"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 :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meet Cassidy

So I've had my new car for over a month now and since I had mentioned it before on this blog I wanted to let everyone know what I decided on. I got a new 2008 Honda CR-V. I love it! Much thanks to my friends who spent hours with me at the dealership for a hilarious group car buying experience. Special thanks to Danny for his patience and advice.

Why Cassidy? I started naming my cars with my last car -- Cory the Corolla -- as a joke for my friend Stephen and because my future sister-in-law, Dani, names everything and I thought that was fun. So...my car is glacier blue like Paul Newman's eyes and, as many of you know, I have a slight obsession with him. He passed around the same time as I bought my car so I named her after his character in Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid.

These aren't great pictures of the car and I will try to post more soon but here's some of the group car buying trip. Too bad Carrie & Adam aren't in any of the pictures...they were great cheerleaders though.

This is my trusty car buying guide, Danny. Really?
Getting in for the first time.

I liked Bob more than it appears here.

Saying goodbye to Cory.

Yay!




Sunday, December 07, 2008

5th Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party

Get excited...Its Christmastime! Yup, this was the 5th Tacky Christmas Sweater Party....hard for me to believe. And this year did not disappoint! There was plenty of tacky going around. I love this party and am so glad I have such fun, wonderful friends that make it all the more enjoyable. Enjoy the amazing outfits:
Party Scene


Some of our fabulous small group girls


Roommate love


2 Classy Guys -- Aaron & Sain
Speechless...I know.


Party hosts - Me, Ryan, Carrie


Some of the best outfits from Adam, Sam, & Danny


Bow Bookends - Lauren, Me, Carrie, Blythe


Announcing the winners of the tackiest outfits -- I'm laughing so hard at the amazing prizes


I love my friends.
Aaron, Me, Adam, Clay, Blythe, Carrie, Lauren, Danny



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Take time to realize..."

I feel like its kind of cliche to make a list of what I'm thankful for at Thanksgiving...but its such a fun and refreshing thing to do I'm doing it anyway.  (And it really is what this holiday is all about.)

Laughter
Solid group of friends to count on
2nd grade
Friends that make me laugh SO HARD and SO MUCH
Busyness
Feeling a part of an amazing church family
Having the opportunity to lead in my church group
New found affinity for running
Cassidy
Iced Coffee
Breakfast dates
Travel
A roommate who shares my love for cupcakes (along with a hundred other things)
My brother finding the love of his life
Immediate and Extended Family that show me unconditional love and encouragement
Ultimate Frisbee fun
FFF
That I still get joy from my students
A week off from school
Cooking nights at 431
Girlfriends who get me
Guyfriends who respect me
Fall leaves changing colors
My other half (even though she is hundreds of miles away)
Fort Worth
God's grace and faithfulness
Christmas season is here!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"...I want to know what you ache for."

I was shopping at Anthropologie (which is one of my favorite stores and is coming to Fort Worth in 2009!) the other day. I saw a book there with this on the cover underneath the title -- "I don't care what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for." This book was one of those new age, post-modernist, Oprah-type spirituality books that I would probably not be looking to read but I loved that quote on the cover. I started thinking..."what do I ache for?" Well, Jesus, of course. That was the answer that immediately came to mind. Then I got to thinking, do I really ache for Jesus? like I'm supposed to anyway? Probably not. I ache for (or am passionate about) a lot of things: fun, quality time and good conversation with friends and family, laughter, my students' life situations to improve (to not have the hurt in their lives that they already do at the age of 7), travel, a husband and family someday, cupcakes or donuts with sprinkles, and so on. However, none of these things are as important as Jesus. Ever since then I have been thinking, what does that look like to truly ache for Jesus? My prayer right now is that I will ache for Him: ache for my relationship with Him to grow, ache to spend time with Him, ache to reflect his image more and be a woman of God, ache to learn more about Him, ache to love like He loves.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing -- Part 1

Does anyone remember that children's book?? Anyway...I ran across an old "journal" of mine at my mom's house the other day from 4th grade. I'm not sure if this will be interesting to anyone else or not but I thought it was hilarious so I thought I'd share an entry from it...I might share more from time to time. (I'm keeping all the spelling and grammar the same as it was written.)

March 16, 1994
Boy has it been a hectic few monthes I haven't even had any time to write in you. Well let's see in Dec. Linda, Ted, Jill, and Brent came out for Christmas. I got new rollerblades, DreamPhone, my ears pierced, (and I already got 8 pairs of earrings!), a caboodle, Saved by the Bell game, and Baby-Sitters Club Mystery game, and much more. My mom also told me that Santa Claus isn't real. In Jan. we went to Texarkana for New Year's it was a lot of fun. Ellen, Marty, Emily, and Holly also went to Texarkana. We did lots of fireworks out there like sparklers, black cats, roman candles. Uncle Andy lit a whole lot of sparklers at once. Later we found out that he had to (continued on back) have part of his thumb cut off cause he burned it. In February we had Adam's B-day he got his room rearranged and cable for our T.V. and so on. Ah finally we get to March (spring break) well Adam got to go to Washington D.C. for spring break with some other 6th graders, and I well I get to clean out the garage. I also got to have Sarah and Jennifer over to see "My Girl 2" and spend the night with me at the same time. Well bye for now! Oh, and by the way school is fantastic we went to the symphony.

P.S. I also made Mom and Dad a secret Easter basket with lots of candy. For Easter.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

7 Random Things

*I was tagged by Kristen* This was hard to come up with things I haven't already shared in my blog but here you go...

1. I'm currently going through the car buying process for the first time on my own. Can we say stressful?? But luckily, I have some great friends who are walking me through it.

2. Deciding to teach at my school was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

3. I am enjoying cooking more and more.

4. I am currently obsessed with the bands Sugarland and Lady Antebellum.


5. I love being the planner or host of social events.


6. I have more guy friends than girl friends.


7. I am fascinated by small town life.

*I tag Dani, Kim and/or Brent.*

Friday, October 24, 2008

Genesis 1:27

We are doing a study at church right now called Image is Everything. It is about the roles God has given to men and women. The study has sparked many conversations between my friends about what our relationships should look like. As my friend Stephen said, "My take, halfway through, is that we (men and women) don’t know much about each other." I think our generation is especially confused on guy/girl interactions whether thats in dating relationships or in just friendships. When I call my mom I literally tell her that I need to update her on the soap opera that is my life with all the confusing relationships amongst my group of friends. I'm so excited these conversations are happening between my girlfriends and my guyfriends but it can all be a little exhausting to sort it all out. I feel like I spend so much time trying to figure out what my place is, what my expectations should be and what guys are supposed to be doing. Like I said, I'm thankful these conversations are happening and I think they definitely need to be happening. However, it hit me the other day--if I spent half the time that I spend focusing on my human relationships, on my relationship with God I would be in a much better place. It is so easy to focus on those relationships because they are tangible. I'm realizing though if I was constantly seeking the Lord, in not only improving my relationship with Him, but going to Him for guidance with these relationships more often, then I would probably not feel so overwhelmed and frustrated by it all.

Lord, I pray that I will remember that my relationship with you is the most important part of my life and I pray that I will constantly strive to seek you more and find ways to cultivate and strengthen our relationship. I also pray that you will reveal to me more and more each day what my role as a woman is as I try to bear Your image and let me be flexible and open as you mold me into that woman. I pray that you will give me guidance in my relationships with men and women. I pray that you will show me what my expectations should be for the men in my life and how I can encourage them to be Godly men. I pray that I will be an example for other women and open my eyes to learn from other Godly women. Thank you for creating men and women so uniquely in a way that complements each other and to exhibit different characteristics of You. I pray that we will step up to fill our roles that you have created for us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Eggs Over Easy

One of my favorite things to do is go out to eat for breakfast or brunch on the weekends. Its not necessarily good for the wallet or waistline but its a fun treat to do every once in a while. So I decided to write up my favorite breakfast places.

-Paris Coffee Shop -- I think this might be my favorite breakfast place, if nothing else for the sentimental value it holds for me with memories of going there as a child with my family, especially my grandad. Although I think the food is very tasty too. This is a classic Fort Worth place...it just oozes with Fort Worth charm. Don't let the line stop you from eating there...it goes fast and is worth it. The food is basic breakfast fare...My favorite is the breakfast sampler.

-Ol'South -- My favorite place to go for late night breakfast as well as a great morning breakfast place. I love watching the variety of people go in and out of here. The best thing about Ol'South to me are the waitresses, full of character and sass. Try the German pancakes or Dutch babies if you haven't, but I have to limit myself to those only about once a year.

-Old Neighborhood Grill -- My roommate and I disagree on the best breakfast in town; I say Paris, she says ONG. ONG is definitely in my top places though. Another classic Fort Worth place that makes you think you live in a small town where everybody knows everybody. Friendly people and yummy food...what's not to like?

-Blue Mesa Sunday brunch -- Due to the pricetag on this brunch this is a rare treat but definitely worth it. There is an enormous amount of food to choose from and its pretty much all delicious. The poinsettia drinks are another highlight for me.

-Esperanza's or Arizola's in Lake Worth -- Mexican food. Love. Breakfast food. Love. Mexican breakfast food. Fabulous!

-Dale's Donuts -- really anywhere with sprinkled donuts, this just happens to be the one closest to our apartment.


-Breadwinners -- I have to admit I've only been once for breakfast but it was amazing. Its only in Dallas and Plano but worth venturing over for. Their coffee is great too.

Where are your favorite breakfast places??

Sunday, September 28, 2008

How to get a date

Some of my girls this year are fascinated by the fact that I'm not married. One suggested that they should set me up on a blind date. Who knows how she even knows what that is! So these girls decided to give me tips on finding a husband or actually how to get a date since that was their first tip to finding a husband was to actually go on dates. Good thinking girls! I asked them how they were such experts on the subject and one said because she watches it in movies...but not the kissing parts she was quick to clarify. So let me know if you think these would work:

- Wear lots of make-up

- Always wear lipstick

- Put that lipstick on your eyes (I'm assuming they mean eyeshadow)

- Always wear dangly earrings

- Dress-up -- preferably in a polka dot dress

- Straighten hair (they have only seen my hair curly)

- Bathe

- Take green sleepy stuff out of eyes (they clarified that I don't usually have this in my eyes but just to make sure I knew that wasn't attractive)

- Always wear high heels

- Wash my car

- And finally, when I asked them where I should go, once I have all this done, to meet the guys...McDonald's or Wal-Mart. (Duh.)

So I'm off to go bathe I guess :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

2nd Grade Interests

I gave this interest survey to my students last year and it produced some really funny results so I did the same this year. Here are some of the highlights. Enjoy :)


Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Chuckie



Q: I am saddest when...
A: I hit myself.
A: I lose stuff



Q: What interesting places have you visited?
A: A coyote cave
A: Golden Corral



Q: What are some places you would like to visit?
A: Jail
A: A Chinese buffet
A: Famous Footwear



Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: 2 pock
A: Folk music (really??)
A: Hip pop/ church music



Q: If you had $1000 what would you do with it?

A: I would get needs and then wants.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Olympic Fever (better late than never right?)

Kristen pointed out that I didn't even blog about the Olympics and I realized she's right, I should have. I was obsessed with the Olympics as usual this year...which is probably why I didn't blog about them...I was too busy watching them. Sadly, I did feel like I missed the last few days of the Olympics for the most part because of school stuff starting up. However, I did thoroughly enjoy these Olympics. Here are some of my favorite Olympic moments: (I'm sure these are pretty much everyone's highlights...usually I feel like I get more into the little backstories than I was able to this year since I'm now in the real world and have more of a life I guess and I can't devote ALL my time to the games...haha.)



- Men's Swimming 4x100 Freestyle Relay

- Michael Phelps (Although I think the media way overhyped him, he was phenomenal)

- Shawn Johnson winning gold

- Men's Gymnastics winning bronze

- Cute male swimmers

- Women's and Men's Beach Volleyball gold

- Men's Volleyball gold



*I'm sad I missed much of the track and field and that I never got to see any synchronized swimming.



*Who knew trampoline or racewalking were olympic events??



See you in Vancouver.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The start of 2nd grade...

I have officially started my second year of teaching. I am teaching 2nd grade this year instead of 3rd and so far I LOVE it. My kids are adorable for the most part...we'll see how long that lasts ;) I'm only teaching literacy this year so I have two sets of kids. Obviously things are crazy at the beginning of the school year and I don't have a lot of time to blog but since I hadn't blogged in a while I thought I would give you a few funny quotes from my first week.

Angie*: What do you like to do for fun?
Amanda: I like boys. I mean I like toys. I mean I like boy toys.

Derrick: Miss Nichols, who's the president?
Me: (I ask the class) Does anyone know who the president is?
Cruz: I think its Obama.

(All the kids are taking a pretest)
Angie: Miss Nichols, I'm like my dad...I don't know how to read.

Gloria: Miss Nichols, Kenny says he likes me and Amanda and Jessica. Just as friends right? (she clarifies with Kenny)
(Kenny smiles and shakes his head no)
Me: Kenny, are you going to have 3 girlfriends?
Kenny: (Smiles and nods his head yes)

I'm sure there will be more to come...

*As always names have been changed.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What I <3 right now...


Many of my birthday presents from my wonderful family and friends are some of my favorites right now...


cupcakes (including my sprinkles cupcake mix and handy carrier)







cookbooks (this is one of my new ones)




this book





my wii




my new silk robe (when I looked at pictures of these they were a little scandalous to put on the blog)


Among other things...

steamer bags


Flying Fish Fridays

Lady Antebellum
Sno Cones

Everlast Shadow boxing class


Jersey Boys soundtrack








Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mosaic

I thought this was so fun. I copied the instructions from Adam's blog. Try it!




Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh, What a Night

My mom and Carrie and her parents and I went to see Jersey Boys last night at Music Hall in Fair Park. I cannot say enough good things about this musical...it was truly phenomenal! Its about Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons for anyone that doesn't know. Obviously the songs are fantastic and the singing was excellent and its just so cleverly done. I think you can still get tickets so I definitely encourage you to go if you can!





Thursday, July 17, 2008

3 Day Birthday Event


My friends, Stephen and Carrie, and I have birthdays 3 days in a row -- July 10, 11, 12 -- so we decided to throw a 3 day party. Thursday we went to dinner downtown and then to Sundance Under the Stars movie. Friday we went to the Rangers game and our friend Dustin hooked us up with a sweet suite. Saturday we finished it all off with a party at Stephen's. We ended up with a really good turn out for each event and had a wonderful (although a bit exhausting) time. Thanks to all our friends who came and made our birthdays so much fun!



Small Group Love

Alison and me at Billy Miners

Most of the group at Sundance Under the Stars

Carrie and me from our sweet suite at the Rangers Game.

The sweet suite

The Birthday kids

With our donut cake and its maker
Blowing out the candles on our donut cake


Ryan was trying to shove a cupcake in my face.
With our patriotic party cups
Ashley sandwich from Sain and Rob







Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dream Come True

Alison made us a donut cake for our 3 day birthday event...I will post more abut the birthday celebration later. Thank you to all my friends and family who made this birthday special!




Sunday, July 06, 2008

Adam and Dani are engaged!!

My brother Adam just got engaged to a wonderful girl, Dani. She and Adam are perfect for each other and I am so excited to add her to our family. She is just such a cool girl and I couldn't have asked for a better sister-in-law. While we were in California our cousins, Kim and Brent and Jill, threw a phenomenal engagement party for Adam and Dani. Kim's parents graciously let us use their gorgeous home for the party once again. Kim should seriously be an event planner because she always does a fantastic job...and, of course, this was no exception. It was great to be altogether with our family and to meet Adam and Dani's friends. I think a good time was had by all :)

Adam & Dani's friends and family


Kim and I matched the party colors The other couple as we are lovingly referred to in our family

I just love them.
Typical Adam.
Practicing for the feeding of the cake at the wedding.
Their wonderful friends.
Family Photo -- Brent, me, Kim, Jill, Dani, Mom, Adam, Linda & Ted

Brent and Kim just relaxing in the couch in the yard

Mom and I with the happy couple
Kim's fabulous table decorations
Dani's place setting
More of the great setting
Kim had these really cool pictures of Adam & Dani made


Only at one of our family's engagement parties would we bring out the TCU cheer- Riff Ram. It was a special request though by the party host.