Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blessings

I'm completely convinced that I have some of the greatest friends around. I'm so grateful for each of them and I love that we can laugh until we can't breathe, challenge each other to grow and even cry together at times.

So glad God blessed me with friends that help me grow and make me so happy, all at the same time. 

<3

I hope everyone has the ability to have at least one relationship like this in his or her lifetime.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding!

I'm so excited for the royal wedding. Yes, I do love weddings and I think Prince William is quite handsome (hello, I have eyes!), but more than anything I'm so excited to join a worldwide community and share in a very fun and historical event!


Are you going to get up to watch? 

I'm watching it will all of my girls!
Should be awesome!
I love being paid to be a big sister.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Farm Livin'

I spent the weekend helping my parents move into their new house a few miles away of their old house and it's lovely! Their new place is a lovely cottage-style home on acres upon acres of rolling hills. The cool part? It's conveniently located on a working horse farm. I spent some time with these lovely ladies yesterday. 



I hope you had a Happy Easter!

HE IS RISEN!

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's getting hot in here...

Whew! It's starting to get hot outside and I am not a fan! 
However, I've decided to invest in this book to help keep cool...
Yum!

Also cool, but a different kind of cool, I think I'm finally getting an iPhone this week! I have run my poor ghetto phone into the ground... It only works on speaker phone and the battery is taped on... yeah. I'm so ready for the 21st century...

Happy Weekend!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sponsor for FREE!!

Do you want to advertise your shop or blog on Sounds of Laughter, Shades of Life for FREE for the rest of April and all of May? 
Well you can! It's true!

I'm just asking one little thing...

If you know me or follow my blog, you know that I'm very passionate about ending human trafficking.
You're probably wondering what this has to do with you.

Well, did you know that most people have no idea how to report a trafficking case if they see one?
What do you do if you see a 13-year-old girl soliciting sex?
Or what if your neighbor appears to have a child that is not their own working excessive and strange hours doing chores?

I'll tell you what you do, you call this number:

1-888-373-7888
In order to get your free sponsorship spot, you just need to email me a picture of this number saved in your phone and you have to promise to call it if you ever see anything suspicious.

It's that easy!

I get over 2,000 unique visits to my blog each month and this is a GREAT way to advertise for your blog or shop!

Email me a picture of the number saved in your phone along with you ad html. Please make sure it is exactly 200x50 like this:
Source
 
Looking forward to getting your emails!!

nicolejeannette87 at gmail dot com

I Wish I Were Here Wednesday


I wish I could be in Greece right now. 
I'm dying to go!



Where do you wish you could be right now?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Quelqu'un m'a dit

I've had this lovely song stuck in my head all day.



Also, sweet Jeri Lynn gave this to me today:


Thanks, girlfriend!

To accept the award, I'm supposed to post it, show some love to the giver, tell seven things about myself, and award it to fifteen other bloggers. Here goes...

1. I'd take a good book over a night out at a bar
2. My favorite dessert is a tie between lemon bars and creme brulee
3. I hate spending money
4. I like Martha Stewart Wedding magazines. I think they're SO pretty
5. I love my job. I feel like a youth pastor/big sister--most of the time.
6. I love singing at the top of my lungs (who doesn't?)
7. I could never, not even for a day, be a vegetarian. I. love. meat.

Tada! Those are my seven facts!

However, I'm terrible about awarding things like this, so I'm going to cheat (it is my blog, after all...) and give it to all of my readers! Just comment so I can read your seven fun facts :)

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day Trippers -- ATL Edition -- Part 2

While in Atlanta, on our way to the Georgia Aquarium, we stumbled across a really cool Purina dog show in Centennial Olympic Park!


We decided to get our tickets and head back over to watch the show for a little bit:


 In this contest, they were testing to see which dogs could jump the farthest into a pool of water.

 Look at this one go!
Did I mention there was a juggler?
We had so much fun! It was definitely the best way I've ever killed an hour!

If youtube will stop being so difficult, I'll put up some of the videos I got of dogs doing free-style Frisbee tosses with their owners.

Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day Trippers -- ATL Edition -- Part 1

Last week J. L. and I celebrated our 2-year anniversary and decided to take a day trip, turned two day trip, down to Atlanta. Let me tell you, folks,  we had a fabulous time!


Despite leaving at 6:30 in the morning, we were pretty excited.
This was apparently the amount of excitement I could muster that early in the morning. 

After driving for four hours (plus traffic) and enjoying some of the best tunes XM Satellite Radio had to offer, we finally arrived and went exploring and discovered this great little pub:

 Pretty, right?

 The inside

I highly recommend the fish and chips!

I'm not sure if there is a European area in Atlanta or if we just happened to be surrounded by Europeans that day, but we sat next to a family from France and I enjoyed eavesdropping and translating. (Don't judge me. It makes me feel like I have a super power and I'm not ashamed!)

After that, we ran into a lovely Irish man named Damieon who took this picture for us:


We loved his accent and agreed that visiting the UK needs to be on our "to do soon" list. (Oh to be rich. Boo.)
We spent some time looking around the area and, per my friend-of-a-friend's suggestion, did not take the MARTA (pictured) mass transit into down town. I felt this was a wise choice for several reasons, but mostly because we were able to enjoy the sunshine by walking around in the perfect Spring weather.

Next time on Day Trippers -- ATL Edition:
The Aquarium
A Dog Show
Two Urban Licks
Ikea!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 4, 2011

In search of office art...

I'm tired of my office walls being bare. I have a teal 'Keep Calm, Carry On' poster, framed, resting on the top of a shelf, but I need some real art in there. I like these for now (decisions, decisions...)






Let the Rain Come

The battle between good and evil has been raging in the Nashville skies today-- err, at least good weather and bad weather! I just released my students from the basement for a tornado warning and I currently am peering outside my office window into a scene of wet, but calm, greenery, accented with the occasional thunder bolt.

I spent some time earlier today during the calm before the storm looking up to the sky as if I were peering into the face of God, asking and trying to predict what the clouds would bring.  Where is she going with this? I imagine you asking... well, hold on. I'm not just rambling to ramble, I promise I've got a point.

I've been very blessed lately in very tangible and measurable ways, but it's times like these that I feel that remembering the storms in my life, and anticipating the inedible storms in the future, is really what has made me who I am and what will continue to shape me.

I've been very interested in the vast changes, geographically, in Japan after the tsunami and find it fascinating that one event could so drastically change everything about the affected area so quickly. Interesting, too, how one event, big or small, can so drastically change our own worlds, eroding away what we once had and stripping what we thought we had from us, leaving only the part of us that is most normally buried.

I'm a firm believer that God does not prevent "storms" from happening in our lives, not because He doesn't care about our suffering, on the contrary, I think His heart breaks when our hearts break, but so that we can find Him and His will for our lives through these storms. Someone recently said to me that she is not sure how God could be all powerful, but all merciful at the same time. I honestly and earnestly believe that by not stopping bad things from happening while suffering along with us is what makes Him these things at the same time. Winning in this life is not the reward, but the path to the reward.

We may stumble and suffer through this life, but it is in suffering and stumbling that we find out who we are and, for me at least, who we are in relation to God. This prize is not making it through this life with a healthy paycheck, picket fence, perfect spouse and 2.5 ivy-league quality children, the real prize learning to love the parent that abandoned you, reaching out to the slave that was unfairly treated or mourning with your neighbor after the death of a child so that through these things your understanding of what love really is abounds so deeply within you, that life begins to look on Earth, as it is in Heaven. I believe God is not in the business of making us happy, but in the business of eternal significance. It is through His Son that we have been saved by grace, but through the trials and tribulations that we begin to catch a glimpse of what grace and love really mean. 

I'm not suggesting that we revel in misery or bring negative things upon ourselves unnecessarily, but I have learned that the power in loving through the difficult times makes loving in the good times actually mean something. Through coming to terms with  through, real life situations and facing challenges with strength, mercy and grace, knowing that even if when it all crumbles down, that God is all you need, you will find a the real prize.

Staring into the the clouds today reminded me of my whole relationship with God and how even in times of proverbial tornadoes on the horizon, He always has been and always will be present through all of it. I have learned that through conflict, problems and pain, God was always there and when I trusted Him, he provided redemption, rebirth and growth. The storms in my life are what made me and stripped away what didn't belong, but I know I never would have changed had I not been allowed to weather the storm. In the end, I'm finding that God does not save us from storms, but He saves us from ourselves through the storms. So, let the rain come.

Go forth and do great good,
Nicole

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cherry Blossoms

I just read an article about the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. and I'm thinking attending that needs to go on my long term to do list. Maybe next year?
Aren't these beautiful?





And, for those crafty bloggers out there, I found this and thought it looked fun:


J. L. and I are going on a day trip to Atlanta and so looking forward to it!
I'll put pictures up as soon as I get back (hopefully!)
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Go forward and do great good :)