Monday, June 22, 2015

Stephanie Nielson

NieNie Dialogues

"{stephaNIE NIElson} My blog began in 2005. I write daily about whatever I am doing, mostly about my five children; Claire, Jane, Oliver, Nicholas, and Charlotte. I also write about my husband Christian (Mr. Nielson), my struggles, my blessings and my strong Mormon faith. In 2008, Christian and I were in a airplane crash. I was burned over 80% of my body. I am living a beautiful life despite pain and challenges."
(^^^from stephanie's blog^^^)

last monday was an absolute dream come true.
if you know me at all, you probably know that i am low key obsessed with stephanie nielson, she is the author of her blog,, and her memoir "heaven is here." (if you haven't read it,  please do, it is life changing) 

in january, as i was first hospitalized, i took stephanie's book with me, it had been a few years since i had last read it, so i figured it was time to read it again,  i knew how much comfort it'd bring.

often on the hardest days, the only thing that could bring me comfort was my heavenly father, and stephanie nielson. she is an example of strength, bravery, courage, and real beauty.
not only did she help me realize that we as woman can do really hard things, and motivate me to fight, she has also helped me realize how important the role of motherhood is.

the way she talks about raising her kids touches my heart and fills me with peace, hope, and excitement for the future. she looks at motherhood as her divine purpose on this earth, she loves caring for her family and children, they are important to her. 
she keeps me in line with what really matters.

me with stephanie herself.

in treatment, we're very sheltered from the outside world, i kind of  lived in a bubble! i got two 15 minute phone calls home each week, my parents and family were only allowed to come see me for a few hours each weekend, there were no cellphones, no internet, no social media, no t.v. (except for movies on the weekends) but you get the point, we had no connection to anything or anyone on the outside world, i didn't miss my cell phone, or instagram, or texting, (in fact it was REALLY nice being away from all that) but what i did miss, was reading my mommy blogs!! 

if you know me at all, you'd also know how important being a mom is to me, and mommy blogs have always been something that just excites, and encourages me, especially stephanies blog. as i told my therapist this, she talked with the rest of my treatment team, and they decided it'd be good for me to get the privilege of reading her blog a couple times each week, sometimes my therapist would pull her i-pad out in our sessions, and we'd read stephanie's blog together. this was such a blessing to my recovery!

many times after wanting to give up, simply reading about her journey through motherhood reminded me that giving up was something i actually really didn't want.

one day, after much contemplation, i FINALLY built up the courage to write stephanie, i shared my story with her, i shared my desire to be a mother someday, and i shared how much she has impacted my life in the best way possible, and i asked her if there was anyway she'd be able to come speak to me, and other girls and woman at center for change.

stephanie is a busy woman, and she's spoken for crowds of over 20,000, (and i'm sure she's been paid a pretty penny for that) but she didn't even hesitate to let me know that she'd love to come speak to us. i was absolutely thrilled. she is so selfless, her constant service touches me.

when the day finally came, i was ecstatic.
i nervously waited in the lobby for her, as her and her husband walked in she greeted me with a big loving hug.

i then led them down stairs, where everyone was waiting to hear from her, i introduced her (which was intimidating) then turned the time over to her, and took a seat on the front row next to christian - her husband. (i felt pretty cool ;) )

she shared her story about her plane crash, she talked about the long painful journey of healing, and returning to her full time job as a mother. she talked about gratitude for her body, because bodies can do and withstand amazing things. she talked about accepting her new appearance, and that her kids don't look at her any differently, because she's the same mom that she has always been, and she is not her body.

even though i have heard her story many times as i've read her book, it still made me tear up (as it always does)

i feel so so blessed to have had the opportunity to not only meet her, but to hear her story in person.
as she left, she told me to keep in touch, and she let me know that she can't wait to see me with kids of my own.

(christian, stephanie, and me)

last monday was such a blessing for me, and i know it was a blessing for every other girl at center for change, i don't think she even realizes how much her kind words and actions have blessed and touched my life!
thank you once again stephanie.