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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa Claus is comin' to town!

At 7AM on Christmas morning Will came upstairs and was ready to open presents.  Annie was still asleep, so Dallas and I went in to wake her up.  I rubbed her back and Dallas said, "Wake up, Annie."  Annie squirmed and tried to get back under her blankets.  Then I said, "It's Christmas, Annie!"

Her eyes shot open and she exclaimed, "Santa's here!!!"

It was magic.  I wish their faces on Christmas morning could be burned into my memory!

Christmas Day was a bit crazy- running from place to place visiting with our families.  Dallas and I both agreed that Second Christmas was much more enjoyable.  We celebrated Second Christmas the day following Christmas Day and we were able to stay home all day, play with toys, watch our new movies, have Beyblade Tournaments ("Ready, Set, Beyblade!") and overall just enjoy each other


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deliver Us

Sometimes at Christmas I feel lost. Somewhere between parties and presents, Christmas cards and neighbor gifts, Santa Claus and all of those magic reindeer, I get swallowed up in a lot of things that don't matter.  This year I have taken more time to reflect.

I have yet to do neighbor gifts.

I didn't send out any Christmas cards.

Family parties were focused more on relationships than gifts.

And I have read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John- the gospels that chronicle the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. My focus has been so much better this year because I have been thinking about the one thing that makes a difference to everyone- that many many years ago there was a sweet baby boy born in the most humble of circumstances.

I can't help but think that His mother, Mary, thought He was sure to be the most beautiful baby in the world- just as I did my own children. I wonder if she really understood that as surely as she delivered Him, that He would deliver her, and us, right back.

He led a perfect life so that he could show us the way to return to our Father in Heaven. I am so, so grateful. He is the greatest gift that we could ever receive. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas- Nicoll (extended) Style!

The Nicoll extended family party is all about tradition! We always do the nativity with the children (or those that act like children- Jordan), play games together, complete a humanitarian project, Grandma Nicoll makes all of the kids pajamas, and we eat, eat, eat.  This year was no different!

More than anything, we love being able to sit around and talk. It's sad how our families get so bit that oftentimes we only see each other once a year.  It's important to make the effort to be there and I'm grateful that it has worked out so that we have been able to be there every year. 

Christmas- Wilson Style

I do believe that any sort of creative gene that I have comes from my Mother.  She's not the best decorator and doesn't craft, but my Mom knows how to put together some games!

We have a tradition that every year at our Christmas party my Mom comes up with games for the adults.  Now, I should tell you that not everyone in our family loves to play games (cough- Cami and Nate- cough) so my Mom gets us all interested by using the one thing we all can't get enough of....


We've played trivia, we've shot at targets with dart guns, we did the hula to string ornaments on the Christmas tree, and this year was the mother of all games- A treasure hunt (with the winners of the rounds getting the most points), mixed with some target shooting, and some "Minute to Win it" type games.

The competition is fierce and we all try to act like we don't care.

But we care.  We care A LOT.

We ran all over their yard in our coats searching for clues, I used the brim of a hat to place some toothbrushes in a toothbrush holder (in record time!), and Will, Dallas and I did our best at the target shooting.  When everything was figured the standings were:  Clay and Leslee (1), James and Kaydee (2), Dallas and Amylee (3), Cami and Nate (4), and Sam (DNS).

Lucky for us we all ended up with the same prize in dollar amounts in Smith's gift cards to use for our food storage.

We always have such a fun time at the Wilson party, and I'm so grateful for my parents who not only do a wonderful job at making sure we have a good time, but they are so thoughtful of their gifts and always take into account what we need.

I love my family.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Annie is sporting a new look!  Dallas had been asking me to cut her hair short for awhile now.  I love a little girl with a bob, but I was having a hard time letting go of her ringlets.  (Annie calls her ringlets "kitty curls".  You put a "kitty" in front of it and suddenly she'll sit still for anything!  Hmmm.... maybe I should start calling it "Kitty Church"?)  She looks so grown up with her new do!

I would love that sweet little face even if it were attached to a bald head.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Little Angels

Nothing is cuter than a kid wrapped up in a Christmas outfit. Nothing.

Friday, December 9, 2011

That. girl.

"I'm your Mom, huh Mom."  -Annie

So this explains why she is bossing me around all the time.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Festival of Trees

Every year I go to the Festival of Trees with my Mom. Every year we eat at Sweet Tomatoes.  Every year it makes me cry. Every year I'm reminded of how poor my decorating skills are.

This year we went to see my adorable niece Lauren perform with her show choir.  It is so fun!  She is a little drama queen which, we all know, means that she holds a special place in my heart.  She is a fantastic performer and we love watching her!
My little fisherman loved the fisherman tree the best.

Lauren- center- on stage with her group.

Next generation Drama Queen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meet Ledger

On December 1st a magical Christmas Elf arrived on our door. He was wrapped in packaging that said, "Special Delivery from the North Pole." We don't know who delivered it, so it must have been Santa Claus. Our elf came with very specific instructions:

  • Give him a name.
  • Do not touch him- for it would take away his Christmas Magic!

Oh dear.  My boys really are cute.  Promise.
Thanks to Dallas, our elf's name is Ledger.  He's a quiet little guy that spends his days in odd places taking note of our behavior.  Good or bad, he reports to Santa Claus at the North Pole each night, then returns to our house and hides in a new spot each morning, just waiting for us to find him.  So far we've found him:

  • On our clock.

  • Hanging from the ceiling fan.
  • Hidden in Will's stocking munching on a candy cane.
  • He emptied out our miniature Santa's sleigh and went for a ride.
  • Perched on Annie's cabinet so as to take better watch on this little two-year-old of ours.
I must say, he has improved the behavior of some people in our house drastically.  (Ahem, Will).  We never know where he is going to hide next and has been a race to see who can find him first in the morning.  We are loving him!  I know our family will miss Ledger when he has to go to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, but we are already looking forward to spending many more Christmases with him in the future.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30: Because this time I could have earned Mother of the Year.

My kids were absolutely atrocious today.

Honestly.  They were so bad that Will was actually sent to bed without dinner.  At 6:00 PM. 

I'm not joking folks, it was that bad.  And it wasn't just one of them, it was both of them.

The part I'm grateful for?  I was calm.  And logical.  And loving!  I could tell that there was a greater power helping us out tonight because without it our house would have imploded.  I'm so grateful that I could go to bed tonight knowing that, for once, we actually did everything right.

As a parent, I think you need to really celebrate those moments.

On a completely different note, I've been really grateful for this Gratitude Project.  I know I didn't post pictures every day like I had planned, but that's just the way it is.  It's not exactly convenient to carry a camera around with you every second of every day.

Plus if I were to start taking pictures in church I'm pretty sure I'd be ostracized from my community.

And we can't let that happen.  I digress.

Each day I would start out thinking, 'I know exactly what it is I'm going to blog about today.'  When the day wrapped up, it was almost never what I was expecting.  It was always a great surprise and I found myself being more aware of my blessings.  It has been a great experience and I hope to continue at least the state of mind in the future.

After all, I have a lot to be grateful for.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29: The Things They Say

I was busily getting a dessert ready for Finer Things Club and Annie was wanting to go outside and play.  She asked repeatedly, "Mom, will you put on my shoes?" while I responded repeatedly, "In just a minute, Annie."  I was zoned out.  Annie was frustrated.

And then she says, "You're not listening, Mom.  You're not going to get an iPod Touch."

Santa isn't just watching the children- in case you forgot!

I also had to include this story from a couple of weeks ago:

My kids were in our very small kitchen while I was fixing dinner.  They were tormenting me telling me how hungry they were, as usual.  When we sat down to eat said dinner (steak, rice, green beans and peas) they immediately started whining and telling me they weren't hungry, that they weren't going to eat the dinner, that they didn't like the dinner, and on and on.

After feeling very annoyed and frustrated I interjected a threat, "You can eat this dinner or you can get a spank!!"  (Lovely parenting, I know.  Empty threat + physical force = mother of the year).

This quieted them for a few minutes in which they began to eat some of their dinner... until this:

"I'm not going to eat my green beans, Mom.  Spank me." -Annie

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28: Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer.

Elf kept us company while we hung stockings and wound lights around branches.  Will and Annie decorated the tree this year while I watched.  Our family drank hot cocoa in the glowing Christmas tree light while we read Luke 2- the story of our Savior's birth.  Annie asked me to tell her more about when Jesus was born.  Will asked if our puppy Ozzy (that was killed Christmas Eve 2006) will be resurrected.  It was, all in all, a perfect night.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27: Scripture Study

Our kids are pretty forgetful a lot of the time; they forget to brush their teeth, clean up their toys, make their beds, clean up the table, wear socks, and wipe their bums.  But they never forget family scripture study.  One of my very favorite things in this entire world is to hear Annie's sweet little voice repeat the words from the Book of Mormon.  I wish I could remember what it sounds like for always, but I know my mortal mind won't allow me.  I sure hope when we get to Heaven that we can replay our lives to remember moments like this.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26: Scrabble

I'm a simple girl.  Easy to please.  This must be obvious when I can dedicate an entire "thankful" post to the game of Scrabble.  For about 3 years now I've been playing the game regularly with Grandma Kaiserman and Jenn.  We've all gotten pretty good and when we aren't playing each other then it's pretty easy to crush our competition.  (Did I just brag?  Yes.  Yes, I think I did).  When we play each other- it's an all out war!  There are names called and fists flying (okay, maybe not the fists), and it's a fight to the bloody death.  I will admit on this blog, right now, that Jenn is probably the better player of all of us, but dang it if I didn't beat her by 3 points tonight!!!!

I didn't even have my camera to document the proof, but now I have this post.  So let it be written that on November the 26th, 2011, Amylee Nicoll beat Jennifer Robinson in a game of Scrabble.  (Never mind that Grandma beat the both of us in this very same game...)

Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25: Scootie Dog

This silly puppy.  He is the best dog in the world- he requires practically nothing of me besides refilling his food and water bowl (which Will does) and letting him outside every few hours.  Plus he's cute.  Scooter rediscovered some of his youth today and ran around like a wild dog playing with a toy.  The kids were a little stunned by it because I don't think they've ever really seen him like that before- it positively freaked Annie out.  He's a fun little pup and I'm glad he's in our family.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24: Thanks

My Eternal Family

Crazy Kids!  Left:  Will and Lauren, Right: Alex, Annie and TeAnna

Angel from Heaven.  Honestly.  She is the Salt of the Earth.

Bumpa Traig- Best Grandpa in the world.  Annie begs him to tickle her back (which is what he's doing in this picture).  My Dad will play with the little ones and has such patience with them.

Wilson Grandkids!  Top:  Annie and Tyler (Cami's), Bottom:  Lauren (Cami's), TeAnna (James'), Kenny (Clay's), Will.  Alex (Cami's) was pooped and therefore missed the picture.
Family, hands down, is what I am most thankful for in my life.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23: Firsts

I made my very first pie today! Isn't it beautiful?

Too bad it ended up being soupy. The filling still tasted great over a bed of vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22: The Little Things (Revisited)

Some people need their Diet Coke, and others need their Butterfingers.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21: Marriage

Every single day I think about how blessed Dallas and I are to have such a wonderful marriage.  We just get each other.  He needs to shoot guns and I need to run.  We both like our alone time every now and again.  He does the outside chores and I do the inside chores.  I can't imagine my life blending so perfectly with anyone else.

At the same time, we recognize that you can't ever let your marriage fall by the way side.  It's something that needs constant attention; it's fragile and should be handled with care.  More than anything, I'm so grateful that we both feel the same way about our very sacred relationship.  No matter what, we are in this together.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20: "I know you not."

No picture.  I'm over it.

To start this I need to go back over a month ago.  We were told in sacrament meeting that a General Authority would be visiting for our Stake Conference and he wanted every adult to prepare a 12-15 minute talk, and every youth to prepare a 2-5 minute talk.

Today was the day.  Were we prepared?  No.  Not at all.  Rather than prepare talks, we came up with a list of reasons we were either not going to be at Stake conference, or why we were too busy to prepare a talk.  These reasons included (but were not limited to):
  • Staying in Boise an extra day.
  • Picking up my kids at my parents house and staying there for Sunday.
  • Will has strep.
  • Annie has a cough.
  • Dallas has lots of homework.
  • Amy has lots of... well...  toys to clean up.
You get the picture.  Boise didn't pan out and my Mom ended up watching our kids in Heber rather than Syracuse.  Long story short- we had no excuse.  We thought about just plain not going to church, but we couldn't bring ourselves to do it.  We knew better.

So off to Stake Conference we went- no talks in hand.  No thoughts formed.  Completely unprepared.  Were we called on to speak?  Of course not.  The experience was something that was for our own growth, and we chose not to grow.


And then during my personal scripture study I read the parable of the 10 Virgins.  All were invited to attend and all awaited the event; some better prepared than others.  When it came time to meet the bridegroom, only half were able to trim their lamps and make it.  The other half were left scrambling, I'm sure well intentioned with a love of the bridegroom, but they were shut out at the door knocking and saying, "Lord, Lord, open to us."

I've been heartbroken knowing that I was one of the five that would have heard my Savior say, "I know you not."

In an odd little twist I'm grateful that we didn't prepare as we should have because now we know we will never let that happen again.  And I'm grateful that we didn't let our embarrassment of not preparing a talk keep us from the meeting.  We learned a very valuable lesson.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19: Home Sweet Home

It's always good to be home. This is the best picture you can get when the family is playing the Monster Game.  Poor Dallas.  He's a human jungle gym.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18: Cole & Santanna Kaiserman

Nothing like a wedding to help you remember all of the reasons you fell in love. Cole and Santanna make a stunning couple and we enjoyed every second we had to spend in Boise celebrating their marriage.  It's always a treat to get to visit with family you don't get to see very often.

I just couldn't leave this little guy out.  Baby hungry?  Why, yes, I think so.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17: Taking A Break

I love them.  So much.  But that doesn't mean that I don't love to be without them every now and again.  We're headed to Boise today so we can be there for a family wedding tomorrow.  I'm grateful for a sweet sister who is very much inconveniencing her life so that she can watch my kids for a day, and for a mother- sick or not- who wouldn't miss a weekend with her grand kids for the end of the world.  Can't wait for some good couple time with Dallas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16: Surprises

I have really sweet and thoughtful friends. Have I mentioned this before? Today my friend Kalie Chamberlain surprised me with a Boston Marathon Qualifier jacket- such a wonderful memento to remind me of my great accomplishment two months ago. I love it so much that I might never take it off.
You see that insignia on my shoulder?  BOSTON MARATHON QUALIFIER.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15: The Little Things

Sometimes all I need is a clean sink before I go to bed and all feels right in the world.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14: Silly Geese

For some odd reason it isn't until you are grown and gone when you realize that the best friends you ever had were right next to you all along.  Although my little rugrats fight on occasion, they love playing with each other more than anything.  Will is so good to invite Annie to play with him no matter what he's doing, and Annie doesn't think anyone is as funny as her big brother (it's great for both of their egos).

You're welcome for the lovely shot of my linen closet, too.