Monday, September 30, 2013

Blogtember: Something Old

Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it's special.
A few months ago I lost one of my grandmothers. It was a tough one (when aren't they, right?) because it was completely unexpected. It was my ex-step dad's mother and even though we weren't "blood" relatives, we still treated each other like family. She always made it clear that I would be her granddaughter no matter what. 

The "something old" I decided to share today was a picture of her and her first husband that she gave to me when I was sixteen. 

The really odd thing is that for the past twelve years it has sat on my bookshelf, something I was aware of but never stopped to really notice. That is, until the Wednesday before her passing. I was driving home one day and thought of the picture and questioned whether or not it truly belonged to me, if I was something I was supposed to hang on to or not. So I called my mom and explained all this to her. My mom said that Grandmom Maxine gave it to me and that she always considered me one of her own so it was exactly where it should be. 

That Sunday she was gone. 

This tiny little picture frame has suddenly become so much more to me. It holds the memories and the life of a woman that I cared so much about. It's no longer a little trinket on my bookshelf, its my reminder that I was blessed to be a part of such an amazing woman's life, someone I'll never forget. 

I'll never forget her smile, the way she said "oh Pickle" when I said something she found amusing, her laugh, her mistakes, her perfections....her. When I pass by the picture I stop every time.

It's my little connection to her. 


Friday, September 27, 2013

Blogtember: Facebook Rant

An anonymous letter to your Facebook friends. Be as snarky as you'd like. (but don't include people's real names.) 
Okay, so normally I prefer to stay positive on this blog, but for today's prompt, I will make an exception. I felt these e-cards said it better than I ever could.

Someone seriously tried using this excuse on me. I might have been born at night, but it wasn't last night!
Kind of a pet peeve of mine. I don't mind seeing one every now and then but this crap literally fills my feed everyday. Get Pinterest people!!


End of the Week Roundup

It's Friday, so that means another EOTWR! 

1. Sunday I went ziplining, which I chronicled here and here. I loved everything about zipping and can't wait to do it again!

2. This is my 100th post! I'm so excited to have hit this milestone with my blog. Starting up Nicole Marica has really helped me be more adventurous and live a little more. I've also discovered how much I really enjoy writing. I always liked doing it but I never knew how much I did until now. 

3.  There is a taco restaurant close to my work and lately I've been obsessed  with that place. It's been there for a while but I didn't actually go there until about a month ago, and now I'm addicted. I have to go at least once a week or I start getting cravings that prevent me from being a functional member of society.

seriously this picture is making me crave them all over again...
4. My cousin shared this video with me yesterday and I love the message behind it. Even if you aren't religious, take the video's message to heart, it's powerful.

5. Seriously Ma, why must you insist on taking pictures of me while I'm sneak attacking Squishee??- Nibbler

That's it for this week! How was your week?


Linking up with Lauren!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blogtember: Coffee Shop..or a Lack Thereof

Go to a coffee shop. Order a favorite drink. Write about what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Or write about anything you'd like! Bonus points for including a photo from the coffee shop. (I recommend downloading Ommwriter and bringing headphones along!) *if you can't make it to a coffee shop, at least leave your usual space and write someplace new.
I woke up to this song playing on my alarm this morning and it made me feel so nostalgic for a simpler life. The life I had with Dave before school, before work, before...becoming a big girl? When my main worry was when I was going to hang out with him next. Since it was so early in the morning, I kind of forgot all about it.

So here I am sitting in my spare bedroom looking at my bookcase (because I don't think I have any cool coffee shops near me and even if I did I didn't  have time to get to them this week), listening to music, wondering what I was going to write about and that same song comes on again and I am reminded of that yearning for a life where I didn't have to worry so much.

Don't get me wrong guys. I love my life. Some aspects of it? Not so much, but I wouldn't trade anything that I have. My life with Dave, Nibbler and Squishee is something I would never give up. However, I can't help but sometimes wish my life was still simple. 

Just a simple life where I wake up and my only worry is how soon I can get home to my family. 

So why does this particular song evoke such an emotion from me? Well, when Dave and I started dating this song from the same band was a popular song on the radio and it reminded me of that time where I didn't have so many responsibilities and I realized that with life getting in the way, I've lost the ability to do the one thing that I love the most in this world which is spending time with Dave and the boys. I can't wait for school to be done so I don't feel so trapped by the constraints of life. I'll have more of a choice with my schedule, with my job, with life in general. It would just be nice to have a choice, and right now I feel like I don't. 

And on that note, I'll let Gwen finish out this post. 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blogtember: Mistakes were had

Write about a time you screwed up - a mistake you made
The hair.  Oh Lordy, my hair. Did anyone else's mom make a big deal out of picture day? My mom acted like it was our wedding day, like we were never going to have our picture taken again so this had to be perfect. She insisted on doing my hair and my sister's ridiculously over the top and put us in fancy outfits, so we had to walk around like idiots all day. At least I  felt like that. I'm pretty sure my sister loved the limelight. My mother also insisted we do this on the first day of school too. Every year she tortured me with her traditions, until I realized I could say no to my mother. Then it was jeans and flat, frizzy hair like every other kid.


The outfit...seriously my eyes!!! They're bleeding!

The necklace.

Do you want to know why I'm missing my two front teeth? Because they foresaw this picture occurring and didn't want none of that ish, so they jumped ship. 

Just kidding. I think I was a cute kid. Although I do have to say, this outfit HAS GOT TO GO. 

Zip Zip

Yesterday I posted about the first part of the ziplining excursion that Dave and I took along with a few friends on Sunday, which was the challenge obstacle course. Today's post is all about the ziplining.

Holy crap is it fun! I'm going to let pictures do the most talking but first a few things. 

One of the platforms had a slight drop to it, so once you stepped off the platform you would drop a few inches before you went anywhere. The guides suggested going off the platform "trust fall" style, which is where you stand with your back to the edge, knees locked, arms straight out and just fall back. Lauren, Dave and Sheena all went off the platform this way, I decided to go off the platform regularly so I could take a video, which is posted below. Annnnnd it may also be because I'm a huge wuss...but we'll stick with the video story.

The guides also taught us how to flip upside down when we zipped, which Lauren models so effortlessly here:

Here are some more pictures:

I took this picture mid-zip, just goofing around

This next video is not great, I'll be the first to admit it. I had to drop the camera a few times to grab hold of the handlebars while zipping, but it still gives you an idea of what it's like. Also the yelling you hear at the end is me begging the instructor to not push me back off the platform....because he thought it was funny to pretend he was going to do that. 

All in all it was an amazing time! I can't wait to do it again!!


The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blogtember: Book Review

 Review a book, place, or product.

This was one of those books I wished had never ended. Just like Harry Potter. 

So the gist of the book is that it is the year 2044, and the world is a terrible place. The only solace that most people can take comfort in is a virtual reality that takes place in the OASIS. People can plug in to go to school, earn money, meet people, live the life that they cannot live in the real world. The creator of the OASIS has willed his entire enormous fortune to the one person who can discover hidden easter eggs within OASIS, all of which carries an 80's theme. Protagonist Wade Watts stumbles upon the first hidden clue and chaos ensues as people scramble to be the first to discover all the clues and amass the fortune.

I seriously did not want this book to end. I waged an inner battle every time I picked the book up, willing myself not to read it so I would have something to hold on to, but not being able to control NOT reading it because I had to know what happened next. There are a ton of 80's references in this book, only about 60% of which I got, but it didn't matter because the story and the premise were good enough to stand on their own, the 80's references were just good visual aids. I also loved how this book pulled me into another world. It was a nice little escape. 

Looking for something new and unique to read? You have to check out this book.



Sunday, I went ziplining with Dave and a few friends, Lauren, Sheena, and Kelly. Of course it was amazing. 

L to R: Sheena, me, Lauren
The excursion started out with us climbing up some steps to our first platform where we zipped over to the "obstacle challenge". You had three choices, go straight across the sky bridge, or go left or right to more challenging obstacles to reach the next platform that you could zip from.

I should probably preface all this by saying I'm afraid of heights and I'm prone to anxiety attacks very easily. I also don't think stuff through all the way or I'll psych myself out. I'm trying to live a little more, so not thinking is better than going through all the terrible things that could happen. Just trying to let go, ya know what I mean?

Anyway, I chose the left choice, right behind Sheena and Dave. I figured these guys could do it so can I, right? Ummmm, sure. Kelly went down the skybridge, because she is smart, and Lauren went the to the right hand side of the course, which was the tougher one. If there is one thing I learned about Lauren on Sunday, it's that she is fearless and willing to try anything once. I find that incredibly admirable. 

Lauren starting the right side of the course
The left choice consisted of jumping off the first platform 7 feet over to the next one, or you could hitch a ride on a skateboard type thingy. Next was walking across a rope, then a rolling log, then some more ropes, all culminating with the "Tarzan" swing, which consisted of a thin wire and dangling ropes. Oh and did I mention this was all about 42 feet from the ground? 

The view from the "other" side. To the right is the "Tarzan" swings.
As soon as I hit the first set of ropes, I made the mistake of looking down. Then I panicked and started hyperventilating. I looked at Dave with fear in my eyes, realizing this was like the beginning of Cliffhanger, except I didn't have Sylvester Stallone there to cry out in agony as I dropped to my death. 

Too dramatic? You try being chill 42 feet above ground. 

What the heck was I thinking? I HATE heights. I'm a WUSS. Why am I not prancing across the sky bridge? Well it was a little late now. So I closed my eyes and moved and got close enough to Dave's hand that I grabbed it and moved on to the next platform. I was shaking so bad, I was making Dave shake. And this is what I did for every single section. Closed my eyes and hyperventilated so bad I thought my lungs were going to explode, Dave telling me to open my eyes and me refusing to do anything except move, pray, breathe, move, pray, wonder what screw was loose in my head, pray, breathe. Until, that is, the very last platform. 

The Tarzan swings.

Sheena doing what I should have done in the first place

Dave on the rolling log, you can see the rope walk up ahead. 

I almost did a few splits going across these stupid things. 
The idea of falling terrified me. Don't get me wrong we were obviously attached so it wasn't like I was going to go far but I knew if I fell, I would be down for the count. So I yelled out, "I can't do it." Everyone was hanging out on the last platform, waiting for me and here I am yelling, "It's not happening, I can't do it! I can not physically do it!" 

To which my guide responded, very concerned, mind you, "you physically can't, Nicole?"

"Okay, I may be acting a bit over dramatic right now, I could probably physically do it, but emotionally I cannot. I cannot emotionally do this."

"Well you have no choice, so you have to"

"No I don't"

"Yes you do"

**in the smallest voice I could muster** "Will you come hold my hand please?"

**Sigh** "yes I will come hold your hand"

So Rod, the guide, came across and then helped me to the last platform. Needless to say my nerves were shot and it cemented my status of group wuss, but I'm okay with that. I completed it, even if it wasn't valiantly. Besides, I was ready to do what I came for, which was ziplining. 

Tomorrow I'll recap the zip part of the tour, along with some videos! 


Monday, September 23, 2013

Blogtember: Life Lately

A "life lately" post. What you're up to, how you're feeling, how you're doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!

I wrote a "Currently" post back in June, so I figured I'd follow that same guideline for today. Here goes nothing...


A few months ago, I had my makeup done by Ulta and they used this bronzer on me. I've been wanting to get it for a while, but it's on the pricey side. I finally picked one up Friday and I'm loving it. Plus you smell like chocolate all day. I love chocolate!!

Just bought this shirt, waiting for it to come in the mail. I'm hoping it looks good on me. Peter pan collars are hit or miss with me. So far the ones I've bought have been a miss. We shall see!

Bonus? Got it at 40% off!

::Looking Forward to::

The end of this school semester. Seriously guys, I'm over it. I love school but it's time to be done with my undergrad degree and move on to my certification. 

::Listening to::

The Civil Wars. I heard "The One that Got Away" on an ABC Family promo and instantly fell in love. A few other favorites are "Tip of my Tongue" and "Poison and Wine".


I just finished Animal Farm, I have to say it wasn't a favorite of mine, and I'm re-reading 1984 for the Teen Book Club. I'm also in the middle of Beowulf for my literature class. I would love to have a book on this list that I'm currently reading on a personal level but that's not happening right now, although I wish it was.


Third season of Walking Dead on demand. I love being able to watch shows back to back to back and not have to wait a week in between episodes. Did that for the first three seasons of Game of Thrones. Only problem is? When you're done, it's like coming off an addiction. 

::Making me Happy::



Friday, September 20, 2013

Blogtember: Comfort

React to this term: comfort. 
This was a tough one. There are tons of things that come to mind when I think of comfort. But I can only spout off about the amazing-ness that is mashed potatoes and chicken gravy before you're like what the heck is wrong with this girl? 

Which by the way, AMAZING!! 

I'm going to keep it short and sweet. There are many things that brings me comfort, but it's the love of my cats that really brings me comfort at any given moment. On a rough day, all I have to do is think about them and everything is a little bit better.

 Because waking up to this cuddling you, will make the start to any day good.

And because there is nothing better than your cats preventing you from doing anything but cuddle in the morning when you really need to get ready for work. 

End of the Week Roundup

Another week, another roundup! 

1. Saturday I went shopping and got this bracelet, which I love. It's simple, yet elegant and I got it on sale! Who doesn't love a good sale?

2. Saturday night I got to hang out with this adorable pup at Dave's cousin's birthday party. Don't worry, it'll never live up to the awesome-ness that is Nibbler and Squishee, but I can still love. 

3. On Saturday, I also got to hang out with Dave's younger cousins, and I love hanging out with them all so much. Here is a video of us playing "Heads Up". If you don't know about the game, it's an app that Ellen put out there, and it's really fun. It does cost money but I think it's worth the entertainment.

4. Monday I came down with a bad stomach bug. It definitely put me in my place for  a few days. Dave made me grilled cheese and tomato soup Monday night for dinner, and that definitely helped me feel better. That man makes a mean grilled cheese, and he cuts it in fours for me, because that is the only proper way to eat a grilled cheese. Any bigger and the dunking ain't right! 

5.  Funny story with Squishee this week. I was playing with him and his meece and I threw the mouse on the spare bedroom bed. It sounded like it fell down the backside of the bed between the bed and the wall so while Squish was up on the bed looking for the toy, I was looking underneath. I couldn't see it so I'm getting up off my stomach and saying to Squish "I think it's up there" when I look up and he has it in his mouth. He then promptly dropped it right on my face. 

You would think that would be the end of it and that he was just trying to return it to me, however he did the same thing to Nibbler when Nibbler started to play, which makes me think that he thinks  its hilarious to drop his mouse on his family member's faces. 

Nibs is hamming it up, while Squish is accusing him of stealing his thunder.  Squish often looks at his brother like "how are we related?" as evidenced here.
That's it for this week, how was yours?

Linking up with LaurenStyle Elixer, and Lindsey!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Blogtember: Creative Writing

Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: "To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century."
Why was I dreading the dinner party? Because I knew my husband hadn't run the dishwasher yet and we had no clean bowls. 

Which means he had to give me my ice cream on a plate. 

True story. 

Have you ever tried to eat ice cream on a plate? It's like eating soup with a fork. 

The End. 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blogtember: Photos

Only photos
I had all these grand plans for today's prompt. Doing a photo an hour post, going on a nature hike, finding an incredible spot to take some good pictures...some of it got put to the wayside because of work and school then I got a stomach bug and any and all grandiose plans went out the window. With that being said, here is a compilation of pictures that offer no rhyme or reason, other than I like them. A few I didn't personally take, which I remarked beneath the photo. 

Enough with the pictures, ma!
Picture taken by Rebecca Davidson

I can't remember if Becca or I took this picture, so photo possibly taken by Rebecca Davidson

This is my oldest nephew, Lucas, at his 1st birthday party. The tiger he is holding I made for him. It still melts my heart when I see his reaction.

Also Linking up with Fitness Blondie!
The Hump Day Blog Hop