Wednesday, June 23, 2010
A great, big thank you to...Stephanie at NieNie Dialogues
A lot of you probably know Stephanie Nielson from NieNie Dialogues. This Provo, Utah mom of four has been blogging since 2005 about momhood. She's charming, funny, real, and she takes great photos. Her kids are adorable.
In August of 2008, Stephanie was in a plane crash with her husband, Christian. The pilot died. Stephanie had burns on over 80 percent of her body, Christian on 30 percent of his. She went into a coma. Her face was disfigured. At the time, her children were ages 2 to 6.
The posts she wrote when she returned to blogging in January 2009 were heartbreaking, like this one in which she talks about getting her toddler to remember who she was. She underwent reconstruction for her face; she struggled with whether to publish a picture of herself. She bravely did. If this doesn't define "guts," I don't know what does.
Stephanie was just in the hospital for a month, to get skin grafts. In the recent post where she writes about leaving the hopsital she says, "I actually was scared to come back home into the 'real world' where people stare at me and wonder." Obviously, dealing with a child who is handicapped is a whole other ballgame, but I related to the self-consciousness that she felt. The stares Max gets from strangers drive me up a wall.
Stephanie is my hero. Because she's an awesome mom. Because she's got spirit beyond belief. Because she doesn't hide the bad days. Because she defines "beauty." Her husband (aka "Mr. Nielson" on the blog) is pretty incredible, too. His love for his wife and devotion to her are awe-inspiring.
I'll admit, on the days when I feel sorry for myself, I look at what Stephanie's been through and my chin goes back up.
Thank you, Stephanie, for being a role mama, for your beautiful writing, for being a beautiful person—and for inspiring me and countless women every single day.
This is the third post in a series sponsored by P&G's Thank You, Mom program, coordinated by The Motherhood.