Friday, September 28, 2012

Michael & Rachel's wedding

Last month we traveled to Utah for a mini family reunion for Brian's brother's wedding (Sorry for the possessive determiners, I probably could have constructed a better sentence.) We are so excited for the happy couple and to have Rachel in our family - she is so sweet!

The beautiful bride and groom

Here we are with Brian's four beautiful sisters and now my new in-law sister! 

This is James still happy.

This is James less happy...

And now he's just NOT happy!
 I laugh every time I see this picture, poor guy. He was over taking pictures!

Friday, September 7, 2012

View of a 2-year-old

The other day I was on the computer and James was watching his favorite movie Phineas and Ferb Across the 2nd Dimension (no longer Tangled) and I kept seeing the flash from the camera go off. I didn't think anything of it until Brian asked me what all these pictures were on the SD card. The pictures James took were sort of cute. 



The corner

Building blocks

The Nintendo


Inside a box

More Legos & blocks (I hate that he plays with both at the same time! It takes a good five minutes to sort them back---And I HAVE TO put them away separately or I would go crazy!)

More Phineas and Ferb (and now I can see how dirty the TV screen is from his little fingers. Better add that to the list of chores.)

There were several more, but they were much of the same. It's funny to see what things he likes and that he felt worthy of a picture. It's also fun to see how they look from his angle and what dirtiness I can't see from 3 feet higher. 

Family Pictures

We had to bribe James with a bottle to get him to sit still. He is a boy that loves his milk!

And despite his wardrobe malfunction, these pictures are pretty cute of James. (The top buttons of shirt kept coming undone and his pants were too tight zip or button. I had packed the jeans without trying them on him! I guess he grew since the last time he wore them.)

The Nelson extended family

I love James' hand under his chin. And they are all such the cute cousins! I love how blonde everyone is!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nelson Family Rules

Something unique Brian and I do in our marriage and family is to allow each of us to make one rule annually by which all members of the family must abide. We call these Family Rules. Typically, as many of you know, a courtship is more likely to lead to marriage when they agree upon "the basics" - politics, religion, money, etc. Brian and I agree on most of these "basics". Even though we are often on the same page about things sometimes as the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. Brian has discovered my somewhat nonsensical, yet non-negotiable expectations and/or quirks. For example, I cannot fall asleep unless I know the dishes are complete downstairs. Also, when I leave the house, and especially when I go on vacation, my house must be perfectly clean in the event that someone must come into my home for some reason while I'm away. I also just like coming home to a clean home after I've been away. These traits of mine came as some surprise to Brian as he was not aware of them before we wed. He has discovered (and continues to discover) these aspects of me over the course of our marriage.

Brian, on the other hand, has a silly sense of brand loyalty to Costco, In-N-Out and American Express. While I do like these companies and their business models, I don't see the logic in driving five extra miles just to fill up on gas at Costco to save three cents per gallon.

Despite how crazy and different we find each other, we have agreed that once a year we can impose our "personal preferences" on the rest of the family by decreeing a Family Rule of the year. I will recap how the rules started as well as which rules have been imposed so far with their respective backstories. As Marbury v Madison first establishment judicial review, our 2009 Thanksgiving trip to visit Jarom and Erica in Idaho established the Nelson Family Rules.

Christina's 2009 Family Rule: The whole family must pack for a trip the day before

For Thanksgiving, Brian and I went to visit our dear friends up in Idaho. Brian waited until the last minute to pack, unlike me that carefully packed a day before the trip and was then able to make last minute adjustments to my luggage. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and stayed the rest of the weekend at our friend's house. Sunday came and as we were dressing for church Brian realized that he had brought his suit coat but had forgotten his suit pants. He ended up wearing jeans and a white shirt to church. Brian felt very sheepish and embarrassed at his appearance because he prefers to dress more formally as an outward commit to God in his worship. At first, I was annoyed at him, but later felt badly because he was so embarrassed. But I still held that I had told him to pack sooner, but he claimed there was no need. My point made. And thus my rule made, not only as extra insurance that he will pack before, but that he will not forget again.

Brian's 2009 Family Rule: Christina may not throw away Brian's things without permission

Brian caught me throwing away a pair of his shoes that held sentimental value. (as well as aromatic value!).

Christina's 2010 Family Rule: Christina does not ever have to drive a stick shift car nor is she to be mocked about her inability and refusal

The car we have had for most of our marriage is a manual car and once a week during Family Night Brian would force me to practice driving in the BYU football stadium parking lots. Subsequently, each night after torturous practice and tears, I would have nightmares of stalling in major intersections, on hills, or in stop and go traffic. In 2010 I decided enough was enough and instigated my 2010 Family Rule.

Brian's 2010 Family Rule: Christina cannot yell at Brian (especially in public)

As some of you know, my voice is known to carry. Brian and I were shopping at Costco and I thought I was just quietly rebuking him. My "kind rebuke" was in fact a shrewish shrieking for which Costco shoppers had a front row seat.

Christina's 2011 Family Rule: Brian must shave for going to church and temple

As you can tell, most of these rules are established to help us reach an agreement where Brian and I normally have divergent ways of thinking. In regards to shaving both Brian and I agree he looks better when shaven. However, Brian would prefer an extra 15 minutes of sleep. In taking his shuteye into account, I made the rule only apply to instances of worship. So he doesn't have to bother arising early for things such as school or work.

Brian's 2011 Family Rule

Brian had no complaints whatsoever about his beautiful wife Christina so he decided to forgo his rule for this year. (Actually, we just can't remember what rule he made. We don't usually remember the rules until we break them. So we'll have to wait it out and at some point I'll break Brian's unremembered 2011 decree.)

Christina's 2012 Family Rule

I have not made my rule for the year yet. Any suggestions?

Brian's 2012 Family Rule: The sink, which is a double sink, must always have one side empty of dishes.

I, of course would prefer there to never be dishes in the sink but sometimes when we have people over or we make a big meal the dishes end up all over the house and the counters. I prefer to collect them and just stack them in the sink. However Brian hates this and made it his rule for this year. To Brian's dismay I have broken this rule a few times and need to work on it.

I have chosen to blog about this to help Brian and I keep a better record of the established rules so that we can remember to keep our commitments to each other and because I want to remember the stories behind why we made some of these rules.

I'm not usually sentimental

I'm not known for being very sentimental or nostalgic. In fact, my husband thinks that I am cold-hearted in the regard that I am fine to throw things away that he thinks carry with them some memory or emotion. I just love to clean out my house. And that almost always trumps any touchy-feely emotions. Sometimes I watch that disturbing show Hoarders and I am just blown away. Simply put, I do not understand. I would be a very bad therapist in dealing with this disorder and the people, but I would certainly be the one to call to help clean the stuff out and organize the house!

So one backstory to explain why I am blogging about this: (I always think of Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas & Ferb telling Perry the Platypus his backstory to explain why he made his current "inator". But maybe I spend too much time watching children's television shows...)

Okay, so back to the backstory. Yesterday night we were cleaning out Brian's closet and it reminded me of an incident that happened a couple years ago. I was going through our house de-cluttering and I ended up in Brian's closet. I found Brian's really nasty old shoes that he wore as a missionary for our church. Because they were so gross and he hadn't worn them in over three years, I saw no need to keep them and threw them away. Brian came home and noticed them in the trash and was mortified that I would have thrown them away and he wondered what else had I been throwing away and was just was never caught doing it! Oops. I didn't see why he was making such a big deal out of it. He explained to me that when he sees his shoes that he remembers the great experiences of his mission. We made A Family Rule (In our family, Brian and I are allowed to each make one rule each year that we will then have to follow for the rest of time) that I am not allowed to throw his things away without his permission. Though I may not have this same attachment to things, I am learning to accept that my husband does. And I try to control my urge to purge the house!

So back to the point of this blog entry. I do have a few things that I have some feelings for and will always keep. One of those things is this adorable rocking chair that James is sitting in. My grandmother gave it to me when I was a young girl and my mom recently mailed it to me to have in my home.

It fits him perfectly! I am grateful to have this piece of furniture in my home and to be able to pass it down to my children. Another item that I hold dear is my spoon collection of my ancestors bearing my name Christina. In my family there is a matriarchal tradition to pass down the name Christina to the first daughter along with the spoon collection. I am the seventh generation Christina and I feel honored to carry on the name and I hope to pass the legacy down to my daughter. And I think I will give this chair to James and he can pass this down through his family. All of this to say is that I do have some sentiments, just not as many as most people.