First family photo taken outside the Salt Lake City Temple,
right by the condo where we were staying in Utah
Legally, Noah and I had to stay in Utah until all of the adoption paperwork cleared, but we got clearance to leave the state and drove back to Colorado on Monday and Tuesday. Today was our first full day at home—it was heavenly!
While I was in Utah, I was staying at a condo with no internet access (hence the lack of photos and updates). I thought I would be super bored, but lots of family and friends came to visit and help me, so it turned out to be a great week. Noah has now met all of his grandparents and almost all of his aunts and uncles. J
Noah is the most precious baby on the planet. I am absolutely in love with him, and I have so much to write about (including a full report of the week before and after his birth with far too many photos), but for now, I wanted to focus on another love of my life, namely Mr. Ryan Nielson. Ryan’s 29th birthday was on Saturday, but his big day was largely ignored due to the excitement surrounding the arrival of Little Mister. So I thought I would take a moment to write a blog post devoted entirely to Ry Guy, in honor of the day he was born.
|Noah isn't pleased to be sharing the attention with his dad|
Last year for Ryan’s birthday, I gave him a little red journal. The journal wasn’t actually for him—it was for me. I told him that I was going to use the journal to record something I love about him every day for a year. It was my goal to capture all of the little moments that make me love Ryan so much. Though I didn’t end up writing in the journal every single day, I did do it consistently; so for his birthday blog post, I thought I would share 12 of the entries from my Ryan journal, one per month of the last year. I didn’t have time to read back through the entire journal and pick the best or most varied entries; I just opened the journal to the middle of each month and typed the first entry I found. I must say, reading all these random memories of Ryan made me smile. He is basically the best ever.
August 26, 2010—Each day, Ryan leaves for school before I get up. I love that it is his routine to kiss my cheek before he leaves, even if I am sleeping.
September 8, 2010—Today I read some old journals from our first year of dating, and the memories made me giddy. It’s amazing to look back and read the words and recognize that even back then, I knew Ry was special. I was absolutely right to marry him.
October 12, 2010—Ryan is hot. Today, I pulled up in the car just as he rode up on his bike. His hair was windblown, he was wearing his handsome Marmot jacket, and he grinned at me. My heart melted. He’s a hunk!
November 19, 2010—Ryan’s been gone a week, hopping from pedo interview to interview. It’s been stressful. With the time difference, it’s been difficult to connect on the phone, and when we do, he’s been jet lagged, discouraged, and grumpy. We’ve felt distant and annoyed with each other. Thank goodness this week’s interviews are over, and Ryan is back to himself, and I’m back to feeling very close and attached to him. I’m so glad our marriage isn’t usually estranged and stressful! (And I’m also so glad the pedo interviews are almost over!)
December 20, 2010—The other night, Ryan wanted to go to bed (it was past midnight), and I wanted him to stay up with me (story of our lives). He was a little grumpy with me about it, so I dropped it. But then in our family prayer, I said, “Please bless Ry that he’ll get a good night’s sleep, even though I’ll miss him if he goes to bed without me.” He burst out laughing—and then I started—and we couldn’t stop. I love laughing with Ry.
January 26, 2011— When I was just so sad about our adoption disappointments, Ryan played with my hair until I fell asleep and then cleaned the whole house while I napped.
February 1, 2011— I love when Ryan wanders around the house wearing his big Russian fur hat.
March 20, 2011—Ryan and I are in Utah. This weekend, we met our birth mom, Katie, our birth dad, Drew, and their families. It has been a great weekend—very spiritual and exciting and humbling and fun! Ryan has done a great job interacting with everyone. One of my favorite moments was when Katie and I walked in from getting our pedicures, and Ryan was sitting at the kitchen table with all of Katie’s younger siblings, just chilling and chatting. He is so comfortable and at ease around children, and it’s endearing.
April, 28, 2011—Today we found out that Ryan passed his dental licensing exam. After he'd opened the letter and told me the good news, he disappeared for a few minutes. When he came back into the kitchen, I asked where he had gone. He said, “I had to thank Heavenly Father for getting me through the past four years.” I was surprised because it isn't always my instinct to immediately pray and thank God for my blessings and opportunities in life. Ryan is an example to me, and he is the most humble man I’ve ever met.
May 10, 2011—Today we went for a walk with Laney and her kids in the beautiful Forest Lawn Cemetery. It made me so happy to look back and see Ryan running and frolicking with Henry. He is going to be an awesome dad!
June 22, 2011—I often find little scraps of paper around the house covered in Ryan’s handwriting. He writes reminders, to-do lists, academic notes, and even journal entries all over napkins, little scraps of paper, and sticky notes instead of in an actual notebook. I have no idea why he does this, but it’s kind of cute.
July 16, 2011—Ryan is the best to go on adventures with because he’s up for anything, he’s relaxed/low stress, he doesn’t have overly high expectations, and he’s fun. Over the past seven years, we’ve had all sorts of small (and sometimes big) adventures—from climbing trees, to bus rides in Central America, to random road trips, to pizza dates in the park, to running in the rain, to watching lightening on a hilltop. I’m grateful for the years of just the two of us. We’ve had lots of magical moments, and we’ve grown so close.
August 2, 2011—Watching Ryan snuggle with Noah is the best sight in the entire world. I am the luckiest.