Tuesday, January 19, 2016

last week of being a child.

My birthday is on a Wednesday this year. That means that Wednesday the 13th was my last Wednesday of being seventeen and BY EXTENSION THE LAST WEDNESDAY OF MY CHILDHOOD.

I decided that on each last weekday of being seventeen I was going to either do something that I had never done before, or do something that I always used to do when I was a younger. So here's what actually happened.

January 13th: My last Wednesday
Something I've never done: gotten cavities filled

I never ever had cavities when I was little. Now I have eleven, which I feel like would disappoint my first grade self, but it's okay because now my truth for Two Truths and a Lie has changed from "I've never had a cavity" to "the number of cavities I have is the same as my favorite number," and not very many people can say that, so it looks like I won this one.

January 14th: My last Thursday
Something I always used to do: make a list of baby names

I used to do this all the time. I remember when it was a regular topic of discussion at recess. Wow, remember recess? I hadn't made a list in so long so I did some research and compiled my favorite ones.

Girls: Lily, Claire, Sienna, Lucy, Anne, Luna, Emerson, Harper, Penelope, Charly, Evangeline, Gwen, Carmen, Brenna, Margaret, Hero, Andie, Genevieve

Boys: Charlie, Ryan, Will, Desmond, Samuel, Benjy, Thomas, Wesley, Luke, Cris, Brendan, Eric, Rowan, Brodie, Neal, Parker, Nicky, James, Teddy

I can't decide between them though so looks like I'll have to have 36 kids.

January 15th: My last Friday
Something I always used to do: get together for a girls night and say we're going to watch a movie but actually just talk the whole time

We were going to have a Star Wars marathon. But it's probably for the best that we didn't. The weak never would have lasted, and with our packed schedules and everything we really just needed time to catch up with each other.

January 16th: My last Saturday
Something I've never done: eaten a muffin from the inside out.

There you go.

January 17th: My last Sunday

Something I've never done: read the entire book of Haggai in the Old Testament

I don't even think I knew that the book of Haggai was a book. wHAT OTHER COOL THINGS DON'T I KNOW ABOUT I HAVE SO MUCH TO DISCOVER

January 18th: My last Monday
Something I always used to do: watch PBS Kids TV shows

I made a list today of all the shows I remember watching as a kid, and searched for them on YouTube. I was able to watch an episode of Cyberchase, an episode of Dragon Tales, and half an episode of Between the Lions (gotta finish it tomorrow, I left off at the adventures of Cliff Hanger and as I'm typing this I'm realizing that that is hilarious).

The theme songs give me serious nostalgia.

What I still can't find ANYWHERE is Episode 4060 of Sesame Street, where young Natalie Portman goes into Hooper Store and in a really cute raspy voice asks Alan for a glass of pineapple juice. Seriously, for the longest time I thought I might have hallucinated that scene because I couldn't find any trace of it anywhere until recently. I can find some clips of the episode, but not the pineapple juice scene. I'm not done searching. I will find you.

January 19th: My last Tuesday
Something I've never done: written a letter to my past self

Before I turn serious with this letter, I would like to say that the last thing I will have eaten in my childhood is a McDonald's Happy Meal, which is totally bringing it full circle. I ordered it myself, I didn't even pretend that it was for my little brother or anything. The only regret I have is that when they asked me what I wanted to drink, I panicked and said, "Oh, just a cup for water," when what I could have gotten was a plastic bottle of chocolate milk with a straw, what was I thinking.

So the letter. Today I sat by my bed and listened to the Dancing Queen on repeat and made the most of my last moments being young and sweet only seventeen while I wrote a letter.

I wrote this letter to my 6th grade self. It's everything I wish 12-year-old Nicole would have known, from all the things she should not have worried about, to all the things that she had to look forward to. The 6th grade was probably the most vulnerable part of my life, and sometimes I wish I could appear to that girl and show her that everything is going to turn out fine, that after this difficult year, things just get exponentially better. I learn how to do my hair, I start dressing how I like, I meet amazing people, I find things that I absolutely love doing. And I think I turned out okay.

Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to post the entire 7-page-long thing, but for now, here is a small part.

Dear 6th grade self,

17 things I learned after 17 years

1. Singing is life. Do not be afraid to sing. Like your voice, and join choir because in there you will meet the most passionate, genuine people, and you'll find yourself in the process.
2. Things you loved as a kid will really become cool again. Like naps, PBS Kids, and McDonald's.
3. Your family is amazing. Like seriously. You lucked out. Love them to pieces.
4. A lukewarm life is no good. Live passionately and get excited about things.
5. Star Wars really is cool.
6. That part of you that needs to travel will not be disappointed.
7. Brooke is the greatest friend you could have ever asked for.
8. Like seriously if she was a boy I would tell you to marry her.
9. Graci, Kaitlyn, and Amanda really love you and you really love them.
10. Practice writing and drawing and you will get better at writing and drawing.
11. It is always better to be honest.
12. Your parents will save you from many a disaster if you will just listen to them.
13. Your dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ will be the biggest blessing to you.
14. Trust the Holy Ghost.
15. You are sensitive and that is okay.
16. You will have straight teeth someday soon.
17. Be yourself. Like what you actually like. Do what you actually love doing. Be with people who actually make you happy. You will be so incredibly grateful because of it.

Love your 17-year-old self,

Nicole <3

Here's to blue armchairs, blanket forts, Michael Jackson, backyard lawns, Enya, summertime, Harry Potter, McDonald's fries, snuggling, Legos, VHS players, Disney movies, board games, trading cards, crayons, OMSI, Barbie dolls, Razor scooters, stuffed animals, rock collections, turtlenecks, Saturday morning cartoons, tuna fish crackers, wild violets perfume, straight across bangs, watercolor painting, and Kix cereal.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

you're a good man, charlie brown.

So Charlie Brown is pretty much everywhere because of the movie that just came out, woot woot.

Molalla has been on Peanuts-overload too, with our fall musical. Last night was our closing night of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." 
Yeah, I cried, sO whAT SHut up.

I was the student conductor and accompanist which pretty much means I played the piano and nodded my head a lot. 


When I first got the music, I was too overwhelmed to even explain how overwhelmed I was. THERE WAS SO MUCH MUSIC THERE WAS OVER 200 PAGES MUSIC. Along with it being a musical, a lot of the show is underscored. I didn't think there was anyway that I would be able to learn it in time AND give all the cues to the rest of the pit. I played the CD in my car until my ears bled and I cried over the fact that there were so many songs to learn that they had to make a separate book for each act. I SOLD MY SOUL TO THIS SHOW DANG IT

And I did it. I learned the entire show. And then it started to get fun. I had an amazing drummer and an amazing bass player with me backstage and we pulled off a sick performance. The cast was incredible and hilarious, every single rehearsal and show was a blast.

typical rehearsal with the guys

After Friday night :)

I loved it to pieces, and now it's over. I have to take all of my sticky tabs out and erase all my pencil marks and turn in my books. I'm not ready to part with those things.

I am grateful for every second of this experience. It was extremely challenging and crazy fun. I'm gonna miss it :)

Some pictures I took at rehearsal:

The entire cast :)

"The Baseball Game"

Schroeder and Charlie (our Schroeder was a played by a girl and she and Charlie are dating in real life aww)

Linus and Sally (our Linus was a girl too:)

Lucy and Sally

"Glee Club Rehearsal"


"Red Baron" (our Snoopy was also a girl:)


"Book Report"

Thank you, Charlie Brown, for everything. I will miss you :)

Click here to read the Molalla Pioneer article about the show...
Photo credit: John Flavin


Friday, October 16, 2015

how do other states get by without an omsi seriously it is beyond me

Dear other states,

You all need OMSIs. I know it stands for Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, but you guys can name them after yourselves. Make sure it's a cool acronym. I guess all you consonant states are out of luck. Especially you, West Virginia. WVMSI makes no sense.

I'm sure you'll figure it out, 


On Wednesday our senior class took a field trip to OMSI, the castle of my childhood.

I'm pretty sure my grandparents started taking me there regularly as soon as I came out of the womb. That place was heaven for little elementary school me, who was fascinated by outer space, the human body, dinosaur bones, rocks and minerals, electricity, light, puzzles, patterns. That place knelt down, took 5-year-old me by the hand and said, "LOOK AT HOW COOL THE WORLD IS! Learning is awesome! Look at all this stuff there is to be passionate about!" And I've never forgotten it.

It was weird to go back there and see all the stuff that's different and all the stuff that's exactly the same. The Ball Room is still there, thank goodness. They moved the foam arch-building blocks to a different area. They don't have the archaeology stuff anymore, and I'm too old to go in the sandbox.

Nostalgia is weird.

I hadn't been to OMSI since 2013 when I went with Brooke. Like the typical sentimental beings we are, we had to reenact all the photos while we were there Wednesday, because that was quite possibly the last time we will ever be there as non-adults.

Thank you OMSI, for encouraging me to love learning. You rock. 

Also, thank you Schoolhouse Rock, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Cyberchase. You also rock. 

A concluding Peanuts strip:



Monday, August 31, 2015

summer 2015.

It's been a while. Hey.

So this summer. Wow. This summer has been the best summer of my life. I can't put into words how the amazing opportunities I've had in these three short months have changed me.

But I'll try, so here goes.

First adventure: Last year at Girl's Camp 

I got the opportunity to come back as a 6th with three other girls from the Stake, and it was a blast. Our theme was "Embark." My testimony grew, my friendships with the other girls were strengthened, and SO many memories were made. Loved every minute. I will miss it so much ♥

"O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." 
-Doctrine and Covenants 4:2

Second adventure: Church History Tour

Holy crap guys. It is impossible to explain to you how this changed my life. Studying Doctrine and Covenants in seminary this year and then being able to stand in the rooms where those sections were revealed, being able to be in the exact places where the early saints were... it was unbelievable. We went to so many sacred, sacred places.  

We started in Palmyra, NY, and saw the Sacred Grove, the Hill Cumorah, and the Peter Whitmer home where the church was first organized. In Kirtland, Ohio, where we saw the Newell K. Whitney Store, the Kirtland Temple, and the Johnson Farm. The Whitney Store and the Johnson Farm are both so incredibly sacred.

Nauvoo, Illinois was probably my favorite place we went. The Trail of Hope, baptisms in the Nauvoo Temple, AND OH MY GOODNESS all the musical theater. There are performing missionaries that serve during the summers there, and they are set apart to perform! The Nauvoo Pageant was ab.sol.ute.ly incredible. Something about music just brings the Spirit. 

Nauvoo was hard to leave too. We were only there for three days, and I already felt like I had a home there. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for the Saints to leave after they really did make that place their home, after they just finished the temple... I just keep gaining more and more respect for them.

Carthage, IL was very special for me. I was able to connect with the history there in a way I never could have imagined. I have a deep gratitude for Joseph Smith and everything that he did. After we visited the jail, I got in the car, and watched this video and just cried and cried and cried.

In Missouri, we saw the Far West Temple corner stones, and then Adam Ondi-Ahman, which was so. cool. I can't explain what it was like to be there. Also, Liberty Jail. That place is hallowed. I got to read Doctrine and Covenants sections 121:1-8 there, and the words just came alive. The Independence Visitor's Center was our last stop :)

My testimony of the early saints and of Latter-Day prophets and revelation has grown incredibly. I came home from that trip just overflowing with gratitude in my heart.

Third adventure: ECUADOR

 Life-changing. LIFE-CHANGING. I went with eighteen other teenagers and four adults through a program called HEFY.

It was a humanitarian trip, so we had the opportunity to volunteer at two orphanages, one of which was a special needs orphanage for children with disabilities. For two weeks we worked on building a house for one of the families involved with the orphans. During the day we would take turns going across the street to work with the children. They are precious. I learned so much about love. Those kids love so freely. I made bonds with them that I will never forget. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures of the children, otherwise I would have a post dedicated just to them.

We got to bond with the ward members there, too, we would go to Wendesday night activities, Sacrament meetings, firesides, and family home evenings. It was so hard to leave all the new friends we made, at the orphanage, in the ward, and in our group.

We did some adventure-y things too, boating in the Galapagos Islands, and zip lining through the Andes Mountains. I had the best hot chocolate of my life after hiking to a waterfall at 14,000 feet.

I will never ever forget the experiences that I had in Ecuador or the amazing people I met.

23 people. 17 days. 1 goal. 1000+ memories.

Here's the video. (Hopefully the church history one will be done soon!)

And now I'm back :)

Studying for the ACT, getting ready for my last year of high school. So yep. This year will be another adventure.

Later :)