Of course, I am talking about Stephanie Nielson, of the Nie Nie Dialogues. I had been to Stephanie’s (or rather, Nie Nie’s) blog a time or two before the fateful plane crash, mainly to see her famous silhouettes and vintage-inspired décor. But it wasn’t until word of her near-fatal plane crash spread like wildfire throughout the blogging community, that I really started to READ her blog. And once I started, I kept reading and reading and reading. Clearly, I was compelled by the tragic story of the plane crash, their friend who died, the question of whether Stephanie could really pull through it all or not, and the cherubic children that would be left motherless if she didn’t. All of those things made me want to squeeze my children a little tighter, and value each precious moment of life more.
But more than the crash, it was the things I learned about Nie Nie as I delved into her archives, and her approach to womanhood, being a wife, and especially motherhood, that really impacted me.
Nie Nie the Wife:
I’m afraid I’m a little too reserved to flirt with my husband as openly and unabashedly as Nie does through out her blog (maybe my husband would read it more often if I did :-)), but I love that she has decided to live a romantic life with her husband and not settle for the notion that married love has to be practical and boring. I think her sister, Courtney (of Cjane fame) once made a comment to the effect that Stephanie and Christian have ups and downs in their relationship, just like everyone else, but that she chooses to see the good and focus on that. How many of us are tempted to use our public forum to air our differences with our spouse?
Nie Nie the Mother:
I was very moved by this post about giving birth. What a refreshing attitude about the miracle it is for our bodies to bring life into this world. So much of what you hear is how scary, painful, uncomfortable, etc., labor and delivery are. I love that she found joy and power and beauty in her experience.
It is also refreshing to see her honesty as a mother, that there are times that the kids get to stay outside until Mom is ready to deal with them again. But she also delights in playing with her children and letting the house get messy from time to time. I really appreciate how she knows her children and what they need. For example, when her daughter got in trouble at school, but was overly stressed about it, Nie kept her home to have a fun day and alleviate her stress. Not only does she make her children smile, but she teaches them to make others smile. Childhood should be joyful and filled with memories, like the incredible “Back to School” dinner she prepared for her family. In all of my insanity, I don’t think I’ve done this much ever to make a simple family event special. Many moms say, “I’d never have time to do that,” and I’m sure Stephanie wouldn’t expect us all to do just what she did, but the point is that she used her creativity and her talents to show her family how much she loves them and to make a memory, which considering the plane crash that would happen a short time later, must mean so much to them.
Nie Nie the Survivor:
Before the accident, Stephanie would frequently post about her faith—the scriptures and ideas she was pondering—and openly share that with the world. Now it is her faith that helps carry her through, what I can only imagine, must be extremely difficult days on her long journey to recovery. Although she isn’t denying that she has been handed some extreme challenges, I am inspired by her determination, perseverant optimism, and the way she rejoices in each small victory as each day she is able to do something she wasn’t the day before. It is difficult to wallow in self-pity about my own meager trials after reading her blog. I just read that she went in for more surgery today. Prayers on her behalf would be appreciated.
I know that because I read her blog, I began doing a better job of seeing the beauty in my own life more clearly. Of valuing my husband and children more, and remembering to be grateful for the abundant blessings I have. I am especially grateful to Stephanie for the message she is sending that motherhood is noble and beautiful, a message we don’t hear enough today.
I have a handful of other blogs that I could recognize as well (and may at some future date), but now it is your turn. What blogs have impacted your life in a positive way (big or small)? What mom blogger deserves recognition this Mother’s Day? Please post about your choice and link up below, and give some moms the sweet gift of knowing they are valued this Mother’s Day.