Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best Present Ever (Well...In My Top 5)

So I have an obsession with sports. The secret is out.

Along with this obsession comes a strange fascination with team logos. I used to draw the NBA team logos and put them up on my wall (colored-in perfectly, of course). I also love tracking the progress of teams and looking at the current standings on a daily basis. I appeased the baseball nerd in me by buying an MLB standings board a couple of seasons ago that includes a little batting helmet for each team. However, since then I have always wanted a similar contraption for the NBA. I described to Shara one day what they should invent to please basketball nerds like me...and apparently she was taking more careful notes than I realized because on Christmas morning I opened this:

That's right. My wife is AWESOME. She went online and printed out every NBA team's jersey and logo and mounted them on magnetic paper. She even included the Eastern and Western Conference logos and a complete Finals bracket for when the playoffs roll around!! Her thumb is still a little numb from all the intricate cutting...

I wouldn't have been able to guess in a million years what the present was while it was wrapped. She included a big magnetic frame which she will put to good use during the off-season...unless I get a baseball or football set next year. Not even Santa's elves could have followed through the way Shara did this year. She even offered to hang it up in the kitchen...which even I have been a little hesitant about. Needless to say, my evil plot to brainwash her into my sports-infested fantasy world is nearly complete. Thanks honey!!!!


I just wanted to put up some pictures from our great Christmas.

Max knew just what he wanted for Christmas - he just couldn't form the words for Santa.
"How about a nice football?"
"Football? What's a football?"

Lola was all about climbing on the presents.

We wrapped up Max for his mom.
"I don't want to be a present!"

Trying to get to the forbidden tree

Opening Christmas joys

Hope your holidays were fun! Happy 2011 in just a few more days!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Birthday Boy

I'm not the best at planning parties, so I'm always a little anxious for Rich's birthday because I'm afraid I won't do enough for the hubby. Rich will have to say whether or not he enjoyed it, but I had a pretty good time.

Rich started his birthday at 4 AM and worked until 5 PM. Great fun, right? I had a good day at school (my second to last day), and I had an even better eye appointment. No more SPK! For now. (Cassandra, I'm going to follow your advice about Clear Care to see if I can keep it gone.) The doctor seemed a little surprised that it was gone, and I thought in my mind, "It's a birthday miracle!" And it wasn't even my birthday!

We had a Papa Murphy's pizza with artichoke hearts for dinner (all for Rich - I realized I am not really a fan). And then Rich got to open his present from me. I think I was more excited for this than he was. I got him a Kevin Durant shirt, his second favorite player in the NBA (he already has a D-Will shirt). He loved it, or at least was a really good actor to make me feel good.

Later that night, we had the 5th Annual Christmas Cookie Party on our schedule. Our friend Chad's sister Krista and her friend Susan throw a cookie party every year, and Rich has been to every one. I was happy to be pulled into the tradition (now in my third year), and we are looking forward to "Four more years! Four more years!" (Arrested Development? Anyone?) Here are some pics from the night. You'll see Rich couldn't wait to don his birthday apparel (which I'm telling myself is a sign of a great birthday gift).

Just have to say - notice the lack of glasses. Hallelujah!

See Rich's cookie scene? Don't ask about the facial expression.

Sorry, Chad. Had to put it on here. He didn't pose this at all. It just happened.

Friends, with some cookie loot

Us, with Chad, Bethany, Susan, and Krista. Merry Christmas Cookie Party!

Saturday brought Fredrickson family pictures, the BYU vs. Arizona basketball game in the Energy Solutions Arena (don't worry - we won 87-65 and Jimmer was on fire), and then a trip to the lights at Temple Square. We finished it off with cake and ice cream at our place, along with some Sorry Sliders.

  I think this first picture is so cute. He was actually just taking a breath before blowing out the candles, but he looks like a little kid overcome with birthday excitement. Love it.

Like I said, I had fun. I hope the husband did, too. Now, I have way too much free time, and Rich has none at all. It's going to be a crazy rest of the month. Well, at least for one of us.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nearly There

I took my last college exam last night. My very last one. It hasn't quite hit me yet.

And I have two more weeks of student teaching, which isn't really quite teaching... I am team teaching this week, and next week I am observing. I can't believe how close I am to being done.

Then I will be graduated, with no idea what to do with my future. Anyone interested in hiring me. I have a BYU degree in History Teaching (with a Psychology Teaching minor)? It doesn't have to be in a school? Anyone? Please? It's probably going to get desperate over here.

Yeah, the job is my next problem. Along with what on earth to do with the upcoming free time, time when I would have been studying or writing lesson plans. Anyone have any good book suggestions? If not, I think I hear Harry Potter calling my name. (Make fun of me all you want - they're great books and J.K. Rowling is a genius.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"My Boss is Literally the Devil"

In my US History classes, we are talking about the Industrial Revolution. To give students a little taste of working conditions during this time period, I formed a little factory in my classroom. Students had to pass books around the room, while not smiling, talking, laughing, or sitting; I even cranked the heat up to about 90 degrees while they were working. And I did a lot of yelling (I don't think I've ever really yelled at a class before this).

A lot of students realized that this was just a simulation. Their assignment after the activity was to write a letter home as if they worked in a factory during the Industrial Revolution and describe the conditions. After reading through their letters, I found that some students took the simulation a little too seriously. One girl wrote, "My boss is literally the devil." I know she was talking about me, not a fictional boss, because she was describing our box-moving factory, and she said "she" when referring to the boss (there were few, if any, she-bosses during the Industrial Revolution). I feel like that should have hurt my feelings, but it only made me happier.

In other news, Rich and I went to the BYU basketball season opener versus Fresno State on Friday, and it was a wonderful blowout. It's going to be a great season! Have I mentioned that BYU basketball is my favorite?!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Yesterday was a sports-filled day for the Nelly family. We started our day with a drive to Provo for BYU vs. UNLV. That game was reminiscent of the BYU in John Beck years, with a final score of 55-7. It's always nice to watch a blowout like that. It helps your self-esteem. (Sorry any UNLV fans. Nothing against you.)

Our seats were the best we've had all season. On the second row by the north end zone. And the people in front of us never showed, so Andrea and I sat in the very front row. The weather was AMAZING. In the 70s in November, and I even got a little tan line from my glasses (hopefully, only a couple more weeks of glasses left).

This is how close we were to the field. I think this may be the closest I have ever sat in my 5 years of college football.

We also scored tickets to the Jazz vs. Clippers game, so after the football game (and lunch in the Cannon Center provided by Andrea) we quickly came back to Midvale, changed gear, and headed to Salt Lake. We thought about taking Trax to the game since we live right next to a station, but we're glad we drove because we even scored free parking.

Our seats at the Jazz game were pretty much the complete opposite of the football game. Here's a picture of our view for comparison.

We were literally in the VERY top row. You can see everything from up there. Only, things are the size of ants.

My brother Skyler has season tickets to the Jazz, and Rich I actually found him and his buddies from our seats. (They're kind of hard to miss - they're perhaps the craziest ones out there. If you know Skyler, you know what I'm talking about.) He even came up to say hi to us, after catching his breath from our thousand-step climb.

The Jazz game turned out to be pretty intense. Things didn't look so hot as the Clippers dominated the first half, but the Jazz came to life in the second half, and the game ended after a second overtime with some pretty crazy shots and dunks. It all paid off in the end when they pulled off a 109-107 victory.

I think our pictures from Jazz games look almost identical. But it's nice to get a shot every time. (Thanks again, Scott, for letting me use the jersey. Maybe someday I'll get my own Jazz gear.)

To top the weekend off, Utah got dominated by TCU, 47-7. A BYU win. A Jazz win. A Utah blowout. What more could I ask for in a sports weekend?

P.S. This has nothing to do with sports, but it's funny. Rich and I totally forgot about Daylight Savings Time this morning. We didn't set back any of our clocks and got ready like normal this morning. It wasn't until I turned on my computer right before we were heading out the door that I saw the real time - 7:44 AM. Yeah, we went back to sleep for another hour.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy October 30th!

Only in Utah can you change the day of Halloween if it falls on a Sunday. So, it's Halloween today, but all of our Halloween happenings have already happened.

Our Halloween weekend started on Friday with our ward's trunk or treat. We had visitors, lots of them: my mom and dad, Carrie, Ryan, Max, Lola, and Ryan's parents who are visiting from Kentucky. Rich made some delicious chili for the chili cookoff, and it turned out to be a hit. Max looked adorable in his fireman costume, which he has probably worn every day since they bought it three weeks ago.

Our trunk, which consisted of pretty much all of the Halloween decorations we own

Lola with Grandpa Steve, in her Halloween tutu

Fireman Max got a TON of loot this year, which makes sense after trick or treating 3 different times

Saturday night brought us to the Durhams' house for their annual Halloween party. As far as favorite costumes for the year go, Chad and Bethany definitely win. The party, and the food, were a huge hit, yet again! Thanks, Durham family! I just wish I had gotten a picture of Chase and Savannah in their costumes - they were adorable!

The food setup, complete with Witch's Brew and Mummy Dogs

Being the poor, starving couple that we are, we didn't go all out for costumes this year. We decided it would be fun to pull out the Jazz jerseys again, and the masks are recycled from last year (and they terrified Savannah again, like last year).

And here are the winners of best costumes...
Bleaker and Juno. Their costumes are really spot on. Especially Bethany's. Right down to the orange-striped shirt and plaid skirt. I put the movie poster there so you can compare. Pretty darn good, right?

And now, it's Halloween night, and we've had two trick-or-treaters come to our door. At least we got someone. I guess Rich will have to finish off our giant bag of Skittles and Starbursts ( I don't think that will be too hard for him).

Farewell, Halloween. Til next year. When we will actually celebrate you on October 31st.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Life's No Fun Without a Good Scare

Happy Halloween, all!
My absolute favorite Halloween decoration. Rich discovered it at the Stop & Shop in Ogden.

We carved pumpkins tonight and are pretty satisfied with our work. (Mainly Rich's work. I don't trust myself with the little details.)

Picking the pumpkin's nose

Our works of art

Oogie Boogie and Jack the Pumpkin King look pretty darn good with the lights off

Saturday, October 23, 2010

High School

Just a couple of thoughts about teaching.

First, I worked hard in high school. No, it wasn't college, and classes weren't terribly difficult. But I still worked. I did my homework, and I did it on time. When we had time to work in class, I worked. And the rest of my classmates worked, too. I rarely remember free time in class.

I don't know if high school has changed since I was there (a whole 5 years ago), but I don't feel like students work today. From what I've seen in my student teaching and observations at different schools, kids just don't seem motivated. Maybe Weber High was a little weird - we did have pretty dang good academics. But still. Kids just don't seem to work these days.

Most schools where I have observed have given some form of "advisory time" during the school day. This is basically makeup time where kids talk with their teachers about what they are missing or how to bring up test scores. This seems wrong to me. It seems like schools are saying, "Rather than trying to prevent this from happening, we just have to give in." I'm probably not the only one to think this, but maybe kids would work harder if they knew the first time was actually going to count? Just saying...

Another thought. I think people have a very skewed idea about the life of a teacher. They, in fact, do not live in the school. They aren't even there until 5 o'clock every night, nor should they have to be. Their day starts early, so, therefore, their day should be done early. (For example, Westlake teachers need to be at school by 7:15 AM and can leave at 2:45 PM.)

So, students shouldn't expect for their teacher to be in his or her classroom at 3:30 PM. I have been at school a little later than desired grading papers and have seen students come in at this time, asking to re-take a test which will take another half an hour or so. This is not right, folks! Teachers need to have a life, too! They already get paid way too little, so don't make them stay longer than contract requires them.

And, it's one thing for a student to do this, but I feel like parents should just plain know better. I know it's hard to get in to the school on a teacher's schedule, but don't get mad when your child's teacher is not there two hours after school is over. I have good news for you - email works pretty much just as well as a classroom visit, and I can guarantee a teacher would rather respond to an email.

Please tell me other people have noticed these things as well?

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This past week as a special time for my family. My sister Carrie and her husband Ryan were sealed to their kids for time and all eternity in the Logan temple. That means that Carrie and Ryan get to be with

this handsome young man

and this adorable redhead

forever. That's a pretty amazing thing. And it was really special for Rich and I, and the rest of my family, to be there with them.

Here are some pictures from the week.

Ryan says Lola drinks like a little calf. But an adorable little calf.

Dinner at the Prairie Schooner (Ogden has some weird, but delicious, restaurants)

Uncle Skyler on a walk with Lola at the restaurant

The Bear Witch Project (Rich's clever title)

Khloe's adorable even when we force her into my glasses

Such a gorgeous family

Max is too stinkin' cute

I received my endowment at the Logan temple right before Rich and I were married, but we never got a picture there. We finally did.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sick Day

Poor hubby was sick today. Not just cold sick but full out sick.

This morning, after an upchuck incident, I offered to clean up in the bathroom so he could lie back down. He refused, and I didn't know what to do. Either he is too much of a sweetie to let me clean up such messes, or I royally failed because I didn't force the rag out of his hand and him back into bed. Probably a combination of them both.

Today I found that I had very limited resources to help him recover. It turns out we are not well-prepared for illness here in the Nelson household. We don't even have chicken noodle soup. Instead, our soup of the day was Cup of Noodles (one of my lunch staples). At least I served it to Rich out of a bowl instead of the styrofoam cup.

In other news...

Fun things this past week:
     - Khloe's 1st birthday party
     - Hanging out with Scott while he was in town
     - Cheering the Cougars to victory against San Diego State
     - Today's date is 10/10/10, which is pretty sweet

Good things to look forward to this week:
     - Fall Break, which means NO SCHOOL Thursday and Friday
     - Carrie and Ryan going through the temple and us being able to there with them

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Guess who I got to see this weekend! Alejandra! (For those of you who don't speak Spanish, that means Alexandra.)

Me with the ever-amazing Sister Ahern and her gorgeous little sister, Brooke

Missionaries in the Salt Lake Mission are allowed to see friends and family in between sessions of General Conference. This is Alex's last Conference before she is no longer a missionary. so I knew I had to go. She was willing to forgive me being the worst writer and for still not having sent her Christmas present from last year (I have seriously had it since November of last year, but for some reason I still haven't sent it). I can't believe she only has 5 months left. I know that the mission field is going to be losing an amazing missionary when she gets home, but it'll be fun to have her back! Good luck with the last 5 months of your mission, Sister Ahern!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Seriously Disappointed

I was looking forward to pizza and Pepsi tonight to celebrate making it through another week of student teaching, while watching the BYU football game. Instead, Rich and I had to leave the house because the game was utterly impossible to watch.

It's never a good sign when you're afraid you're going to lose to Utah State. And it's just plain wrong to actually lose. I guess every team has its off year once in a while. But knowing this doesn't make tonight's embarrassment any easier to bear.

Don't get me wrong. I'm still cheering as hard as ever for the Cougars. I'm no bandwagon fan. I know where my loyalties lie. They're my team. I'll be at every home game this year in my rotating student section seat cheering as loud as I can, just like any other season.

But let's just say I'm already looking forward to basketball season. I like basketball better anyway. So, here's to future hopes. Make me proud, Jimmer.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Congratulations, Petersen Family!

Rich and I have a new niece! Welcome, Ainsley Kate Petersen, weighing 9 lbs. 8 oz. and measuring 21" long and born early early yesterday morning, just in time to share a birthday with cousin Carson. 

I think Carolyn deserves a major pat on the back for the size. I already feel a special bond with Ainsley because I was 9 lbs. 11 oz. when I was born. I think this makes her the closest niece or nephew to my own hugeness.

Look at those cheeks! So adorable!

Congratulations on your newest addition, Petersen family! Alex may have been rooting for a brother, but I'm sure this little one will be just as loved even if he can't play tackle football with her.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crap, It's Back

Remember SPK? Well, it's back. And I foolishly thought that I got rid of those stupid spots on my cornea a year ago.

But now there's something up with my right eye. Again. Things are a little blurry (sometimes, but not all of the time) and I can't wear contacts. Again. I'm going to the ophthalmologist. Again. I'm probably going to cry in front of him. Again.

Obviously, my goal is not to cry when he tells me I have to wear glasses for whatever length of time. But, if you know my family at all, you know we get emotional pretty easily. And I really HATE glasses. Not a good combination for me.

I never thought I would seriously consider lasik because I really don't mind contacts. And, I still can't seriously consider it because that's a lot of money that we should spend on things like rent, maybe, or food. But, if Bill Gates were to give me a couple thousand dollars (he could afford to give me a couple million, so I'm really not even asking for that much), I know how I would spend it.

I hope that I won't be a permanent glasses wearer. If the doctor tells me that, my willpower will most definitely break, and I will be bawling in front of him once more.

Wish me luck for Friday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Well, Here We Are

Rich and I moved from the oh-so-friendly Happy Valley about two weeks ago, so I am coming to you now from the not-as-friendly Salt Lake County. I've never been the type who absolutely adored Utah County, so I didn't realize how much I would miss Provo once we left. Now, I long to be back there. Where you are surrounded by fellow Cougar fans. Where it's not an accusation when people ask if are you a Cougar fan. Where you don't feel like you're going to have your window bashed in for having a Y sticker on your car. Well, take this Utes:

We're Cougars through and through.

But seriously, I mostly miss Provo for the people. And the familiarity. I miss being able to hang out with Cami and Ethan a couple of times a week, playing Block Party and having BBQs. And, though we didn't really get to experience it, I miss being around Andrea who just got to BYU. I miss BYU campus, and I miss my friends at work (though Jana, bless her, is the only one still working with RHA). I miss going over to the Durhams' for "Office" and "Community" parties and having Chase and Savannah come running out the door to say (a very shy) hello. I miss Y Mountain, Provo Canyon, and the Provo River Trail. I miss being able to go running from my house (it turns out Midvale is pretty ghetto and a little bit scary).

So, I'm going to start looking for the positives about being in Midvale. One, we're closer to my family. Loving this.

Especially since this one, Khloe, is now starting to walk.

And this one, Lola, is now crawling.

Plus, Max absolutely adores Rich. Two, we like our apartment (it's smaller than our last one but nicer, and our complex is adorable). Three... well, give me time. I'm working on it.

Anyway, I started student teaching, and that's going well. I haven't completely taken over in the classroom yet, but I have taught a few times. It's tiring, but it's much better than sitting in classes all day (although it requires lots of patience because teenagers do not know how to stop talking). In a few weeks, I will be the teacher of four US History classes and two Citizenship and Government classes until December. Rich has thrown himself completely into the job hunt. I don't think there's a job opening on the Wasatch front that he doesn't know about.

So, that's us for now. Life has definitely changed a ton. We'll see what changes the next little while will bring.