Sunday, December 19, 2010

Eddie Bauer Christmas Party

We are sad to be leaving a lot of things in Seattle, even though we are excited about our move. One of those things is Eddie Bauer and we felt even more sad after the Christmas party last week. We had a lot of fun! They held it at a local ski resort and while we didn't ski, there was lots to do. They had live music, great food, kids crafts and lots of snow! Easton had never really seen snow before and he was having a blast. He ran and ran in his little snow boots. Soren taught him how to throw snow balls, make snow angels and to kick up snow. Sleds weren't allowed, but Soren dragged Easton around  by his feet and he could sled pretty well on his bum. We all had so much fun!

Kesler and I stayed toasty and warm.

 Like I said, he loved it!

Soren representing EB well in one of his First Ascent jackets.

I love this little warm fleece suit we got for Kesler. He got a little snow in the face, but otherwise he was snug and dry.

Soren threw Easton around a little. Don't worry this is normal. :)

Christmas Letter 2010

I sent out a few Christmas cards this year, but wish we could have sent more. If you are reading our blog, chances are we wanted to send you one. Here is the letter we sent as well as the pictures.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to our friends and family! We hope this letter finds you happy, healthy and enjoying the holiday season. This has been a big year for us and we wanted to update you all about the happenings in the Nickels family.

We started 2010 with the wonderful news that we were expecting our second baby and we came close to ending it with his arrival! On October 26th, 2010 at 11:54 pm Kesler Ryan Nickels was born. He measured 7 lbs. 7 oz and 20 ½ inches and the delivery went great. We arrived at the hospital at 11:20 and 34 minutes later he arrived! We just love this sweet little boy. Even Easton loves his new little “be-bee.”

Soren has had a fun year. He has been working in the tax department at Eddie Bauer and enjoying the outdoor encouraging atmosphere that EB provides. When he wasn’t at work or spending time with us, he was able to go hiking, kayaking, shooting, and mountaineering. In July he climbed to the summit of Mt. Baker (10,778 feet) and in August he led a group to the summit of Mt. Rainier. He’s been waiting to do that for a very long time.

I spent much of the year chasing after Easton and growing a baby. There were days when the two didn’t work well together, but we survived. I am still working at Gap a couple of times a month and have really grown our online belt business, One little Belt. In case you hadn’t heard, at the beginning of this year Soren and I combined our skills to create and sell belts for babies and toddlers and it continues to grow. I love the outlet and challenge it provides! Most recently I have just been trying to keep up with and conquer the new challenge of handling two kids.

Easton has gone through so many changes this year and continues to just light up our lives every day. From only being able to crawl in January, he can now walk, run, and climb about anything in sight. He is in constant danger and is an extreme dare devil. He loves Elmo, hot chocolate, DVDs, and playing chase with Dad.

Kesler is just a sweet, easy baby. He lets me sleep, he eats well, and he hardly fusses. I cannot complain. We love this tiny person and can’t wait to see who he is and how he’ll be.

As a family we have had several fun adventures this year from vacations in Utah and Missouri, to road trips down to the Oregon beach. We’ll soon be embarking on another big adventure. We will be moving to Kansas City, Missouri in January. It was a whirlwind of opportunities and decisions, but we really feel like this is the place for our family to go right now and we are excited for a fresh start. Soren will be working for Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in their financial services audit department. We are buying a house in Liberty, Missouri about ten minutes from my parents and the Liberty Jail. I am thrilled to get to live close to family for this time of life and especially for our kids to be close to grandparents and uncles.

We are so grateful for all of our blessings and for the Lord’s direction in our lives. It has been wonderful to turn to him, especially at this time of year. We love the Savior Jesus Christ and are eternally grateful for everything he has done, is doing and will do for us. We hope that you feel his love this season and upcoming year. We would love to hear about the happenings in your lives. Please keep in touch!

Merry Christmas!

The Nickels

Kilee, Soren, Easton, and Kesler

December Fun

We have a crazy month with packing and moving, but we have still tried to do a few Christmas things. To start off the month we of course had to go see Santa. We didn't sit on his lap, but we did go to the Country  Village in Bothell to see the lights and see Santa fly in on his sleigh. It was cold, but the shops were all lit up, there was a little train and we even tried some Caramel Apple Cider. 


Easton hugged all of the wooden animal statues. He loved them because they were just his height.

Of course the slide is always a big hit, no matter how cold it is.

Santa and his raindeer are up on a zipline so they really did "fly" in. It was pretty neat.

2 Kids now means lots of laundry. Both of the kids love to help.

We've been making Christmas cookies. Easton calls the Kitchen Aide "cookie." I wish you could hear the voice he says it in because he has started saying 'cookie' in a voice the Cookie Monster would use. Adorable.

I love how much this little guy still sleeps. It really helps me to still get things done during the day!

Kesler has gotten very expressive lately. He coos and smiles a LOT! I love it!

Very rarely will Easton hold Kesler. He doesn't mind the baby, but usually just wants to do his own thing. This was a unique moment.

We sure love our two boys!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Family Pictures 2010

We had family photos taken in Missouri. It was probably 37 degrees outside for the shoot so we were freezing, but the pictures turned out really cute. Thank you Mandy Beyeler for the great shots!


Like I said my last post we spend Thanksgiving in Missouri with my family and had a wonderful (and productive!) visit. I haven't spent Thankgiving with my family since high school so it was nice to be able to do so. Besides house hunting and interviewing, we went swimming, shopping, on a date and took family photos. Here are a few pictures of the events. We are so THANKFUL for family and the week we spent with my side of it.

Grandpa Kesler (weird to see that written!) with the baby, Kesler.

Easton had so  much fun with my brothers. Thompson is almost 8 and Logan is 12. They played and played together! This is one reason we are so excited to move closer!

Easton had a great time at the pool. He learned to float and jump to Soren's arms. That kid loves the water.

Kesler sunbathed with Grandma on the sidelines of the pool.

Handsome little Easton playing with all of Grandma's toys on Thanksgiving Day. I just love his "good boy" hair as Soren calls it. :)

Grandma makes GOOD banana pancakes.

Logan and Soren strung my Dad's old bow while we were there and practiced their archery skills. Archery is Soren's new declared hobby. He has been worried about the lack of mountains in Missouri so this will be his new interest to keep a little fun in his life.

The boys refused to sleep in their pack 'n' plays so we all slept together on a FULL size bed. That was an experience I hope not to repeat.

Thompson was so good with baby Kesler. He just loved having a baby around since he is the youngest and has never experienced one.

All in all is was a great trip. I can't believe we'll be back in just 2 weeks!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Big News

The last few weeks have been stressful, busy, and full of decisions. The stress and business will continue, but I am excited to share some of the decisions we have made.

1. Soren took an offer for a new job!

2. We are moving to Kansas City!

3. We are buying a house!

4. This will all happen in the next 30 days!

We never would have thoughts any of these three would be happening, much less all of them at once, but things have opened up so easily we just know it is the right thing. We are so grateful for prayer and faith that can help us make big decisions like this and move forward on them.

The full story goes something like this.....

We have been keeping our feelers out for jobs and houses for the last 6 months. There were no houses here in Seattle that we both liked and could afford- it was either one or the other. Soren has enjoyed his job at Eddie Bauer, but has been unsure about his career path in general. And I have always wished to live closer to my family, but with a second baby the desire has been even stronger.

When we decided to visit my family in Kansas City for Thanksgiving, Soren started applying to jobs at big 4 accounting firms in KC, just to see what happened. He got an interview with PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers) and some meetings with recruiters. The interview actually went really well and somewhat to our surprise we got a job offer within a few days.

While there we also drove around and looking for houses in the area, just in case. We found one that we both loved and for some reason kept coming back to. It was the right price, the right area and nicer than we could ask for or ever find here in Seattle.

So with the job offer and a house possibility that we could afford, we had a lot of decisions to make. We came home and debated and prayed about it. We looked at jobs in St. George (near Soren's parents), staying here, or taking the job in KC.

After a lot of praying we came to a decision that was pretty clear. We now know we are supposed to go Kansas City. We accepted the job. We also felt great about the house so we jumped and made an offer. The sellers accepted it and the whole process has been working in our favor so much better than we could have asked. This further reinforces our decision to go.

So we are buying a house in Liberty, 10 minutes from my parents, Soren is going to work in Auditing at PWC and we'll be moving out December 28th.

Its exciting and will bring new challenges, but we are ready for a fresh start and to see what is in store!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Week 2

We made it through Week 1 and we are all alive and healthy. Sometimes I think I am getting my energy back and other times I feel like I need Diet Coke through an IV. Easton is still adjusting to everything and I am really learning how much patience I lack. Most days in moments of crisis I ask myself, "Does he need a nap or do I?"

Kesler is doing great. He really is such an easier baby than Easton. I didn't know how hard Easton was until Kesler came. He sleeps for long stretches all day and night and only cries when he is hungry or has to burp. I try hard not to pick favorites, but the sweet little baby sure is preferable to our crazy toddler sometimes. I am SO glad I have Soren to help deal with him at the end of the day. I don't know what I would do as a single mom!

Sweet Baby

Crazy Toddler

Thanks for everyone's words of encouragment and support!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Today was my first day on the job of mothering 2 kids. Mom left this morning and Soren went back to work. What a day.

I barely got done the 3 things on my list today and was SOOOOO glad someone else made and brought dinner. Thank you Anne!

Lets just say I take back anything I ever said I thought I knew/know about mothering. My new policy is

"Do Anything You Have To To Maintain Sanity and Survive."

Wish us luck tomorrow.  :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kesler Ryan Nickels- He's Here!

The second son of the Nickels family has arrived! It was a whirlwind of an event, but boy are we happy with the results.

With a name soon to be decided, it has been a fabulous last 24 hours and we'd love to share the story. Tuesday October 26th was my official due date and we were feeling ready. All of the errands had been done, Soren had taken off Monday to get his list of to-do's done, the house was clean and the bags were packed. Easton was born the day before his due date so we had good reason to suspect this little one would keep the same plan. On Friday I had been dialated to a 2 and had been contracting for weeks.

Tuesday morning I sent Soren to work, but about 9:30 am I started getting contractions in my lower back. This was exactly how Easton's 5 1/2 hour labor started, so I felt fairly certain things were moving along. I called Soren and he came home from work ready to go. Unfortunately, nothing happened. Things stayed in the same place with no real progression all day. I had consistant contractions, but they were sparce at times and weren't getting any worse. We tried going on a long walk, getting on the elliptical, doing laundry and vaccumming and nothing worked.

To some degree I was okay with this because Easton was having a hard day.  He wouldn't nap with Dad home and when he finally did at 4 pm, he woke up in a terrible mood. It wouldn't have felt right to leave him with anyone at any point that day. So we just spent the day together and wondering when this baby was going to show!

At around 9:30 I showered and my contractions started coming on harder. I was in enough pain to stop what I was doing so we decided to call the hospital. They convinced us to stay home for a while longer and I agreed when I realized that getting to the hospital wasn't going to make the pain go away. (I was planning on another natural delivery.) We started a movie and packed the car up. At 11:00 pm our neighbor came over to spend the night with Easton and we headed out. My contractions were about 5 min. apart and I had to kneel or get down on my hands and knees to get through them. We pulled up the car at the hospital at around 11:20 and left it at the curb.

Soren helped me in and they gave me my gown to change into. During a contration in the bathroom my water broke and went everywhere. I was really glad we weren't still in the car for that! I made it back to triage and they checked me. I was already dialated to a 7! This surprised me, but not for long because the contractions really started coming then. They called for about 6 nurses and my doctor once they saw how fast things were moving. We made it to the delivery room and they tried to get my monitors hooked up. I was in a LOT of pain by then and the breaks between were getting shorter and shorter. I finally got one I just couldn't take anymore- I started yelling/screaming through it and nothing was relaxing. I knew I had to start pushing and could feel him coming. Soren could already see him. After that one long contraction of death, I had one more and his head came out along with the rest of him! Three nurses delivered him; my doctor was halfway to the hospital listening to me scream over the phone. They pulled in a random doctor down the hall to help finish things and we were basically done.

Baby was born at 11:54 pm, about 30 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. He was 7 lbs. 7 oz and 19.9 in. long. (A pound and an inch smaller than Easton- no wonder he slid right out!) It was the best and worst experience of my life. The condensed pain was the worst, but such a short labor is the way to go!

No one could believe how fast things went, oh but I was glad it was over. So, so glad.

We spent the night getting things washed up and checked and even got a little sleep. Soren went home before Easton woke up and even knew we were gone. That was a big stress relief and blessing for me. They came back later that morning and Easton met his little brother. So far, so good. Easton was very curious and kind. He tried to give the baby his binkie and was concered about the band-aid on his foot.

My mom is flying in tonight and will be with us for a week. We get to go home tomorrow morning as long as we all look healthy. I can already tell this recovery is going to be cake- another bonus to a short delivery. I feel great and couldn't be happier.

I love bath time photos!

Dad's first time with him.


Friends already.

We are so happy to be a family of 4. New babies are so wonderful; I just wish you all could squeeze him and touch his soft little cheeks. We'd love any and all visitors so feel free to come see us.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Family Date to the Pumpkin Patch

We had such a fun time at the pumpkin patch/petting zoo today! I wasn't too opptimistic when it started raining right before we left, but it really turned out great! They had so many kinds of animals and Easton loved them all. We got to feed the ducks and bunnies and the turkeys. Easton just giggled and squealed at how eager all the animals were to eat.

Fun with the ducks

Pygmy goats

Jumping to Dad!

Mom's favorite- the baby pigs!

Brand new ducklings

Even newer ducklings- these were in the process of hatching! It was so cool!

Petting the bunnies

We made it to the pumpkins!

What a great family date!