Wednesday, December 1

Half Marathon

I am not a runner. In fact, I hate running.
Like I really hate it.  

I couldn't really tell you why I decided to run a half marathon, but I did.  It was kinda fun, and surprisingly not as hard as I thought I would be.  Next time, I'd actually like to do a full marathon...though you may have to scrape me off the pavement at the finish line.  I think I'll give it a try.

My mom and I did the "Shun the Sun" half marathon race in Mesa on November 13th.  It was so much fun to get to run, get free stuff, get away from the Utah cold weather, and hang out with family. 

At Hohoken stadium before the race


 This was about mile 1
 Home stretch:mile 13!
 Me and mom after the race

Me and Grandpa
 We got to run across home plate at Hohoken stadium to finish, where my native Chicago Cubbies practice during the winter. Here we are chillin in the dugout.

It was a great run on a perfect day.  And now I find myself looking for more races to sign up for... oh no.  If I'm not careful, I think I could actually end up enjoying this sport.

please no.

Monday, August 30

Highlights

With August nearly over and Fall just around the corner, my first instinct is to wonder where summer went. Then I realize, that despite not completely ticking everything off my "to-do" list, I sure made a big dent. Maybe this is why I have blogged only once in the past 3 months.  

This summer has been kind of a monumental one for me in many different ways, I did a lot, I learned a lot, I laughed a lot, I worked a lot, and I had a lot of fun. That's a lot of lots, but lets face it, lots has happened. 

First of all, I survived summer school got my degree in Communications from UVU. Huzzah! Now back to school to study music.
(if you have a kazoo, blow into it now and wave your arms in the air for me)

Secondly, I moved into a giant house with two of the greatest girls I know.
'

I got a second job as a gymnastics coach, and I absolutely love it. Brings back so many memories of my former passion. So now I work two jobs and go to school full time.  I love being busy!

One of the Summer Highlights was our house party/benefit concert, where CAMERON RAFATI came and played. He is incredible! 
{Check out and support his music! You will love it!}

For the first time ever, I played a few of my original songs for an audience.  I went on right before Cameron,  so when he is big, I can say " I Opened for Cameron Rafati!"
 
Not only did I get to open for Cameron, but I got to play a song with Cameron... 

{this picture provides you with a rare look into one of the best moments of my life}

Something Corporate came into town for their reunion show, and Lindsey and I waited in line for 7 hours to be in the front row! 
It was awesome to see one of my favorite bands, & musical idol Andrew McMahon so close! I even walked away with the lead guitarist's pick. I am one incredibly lucky girl!

   
{we brought white boards and wrote messages to the band}
So Andrew is pointing right at us. That's right. US.


Camping and Four Wheeling with my friends and my brother topped off our last weekend of Summer. It was fantastic!

If there is one thing I learned the past few months it's this:
good things fall apart 
so better things can fall 
together.

I know that in the moment, when things are going wrong, you can't always see how it's going to turn out. 
But keep smiling, because they do.
They do.
so bring on Fall. 
I'm ready.

Thursday, July 22

don't tell dad...

Yesterday I did something that I've been wanting to do for a long time...

Wasn't it nice of them to put me in an orange jumpsuit? If I was any closer to the prison in that thing, I would have been tasered. 

We jumped head first from 12,000 feet

and fell for about a minute at speeds of over 100 mph
(check out his cheeks!)

It's a good thing I didn't tell my father until after the fact. He may not have made it through the day knowing I was going to be hurling myself from an airplane.  But it was easily one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Another check off the old bucket list! 

Thursday, May 13

a thought



"Always when judging who people are,
remember to footnote the words: so far"


{Robert Brault}


I came across that quote the other day and haven't been able to get it out of my mind. This picture is my friend Brady on top of Arthur's seat in Edinburgh...getting ready to conquer it. He's pretty cool if you ask me. 

I think it fits.

Sunday, May 9

my mom

"No painter's brush, nor poet's pen
In justice to her fame
Has ever reached half high enough
To write a mother's name."
~Author Unknown
My Mom is Great.
But if you have ever met her, you know that already. 

She is the most genuine person I know. 
 She once returned a nickel she found in a vending machine. 
who does that?
{my mom does}
She is generous. 
She is always looking for people to serve whether it be making a meal for someone in the neighborhood, or buying groceries for a homeless man on the street.  
She loves music.
She is always looking for new "hip" songs on her iPod
She is brave.
She isn't afraid to walk away from a situation, or out of a movie... 
She is involved.
She attends most every soccer game,
                                     lacrosse match, 
                                  wrestling tournament, 
                                                  piano recital, 
                                                 basketball game, 
                                       parent teacher conference,
                                                               choir concert
                                                                                 etc...
She volunteers every week at 5:30 am at the temple.  
She is in the PTA at our schools.
She is involved in local politics, and tries her best to know what's going on
She loves our country. 
She is sensitive.
She cries in every movie that is slightly sad/romantic/sentimental
She loves and values family
She once made us drive 4 hours to Idaho, to be at a reunion for 2 hours, and drive back again.
She is a good example.
She makes her bed every morning.
She is strong.
She teaches gospel doctrine. 
She has a testimony...and shares it. 
She studies her scriptures every day.
She prays every day, for everyone else. 
She is selfless.
She will drop everything and do anything for you.
She is funny.
She once led us 4 hours in the wrong direction on family vacation...while looking at a GPS and a map.

She works hard.
and doesn't get enough credit. 

So remember, when you feel like you don't do enough, you're not remembering enough what you do!

Happy Mothers Day
to all the mothers I know. 
Especially:
My three wonderful Grandmas- Where would I be without you?
My Aunts: 
LoyAnn,
Dona, 
Sarah, 
Keri, 
Shannon.
My friends:
Marie
Grammy Staffy
Amy
and everyone else I forgot to write. I love you too.

Moms...you are pretty great.  We literally can't live without you. 

Thursday, May 6

new stuff

I decided to start another blog specially dedicated to my photos.  It probably won't have a lot of posts, but I hope you enjoy what I occasionally put up there!  You can check it out here, and I'll try to let you know when I put something up there so you can follow along if you want to. 


I also have a photography website I have been trying to get up.  It's a work in progress, with a temporary home at this address.  


I also put links to both of these websites right below my blog title...


Feedback is always welcome, I'd love to know what you think!




You're probably thinking...Two blog posts in two days? Is she OK
Yes I am, thanks for your concern.  
And to explain myself I'll just say that this post is in response to Marie's request.  You probably shouldn't expect this much online activity from me in the future...

Wednesday, May 5

good news

Good news everybody. During my absence, I survived  finals week, moved apartments, kept my job, created a website, and maintained my sanity...well mostly. That part is debatable. 

Having been out of school for only a week, it's only natural that summer semester starts tomorrow.  

Tomorrow?


Oh good. I didn't want a break anyways.

{I win again}

Today was great because I got to spend some time video chatting with the kids I used to nanny in England.  They are so ca-uute!  Though I'm pretty sure the only reason they like to video chat is so they can make faces into the camera.   

I love being able to talk with them face to face  from half a world away courtesy of skype.  
Note to self: brush up on "brittish-isms" before talking to my English friends next time.  Couch = Sofa, Trash = Bin, Yard = Garden, etc... this will avoid my speech being corrected by ten year olds. 

Sunday, April 18

Good Thing It's Sunday

I
Love
You
A simple phrase, commonly said in over 800 languages across the globe since the beginning of time. And we all need to hear it... you know, every once in a while.  Sometimes the most meaningful expressions of those very words are not even spoken, but said just as plainly through our actions. Today I was reminded of that.

I'm not generally a person that likes to be alone.  
There. I said it. Surprised? You shouldn't be. 
 I genuinely enjoy the company of other people, which is kind of unfortunate cause I live in a place with just one other girl.  It's weird.
And the people upstairs make the ceiling squeak. 
I really hate don't like it. At all. 

Another fun fact about me is that I 
thoroughly enjoy a good pity party.
{So if you are in need of one, I am your go-to girl}
I was doing just that when my old roommate & soul sister Julia called me up. It was not possible for her to have more perfect timing. 

I
Love
Good Friends
{& sunday walks}
This girl is AWESOME. She is always thinking about other people. And not only does she think about them, but she acts on those thoughts, which makes her a miracle worker. (slash pity-party canceler)
Yep. She's THAT great.

So just remember, that when we are in the service of other people, we are in the service of our Lord. And as we serve Him, we grow closer to Him.  And the closer we are to Him, the more fully we feel of His love for us.

And that makes us happy.
And being happy is what it's all about my friends.
"Adam fell that men might be...
and men are that they might have joy"

...And finals week is to remind me 
that I'm not as smart as I think I am...
And that I should probably study harder next semester.

{oh boy}

Thursday, April 8

I'm Thinking

You are pretty great. 
There are so many people out there that would trade places with you in a heart beat. 
You are smart, and everyone loves you 
Especially me, and don't you forget it.
When your feet get tired and you want to give up,
just keep going. 
You are stronger than you know. 
Just tell yourself good things. 

And believe me, you can.
{photo taken at the great salt lake}

I have recently been intrigued and enlightened 
It's amazing, really. 
Our thoughts are powerful
we can have anything we want
we can be anything we want
just think about it
{cause it makes sense}

"When you set a goal and commit yourself to the necessary self-discipline to reach that goal, you will eliminate most of the problems in your life.  Spend your energies doing those things that will make a difference.  Then you become what you think about."


--M. Russell Ballard
{"Go For It" October 1981}


I highly suggest these books to anyone and everyone:

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The Master Key System by Charles Haanel

you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, April 1

California

I have a trip fund.  It's small, and whenever I have a spare penny, I feed it.

Thursday started out as an ordinary day--then I got a phone call from my brother.  By some miraculous stroke of luck, that little sweet-talker managed to convince my dad that letting us go to California was a good idea.  Not only that, but he also let us borrow his convertible.  I'm still trying to figure out how we got so lucky, and I can only figure that someone gave my dad captain crunch-berries for breakfast.  it's the worlds best cereal, and therefore makes it impossible to be sour with that ungodly amount of sugar in your system.  Thanks Cap'n.

So I left work early, we packed up the car, and within 2 hours of receiving this phone call, we were on the road.  The spontaneity of this trip was a beautiful thing.  We didn't have any maps, we didn't know where we were going exactly, we had no idea where we were going to stay--all we knew is that we were sunshine and beach bound.

To make this easy, I'm breaking this down into our
Super Trip Top Six
Six: hanging out on the beach




We really love the beach.
 

Please pick your jaw up from the floor...this is my little brother.

Five: Surfing
I caught my first wave!
We went the self taught route when trying to surf for the first time.  We did pretty good!

Four: Downtown Disney

I love seeing thing street performers...they are great!
Nobody loves Disneyland more than this kid
But we didn't have enough money for a ticket to the Happiest Place on Earth
(Maybe money does buy happiness...just a little...)
 
Everyone at Disneyland is taking such happy pictures...we decided to do just the opposite
 

Three: Seeing old friends
We met up with Devon Plott, an old family friend, and he hooked us up with a place to stay and a few meals!
{Awesome}


Two: Bamboozle

Bamboozle is probably the dumbest name I've ever heard of for a music festival, but it was easily the best one  I have ever been to.  
We met lots of good bands. Here I am with my new love Adam from Anarbor.
We went around collecting all the free things we could.  We ended up with several CD's, t-shirts, stickers, guitar picks, bags, etc. 

One: Something Corporate!!!

Ok, let me explain.  Something Corporate is one of my favorite all time bands, with lead Andrew McMahon who is one of the greatest singer/songwriters I have ever had the privilege to blast through my car stereo. (Sorry Elton...you're a close second)

Andrew McMahon was diagnosed with leukemia at age 21 right after signing his second record deal, there's even a documentary made about him called Dear Jack, that I also recommend. 

Something Corporate has been broken up for five years, and they came together at the festival. To say it was simply Magical wouldn't do it justice.  You would need to find a word that encompassed Mind-Blowing, Inspirational, Crazy, Incredible... I'm afraid the English language falls a bit short. Either way, to see such a musical idol of mine up close was amazing. 



 


*some photos credited to my new friend sussie!

Josh and I were about three heads back from the main stage, but it was nuts with all the people clamoring to be by the stage, I could barely come up for air.  I still have bruises in odd places from the mosh pit. When you're in a crowd like that, the only way out is up.  So I had my first experience crowd surfing--and I got right up within a couple feet of the band before security grabbed me and helped me out. Below is a short compilation of the concert--you can see where I'm close, and when I'm far away... Watch it if you want, the quality isn't great, but it gives you an idea!


This was easily one of the best nights of my life! 

Sunday, March 14

Older & Wiser

Dear Sir Elton John,
          You got it wrong.
            Sorry isn't the hardest word.
                    Goodbye is.

         Your Most Loyal Fan,
              Nicole
{confused? See here}

Brady Wiser and I have been friends on this green earth 
since February 20, 1988 {his birthday} 

...back to when pooping your pants was the cool thing to do 
(and boy were we cool)
{here we are at lake michigan, age 3}

Brady came to visit this past week, and he spent 35 long hours on a train just to get here.  

loved it when we: went dancing & saw movies
played basketball against 14 year old girls (and lost.)
went to a party & out for pizza
Played pool & ate mexican food at midnight
stayed up too late playing apples to apples

didn't love it when we had to say goodbye.
Brady joined the army and signed on for 3 and a half years, and today he goes into boot camp.  I'm going to miss him, but I'm grateful that he's chosen to serve our country. 
Godspeed my friend, until we meet again.