephanie and Christian once but Christian’s sister Charity was a dear, dear friend of mine. She passed away about 6 years ago. The Nielsen family has gone through so much. My heart aches for them, especially for Stephanie at this time. She definitely has many people praying for her right now. Thanks for the sweet post.

  4. Oh Shawni, I was really touched by your post and by this tragedy. Once reading your post, I immediately googled Stephanie Nielsen and read about their accident. Upon reading her and her sister’s blogs, my heart breaks for their family and for their small, small children yearning for their Mom. I have not been able to get them off of my mind all day. And, you are absolutely right, we take our daily life with our kids for granted. Whether we are having good times or disciplining them, we are here with them. I will continue to keep Stephanie and her family in my prayers.

  5. Shawni I don’t know if you have seen this on the Today Show but I thought of you when a friend of mine sent it to me from Provo…
    By the way why the heck don’t you add me in on your side bar????
    I am totally kidding! You are too cute to worry about stuff like that! 🙂
    I thought you might be interested in this:


    I don’t know if it will even work through the blog comment but if it doesn’t then you can always go to the Today show website I would think and see it….

  6. Amen. I saw her story on Oprah yesterday and then proceeded to her blog. Stephanie is a genuine person, a loving spirit, and a great mom to her 4 beautiful children. We both were inspired by her story and I am praying that she and her husband recover and can live their life in comfort.

    Over at "RaisinToast"

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