Saturday, December 4, 2010

No More Homeless Pets

This is my adorable puppy Jessie. I’m almost as excited to be back in Georgia with my parents and siblings as I am to be with my dog.

I’ve always been an animal lover. (I used to cry when my dog Seki couldn’t be inside when we had holiday dinners.) So when I read this article in The Daily Universe today, I felt excited. Brad and I decided we want to help out a different organization each year. Preferably throughout the year. I realize Christmas time is the time when nonprofits get flooded with volunteers. We are starting now but hope to continue serving our organization of choice throughout the year.

Today and tomorrow, an organization called No More Homeless Pets in Utah is sponsoring an event where people can adopt animals to give them homes for Christmas.

According to The Daily Universe article, more than 30,000 pets die each year in homeless shelters. There are not enough people or funding to care for these animals. That’s where you and I come in. We can help these sweet, furry animals by donating blankets, dog or cat food, toys, leashes and more. You can give a few hours of your time to play and interact with the animals to make their lives happier and healthier. Brad and I are going to take some treats and food over to a local shelter on Monday.

For those of you who are planning on adding a pet to your family soon, you should consider visiting a shelter to find your new family member. Our first puppy Seki had been abused before we got him. My family saved him from his previous life and gave him love and a family. My sister-in-law Sarah and her family have a cute little dog, Toby, who was also abused before they owned him. Now he has kids to play tug of war with and a family who takes care of him.

Think of the good you can do by saving an animal’s life and giving it a home.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

CHRISTmas Time

Painting: "The Lord is My Shepherd" - Simon Dewey

This year I have been thinking a lot about how to make Christmas more meaningful and Christ-centered. In addition to WWJE (What Would Jesus Eat?), our fun, themed Christmas dinner, I want to do more.

As a child, there was a time when I thought "X-mas" was a swear word. (I think I wrote it on a card once and my parents didn't like it too much.) Although technically not a swear word, it is my least favorite abbreviation. My parents taught me that Jesus was the real reason we celebrated Christmas and that to cut his name out of the holiday wasn't right.

I thought about this as I was picking up a few supplies at a craft store last night. As I looked through the Christmas stash, I noticed that the whole wall display of ornaments included dozens of snowmen, reindeer and miniature Santas. There was also one that said "Merry X-mas." I searched through all of them, looking for one that represented the purpose of Christmas. With the exception of one (maybe two) angel ornaments, the rest were sparkly secular-themed decorations. Don't misunderstand - I'm a huge fan of the fat, jolly man and the magic he brings to Christmas. But let's not forget the real magic that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ brings-eternal life and salvation!

Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite Christmas songs. Listening to the beautiful musical arrangement and words that express the happiness and gratitude I feel toward my Savior made me teary-eyed on my drive to work.

"Mary Did You Know?" - Mark Lowry

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bradio and Tiffers

Brad's sister Sarah took us out for a winter photoshoot this Friday. She's a great photographer and started her own business, Cobblestone Photos. If you're interested in having her do a photoshoot for you, email her at Here are a few. Which one should we use for our Christmas cards?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Funding Communism

As Bradio and I were perusing the soup labels at Macey's today, we ran into a white-haired man. He looked at us for a second and said, "I don't know where I'm going...I'm looking for my childhood bride." We were taken off-guard so we just smiled and nodded, feeling sorry for this senile man.

After we finished shopping, we approached Lanta, our car, to load our groceries into the trunk. Our elderly friend was stuffing several Nesquik chocolate milks into his car right next to ours. I hurriedly tried to think of conversation starters in case we made eye contact.

Then the man muttered under his breath, "Kids these days..." He looked at us. "You know North Korea has the largest army in the world?"

Awkward pause...Then he grumbled something about South Korea.

"Well have a great day!" I gave him a cheerful smile and then got in the car. I had no idea what was going on. Brad figured he was referring to our Hyundai, made by a Korean company. I guess you can't please everyone...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Drama King

I know this is old, but I still think it's so hilarious! Brad and I made videos a few weeks ago imitating our favorite part of our current favorite YouTube video, featuring Phil Davison. Watch it here.

Please watch 2:11-2:33. It's THE BEST.

My take:

Brad's take:

BYU Graffiti

Often you see foul phrases or vulgar words graffiti-ed on bathroom stall walls. Other times, like at Brigham Young University, you see a temporary, uplifting message on the bathroom mirror. "You are beautiful. You are a daughter of God. Let it show."

To whoever put this sign up, you made me happy! Thanks.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Awkward purchase...

When I was a tweener, I read the Sweet Valley series about the twin sisters Jessica and Elizabeth. (This was the same time as the Boxcar Children and Babysitter's Club phase.)I remember one book talked about one of the sisters being embarrassed to purchase tampons from a male cashier. At the time I thought it was funny. Who would be embarrassed to buy something you need? (I would.)

As I have been in similar situations recently, I think back to my fictional friend and feel sorry for her. Do ya'll feel this way too? Here's an example. A friend of mine (I don't remember who) had a bridal shower coming up. Of course I wanted to buy her something cute and lacey. So, I found an inexpensive, though very cute, lingerie at Forever 21. When I got up to the register, I felt a little awkward when I saw a 20-something man looking at me. I handed him my purchase and said with a nervous smile, "This is for my friend."

This weekend, we went to the drugstore to get something that married people need...Anyway, I keep trying to get over my fear of feeling awkward buying something like that. But I just can't. It's no secret that people use the unnamed drugstore purchase. (And if they use it, they have to buy it sometime...) But I'm still embarrassed by it. So this weekend (like every other time) I ditched Brad and made him buy it. I went out to the car so no one in the store would see me.

I never said it would be easy.

But it is so worth it. Life can be hard sometimes. To be honest we've stumbled a little this week. Brad was laid off on Friday. His company has decided to convert to an online customer care department so they've been dropping employees one by one lately. We didn't see it coming at all. Brad has been with the company since it's founding and has been a loyal employee and assistant manager for a year. We've now decided we'll sleep in on Black Friday and we're still trying to figure out how we're going to get all of our belongings to Georgia. I guess it's never the "right time" to get a trial.

Looking for a career job has been a little difficult as well. I've been sick for three weeks and yesterday I unsuccessfully attempted to be a good baker. (See the photograph of my homemade chocolate cake above...) But despite our rough week, life is still wonderful. We have so much to be grateful for.

Our ward theme this month is gratitude. The relief society lesson today was on finding gratitude even among our trials. I've been thinking and I really am so thankful for all that I have. We all struggle with different things; No one's situation is the same.

A few weeks ago when I was busy not keeping anything in my stomach, I picked up an email from my sister, Brittani. She shared her jam-packed weekend in Shanghai that was full of rainy nights, missing trains, sleeping outside in wet clothes and other mishaps. At the end of the email she mentioned that she and her friends could have stayed frustrated at the situation, but they chose to laugh. I think that is such a great way to view difficult situations. At that particular time, I tried her method. I realized that although I was horribly sick, I was grateful that my husband was home sick on the same day so I had a movie buddy.

Right now, I am grateful that Brad is working so hard to find another job. I am thankful that our apartment contract ends this month so we can move in with Crystal and Marty (Brad's sister) in December. I am thankful to have family here who is so willing to help out. I am grateful that I am completing my degree and that my cake was more satisfying taste-wise than aesthetically.

More importantly, I am thankful for Heavenly Father and my Savior. I am thankful for this beautiful life He has given me and for people I love to share it with. I am so thankful to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life to guide my decisions and bring joy.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Being sick is no fun.

Brad and I got sick last Sunday. It was awful. I have felt sick on and off all week. Things are starting to clear up but feeling sick reminded me of a poem I wrote when I was in fifth grade or so.

When I was a child, I was introduced to Shel Silverstein. I wanted to be a poet too. I'd sit on the floor in front of my armoir writing random poems. I don't remember most of them, but I can recite this one:

Being Sick is No Fun

Being sick is no fun-
Achoo! Achoo!
I think I have a fever of 102.
My throat is sore, my back aches bad.
This is the worst day I've ever had.

Haha. On a side note, I know what I'm getting my mom for Christmas and I'm so excited about it!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

When in Rome...

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween! I love dressing up. It's my favorite part of Halloween. Brad agreed to be a gladiator and I think his costume turned out sweet!

Here are a few pictures of our fun...

Friday night the Petersen's had a great party! We love living so close to them and getting to see them and the Burgess' as often as we do. Aside from hanging out and checking out everyone's unique costumes, my favorite part of the night was tasting all of the potions and guessing their contents. Sarah decorated old bottles with spooky labels and filled them with various colored drinks. Everyone taste-tested each bottle, labeled "snake venom," "human flesh," and other fun things. We then had a contest to guess what was really in them.

Saturday, Brad and I hung out with some friends over at Jenaca and Stephen Jett's new home (which was beautiful by the way). Unfortunately we forgot our camera so we didn't get to snap any photos of the fun. Everyone had great costumes and we competed in various Minute to Win It games! Afterwards we watched Flightplan.

I hope everyone else had a great holiday weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?

Brad and I always want to test out new restaurants, but we're scared to spend money on a new place that we aren't already sure we'll love. So we always end up going to the same three places. And ordering the same three things.

When I hear about free food, I jump on it! I woke up early on a Saturday to enjoy French toast and home-made butter syrup at Macey's grocery a few weeks ago. We also tried to spend the night in the Chick-fil-A parking lot about a month ago to earn free chicken for a year.

So why am I writing this post? To let all my loyal readers (that adjective was exaggerative and hopeful) know about an opportunity to get a FREE DINNER in Downtown Provo tonight or tomorrow night!

The Bradley PR Agency is conducting research for Downtown Provo. If you are interested in participating in a focus group and dining for free, email Hurry cause we need enough time to send out confirmation emails!

This survey is for Provo residents who are between the ages of 18 and 30. It'll be fun. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What's in a name?

When I got married, I took upon myself a new last name, which I might add, I love. Ah, alliteration. Someday I hope to be friends with Marilyn Monroe, Kris Kringle and Ronald Reagan. Now I represent past and future Nichols' and Terry's.

But, more importantly, I have taken upon me the name of Christ. Our discussion in relief society today turned to this topic. I have taken His name upon me, so I hope I am a good representative of all that He is.

Elder Mervyn B. Arnold gave this wonderful talk on the subject at this month's General Conference. It is a good reminder to always represent Christ in all that I do and say, in how I spend my time, in my faithfulness and how I treat others.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I did not play team sports as a kid.

Growing up, my siblings and I were encouraged to participate in at least one extracurricular activity per season/semester. While my sisters did swim team, karate and soccer, I did not. I didn't really see myself as an athlete and wasn't the fondest of team sports. (I knew I wasn't a stellar athlete and felt the pressure of performing well for my team.) So, I tried piano, flute, private swim lessons, ballet, jazz, hip hop and gymnastics. Oh, I guess I did powderpuff football too, if that counts. I do have a few experiences playing team sports...

1. I was on a softball team as a second grader. I remember hitting the ball (this was my strong point), running to second base, and then realizing I didn't have my mitt! I felt naked. I sprinted back to the dug-out as the spectators and team looked on, probably laughing. I can take credit for naming our team the "Purple Angels" though.

2. As a high school freshman, I played on a YMCA soccer team. I played center forward in my first game. I was surprised when my teammate didn't pass me the ball. After all, I was standing right in front of the opponent's goal line. Pretty soon, I learned what offside meant. I also figured out pretty quickly that players couldn't run off the field during play to get a drink of water...

After those attempts, I stuck with my other talents.

Although I didn't participate in team sports, I finally realized that I really liked sports. I just chose to stick to non-team sports like running, wake boarding and dance. (Yes, dance is a sport.)

Over the past couple of years, I found a love for tennis. My husband and I enjoy playing and several of my friends play. I've improved exponentially over the past two years. Tennis is the perfect sport because I get to be an athlete without the pressure of playing on a team!

But, this morning I was reminded why I shied out of playing team sports as a child. Before work, I played a few doubles games for my BYU intermediate tennis class. My doubles partner was really good. I don't think it was a coincidence that both opponents continually hit the ball to me and not her. We lost and I felt like it was my fault.

In public relations I have learned to be a better teammate. I just have yet to apply that to athletics. One day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday (favorite and least favorite)

Favorite: Saturday
Least fave: Monday

Personality Trait
Favorite: it's too hard to choose just one. Loving, fun, interesting, self-confident, and caring are tied.
Least fave: arrogance

Fast Food
Favorite: Chick-fil-A
Least fave: Taco Bell

Favorite: Cranberry-raspberry juice
Least fave: milk (unless it's with Oreos)

Least fave: this is my little secret ;)

Bad habit:
Favorite: breaking split ends
Least fave: procrastination

Speaking of Chick-fil-A, whenever a new restaurant opens, Chick-fil-A has an awesome promotion where some people end up getting a free Chick-fil-a meal every day for a whole year! Brad and I are probably going in November. Ask me if you want to know the secret! (We tried to do this with the new Chick-fil-A that just opened in American Fork, but didn't know all the rules until we got there.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

I didn't go to the Great Wall of China, but...

I still had a wonderful weekend! (My lucky sister Brittani is living in Changzhou this semester and visited the Great Wall this weekend.)

Brad and I had a lovely time and did just about everything other than sleep. In addition to buying a new car (see post below), we went to a homecoming dance! (I asked him this year.)

Before the dance, we filled up on delectible cheesy dishes and salad. I ate only until I was full so I didn't have to waddle out of Olive Garden like I usually do. Who wants to go to a dance on a full stomach? Not me.

The theme was "Discover the Treasures of the Reef" so naturally, the dance was at an aquarium. We were slightly unimpressed with the venue as it was not as classy as we'd hoped. Maybe it's my Southern roots, but when I hear the word "aquarium" I think of the Georgia Aquarium. I pictured Brad and I waltzing next to a giant glass case with a whale shark looking on.

There were no hammerheads or anything, but the dance was still cool! Nemo fish, lemonade, and dancing with my best friend made it an incredible evening!

Afterwards, we wanted to dance some more so we hit up a club and got our salsa on. Would it be a cheesy ending if I said our hips didn't lie?

In addition to dancing, we spent some quality time with the family. Eating fondue, having our own dance party and playing games made for some fun family memories!

We'll miss you, Hopper!

Before belonging to us, Hopper was Brad's Grandpa Terry's. He was a good car. A '97 Ford Explorer. He carried us practically all over the Western U.S. We traveled to Arizona, Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Utah. Additionally, he towed Deb's boat, earned us two tickets (We don't mind blaming inanimate objects for our mistakes...), survived a minor accident with Brad, moved us and... some other things.

This weekend, we said goodbye to Hopper. Although we loved him, we were ready for something new. Something that wouldn't require us dropping a few hundred unexpectedly every once in awhile.

Saying goodbye...

But now, we have a new beauty. Welcome to the family, XXX! (Our new car doesn't have a name yet. We're thinking "Lanta" but are not sure yet.)Here's the new ride, a 2010 Hyandai Elantra.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Today marks the start of my favorite month! Welcome, fall. (I know fall already technically started, but to me it starts in October.) It is also my grandma's birthday today! Here's Bud, me and Grandma this summer.

A few reasons why I adore October:

*Crisp, chilly air (and cute, light jackets and Bradio walking with his arm around me.)
*Anything pumpkin flavored (pancakes, cookies, cake, muffins)
*Colorful leaves (Utah is still beautiful, but Georgia is the best at this time of year)
*Deciding on a Halloween costume
*The fall/winter wardrobe comes out! (Even though I'll want my summer clothes again in a month)
*College football! (C'mon BYU...)
*Hot chocolate, apple cider
*Witches Night Out with my sisters-in-law!
*Using the green blankie and sleeping with the windows open :)

And for this weekend, General Conference and Brad's mission reunion!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Long lunch

You know those people who walk around with headphones on, oftentimes sans music, so they can get from one side of campus to the other without having to talk to anyone? Guilty. No, I'm not that bad. But, I often walk fast, head tucked, to get from class to meeting to lunch to sewing (yea, I'm taking a sewing class!) Sometimes I avoid little opportunities because I feel I'm too busy.

Yesterday, I clocked out of work at 1:14. The goal? Grab the cheapest, quickest, somewhat-healthy lunch from BYU (a tuna sandwich), speed walk and avoid any social encounters, and make it back to my computer by 1:34.

Along the way, I ran into one of my good friends from seventh grade. Her family has gone through a rough time this past year. I asked how she was doing. We chatted about life, death, dating, marriage, Heavenly Father, food, and bloggers. Despite her trials she is so happy and doing well! I felt uplifted after talking with her. Thank you, Melissa!

After I bought my sandwich, I started walking back to work. Along the way, I saw another old friend. We talked about graduation and our families. It was good to see her.

At 2:28, I clocked back in at work.

I am thankful for the time I took to catch up with friends and spend time listening. I hope I brightened my friends' days like they did mine.