"You are meant to grace the world with your dance, to follow the lead of Jesus wherever he leads you." - Captivating

Aside from Jesus, "...traveling is the great true love of my life...I am loyal and constant in my love for travel...I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because its mine. Because it looks like me." - Eat.Pray.Love.

Here you will find my travels, not just physical travels but emotional and spiritual as well...journeys to different places in the world and journeys of the heart. And, of course, fun and silliness too :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

4th Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party

So I'm a little late on posting these considering this happened several weeks ago but I guess Christmas is an appropriate day to post them. We had the party this year out at our friend, Ryan's, house...we had a great time. I think we ended up with about 70 people there...with lots of GREAT Christmas attire! I have several blog topics so hopefully I will be better at blogging in these next few weeks. Hope everyone had a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

The hosts -- Carrie, me, and Ryan

My small group (before Chris jumped in the picture).

The scene

Some examples of the amazing sweaters -- Kati, Sain, & Kim
We convinced Andrew to put on one of my mom's old sweater vests :)

Jen won this fabulous prize as the winner of the tackiest outfit.

White Elephant Gift Exchange

Just a few of the really good outfits.

Me, Alison, Julie, and Carrie

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


We had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving full of family. Most all our California family (which seems to keep growing) came in for the occasion and for Honey's 80th Birthday party. It was fabulous having so many of us together. Needless to say there was lots of good times and plenty of laughing.Adam, Dani and I took a trip to the zoo. Little did I know Adam wanted to spend an hour at EACH animal videoing them :) This picture truly captures his excitement for the whole event.

Adam and his girlfriend, Dani, pushing him into his beloved flamingo bay.

TCU vs. UNLV -- Go Frogs!!

Mom and me

Adam and I took Dani on a tour of our childhood. This is our little hangout, AdAsh. Yes, it is a drainage ditch. No, Adam is not peeing.

Our delicious Thanksgiving meal at Mom's.

Adam and Brent playing in the snow...these pictures truly capture their true personalities. They make me laugh constantly.

The boys ready to play disc golf in the snow. Dimitri clearly has no idea what these other two are about to get him into.

Disc golf or dancing?

The 5 cousins. I feel this picture really captures us well...Adam and Brent (bosom buddies being silly), Me (laughing), Dimitri and Jill (happy to be here).

Angelo's -- Uncle Ted insisted on wearing his cowboy hat everywhere. Loved it!
Angelo's -- It was so great getting to spend so much time with Brent and Kim.
My other half -- Jill

Kim and Brent -- I love this picture of them.


Recreating the most awkward picture.

The kids -- Me, Dani, Adam, Kim, Brent, Jill, and Dimitri
The boys did a good job of handling our constant pictures.

Honey's 80th Birthday Party. It was a wonderful time (Linda and Kim did an amazing job organizing) with great people loving on Honey.
Adam and me -- California agrees with him...but I miss him.

Jill and I at the Louden's most beautiful Christmas lights!


Brent spelled out HONEY with his body for her birthday. Hilarious!


Monday, October 29, 2007


I finally have at least one picture of some of my kids at school that I'd thought I'd share. This isn't my whole class...just the kids who participated in crazy hat day for drug awareness week. They are so funny! Hopefully I'll have time to share more crazy stories and pictures from them soon.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Check it out!

I just wanted to let all of you know that my brother (the one that abandoned the great state of Texas to live by the beach in a crazy place called California) started a blog. In case you wanted to keep up with his rough life filled with surfin', fishin', and kayakin'...here's his address:


Although, so far he hasn't been too great at updating it...hint, hint Adam!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lessons from Miss Nichols

I am always saying things to my class that I immediately regret or question if that was really probably the best thing to say to 8 year olds. Like when I told them "Don't freak out"...they thought that was hilarious. Well, here are just a few scenarios where this kind of thing has happened over the last few weeks.

1. Just Say No
Me: Drugs are stupid.
My students: Ummmm...you said stupid.
Me: Well, I'm an adult and drugs are stupid...but you still can't say stupid.

2. Miss vs. Mrs.
My students: Why are you Miss Nichols and not Mrs. Nichols?
Me: I'm not married so I'm Miss...when you are married you become Mrs.
My students: What about Ms.?
Me: (I incorrectly told them that Ms. is also if you are not married...I don't know why I did, I know it can be for both).
My kids: Well what about Ms. Smith* next door?
Me: What about her?
My students: She's Ms. but she has a child.
Me: Yes she does.
My students: But she isn't married.
Me: Okay.
Sarah*: That's okay my mom isn't married.
Denise*: Miss Nichols, do you think you need to be married to have kids?
Me: (awkwardly) That is a personal choice and we are moving on!

3. Always carefully read a children's book before reading it to your class.
Me: (Reading the book Tar Beach to my class...which is an award winning children's book) My family was eating chicken and watermelon as my aunt put the beer on the table. (or it said something like that) (In my head: BEER?! Did that just say beer?!)
My students: Hahahaha...beer!?!
Me: Tea...I meant tea.
My students: (still laughing)
Me: Ok, ok. They are adults drinking it...please show me you are mature enough to handle this. (Maybe I'm expecting too much from 8 year olds??? Just maybe?)

Oh goodness! Crazy times in 3rd grade but I'm loving it!
*Names have been changed

Monday, September 03, 2007

Third grade interests

My first week of school went great!! I have a wonderful group of kids. I had them fill out a Student Interest Inventory on the first day of school and I thought I'd share some funny comments from them.

Q: What do you like most about school?
A: You get to learn interesting stuff like 11 + 36.

Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: When I was a kid I liked Twinkle, Twinkle.

Q: What are some interesting places you have visited?
A: I have visited my sister's school.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?
A: I would like to visit a cave.

They crack me up! I'm sure there will be more to come.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

100 Things (tagged by Ryan)

So I finally finished my list! With school starting, it has taken me forever. A few of these are already in my about me section or I might have blogged about them before but hopefully most are new.

1. I’m allergic to cats and avocados.
2. I still eat avocados because I love them…especially in guacamole.
3. I finally stopped biting my nails last year…I have bitten my nails since I can remember.
4. I love the Olympics.
5. I cry and laugh easily.
6. I am copying this from Emily but it is the same for me – I remember people’s names and faces really well and everything about conversations I have with them.
7. I lived in Budapest for a month.
8. Other than that, I have lived in Fort Worth my whole life.
9. I have a random obsession with Paul Newman.
1o. If I have a paper in my hand I, absentmindedly, either doodle on it or fold it up.
11. My friends have recently told me I have two distinct laughs: a courtesy laugh and a real laugh but that if you don’t know me well my courtesy laugh sounds legit.
12. I fell in the fountain at the mall once.
13. I fell out of the raft while white water rafting on a fairly intense rapid.
14. I’m pretty clumsy (see #12 and #13).
15. I obsessively check my email and facebook…although that will soon end once teaching starts next week.
16. A lot will probably end when teaching starts in next week.
17. Over the last year I have somehow become a morning workout person despite my tendency to be a night owl…that too will soon have to change (see #16).
18. I want to go to Santorini, Greece on my honeymoon…I realize a few more things have to occur before that can happen.
19. Watching someone bite into a popsicle really bothers me.
20.Alison and I went to Starbucks nearly every day this summer.
21.I hate being late, people who are always late, or when people make me late.
22. Two of my favorite food treats are donuts with sprinkles and macaroni and cheese.
23. However, since I seem to constantly be dieting…for the past few years I have really only had the above food on my birthday.
24. I have a strange aversion to hotel sheets.
25. I love to dance but often get self-conscious doing it.
26. I can clog dance.
27. I took jazz and clog (and some others along the way) for 12 years.
28. I don’t really like lotion.
29. I can relate pretty much any situation to either a quote from Friends or Ellen's HBO comedy special.
30. My guilty pleasure is the SOAP network. (I watched reruns of All My Children, The OC, One Tree Hill, and 90210 a lot this summer.)
31. This is my first time to live in an apartment.
32. I am currently reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
33. I think my favorite novel is Pride & Prejudice.
34. I think my favorite movie is The American President.
35. I think I have read every Fresh Ink card made.
36. I often wonder if I should branch out and live somewhere else but I love Ft. Worth so much.
37. Most of my family seems to end up in California.
38. I do consider California my second home.
39. My knees hyperextend.
40. I had an imaginary friend when I was younger named Miriam.
41. I broke my arm when I was 18 months old.
42. I had a Raggedy Ann sling.
43. Garth Brooks was the first concert I attended.
44. Colored pens and sharpies make me happy…I have received both of these on multiple occasions as presents from friends and family.
45. Really school supplies in general make me happy.
46. My roommate, Carrie, and I eat Pei Wei usually at least twice a week.
47. I probably bother people with how often I take pictures.
48. As much as I try to be, I’m not much of an animal person.
49. I’m addicted to Diet Coke.
50. I get annoyed when people are not patriotic.
51. I used to collect dolls from around the world.
52. I also went through a key chain collecting phase.
53. I loved (and still love) having an older brother while growing up.
54. My mom is an amazing role model.
55. She is one of the strongest people I know, with an incredible faith and compassionate spirit.
56. I have extremely bad vision in only my left eye.
57. My right eye is perfect.
58. My brother is one of the funniest people I know and makes me laugh more than anyone.
59. My best friend Alison easily competes with my brother as one of the funniest people I know and we probably laugh more together than I do with anyone else.
60. I wish I was more outdoorsy and adventurous.
61. I’m not at all spontaneous.
62. I can’t believe I will be in charge of educating 44 third graders next week.
63. I’m a freak about TCU…but anyone reading this probably knows that already ;)
64. My family watched the TV show Dallas every Friday night when I was growing up.
65. I watch way too much TV.
66. I can watch my favorite movies over and over.
67. I think Pride & Prejudice is catching up to Grease (which I used to watch several times a week growing up) as my most watched movie.
68. The rodeo is one of my favorite Ft. Worth events…and one reason I love this city.
69. My favorite board game is Trivial Pursuit or Apples to Apples.
70. I can’t imagine how I used to function without DVR.
71. I love wearing dresses.
72. I would love to be an extra in a movie.
73. I would actually love to be a real actress in movies but I have no skills or training in that whatsoever.
74. I miss college.
75. I can say the alphabet backwards fast.
76. I can flip my eyelids inside out.
77. I know way too much about silly celebrity gossip.
78. I get Sonic Vanilla Diet Cokes several times a week usually.
79. This list has been REALLY hard for me to do…its making me question if I’m a very interesting person.
80. I hate that I’m a pack rat.
81. I actually like eating frozen dinners.
82. I also like to cook.
83. I still love ABC Family and Disney channel movies.
84. I don’t really like chocolate desserts like brownies or chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream.
85. I do like chocolate candy.
86. I should be writing lesson plans right now instead of doing this.
87. I love Mexican food.
88. I have really thin wrists, hands, and fingers.
89. I love post-its.
90. It makes me feel good when someone laughs at my jokes.
91. I wish I could walk into any room and any situation and feel confident.
92. I remember celebrity names and what they have been in really well.
93. I only made 2 Bs in college.
94. They were in anthropology and religion.
95. Both were two of my favorite classes.
96. I drink iced coffee every morning…sometimes hot coffee in the winter.
97. I have never seen Napoleon Dynamite…which seems to bother a lot of people.
98. If a mirror is around, I can’t help looking at it…its really bad when I’m talking to someone but am constantly looking at the mirror.
99. I still really support President Bush.
100. I believe strongly in voting.

I don't know really who to tag that reads my blog that hasn't already done this list....

I tag Wezie, Mary Chris, and Alison (this can be how you start your blog.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Washington, DC

Mom and I just got back from our trip to DC. We had a wonderfully exhausting time. We went to tons of museums and all the monuments. It really is a fascinating city and it seems to me, no matter how many times you see the monuments/museums they really do not get old. We also got to see some friends from TCU and high school while we were up there. A TCU alum that Mom is friend's with works at the White House...she took us on a tour of it! Just the typical tour but she still very much had fun inside scoops. She had just flown the day before on Air Force One with President Bush! Sadly, we couldn't take a camera with us to the White House though. We also saw the Capitol, all the monuments pretty much, Library of Congress, Air & Space Museum, Natural History Museum, American History museum exhibit, International Spy Museum, Holocaust Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Botanic Gardens and Georgetown. Possibly more that I'm leaving out too. Although its hard to pick favorites I think my favorite building was the Library of Congress, favorite museum: National Portrait Gallery and favorite Monument: Korean War Memorial. Here are just a few of the many pictures I took. Thank you Mom...it was fabulous!!

WWII Memorial -- I loved all the quotes around it.
Beautiful flowers at the Botanic Gardens and the Capitol.
The Capitol
Adorable red, white, and blue houses in Georgetown
Korean War Memorial -- haunting but amazing
FDR Memorial
Mom and I at the Capitol

Loved the Library of Congress

Mom at the Natural History Museum -- she did that all on her own.

Washington Monument with beautiful blue skies!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sunshine (or lack of) & Summertime

I love summertime. Even in Texas. Ask me if I love it again come August and my answer might change, but, for the most part, I love summer. Although some of my favorite things about summer have been hindered by the rain...I love what summer represents.

Summer Loves:

  • The Beach
  • Concerts in the Garden
  • Lying by the pool (prefer the beach but this is the closest option)
  • Fireworks
  • TCBY
  • Sundresses
  • No school/work
  • Lazy days
  • Swimming
  • Traveling
  • Reading/chatting at Starbucks with Alison
  • Sno-Cones
Here are a couple pictures from Concerts in the Garden...I absolutely LOVE this event!

Patty Griffin Concerts in the Garden -- Me, Whitney, Alison

Beatles -- Erin, Carrie, me, and Elizabeth

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Apartment

Carrie (my roommate) and I are enjoying our new apartment downtown at The Depot. It is very much a work in progress but it is gradually coming together. I love the location though. Living down here and taking the short walk to Sundance Square is always fun....makes me feel just the slightest bit that we live somewhere like New York City where many people healthily walk everywhere. Here are some pictures of our new apartment....I know, super exciting!

Our kitchen...its hard to see in pictures but our kitchen is our favorite part of the new apartment.


My room

Another of my room

This one isn't really of our new aparment but its with some friends IN our new apartment.