Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween 2009

Tonight I was carving a pumpkin and it brought back memories to the last Halloween Spencer and I shared and participated in together. Hadn't looked back at these pictures in awhile, so I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane. And of course, because they are pics of Spence, it's really hard for me to narrow it down. Alas this is a post with plenty of pictures, though I'm sure you don't mind! :)

It was October of 2009 and we decided to join in on the fun by dressing up, handing out candy, and carving pumpkins with the family. We dressed as a cat and mouse and I think we played it well :)

Pouncing to get my prey ;)

The Blind Mouse!

And we were caught disobeying kitty/mouse laws ;)

We had a lot of fun carving pumpkins together. Decided to go with our own designs! Spencer really enjoyed it, I could tell.

Mine is on the left, Spencer's on the right. He decided to just leave the knife in there!

I'm sad we never got to celebrate many more holidays together, but I'm glad I have the memories that I do of the ones that we celebrated as a couple!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

30 Things Blog 10 -- Embarrassing Moments

If you want to know what this is all about check out this blog post!

Blog 10 -- Describe your most embarrassing moment.

Most embarrassing moment.... When asked this question, does anyone else completely blank out on the answer like I do? I mean, I know I've had plenty of embarrassment in my life, but nothing huge pops out at me.

Most of my embarrassment involves medically related things, of course.... colonoscopies and stool studies, anyone? ;) But the other day I was talking with my sister and it brought to my memory of our dress rehearsal of the musical we did my senior year in high school, Li'l Abner, by FAR my most favorite musical I've ever been in, and the funnest character I've EVER played!

My character was Mammy Yokum; "a scrawny, highly principled "sassiety" leader and bare knuckle "champeen" of the town of Dogpatch."

Play practices were long and grueling, and memorization was the absolute pits. I remember rehearsing lines and memorizing a couple of short scenes the day of our dress rehearsal. Talk about a panic! There were a few scenes I was completely uncomfortable with, but the day of our dress rehearsal finally came and we certainly had a lot of stressed out actors and actresses!

Despite my worries about the ability that we could pull our first performance off, rehearsal started out without a hitch! Everything was going really well, the audience was laughing, and most importantly, I was having so much fun which made it really easy for me to be in character.

About midway through the musical, I exited to stage left and went to the basement to change into my city clothes. I was rushing around and in a frantic because this was the quickest wordrobe change I had to do, I hardly had anytime, yet had a lot of things to do!

I pulled on my blouse and was getting ready to take off my pants and pull on my slacks when I hear hollers from back stage "Where is Nikki?! It's her cue!" I covered up and popped my head up the stairs and replied "No it's not, I'm not on 'til the next scene!" Throughout our extensive conversation about if I was supposed to be on stage again or not, I realized that the scene was not yet over!!

I had no idea what to do at that point. I was partially dressed -- half in my city clothes and half in my main wardrobe. I was panicking and realizing that I had to get out there as quickly as I could as the second part of that scene was fairly crucial leading into the next scene. I went ahead and "mostly" changed into my city clothes, yet had to resort to putting on my country boots, and leaving on my country leggings and such... I was trying to present myself the best that I could in the few seconds that I had to get out there! I rushed upstairs as I heard Sydney (Daisy Mae) say my cue for about the 5th time.

I ran through the other actors and slid out (literally), through the curtains, and onto the stage, exasperated and completely out of breath. The moment I reached the stage the entire audience started to laugh. I'm sure that my mismatched outfit, untied and flopping boots, as well as the stunned look on my face was quite a sight to behold! I tried to take a couple of seconds for my laughter to die down and so that I could compose myself and deliver the next line.... except I wasn't even sure what scene we were are, I had no idea what my next line even was!!

My ability (or very slim ability, rather) to ad-lib and improvise went completely out of the window. The laughter from the audience was starting to become completely infectious to all on stage, especially myself. I couldn't help but start to laugh uncontrollably, realizing how ridiculous I looked and trying to hide my mortification of the situation.

Understudies tried feeding my line to me, but I couldn't hear them. Sydney tried delivering it to me as well, but I was completely lost! My mother (who was the pianist for the musical) was hollering my lines out to me, but I still could not form together the sentence that was my next line. I was humiliated as I had no idea what to do in that moment. If I remember correctly a few lines were repeated over again, my line was fed to me, once again, and I finally picked up on where we were at in that scene and we were able to finish it with a few giggles throughout and a completely entertained audience.

I'm happy to say the rest of the dress rehearsal went by without any problems, and it was a very successful musical, all 3 performance nights. Looking back on it now, of course I could ad lib a few lines (which would also have delivered some laughs!), and I just laugh when I think about it and cherish the memories that came along with that one little mistake ;)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

30 Things Blog 9 -- Influence

If you want to know what this is all about check out this blog post!

Blog 9 -- List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

This one was pretty fun to do. I felt like I got to brag quite a bit on these special people in my life :)

1. Pam and Ray: Parents
I've always been a very compassionate person and now that I've grown up, experienced life, and have gotten to know and understand my parents better it's obvious to me where I got it. Most parents would do anything for their children, but I feel like both of mine go above and beyond their duties. They are incredibly compassionate to my sister and I, but also to others in need.

2. Karen and Mike: Co-workers
After I lost Spencer I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Working at ARUP showed me an interest in lab work, but it wasn't until I started working at DCH that I realized I wanted to make a life long career in the laboratory. Karen and Mike are both very passionate and enthusiastic about what they do and it rubbed off on me early on. They make me excited about being a med tech and they make me want to strive to constantly learn more and pursue a passion that I didn't even realize I had.

3. Spencer: Husband
Spence influenced my entire life. I didn't realize how much I was lacking in nearly every area of my life until he came into my life and showed me my worth. He helped break me out of my shell and understand my beauty, inside and out. He influenced my education, my faith, my thoughts, and my actions all in a very positive way. He was, and is, my better half and I am so lucky to have had him in my life while I did.

4. Jay: Best Friend
Jay is the definition of hard work and dedication. He's been my very best friend for 10 years and I've seen him overcome a lot and end up more successful than I feel like I will ever become. At only 22 years old he has graduated college, holds a full time job, owns his house, owns his truck, volunteers on the Fire Dept. and in the community. He is the HARDEST worker I have ever seen and he busts his ass to get things done. He is also very, very loyal. For as long as I've known this man, he's dropped everything for someone in need even if that person would never return the favor for him. He makes me strive to work hard, because I see how his hard work has paid off. I'm beyond proud of him and I'm so thankful to be able to know that we have an unwavering friendship as it means the world to me.

5. Pam: Mother-in-Law
It's typical to say that we wish we would have maximized our time with a person once they are gone, but I really, really wish I would have spent more time with my mother-in-law when I had a chance. I feel like I could have learned so much more from her. Pam's faith in the Lord inspires me more than anyone I know. When I first showed interest in the church she was so excited for me. She always wanted to talk about it with me and let me know how right my decision was. Looking through old papers of hers with Spencer, I was so impressed. That woman was so steadfast in paying her tithing, church attendance, prayer, mission work, and scripture study. I wish I could even be half as dedicated, prepared, and loyal to our Heavenly Father as she was. She made a HUGE impression on me.

6. Michael (Bugs) and Lauren: Friends
Mike (bugs) and Lauren are two of my many friends that I met on Starbright World, but they are two that have made the biggest impact on proving that their illness can't bring them down. I see the near impossible place that Lauren surfaced from years ago and it's incredible to me that she is now walking, making movies, mentoring, and touching lives. Bugs struggles with CP every day and he's been through some major, major scares. But this kid stays so positive (at least to the rest of the world!) even though he's hurting, or fighting for his life. He fundraises thousands of dollars for causes that are close to his heart, he goes to school, attends speaking events and etc. These two push through everything given to them and it just goes to show how amazing they both are.

7. College Writing Professor
While I think I was a bit of a teachers pet in one of my college writing classes, I learned a lot about myself from this professor. Gosh darn it, I just wish I could remember her name. She challenged my writing, each and every essay and each and every draft she gave me what I thought would be a specific impossible task to improve my writing so that the next one would be even better. When I came to her to bounce an idea off of or give a suggestion for how I could better an essay she always expressed how impressed she was. I've always liked writing, but this professor really brought forward my love and passion for writing. She brought out hidden abilities in the best way and helped me constantly learn how to better myself. She is part inspiration for the book that I am wanting to write. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have the knowledge of how to make it worth reading. Huge props to her. She was amazing.

8. Bertha: Grandma
My gma and I have always been really close. I used to spend a ton of time with her, and I still try to see her at least once every couple of weeks. Every time I am around my grandma she's either cooking/baking or doing some kind of craft. I remember as a child I would always make Christmas candy with her, and she taught me how to sew a quilt. She's always asking me what my next project is, and she gets very excited when I tell her I've started or finished something. She pushes me to be creative and continue with sewing. She also makes me want to perfect all of her popular recipes so they won't be lost when she's gone! :)

9. Shayna: Sister
I've always been very self conscious and I've always cared about what other people think of my appearance, thoughts, and actions. My sister is quite the opposite of that, though. She has a very independent-of-everyone-else type of personality. Since both her and I have grown up and become closer even though it's still really difficult for me to do, I've been able to be my own person and express myself through my own thoughts and actions independent of what other people think. Sometimes I think she takes it to the extreme ;-) But I do admire her for being HER.

10. Rose and Kevin: HS Music and Math Teachers
Rosie and Mr. Dixson have always been two of my very favorite teachers through school. They are two of the teachers who I felt saw me for me, looking past my trials and reminding me that I was so much more. Rosie Saw my love for music and used me for my full potential. She cast me into difficult parts in my HS musicals. She made me be a soprano even though I hated singing the high notes. She gave me difficult trumpet and vocal contest music, knowing that with the work I could do them.
 Never given the chance at sports, I really felt like I shined in music because of Rosie. Mr. Dixson saw my struggles in math yet he never, ever gave up on me. He saw me through tears, fits of frustration, and smiles when I finally understood a concept. He was more than willing to stay after school with me to get me caught up with the class, and he took me under his wing one summer to help me grasp difficult concepts so that I could be with my class the next year. He believed in me and knew that I could do it if I applied myself and used the extra help he was giving me. Both of these teachers helped boost my self confidence and as I said, believed in me and never gave up on me when I gave up on myself.