Summer Haze

Summer is a time of mixed feelings for me. ¬†On the one hand I’m free from school and don’t teach for three entire months… on the other, I’m free from school and don’t teach for three entire months. ¬†I get bored easily and am not sure how to spend all my sudden free time. ¬†My husband, family, and friends all work or have multiple children. ¬†Not that there is anything wrong with multiple children… that is. ¬†They’re are just not always available to me during my nothing to do moments.

Every year I start the summer with such excitement, planing big trips and projects, finding books and Tv shows to read and watch, thinking, “Summer! Here I come.” But boredom finds its way into my summer plans every year along with laziness, I’m sure. Probably because I don’t have multiple children or even one? ¬†Sometimes, however I think the boring stuff is what I remember most. On our New York trip we spent countless hours sitting. ¬†Sitting in the plane, the car, the train. ¬†Can I just tell you how much I hate the actual traveling part of traveling?? ¬†But there is no way around it, you must go through the boring parts to get to the exciting ones.

Really though, our New York trip was great! ¬†We did all the touristy stuff, statue of Liberty, the Rock, 9/11 memorial, Central Park, Phantom of the Opera, etc. ¬†We also hit up Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and stayed in Connecticut with my best friend Tessa! In Massachusetts we went to Boston and Salem and did the many tours provided there, ¬†our first tour was in Salem and we learned all about the witch trial craziness, anything but boring right? ¬†But, the tour guide, bless his heart, loved to talk non stop about every single tiny detail. ¬†Which ¬†you can tell by the first picture there that Aaron were hanging on his every word…

The tour guide had a lot of interesting things to say… ¬†No really, he did! ¬†And going to ¬†Salem to learn about the witch trials was one of my favorite parts of our trip. ¬†I even bought a book on it! ¬†It was just after 2 hours of non stop talking, I zoned out. ¬†I am not a good sit and listen type of person… I guess. ¬†Now I know how my students feel at school, except for in my class of course! I’m sure they love listening to me talk.

We also go to see the Boston Tea party and reenact it… ¬†Or maybe i’m thinking of some other event on a big boat??


We had the opportunity to see the Boston Red socks get slaughtered by the Angels…. We had just bought a whole ¬†bunch of Red Socks gear so it make sense that they lost. ¬†But they didn’t just lose.. the score was 21 to 2! ¬†I don’t know much about baseball, but I am pretty such that was a trash kicking.


But the most exciting place we visited was New York City.  It is crazy.  the city is populated with the most interesting people, there is so much to see, do and eat!  Phantom of the Opera on broadway was a highlight of the trip as well.  The statue of Liberty was beautiful, and I cried my eyes out going through the 9/11 memorial.  Loved New York and would go back.

“And then I went through the Lincoln tunnel…. ” Name that Movie?? I had so much fun quoting Elf in New York. ¬†The movie is surprising relevant. ¬†The Yellow ones really don’t stop! ¬†There is gum under the railings, And we saw two raccoons that looked like they really needed a hug.


“And then I went through the Lincoln Tunnel.” -Elf

But my favorite part of our trip was in Connecticut. ¬† My friend Tessa took Aaron and I kayaking. ¬†I loved it. ¬†the weather was beautiful, the water was warm, I proved myself to be the faster Kayaker and the hardest worker out of everyone. ¬†Right Tess?? ¬† If you want proof click the link to see. ¬†It’s a great video that I made myself.

Paddling Through Connecticut


Since New York things started to slow down again. ¬†we returned home to our everyday lives and I started trying to figure things to do with all my free time. ¬†So to put a stop to the sudden boredom, we inherited another kitten. ¬†Come to find out our pretty little kitten Lana, we named her Lana, has worms! ¬†Gross story, but I was keeping her in the down stairs bathroom for the night because she was running around terrorizing everything. ¬†As I picked her up I noticed there was a long white… rope looking thing hanging from her butt! ¬†I instantly thought it was string cheese, as she stole a piece of mine the day before. ¬†But….there was no way it would be that long, right? ¬† So I grabbed a towel and pulled it out… ¬†it was stretchy and had the consistency of a rubber band. ¬†I looked it up and found out she has tape worm… or round worm… I’m not really sure. ¬†But I bought some medicine to “deworm” her as well as my other cat, Cali, because it can spread and then had to decontaminate the kitty litter. ¬†Talk about not boring.

She is a beautiful purr cat though and so friendly.  Try telling that to Cali whom we now call bitter old grandma cat, because she hates her with a passion.

And Lana is grey! She matches my house.

To add to all that craziness Aaron had torn his ACL, playing soccer of course, before the New York trip and we had decided to wait to have surgery until after.  Yes, Aaron walked all over New York City with a torn ACL.  He is pretty tough.  He had his surgery a few days ago and everything went well but man, did they drug him up good!

His knee is healing, I think… and I am sure he will be back to his old soccer playing self in no time. ¬†For the meantime Aaron has done a lot of “World Saving” (video games) as he likes to call it. ¬†But he has gotten me into it to0 so I can’t complain. ¬†I totally conquered tomb Raider in three days!

But summer is coming to an end. ¬†I can tell because I am already having dreams that I’m teaching and everything is going wrong; nothing works, my lesson plans are lost, the students are misbehaving, all while the principal is evaluating me! ¬†It’s a Terrible dream that I have every year. ¬†School starts on the 24th of this month… and when it does I’ll look back to my time off and see a haze of many adventurous along with lazy sometimes boring days of summer, that I quite enjoyed.


Knot Tying

We did it!¬† We tied the Knot.¬† A¬†tight one¬†too, one¬†that will never come undone for all eternity.¬† We were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 27th, 2015 at 11:55 am.¬† It was a long day, a great one¬†don’t get me wrong, but¬†it didn’t¬†necessarily come easy.¬†This is the crazy story of how¬†we got started. ¬†I’ll tell you one thing,¬†My¬†husband Aaron and I haven’t been bored since the day we got married.

Lets back track a bit. ¬†Aaron and I bought a house in February, a little more than a month before our big day.¬†¬†Once we finally closed, we realized¬†what a big project we were taking on with this¬†house.¬† Now let me tell you, we have an amazing house, but¬†the previous owner had multiple pets.¬† The carpet was stained¬†and pretty disgusting, which called for¬†new carpet as well as¬†a desperate need¬†of fresh¬†paint on the walls.¬† So we got¬†to work, wanting everything finished before¬†the big day.¬† Our goal was to¬†be able¬†move in stress free, if that’s possible.¬†¬†A beautiful carpet was found and picked as we¬†slaved away painting our entire upstairs.¬† Painting, we learned is not one of our strong suits, but we finished¬†two nights before our wedding day.¬† Touch ups would have to be¬†done later on.¬†¬†Our carpet was¬†ordered and set¬†to¬†be installed¬†while we were on our honey moon in Hawaii.¬† We had worked hard and everything was coming together.

The big day arrived and I woke extra¬†early, partly to get ready and¬†partly because I¬†was so excited I couldn’t sleep any longer.¬† My sister did my hair, while I applied the make up.¬† I then gathered all the essentials; Marriage License, Temple Endowments, Wedding Dress, Luggage, and, of course,¬†Emergency Chocolate.¬† Aaron arrived to take my mom and I to the temple, we checked and double checked that we¬†weren’t forgetting anything.¬† We arrived at the temple on time and everything¬†was¬†going smoothly.¬† We then¬†handed over¬†all our documents, including our Marriage License, which was¬†still sealed¬†in the¬†envelope.¬†¬†The kind and helpful temple worker looked over all of our stuff and then came across the envelope.¬† She opened it, pulled out the license,¬†and gasped.¬† She then asked, “is this the license you gave me?”¬†Confused, I looked¬†at the license.¬†¬†It had¬†a different couple’s name one it.¬†¬†It wasn’t ours.¬† A hollow sickness hit¬†me hard¬†in the stomach.¬† How could they have given us the wrong Marriage license? We never bothered to open it¬†and¬†check¬†after they printed it out and¬†put it in the envelope.¬† Want some advice?¬† Look at your license before your wedding.¬† The temple lady then said it should be fine and that they will¬†“most likely” still¬†let us get married.¬† She looked relaxed¬†as¬†she left the room to go check so I wasn’t in freak-out mode quite yet.¬† She quickly returned, a little more anxious this time¬†and¬†told us¬†we needed the correct license in order to get married.¬† And for some strange reason the court house¬†couldn’t ¬†fax it to us.¬† Out come the phones.¬† Aaron is calling all his family members, while I am calling mine.¬† No one is answering, they are all in the temple already.¬† I start losing it.¬† I am bawling, makeup is running down my face, and Aaron is trying to comfort me.¬† Finally I get a hold of my sister.¬† She and my brother are able to¬†leave the temple¬†to go¬†pick up¬†the license.¬† I, however¬†am still stressed out and worried about time.¬† We¬†had our luncheon¬†scheduled at 2:30 and our reception at 6. I kept thinking that all our plans¬†were going to get thrown off.

As we¬†were walking to go get ready for the sealing, I¬†was trying unsuccessfully¬†to pull myself together and¬†was getting¬†strange looks from people.¬† But what can you expect?¬† You are supposed to be happy on your wedding day, not bawling your eyes out.¬† So, Aaron Takes me in his arms and walks me to the dressing room.¬† He then blurts out¬†“It’s okay Nikki, Marrying me won’t be that bad.”¬†¬†Suddenly I am¬†laughing.¬† Aaron has always been able to keep things light, no matter how bleak the situation.¬† Better yet, he has always been able to make me laugh.¬† That moment was when everything turned around.¬† We were able to get our license thanks to my brother and sister.¬† We were still able to get married and only¬†fifteen minutes later than planned, might I add.¬† And we made it to our luncheon and reception with out any problems.¬† Everything worked out.¬† I just wonder what would have happed had we¬†scheduled our wedding¬†for a¬†Saturday, when the court houses are closed.¬† We wouldn’t have been able to get our license.¬†But why dwell on what if’s?¬† The worst was behind us right?¬† So we thought.

wedding disaster

This was when Aaron almost dropped me on my wedding day!! He also reinjured his quad. I must be heavy?



The next morning, we left the Grand American Hotel, that Aaron’s sisters so kindly surprised us with the reservations for.¬† We set off for a full¬†day of travel to Oahu, Hawaii!¬† Two layovers, three flights…. It was going to be another long day. And¬†flying gives motion sickness.¬† It was going to be a really long day!¬†¬†Our first flight¬† arrived¬†in Phoenix, Arizona.¬†We got off and made the next flight to LA.¬† We landed, and then¬†sat in the plane for 20 minutes, waiting.¬†¬†¬†For some reason¬†the tunnel hadn’t¬†arrived so we couldn’t get off the plane.¬† Our next flight to Oahu was in an hour.¬†¬†So, we were in a little bit of a hurry.¬† Finally the tunnel arrived, we got off, and realized our flight¬†was in an entire different terminal, one you have to take a shuttle for.¬† so we got in line and the worker¬†told us¬†the next shuttle¬†should arrive in¬†about 2 minutes.¬† We wait…. and wait… and wait some more.¬† Our plane is due to take off in about a half hour.¬† So¬†the¬†worker¬†calls some random shuttle to take us over.¬† When we get to the terminal we sprint to our gate.¬† Relieved, I see our plane is¬†still there and hasn’t even taken off yet.¬† But the doors are closed and they won’t let us board.¬†¬†The next flight was two hours later and we didn’t even get a seat next to each other.¬† I was fuming!!!

Finally we arrive in Hawaii, it’s late,¬†we are exhausted, and starving.¬† So, we found a Wendy’s and went in.¬† We¬†ordered, ate and then left, wanting to get to our condo as quickly as possible.¬† We found our Condo and were about to go in, when I realized I didn’t have my purse.¬† Again with the sick hollow feeling.¬† I get that feeling¬†a lot.¬† So we turned around and¬†headed back.¬† The whole time I am praying that my purse will be in my possession soon, while Aaron told me later he was praying a good Samaritan would find it and turn it in.¬† ¬†When we got to Wendy’s, I headed straight for our booth.¬† No purse.¬† So we¬†went to the cash register and asked a young worker if she received¬†the purse.¬† She said no.¬† My heart sunk.¬† As we turned to leave, a man came in and asked if we were looking for¬†grey purse.¬† A glitter of hope filled my eyes.¬† “Yes, we are!” I said.¬† He then told us he turned it in to that young Wendy’s worker,¬† The one we just got through talking with.¬† We looked at her and she looked at us… “Oh yeah!!! that purse…”¬† She suddenly remembered.¬† “I did get that and I put it right here.”¬† she pointed to the counter top.¬† We look at the empty counter.¬†¬†There¬†was nothing there.¬† She then explains how she doesn’t know where it could have gone.¬† So we ask to speak to the manager.¬† The manager looked around and then¬†asked to get my name and number so they can call if they find it.¬† Aaron and I told her that wouldn’t cut it, “we want the purse and we want it now.”¬†So she and her workers go to the back office and shut the door.¬† They¬†were in there for about fifteen minutes and would not¬†come back to talk to us. Sketchy.¬† So I called the police.¬†¬†When the Manager finally¬†returned from her group discussion¬†She said the same thing as before, she wanted to take my¬†name and number.¬† I told her straight out, “I called the police.”¬† All the sudden she got a little more serious and started yelling at the young worker about how the purse should have been given to her so she could have put it in the safe, which is protocol.

While we¬†were all¬†waiting for the cop to show up, the good Samaritan stuck around so he could give his statement as well.¬†What a stand up guy. The young coworker’s mother also came in and just hung out in the back of the restaurant.¬† Awkward.¬† When the cop finally got there,¬†he¬†took our statements.¬†¬†Once all¬†our statements¬†were taken, the cop told us an investigation would take place,¬†but we probably wouldn’t get the purse back since it¬†was no longer in the building.¬† The whole situation was just the icing on the cake to our long day of traveling.¬† The cop¬†then took our statement¬†to¬†his car¬†while Aaron and I started talking to the Wendy’s Workers.¬†¬†¬† Aaron started explaining to the workers that we were on our honey moon and that¬†this was our first night in Hawaii.¬† He then said that we weren’t interested in pressing charges, we just wanted the purse back for my ID’s which I would need to get back to Utah.¬† I am married to a very smart man.¬† The workers all the sudden got really¬†friendly and¬†started asking questions,¬†“Oh, You guys are on your Honey Moon?¬† First day in Hawaii?¬† How do you like it?¬† ”¬† I replied…. ” I don’t like it very much.” Which¬†probably wasn’t the best response on my part, when Aaron was trying to establish¬†sympathy from¬†them, but whatever.

The cop¬†was still¬†in the parking lot¬†when the young worker’s mom came up to us and went off.¬† She¬†started yelling at me¬†about how it was my responsibility to¬†keep track of the purse and that it was¬†my own fault this happened.¬† She then Promptly asked us if “we wanted to get rough?”¬†¬†I was shocked!¬†Here we are in¬†“Paradise,” on our Honey moon, and some Polynesian Mother wants to beat me up.¬† Luckily, right then the cop walked through the door.¬† Needless to say, she backed off quickly.¬† We¬†were then¬†escorted to¬†our car for our safety and¬†took the trip¬†back to the condo Purse less.

¬†Well, that night we crashed, and we crashed hard!¬† The next¬†morning however at about ten o’clock I received a call from the Hawaii Police.¬† I picked up the phone and Heard the best news I’d ever heard in my life.¬† They had my purse!¬† An anonymous¬†Wendy’s co-worker claimed they found it by the dumpster and turned it in.¬† So Aaron and I headed to the police department.¬† We¬†retrieved my purse¬†and found everything accounted for except $200 dollars in cash.¬† Despite the missing money we were both very happy and realized both of our prayers were answered.¬† I got my purse back and Aaron’s good Samaritan came through.¬† I just want to say that with out the good Samaritan, we would have never even called the cops.¬† I wish I could send him a proper thank you.¬† It is such a blessing to know that there are good people everywhere.¬† I would have been stranded in Hawaii with out him.¬† And I know, that sounds like a good thing!¬† I also know that our prayers were answered.¬† I didn’t think I’d ever see my purse again.

So our¬†first two days of marriage consisted of receiving the¬†wrong Marriage License, missing¬†our flight, getting my purse stolen by Wendy’s, and almost getting in a fight with a¬†Polynesian mom.¬† What a start!¬† I am happy to report however, that the rest of the trip was amazing.¬† Hawaii is beautiful and Aaron and I¬†did all we could in the time that we had.¬† We went to the La’ie¬†LDS temple, the¬†Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor.¬† We¬†snorkeled, Parasailed,¬†hiked, and¬†Ran on the beach.¬† We also ate Hawaiian haystacks¬†with¬†Hawaiian Punch, got chased and bit by a duck, and sat in traffic for probably half the trip.¬†¬†But¬†after all¬†was said and done I wouldn’t take back one experience.¬† I have learned a lot about me and Aaron’s relationship.¬†¬†We have experienced each other in times of very high stress, in some of the most surprising situations possible, and not once did we¬†lose our patience with each other.¬† We were there for each other and comforted¬†one another.¬† I learned how supportive, patient, and helpful Aaron is.¬† And Aaron Learned how forgetful and stressed out I can be.¬† Yet, Aaron never once showed frustration¬†with me for leaving my purse at Wendy’s.¬†Which I am so Grateful for because I was already so hard on myself.¬† He stood by my side and helped me through the entire miserable process.¬† And even listed multiple positives about the situation and all the other situations we went through.¬† I love him so much!¬† And feel that these¬†experiences brought us closer together.¬† Our knot is tighter than ever¬†because of these experiences.¬† We have been able to work together through good experiences and bad and I intend to keep it that way.¬† As for the future¬†experiences that¬†come to our door, I say bring it on, Aaron and I can handle it.¬† Although let’s be clear, I’m not asking for more craziness.¬† I am looking forward to the day when I’m bored.


Parasailing! Got some awesome pictures. I have learned that any kind of flying makes me motion sick. I just don’t belong in the air.


Polynesian Cultural Center


Hawaiian Haystacks and Hawaiian Punch. We are so clever….

 cuteTemple weddingDSC_9373Blossoms IMG_1863DSC_9251

Hypocritcal Critcism

Criticism can promote improvement and growth when done in a helpful, considerate way.  Without it, improvement would be hard.  Yet, Criticism can also promote poor self esteem, hurt relationships, unprofessionalism, misery, anger, and hatred between both the criticized and the criticizing.  Lets just say the damage can go a long way.

Criticism is based off of perceived faults and mistakes.¬† It is an act of noting those faults¬†and¬†expressing disapproval.¬†And people¬†find fault too easily without taking¬†their own mistakes into consideration.¬† Every person including yourself could be criticized for being late, dishonest, wrong, slow, forgetful,¬†stupid, crazy, (okay now I’m just name calling) etc.¬†¬†¬†It is safe to say¬†nobody is perfect.¬† Criticism is therefore hypocritical and should be done without spite and anger. Give people the benefit of the doubt before attacking them.¬† criticize with the intent to help.¬† Give suggestions not demands.¬† Relate to them and try to understand their perceptions.¬† Come up with compromises and solutions.

People are going to make mistakes, Learn to accept that or life is going to be full of annoyances and hate.¬† It already is.¬† Do not however, accept cruelty, belittling, or personal attacks based on those mistakes.¬† The biggest character flaw in people isn’t¬†failure, low self esteem, passiveness, or even¬†stupidity.¬† It is the¬†low tolerance of others¬†and¬†the constant need to correct, belittle, and inflict judgment according to¬†personal¬†perceptions and expectations.¬† Perceptions are¬†flawed and cause unjust criticism, so be kind.¬† Kindness can stop the damage from going any further.

Try and Persuade Me

Oh how I would love to persuade people to see my opinion, because I believe I’m usually right. ¬†That being said, opinionated people hold strong to their beliefs no matter how persuasive the essay or argument.¬† So why bother debating? ¬†¬†Persuasive arguing does not work.¬† I would end here, but I am going to try and persuade you to see it my way.

Speaking from experience, whenever in an argument based on so called facts, the first thing people do is look for evidence supporting their argument so they can shove it in the face of those they’re proving wrong.  The only flaw in this is that The internet will support or contradict any opinion or fact you can come up with.  Opposing views can both be supported by evidence found from the countless internet sources.   So each participant in the argument comes back even more sure they’re right.  Which can only mean the opponent is a total and complete idiot for not agreeing.  That is when the name calling begins.

But, people can be so opinionated they don’t need evidence to argue their point.¬† They can argue all day about why they feel the way they feel or believe what they believe.¬† And nobody can say anything to change that.¬† They‚Äôre right and you‚Äôre wrong.¬†¬† For example, I like cats.¬† No one can change the fact that I believe cats make good pets. ¬†They are cute, they are funny, and I like them. ¬†Yet, I find many people who cannot stand the poor little creatures.¬† They hate them and make arguments about all the problems they cause. ¬†They can show me articles and written statements about how dogs are better, but I will not budge. ¬†I probably won’t even read those articles.

On to my last point, reading is not something everyone likes to do.  People will only read what keeps their attention, what they find interesting, or what they agree with.   You will not find a liberal reading conservative political material unless they are nit picking in attempt to prove it wrong.  If they are reading something that goes against their opinions or beliefs they will simply stop reading and move on to something that will support them.

In conclusion, people are stubborn and hold to their beliefs no matter how persuasive the argument.  Therefore writing or arguing will do nothing to persuade those with strong opinions.  But, I can only hope this essay is different and is persuasive enough to help you see the pointlessness of a heated debate.  Unless, of course, you truly believe in your ability to persuade, in which case you will simply disregard everything I have just written and continue to argue your so called facts.  Go ahead, try and persuade me.


I like to plan everything out in my head. ¬†Trouble is, they never go that way. ¬†Life cannot be mapped out to reach certain destinations. ¬†Things change suddenly, and can mess up plans. ¬†Most people see that as disappointing, ¬†for their life isn’t going accordingly. ¬†But if life had gone according to my plan, I wouldn’t be where I am now, where I never thought i’d be. ¬†

My so called messed up plans have evolved. ¬†I may not have planned to be here, now. ¬†But here is where I’m am, is where my plans have brought me. ¬†So I continue planning to reach the destinations in my head, influenced by the here and now. ¬†trouble is I’ll never go there, for my plans will evolve and I’ll reach destinations my mind could never map. ¬† ¬†¬†

Restrictive Freedom

Lets talk about Rules and high standards, ¬†“The Honor Code.” ¬†People are so quick to question and criticize them. ¬†They say, they are too high, too severe, and too restrictive. ¬†Rules limit those who just want to do as they please, who want to choose for themselves. ¬†So go ahead, interfere with the pass, cross the line of scrimmage. ¬†There are no off sides, no flags, no penalties. ¬†Anything goes. ¬†After all, the rules are simply restrictive.

Well, without rules there wouldn’t be a game. ¬†That’s where the beauty of the game comes from. ¬†It’s what makes winning so sweet. ¬†Winning requires playing by the rules, all of them, even the one you don’t necessarily agree with. ¬†But the game doesn’t care if you agree or not. ¬†You go out of bounds, you lose the ball. ¬†You break the rules, you get penalized, carded, or suspended. ¬†The game holds you to a higher standard. ¬†And if you are a valuable player, you can play by the rules and don’t have to tiptoe around them.¬† You hold yourself to that same standard and have trained to play that way.

So, if you can’t follow the rules, don’t play the game. ¬†And don’t criticize those who try to play by them. ¬†They will make mistakes, they may break some rules, but they are trying to live by¬†a standard set by those in the right authority. ¬†They have learned that by following the code they aren’t restricted at all. ¬†They are free. ¬†Free from penalty, suspension, and even loss. ¬†because if you can live by that standard you have won something most people are too restricted to follow.

Slow Moving

Progress is taking a slow and steady pace forward.  Slow movement is not such a simple task.  Who has the patience when in a hurry?  A hurry to grow up, to go from place to place, to get this and that.  Speeding, although quick and exciting, creates risks.  The risk of fatigue, of injury, of missing something on the way.  Progress requires steady movement forward and, therefore, cannot be rushed.

Rocky roads are not to be carelessly raced over at¬†tremendous speeds.¬†¬† Slow down.¬† You may not arrive at your destination in the time you expected, but¬†you will¬†arrive unscathed, unruffled, and whole.¬† Challenging but enduring movement allows for significant improvement.¬† Sometimes your aspirations are a far way off, not easily attained.¬†¬†¬†So, don’t run faster than strength allows.¬† Slower¬†paces can¬† become¬†faster paces¬†in the future.¬†Perhaps your aspirations are not simply something to attain, but something to become.¬†¬†Becoming requires change, change requires progress, and progress requires time.¬† Slow, patient¬†time, that cannot be rushed, only endured.