Guess what? I've been tagged! So anyway, here are some (probably pretty boring) tidbits about me...
1) My very first job was at Raging Water's - when I was 15. I was the sole employee of a small candy shop, which they named Nikki's candy shop...after me, of course!
I worked there for three, or maybe 4, summers. (Only the first was spent manning the candy shop...the last, I was a part time receptionist).
2) This is a pretty funny one. I worked as a server at Dee's Family Restaurant! This was my senior year of high school. I really wanted to wait tables, but unfortunately, was a little young to get hired at a real nice place. Plus, without any prior experience, I didn't really stand a chance anywhere else. Hey, ya gotta start somewhere; and surprisingly, the tips weren't too bad! In fact, I was making way more $ than any of my friends were at the time!
3) RGIS...it's an inventory company. Have you ever been shopping at a grocery store, or department store, while a whole slew of people were counting the stock, and typing the numbers into a small 10 key keypad hanging on their hip? Well, anyway that was me...for about two weeks...until they made me work like 24 hours straight, and my mom and dad finally came and rescued me from the Sears store. Yeah, I never went back after that.
4) Nordstrom! My favorite place ever! I started in '96 working in one of their DC's (distribution centers). This is the place where all the merchandise goes, before it actually hits the stores. Our main job responsibility, as a DC employee, was to ensure that the vendor's had shipped correctly and accurately, what the buyers had ordered, and then to ticket the items, and ship them to the stores. I loved this job, and worked there until they announced it's closing in January of 2002. I then went to Orem, to open the brand new Nordstrom store! I started out as a salesperson in shoes (where I met my hubby...the Hot stock boy), and was promoted to an assistant manager within just a couple weeks of the store's opening. In February of 2003, I was given my very own department to manage. I managed Kid's Shoes for about a year, and was then promoted to the manager of B.P. That was seriously my dream job...I loved every minute of it (except that I spent a whole lot of money). It was hard having to leave, after 10 years of working for such a reputable company, but I have never regretted ny decision to become a full time mom!
4 movies that I could watch over and over again:
1) Garden State
2) Love Actually
4) Life as a house
5) 13 going on 30
6) Mean Girls
(I have way more than 4 on this one. Just check out the movies on my profile...I could probably watch most of those over and over again!)
4 Places that I have lived:
1) Salt Lake City, Utah
2) Idaho falls, Idaho
3) Buenos Aires, Argentina
4) Mesa, Arizona
(I do like healthy foods, too...these were just sounding pretty good at the moment!)
4 places I'd rather be right now:
1) Cruisin' the Caribbean
2) On the beaches of Hawaii
3) Mar de Ajo
4) road trip with my family (and I hate road trips, but I miss my family...)
5) oh, and Lake Powell
So there you have it...a few little facts about me. If you feel so inclined to post a few tidbits about yourself, I'm sure there are many (including myself) who would love and appreciate you for it!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Guess what? I've been tagged! So anyway, here are some (probably pretty boring) tidbits about me...
there's no other way to describe it. For my family's sake, I'm glad that they left when they did. I know that sounds bad, but really they are much better off now, driving 10 hours a day for two weeks (they're on a road trip), than if they had stayed one extra day here...with us. Our air conditioning went out today. It was weird. I came in from my run, sweating like a beast (that's nothing new), and continued perspiring for about an hour afterwards (which again, is very typical); but to still be dripping sweat after my shower? That had never happened before. The house was just an oven! I decided to check the thermostat, and realized something was wrong when I saw that it registered at 87 degrees! The temperature continued to rise...into the 90's, so I took Ruby to the pool, to try and escape the misery. I never thought I'd ever be saying this (in August...in Arizona), but it actually felt kind of refreshing to walk outside. The pool felt nice too, but after 2 hours of swimming, we were getting pretty sick of it. Plus it too, was starting to feel pretty warm. You know the feeling you get when you've been in a hot tub for too long? You start to feel kind of sick and nauseous? Well, that's kind of how the pool water started to make me feel after a while. Plus Ruby was showing tired signs, and I knew I needed to get her back home for a nap. I put her down in only her diaper, and found myself wishing that I could have been as inadequately clothed myself. I came up with an idea to run my t-shirt under a cold faucet, and then put it back on. It did the trick for a little bit...I guess. But seriously, I can't think of many things worse than not having ac, in Arizona, in the dead of summer. I couldn't have been happier to see the repairman when he finally showed up, around 7:00 pm! I guess we needed a new thermostat...very easy (and expensive, but very worth the price) to replace. I hope that never, never has to happen again...because it was pure agony. On a happier note, I got some cute pictures of my little Ruby Lou at the pool...
Posted by nicole at 9:56 PM
Monday, July 30, 2007
would be three good descriptive words to convey my feelings today. We enjoyed a most perfect weekend, with my most perfect family...and sadly, they had to leave this morning. You can see from the following picture, that Ruby wasn't too keen on having to say goodbye either...
All joking aside, I really do feel kind of empty inside. We had such a great time together (even if it was just for the weekend), shopping, eating, working off those bread sticks by running in our neighborhood - in the rain (that was great BTW), swimming, eating some more, watching movies, and just being together. John and I had spent the last 3 weeks or so just getting things ready for them to come, and anticipating their arrival; and now that their gone, I don't know what to do with myself. It was sad for me watching their little white van back out of our driveway... and then out of sight. Even though they just left, I already miss them, and seriously can't wait to see them again.(Christmas is too far off, we will definitely need to find a reason to get to Utah before that)! Thank you, my dear sweet family, it was such a joy and a pleasure having you!
Safe travels...we love you!
from left: Nicole, John, Erica, Ruby, Angie, Lynell, Dad
Posted by nicole at 2:35 PM
Friday, July 27, 2007
watching my baby get her shots yesterday. (She had to have five injections!) Surprisingly, she did really well...well, I guess for the first shot, at least. She started off pretty brave; in fact, she didn't even cry, or flinch for that matter. I thought Wow! This'll be a breeze, she can't even feel this. And then, upon receiving the second shot, she let out a small whimper. Sadly, with each new injection, things got progressively worse...so that by the time we got to the final shot, it was like pulling teeth to get her to hold still, (and then to calm down afterwards). (Actually, I would probably rather had my own teeth pulled, then have to witness my babe go through that again!)
As a reward for her bravery, I took her through the McDonald's drive thru, and treated her to a vanilla cone; and yes, disregarded the fact that she got ice cream all over everything...
Posted by nicole at 9:27 PM
Last month when we went to the Goo Goo Dolls concert, we were approached by a marketing group from the Legacy Golf Resort. They were trying to get us to sign up for one of those time share things where you go and listen to a 90 min presentation in order to get some kind of free gift. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about, (probably even at one point you went to one yourself). John and I went to one shortly after we were married, to get a free Vegas trip, and ended up signing up for the dumb thing! After we had a night to "sleep on it", we realized what a huge mistake we had made, and went back the next day to cancel. The funny thing about it all, is that we never took that trip to Vegas...after all that!
Needless to say, we knew this time what it was all about, and promised each other that no matter how enticing the salesperson made it sound, we were, under no circumstances, going to give in. This time around, we did much better about standing our ground, and walked away with our $100 visa gift card (that went toward the cost of my new camera), and our four Diamondbacks tickets!
So anyway, the game was Wednesday night, and we took our friends Dallas and Amber Turley. We had a blast - crowd watching, eating, chatting, and not watching much of the game at all...
Posted by nicole at 8:35 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
After saving up for some time now, (and with a little help from my sweet husband), I was finally able to purchase a new camera! I'll be the first to admit, I know nothing about photography...but this is something in which I've always had an interest, and can't wait to dive in and learn everything there is to know.
John took us out to lunch today. (To celebrate the 24th, which doesn't mean a thing to anyone here; but since I'm from Utah, and knew everyone back home would be celebrating with BBQ's and fireworks, John surprised me with our own little BBQ. He took me to an outdoor grill - where we ordered potato salad, sodas, fruit, and cheeseburgers...he's such a kind, and thoughtful husband!)
While we were eating, I managed to snap a few shots of Ruby...
Posted by nicole at 9:09 PM
A few weeks ago, I had a very special experience that I've neglected to record, but need to, especially while it's still somewhat fresh in my mind. I feel I need to preface by letting everyone know that Ruby is a Daddy's Girl, in every sense of the word. I'm always the one to get her out of her bed in the morning, and she'll usually greet me with a smile and a "hi", but it's not until I take her into our bedroom, to see Daddy (usually still half asleep), laying in bed, that she truly exhibits her excitement. She usually lets out a scream, followed by a very enthusiastic "daddy", all the while her arms and legs flailing in every which direction. She follows him around like a lost puppy dog while he gets ready for work, and cries uncontrollably when he leaves for the day. He's the one she reaches for when she's sad or hurt. He's also pretty much the only one that she'll cuddle with or snuggle up to...
Needless to say, this behavior has taken quite a toll on mom. I don't know if it's just that I'm the one she spends all day, every day with; and she's just so totally used to me, and bored of me; and dad's more of a novelty because he's not around as much? Or maybe she secretly has a little crush on her dad? (I wouldn't blame her on that one, he is pretty cute.) Whatever her thinking, whatever her reasoning, I'm not gonna lie, it just plain hurts. Well anyway...enough with the saga. I'm sure you just want me to get to the point of the story.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I had put Ruby down for the night, and about 10 minutes later, she just completely broke down. She was crying uncontrollably (much like she does when daddy leaves for the day), and since this was really the first time that something like that had ever happened, (usually once we put her down, she goes right to sleep, and rarely wakes up again until morning), I didn't know if I should just let her cry it out, or go in and see if I could do anything to calm her. She was probably crying for John, but he was outside working on the patio (another story for another day), so I came to the rescue. I went in, picked her up out of the crib, placed her in my arms, sat in the glider, and rocked my baby. She calmed down quickly as I began telling her a story. I told her the story of her brother, Isaac; and as I did, her eyes were locked with mine...(it was almost as if she could really understand what I was saying, and was truly and genuinely interested). I told her about when I was pregnant with him, and how he used to kick mommy so much. I told her about how mommy and daddy chose his name, and how mommy had some complications, and had to go to the hospital. I told her about how we waited patiently in that hospital room, for 9 days, hoping and praying that he could stay inside mom's tummy for just a few more days. I told her about how he was born, about how he passed, about how we got to bathe him, and hold him all night long. I told her all about his funeral. I then, told her how I felt when I found out I was expecting her, and how I just knew that Heavenly Father was sending us a girl this time. I sang her the song that we used to sing to her every night when she was in mom's tummy...
We love You-B
We love You-B
Our precious Little Gem
I just held her tight, and told her how special she was, and how much I loved her, and her eyes were still locked with mine. I really think in that moment, if she could have, she would have said I love you, too, mommy. But really, no words were necessary for me to feel of the love she had for me. It was a very, very sweet and tender experience that we shared together...one that will not soon be forgotten. I truly believe that the Lord sent His Spirit to abide with us, which Spirit also allowed her to understand the words I spoke; and me, to discern the feelings she felt...
Posted by nicole at 8:03 PM
Sunday, July 22, 2007
After talking about it for weeks, my friend Diana and I finally got our girls together, and went to the community pool not far from where we live. Yes, we do have a pool right here in our neighborhood, but it's not the best for really small children. First of all, there's not much shade, and unless you have some sort of floaty or tube for your child (which we do, but have to practically force Ruby to get in), you end up having to hold him/her the entire time. Diana and I decided to try out the outdoor pool at the local junior high...ideal for small children, mainly because of the zero depth entrance. It ended up being a lot of fun, and a perfect chance for my friend and I to talk...(in between chasing the girls, that is). Ruby was very curious about testing the deeper waters, and exhibited no fear or reservation upon doing so (poor Diana, Ruby scared her to death a few times...in fact you can read all about what happened on her blog...I love reading her take on the whole thing). So anyway, other than struggling to keep up with my fearless 13 month old, and other than the fact that she scratched the heck out of my favorite sunglasses, we had a really good time, and yes, Diana, we'd love to do it again!
and ruby roo.
Posted by nicole at 7:03 PM
Monday, July 16, 2007
Today I got my first Mammogram.
(Do you actually think I would post a real image of this procedure?)
It really wasn't at all as bad as I had expected and had heard from people. Besides experiencing some discomfort, it was pretty painless. And quick, too. The whole thing lasted probably 10 or 15 minutes. You can do anything for 10 or 15 minutes, right? Now, I don't want anyone to worry, this was not a diagnostic mammogram, just a routine screening. I've been feeling for sometime now, because of my family history (mom diagnosed in her 30's, and grandma in her 50's), that I needed to take preventative measures. I know that mammograms don't prevent the onset of cancer, but they do help in early detection, which really, is everything. I still remember (like it was yesterday) the day mom told us that her cancer had come back. [This was 2 years after her mastectomy. The cancer had metastasised. It was found throughout her entire body. Tumors in her brain. On her spine. Liver. Blood. Everywhere. The doctors gave her not an ounce of hope. This malicious disease would take her life. Be it in two years, or two months (and it actually was two months), she would not survive this.] I know that she was confused, heartbroken, terrified...but really more that anything, the thing that she couldn't bear the thought of, was having to leave her 7 "babies" (as she called us then...and I'm sure she still does now).
Now that I have a baby of my own, I understand somewhat (on a much smaller scale though, because I only have one), what she must've been feeling. I can't stand even the thought of being called home, and being required to leave my precious little Ruby (or John for that matter). So, I will have a mammogram every year, starting now, until the day I die. Not only that, but I want to live a healthy lifestyle, of exercise, and good nutrition. I want to take care of this machine that the Lord has lent to me (after all don't our bodies really belong to Him?). The Lord will call me home when He sees fit to call me home (as He did with mom). I would never forgive myself though, if I had to go before my time, simply because I didn't take care of this precious and magnificent gift that the Lord has blessed me with...my body...my earthly tabernacle.
Posted by nicole at 2:23 PM
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I'm so thankful to my Heavenly Father for sending such special friends into my life...and always at just the right moment. I will never forget the impeccability of the Lord's timing when he sent me my angel friend, Rania. I was in the 9th grade, and some of my (so called) friends, started a horrible rumor about me. A rumor that spread like a wildfire throughout the entire school. The rumor was not true, but most my peers chose to believe it; and as a result, I hadn't a single person to call my friend. I was literally at the point of despair, when along came Rania, my sweet angel Ra, who literally brought light, hope, and happiness to my sad and lonely life. Now, let's fast forward about 16 years. I've long since graduated from high school. In fact now I'm married, have a baby, and live in, not just a new home, neighborhood, ward, etc, but an entirely different state. Far away from the place I called home. Away from my family. Away from my friends. New surroundings. New beginning. New everything. Other than the few family members (John's) that live here, I don't know a soul. Besides the normal insecurities I feel by being new, and not knowing very many people, I am also going through a very painful, and difficult trial (tubal pregnancy), and although it's very different from what I experienced in Junior High, the feelings and emotions are still very similar. It was then that Heavenly Father sent me my Angel friend, Amber. Having experienced similar trials in her own life, she knew just what to do to lift my spirits. That was the beginning of a very wonderful friendship, which I credit to a loving Heavenly Father, who knows us, knows our needs, and sends others (Angel Friends), to help us along the way. I know that my friends were inspired to help me, and I'm glad that the Lord, in his mercy, allowed them to come into my life...
Last night Amber and Dallas invited us to go out to dinner with them. Amber and I have been friends for months now, and haven't (until last night) gone out with the husbands. It was their anniversary, and they had a $100 gift certificate to The Capital Grille. Very fancy, I must say. The food was delicious. The service was superb. The restaurant exuded a calm, delightful ambiance. The conservation was enjoyable. The night was perfect.
They insisted on splitting the gift card with us, even though it would have pretty much covered their own bill. That just shows you the type of people that they are - very giving, generous, unselfish... We had a great time, talking, laughing, getting to know one another better, and enjoying each other's company. I'm so, so thankful for friends, and for last night, and for the Turleys, who truly are two of the greatest friends you could ask for.
Posted by nicole at 4:54 PM
My baby's really walking now. It's feels so strange to me that she's so grown up. In fact, my friend, Daniell, made the comment the other night that "Ruby has finally made that transition from baby to toddler"... ouch, but she's supposed to stay my baby forever! So anyway, yeah, she's walking now; and it's evident that she's feeling more and more confident with every step she takes. It's cute to watch her follow her Daddy around the house (she'll follow me around too, but typically only if I have a treat in my hand for her). She's beginning to realize that she can get from point A to point B much quicker this way, too...
Here's a little video that chronicles her progress over the past two weeks:
- The first clip was taken two weeks ago (at my dad's house). It's of Ruby doing her crazy crawl. This crawl has become her signature over the last few months. (I'm so glad we got it on film before she stopped doing it...it's hilarious!)
- The second clip is of her toddling around with her push cart. She used this for about a week or so (before she felt confident enough to venture out on her own.)
- The third clip was taken just a few days ago. The only way I could even get her to take those three or four (really wobbly) steps, was by bribing her with a treat.
- And the final clip is from this morning. Just this weekend, she really took off with it. I imagine by next week, she'll be running...?! Uh Oh, am I ready for this?
Posted by nicole at 9:05 AM
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
well, sort of. She really is beginning to despise any type of recording device (camera, camcorder), hence her unwillingness to cooperate (by looking at the camera) in this video. This is about the best I could get with the Bobby thing. She is usually much more animated with her chanting (and it usually sounds more like a real chant)...but this gives you sort of an idea. Notice the face she pulls at the very end of the video. She's been making this really strange face lately, and does it a lot; and, just like the Bobby thing, we have no idea where it came from! (Oh no, now I'm begining to wonder, maybe she got it from me...Do I sometimes make that face?)
Posted by nicole at 9:55 PM
John and I have been pondering this question for some time now. You see, for the past couple of weeks, our little Ruby has been chanting "Bobby, Bobby, Bobby", over and over again. When she wakes up in the morning it's "Bobby, Bobby, Bobby", when she wants something to eat, its "Bobby, Bobby, Bobby". It's "Bobby, Bobby, Bobby", at the pool, in the tub, at church, while mom's on the phone... It's hilarious too, because she repeats it rhythmically and insistently, and even intonates the syllables. Many times she even clenches her fists, and moves her arms up and down (almost like she's pounding them on a table), so we get the full effect. We can't, for the life of us, figure out what it stands for, because she does it for virtually everything, and in any number of circumstances. It's really weird and strange, but also so cute and funny, I almost don't ever want her to grow out of it...Bob-by, Bob-by, Bob-by!
Posted by nicole at 9:36 AM
Friday, July 6, 2007
So a few days ago, one of my friends asked me if I would be able to take her and her kids to the airport. They had a trip planned to go visit her parents; and her husband would be working and wouldn't be able to take them himself. So of course, I agreed, and showed up at their house at the appointed time. My friend is about 8 weeks pregnant, and has already had a few scares, so for the time being, she is not able to lift more than 10 pounds, at least until everything is stabilized. So anyway, I helped her by loading the suitcases in the car and buckling the kids in their car seats, etc. She had just a few last minute things to gather together for the plane, and then we would be heading out. Well, after a few minutes she came and got me from the car...she did not look well. My first thought was that something had gone wrong with the pregnancy. She told me that she had offered a prayer before taking off, and while praying, she felt that maybe they shouldn't be going. At first she dismissed the thought, considering it just something she had come up with on her own. After praying more about it, however, the feeling was even stronger. It was then that she decided to come and get me from the car, and ask my opinion. I immediately recalled a similar, personal experience. I was reminded of the time, only a few months before my mission, that I had booked a cruise with one of my really good friends. It would be just the two of us...we had taken many trips together, and were especially excited for this one. All arrangements had been made, our money was in, everything was set...we'd be cruising in just under a week...Except, that one night, just a few nights before our scheduled vacation, I received a distinct warning from the Spirit, that I was not to go on that trip. You can imagine what was going through my head upon recieving such a prompting. But, everything was already paid for...and we hadn't purchased any insurance, therefore, would not be getting a refund...and if I backed out, my friend wouldn't be able to go either. There's no way she'd want to go all by herself. Plus, this was supposed to be my big last hurrah before going away for a year and 1/2... All of these thoughts (and several others) ran through my head at the time. But, the more I tried to disregard these feelings, and rationalize going on the trip...the more disturbed I felt. After much thought, many prayers, and even a blessing of comfort, I knew what I was supposed to do...or not do. I was definitely not supposed to go on that trip, and so I did one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I called my friend and told her that I wouldn't be able to go. But, what I was really telling her, was that she wouldn't be able to go, because of me. I felt terrible, but was also at peace knowing that I was being obedient to the Lord's will.
So anyway, I shared my experience of over eight years ago, and suggested to my friend that she not discount the feelings she had been experiencing. We then unloaded the kids from the car, took them inside, and I waited with them while my friend spent some time alone in her bedroom. After what seemed maybe a 1/2 hour, she appeared, with tears in her eyes, and had to explain to her small children why they wouldn't be going on their trip. I thought I was going to lose it (and actually, I did)...and it wasn't even my trip. I just felt so bad for her and for those kids, who had been counting down the days, I'm sure, for the opportunity of seeing their grandparents, and going to the beach. The respect and admiration that I already felt for my friend, increased one hundred fold. I know it took a lot for her to be able to do what she did. It was not easy, what the Lord was asking her to do, but she exhibited her faith...and just obeyed. I'm so proud of her. She has been such a great example to me (in the short time that I've know her) in so many ways. I'm glad that I was able to witness the exhibition of her faith and obedience, and I'm also glad that I was able to share a personal experience with her, which (she told me) helped her have the strength and courage to do what she did. I'm especially grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and for a loving Heavenly Father, who looks out for, and protects his children...and will always bless us for being obedient.
Just in case you were wondering how my cruise story turned out, I'll tell you. My friend and I were able to go on another cruise, just a couple of months later, and even though we hadn't purchased insurance, the cruise line made an exception for us, and we didn't have to pay an extra dime. This friend and her children, were also able to take their vacation...just the very next day. In fact, I took them to the airport today, and she told me that she felt complete peace about going this time.
Maybe someday we'll be able to find out what would've happened, had we not obeyed. Maybe we never will. Maybe nothing would've happened at all...maybe we're given these experiences to test our faith and obedience. I guess the what if's and the if only's are not all that important. The important thing is the demonstration of our faith, and our willingness to obey...no matter the price we have to pay, or the sacrifice required on our end. I know that He will always, always bless us.
Posted by nicole at 8:38 PM
Thursday, July 5, 2007
John's dad, Jerry, owned and revered his special flag pants for several years. That is, until the day that John's oldest brother Paul, snuck them out of his closet, and took them away forever...well, at least that pair. But Jerry refuses to be defeated, he found himself a new pair...and can now go on celebrating Independence day, like a true American...clad in the American flag!
Here we are at Jerry and Cheryl's ward's 4th of July breakfast. Unfortunately, we arrived a little late for the food, but enjoyed a wonderful flag ceremony and program. Jerry had put together a slide show with various images of our flag and several significant monuments coupled with some good, patriotic music. He did a very good job on it. I especially felt the spirit burn within me as we recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and sang the National Anthem. I'm so grateful for the flag and for what it symbolizes, as well as for the sacrifices that have been made for this country. We enjoy so many freedoms today, because of those countless sacrifices...for that, I am truly grateful! May God continue to bless this choice land...
John and Ruby enjoying the fireworks. Ruby's got the best seat in town, and boy did she ever enjoy the show!
We were trying to get a great shot, with fireworks exploding over our heads...this is the best we could do...
Here we our with our friends, Mike and Steph Jones...on our sorry 2ft patch of lawn, in the 108 degree weather(at 10:00 at night). We decided to give Tempe Town Lake a try. It was really fun, but super hot (it reached 117 during the day). In fact, I thought it was pretty funny that as I was gathering stuff and getting things ready to go, I asked John if we should bring a jacket for Ruby...he practically laughed in my face. I didn't realize that here in Arizona, it doesn't cool down at night (or in the morning). It's always hot...there's no getting around it. So other then the inescapable heat, and the masses of people everywhere, it was great fun! Next year, we need to get an earlier start. We heard on the radio today, that 10,000 people were there! I guess we were lucky then...to find our little 2 ft patch of grass to sit on!
Posted by nicole at 9:24 PM
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
My sweet little nephew, Simon Matthew Pitts was blessed today by his father -my brother, Matt. The part of the blessing that stood out the most to me was when his dad told him that his name was very carefully chosen. Just as Simon the apostle and Simon of Cyrene (who carried the cross of Jesus), were true followers of Christ, so shall little Simon Pitts follow the Savior throughout his life, and help others come unto Christ. I have no doubt that if little Simon follows the example of his parents, he will live up to his name, and be a true disciple of Christ. It was a beautiful blessing, and I felt so much love for my perfect little nephew...
Matt, Jaime, and little Simon...
A close up of Simon in his adorable blessing outfit...
Posted by nicole at 7:32 PM
My sister Erica fulfilled one of her dreams today...I guess you could say that she checked an item off her "life list"; which we were all able to take part in as well. So you know that great song from the 80's - 99 red balloons? Well, my little sister had this idea one day, that today, became a reality. She thought it would be fun to get a bunch of people together (our family), blow up 99 red balloons, have everyone dressed in red (hey, didn't we just do this yesterday?), and then have a dance party to Nena's 99 red balloons. We were to release the balloons at the appropriate line in the song...set them free at the break of dawn, 'til one by one, they were gone...but, unfortunately that part of the plan was thwarted, due to my premature, but very accidental, release of my bundle of balloons!
Erica and I had gone to the party store the day before, rented two helium tanks, and bought two big bags of red balloons. We spent a good chunk of the morning getting everything ready, and then we all took a leisurely stroll to the elementary school in my dad's neighborhood, and just let loose. I swear, we were dying laughing most the time...it was hilarious! I still can't think about it without busting up. One thing's for sure, I will never be able to listen to that song without thinking of my sister Erica (she is so funny), and this fun and random memory that my family created together!
Posted by nicole at 7:12 PM
We spent most of the afternoon out on the lake with Mitch Barney, Kim's father-in-law. Of course, Kim came too...and my sister Erica.
It was a hot day (100 degrees), so the lake felt nice and refreshing. I once again attempted to wake board, and had so much fun. I'm starting to get more and more comfortable going in and out of the wake, and the whole thing is beginning to feel more natural to me.
Here's John, just after wake boarding...
We had a family birthday party for Ruby this evening. We thought it would be fun to celebrate her first birthday again, only this time with her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents that live here in Utah. John had an idea (when we were out picking everything up for the Mesa party), to have a red theme, you know, because her name is Ruby. He wanted to decorate everything in red, and have all the guests wear red.
I really liked the idea, but there was just one slight problem...the party would be starting in about two hours, and I didn't feel that would be sufficient time to let everyone know what we were doing (especially because we had invited like 65 people). Needless to say, John felt pretty bad. So, I had this grand idea, for the Utah party. I decided to surprise him by having the red theme party here, for her (2nd) first birthday. Erica and I went to the party store and picked up tons of red decorations - plates, cups, tablecloths, balloons, party hats, blowers...and then we called everyone and told them to wear red. It was so funny, because John was out picking up the pizzas when most the guests arrived, and when he walked in the door, he didn't even say a thing! I thought it was pretty obvious, I mean the place was screaming red...but apparently, it didn't even dawn on him! After a few minutes, I finally said, "didn't you notice?", and he said "notice what?" I finally pointed it out to him, and he was really excited. He hadn't packed anything red, so I had Kim run to Target beforehand, to grab him a red tee. It ended up being a lot of fun, and definitely something we'll have to do again...especially as Ruby gets a little older, and can really understand the significance of her name.
After Ruby's party, those who could, joined us up at the Salt Lake Cemetery, to celebrate Isaac's Birthday. John and I decided that we'd like to make it our little tradition to go up to his grave every June 29th. We realize that it may not be possible some years, especially since we live in Arizona now, but we'll do our best to keep with the tradition. This year, we gathered around his grave, listened to the song (Angel lent to us - Isaac's Lullaby) that Leigh wrote and sang at his funeral, and then each person released a balloon...we all watched in silence as they drifted to the Heavens. My dad offered a beautiful family prayer, we took a few pictures, and then went home. I imagine that in future years, we probably won't veer much from what we did tonight. We'll probably always keep it as simple. I look forward to future years when we can take our children to this beautiful resting place, and tell them all about their big brother Isaac...
Mom and Ruby (with her red balloon), last year, and then this year...
Posted by nicole at 6:43 PM
This morning John left to meet with some potential clients in Provo, so I stayed home, and went swimming at the Murray pool with Rania, Clint, Kailey, and Kailey's little friend, Alivia. The water was nice and warm, but the wind was cold, so I was tempted to immerse myself in the water, and stay there the entire time...
Later, I took Ruby, and we went swimming with Kim and Erica at Kim's in-law's house. We didn't last too long, because once again, even though the water was warm, the wind was still cold, and we were freezing! (That's what I love about swimming in Arizona. I don't even bring a towel half the time, because the sun just warms us right up, and dries us off really fast.) Ruby had fun showing off her underwater breathing skills, and even jumped off the edge of the pool a couple of times.
We joined John's family at Spaghetti Mama's for dinner. That's usually where we go every time we go out with them. It's pretty funny because really the only reason we go there, is because they have a great big round table that everyone can fit around, which allows us to all take part in the conversation. (I think one of the most frustrating things about going to eat in a big group, is that they always put you at a long rectangular table, and you usually end up talking only to the person right next to, or across from you.) So anyway, this time, we had a really slow waiter (I guess he was new), and the food was pretty marginal, and they kept messing up our orders...so John's brother Paul, finally said "hey, how about we start looking for a new restaurant with a big round table"? I thought that was pretty funny, but then again, tonight, I thought everything was funny...
Posted by nicole at 5:46 PM
We had appointments to get our hair cut today in Provo, so we headed down about an hour early, and met up for lunch with John and Carol Stahmann. Carol was one of my very best friends at Nordstrom. We met when I was managing Kid's Shoes, and she was managing Kidswear Boys. We shared an office together, and that was the beginning of a wonderful friendship. Even after I got promoted to BP, and she to the Rail, we remained friends. In fact, we made sure that we had the exact same schedule. Wednesday was our late night, Thursday was our day off (we'd always meet up and go the the Orem pool together). We also used to go to lunch together everyday, (that was always the highlight of my day). Every time I come to town, we try to commemorate the good old days, by going to lunch together. This time our husbands came too...it was so good to see them! I miss them a lot!
We then got our hair cut, ran to watch my brother-in-law Billy's bike race, and then met up with another one of my best friends, and her boyfriend for dinner. Rania and I have been best friends for the past 18 years. She came into my life during a very difficult time, and literally saved me from a lot of pain and anguish. To this day, I refer to her as My Angel. She too, has had her share of trials, and has always been such a good example to me of how to deal with adversity. We have been through a lot together, and I'm so happy that she's been right by my side through it all . She's the kind of friend that even if we don't talk for months, either one of us can pick up the phone, and we always pick up where we left off. It's never weird or awkward. I'm thrilled that she is dating such a wonderful guy. She deserves the very best, and Clint is just that...he is so good to her, (and to her daughter, Kailey).
The four of us at The Citrus Grill (kinda blurry, sorry...)
Posted by nicole at 5:11 PM
Before we left for Utah, Ruby developed a minor cough, which unfortunately escalated into something worse once we got there. It seemed to intensify at night, causing her (and us), some super restless nights. She wouldn't sleep in the pack 'n play we had set up for her, so that left no other alternative then to let her join us, in our bed. It was hilarious. In an attempt to find a comfortable position, she was all over the place. Several times, I woke up to her laying on my face, or across my stomach, or on my legs. John lay awake one night while Ruby's legs alternated kicking him in the side. Right. Left. Right. Left. After about two minutes of this, he couldn't help but burst out laughing. Finally, I had to get my camera, and document the craziness with some pictures.
These three pictures were taken within about 5 seconds of each other...
Now, I really shouldn't be laughing about it, because the poor thing really was miserable. In fact, we decided to take her to the pediatrician to see if we could get something to help her feel better. After checking her over, he determined that she had a cold, and an ear infection. I guess that explains why she was so unhappy on the drive up...
After the doctor's visit, we stopped in to visit my aunt Dorothy. I guess it had been since Christmas since we'd seen her, so it was really fun. We had a great visit. She gave Ruby a Green Eggs and Ham book and a really cute stuffed animal to go with it.
We met up with Kim, Christian, and Lincoln for Lunch, then Kim, Erica, and I got pedicures...
and finally, we went and saw 1408 with my family...scary!
Oh yeah, and how could I forget...? Ruby took her first steps today! What do I tell ya, it's always in Utah that she does something really big!
Posted by nicole at 4:31 PM
We spent the morning with John's family at Thanksgiving Point. They have a ton of fun activities for kids, including the children's gardens, which we decided to do. Inside the gardens, they have a giant Noah's Ark statue with animals that spout water. Unfortunately, the wind made the outdoor temperature feel cooler, thus making the cold water - not very appealing. The kids enjoyed themselves though, and especially loved drenching themselves in the fountains, and then running over and "bear hugging" the adults from behind...ha ha ha, very funny kids! We then enjoyed a nice stroll around the gardens, which led us to the bear cave...
from left to right: George, Aunt Julie, Brienna, Ruby, Grandma Judy, Christopher, Davin, Allison, and Bryce
not pictured: Charlie, Davis, Jayce, Matthew
George took a liking to John...and Ruby took a liking to all the snacks that Aunt Amy brought...She also exhibited extreme jealousy while Grandma Judy was holding cousin Charlie.
Afterwards, we all met up at Zuppa's for lunch. There, I managed to snap a few funny, (and a few cute) shots of Ruby...
From Zuppa's, we went straight up to Layton, to visit Elizabeth (my step sister) and her husband Rowland. They recently bought a new home, which was really nice, and we were also privileged to see (and hold) little Madison, their 4 day old baby. She is so sweet...
...Then, we had to rush back home so that we wouldn't be late for our family night activity...The Bee's Game!
It was a blast! I didn't really watch the game at all, but it was fun to be there with my wonderful family!
Dad, Lynell, and Matt...holding Lincoln, Ruby, and Simon.
Ruby eating her first ball park dog...
Our little family...
Simon's 1st baseball game...
Ruby sportin' her daddy's ball cap...
Posted by nicole at 4:03 PM