Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bearsy!

So Ryah turned one on Sunday! I can't believe it. Reflecting on this past year brings up so many emotions for me...and most of them are not pleasant. I'm pretty sure that the months following Ryah's birth hold the #1 spot on the "Crappiest Times in Nikki's Life" list.
It feels terrible even saying that, but her birth was really a turning point for me. She was a VERY DIFFICULT baby. Literally cried all the time, and didn't sleep longer than an hour or two at a time for months. I got mastitis (if you've never had that, just go take a steak knife and jab your chest with it a couple of times and you'll get the general idea of it). I had a very time and energy consuming calling. My mom got diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemo and radiation. And the you-know-what hit the fan with Brad and I, and took a serious turn for the worse. Well, things hadn't been good for a while, but no one knew (including our families) until the weekend Ryah was born.
That was the weekend I realized that the situation was bigger than I could handle by myself.
Anyway, it was such a hard time in my life. I look back and know that there is no way I could have gotten out of bed in the morning had I not had some serious help from my Father in Heaven. It's interesting that while I was in it, I didn't realize how serious things were. I was sort of a zombie, just going through the motions to get through the days. But looking back I am so thankful that I am not in that place anymore. And even though things are difficult (in a different way) now, they are nowhere near as crappy as they were a year ago.
And so, Ryah's birthday this week was a celebration of new life in so many ways. I am so blessed to have this sweet baby in my life. She reminds me that I have much to be thankful for.
Happy birthday sweet girl! You are loved by many.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I see London, I see France...



It is the funniest thing. Once I got married and my relationship shifted from the fun/flirty stage to the baggy sweat pants/fall asleep at 8 pm stage (which I happen to love, by the way), I started to get a kick out of watching young males and females get their flirt on. The overexaggerated hair flicking, the elbow touching, the too-loud laughing at the not-quite-funny's all just so funny once you're not in that stage anymore.

And then some of us get suddenly thrown back into that stage, ready or not.

Seriously, the first day I walked around without my wedding ring on was so weird. I swear everyone (correction: every male) was staring at me. The cashier at McDonald's, the mailman, the random guy in the car next to me, they all wanted me. They could sense that I didn't have my ring on. haha. Obviously, I was being slightly oversensitive to it, which has since worn off. But seriously ladies, have you ever forgotten your wedding ring one day? I swear men treat you differently.

Anyway, so I'm at work the other day, and this guy comes in. He's been in before, we've chatted. He knows I'm going through a divorce, yadda yadda (is that how you write that? I've never actually written that before, and I have no idea if that's right. Probably "yadda yadda" should be in our Butcher The English Language Dictionary that we started compiling in the previous post).

Okay, so Dude turns on the flirting. And it's not pretty. Seriously, he was being so immature it was almost embarrassing! He is like 34 going on 12.

I actually left the office with permanent marker scribbled up my foot, and a "kick me" sign on my back.

I wish I was kidding.

I'm surprised he didn't snap my bra and remind me that it was Flip Up Friday.

If this is what I have to look forward to in Dating After Divorce Land, just kill me now.

At least then I could avoid the awkward couples' skate at the roller rink...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sex Sells

So, since I posted about sex a couple days ago, I've had a billion hits on my blog!! Okay, maybe not a billion, but definitely a lot. That post was pretty funny, though, I'd have to admit. I'm glad you all appreciated it and are coming back for more!

So this post is not about sex (I can feel the disappointment from you all), but it is about something that bothers me almost as much. haha. Kidding.

The English language. It is weird. And people butcher it. And depending on the mood I'm in, I either find it humorous or totally annoying.

Here is one of my favorites that I have been guilty of using, but have since repented :). And now I notice it all the time. I just heard it in a country song (Brad Paisley, no less) on the way home from work the other day, which prompted this post.

And it is (drumroll, please):

A Whole Nother.

As in, a whole nother post. Or a whole nother class.

What, exactly, is a NOTHER?

Technically, I guess it should be "another whole monkey" instead of "a whole nother monkey."

Everyone I know says this, and probably nobody notices that they're talking about Nothers.

And it gets better. I looked it up in Webster's Dictionary, and it's there! haha. Awesome.

Click the NOTHER to get the definition.

Moral of the story: Even if it's totally and completely wrong, if enough people do it for long enough, it will eventually be accepted as correct (ie: put in the dictionary). Does this worry anyone else on a much deeper level? haha. I'll save that for a different day.

Okay, I'm off to take care of a sick baby and an overactive 3 year old (or maybe "overactive" is just implied with the age group...).

Here comes a whole nother day!

Make it a good one. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lighten it up

So I know my posts have been pretty heavy lately, so here's a less depressing one for all of you.

I decided to make an old family favorite, Better Than Sex cake (am I even allowed to write that word?). If you haven't had the pleasure of trying really should. I dare say there's a very good chance it lives up to it's name.

Brad is going to kill me :) haha.

Seriously, though... It's 8 o'clock at night and you're exhausted. You're covered in baby spit and macaroni and cheese. You haven't showered in two days. You FINALLY plop down on the couch and put your feet up. What do you really want? To use more energy for a few minutes (cross your fingers) of real life, unromantic, I'm-too-tired-but-I'm-doing-it-anyway husband/wife relations, OR to have a huge piece of decadent chocolate cake, dripping with condensed milk, hot fudge, whipped cream and toffee bits and the only thing you've got to move is your hand to your mouth?

I dare say I know the answer.

Hey, don't get me wrong. It's been a long time since there's been ANY type of relations going on with me (is that too much information? my bad), and I'm not trying to bad mouth the glory that is sex. I'm just saying that once you reach a certain point in your life (like 8 months after you get married...or...less...), you might just have to face the reality that your priorities may have changed.

And cake is at the top of them.

So, back to the story. You pour condensed milk all through this cake once it's out of the oven, which gives it this shiny, gooey goodness. I had been trying to think of a different name for this cake, since I definitely do not want my three year old learning the word sex--in any context. She is awesome at picking the quietest, most innapropriate times to say things like, "I have a penis," which is ridiculous because of course she doesn't. haha. I do not want to add another embarrassing word to her repertoire. I can just picture her in the middle of church, throwing a fit because she wants a treat, and (referring to the cake) yelling, "I WANT SEX!" Yeah, we're going to avoid that.

Anyway, I put her piece in front of her and she looks disgusted and scrunches up her face and asks, "Are there boogers in this cake?"

Apparently the shiny/cream colored condensed milk looked like boogers to her. And I laughed. And told her yes.

And then we ate our Booger Cake.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."
--Guy on the Oprah Show
I'm getting my fair share of experience lately... :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

For Erik and Emily

The Rudy Family: Erik, Emily, Mason, Milo
Taken this past weekend

One of Brad's best friends from his college days, Erik Rudy, passed away last night. I worked with Erik the summer I met Brad, and always enjoyed his sense of humor (it was definitely needed that summer, eh SafeStone friends?). He used to tell me funny stories about his son Mason (who was not quite 2 at the time, I think), and I just enjoyed working with him. Anyway, Erik has been fighting leukemia for a year and a half. He underwent chemo/radiation three times, and a bone marrow transplant, and has been in remission for about the last year (I think). He received the crummy news last week that the cancer had returned, and there was not much they could do about it. Doctors gave him a timeline of a few days to a few weeks. And last night, about a week after he got the news, he passed away.

The news that Erik's cancer had returned is what prompted my crummy life post a couple days ago. I keep in touch with Emily here and there through blogging and facebook and we are not super close, but this has hit me really hard. I think things like this really make you evaluate your life, and wake you up to things you should be doing differently.

Emily and I have emailed back and forth a couple of times, and I am impressed by her strength and testimony that she has shared with me. I am thankful for her example, and her positive attitude during this terribly difficult time in her life.

On her blog she wrote, "I know I've already said this, but I'm really going to miss him." I'm sure this is the biggest understatement of her life right now, and the simplicity and honesty of this statement brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.

There is heartbreak and sadness everywhere you turn. Isn't it comforting to know that no matter how heavy it gets, we do not have to bear it alone...
Emily, Mason & Milo, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
FLB reunion, this past weekend.
(Thanks, Heidi, for the pictures. )

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I don't know you?!? I don't care.

I've been meaning to post something like this for a while, and just haven't gotten around to it. The past few months I've had quite a few people that I don't know post comments on this blog. Some of you knew Brad, but not me. Some of you found me through friends of friends (hey, we've all done that. Personally, blog stalking is one of my favorite past times...not gonna lie). Some of you have no connection to me at all but you just happened across my blog. And for every one person that doesn't know me but is brave enough to comment, there have got to be at least a couple who read this blog regularly but are not brave enough (or inspired by what I've written enough) to post a comment. Like rats. For every one you see, there are 5 you don't see. haha.

Anyway, I just want to say that I LOVE getting comments from you all. Even if I don't know you. Especially if I don't know you. It is comforting and uplifting to know that the things I'm experiencing or thoughts I'm having can be inspiring to people who may be going through trials of their own. Or who are just interested in reading what I have to say. Or to hear that I'm not alone in thinking or feeling the way I do. KEEP THE COMMENTS COMIN! Right now as I'm writing this I've had 97 views on this blog today from all across the country, with only 4 new comments...I know you're out there, people :). You might as well say somethin.

I think the internet (and blogging specifically) is a great way to make friends and connect with people who have similar experiences you have had. And it feels sort of anonymous...doesn't it? When I'm writing a post, I feel like I'm just writing in a journal or something. It wouldn't be as easy to be so candid face to face as it is blog to blog. :)

And this is why I'm starting another blog. More than me blabbing away, I want it to be a place where anyone (even if I don't know you) can comment and share ideas and meet people who may be going through similar things. More of a public place, rather than a family brag book :).

So thank you to all of my new blog friends who have been brave enough to post without knowing me personally. To name a few of you: Chantri Keele (you are SO talented, by the way, and I'm going to email you back someday), Elaine Williams (Congrats on your book coming out!! I am actually writing a book, too. We should talk), Cordie (I don't mind, I'm glad you enjoy my blog), Brooke Thompson (I'm also going to email you back), Sarah Harrison (hello, I worked in your dad's dental office in high school, sweeping up crud and cleaning instruments), Karli Cleaver (also on the "to email back" list), Abby Eaton (loved your comment, thank you.), Anonymous Elk Grove Ward Member (i laughed out loud at your "I'd be on the couch making love to Ben and Jerry" comment! haha), Julia (@Serendipity), Meghan Young (of course I remember you, and i LOVED your comment about me going to grad school), Cami (who lives in my townhouse in Rexburg...or did when she's been a while), Tashi (sister to Meghan, yes I remember you, too. And your three legged dog. Why do I remember that?), Liz (Suz's mom), Amanda (and Noah, thank you SO MUCH for your emails. I need to write you back), and a bunch of "anonymous" ones that I appreciate, too. If I left you off this list it was unintentional...I just wanted everyone who has made the effort to comment to know that I really do appreciate it, and count it as a blessing in my life that I can feel support from people I don't know well or at all.

Let's get excited for the new blog!

...Stay tuned...

Monday, June 9, 2008


So I'm thinking about starting another blog. A blog dedicated to thoughts and experiences I'll have on this little journey. A blog to uplift people. That way I can put random stories and pictures of my kids on this blog, and deeper thoughts and more journal type stuff on the other one. Will I have enough material to keep the other blog interesting and updated, though?

Hmmm....thoughts? Would you read it?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

This (Crummy) Thing Called LIfe

So. Life.

This past year has been a dark one for me, and through it I have had many realizations. I would like to share a big one with you all:

Life is freaking hard.

I have always said that I grew up living a "fluffy cloud" life. Life was applause and roses for most of my growing up experience. I have an awesome family, I always did well at pretty much anything I tried to do, I've never even experienced the death of someone close to me (even all 4 of my grandparents are still living). Life was beautiful, and fun--which made it easy to live the gospel and have a testimony. I never had any experiences that emotionally crippled me and had me asking God why...

Until now.

And as I've been going through this experience of divorce (with all the feelings of betrayal, and anger, and fear) my eyes have been opened to how difficult this life really is. And not just for me, in this moment, but for all of us.

We came to this life equipped with a beautiful, deadly thing. Agency. Part of having the ability to make choices, is the reality that we will make poor ones. And part of the consequence of making poor choices is that it creates pain for those we love, and for ourselves. Enter this (crummy) thing called life.

We also came to this life to be tested. In order for our faith to be proven, it must be tried. Enter this (crummy) thing called life.

I received terrible news about a friend this weekend, and it has really put me in a reflective mood. People all around me are dealing with seriously difficult trials. I would like to list a few trials that friends of mine are currently going through (don't be surprised if you see your trial on this's probably you I'm referring to):

1. Eating disorder
2. Depression
3. Bipolar Disorder
4. Substance abuse problems
5. Serious family issues
6. Death of a sibling
7. Death of a child
8. Inability to get pregnant
9. Children with disabilities
10. Family members deployed
11. Loss of a pregnancy
12. Loss of job/money problems
13. Cancer
14. Death of a spouse

And for every person I know that is going through something like this, I'm sure there are other friends of mine going through heavy trials that I am just not aware of.

It is sobering (and depressing) to think about how many opportunities for pain exist in this life. Think of how our Heavenly Father must feel as He watches us suffer, knowing that if we can maintain our faith, and rely on Him, that it will all be for our own good; that we can know joy as exceeding as was our pain. I am reminded of a quote by Sheri Dew from her book No Doubt About It. I'm going to post it on here, even though its long. It is very comforting to me, especially in light of all the pain that seems to be around me right now.

"It is in moments of disappointment, heartache, and lonliness that we often make the decisions that forge our faith, mold our character, and fortify our convictions about the only source of strength and solace that satisfies. And that is Jesus Christ.

How do we know if we are honest, unless our honesty is put to the test? How do we know if we are filled with virtue, unless there are opportunities to choose a nonvirtuous path that we then resist? How do we know if we can bear up under challenge and trial, unless we have challenge and trial? And how can we expect to feel and taste the pure sweetness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, meaning specifically the power and peace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, unless there are times in our lives when we desperately need and seek that peace and power?"

This is definitely a time in my life that I desperately need the peace of the Atonement. I am so thankful for my testimony of the gospel. I know that the Atonement of the Savior can be an unbelievable blessing in our lives if we choose to use it. I know that my Heavenly Father is intimately aware of me, and the things I have gone through can draw me closer to Him if I allow them to. I am thankful for the knowledge that (as stated by Warren Weirsbe) "When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. His loving heart knows how much and how long."

Bye bye fluffy clouds. Here comes the fire.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Big, Fat F

I know my blog has gone from semi-interesting to totally lame lately. I am going to really try to post new things more often. Not only is it more fun for all of you out there in cyberland, but it is cathartic for me. (Click the word if you don't know what that means. I can thank my 10th grade history teacher, Mr. Franklin, for my ability to still remember the definition of that word. Pretty sure that's the only thing I took away from his class...besides the terrible memory of him sitting at the front of the classroom, legs propped up on the desk, with his way too baggy shorts and all too visible junk. Unfortunately I don't have a link to that.)

So, with the goal to actually blog in mind, I proceed with the following story:

I was on my lunch today, enjoying some tomato bisque from La Bou (can you all say, "awesome"?), and some Dr. Laura in my car. I've always had a love/hate relationship with her. I agree with most of her advice, but sometimes not with the delivery so much.

Anyway, she took a call from (I'm guessing) a mid-twenties female (I'm guessing on the female part, not the age part. Haha! Just kidding).

The girl said, "I want to know how to get over a divorce. I've been divorced for 1 year now, and I need to know how to get over it."

Naturally, my interest peaks.

Dr. L: Well, what do you need to get over?

Girl: I don't know...I feel like I've failed.

Dr. L: Well, you have.


Dr. L: You have failed. You are divorced.

My stomach--knots. My heartbeat--elevated. I'm feeling the perfectionist/type A personality/ control freak part of me start to take over. And that part of me does not like to be called a failure.

But I am.

I am getting divorced. My marriage failed. Does it matter if it was my fault? Does it matter if it was his fault? Does it matter if it was my old boyfriend doing voodoo to sabatoge my relationship so he could fly in on a magic pony and take me to a land of dreams and sparkles? I really don't think so.

When you're filling out paperwork and have to mark one of the boxes (single, married, divorced), there is not a box that says, "divorced but it was totally not my fault." Mostly because chances are it probably was your fault. At least to some extent.

So I have got to accept the fact that I have failed. No matter what the details of it are. No matter how unfair it seems. No matter how badly I want to rent a billboard or wear a t-shirt around that says, "Divorced...but only because my ex is a loser." haha. (IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: I do not think Brad is a loser. And I hope you all know that from the snippets you get on here about him, or pictures, or activities with his family that I post about. I'm just trying to make a point.)

The gospel adds a dimension to this, though. Answers to prayer can be very powerful, and the peace you feel when you're making the right choice is undeniable. So from that perspective, I have not failed. I have followed through with the most difficult choice of my life because of an answer to prayer. And I have had countless experiences since then that confirm that this is the path I need to be on right now.

So no matter what that looks like to anyone else--even Dr. Laura--I can stand tall knowing that, though my marriage has failed, I am not a failure.

And one day I will be in a land of dreams and sparkles.

Magic pony and all.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

11 Month Old Superstar

So Ryah has always been vocal. She likes to "sing" and listen to her voice. And she mimics us all the time. If Tay is crying, Ryah will yell at the same pitch (which is so so funny. And also sort of impressive if you think about it :). Or if Taylen is squealing and being silly, Ryah will copy it exactly. Or if Taylen growls at Ryah, she will growl right back. Taylen never did this, at least not as obviously as Ryah has been doing it. And I've been noticing that Ryah mimics me when I talk to her, mostly the pitch in my voice when I talk to her (like when I say, "do you want a bottle?" and my voice goes up at the end, she'll mimic the pitch of the last two syllables...i have no idea if that makes sense. haha). I've been telling Brooke this for a couple weeks, and she didn't believe me.


Brooke was videotaping me feeding Ryah and playing with her, and Ryah totally mimics me when I say "all done." She's pretty much a genius. See for yourselves :)