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.

Friday, June 27, 2008

20 to life

The walls of my house feel like a prison. As long as I am within its walls I feel obligated to be scrubbing, changing, mopping, folding, dusting, wiping, washing, organizing or feeding something. And it’s worse than a treadmill. Because no matter home often I scrub, change, mop, fold, dust, wipe, wash, organize or feed I turn around only to find it’s worse than when I began. There’s no safe haven I can retreat to because everywhere I go within these walls there is something demanding my attention. And I wish I could just shut it out. I wish I could ignore it. But I think I have some sort of genetic abnormality that causes me to HAVE to clean. And I can’t shut it off. And I want to. So badly I want to. Because I don’t want to be held hostage to my house anymore! I want my prison sentence to be over. But every time I ask I’m reminded that I’m serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole.

But sometimes I dream of escape. I lie in bed at night and think of all the things I rather be doing. And so sometimes I attempt a breakout. Before the house knows my plans I gather up the kids and we get in the car and we just go somewhere. And for a minute or two I actually think I’ve gotten away with it, too. But then disaster always ensues. Always. Because no matter how far I run I can never run away from the pooping, peeing, puking, fighting, biting, crying, running, pushing, throwing, breaking hysteria that are my kids. Do you have any idea what it’s like to go out in public with 3 small kids? And I realize that this is the house’s punishment for trying to leave. It lets me leave, knowing that I’ll always be back. And then it can torment me again.

And that’s how it goes. Day after day after day. Inside my house feels like prison. Outside my house feels like cruel and unusual punishment. I’m trapped in an unending cycle.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

If Google ran the world....

I love how Google makes all my favorite programs work together seamlessly. My RSS reader, my flickr, my blogspot, my google homepage all work together in a nice fluid manner. But apparently Google doesn't own the whole world quite yet.

I was out checking the websites for many of the local attractions looking for free and low cost events to take my kids to this summer. But after looking at at each individual website and picking the events I was most interested in I had to then manually enter each event one by one onto my Google calendar. See, if Google ran the world than I would have been able to merely click the event and say "add to calendar" and bam, I'd be done! So Google, if you are listening please add this feature to your next release of Google Calendar. And you can contact me via email (which is of course a gmail address) to get the address to send me my check for such a great suggestion. Or, on second thought just send cash, in 50's and 100's please.

And while we are on the subject of Google, have you ever Googled yourself?

Nicole Miller yields only stuff about that famous fashion designer, and who was the latest star to wear a dress she designed, or which department store is carrying her line now.

But I found 4 hits of my maiden name (Nicole McLean) that were actually me!

Here is when I won third place in a writing contest Will have to scroll down to the fiction section to find my name smiling back at you.

Here is the paper I wrote for an online journalism class

Here is when I won some awards from the Society for Professional Journalists while in college.

Here is when I graduated from college. You have to scroll down a ways to find my name, among the outstanding seniors.

Google makes it look like I had quite the promising career ahead of me.....but well, that's another post for another day.

So, now it's your turn! Just for fun Google yourself. You may have to put in a few other modifiers, like a school name or a location or such to narrow down the list and find any that are actually you. And then write a post on your blog with all hits. Then leave a comment below with a link to your post. Do it! It will be fun.

My husband is excused from the above challenge since I'm sure that a Google search of Michael Miller will results in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of hits no matter how many additional modifiers you include in your search. Just one of the occupational hazards of being you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

You know you need weight watchers when......

So, today I am wearing maternity shorts. And no, I am NOT pregnant. YES I am SURE!!!

No, I just have put on a few pounds as of late and all my "fat girl" clothes are in the wash (because I wore them last week because they are the only thing comfortable now that I've put on said extra pounds) So my choices for attire today were my pajamas or the pair of maternity shorts that never got put away and were still hanging out in the back of my closet.

I chose the maternity shorts. Because with a long t-shirt you can't tell. And they are quite roomy and comfortable, which is exactly what I want for a Monday. And they are even cute, too. So yea. I've sunk to new lows. Live with it.

Google Reader

Up until about an hour ago I had not yet given into having an actual RSS reader. There's just something about being on somebody's actual blog page that gives you a real sense of who this person is. In a reader all the "fluff" is removed and call me crazy but I enjoy the "fluff".

So I had all my RSS feeds on my Google homepage and from there I could see when there was new posts and I then I could click through to the blog to read the new posts.

But my homepage has not been working too well. And I've been missing posts. And now I don't trust it so I click through to everybody's blog everyday even if it doesn't show a new post. Which kind of negates the whole point of having the feed on my homepage.....

So this morning I transferred all my feeds to Google Reader. I'll give it a test run for a week or so and see how I like it. And I'll let you know. Maybe I'll find that I like it better....or not. Only time will tell.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My flowerbeds

Well, I don't have a green thumb. I mean I REALLY don't have a green thumb. Plus I don't like yard work. A bad combination for my poor yard. I mean I usually do my best to keep the weeds somewhat in check (otherwise the neighbors would start to complain) but I've never done much in the way of actually beautifying my yard.

So it's still a mystery to me why I got this sudden urge to plant flowers this year. So I dragged my mom to the nursery with me and plunked down a hefty sum of money for a bunch of perennials, which my mom assures me means they'll come back next year. Which is a good thing because since it took me 5 years to plant these flowers who knows how long it will be before I get around to planting some more.

So, here is what I ended up with. (by the way, I also coerced my mom into helping me plant them, too. Yes I am that helpless when it comes to gardening.)

my flowers

my flowers

They were all doing pretty good when I planted them because it was still cool and a little rainy. But this last week it has gotten really hot really quick and some of them are starting to struggle a bit. So, I water them and cross my fingers and most of them will survive.

See the rest of my yard here. (not that there's much to see....since I don't have a green thumb, remember?)

Friday, June 20, 2008


Today I was getting dressed and standing in front of the mirror. Zoey came wandering in and pointed at me and said "you're beautiful, like me."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Google broken?

So, I have all my RSS feeds (updates on when blogs i frequent have new posts for all you non-internet savvy type) on my google home page and lately it's been all messed up. Like several blogs have new posts and my home page hasn't been alerting me. So then I visit a blog and there are like 4 posts I haven't read! Hopefully google gets it's problem fixed soon because I REALLY LOVE my google home page, when it's working.

Of course, those of you that also use a google home page won't know I've made a new post because yours in probable broken, too. *sigh*

Monday, June 16, 2008

Things that made me giggle today

I'm not usually big into youtube. But I ran across a few clips in the past few days (mostly on other people's blogs) and since I was basically rolling on the floor laughing, I thought I'd share in case you needed a good giggle today. Enjoy!

Get Wii Fit

Cake or Death

Do you have a flag? (one bad word, sorry!)

Tom Brokaw Nightly News

Dana Carvey SNL Gerald Ford Is Dead - Watch more free videos

Sunday, June 15, 2008

And the winner is....

Okay, the first ever fabulous give away is over now. And the winner is.....ANDRIA!

Thanks to all who played. :) Look for more giveaways in the future because I really do want to reward any and all of you who actually read my little ol' blog here.

So call me later sweet Andria and we'll arrange a drop off or something (which may or may not include ice cream as well...)

Friday, June 13, 2008

First Ever Fabulous Giveaway!

Many of the other blogs I frequent have prize give aways for readers. So I wanted to start giving away stuff, too. And I finally came across something to give away!!!

So, for all my faithful readers out there (all 3 1/2 of you) brace yourselves because this is going to be a good one.

I have for one lucky reader a used office chair!

Office Chair

But not just ANY office's MY office chair. Oh the things I've done in this chair. Blogging. Flickring. Bill paying. Chatting. Emailing. More than a little Diamond Mine. (or bejeweled if you prefer to call it) The list is endless!

But even the best of relationships sometimes come to an end. My husband got a shiny new leather office chair and the two just don't get along together. So the blue one has to go.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure the chair has been peed on by the 4 year old. But I did clean it throughly, following closely each and every step outlined by the Queen of Clean including the specialty enzyme cleaner and the 20 mule team borax. There is no smell and no visible stain. It comes with no warranty. And I'll even autograph it for you if you'd like.

Of course Friends of MS is doing a pick up in my neighborhood on next week, so if there are no takers it will be out on my curb bright and early Tuesday morning.'s your chance to win the first ever fabulous give away on my blog! All you have to do is tell me that you want it. I'm sure the line will be short so there should be no need to have some fancy way to pick the winner....but just in case let's say that you have to tell me WHY you need and whoever has the best story wins!

Give away ends Monday Night, June 16th, because that's when it is going out on my curb for Friends of MS to pick up!

Good Luck!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Chastity

Through the course of a very strange conversation jump (and conversation that included talk of commies and the Gettysburg Address....) I found myself quoting the Declaration of Independence....

Me: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Ryan:...and individual worth...

Me:...knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, and integrity

maybe "you had to be there" but it was hilarious because neither of us missed a single beat. it was like one fluid, scary thought!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Okay, I finished. UG! Edward is annoying (and patronizing and condescending) and Bella is just plain stupid. And most nights I'd slam the book shut and say as much to my husband. Then he'd just look at me strange and ask "why are you still reading it then?" To which I would respond "well, I have to see how it turns out."

And I still think there is just way to much blah blah blah to get to the climax in her books. 400+ pages to get to a measly 2 chapters of vampire fighting? You can only build up the suspense so long before it eventually stops becoming suspenseful.

I still think Jacob is the better choice. Yes, Jacob plays dirty, but he's only 16 for heaven's sake. He doesn't have 100's of years of practice at being patient and patronizingly polite. He's just acting like a normal 16 year old in that regard. And I think he hit the nail right on the head when he told Bella that Edward was a drug and so she can't live without him now, but that he would've been healthier for her, like the air and the sun. Because Edward is exactly like a drug-addictive and destructive! Which is why I can't understand why everybody loves him so much and thinks it's such true love? Addiction and true love are not the same. ug.

And it was all awkward how Rosalie and Jasper just launched into these random long monologues of their lives. And I still see Alice as a stick figure in my head. She just has no personality!

So I think I'm done. I don't think that Dawn will Break for me. Because then I can imagine my own outcome, one in which Bella suddenly comes to her senses and runs, not walks, straight into Jacob's arms.

Of course, then I always feel bad being a harsh critic because someday when I write a book I'll likely be terribly crushed and personally offended by each and every bad review. Plus when I really like something that somebody else doesn't I somehow always feel like I'm then being judged by the person who didn't like whatever it is I liked. So to all you out there that like the vampire love story....I still like you. Can we still be friends?

I'm such a dork!!!!! I'm going to bed now before I embarrass myself further.

Da-da-da-DA, da-da-da

Okay, that's supposed to be the Indiana Jones theme music. Imagine hard....there, can you hear it? Oh good. Because I went to the new Indiana Jones movie over the weekend and it rocked!

I have to admit, I was HIGHLY skeptical. I love the original trilogy. And I love Harrison Ford, in his younger days at least. See, his last several movies have been major flops for me and I was having to admit that maybe he was in fact just getting too old. So I was worried about him trying to do an action adventure film. Plus I was worried about them making the movie too "modern" and ruining all the old Indy fun.

But I was not disappointed! I loved how they gave the whole film that "old skool indiana jones" feeling. And that it had bad Russian accents. I mean what would an Indiana Jones movie be without bad accents? and it was really cheesy in parts, but I loved the cheese because it made it authentic. And the "gross" factor ranked right up there with the faces melting off in Temple of Doom. And I loved all the obscure references to previous Indiana Jones movies.

Of course Harrison Ford is noticeably older than he used to be. It was inevitable. But although I didn't drool over him, like I used to, he still has that little half smile of his that I love that is part of his charm. And he used it so much in this movie that I almost forgave him for all the bad movies he's made in recent years. (I mean did you see Hollywood Homicide? If you didn't DON'T. I'm sure Harrison Ford himself would be happy if you didn't.)

All in all it was great fun. I highly recommend it!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New and Improved

I know the difference is subtle....but my blog is better now. See, my wonderful husband expanded my columns so now my big pictures are no longer cut off. HOORAY! Thanks wonderful husband!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Moon

Well, I finished New Moon. Most people I have talked to who love the Twilight series say that book 2 is their least favorite. I found that I liked it better than Twilight. You see, I realized that I just don't like Edward and I really REALLY like Jacob. And well, since Edward is MIA most the book I found myself quite enjoying it in parts.

But then Edward shows up again I was just bugged the rest of the book.

Plus I had some of the same issues with this book that I did with the first one, in that it drags in spots. And I still don't think there has been enough character development of Alice, especially considering the fact that she is becoming a bigger part of the story.

But hey, it's not like my opinion matters much. And I haven't written any New York Times Bestsellers lately, so I guess she's doing something right.

and I am reading book 3.....kicking and screaming I'm reading it, but still reading it just the same. That must count for something.

Your Patience has paid off

And now, for your blogging pleasure, straight from my bedroom....the before and after pictures! HOORAY!

Okay, just as a reminder....the before pictures.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

But before I show you the After pictures, keep a few things in mind. The lighting in the pictures is HORRIBLE. It was the WRONG time of day to try to take pictures. Seriously. If I had the blinds open I was getting horrible glare from the sun. But with the blinds closed, using the flash I was getting awful flash yuckiness reflecting off walls and mirrors. So, they aren't great pictures. but they will have to do. And so, without further adieu......the After Pictures.


view from doorway

My dresser

BIG mirror

More wall art

And, the Bathroom....BEFORE

Master Bath


new light fixture

Ikea medicine cabinet

And, just for good measure, since we've finished switching out the lighting now. the Kitchen. BEFORE




Chandiler and new (counter height) table

pot rack

new pednant light above sink and pot rack

The next big project, you ask? Well, hopefully a new deck and patio. But we'll see. If it gets too hot too quick then it will have to wait until fall because I am NOT laying paving stones in the 110 degree weather!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


If you have not read the book yet, and intend to someday I don't recommend reading the review, I may spoil some of the suspense for you.

So I finally got around to reading Twilight mostly at my sister-in-law's coercion. (okay, she downright begged me to read it. And I happen to like her and just couldn't stand to see her down on her hands and knees pleading like that anymore, so I gave in.)

The first 200 pages are SO SLOW. Seriously. Maybe it was because I already knew Edward was a vampire so all the suspense she was trying to build was lost on me because I already knew the mystery. But it just felt like 200 pages of her going to school everyday and it was starting to feel a bit like and after school special to me.

It finally did start to pick up a bit when she was running for her life from evil vampires. But at this point Alice and Jasper and suddenly important characters in the book and she has spent no time building up their characters at all. (Because she spent the first 200 pages talking about going to Biology class) So I was having a hard time with these characters. They were just so flat to me and had no personality. Like when I read a book I usually picture the characters in my head and evertime I would read about Alice or Jasper (or the rest of Edward's family for that matter) I just saw stick figures in my head.

Plus Bella is just plain stupid. I spent half the book wanting to scream at her for being so dumb.

But having said all that, it wasn't the worst book I've ever read and I am, in fact, nearly done with book 2 now. And the women has written how many New York Times best sellers now? So I'm sure she's rolling in green and doesn't really care much about my insignificant review of her book, as it appears to be that I'm in the minority of people who are not in absolute LOVE with the book. So what do I know?

The waiting is almost over....

I know you've all been dying to see the "completed" pictures of my bedroom project. And I am happy to report that the wait is almost over. My lovely husband hung that pictures on the wall last night which was the finishing touch to the room.

so, if I can manage to find my camera and memory card I will take a few snapshots and get them posted tomorrow (or maybe Tuesday. Tomorrow is laundry day, after all.)