Monday, December 12, 2011


I am not huge into getting tons of family pictures. But time seems to be flying by very fast, so I got a friend to snap a few pictures so we'd have a holiday family photo this year. Here are a few that turned out well. (We are pretty amateur models---with lots of blinking and awkward smiles in the rejects.)

Since we are traveling to see my family in New York for Christmas, Brian's parents were so nice and spoiled us with gifts before we left for the holidays. Grandma and grandpa got James this car which he loves!

Here I am posing in my Christmas gift from the in-laws. It is a gorgeous Calvin Klein coat I had been eyeing. They were sneaky and had Brian pick it up for me! I love it and it will be very warm for NY. 

Brian got a smoker. He's been wanting one for some time and we are excited to use it to make some smoked pulled pork. My uncle makes the best smoked pulled pork and once you've had it you will know that it is the only way to eat pork! So yummy! 

We feel so spoiled with the gifts from Brian's parents! Thank you so much!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eat Fresh

Since we've been married, Brian and I don't usually eat out. One reason is to save money (that's the big one), but also because we can make healthier and yummier food at home. It's funny adjusting to marriage (even after three years) because I come from a family that eats out a few times a month. And Brian's family goes out to eat on birthdays or other significant events. But occasionally we will splurge, and when we do, you can find us at.... Subway! Wild, I know! We love it and we pile on tons of veggies. **We love it so much that one of Brian's dreams is to open a Subway next to his law firm.

And here is a throwback picture of Brian and me at Subway when we were engaged in 2008. So romantic!

**And owning a law firm is also a goal of ours down the road. I like the idea of owning the two businesses together because then Brian and his clients and have a healthy lunch. I remember watching a show on PBS several years ago that was about the most famous and best hot dog restaurants in the USA. And one of these hot dog places was owned by an attorney that give free legal advise one day a week in an office attached to the restaurant and I just loved that idea. I think we should incorporate (pun intended) a similar service where Brian could give back and provide free legal advice too.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This past week I went to the Hoover Dam with my church's youth group and we were given a behind the scene tour of the dam after hours. Maybe I'm such a nerd but I thought this was so awesome. We learned about the history of the dam and its construction during the Great Depression. We also learned how it worked and what it does today compared to years past. Most of its function today is generating electricity, but it also controls the flow of water to California. 

This view is from the top looking down to the dam

 This view is looking straight at the dam (The top of the structure in this picture is where I took the previous picture from.)

These pictures show the hydrolic turbine generators and they are pretty amazing to see and interesting to learn about. I found it especially cool because I grew up in Schenectady and my dad works for GE in Schenectady where these generators were made. Pretty awesome, eh?

Completed Shelf

We finally completed the book shelf! It took longer than we thought it would because there was a slight learning curve. But once we got the hang of staining and sealing and after Brian did lots of drilling it all came together. It's was lots of fun building this together with my husband. It was sort of a fun date we would do a couple nights a week after James went to bed. 

I also love having all of Brian's huge red law books around because I think they are so pretty to decorate the house with them. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To cut or not to cut

So the big debate around our house right now is whether or not to cut James' hair. I love his long, beautiful, baby curls hair and basically Brian can't stand any of it. I'll admit it's mullet-like and gets crazy in the back after he has slept, but when its all washed and clean and combed I think its just gorgeous! And I never want to cut it. I think once he gets that first buzz he will no longer be Baby James, but he will have that boyish, toddler look. Maybe I just don't want to let go. So please lets hear some feedback. Team Christina or Team Brian?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturdays at the Nelson's

This is how we enjoy our Saturdays at the Nelson house. Nothing too exciting but we have lots of fun! We may be boring, but we love to just lounge around together as a family. Whoops, no pictures of Brian, but he was the one taking the pictures.

Let's get a zoom-in on that one. Gotta love that crack! Brian said that if someday James is a CEO or running for president these pictures could come back to haunt him---but I'll take my chances.

 And of course he's watching Tangled

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Messy Eater

Lately, James has been asserting his independence. One thing he likes to do on his own is feed himself. He's gotten pretty good, and by that I mean he gets food into his mouth.

But he also gets it everywhere else! And that always makes me a little nervous. A little snippet about me is that I hate messiness and have to have near perfect--if not completely perfect--tidiness and cleanliness. This at times (okay almost all the time) drives my husband crazy. But I think deep down he is grateful for it.

Another thing about me, is that I always wanted to be a mom. I was never scared or nervous about being a mom and caring for a baby or kids except for ONE thing. And that one thing is the mess that they would make---whether it was on themselves or in my house or even car. I remember seeing this Brawny paper towel commercial (or one just like it) when I was pregnant and I got physically anxious and nervous about having a baby. Don't worry, I got over it and I am adjusting to my cute little boy and all his messes! (I haven't adjusted to Brian's messes yet, he should know better...)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

 I've always loved the fall and Halloween season (but not dressing up as I've mentioned before) and James seemed to quite like the holiday as well!  Brian made me dress up a little for our church's trunk-or-treat so I managed to put on a BYU football jersey. And James was a monkey! (I really wanted Brian and me to go as Gaius Baltar and Caprica 6 in her red dress from Battlestar Galactica. Brian said it was too nerdy to do it and wouldn't let us! But I thought it would have been great and the few people out there that know what I'm talking about would have loved it!)

And I must add---look at my amazingly healthy retinas! They reflected so red in these pictures!

James didn't understand that it was candy, but he liked having people give him things. And he loved seeing all the other kids out and about. He got especially excited when the kids came to us and rang our doorbell. He would run to the door and impatiently wait for me to follow and open the door. 

P.S. And James totally ran into the wall and wiped out flat on his back because he couldn't see in his costume. It was so funny (and sad) and it would have become a Youtube hit if we had gotten it on camera! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Animation Snob

James appears to be an animation snob. He will only watch Pixar movies! He can really tell the difference and will stop watching any other movie or show. His favorites are Tangled and Toy Story 3. We watch a lot of these two movies so I'm at glad that Pixar makes their movies entertaining for the parents too!

When he watches he usually stands and leans against one of the couches. But he'll change his position a few times during the movie---I guess his legs get tired. I just get such a kick out of these pictures. What a hoot this boy is!

Look at that posture!

 I love his little smirk in this picture.

Here he is with my favorite pink hospital bin. Currently used for storing toys, but they are very versatile!

I love his BYU Cougar sweats! Too cute! 

Even though we love Tanlged and Toy Story 3, we may need to find a few other Pixar movies for Brian's and my sanity. (Is that correct grammar?) But I do love the song Mother Knows Best and I figure I can use that on James as he gets older! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

DIY - Christina the Carpenter

Now that we have a house I have become more invested in decorating and the furniture we get and so on. I saw this bookshelf on HGTV that you can make!

I convinced Brian that we should do it and make it a fun project that we do together. I've been wanting to learn how to use a sander and a drill and becoming more handy around the house, so this seemed like a perfect way to teach me the basics.

So far we've pre-drilled the holes in the wood, sanded the edges, and tested the color stain we are considering.

Next we will stain and protect the wood and then screw it all together. We are adapting the plans a little because the bookshelf above uses really cool, refurbished wood which doesn't really exist in Vegas because there are no trees so we just bought wood from Home Depot. I hope ours ends up looking at least a little bit like the professional one, but if not we had a fun time and I learned how to use some tools. I'll post the end result, but only if it looks decent! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So grown up

Lately James has been acting so grown up! He clearly wants to be very independent and do things all on his own. For instance he insists on going down the stairs facing them straight on, but fortunately for James' safety, I am much more insistent (just ask Brian!) and I make him face them backwards and crawl down. He is also getting better at letting me know what he wants. Just like a mentioned in my last posting about the fridge and how he lets me know he wants something from it, lately he also panics if we are driving and he sees a park. He will make a lot of noise and whine to let me know that he wants to go play at the park. I think we need to work on his communication and learn some words instead of just whining. But I figure that will come in time. It is just so much fun to see this little guy grow up. Here are a few pictures from last week when I did respond to his "request" to go to the park. (Also note that he's wearing shoes! I think he realizes he gets more freedom - like walking when we are in public - if he wears them.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My son's (public) tantrum and other subsequent ones

As I said in my last post I love shoes. But my son hates them. He refuses to wears shoes. And I mean REFUSES! It all started when he was a fat baby. No shoes fit his chubby feet. Baby clothe makers do not keep in mind fat babies. Because of this James has grown so accustom to being barefoot. But now he's old enough that he needs to wear shoes when we are outside or running errands. 

So the incident happened when we were at Wal-Mart. I figured that we should get a pair of shoes for James since they were so cheap. We turned down the aisle and James was panicking and the meltdown tantrum began at just the mere sight of the shoes. (As I said, he hates shoes). I picked up a pair and headed toward him with the shoes ignoring his first outburst, but the screaming and kicking continued. I was mortified. I didn't want to raise my voice at him because I can't stand those moms that are like yelling at their kids and the entire store can hear them. But I also couldn't let him scream and be such a brat. We quickly picked a pair and got out of Dodge. What do you do when your kid tantrums in public? And especially when they are too young to reason with (or bribe)?

Also, recently he has figured out that food comes from the fridge. So when he wants something he goes over to the fridge and starts whining and trying to open it. It's kind of funny. But I'm not sure how to react because I don't want to encourage whining, but he could be hungry... Any suggestions!? But despite his few quirks and tantrums he is a nice and fun boy!