Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Birthday and Christmas

December is a busy time of year for everyone, and the Nelly household is no exception! We've been busy around here trying to fit in all of the celebrations, and the month isn't over yet!

Rich's birthday was earlier this month, and we celebrated the day of by going to a Gonzaga basketball game. One big perk of the volunteer coaching position are free tickets to several Zag games! We had the camera with us all day, but we forgot to take pictures. Oops.

We did, however get pictures for the family celebration a couple days later. Happy birthday, Rich!

I'm not all that crafty when it comes to cake, so this Jazz note candle setup is a pretty big deal for me. (And the cake tasted pretty good, too.) 

The cake on fire - 27 candles on there!

Happy birthday to you!

 I got 4 photos in by the time the candles were blown out! They kept relighting. (They weren't trick candles - I guess I placed them too close together.)

Camping stove for the birthday boy

Rich and I love getting our Christmas decorations up and look forward to how festive our apartment can be. I particularly enjoyed our setup this year.

We have this little electric fireplace that we never use, but it sure is a great place to hang stockings.

We were afraid for a while that Spokane wouldn't get a white Christmas, but the snow came just in time.

Rich got a Christmas present from the Gonzaga Athletic Department, and it meant a lot to us for him to be included in that. (Mark Few got the same gift!) However, they don't really have Mormons in mind when getting they're gifts. (And why should they, right? I mean, it's a Catholic school.)

It's a pretty cool set. Aren't those goblets awesome? We don't know what to do with the wine, but it looks pretty sweet.

This year we spent Christmas in Spokane, making this my first Christmas here. I realized this is the first time ever I haven't done some part of Christmas with my side of the family. But Christmas with the Nelsons was tons of fun, too! We got to spend a time with the Dre (and her new boy toy while he was here for a few days), and, of course, Doug and Edie. 

Turns out Rich and I aren't very good at remembering to get pictures. We always had the camera with us for our Christmas celebrations, but we just forgot about it. Here's what we did get when we remembered.

Rich and my dad got the old Nelson train set to work while my parents were up for Thanksgiving. I love what it adds to the Christmas tree.

 The family sitting down to dinner on Christmas Eve

 You can see some of the Christmas loot all around. The monkey I'm holding is Baby Nelly's first stuffed animal from Grandma and Poppa Nelson.

 The unwrapping aftermath at the Nelly household. Next year will be an even bigger mess with a baby to help make it!

We had a fun Christmas here. It's the last one for us with no kids of our own. We know next year will be very different, and we are excited for Christmas with our baby.

(Speaking of baby, I have just started wearing maternity clothes. It's quite the change. I don't feel like I'm big enough for this yet, but my old clothes aren't working anymore so I guess it's time I made the change.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life the Past Little Bit

Well, I will first start off by saying that morning sickness (or pretty much just daily sickness) kicked my butt. I was pretty much not human for about two months. But thanks to prescriptions (Zofran saved my life) and the end of the first trimester, I finally feel human again (although I think any woman who's had a baby will agree that you never feel completely normal when pregnant).

We don't really have much to report in the Nelly household. Rich finished up the cross country season with the Gonzaga cross country team and is now looking forward to indoor track starting early next year.

We enjoyed our Halloween and got to see my parents and the Dre for Thanksgiving. Now, we're getting really excited for Christmas. We had our annual debate on when it would be appropriate to put up the Christmas tree, and this year we actually waited the longest we ever have to put it up (the Sunday after Thanksgiving).

Rich and Andrea ran the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning. My mom and I tagged along for moral support.

Putting the star on the tree

Our ornaments for the year (Rich's on the left, mine on the right)

And now that I made it into the second trimester (and I've stopped throwing up everyday) I've really started to get my baby bump. Rich and I notice it most, but I swear it has exploded (not literally) the past week. I already feel huge, so I wonder how I'll feel about 20 weeks from now.

We took this about a week ago (15 weeks), but I swear I'm bigger than that now. 

I decided I'm going to take pictures every Thursday (this is the day, according to my due date, that I can say I'm starting a new week), so I'll compare my tomorrow picture with this one to see if it's just in my mind. It's still hard to not feel self-conscious when Rich comments on how big my belly has gotten. In the words of Cami (my also-pregnant sister-in-law who is due just about the same time as me), its really weird to gain weight and just embrace it with open arms!

One final observation, when you tell someone that you're pregnant, they automatically look at your stomach. That's also a little uncomfortable - not a region I generally want people staring at. Now I just can't wait for people to start touching my belly (I hope you caught the sarcasm). Apparently, I still have a lot of things to get used to about being pregnant.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Nelly, Jr.

Well, we figured it's time to spread the word. Shara is now 8 weeks pregnant with Baby Nelly, due May 24th! The Nelson household is getting pretty excited for their next addition!

We've known for about a month now, but we wanted to wait until our first appointment to make our announcement to the world. The appointment was Thursday, and we were lucky enough to have an ultrasound, which we weren't expecting.

Things are going pretty well so far, except for Shara's morning sickness. I don't think people prepare you enough for how hard morning sickness really is (or monthly sickness as it's turning in to). Just a warning to future parents - it's no fun. And to those already parents - we admire your stamina. And to those who didn't get bad morning sickness - we're really jealous.

We're excited for what the future holds for us now as we start preparing for Baby. Good news - we already have a crib and a changing table! (We've actually had them since May because we figured we'd need them eventually, right?) We do acknowledge, however, that we still have a long way to go before we are even close to being "ready" to be parents.

We're also having fun talking about baby names, something Shara has liked to do since we were married. Before it was just kind of a game, but now it's getting serious, isn't it? Current names for Baby Nelson: Nelly Jr., Baby Shagz, Jelly Belly, Rio the Embryo (not going to be able to use that one much longer). I'm sure the list will keep getting longer.

Now our lives about to change forever. I hope we're ready for it!

Monday, August 22, 2011


If you have any patience, check out the five new posts I just did. They're long overdue.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is perhaps my most favorite place on earth. I hadn't been in seven years, and Rich had never been. Until two weeks ago that is. Yep, it is still my favorite place on earth.

My dad just got into a timeshare in a houseboat on Lake Powell, so we went down with the family a couple weeks ago to bask in the sun. I loved just being able to lie around in the sun and be lazy, or go exploring canyons, or go wakeboarding, or read, or play cards. There's no schedule at Lake Powell. You get up with the sun (or with the little kids, whichever wakes first), and go to bed whenever you feel like. It's so relaxing. And I love it.

Oh, I hope we can go again next year. Until then, Lake Powell!

Andrea's Adventure

Ever seen the movie "Hitch"? You know the part where Hitch has an allergic reaction to some shellfish? He looked like this:

I thought that was a little overdone, for the movie's sake. I didn't think swelling could actually happen like that. Turns out, it can.

Cami came to town a little bit ago, and one night she, Andrea, Rich, and I decided to make some shrimp pasta for dinner together. Andrea was in charge of shelling the shrimp, and she started to complain that her hands were starting to get really itchy, and then we noticed some hives on them. Yep, that should have been a good warning sign. But Andrea has eaten shrimp before and never had a reaction, so we didn't think it was a big deal.

We ate dinner together and then Andrea went for a run a little bit later. She gets back and pounds on the front door for us to let her in. She starts talking about how her feet are really itchy. We all thought we she was overreacting, and so Cami tells her to get into the shower and see if that helps.

It doesn't! She comes out and Rich and I can clearly see that her face has started to swell. We sent Cami to the store to get some Benadryl, and by the time she was out the door, the swelling had doubled!

We called Dr. Aaron to see what we should do to help her. He called in a prescription for her and told us what we could give her in the meantime. After giving her some medicine and establishing that Andrea could breathe and wasn't in any immediate danger, we got to work taking some pictures while waiting for the prescription to be filled. None of us could stop laughing, including Andrea. It sounds kind of wrong, but it was so hilarious!

This was one of the first shots that I got. She already has small eyes, but the swelling made them even smaller! 

Look at the bumps!

 This was about the worst that it got. The first picture and this one were taken probably 15 minutes apart, and I can definitely see a difference in the swelling! Her lips were so swollen! (It probably didn't help her feel better when Cami asked, "Can lips explode?")

Sorry that this is sideways. I wish I had gotten a better video. But this just gives you a little taste of how funny she sounded!

So, it turns out that Andrea is allergic to shrimp. Probably good to know for the future.

(Thanks, Andrea, for being such a good sport about all of this! Those pictures really are priceless!)

One Short Day in the Emerald City

While the Dre was in town, she, Rich, and I took a trip to Seattle for the day to see a Mariners' game. This game just happened to be not too long after they went on a 17-game losing streak. They ended the streak a couple games before this, but our hopes still weren't too high for a win. We were happily surprised, though, when Dustin Ackley hit a homerun in the first inning and the Mariners managed to pull off another win.

We pulled out all of our Mariners gear the night before the game. Notice the tiny Mariners cap? Andrea gave us that cap probably two years ago for our future Mariners fan. Nope, this is not an announcement. Just another Mariners item to add to the collection! I'm sure the hat will be well used someday.

 We sat right over the bullpen and got to see the pitchers warming up.

Pineda, starting pitcher today


After the game, we explored the city a little. Rich and I went to Seattle on our honeymoon, but we were there on New Year's Day. Everything was closed, and we didn't even get to see them throw the fish in Pike Place Market. I was determined to see them throw the fish on this trip.

We drove to and from Seattle in one day (at least a four-hour drive each way), so we didn't have time to do much. But we had fun while it lasted!

(Like) New Table

When Rich and I got married, we (gratefully) inherited several furniture items from our friend's sister. This included a couch, a coffee table, two lamps, and a kitchen table. We don't have the couch or lamps anymore, but the two tables are still ours. The kitchen table was well used and needed to be refinished, but Rich and I had neither the time nor the means to do that. It was covered in permanent pink and orange stains, so we just covered it with place mats and let it be. When we got to Spokane, we inherited some kitchen chairs that also needed a little love. Good thing being in Spokane means being close to an accomplished woodworker (aka Rich's dad). He gave us a little instruction, and then Rich tackled the table and chairs like a pro (with a little assistance from me).

I wish I had gotten some good before pictures of the table. But by the time I remembered to take pictures, we were well into the project. I snapped what pictures I could with my phone, and then started bringing my camera along.

This shows the natural wood color and then the color of the stain we chose. I liked the natural color, but we wanted something a little darker.

 I don't know if you can tell, but the legs hadn't been stripped of the original finishing yet. That was the color of the whole table before we got to it (with plenty of orange and pink spots on the top).

The master at work. I wish I could say we worked on it just as much as he did, but that would be a lie. Most of the finished project is Rich's doing.

Oops. We thought we were done with the table but then noticed these little spots, the ends of the tracks where the table expands.

Before and after of the chairs. We considered trying to refinish the seat of the chairs to match the table, but that seemed like more work than it was worth. So we just painted the chairs entirely black. I think it turned out pretty well.

The finished product! I finally have a nice kitchen dining set. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. And so much cheaper than buying a new set.

Petersens in Town

Last month, Rich's sister Carolyn and her family came to Spokane for several weeks. It was great spending time with them, especially Aaron who returned from Afghanistan in June. Their kids just crack me up. All of them have such fun and vibrant personalities, so it's always a laugh when they're around.

We had a fun time at Riverfront State Park with the Petersen clan. We all rode on the historic carousel, and the kids had a great time on the giant wagon slide.



On another day of their visit, we decided it would be fun to take the kids to the splash pad. Of course, that had to be the windiest, coldest day of their visit. The kids took one trip into the pad and decided it wasn't for them. Rich, Carolyn, and I, on the other hand, tested our bravery in the FREEZING cold water. Alex joined us after a little bit. The water was so cold it gave me a headache, but it was a fun time all the same.

I lost count of how many times Rich did this. He's crazy. That was was soooooooooo cold!

We miss the Petersens now that they're gone again, but we sure had a great summer with them here!