Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Trip to Paris!

So, for all of those still keeping track: yes, I am still playing catchup with the blog posts. At this rate, I estimate that the blog and the events of our lives will be in sync about the time the twins leave for college. ;) Until then, you all who keep up with us through this will always be about a week (or two or three...) behind. Oh we always say in the Nelson family, better late than never, right?!

So, anyways, last Tuesday night, Michael and I flew back home from a wonderful few days in Paris for our anniversary! What a dream come true for me to be there with Michael! There are really no words to describe how perfect, how fun, how romantic, and even how blessed (we were absolutely covered in prayer) our time was. Michael was traveling all over Europe for work for the five days before I got there. And when he finished up with his boss, I flew over to meet up with him.

On my first day there, we headed straight for the Eiffel Tower, and a river boat ride along the Seine River. The skies were overcast, the wind was definitely strong and there seemed to always be the threat of rain. But that didn't deter us at all from adventuring all over the city almost entirely by foot.

On the boat ride, you can choose to stop at any one of ten major Parisian landmarks. We chose to hop off at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Now, I don't know if it was the fact that we did this on the first day, or if it was because I had had so many discussions with God about getting me back home safely to take care of my boys, or if it was because it was the most beautiful church I'd ever been in. But this was, for me, such a moving experience. I couldn't get over that so many people had worked with their own hands so long ago to build a place of prayer and worship. People who - granted - don't believe the exact same things that I do, but nonetheless are my brothers and sisters through our Lord Jesus. It was so moving to be in prayer, and at the same time think that all these other hundreds and hundreds of people might be praying too. And He's not stressed out, He knows each language, He knows each heart, and is just as active as He always has been. In many ways, it's not just a's a tourist attraction. But we asked ourselves as we were leaving (and passing by all the trinkets you could buy that said "Notre Dame") "would Jesus come in and overturn the tables, or would He be glad so many were in His house of worship?" I don't know. But He met me there in a powerful way.
This statue of Jesus letting the little children come to him made us think of and miss our boys because they look to be twins. Had to snap a picture.

In front of the Louvre...we could have spent the whole day here. We loved it! We took over 100 pictures here alone.

Though I didn't put any boring museum pictures from it, we also hit Musee D'Orsay and got to see a special Picasso exhibit that was pretty cool. Michael made sure to point out at every piece that "he could've done that too..." ;

After Musee D'Orsay we walked (and walked and walked) till we found the Luxembourg Gardens. They were even more stunning than I anticipated. Here is the Fountain of the Medic.

I don't speak enough French to translate what the plaque said about this statue. But I love this picture that Michael took (he's a waaay better photographer than I am). And I love that you can see the top of the Palais Royale behind it. On our last day there we were just strolling around, and realized that we could see the Arc way behind us. So we asked a lady to take our picture. I think it turned out pretty well.

We really did have such a great time. I cannot believe that I am lucky enough to be married to this wonderful man. And that he places importance on us spending time away together by ourselves is just icing on the cake.

So, now we're back home, all settled back in, and just enjoying being back with our buddies. Stay tuned....more on them to come soon (hopefully!).

Thanks for checkin in on us!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I know, I know...I'm so far behind in updating this blog. I mean, my goodness, we're already halfway through November, and I'm just now putting Halloween pictures on here. But, for the sake of this being our scapbook for the boys, here goes a quick game of catch up.

My parent's were in town for one of my 2nd cousin's wedding. So, what do you do to kill time on a beautiful fall day before the evening wedding? You head on over to our favorite pumpkin patch in Nolensville. Here they are pumping water from the well. Ben had zero desire to get such a cute picture. But - to no one's surprise - Drew did! Pretty cute little punkin, if I do say so myself!

Digging dilligently through the troughs of corn.
Our favorite girlfriends Daily and Maisey invited us over for a costume/birthday party since Maisey turns three the week of Halloween. Once again, I couldn't persuade Ben to get in front of the camera (regardless of how much candy was in the negotiations). But Drew loves to have his picture taken...especially when it involves two of his girlfriends.
Here with a few friends from church at Trunk or Treat.
Our favorite superheroes

We also went trick or treating for the first time in our neighborhood. The Belvilles came along with us, and though we didn't get many great pictures, we all had a great time. ....except for trying to get the boys to come down off that sugar high so they could get some sleep that night. Oh's only once a year, right!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our Big Birthday Party!

This past weekend we celebrated Ben and Drew's 3rd birthday with a party at Pump It Up. Everyone had so much fun....even all the grownups! While some of our favorite buddies weren't able to be there (we sure did miss you Chelle, Dressie and Uncle Dan!), we had a blast with our friends that came. Here are a few pictures of the boys enjoying their special day:
Ben going down the slideDrew and PaisleyWyattA big pile of munchkins as they all went down the slide together
Ben and Daily Josh, Brax and BrodyBen and Drew on the Birthday Throne
And the beautiful cake, made by one of my friends, Brooke O'Dell. I just have to put a little plug in for her business Ice This Cakes and Creations. She was just featured in the Scene for the Editor's Picks Best Of, and she's wonderful! I couldn't have dreamt up a better cake, and it was so yummy!
Since the boys love choo choo trains, I asked Brooke to do a train cake, and the boys gave each of their friends a Conductor's hat and a wooden train whistle. Not exactly sure where my good sense was when I concocted that little idea, since we loaded them up on sugar then gave them something to make lots of noise with...but regardless, they all seemed to have a great time. A big thank you to everyone who was able to come and shower our boys with love and blessings as we celebrated three whole years!!! We love each of you and are so thankful that you are a part of our lives!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Quick Visit and Touch a Truck

Last weekend while Michael was in China, my mama and daddy drove up to visit the little guys and to help me out with a little break. We always have so much silly fun when we're all together. We packed lots of lovin in to just a couple of days, though with cheering on all the football teams, making cookies and pizzas and playing outside.

Here BeBe and Mimi were resting and then the boys woke up from their naps. They were all cuddling on the couch, so I grabbed the camera.....
But Pop hates to be left out, so he had to join in the fun and jump on top of everybody....
We sure are happy to have Daddy back home with us. So we spent the weekend just enjoying being back together. Michael is so great about always taking an extra day or two once he gets home to do nothing but dote on his boys, so we took them to do some really special things. We took them to the zoo - something they never get tired of, and took them to an event held here in Spring Hill, hosted by the parks and recreation dept, called Touch a Truck.
They had every imaginable kind of truck available for the kids to sit in, turn the steering wheel and blow the horn. Lots of the trucks' operators gave away hard hats, stickers, candy and toys. Needless to say, these boys thought they had hit the jackpot.
Brax and Drew showing off their construction hatsBen having a blast in the trash truck ....until he realized that I was trying to take his picture.
Drew "driving" an Army field ambulance. In this one, the siren is located so that the driver just has to press his knee against it, which means for a two year old, just the right distance to press your foot against. Let's just say every one for miles knew he was coming.Ben showing off his Lightning McQueen-inspired racing skills. Drew was pretty much done by this point, so no more pictures of him. But here is Ben digging up the ground.
There was so much to do and see, and I think it would've been an even bigger hit with them had they not been feeling a little sick. They are both battling colds with yucky coughs, as are all of their friends. Ben's has turned into a sinus infection already, and I'm sure Drew's will too since they share everything. But even with not being 100%, we still managed to have a great weekend together.

Off to start another busy week! Happy Monday, everyone!

Monday, October 06, 2008

First School Pictures!!!

OH MY GOODNESS! Aren't these these school pictures too cute?!?! I just love them!! How in the world he got them to both smile and look at the camera, I'll never know. And, I couldn't believe that he did an extra shot of the two of them together. A mommy couldn't ask for more!.....well--except maybe to have smoothed over those wild manes of hair. But hey, all things considered, pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Happy 65th Wedding Anniversary

A couple of weekends ago, we loaded up the car and headed to Montgomery to celebrate 65 years of marriage between my Nana and Papa. Anytime our family gets the chance to be all together, we can't help but have a blast, and this time was no different. We were able to have a special dinner for them, honoring them for such a special milestone, had a small "wedding cake", and we put together a surprise album of pictures, cards and letters from each of us, distant relatives and old friends. It was such a special day and I felt so honored to be a part of it. They have touched so many lives along their journey because they are so generous, caring and giving. The faith that I have now is due in large part to the role that they have played in my life....not because they told me what to do, but because I watched them humbly live out the things Jesus said to do. I know that they have covered me in prayer every day of my life, and even before I was a twinkle in my Daddy's eye. I know they have covered my husband in prayer even before he was born too. And I know that they pray this way not only for every person in our family, but also for the friends in their lives. That knowledge has given me so much peace and confidence. It is just the kind of people they are. Congratulations, Nana and Papa! We are so proud to be a part of this family that you have made.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our Trip to SeaWorld!...(the one where she posted too many pictures)

This past weekend, Michael and I took the boys on their very first family vacation with just the four of us. Most of Ben and Drew's little buddies have flown before, but Michael and I have been a little nervous about taking them on a plane. Visions of the possible melt-down at any given moment with no place to escape to filled our heads. But, from the very start of the journey till the very end, these boys were as good as gold! We were both so proud!! They did awesome on the plane, hotel, in restaurants, and at every turn in between. Here's our trip in pictures with a few stories too...
Watching the planes coming and going in the Nashville airport:I don't have any pictures from the plane ride itself due to the fact that the camera-lady was busy entertaining the munchkins, but they were great, and we made it safe and sound, only to discover that it was POURING in Orlando. Great. The only incident during the flight was that toward the end, Ben said "Mommy, I want to go to sleep in your lap". Given the good moods and excitement of the day already, I thought that was a little weird. But he climbed up, and fell right to sleep. And it was around 10:00 in the morning. By the time he woke up, he was blazing hot with a fever. Fantastic. But we got some medicine in him, got the fever down (which stayed until around midnight that night), and he woke up the next morning back to himself and ready to see Shamu. Thankfully it was just a 12 hour fever virus that Drew escaped until we got home. We braved the rain, and headed out to Universals Studio's Board Walk area for some exploring and food. We ate at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, chosen because of the indoor volcano that erupts every hour and Pirates that make you swords out of balloons. We thought it'd be a hit. And it was with Drew. But Ben was a little overwhelmed, and he and I headed for safety in the gift shop. Here are Daddy and Drew having a good sword fight during dinner.

The adventure really begins: Here we are at the entrance to the SeaWorld Park. Sorry about the foggy was really humid there after the rain the day before.After renting the obligatory stroller and figuring our best park-route-strategy, we made it to feed the stingrays. Here Daddy shows Ben how to hold the sardine just right so that they take it, and don't mistakenly try to suck one of your fingers down. He and I swam with and fed stingrays when we went to the Caymans a few years ago, so this was fun to show them how to do it.Next up, this really cool aquarium that housed sharks, jellyfish and all other kinds of fish swimming above, beneath, and around us. With many many other stops in between, we had to make time to see the famous whale. Here the boys and I are outside of Shamu Stadium. And stadium it is! It packs in TONS of people, and honestly I was a bit surprised at how many people were at each of the shows since the park never really felt too crowded.

The boys' expressions during the shows were priceless and they clapped and cheered for everything. It had been many years since either Michael or I had been, and it was so fun to experience it through their eyes. We stayed at the park for as long as we could, given the fact that they both still need at least two hours or more of nap per day. So we left around 2:30, and had them down for naps in our room by 3. We woke them up and took them to dinner at Downtown Disney and let them pick out a few things in the Disney store, eat ice cream sundaes till they (we) were ready to pop, and explore. Just a little teaser to see what they would think about the real thing.....

Holding up their Mickey suckers for me to seeBuilding and then racing Lego cars outside of the Lego store with DaddyMesmerized by the Lego Family (built entirely out of, you guessed it, Legos)And that was a pretty full day. Saturday morning we took our time getting up and ready and then headed over to see our good friends, John and Holly and their kids Anniston, Grady and Wiley. John and Michael were good friends in college, was in our wedding, and Holly and I were instantly friends from the time we met years ago. They are just so special to us, though we just don't see them as much as we'd like. Here Ben and Drew join Buzz Lightyear (Grady) and Spiderman (his neighbor) for some superhero snacks (colorful sno-cones).I hate that this picture didn't turn out very well, but here are the boys with their boys all decked out in UT orange for gameday. John has a tradition that I'm pretty sure hasn't been broken and makes UT shaped, orange colored pancakes every gameday. So we all watched the game together, ate lots of good gameday food, and cheered on the team. We stayed all day long, with the boys even napping in John and Holly's bed and didn't want the day to end...even after we all had dinner together (that's 4 adults and 5 kids) in a restaurant. Our time together was just not enough, and over way too soon. We sure do wish they'd move up here!!!

But we headed back and packed up and headed back to the airport. Here the boys tell Goofy and Mickey goodbye one last time.It was a quick trip, but we jam-packed lots of fun into just a few days. This one will definitely be hard to beat. But when it goes as smoothly as this one did, we'll be sure to try!

Thanks for checking in on us!!!