Thursday, November 25

"Let it be thanks we're givin'!"

For those of you who have read my blog for the past year, you all know it has been a rough one. (sorry, for being a Debbie Downer...) But for all of this I am very grateful. I know it sounds so crazy, but without hard times, we wouldn't know what the good ones were like. So thank you all for sticking by me as I haven't always acted like myself! 

We have had too many loved ones who have passed away. We've known others who have also lost loved ones. And we have had many friends in and out of the hospital. But because of this... I have grown closer to those who are still here with us. And I have learned how grateful I am to know of the Plan of Salvation!

I am so grateful for my family and all of their love and support. I think I got blessed with the best parents. They are both so amazing and have put up with so much from me! I am grateful to have an amazing relationship with my dad, because he never had one with his own. I'm grateful he tried so hard to make sure we knew how much he loves us! (I'm sorry you lost your father yesterday, dad, and that you never got to have a relationship with him. But thank you for learning from his mistakes! And treating all of us like we are the most important things in the world!) I am grateful that my mom is one of my best friends! I am grateful for three incredible siblings! Who all let me be their kids' favorite aunt! I am very grateful for my 5 nephews and 3 nieces and that mystery baby!! (Tara and Kade will find out what they are having next Thursday, December 2nd.) I am grateful to have three (out of six, yes, six) grandparents alive and kickin' it! My mom's parents are so awesome and I am so so lucky to have such an incredible relationship with them! My dad's mom (now the last grandparent alive on my dad's side) is amazing! She is 90 and you'd never guess it! I am so grateful to have such a loving grandma!

I am grateful for all of my friends! I can't even tell you how often my friends save me! They are all so incredible! And I am so very lucky to have so many people close to me who love me so much!

I am grateful to work at Dimple Dell! :) Four and a half years later and I still love it! I have met so many great people because of that place! I love my coworkers! And I am so grateful to have friendships with them!

I'm grateful for HAIR!! I LOVE being a cosmetologist! Going to hair school was the best decision I've ever made! It has brought people into my life that I really needed. And it has also brought me so close to my family members! I love that my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents love me enough to support me and let me do their hair! I have developed such great relationships with all of them... and for that... I am extremely grateful!!

I am grateful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Without it, my life would have no meaning! I would be so lost! I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon! And oh how grateful I am to have amazing church leaders!

I am so grateful for this time of year and the reminder it is to have us all realize how blessed we are! I am grateful for the reminder to tell the ones we love how much we love and adore them! I am grateful for the Holidays and the time we get to spend with family!

I love all of you! I am so grateful to know you!! And so grateful for your love and support! Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you all enjoyed it! And that you can each list at least two things you're grateful for this year!

Tuesday, November 23

Who do I blame...

for this white crap outside?

This snow is down right outrageous! And the wind before it was insane!! I'm so glad I didn't have to go to work tonight! They were worried about this storm so they closed all of the County Rec Centers around 4 p.m. today! Thank goodness! I would hate to be driving in this! Let's hope this snow doesn't stay long!


This one is our backyard........                                               And this one is our front door.......

Also... this snow better not continue on past tomorrow! Because on Friday we are heading to 77 degree weather in ARIZONA!! Yay for weddings! But not so yay for 12 hour car rides... 12 hours there, 12 hours back.. I might die. Or just throw up a lot! :)

Happy Week of Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, November 19

Just a little wish...

Since she deleted her Facebook account..... I figured I'd write it on here instead! :) (As if my 15 texts, one sent every 5 minutes, spelling out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!" weren't annoying enough.. mwahahahaha!)

I just wanted to wish my Jenny Brooks a
very Happy 23rd Birthday today!!!

One year older and wiser, too... Happy Birthday.. to YOU!

And since you're two weeks older than I am.... I can totally tell you that you are getting OLD!

I love you, Jenny! 
I hope you have the most wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 16

My adopted sisters... and those I got stuck with. ;)

(First of all... I kinda stole this idea from Tara... So hopefully she doesn't mind!!)

Tara did a post on her "sisters". She is the oldest of four and the only girl... so she didn't have sisters until she married my brother and inherited Kacey, Misty, and me. But I guess really she had good friends that she claims as sisters... so it can count, right? Well Tara had an awesome blog post about all of those girls who she considers her sisters, and I LOVED it. So I am being a copy cat and doing one of my own!

The contrast between the sisters I'm "stuck with" and the sisters I got to choose really isn't as drastic as some might think. Growing up, I never felt super close to my sisters. Kacey is 12 years older than I am and Misty is 10 years older. It's kind of a big gap... and it was nearly impossible to forge a relationship with them when they were hardly ever home. Teenagers have busy lives and that's how old they were when I was young... middle school and high school age. However... now that we are older... and a little more mature... we spend a lot of time together. I would consider Kacey and Misty to be two of my best friends. My sisters are amazing! No one can argue with that! We have each been through some very different things. We all have very different opinions. And VERY different personalities. Each of us were also raised differently. It's kinda funny how we have the same parents, but had totally different experiences with them. We are all made from the same genes... but we look and act so differently! I love it all.

Kacey is my oldest sister. My mom tells me that when I was little I used to love hanging out with Kacey and her friends. When they were in High School they would come hang out at our house a lot and I always loved being with them. I was convinced I was as old as they were! Kacey moved out to go to school when I was almost 6.. And has been out of the house ever since. She and Josh got married two weeks after I turned 8. So she wasn't around the house for a big chunk of my childhood. They lived in Logan for a little while after they got married, so we didn't get to see them a whole lot. I went up and spent the weekend with them a couple of times and it was so fun. Luckily though... they weren't up there for long. They moved down here to the Salt Lake Valley a year or so after they got married and they have been about 20 minutes away from us ever since. Once I turned 16 and could drive it made it a lot easier to go hang out with Kace. But it has only been in the past five years that she and I have really become so close. She is so supportive! She has been to every thing I have ever performed in. (She and Josh are always the ones behind the cameras and video cameras. Making sure they have all the blackmail they could ever hope for!) She has helped me come out of my shell when it comes to cooking and being creative. She is also usually willing to help me out and be my model when I want to try a new way to cut hair. She has become my best friend instead of just my sister. This summer we developed an obsession with LimeRicki swimsuits and bought a few of them together! We even got suits that match! She has taught me so much! She has taught me how to cook and how to be a good mom and wife. How to be crafty. How to be handy (when our husbands aren't and daddy is too busy!) And she has even taught me how much fun Disneyland can be! ;) She is an amazing example! And so talented! I'm so glad she would share her talents with me and help me develop some of my own! (Even though I'm pretty sure I couldn't make my own Halloween costumes without her...) I am so grateful for the friendship we've been able to develop! Kace, I love you! Thanks for letting me be your tag-a-long. In High School and even now when you're mixing up a masterpiece in the kitchen.

Kacey and me in our matching bee swimsuits at Bear Lake!

Misty is my second sister. She is the sweetest person you will ever meet. She is so kind to anyone she ever comes across and she would give a complete stranger everything she had if it would help them out in life. Misty has always been "the nice one"... My mom calls her the peacemaker of our family. And she is definitely that! She always wants everyone to be happy and will take every route trying to figure out how to please us all. Misty has the most vivid imagination out of any of us! I remember loving it when she would come outside and play with me and my friends! She always made it so fun! And we always felt like we were on a real adventure, even though we were still only in the corner of our yard playing in our big sandbox. I can still remember the time I asked Misty to come play and she told me she was too busy, she didn't have time to play with us anymore. I was crushed. I know now that she wasn't trying to hurt my feelings, she really was just too busy. After that she wasn't always home a ton.. but I remember, when she was, I would go into her room and sit on her bed and just talk to her. It was usually when she'd be getting ready for a date or some school function, so she was always running around getting ready, but she would still respond to my dumb questions. I have always loved talking to her. When Misty was getting married I got to go shopping with them for her wedding dress. I was 10 and I still can't believe they let me go! ha ha I remember Misty had tried on a million dresses and hadn't really LOVED any of them yet... I had been wandering around the store (because when you're 10 you get bored easily..) and I had found the dress she had picked out of a magazine a year earlier for a project for her Adult Rolls class. Her taste in dresses had changed a lot, but I begged her to try on this dress....... guess which dress she had for her wedding. ha ha We still joke about it! And I like to think it gave us a special little bond. :) She and I have a lot of little jokes and quotes that we say to each other. No one else would understand, but they always make us smile. Misty is the one that is easiest to make cry... not just because she has the most tender heart, but because every time she laughs or even thinks about laughing, tears start streaming down her face. Misty is the sister I can tell anything to and I know she won't judge me. She is probably the most Christlike person I know. And anytime I have trouble planning my lesson for Relief Society, I know I can always ask her for help. Portfolio, I love you. Thank you for teaching me to see the good in people and especially the good in me.

This is Misty and me at Gavin's baptism!
Like a year and a half ago...

Tara is my third sister. She married my brother in 2005, but was my sister a few years before that. While Tara was "waiting" for Kade on his mission... she always had these irrational fears that he'd come home and not want to date her or marry her. (Yes, they were irrational because we all knew Kade was head over hills for her..) I would always tell her that if that happened... we'd disown Kade and adopt Tara, but either way, she would be my sister! Tara and I actually got off to a really rough start. It's true. As close as she and I are now you'd never guess it... but yes, I hated her. It's super funny to look back on it now, because the whole reason I hated her was all due to lies a girl (who had a crush on my brother) told me about her. This girl had told me she had used me to get to my brother and yet I trusted her when she said all this crap about Tara! HA! Oh how glad I am I stopped listening to her and got to know Tara. :) I seriously couldn't have hand picked a better sister-in-law! While Kade was on his mission Tara and I spent a lot of time together. Whenever she was having a bad day and really missing Kade she would come to my house and just hang out on the couch with me. She and I would talk, laugh, and cry together. And occasionally we would do a little "feet clapping". (There are very few who have been lucky enough to witness this...) We have done some crazy things together and have had some great times, great chats, and some most excellent laughs! Tara is such a great example! She has taught me so much- about friendships, family, and patience. We think a lot alike and have the same opinion on many things. She was terrified of becoming a mom (just like I am...) but she is an amazing mom! She has given me hope that even though it's scary, I could still do it! She is so cute with Miss Mia! And I know she'll be just as great with Baby Nichol #2!! Trickster, thanks for being my best friend! Sharing your child (soon to be children) with me! Thanks for understanding me! And most of all.... Thanks for improving my relationship with Kade! I love you, Tara!

Tara and Me eating super yummy S'mores!
(She hates this picture, but I really love it.)

Maggie isn't related by blood or marriage, but Maggie is my fourth sister. I have known Maggie since Kindergarten (or close to that...) but she and I didn't become friends until 6th grade. Yes, I know that sounds weird... But I was a brat. Yup, it really was all my fault that Maggie and I weren't friends before December of '99. You see... I was one of those "popular" kids in Elementary. (Really I was just popular because of my friends... But I thought I was sooo cool, so I was mean to the kids who I didn't think were as cool as I was..) I remember the day I found out Maggs was going to be in my 6th grade class. She was sitting and talking with the Recess Aid ladies (she did that a lot...) and the school had just posted the class lists for the next year. As I was passing Maggie and the ladies asked me what track I was going to be on and who my teacher was. I told them "D Track and Mrs. Coyle" and I'm sure I didn't sound happy about it, either. They said, "Oh, look Maggie! Someone who will be in your class!!" I threw up a fake smile and walked off... actually, I probably ran to tell my friends the horrible news.. "Maggie Black was going to be in our class!!" I was so disgusted! HA! Oh what I would give to go back and change my attitude! I didn't realize back then how big of a blessing Maggie and her family would be to me. We were friends for a little over two years when her family moved to North Ogden. It was hard to have my best friend so far away, but the two of us have totally made it work! Before we could drive on our own our parents would drive us back and forth so we could spend time together. I'm so glad we have awesome parents. I think they knew how much Maggie and I needed to be friends. Maggs is my other half and my guardian angel. She keeps me balanced. And sane. Without her I would be so lost. She understands me better than I do sometimes. She listens to me when I have drama with a boy or just some cute stories to share. She also slaps me back to reality when I get ahead of myself. She is never afraid to tell me the truth and she knows exactly how to break it to me. We have some crazy inside jokes that no one else would understand. We go shopping, separately, and buy the exact same outfit. We call each others' parents "Mom and Dad"... Her parents claim me as a child and my parents claim her. Maggie, I love you so much! You have taught me how to be a better person. Thank you for giving me another chance to have a friendship with you. Here's to 11 years... and another eternity more!!

Maggie and me with our matching hair!

Abby has been adopted into the crazy Nichol clan as well! HA! Poor girl! I met Abby through Tara.. and I'm sure neither one of our lives have ever been the same! Abby and I are very different... I am super open and touchy and she is most definitely not. I talk WAY too much and she is pretty quiet. (...until you get to know her.) Once she let's you in, you are stuck for life! Trust me... I've tried to run away multiple times! ;) Actually, I'm pretty sure she is the one who has tried to run! ha ha But I'm very grateful for her friendship. Abby is my entertainment! She and I watch a movie together at least once a week and we have some awesome chats! She is so funny and says some pretty hilarious things! When I grow up I want to be as witty as she is! What she lacks in height she makes up for in comebacks! That girl can have one wicked tongue! And every time it comes out I just laugh and laugh! She can be pretty sassy, but she is actually one of the nicest people I know. She has been through a lot and is one of the most grown up midgets I know! ;) I love our inside jokes and the random crap she texts me! I also love our crazy tradition of going to the Harry Potter premiers with Kade! I love you, Abby!! Thanks for sticking around and being one of my best friends! :) P.s. Here is your official Blog shout-out!! ;)

Abby and me on Halloween one year!

Jenny Jenny Jenny is my singing sister in Provo! I love that girl so much! I have known Jenny since we were tiny! But we didn't become really close friends until High School. She and I were two of the 6 sophomores that got accepted into Chamber Choir and we were both Altos so we occasionally got to sit by each other! (Until Peter got smart and changed our seating arrangements... drats!) Jenny is amazing!! She is always so positive! She made High School so awesome! We spent a lot of time together because of choir and that helped us spend even more time together outside of school. Our senior year we were in Madrigals together.. Mads was awesome!! (Shut up, Connor and Abby!) But it was so awesome because all of my best friends were in there with me and I got to spend a lot of time with my Jenny Jenny Jenny! She is such a talented singer and I always loved when we'd sit by each other! (Mostly because that one girl I usually had to sit by really couldn't sing well and made her own notes up...) We've had some pretty excellent times together! Random "Rats" soccer games with two cute boys that we had crushes on! (Why have I never gotten over my crush? ... 10 years later and I still love that stupid boy... ha ha) Miniature Golf with those same boys! One CRAZY St. George Trip... GATO! Bucky! Lesbian Cat Lovers! And Kiki and her oober random boys! Mads trip to Bear Lake and Scotty hitting on EVERY GIRL! And then there are our awesome trips to California for Choir Tour!! Every time I think of Bath & Body Works Orange-Ginger I think of our room and our feet washing party! But my favorite will always be my trips down to Provo that first semester! Sharing that tiny bed and becoming the 8th roommate! I wish we had that much time to spend together now! Now I'm lucky if I make it down there once a semester! Ha! But I LOVE that no matter what you'll always be one of my best friends! I also love that Adam misses me as much as you do! Jenny B., I love you so much! And I miss getting to see you every day nearly all day!

Jenny, Heidi, Kat, and me all out to lunch one day!
Love my Mads girls!

Chelsea is a recent addition to the sisterhood! She moved into my single's branch about a year or so ago and she is one of the most incredible girls I have ever met! She is so nice to everyone! She never wants to hurt anyone's feelings! She has taught me so much about being a better friend! She does hair just like I do! And it is so fun to share that with her! I love it when she needs her hair done and she calls me to have me do it! I enjoy every minute I am with this girl! She is so fun and just so darling! It's funny how the Lord knows exactly what you need and places people in your life that He knows will help you the most. This girl has seriously saved me! She has no idea how much I needed her friendship! Chels keeps me active and she reminds me how important the gospel is. She truly has the light of Christ with her always!! Chels, I just love you! Thank you so much for your friendship and always being willing to help me plan my Relief Society lessons! You're amazing!!

I don't have a picture with Chels... so I'll work on that!

Heather is like my twin soul! Kinda... I'm pretty sure she is the nicer version of me! (I'm 8 months older, so I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father was taking that time to make adjustments!!) I met Heath when I moved to Riverton five years ago... She was the bishop's daughter so the poor girl kinda got forced into being my friend by her mom! It was my first Sunday in our ward and she and her mom walked up to me and my mom and introduced themselves.. Cindy found out Heather and I were about the same age so she made Heather take me to Sunday School with her. Poor girl! I'm not sure she knew what she was getting herself into! ha! We quickly became good friends and discovered how alike we are! We spent a lot of time together... and she even came up to Bear Lake with my family! We had this bet after High School of who would get married first.... and guess who lost? She did! So now she has to sing at my wedding! BAHAHA! Heather has the best husband ever! Jason is so funny and he makes her so happy! So I am so grateful she met him! Heath, you are so beautiful and I love you so much! Thanks for being a better version of myself! :)

Heath and me doing a 27 dresses pose!
This was at her wedding luncheon!

These last two are super recent additions! But I can no longer imagine life without them... Remember that earlier mention about how the Lord places people that I need most into my life? Debi and Kristin are just that!!

Debi is my favorite client! I met her about a year and a half ago when she happened to walk in to the salon I was working at. She just needed a quick fix, so we only put a few foils in her hair that day, but I totally fell in love with how darling she is! They had just moved to Utah from Georgia and were still moving into their new home. Oh, the awful unpacking project! :) She and I talked the whole time she was there! She came in again two days before I was leaving the salon.. and was very mad at me when she found out I wouldn't be there anymore... so she asked me if I'd make house calls. I am so glad I said yes!! I get to go hang out at her house once a month to do everyone's hair! I LOVE IT! I honestly feel like I am truly part of the family! Debi let Kenna invite me to her baptism this year and it was so awesome! Debi had me help her with Kenna's hair after she was baptized and it was the coolest experience! Thanks for letting me be a part of that, Debi!! After the baptism they made me go back to their house for the party! Yup!! I met the whole family! And every time I told them who I was they would say... "Oh! You're the hair girl! I've heard so much about you!!" Love it! I love that Debi loves to talk about me! It makes me feel special and extremely loved! However, the thing I love most about her is she is always there for me! She doesn't ever think she is, but she couldn't be more wrong. Hanging out at her house is like therapy for me. It is always so fun! I had some really rough days this summer and she was always asking me how I was doing and making sure I was okay! She is so spiritual and and always so in tune! I just love talking to her. Her kids are so cute and I adore them! And her husband Russ is amazing, too! I love this Scadden family! They are incredible! And I am so so lucky that I get to be considered a part of it to them! Thanks for all you do for me, Debi! I love you!

I don't have a picture with Debi, either! I'll work on that, too!

Kristin is Debi's youngest sister!! She FINALLY moved to Utah a couple months ago! She is seriously so freaking funny!! Debi always told me that I reminded her of Kristin and their friend Jenn Penn, she has said the three of us have identical personalities. Yeah, there shouldn't be more than one person with my personality... but there are THREE!! :) Yes, Debi was right! Kristin and I do have the same personality! The first time I saw her, once she moved here, she was kinda feeling low, so she wasn't totally herself. Which I totally understand! But a few weeks ago we went out to lunch and a movie and OH.MY.GOSH.! She was totally Kristin and that was the most fun I've ever had on a lunch date! We went to Applebee's and got the most awkward waiter you could think of! Messing with him was so much fun! Kristin and I had a blast making him blush and feel like an idiot! I am so glad she is back to being happy! She is so darling! She has been through so much and I can't imagine having to be as strong as she is! She continues to stay close to the Lord and trust in His plan! She is such an excellent example to me! Kristin, I love you! And I'm so glad you came to live in Utah!!

And I'll work on getting a picture with Kristin! :)

If you don't know these women... you are missing out! They are all so awesome and they have totally made me who I am! I honestly love and adore all of them!!

(just a random side note- I can't believe this post took me almost a month to write! ha ha)