The Nicole Show

Call me narcissist if you must but this blog is all about ME. I have another blog about my kids, whom I love and adore writing about. But I was Nicole a long time before I was mom and I don't intend to give up being Nicole overnight.

You can read all about my kids at Naptime Optional.
Or you can follow along on our Arizona adventure on my 365 project blog.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Name that Movie Monday

I've decided it's time to bring back this popular game here on this little ol' blog of mine. For those of you new around here this is Name that Movie Monday! It's a game started here just over 5 years ago! Wow! 5 years ago my youngest child was 1 year old,  my daughter wasn't talking yet and my oldest wasn't even in kindergarten yet. What a difference 5 years will make!

Anyway, it's an easy game. I give you a line from a movie and you try and guess which movie it's from. That's it! Mostly because I like to watch movies and because most script writers and brilliant at what they do.

Ready for today's quote?

Everything will be all right in the end. And if it's not alright then trust me, it's not yet the end.

Apparently this quote is floating around a lot, being attributed to many different sources, but I first heard it in a movie so for today I'm attributing the movie as the source. Do you know the movie??

Okay I'll give you one more line if you need another hint.

I have a dream, a most brilaint one. To outsource old age! And it is not just for the British, there are many other countries where they don't like old people too!
There you go! Your turn. Name that movie!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Odds Are

This song has been on auto repeat around here these days.

See, I live in a constant state of "waiting for the other shoe to drop." I wouldn't say I'm a pessimist. I don't exactly go around expecting bad stuff to happen. But I do live in a state of realizing bad things often happen to good people because I've watched it happen more times then I can count. And although I've had my ups and downs in life I have to admit that all things considered I've had a pretty darn good life. So I guess I'm constantly aware that my "luck" may run out at any time

I think this is why this song really struck a chord with me the very first time I heard it, because it gave me permission to stop worrying about what may happen someday. Because, odds are it's gonna be alright.

Not to get too morbid or anything but I heard once the statistic that one in four will get cancer at some point in their life. Which sounds awful. Except that it means that 3 people DIDN'T get cancer. So really the odds are that I WON'T. Right?'

Plus the music video totally cracks me up! (But maybe that's just because of my background in broadcast journalism.)

My very VERY favorite part, though, is that the song lyrics say "but somewhere in the world someone is gonna fall in love by the end of this song" and so I like to imagine that every single time I listen to it somebody actually falls in love, and that the more I listen the more people will fall in love! You know, like how every time a bell rings an angel get its makes me feel happy to think that I'm helping fill the world with love.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Is there a word for somebody who is a Halloween bah-humbug? Because if there isn't we should create one. Because I think I may be one and I need to know what to call myself.

I'm not exactly a scrooge. I don't HATE Halloween. I've spent many hours creating matching costumes for my kiddos.

Like the year they were characters from The Cat in the Hat.

Or the year I laboriously recreated characters from Monsters, Inc. 

Or last year when my oldest son was OBSESSED with the How to Train your Dragon book series and so I crafted Viking costumes for the older 2 and the youngest was transformed into a dragon.

I even dressed up last year, as Smarty Pants!

So I don't hate Halloween entirely. I just don't love everything about it. Like this.

I hate getting "Boo-ed". Yes. There. I said it. Every year somebody in the neighborhood starts the cycle of anonymously putting a treat on a doorstep. Once you receive such a drop off you're supposed to display the sign on your door so that you don't get "hit" again and then take treats out to 2 different neighbors within 2 days.

The kids LOVE it! They notice the signs going up around the neighborhood and start to speculate about when it will be our turn as well as who they want to "boo" in return.

But I dread it! This year I considered just putting a sign up on my door so that anybody temped to leave us a treat would instead pass us by but I knew my kids would be devastated.

And so, like every year before, we've been "boo-ed" and I am now tasked with getting to the store to get treats, (did I mention we only have 1 car so getting to the store is more work then it sounds) spending money I don't really want to spend and then taking my kids around to drop the "joy" on somebody else's doorstep. To me it's a huge hassle that I'd rather avoid.

The things we do because we love our kids and because we want to appear to be good neighbors.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What do you want to remember?

written during one of our wild writing sessions at the Opening the Creative Channel Retreat

me with the lovely Andrea Scher

When I go home tomorrow and my husband and children meet me at the airport and ask me how it was, what do I want to remember? What will I tell them?

When I go back to the mundane of homework and lunches and book orders and school fund raisers what do I want to remember? What will pull me from my sadness and loneliness in that moment? What will I cherish from this weekend? What do I want to remember?

I want to remember that I was terrified but I showed up anyway.

I want to remember that I had no idea how I was going to pay for the airfare or hotel or car but that I showed up anyway.

I want to remember that I cried when I would've preferred to laugh. But I showed up anyway. I painted when I would've preferred to be taking pictures but I showed up anyway.

And because I showed up somebody tapped me on the shoulder and said, "thank you for your story."

And because I showed up somebody else hugged me and said, "I've been there."

And because I showed up I ate delicious food that I didn't have to prepare.

And because I showed up I felt alive and connected and scared and joyful and broken all at the same time. That's what I want to remember. That so much of all of this is about showing up. That sometimes, just sometimes, magic happens and wouldn't it be sad to miss out on that because I didn't feel like showing up?

What do you want to remember? What will I take with me? What will stay in my heart as a treasure to call upon in times of hardship or sorrow? I want to remember Laurie's beautiful home and how Andria bought a buddha and how we ate at the taco stand even though Andria was terrified.

I want to remember the lovely faces, the genuine smiles, the stories that brought each of us here at this very moment in time. I want to remember how I felt each day as I walked away from 27 Powers Ct, a little more introspective, a little wiser, a littler calmer.

our fiercely compassionate guides
Andrea Scher and Laurie Wagner
What do you want to remember? I want to remember it all. But I won't. We always forget, at least a little. Life goes on and we forget and fumble and struggle, but maybe I can remember that we are all in this together. That our spirits are intertwined now. That we are part of each other.

And even if my head forgets my spirit will remember, because you are all permanently imprinted upon my heart. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Now You See Me

It doesn't take advanced calculus or a degree in astronomy to see that it's been nearly a year since I last wrote. I wish I could say I stopped writing because I was performing on Broadway or starting my own business or becoming Zen. In truth I stopped writing because I had started to feel invisible and I was pretty sure nobody cared whether or not I wrote so I just stopped.

Unfortunaly it wasn't just in reguards to my writing that I was feeling lost and invisible. I was starting to feel used up and spent in just about every aspect of my life-church, home, family, friends.....everything I did went unnoticed, so why bother trying.

I read a book several years back by Nicole Johnson called The Invisible Woman. Apparenetly this feeling of invisibility is common for women. In her book Nicole Johnson wrote about how being a wife and mother is a lot like the work of building ancient cathedrals. So many of these beautiful monuments built to honor God still stand today as a large, visible testiments of  devotion and sacrifice and yet for the most part we don't know the names of those who worked so hard to erect these monumnets. They did their work for only God to know. The point of all this talk about cathedrals was to draw a pareallel in the lives of mothers, meaning we too are laying the foundtain of a great work that, in many instances, only God can see. There is a paragraph in the book that sort of sums up the author's point:

It was almost as if I heard God say, "Charlotte, I see you. You are not invisible to me. I see the sacrifices you make every day. I miss nothing. No act of kindness, no peanut butter sandwich made, no shoe selection is too small for me to notice and smile over. I see your tears of disappointment when you feel overlooked or when things don't go the way you want them to. But you are buidling a great cathedral, and you cannont possibly see right now what it will ultimately become. It will not be finished in your lifetime, and you will never be able to live there, but if you build it well, I will."

For a little while this idea gave meaning to my mundane tasks of folding laundry and washing dishes and mopping floors. For a little while I was able to imagine that all of these seemingly inconsequential chores were building something bigger and greater that I couldn't yet see. But, unfortunaly, those feelings didn't last for long. Soon it all felt tedius again and I felt more invisible then ever.

This feeling of invisibility kept me from reaching out beyond the walls of my home. Again, I figured nobody cared so why bother. I quit trying to make friends, quit trying to better myself, quit trying to make sense of it all.

But something incredible happend this last weekend at a magical place called 27 Powers Ct. Andria and I attended a creative retreat. I'm not sure what I was expecting or hoping for when we first signed up to attend way back in March. I think I mostly just wanted to see and spend time with Andria and this gave us an excuse. What I ended up reciveing was that and so much more.

What ended up happening was that an amazing group of women all gathered together at 27 Powers Ct. and lead by Andrea Scher and Laurie Wagner we painted and we wrote and we told stories and we cried a little and laughed a little and we ate and cried a little more and somewhere in the middle of it all I felt seen again! A safe circle was created in which we ALL shared of oursevles and everybody else listened when somebody else talked and it was amazing! I didn't have to compete for attention or recognition or understanding-because we all gave that to each other freely all weekend long.

But here's the really amazing thing-as soon as I started to feel seen by these wonderful women it seems like the rest of the world started to see me again, too. It's as if I came out from underneath the table and everybody went, oh, there you are. I can see you again. I didn't communicate any of this idea of feeling seen again to anybody back home-and yet when I arrived at the airport my husband had flowers for me.

And my kids had each writeen me a sweet note about how much they appreciate me, as if they were all magically seeing me again for the first time in a very long time. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Secret Identity

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? Wow-it's been awhile since I wrote here! But I have so many crazy busy thoughts in my head these days that are bursting to come out! I tired to ignore them for awhile, told myself I'd sit down and write when life settles down. But it's now becoming very obvious that life never really completely settles down. So today I decided the dishes could just stay dirty because I was going to write!

We've been going through a bit of an identity crisis at our house lately. In case you aren't up to speed Mike was laid off a little over 7 months ago. I think men especially (but women too) are prone to having much of their identity and self worth wrapped up in their job, in how well they provide for their family. So I think questioning what and who you are in times of job loss is a natural, albeit painful, part of the grieving and healing process-because trust me, you do truly grieve the loss of a job.

Not too much later I kissed my baby goodbye as he went off to his first day of school.


And suddenly the 3 little people that my life had revolved around for the last 8 years were all gone for 7 hours a day 5 days a week.


I was left wondering who I was now. It's as if I only knew how to be "mom" and had entirely forgotten how to just be "Nicole".

Through these many months of trying to rediscover who we are my thoughts have often turned to the idea of Superheros. I've thought a lot about how they all have Secret Identities, mild-mannered alter egos. Do you remember that opening scene from The Incredibles?

I've been very obsessed lately with this idea of a Secret Identity. I think most Superheros discover their super powers, realize, as Mr. Incredible pointed out, that they don't want the pressure of being super all the time and then adopt a secret identity. But I can't get over this feeling that Mike and I are just simply going through the process in reverse. We already have pretty well established mild-mannered alter egos: that guy who went to work day in and day out and the girl whose days consisted of dirty diapers, dirty dishes, and dirty clothes. These little bumps in the road that life threw at us are simply the universe's way of trying to awaken the super heros that lie beneath.


They are in there somewhere! Can you see them?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Slowing Down

The last two weeks I've been moving at break neck speed. I've been exhausted and stressed. My body has ached, my anxiety has been high, and I've more of less taken horrible care of my body through it all. Not enough sleep, eating all the wrong food, etc. etc. etc.

But today we reached a milestone. A BIG one. ALL of our stuff is FINALLY at our new home. It took us almost a week, and 2 U-haul trucks plus a lot of other driving back and forth in our car for all the "small stuff." But it's done now. The rental house is cleared out, cleaned up, and keys returned. We have officially closed the door on that chapter of our Arizona adventure. And I couldn't be happier about it!

Don't misunderstand, there is still a LOT of work left to do! I'm sitting on the floor surrounded by boxes that will likely takes weeks to unpack. Both garages are full of things that were just tossed in haphazardly so we could get the firsts U-haul returned before incurring yet another day's charges. There are 5 ceiling fans still in boxes sitting under my stairs and even more curtains waiting to be hung. (Nothing like moving into a new home with no window coverings to make you feel like you are living in a fishbowl.) The kitchen table is still buried. Clothes are still in suitcases.

But we are here! We have beds to sleep in and the kids feel like each day is Christmas as we find and unpack one more box of "lost" toys.

And I finally feel like I can slow down. I embrace the fact that it will take weeks (maybe months) to feel settled in and I can relax a little. I can take time to take my kids to the park again. (The weather is finally cooling down so such an activity is actually pleasant now.) I can go to bed at a decent hour. I can work my body without completely beating it up. I can take the time to eat a decent, healthy meal. I can take a morning to go volunteer at school. I can watch a movie or read a book or take a bubble bath! Because if this is going to take weeks anyway, what's the rush?