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12-4-08: The Friends You Never Knew You Had

A few months ago, when I was still pregnant and restless at night, I was up late surfing the internet. I stumbled upon the blog, NieNie Dialogues written by Stephanie Nielsen, a mom of four. I was totally captured by her passion for motherhood. Stephanie's devotion to her children inspired me to be a better mother. I started reading her blog periodically.

Even though I've never met Stephanie, I was nevertheless shocked to learn one day in August, that Stephanie and her husband, Christian, were in an airplane crash. They both sustained critical life threatening burns. Stephanie is still recovering in a hospital from her injuries. The minute I read the terrible news, all I could think about was her four precious children.

Amazingly, after the accident, Stephanie's sisters took the Nielsen's children back to Utah to live with them. Her sister Courtney is writing about, and raising money for, Stephanie's recovery on her own blog C Jane. Her devotion to her sister and kids, as well as her own little baby is also utterly inspiring. Here's a favorite post from C Jane.

When I first heard about blogging, I thought it was the coolest thing. Then I started doing it, and my feelings became mixed. There's a lot at stake when you write about your children and family. There's also so much to gain when you open your life to the world. You make friends you never knew you had.

Motherhood is gratifying work, but it can be lonely work too. Sometimes when you are covered in spit-up and finger paint and leftover jelly donut and your two year old is pulling her sister's hair and your new baby is fussing in his crib and you haven't gone pee all day, there's a part of you that just wants to put on some sneakers and run like Forest Gump, run forever that is.

Then you take a breath and the children go to sleep and you connect with other moms who are struggling through all the ups and downs of motherhood just like you. You read inspiring blogs like Stephanie Nielsen's and the next day you not only want to be a better mom, you actually are. So Stephanie, thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for the love you've shown and shared. May you get well and hold your lovely children in your arms again one day very soon.