Saturday, November 13, 2010

Can You See Why We're So Proud??

Have 15 years really gone by that fast? I am so very very proud to be the mother of this girl. She is delightful, funny, interesting, smart, driven, and beautiful. She makes my life better every single day. She brings us joy beyond measure. She is our work and our glory. I thank my father in heaven for her.

Somewhere between January 7 (the day we got married) and January 14 of 1995 we decided we needed to have children. We thought the process might take a while, but no, we found out we would be parents by mid November. We were surprised to find we'd be parents before our first anniversary. And some even found our fast pregnancy kind of cliche. But I couldn't be more grateful to my heavenly father for his spirit that whispered to us that we were to be parents sooner rather than later.

Being a mother to this girl has filled me up and made me more complete.

Happy Birthday Pooky.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sexy or Infectious?

I have a cold. One of those weird head colds. I won't go into too much detail because that's just gross. However, I have a weird kind of voice going on. One of those cool Demi Moore deals...or at least that's how it sounds to my plugged up ears. Too bad my sexy voice isn't as alluring as I'd like to think....because shockingly my dear husband doesn't want to kiss these infected lips. Boo.

Lately I've been crazy busy. The good kind of busy. I'm enjoying the new calling, doing lots of fun things, WINNING THE STAKE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS! Hello! I didn't see that one coming. The girls were seriously just out to have some fun. They were enjoying themselves immensely, win or lose. But it turns out in a double elimination tournament, we only lost once....and went on to the championship....and had to beat that team TWICE in one night. Three hours of intense games, me pacing, the girls throwing serve after serve after serve. Diving for the ball, figuring out how to return when the server on the other team is this close to being a professional v-ball player. It was fun to watch one of my counselors getting super intense. When the crazy semi-pro girl came up for service, just to break the server's stride. my counselor would call a time out. Hilarious. Once I caught Sav mouthing the ref, I told her to hold still, the ref made a good call. Then my daughter said, "I can't help it, I have Johnson in me." Ok, true dat. What can we say, Johnson's are sticklers for rules and, ahem, winning.

Have I mentioned how much I love my presidency? I'm feeling really good about our combination. And, have I mentioned how this calling has already challenged me in ways I didn't see coming? Oh...and...the girls really truly are great together. They have fun. They like being together. I hope that over time we can have so much fun and do so many great things, specifically that we can create spiritual experiences together, that I can call these girls "my girls." Camp is already stressing me out. I have no idea when we are doing camp or where. Hey, I've got 8 months right? Crud, did I say 8? Time.Is.Running.Out.

My girl got the 4.0 she worked for her first semester. My boy just got a Certificate of Merit for his entry into the Reflections contest. H. got accepted to the Master's in Mental Health Counseling program.

If only I could shake this cold....but if this cold is my trial, I'll take it. I've had much worse.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh Happy Day

I love this picture. This picture is pretty much a statement about my hubby. He is happy, he likes to smile (and looks good doing it), he likes to go places with me (who do you think was behind the camera?), he LOVES to travel, preferably by plane, and San Fran is one of his favorite places to be.

And today is his birthday. Happy Birthday to my lima.

Remember what I said this morning? The first 20 years are a wash you're pretty much in your 20s. Enjoy!

from, your sweet pea.

Monday, October 11, 2010


This post may be a bit early, but I happened upon a post from January of this year and thought I'd do a quick self-eval. (Since I just had to do a self-eval for work, why not do one for my family life?

In January I posted about our family motto: The year of dangerously following your dreams and wishes strongly!!

Have we done this? Let's recount the year so far.

H: Started school. Hoping to get into the master's in counseling program. Dangerous, possibly. A dream, not sure. A wish, probably not. Strongly, always!

J: Nothing new that was in my control. Dangerous, sometimes. A dream, honestly? depends on how you look at it, sometimes nightmarish. A wish, never. Strongly, yes.

S. Straight A grades thus far. Dangerous, no. A dream, YES! A wish, YES x50! Strongly, you know it!

M: Sixth grade. Dangerous, sometimes yes. A dream, not so far. A wish, does wishing to get out of 6th grade count? Strongly, YESSIRREE!

Nichols clan: Our year thus far has been full of struggles, struggles I haven't blogged about. Dangerous, yes. A dream, no. A wish, no. Strongly, I'm proud to report, yes.

I'm proud of us. Life hasn't exactly attacked us, nor has it left us behind. So, we have had dangerous moments, not too many dreams or wishes are coming true, but I'm happy to say we've all been strong.

Strong and steady wins the race, right?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Acronyms Abound, the YWP version

Some people may file this under the "What Were They Thinking?" category, but here I go: I was called, sustained, and set apart to be the Young Women's President in my ward yesterday.

The best response I had all day was this: As I was standing there after my name was called, waiting to be sustained, feeling the heat rise in my face and my legs shake a bit, one of the young women in our ward two rows ahead of us with a look of incredulity on her face said to me, "Did you know about this???"

Now that would be a hard pill to swallow, get a calling right over the pulpit like that. Makes me think of missionaries of yore. Those poor men, and their poor wives!

I've known for six weeks this was coming. The day I was called into the bishop's office I got a call at 8:00 a.m. from the exec. sec. "the bishop would like to see you and your husband." My initial thought was that the bishop was checking up on us. He knew we'd been through a rough patch and had said he wanted to talk with us a few weeks earlier, so I assumed we were going in for a regular old chit-chat. Then the thought came, he wants to talk to me and it has something to do with Young Women. But still, I denied denied denied. I'm good at that. But when the talk turned to me and my work schedule and my life responsibilities, I could see it coming. But even then, I didn't see THIS coming. I mean, are you sure? I'm not exactly a pillar of hugs, lovey-ness, and crafts. You may remember a couple posts back....I'm not a camper!

What does this all mean? It means I get myself some fantastic counselors and a rockin' secretary and go to work. Now that's something I CAN do. And I'm pretty good at delegation. And I'm super super excited to earn my own Young Woman Medallion (you see, I never earned mine all those years ago), and I get to surround myself with some amazingly fantastic girls whose personalities and testimonies amaze and humble me.

If I can only overcome the first hurdle......which is the mass amount of stink eye I got as the YW were saying goodbye to their old leaders. Yikes! This isn't my fault. I swear I didn't campaign for this. In fact, I always said I'd probably stink at being in YW. I just assumed I wasn't the type. The type always seemed to fit into a certain body mold which I broke through in the 10th grade. And the type always seemed to have perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect lives. Perfect craftiness, perfectly done nails, perfect testimonies and perfect make-up.

Me, with my mascara that streaks, my hair that hangs flat, my pantyhose (if I even wear them) with runs going from waist to toe, my size {cough, cough}, my imperfect life, my over-opinionated self....

Where will you file this? Which category does this go under?

For me this one doesn't get filed yet. This one is a WIP (work in progress). This one will assuredly try me and test me. And fill me up, further than I've ever been filled before. Because that is how the gospel works.

I know my young women, can I call them that yet? My YW? Will they let me? I know my young women probably won't ever read this blog, but if you're out there one day, wondering how I felt about this most monumental occasions in my life, know this:

I love the Lord. I know He lives. I know His gospel has been restored. And I will do everything in my power to see that you have a desire to stay on the path that will lead you back to him, via the temple. I will do all I can to support your righteous parents in their your desires for your eternal future.

And, we are gonna have a blast! So brace yourselves, this ride may get bumpy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The School Bell Ringeth

School Updates:

The Boy: This story could go on and on. As many times as you've heard me rant and rave about SEPs, this one was different. This SEP was the first time I ever felt like maybe the teacher isn't a good match for my child. As we walked in, the boy was telling me how many times he has had to "pull a card," which essentially means he had some sort of behavior problem during class. Now, my boy has pulled a few cards in his day, but nothing like the amount he was reporting to me. I listened, tried to explain to the boy that there are times when talking during class is inappropriate. But, the more he described his experiences, the more my hackles were raised.

I went into the classroom and couldn't even look the teacher in the eye. Why? Because she was intimidating, even for me. She was about my age. But, she just came out of the gate so fast and so stern. I left feeling small, truly I did. This year, I need to pay close attention to the boy. Make sure he is getting the TLC he needs. He is a sensitive boy with a heart of gold. If the teacher makes a sweeping request, "Anyone talking right now, pull a card!" and my boy will go do it, because he's honest like that. Unfortunately, not all children respond the same way as my boy. So, he is constantly feeling berated and low in the classroom. Like I said, I gotta keep on eye on that.

The girl: This paragraph will be significantly shorter. Why? Here is the reason. All A's and one A-. I want to hug her and squeeze her and prance around showing off her grades for all the world to see. Her dedication so far is amazing. Go Girl GO!!!!

The husband: Yes, if I'm going to talk about school, the husband gets a shout out. He decided to enroll again. He's going to pursue a degree in counseling, an LPC to be exact. He will be in class for six weeks, and then he'll receive either a stamp of approval from some kind of LPC experienced round table, or a stamp of denial. If approved, he'll be in school for 2 years, then go into an internship for three more years. He's feeling good, feeling strong, feeling like this is the right pursuit. And, as his wife, I stand behind my man. Go husband , GO!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

She Camps!

Ok, that might be overstating things....just a bit. However, our family joined some good friends this weekend at a place in Fairview canyon and went a'camping. Hi ho, the merry-o, and all that.

Now, did you know I'm not a camper? Did you know that the entire time I grew up my parents never, ever took our family camping? When father's/son's would come up, my dad would entice the boys away from camping by luring them to a baseball game instead. And girl's camp? Nope. I went one year when we lived in Utah...but when we got back to California, I just wasn't interested. In fact, a lot of years when I'd go pick up my sisters at the church on a Saturday afternoon at the end of their girl's camp stay, I'd joke around with the mothers that were there that our idea of camping was a Motel 6.

Here's the deal: I like to shower. I do. I like being clean, doing my hair, and putting on make-up. I like flushing toilets. I like being comfortable at night, and not having a rock in my back, or be frozen solid when I "wake up" which is a complete joke, because I just don't sleep AT ALL while camping.

So, off we went to Fairview. But the clincher is this-Our friends have a camper. We got to sleep inside where it turns out, there was heat! and a bed! and a toilet! and a shower! Not to mention a kitchen and a refrigerator.

I was warm and able to flush a toilet! Ahhhhhhhh...............

And we did my very favorite activity of all time. Activity is actually a misnomer. We did nothing. Teehee....I love that!

My friend actually warned me that she and her husband might be boring while we were out. I was a-okay with that. I had a great time doing nothing. It rocked. And I can see why people go camping, but only with a camper! and with great friends!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Refined Palate

I've become a bit of a foodie lately. Not because I fancy myself a home chef or anything, but because I've become addicted to food shows! Love 'em! Love watching food being selected, love watching ideas form, love watching the chopping and dicing, love hearing the description of how fragrant everything is as it cooks, and the piece de resistance! I love hearing how wonderful it tastes as the host rolls his/her eyes in the back of their head and enjoys.

Starting on Monday I got me some more Slim Fast. Yes, I know I talk about it way too much. But stay with me here. I got my SF and made my morning smoothie and....hmmm.....disappointing. What? I've been drinking that thing for almost 2 years and have loved it. I wondered to myself if SF had adjusted the recipe ever so slightly so that my own smoothie recipe was "off." I wondered again on Tuesday. And then this morning, I was making the smoothie the same way I always make it when it dawned on me that I had not been the person to fetch the SF from the shelf on shopping day. It was H. So.....then I thought, I wonder if H. got Chocolate Royale instead of Milk Chocolate?

And, yes indeedy, that is EXACTLY what happened. Well, even though I was a tad perturbed, the biggest sensation I got was satisfaction. Yes, satisfied that my palate was refined enough to know the difference between Chocolate Royale and Milk Chocolate. And people, go with Milk Chocolate when buying SF powder, I swear by it!

Now, does the sussing out of the ever so slight difference in taste/texture on SF mean I have a refined palate?

Why do we say our palate is refined anyway? The palate is the roof of the mouth. The roof of all places. Is that where we taste our food? Clearly foodies from early on may have had superior tastebuds, but did not have a great command of the English language. I guess saying "refined tastebuds" doesn't sound as fancy? But let me tell you, tastebud sounds totally great compared to the real name of tastebuds. Are you ready?

There are four types of tastebuds: fungiform papillae, filiform papillae, foliate papillae, and circumvallate papillae.

Drum roll please......I indeed have refined papillae! Which type? I'm gonna go with the fungiform papillae, just because it sounds so yummy!

Ok, so my palate isn't refined. Because if it was I would like things like shrimp, lobster, and crab legs, right?

But, on the other hand, I despise places like Applebee's.

There must be some hope for me yet!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Size Me Up.....I mean Down

I bought a new pair of jeans from the Park City Outlets the other day. And, as a probably very long aside....What the heck is it with outlet malls? They are overcrowded and OVERPRICED! Harold and I had a long discussion about this. Why do they call it outlets? The assumption is that the outlets are filled with bargains galore. Nope. Very few bargains, just like regular malls/stores.

We parked in a very, very far spot because I had spilled lunch on myself (shocking!) and wanted to change my shirt in the car. I prefer not to change clothes in front of other people as a general rule, so we were trying to find a secluded spot. Then, when I was clothed once again, we meandered....I mean HIKED to the Gap where the rest of our party was waiting.

Then, inside the gap, in the middle left corridor, I found the clearance rack. I love clearance racks. When I find something wonderful, it's wonderful. Unfortunately that doesn't happen as often as I'd like.

But on Saturday, I found a size 16 jean. Now, if you are all appalled at the size, stop reading now. You and I are officially NOT friends! But, if you stop and realize that I started the weight loss journey at a size 24.....then 16 sounds mighty fine indeed!

So I found the 16 jeans for $5.97. What? I was thrilled! I didn't bother trying the jeans on because I knew they wouldn't fit. Yet.

But when I got those jeans home I put them on and they came all the way up my legs. Yay! But, to wear these bad boys outside the house would require a very, very long shirt to hide the fact that the zipper was not going to interlock in any way, shape, or form in the near future. Not on this body.

This revelation has led me to two things:
1. I need to step up my aerobic workout game. I need to start setting goals!
2. I need to start doing some sort of repetitive tummy tightening exercise.

As for #1. Today I ran further than I've run in a while. I was pushing myself and it felt good. I was out of breath and pretty worthless for conversation, but my running buddy was nice enough to step up her game and talk more. :) And, after sitting in my work chair for about 45 minutes, I went to go upstairs and OUCH, everything was sore! Now I just need a goal.

So here it is: I need to be running 3 miles straight without stops by the end of August. I think that is a pretty reasonable goal.

As for #2. I had a book around here somewhere that had exercises for every part of your body that you could do in 8 minutes a day. I need to find that book!

I have decided. I am a goal-making, covenant-keeping girl. And there you have it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cheater, Cheater

I cheated on my fling. Instead of ice cream in a bowl (did you know that every time I write bowl in my posts, that I first spell it as bowel? This is due to my occupation, but I find it funny), I've had shakes instead.

We were on the road this weekend. We took a trip to Nowheresville, USA (AKA, Rawlins, Wyoming {I apologize to my MIL as that is where she is from, but I think she might agree with me}) to meet up with Harold's brothers and their families and watch trains. Yes, we drove 4 hours each way to watch trains, people! Ok, we really went to see the fam. The trains were a nice addition (per the train aficionados).

Anywayz....In Evanston, WY we stopped in both directions to switch drivers (AKA get a shake at Arby's). I totally adore the vanilla shakes from Arby's. The flavor is Dee-Vine. I had to run into the ladies room while H. went through the drive-thru and he ordered me a large both times. UH, I ordered a LARGE vanilla shake! Wow.

So, I cheated on my one true love. It's like I traded up for the newer, younger, more hip model. I feel guilty.

And my scale didn't like it either. Could it be because the shake takes like a whole freakin' gallon o' ice cream to make one large shake?

Never again my love, never again.

In retrospect, I shouldn't diss on Rawlins like that. Our Holiday Inn Express was SAH-WEET. So pretty! So clean and new! And the manager (girl) at the desk has lived in Rawlins her whole life and was EXTREMELY helpful. And, she let us have a late checkout for free. Just because I asked all sweet and stuff.

Oh, and my kids and their cousins made a video whilst dancing through all three floors of the HIE. And we weren't kicked out. Bonus.

(P.S. I feel I must insert this, before I get into trouble. Wyoming isn't a bad place, it just feels kinda desolate to me. I live in a wrinky dink town in Utah and I love it, despite that many others think it's a major hole in the wall kinda town. And, I really love to go by H.'s grandparents house every time we visit. Whoever owns it now still keeps it looking fresh and clean, just like I imagine it was back when the Huggins lived there. I like to imagine little H. going through the back door, letting it slam behind him, and Grandpa H. saying "don't let the door slam!! So, even though I poke a bit o' fun at Rawlins, I appreciate what it brought to me. My H. Whom I adore. And I truly look forward to meeting Grandma and Grandpa Huggins one day and hopefully they won' t think I'm too big of a brat.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ice Cream Diet

I've been a very naughty girl. If I had to go report to my surgeon's office right now, I'd have to hang my head in shame and fess up to a myriad of sins. But my biggest, most offensive sin, that pretty much encompasses a multitude of other minor sins is this:

For the past 2 weeks or so I have replaced at least 6 meals each week with ice cream.

Breyer's Rocky Road, Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Panic, Private Selection Peanut Butter Passion, Blue Bunny Berry Me Please, Farr's Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Yep, I remember the names of my ice cream flings.

The really bad part of this sin? No consequences that I can see, because the scale has been going down. Yep, you read me right, down.

I have stopped snacking during the day as well, from all the guilt I feel from the ice cream meals.

So, a Slim Fast shake in the morning, and a meal or two of ice cream and....I'm done for the day! Is that was the Slim Fast people meant when they talked about meal replacement?

I'm sure the inside of my body is screaming in disgust.

But I'm down 60 pounds now. After almost two long years. I wish I had known about the ice cream plan way back when.

Today I got my act together and heated up some leftovers from Sunday dinner for my lunch. I got stuck after only about 7 or 8 bites. And I had to throw up.

And I missed my ice cream fling!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I know, I know

I swore I was going to blog more, I made the announcement that I was "back." Well, I lied. Not on purpose, of course. I would never, ever lie on purpose. Except a few times as a crazy teenager. But even then I usually fessed up to my wrongdoings. I was a talker then and a talker now. I tell all.

I don't think I tell more than people want to know, but maybe I do. I just share. I don't have secrets. I don't like to hide. In fact, I end up telling people personal stuff more than once because I talk about it so much I can't remember who I've told. Now I'm pretty sure some of that is presenile dementia. (I love a good self-diagnosis. Makes me all warm and fuzzy. You gotta love a medical transcriptionist with just enough medical vocabulary and knowledge to be very, very scary.)

So, here's me telling all, fessing up. This month has been a living nightmare. No, really. I'm not kidding.

You know those people who go to church and say, "I have a hard time coming here because everyone else's lives look so perfect." You know those people? Well those people are talking about me.

Me with my wonderful husband and two outwardly decent children. No infants, no diapers. Nothing is ever wrong, it seems. We go to church every week, we pay our tithing, we sit all quiet and cleanly dressed. We serve in our callings, we don't make waves. Harold makes our yard look nice. We drive cars that work. Our children participate in YW and Scouts.

Well, I got news for "you people!" My life is far from perfect.

Having said that, I cannot in good conscience reveal why my month has been so utterly, terribly bad. Because that would violate a trust.

But, if you were ever looking around, thinking others have their "lands and gold," think again.

Count your many blessings, name them one by one.

I promise you, even though I have had a month I would rather never, ever re-live....I, too, am blessed beyond measure. I, too, am surprised at what the Lord has done for me.

Yesterday, after our horribly terrible no-good month, I was blessed with a feeling so powerful and so peaceful and beautiful that the Lord was literally WITH my dear husband. Yes, He loves us. And He loves you, too.

And that is truth.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Here it is, the code:

The numbers represent GPA (good job, Ms. Janet) and the initials represents the names of the books in the Hunger Games series (Ms. Collette, nicely done!).

Sav needed some inspiration to complete her school year, so I wrote the code:

3.0 HG
3.1 CF
3.2 MJ

She earned all 3 books. Yay!

However, I know those grades are NOT going to cut it starting this fall, her freshman year. We've talked about it at length and hopefully I can find a good motivator for her. Because apparently telling her that her father and I cannot afford to pay for her college education isn't quite the motivation a 14 year old finds, well, motivating.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Come On, Show Me What You Got!

3.0 HG
3.1 CF
3.2 MJ

I've only had one entry in regards to the above code. Unfortunately, the guess was wrong (sorry Holley!)

However, here's another chance. There is actually a hint in my last post, maybe more than one hint actually.

Code Crackers of the Blogger World Unite!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

White Board

Two whole months. Writer's block? Life block? Nonetheless....She's baaaack!

I've been tossing a post around in my head, waiting for my camera to take a picture of our white board. Then...suddenly, my daughter erased the white board and put new quotes up.

Super Sad Face:
But, I HAVE to blog about the whiteboard post-apocalypse.

Here were the entries:
"If music be the food of on." Shakespeare

"Katniss, there is no District 12." Gale, Catching Fire

If you ever want to know what is on the mind of a 14-year-old girl, get a whiteboard, some dry erase markers and never, ever pass judgment on what is written.

There was also a code on the whiteboard, written by yours truly:

3.0 HG
3.1 CF
3.2 MJ

If you can figure out the code.....I will personally write an entire post on what a smarty pants you are! Go ahead, give me your code cracking skills, your amazing brain yearning to break free! Comments encouraged!!

And now.....drum roll please......
My latest and greatest get-rich-quick scheme? Ok, maybe more like a take-charge-of-my-financial-future plan. A teaching certificate. Secondary education. Teaching English to junior high or high schoolers. Crazy, you ask? Possibly. Still talking over my options with my better half? Yes indeedy!

As for exercise? You really want to know? Yep, I started up again. I am on my former 3.25 mile route, with a friend. Walk/running. I had lost 3-4 pounds in 2 weeks....but as of yesterday morning the 3-4 pounds found me again. What the? Seriously? Not fair. I did absolutely NOTHING to deserve that one. I have no explanation.

I've decided, I'm just going to keep plugging along. I feel great when I exercise! It's fantabulous!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What Happens in this DoJo, does not necessarily STAY in this DoJo

Yesterday we drove up to my parents house for a family dinner. On the way we saw a couple peeps on motorcycles. We all noticed that these guys had one hand on the accelerator and the other hand resting on their left leg.

My kids asked why.

We explained that their hand and arms probably got tired and maybe even went to sleep while these guys were driving. At that point I made the comment that I had no idea how motorcyclists drove their bikes, especially the ones where the handlebars are literally above their heads.

Fast forward a few hours.

We're on our way home and I glance to the back seat. Both my children have their arms raised high above their heads, for no apparent reason.

Me: What are you doing?
Them: Seeing if we could drive one of those motorcycles all the way home?
Me: Why?
Them: {Laughter}

I look at H., he looks at me....and we just shake our heads and give a quiet chuckle. We then proceed to have adult conversation while they "do their thing" in the backseat.

Fast forward about 35 minutes and from the backseat we hear this:

Them: Do we feel pain in this DoJo?

Them, answering: NO Sensei!

I look back again and they STILL have their arms high above their heads....and then H. and I start laughing hysterically.

Have I ever told you how hilarious I think the word DoJo is? And how Sensei is another one of my favorite laugh-guarantee words?

And how my kids are constantly cracking us up and how I'm so glad my kids are funny! You probably had to be there....but trust me, it was Hull-Air-E-Us.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Something that made me LOL

(I have a whole vacation post coming...eventually.)

In the meantime, today's LOL moment goes to S.

S. comes home from school today and says: Man it's hot!

Me: Hot down here (basement)?

S.: Hot everywhere! And someone was wearing really strong perfume!

Me: Yea, I can smell it on you, you must have picked it up.

S.: Sniffs her wrists. "That could be it."

And that is when I started laughing out loud. And so did she.

That was awesome.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Best Medicine

The official medical word is that there was no cancer in either the colon or the small bowel. However, 12/25 lymph nodes were positive for metastatic carcinoid tumor. The tumor board meets on Wed. to decide the next course of action.

The official word from a priesthood blessing has a much brighter outlook and brought us all closer to the spirit as well as a lot of comfort.

For more details, call me. Otherwise, know this: The gospel is true. The priesthood is a power that can create worlds and can heal my sister.

There may be a long road ahead, but this knowledge will see me through, as will my faith in the savior Jesus Christ, who willingly took all sin and suffering upon himself so that I could be with my family forever.

On a lighter note: I finally saw a surgeon for my shoulder (yay). Diagnosis: Rotator cuff inflammation (not the official diagnosis, that is my interpretation). He says I'm too young to have an actual tear. Yay, I'm too young for something! So, I got a steroid injection, a Rx for antiinflammatories (which I may or may not be able to take due to previous stomach surgery), and a Rx for physical therapy with my bishop. I hear he's good!

I really dug my surgeon. We talked a bit, he is turning 40 this year. When I was receiving my shot I told him I thought the shot felt funky. He says, and I quote, "funky cole medina." To which I replied, "Dude, you ARE turning 40." We got a laugh outta that. We also talked about my occupation as a transcriptionist and he asked if I ever type his reports. I do. Then I made a couple of suggestions to help his reports be better and he called me, in a reverent voice, "a genius."

He and I will be close friends, I can tell.

Monday, March 29, 2010

All I Need is a Miracle

A little over three years ago I was told I had cancer. My run with cancer lasted about 6 weeks and it was over. Quick as a wink. I've often thought that I don't fit into the cancer crowd. I never had radiation or chemo, never lost my hair. All I needed was a few incisions, a removal of some affected parts, and VOILA! Cancer free.

At the time of diagnosis I was worried. I distinctly remember talking to my father one day. I had rehearsed to him the many, many miracles we as a family had experiened. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for those blessings, but I wondered if we had used up our miracle quota. He assured me that, no, we had another miracle coming our way.

Last week, during a routine appendectomy, cancer was found in my sister's appendix. Tomorrow she goes in for removal of her right colon and some small bowel.

Today, I want to pass on my assurance to my baby sister. We have another one coming. We are a covenant family and we can expect miracles.

See how easy that is?

Miracles never cease.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bright Side

I finally, finally got an appt to see an orthopedist about my shoulder. In addition to the pain I feel if I lift my arm up, I'm losing strength. Not good.

I started walking again with H. and my back feels tons, tons better. After my last post my back pretty much went out on me for about 2 days. Wow. I got a muscle relaxer from my PA friend, as well as a lidocaine patch....neither of which helped, at all. Which leads me to my self-diagnosis of a bulged disc. But, since my back is feeling terrif right now, my shoulder comes first.

We have a vacay coming up and we still don't have firm plans. H. likes to get outta town, but I'm always crying coming up with the same excuse....moolah! So, we are trying to find a happy medium. But we could very well end up sticking around town and seeing dollar movies all week! :) I think the kids really don't care, they'll just be glad to be with us, having fun together.

Have I mentioned how much I like my kids? I talked with a friend recently whose daughter is pretty much being a major nightmare. This made me reflect on my kids and right now, they are pretty much rockin' the good kid planet!

S. got into the chamber choir for next year. YAY! I'm super, super proud of her. She rears her teenage head occasionally, but so far, so good. My sister keeps telling me it was when she turned 15 that she brought out her version of a she-devil and that I need to watch out. As of right now, I'm bracing myself and hoping. Overall, when I show love and kindness, that is what I get in return. She's a great girl.

I got a call yesterday from a neighbor mom telling me what a great kid M. is. Now, I already know this, but she proceeded to tell me that when her son got beaned in the head w/ a rock by another neighbor boy, it was my kid who was first on the scene making sure her kid was a-ok. This mom told me that if all of her son's friends were named M., she'd be happy. Wow, what a great compliment. I'd like to take credit, but that kid came with a spirit full of love and compassion and I'm just feeling like the lucky recipient.

H. applied for a volunteer position with the city. We have no idea what the city committee is looking for, but if he gets it we are seriously considering taking our house off the market. We are both in the big black hole we call indecision.

H. used to mock me because when we would peruse the toy section at pretty much any store, I would inevitably find the Magic 8 Ball and ask it a major life question. He would roll his eyes and shake his head, certain his wife was on the fast track to idiotville. I sure wish I had a M8B that would answer this question for us now.

I know, I know. Turn to the scriptures, pray. Well, we've been doing that and there is still a big 'ole void in front of us. There are lots of interpretations for the void. Stupor of thought? Lack of faith? Only time will tell.

Tick tock, tick tock.......

I've heard spring is here, but I haven't witnessed it because I'm stuck in my basement 35 hours a week. Is the sun shining? I need to get the sunshine in my soul, that way it won't matter what the weather is outside.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Age-Related Concerns

I'm hoping I don't sound all whiney or anything, but I'm seriously concerned about having turned 40 and now it feels like my body is falling apart.

Exhibit A: My rotator cuff. Now, I haven't been to the doctor, but my local friend who is a PA (and since he is my friend he diagnosed me for free) told me I have torn my rotator cuff. Now, without magnetic resonance imaging, the extent of the tear remains a mystery. Here is a pic of what I think my cuff looks like:

Why does both my (free) PA and I think this? Because I can't lift my arm over my head without severe pain. Also, in trying to lift my arm, I overcompensate with my chest muscles, trying in vain to get my right arm to do what my left seems to do without any trouble whatsoever.

An MRI would be the final diagnostic tool and a few weeks ago I would have been fine with an MRI. But then my dad asked if I had ever had an MRI.

Me: Nope, never.
Dad: Are you claustrophobic?
Me: I don't think so.

Then he proceeds to describe how after you are rolled into an MRI machine the walls of the machine pretty much surround you and give you about 1 inch of wiggle room on all sides. And, only your feet stick out.

Now I'm starting to feel all claustrophobic just thinking about this. I mean, what if we have a major catastrophe and I'm stuck in this machine as the hospital falls around me, and the orderlies and nurses run screaming from the room to save themselves? I mean, I might be magnetically charged the rest of my life, never able to even be several feet within anything made of metal. I'd be so magnified that I would draw leftover nails from construction 10 years ago out of the ground! And no more underwire bras for me! I'd never get them off again. Ok, really I'm just scared of being crushed to death in that horrid machine. Honest to goodness, I'd rather have exploratory surgery to confirm my diagnosis than go into an MRI machine at this point! Who knew I was so claustrophobic??

Exhibit B: My vision. You might recall I lamented last year about getting trifocals. Even though I have the "right" glasses, they don't work. No lie. I can see distance no problem, but there is no way I can read close up...or at middle distance. And it's getting worse. I was recently at a darkish "romantic"-like restaurant. It's a good thing I knew the menu already because I couldn't read a darn thing!!

Can you read this? Probably, but I can't.

Exhibit C: Last night I started feeling all weak in my back, and then the pain hit. I had H. give me a massage in my lower back, but it didn't help! I tossed and turned all night. And what I mean by that was every time my back hurt (a lot) I had to grip either the sheets or the side of the bed and use my arm strength to roll myself over. Not pleasant, not easy.

Yes, that is the region where my pain is. No, my bee-hind isn't that firm.


And, as a pleasant reminder that yes my body is fragile in more than 3 regions, I just cut myself on a can lid while attempting to make homemade bean soup that is served half and half with Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup. Not just a run of the mill cut while cooking; deeper, but not deep enough to need stitches (I know this because I couldn't see anything like fatty tissue or muscle on the inside of my cut). The cut is on my thumb, on the inside, near the bendy part. No bendy no more! I had to pull out the hydrogen peroxide, sterile bandages, Bactroban, tape...and now I'm all fixed up and thankfully all my thumb needs to do on this keyboard is hit the very large space bar. I actually think I'm typing better than normal, but I think I taped this too tight as I'm starting to lose feeling in the tip of my thumb.

AHHHHH, life is good people. I'm alive enough to "feel" and you know what, despite all the aches, pains, cuts, bruises, tears (rhymes with pears), and bluriness, I'm feeling good!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

D is for Delilah

We got back yesterday from visiting Dale and Leisa in St. George. It's February, the weather has been cold up here and we've missed having Dale over for Sunday dinner. Now that he's hitched, Harold and Dale planned a visit.

I was hoping, crossing my fingers, that Leisa was ok with the four of us descending on her new home/new life. Of course, Leisa is fantastically easy going, so I wasn't ultra worried, but as a woman with a home, sometimes visitors are hard to bear, even when you love them to death.

So, on Friday after the kids got out of school we packed up (after thoroughly cleaning our house, just in case we had walk throughs-which we did not! UGH!) and headed down to Dixie.

While driving into town we asked the kids if they knew what the big "D" on the hill stood for. Savannah's answer, in a sing-song voice, "De-li-lah....."

We arrived at 8 p.m. and D&L had dinner prepared for us (how nice!). The trip took only 3 hours....which is pretty much the best time for out of town visits. Any more than 3 hours and I start to go all rigid with unhappy anticipation.

On Saturday we had a very full day, after homemade french toast, the day started with the "hike of fame" which I blogged about.

The hike was more like a meandering path. I DIG those kinds of hikes! The view was pretty sweet and Harold and Dale got to do some serious plane watching, which meant Leisa and I got a chance to chat while the guys hung back.

After the hike we showered and headed to the Jacob Hamblin home as well as Brigham Young's winter home. We also went dinner, swimming, and bought some cupcakes.

Saturday was a VERY full day.

Sunday started with a tradition from Leisa's family, pink pancakes and pink milk. So fun! I wish I had more fun traditions that I had brought into my marriage!

We lazed around a bit and then went to church......where the bishop's wife thought I was Leisa's mother! UGH!

Now, Leisa is a lovely girl. If my daughter turns out like Leisa, I'm gonna be a pretty happy mama.

All I could think was, I'm not old enough to be Leisa's mother. Then I did the math and guess what, Yes I am old enough. If I had gotten married the day after I graduated from HS and got married and PG right away, I could be her mother!

Man, this was a major blow!

A girl in RS redeemed the moment by asking if we were sisters. Now, sisters I can handle, especially since I think Leisa is so pretty!

After church we had a superdelish dinner and then walked over to the temple and checked out the visitor's center. After that we walked back and had cake and played games.

Monday we went to the park that we had heard so much about the kids got some energy out! (yay for quiet rides home in the car!)

Then we had lunch and vamoosed.

What a terrific weekend. Here's why Dale and Leisa's parents should be proud:

1. They made every single meal together. They worked side by side in the kitchen, quietly consulting each other, and preparing some yummy meals.
2. They had everything we needed, a bed, shower, toiletries, etc.
3. They planned out the entire weekend with fun, no-cost activities where we got to really spend time together and enjoy eachother's company.
4. They made us feel at home.

Thanks St. George Smith Family!!! You made our stay so enjoyable, we'll probably be back, so brace yourselves. But, we'll only be coming in the Jan-Apr months because any other time and it'll be too hot for this flower!

Can you say 66 degrees when we left Dixie? Man oh man, it was scrumptious.

(Our camera died after 1 shot....lame.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

To Quote Britney Spears....

Ooops, I did it again.

I watched The Biggest Loser. And ate. And cried.

What is going on here?

To my (our) credit, H. and I have been walking for two weeks now in the bitter cold a.m. YAY!

Most days I've been tracking my calories...until yesterday. M's bday.

And today, leftover cake day.

Jillian would be mortified.

Bob would forgive me.

The good news is that since Feb 3 I've gotten my weight back down to my "threshold."

Now it's time to crank it up and start going down again.

Without divulging my current weight, let me just say that this number is NOT the one I thought I would get hung up on. I had a couple of major milestones in my head where I knew mentally I might slow down, but this wasn't one of those numbers.

We are planning on going on a small hike on Saturday. A couple of years ago I would have flat out refused. Today I told Harold, as long as it isn't crazy serious hiking.

Why? Because I've hiked and always, always been the last one to come up the hill....breathing heavy, sweaty and completely embarassed. (Once, on my mission in Scotland, when I finally arrived at the top, I was called upon to lead the zone in a song....for realz? I mean, I was 100% embarassed then. The rest of the zone had been there a while, had a while to rest....not me, I looked horrific.)

But today, now, I can at least know that it doesn't matter if I'm last or sweaty, there is no need to be embarassed because I'm gonna do it! If I'm last, I don't care. I'm just gonna do it, because I can.

Anyone out there lost a serious amount of weight, 100 pounds or more? I'd love to sit down with someone like that and pick their brain.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Give Away

Now don't go getting all excited, thinking I'm doing a giveaway right here on my little ole' blog....I'm talking about the Big Candy Giveaway of 2010.

I was thinking early this afternoon how I could have a little bit of the candy in my purse, yes the aforementioned candy in my previous post. I thought that half of the candy would be an ok fit into my daily caloric goal.

Then I of my other goals was to give the candy away. And, I stopped myself from eating any.

Then, Mack comes home from school and as I'm walking by my purse I remember and stop and say,

Me: Hey, (as I'm rifling through my purse).......

Mack: Hunh?

Me: (As I hand over the goods)...Here!

Mack: (With a puzzled expression as this is the same Reese's 'egg' he requested days ago) Hunh?

Me: Take it, eat it!

Mack: (Shrugging...) Ok.

Then, I wait for Sav to come closer, which she does.....

Me: (Rifling through said purse again...) Here.

Sav: (As I hand her my Take 5 gets an even more puzzled expression than M. did.) Hunh?

Me: (I just look at her.)

Sav: Can I eat this?

Me: Yep, it's all yours....(as I walk away....happy and sad all at once.)

I'm a little saddened by:
1. The loss of my candy, and...
2. The fact that my kids are completely puzzled by my giving said candy away. Why are they puzzled? Because they are USED to their mother being a piggy. Nice.

If I'm Not Talking About It.....

I'm a creature of habit, not all good habits mind you, but I am fairly deeply entrenched in certain habits. The one I'd like to talk about today is this: If I'm not talking about it, I'm not doing it.

I was going to mention this in yesterday's blog, about how if I don't report about my weight loss efforts, it's because there have been NO WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS.

When I'm feeling extremely motivated or extremely discouraged, I talk about it. When I just don't want to bother, I lurk and hide in the shadows of other parts of my life.

Congrats to me, I'm out from behind the shadows!

Yesterday I vowed to stay on track calorie-wise because it was already 8:00 a.m. when my motivation hit me and exercise was a thing of the past. (I know, right? At 8 a.m. if I haven't exercised, it AIN'T gonna happen!)

My goal was 1200 calories. This sounds low, I know. But my happy band makes it so I am seriously NOT hungry on 1200 calories. The only time I found myself wanting MORE yesterday was when I was snacky and thinking about the Reese's and Take 5 in my purse. I didn't eat them, I swear, they are still there people, in my purse.

So I ate 1400 calories. I'm seriously fine with that. It turns out my body burns calories at a rate of 2000 per 24-hour period. So, that leaves me with a 700 calorie deficit.....times that by 7 days in a week and I burn 4900 calories per week over my basic rate. 3500 calories per pound and voila! I'm in the going DOWN category, rather than the going UP category.

Can I sustain this? I don't know. And, I tend to lose weight better when I can burn 300 extra calories every single day, sticking to 1400 cals/eaten.....then that is a 1000 cal deficit, leading to a loss of 2 pounds per week on average.

And I'm ok with that.

But.....and everyone has a big but.......I'm not ready to give away/throw away the candy in my purse. Safety net? Probably not the appropriate term. More like a snare. Maybe one of my goals today will be to give my candy away to my children (who actually burn calories every day because they enjoy running around with their friends). M. has already begged me for the Reese's and I flat out told him NO WAY Brothuh! He was disappointed, but probably more disgusted than anything else. I mean, why would I need two candy bars in my purse anyway?

That settles it, todays GOALS:
1. Give candy away.
2. Drink water........I'm pretty sure I don't drink enough water. When I do drink enough water I see the inside of my bathroom appr. every 20 minutes.
3. Stick to calorie goal.

Oh.....and I don't need to worry about exercise because Harold was actually out of bed and said to me, "are we going on our walk?"

HALLELUJAH!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you Harold!!!

Even though on our walk we had a heated discussion about nursing school. A healthy debate is a good thing, right?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Return and Report

You know how I blog about exercise and weight loss? You know how a few weeks ago I said I was all motivated to exercise again? You know how I've been holding steady on my weight for a long, long time?


After I blogged about exercise I ended up exercising twice. Then I lost my motivation again. Then this week I told H. "That's it! I'm going OUTSIDE in the bitter cold to walk, are you coming with me?" To which he responded, "Yes."

We walked Monday and Tuesday. Then this morning I just couldn't face the cold. Just couldn't.

So, I get on the scale and I've been seeing it creep up a bit here and there and I am now 2.5 pounds above my threshold. Could that be from no exercise and eating an entire shake last night? Not to mention that I keep buying candy "for my purse." Take 5's, Reese's, etc. Plus I made a quiche last night that was ultra-fatty (and delish).

But I am here to tell you....even though staying in bed feels nice, and even though eating candy sure tastes good going down, and even though I cannot blame 2.5 pounds on just a couple of days, and even though I work on my back side for A LOT of hours each day, and even though I've been turning to food lately for comfort.

I'm done.

I feel icky. Super, duper icky. I need to bottle this feeling and open the bottle up at 6 a.m. every day so that I remember I'd rather be out in the crazy coldness than sit at my desk feeling like crud.

I can open my bottle of ickiness while waiting at the checkout, as I slyly eyeball the candy.

I can open my bottle of ickiness while I sit at dinner and take 30-45 minutes to eat ALL I WANT....even though my band nurse tells me to stop eating after 20 minutes. At 20 minutes the bottle will be unleashed so that I take the plate away and STOP.

I can open my bottle of ickiness every single day while I count calories, because I'd rather do mental calorie calculations than sit here feeling so gross.

I cannot even describe how gross I feel right now. I haven't exercised this morning, I haven't eaten anything yet, I haven't gotten showered or dressed (I'm in a robe). I have 11 hours of work ahead of me today.

All the yuck adds up people and I feel as if I'm wallowing in ICK.

Oh, and financially I don't know if I can go to nursing school. And, if I start back now, I'd be going to school as my kids go through some very serious formative years. If I could do school all by itself w/o working....I could do it. But we need my paycheck.

So, I'm feeling all sorry for myself on all kinds of levels today.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Life is full of them, right? Every time you turn around something is different. Then there are those days where it seems like life is the same day in and day out.

I read a blog "Ode to Groundhog Day" and I could relate....but instead of thinking in the morning that this day will be the same as the last, here is what I think:

At night, just as we are about to put the kids to bed, I think, "Really? I'm going to sleep now and everything will start over again tomorrow?" Again and again and again.

But lately change has happened in a few profound ways. We put our house on the market, my grandmother passed away, the Payson temple was announced, Harold got released as Ward Mission Leader.....and now I'm thinking seriously again about nursing school.

Checking my options. Salt Lake Community College has an agreement with my employer. They have a nursing program where they give points for admission based on:
1. Years at IHC.
2. GPA.
3. Either enrollment in or completion of pathophysiology.

Well, I got years at IHC covered....almost 9!
GPA will depend on prereqs.
and pathophys....

With prereqs and everything, it would take at least 3 years, possibly 4 to get my RN.

Now, at Provo College, I can take prereqs along side some nursing classes. I could be done in 2 years. But, the cost is astronomical.

I need to talk myself down. Be patient, or find a way for IHC to pay for Provo College! :)


Change is coming, whether it's schooling or not, the house remains on the market, the temple is a'comin' but probably without us here, Harold is now a Sunday School teacher, my grandma lived a long, beautiful 89 years and was buried yesterday in California.

Wow....every day life is the same, and it's different.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Reason Why I Have Always Revered the Name of Grandma

To my cousin Holley, I wish we could have used every last word you wrote, for your tribute was moving and beautiful.

My own personal memories are forthcoming....I'm still gathering my thoughts and still a little shellshocked, to be honest.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Knock, Knock

Yesterday afternoon I sat at my computer watching The Biggest Loser, episode 1 of season who-the-heck-knows-anymore. I love this show! I recently had a skinny man tell me that he thought the show was horrible and that the fat people were treated poorly. Um, NO-YOU DO NOT GET A SAY IN THIS-YOU ARE SKINNY (and have never, ever been fat by the way). So, if you are skinny and have never been 100+ pounds overweight, don't bother telling me how TBL is a horrible show, capitalizing on the obesity epidemic in America. I can't hear you! I'm covering my ears, "la la la la la la!"

Anyway, I sat watching the show with my bowl of ice cream and three cookies. At some point I got completely emotional and was seriously crying, no weeping, as I brought yet another spoonful of ice cream to my lips.

No the irony is not lost on me.

Then a knock came at my door. I wasn't expecting anyone and I really didn't feel like getting my butt up off the chair....but the knocking got louder and louder and louder until finally I said, "WHAT???"

And there, in front of me, were all my excuses from the past six months piled high, coming back to bite me in the rear end.

The pile was huge! Let me enumerate:

1. I don't want to pay for the gym. The only gym in town is grody and I hate it. So, if I am going to pay for a gym, it's not going to be that one and the next closest gym is 7 miles away and I do not want to drive all that way in the snow at 6 a.m. on winter mornings! (there may be more than one excuse here...)

2. No one will work out with me. I lost my most consistent work out partner a couple years back when I went back to school and she had to find another partner/partners. She works out at the church now MWF w/ some other chicas......which brings me to my next excuse.....

3. I can't work out at 9 a.m. I have to work-work, and I need to be clocked in then.

4. I don't want to work out at home. I hate getting all dressed in my work-out clothes and getting all sweaty in my family room. Yuck!

5. H. does workouts by himself, harder than I can do, so I can't work out with him!

The other night I told H. I was going to need to buy myself a Wii. I've wanted one for a while, but only for the workout capability. I told him I needed to get back to working out. He invited me to join him and I invoke excuse #5, telling him "I need my own motivation!"

And this is where my excuses get a little tricky......I wanted to buy a work out at home....wait a minute, doesn't that violate excuse #4?

Honestly people, it was like my excuse world just came tumbling through my door, big, hairy, and ugly.

So last night I tell H., I'm getting up tomorrow morning and I'm going to work out to my 30-Day Shred video by Jillian, level 1.

He says, "ok."

I look at him defiantly.

He says, "because you need your own motivation?"

I look at him more defiantly and say, "yes!"

He gets a bemused look on his face and wisely turns away and never says another word.

I renewed my BodyBugg subscription (9.95/month), found the cord that powers up the Bugg (because it has been dying slowly in a drawer for months), download the latest version of the software (because it has been a VERY long time since I documented my calorie intake/output and apparently there is a new version), and I set my alarm for 6:30.

I woke up 3 times last night in anticipation, not wanting to miss the alarm. At one point it was so light in my room I was sure I had missed my alarm. Then when I looked at my clock it said 3:30. I was like, "what the???" Then realized the TV had been left on all night.

At 6:30 I got up. I dressed. I put my hair up. I had a few swigs of water. I turned on Jillian and away we went.

Now its 7:46. I've exercised, showered, dressed, made lunches for the kiddos, and am now blogging. I'm a little behind on my clock in for work, but I have a fluid job that way.

Now for a description of what the exercise felt like.

Pure and unadulterated HELL. Yep, my own personal version of the telestial kingdom on earth. My body hurts, I ache all over, I want to return to bed. I am slumped over and hung low.

The video lasts for all of 22 minutes. I'm not kidding.

When I had to "run" downstairs to fetch my clean clothes, I could barely hobble down and then back up? Oh man, that was a nightmare.

It will take approximately 2 weeks to go from feeling like a weakling to feeling like exercise is actually empowering me, at least physically.

But mentally and emotionally, I feel better already.

Did you know that on this season of TBL that they made the contestants weigh in before they went to "the ranch," in front of their friends, family, and home towns? Yes, a scale with a big nasty number on it for all the world to see.

I'm seriously considering it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

This Year's Motto

Two years ago we decided to adopt a family motto for the year. The year 2008 was the "Year of Positive Thinking." We adopted the motto on January 1 and on January 3 I won a trip to Disneyland for four. Needless to say, the Nichols family started REALLY believing in our yearly motto.

Last year, 2009, our motto was.....hmmmm.....can't remember. Seriously, we came up with one, but I'm not sure it really took.

So, last night the kids want us to come up with our motto for 2010. I was on the computer in the basement, Harold was fiddling around with something or other on his iPod...but they persisted. They brought both he and I a scrap of paper and a pen and insisted we write a motto for 2010.

At first I declined, I'm busy! I said. They came back, they showed me the paper and pen....come on mom!!

So, I wrote down my motto.

Ok, I'm not the most original person, but I got a kick out of it. I folded up my paper and sent the kiddos scampering off.

A few minutes later they reappeared in the basement with our new motto for 2010. They had combined all the entries to reflect how each family member felt about this coming year. Now, before I unveil the new motto, I'd like to recap everyone's entries, exactly as written.

H: The year of becoming strong.
J: 2010: The Year of Living Dangerously.
S: The Year of wishes! (coming true)
M: The Year of Following Your Dreams!

Without further adieu.........drum roll please.......

The Nichols Family Motto for 2010:
The year of dangerously following your dreams and wishes strongly!!

Now, that's a motto I can really support!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jalapeno Jelly

Um, ever tried it? Never underestimate the power of jalapenos and sugar in a crystal clear jar.

Get a cracker, spread on some cheese (preferably some derivative of cream cheese), and slap on some jelly. Mmmmmmmmm................

Thanks Julie!! (from whom I received my first bottle of JJ.....see it was meant to be, I always wanted to be known as JJ when I was a kid and no one EVER called me that! Now the JJ refers to a yummy green spread.) Mmmmmmmmm..........

The picture is courtesy (unasked) of JJ's blog:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rocky Road

Have I ever expressed how much I love Rocky Road? Breyers of course. Those chocolate covered nuts are a DEEE-light!

Have you ever really looked at your house? Like, deep down, looked at your house. You know, walls, baseboards, door jams? Carpet, lineoleum, paint color? Front door, back door, pantry door?

People, it's brutal!

There are holes and marks and dings and stains. There's wear and tear, burn out, and blow out.

I'm thinking my realtor wouldn't like me telling you all this.

But, the good news is: We've scrubbed, scraped, painted, plumped, mopped, moved, picked up, shut up, cleaned up, put down, taken out and done a once over more than once.

We had our first showing on Saturday and it was nerve-wracking. We were beheaded chickens. We were whirling dervishes.

And to think I get to do this at least 20 more times before an offer will even come in. Sah-weet. Now that sounds like a good time people!

Note: M. found a man's wedding band. I spent an hour calling neighbors, trying to find an owner. H. took it to church and made an announcement. No takers. Then, just now, M. comes running in....

M.: MOM! Where's that ring?

Me: Why?

M.: A lady was driving around the street where I found it and asked, "have any of you seen a man's ring around? My husband lost his ring here the other day."

Me: Sah-weet! I'll get it!

M: Took the ring out the door and we won't have to come up with a FOUND! sign for the mailboxes.

Got a big anniversary coming up. 15 years of wedded bliss. Why do we use that expression? I've heard it several times from different sources.

{fill in the blank} years of wedded bliss!!

Where did that come from?

I was just talking to a friend on the phone. When you get married you take a good long look at your potential mate and you say to yourself:

This person has these good qualities:

And this person has these not so great qualities:

Then you take a look in the mirror and you say, I have these great qualities:

And I have these NOT so great qualities:

And you realize, marriage is all about taking the bad with the good and knowing your spouse did the same and LOVING THE HECK OUT OF THEM for taking you with all your flaws and loving you anyway.

There's a reason the Lord said "and they twain shall be one."

I'm a better person because I'm married to Harold. There is no doubt in my mind that I made the 100% correct choice 15 years ago. My father told me I deserved the best, and he was right. And I chose the best.

And while the happily ever after part is yet to come.....I'm pretty happy with my Rocky Road.