Final NieNie Notes

You’re joining this blog “in progress” as today is the fifth and final day of behind-the-scenes pics and quips from our NieNie feature article in Utah Valley Magazine. Welcome!We took about 267 original photos, and we only ran five (the cover, table of contents, two in the main article and one with my editor’s letter). Here’s another great shot!You see, while the photographer was adjusting his equipment, Stephanie relaxed and googled around. “Want to know some of the top baby names in 2010?” she asked us. “Aiden, Jacob, Chloe … “This unrehearsed baby conversation at her “table for 8” was one of the reasons I started the story with the pregnancy anecdote.At the end of the photo shoot, the house was alive with all four of Stephanie’s kids, Christian (Mr. Nielson), two photographers, two stylists from Dear Lizzie and myself. Stephanie was appreciative of the hair and wardrobe assistance and quipped, “Jane, take notes!”Lastly, I want to share a smattering of quotes that didn’t make it into the article. Pages can be so confining!• “I’ve been given this second chance. How did I escape? I need to do some amazing things in life to make up for that.” “Sometimes I feel like giving advice is silly because we are all going to learn things however we need to. But hopefully what I say to people will put a seed in their heads.”• “I still enjoy hiking the Y regularly. Last week I crashed on the trail. My skin is so thin that I get huge sores. When I bend my elbows and knees, my skin breaks open again.” “People sometimes say, ‘I sound stupid saying this, but I feel like I know you because I read your blog.’ But I love it when people tell me that. It gives us something to talk about.” “Oprah didn’t want to meet with me before the show because she wanted her reaction to seeing me for the first time to be captured by the cameras. Oprah is a very warm woman and was joking during commercial breaks, but as soon as they said ‘cut,’ she was gone. I wasn’t expecting to go to dinner or anything, but it ended rather abruptly.”• “I’m mad that Oprah’s show comes on right when kids are coming home from school and need their moms. I know moms like to watch it, but it’s at such a bad time.” “It’s satisfying to hear readers say things like, ‘After reading about your weekly dates with your husband, I’ve started doing things with my husband again.’ “The first time I was back on an airplane, I was a little anxious on takeoff. But I don’t have the time and energy to worry about another plane crash. I don’t have control over what happens, so I just let it go. I figure if it’s my time to go, so be it.”Speaking of planes (Jeanette’s words now), Stephanie’s son Ollie whirled into the living room with an airplane made of Legos. I asked him if he made it. “No, my dad did,” he said. Yes, this family has done a lot of healing and letting go. And meeting them did me a world of good, too. I guess that’s the point. We all turn to Stephanie and her family to remind us that even though there’s bad in the world (like crashes and burns), there’s a whole wide world of love and possibilities that await each of us on our journey.