About Me

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Malindi, Kenya
This blog used to be about me and my new husband starting our life together in Brookhaven, Georgia. Now, 8 years, 3 children, and 1 trans-continental move later, I'm writing for me; to document the emotional and spiritual journey I am on so that I don't forget the paths I have traveled in my heart and mind.

Monday, December 14, 2009

6th grade girl sleepover






Last weekend I took on a very ambitious endeavor. Thankfully, I wasn't alone, my friends Rachel Roe and Melea Connett helped me host 9 sixth grade girls for a sleepover. To sum up the night, squeals, giggles, and LOTS of silliness. We played games, ate pizza, watched movies, and decorated cupcakes to bring to the firehouse down the road. Me, Rachel, and Melea went to bed around midnight, and I think the girls stayed up till 4. They fell asleep and set their alarms for 30 minutes later because they did not want to waste valuable time on sleep, but unfortunately they slept through their alarm and got a whole 3 hours of sleep. I was very impressed because I got them all to church on time and only one item was left at my house!

Thanks to Chris for a TON of help cleaning up the house. This was the beginning of a week of hotel Chez Nicholson. Thursday and Friday night I had a friend, Carolyn, stay over at our house, while she was there on Friday night our friends Stefan and Ivana arrived (they are from Serbia but have been living in Ohio for 3 months). We had so much fun with them this weekend. We miss them a lot and they made Serbian pancakes for us which were AWESOME. On Friday night my wonderful sister, Anna, her husband, Don, and three boys, Jon David, Luke, and Caleb, are coming to spend the night with us. We love to have people over and it feels good to put our house to good use. If you are coming to atlanta and need a place to stay, you are welcome at our house, but prepare yourself, there is only one bathroom and it is about the size of port-o-potty!

Our Second Christmas




Here are a few pics of our christmas decorations this year. We have one big tree inside, with this year's new additions being lights with GREEN wire (a huge step up I must say), some green and blue wooden flowers, rafia bows, and the wheat stalks at the top. I was going for a natural theme. I think my favorite decoration is the butterfly we got from Callaway Gardens. My plan is to get two more for next year. Chris decorated our little artificial plant and it was so gaudy but it was really cute, and then we had the outdoor tree with big colored bulbs. We inadvertently got led lights which gave a neon feel to the lights (you can see our outdoor lights from 20 houses down).

We took Emory with us to Low's to get Christmas decor, etc. She was quite the hit at the store, but we could only bring her in if she stayed in the cart :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Emory in action



I was kind of bored tonight and missing Chris so I took this video :) video

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Night




Last night Chris and I had a super fun date night to an Atlanta Thrashers game. The game was really exciting. We were sitting on the fourth row from the ice (we did not pay full price for these tickets, don't worry, we scalped them, now you might be worried about something else, but that's what we did). Anyway, the game was really exciting. The thrashers scored 4 goals in one minute, and things got really heated. Shortly thereafter, a huge fight erupted involving every person on the rink at that time. Can't say that I enjoyed that very much, but everyone else seemed to. We took MARTA (public transportation) to the game, so getting there and back was an adventure in and of itself, and as always, very entertaining. When we got home I crashed on the bed with Emory... a great way to end a great evening!

Harding Homecoming







I got to go back to Harding this year for homecoming weekend, and I got to spend time with two of my best friends, Lindsay Trotter and Kim Tomlinson. I LOVE being with old friends, and it's even more fun when we get to spend time together at the place we have the most of our memories-Harding! It was so fun to walk around and reminisce our good conversations at Midnight oil, the spot where I was egged while riding a bike, our favorite lunch place. Lenny's, our glory days, etc. I was also blessed to spend time with the Trotter family. They are so much fun to be with and always make me feel like part of the family. Lindsay has an adorable niece and nephew. Since we were there during halloween, we got to see them in their costumes- fairy and train conductor (they were ADORABLE).

What brought me to Searcy this weekend was an invitation to give a talk to the Biology department about the work I've been doing in grad school. Lindsay's parents (Jay and Shelly Trotter) both came to hear me speak, as did my wonderful Aunt Cheri, this made me feel really special. I got to catch up with family (grandma and grandpa, aunt cheri, uncle scott, cousin claire, grams) and this was really wonderful. I love my family so much! I also had some special time to catch up with all my Harding teachers. This was a hugely uplifting time for me. They made me feel like a celebrity! Every once in a while, we all need a little confidence boost :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bumble dog






This is us at the church's Trunk'n'treat event. Maybe next year we can dress up a real child :) Don't get excited people, we're not pregnant. Some of the cute little girls got the biggest kick out of calling her bumbledog... pretty creative.



One of our friends was the "discount" girl from progressive. We thought that was a really good idea. She just went around saying "discount!" Wish I would have thought of that;)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Weekend away

Chris and I just spent a wonderful weekend away at a friend's lake house. (Thank you so much for those people who so generously share what they have with us). It was a much needed escape. We cooked together, baked cookies, watched TV, walked outside in the crisp fall weather, took naps, studied the Bible, and watched a movie. Doesn't that sound awesome? I could have handled about a week more, but I'll take what I can get;) I want to express how thankful I am for the blessings God has given me. We have had a rough year in terms of witnessing suffering in people we love dearly, but I know that I have so much to be thankful for. First, we have Chris's mom and she continues to recover... praise God. I am endlessly grateful for Chris. He is an amazing husband and he teaches me so much about how to love others and how to love God, and mostly how God loves me! Thank you Lord!

This sounds silly, but this weekend I was also really thankful for Emory. She is so much fun and always gives us something to laugh about. This morning Chris and I were waking up (actually how it happened was that I woke up to the sound of Chris calling my name in progressively louder tone until I responded and he asked if I was awake). When I opened my eyes, he was looking right back at me, and as I was laughing about that, a third face appeared, also checking on the status of "wakefulness" of me. Emory just looked back and forth with her face about one inch from each of ours as if she was asking, so what are we going to do today? huh? huh? huh? Later, Chris took a deer head off the wall to show it to her and she became so terrified... I've never heard her bark and growl so viciously... she might be a good protecter after all. Even when Chris put it back she kept looking at it and barking. In the other room she wouldn't stop looking up as if she know thought wild animals sprung down from ceilings. Poor thing. But it was really funny.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dance party with the Strines










We've been getting to spend more time with Amanda, Daisy, and Grant lately and LOVING it. Amanda is an awesome sister-in -law, and the kids are so much fun... they keep us laughing non-stop. The first couple pictures are of a dance party we had at our house with the kids. Daisy Strine can really break it down (so can Daisy Jones- they would make quite the dance team, those two). Then we had some fun time at the dog park. As a side note, if you are thinking about taking small children with you to a dog park, make sure they finish their ice cream cones BEFORE getting out of the car (they were quite a hit with the dogs :)

The next night Emory had some girl time at the park together, and I was feeling sorry for myself because I was missing Chris, so I took pictures of me and Emory like I would have of me and Chris if he was there. The result was pretty funny. My lab friends think she looks like big bird in that picture. She is pretty big!

Here is a little teaser to peak your interest in our next post: Last night, Chris came home with a bumble bee halloween costume for Emory. She looks ADORABLE in it! Pictures to come!

Monday, September 7, 2009

DC and back to Lubbock

Yesterday was Chris and my first anniversary. We had planned a trip to DC for the weekend, so we left Lubbock on Thursday, spent thursday evening with Ryan and Cheryl Touchton and Justin and Bethany Bagwell, and then left for DC on Friday morning. Ryan and Cheryl kept Emory for us which made me feel SOOO good because they are taking really good care of her. I think she likes being with them more than us! They work in the yard and she loves to be outside with them and then they take her for long walks in the evening so she is worn out and ready to go to bed. We had one really good day in DC. We were able to make our whitehouse tour which was really cool (no cameras allowed so I have no pics of that). The next day we went to the mall where we took the pics of the Washington monument bellow, and then we went to the Smithsonian museum of American History, where of course, Chris took a picture of Obama on the presidential timeline. We were in the museum about 30 min when we got a call that Cindy was doing really poorly, so we headed back to the hotel and made arrangements to get to Lubbock ASAP.




We are in Lubbock now in the hospital waiting room. Since we have arrived, we have gotten some good news. This morning, her lungs looked better, and her body on the whole seems to be making positive steps towards healing. It's like she hit rock bottom and then has since started to finally heal. We just aren't sure how long it will take, but we are thankful for every bit of good news that we get. They are hoping to wean her off the ventilator in the next few days. Please continue to pray, because the power of God is working in her body and He is listening to all these prayers that are being sent up.

Jesse and JoAnne Long are a couple that live in Lubbock and found out about our situation. They have truly been a godsend. They offered for Chris and I to stay with them last night. They found out that it was our anniversary so when we got to their house, they had set up our room with champagne glasses, sparkling cider, two pieces of cake, and a note that said Happy Anniversary Chris and Sarah. It was so sweet and much needed. This morning they had set out homemade muffins, strawberries, cereal and coffee and juice. They also cooked lunch for our whole family. I'm so touched by their kindness, and I really hope that God gives me the chance to minister to somebody else the way they have ministered to us.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Marathon Not A Sprint

We are sitting in the Lubbock airport today, about to head back to Atlanta. It was very hard to say goodbye to Cindy yesterday. We talked to a nurse for a while last night and she said the main thing was that Cindy didn't give up. We have to keep telling her that she will be fine and encouraging her to fight. More than anything, she needs strength of will... she needs to be filled with conviction that this thing isn't going to get her. We will take our trip to DC and Chris will most likely come back to Lubbock after that. Recovery is going to be a long road. I think if we look at it as a marathon and not a sprint we are in the right mindset.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Keep Praying...

We are still at the hospital today. Cindy's condition hasn't changed too much. We are thankful that she hasn't regressed, but we are anxious for her to improve. The doctor checked in with her this morning and said that her blood oxygen levels hadn't changed too much, so she is still on 60% oxygen from the ventilator. The x-ray of her lungs looked better than yesterday, so they seem to be healing. We have to stay on these nurses about giving her her medicine on time, it's hard not to get frustrated with them when she is clearly in pain and feeling distressed. Chris's younger siblings, Tiffany and Levi, are on their way here tonight and we are excited to see them. We've gotten many calls from Atlanta and all over and each and every one is DEEPLY appreciated. I don't know how people get through this without the support that we are so blessed to have. Thanks to everyone who has helped take care of Emory while we were gone (Kelly, Niki, and Sky, Justin Bagwell, and John Neiland). This was a huge weight off our shoulders. Thanks to everyone for praying and loving us. We are trying our best to stay positive. Chris and I are supposed to leave tomorrow so we can make our flight to DC on friday. This weekend is our anniversary and we had planned a trip to DC to celebrate.

It's hard to feel good about going with Cindy so sick, and we have struggled with what to do. Thankfully, we can always be just one plane flight away. Keep praying...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pray for Cindy

Please pray for Chris's mom, Cindy Nicholson. She is very sick right now, and Chris and I are with her here in Lubbock with Paul, Amanda and Cindy's parents, Ken and Patsy, and her brother, Kenneth. We are very thankful to be here with her.

She is in the medical intensive care unit with a condition called ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome). Her lungs need a lot of rest and care to heal from this. That's all she needs... time. So we are gathering around her so she knows how much she is loved and we are trying to encourage her to help her have the strength to kick this thing, which we know she will with God's help. Mostly, we just take turns sitting with her and singing, praying, reading the Bible, talking, or just being there. She is an incredibly strong person and has a very strong faith in God's power. I know that God will take care of her the way she has taken care of so many of His precious children.

I am so grateful to have her as a mother-in-law. I've learned a lot from her and I look forward to learning a lot more and to watching her love on Chris and my kids... loving kids seems to be the very thing God created her for.

Please pray for her very speedy healing. Pray that God will restore her body and her spirits. I know he is here with us, I know He helped us to get here in such a timely manner, and I know He has been with Cindy every step of the way. Lord, please heal Cindy very soon!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weekend with the Wyatts

A couple of weeks ago we had the Wyatt family come stay with us. Travis and Kendra Wyatt had worked with the youth group in Greenville when Chris was growing up and he babysat for them when their kids were younger. I fell in love with the whole family and we had sooo much fun. They have 3 kids: Grey, Emory, and Hayden. We felt kind of bad that we had a dog named Emory, too, but what can you say-it's a great name. We love having people come visit us for many reasons. One of them is because we get to do all the "Atlanta" things that we would never do otherwise. Below we are at the Varsity- oldest drive-in in America, famous for servers that say "What'll ya have? What'll ya have?" And they really do say that, only it's more like shouting. If you want a hotdog without toppings you say you want a naked dog, and if you want a hot dog to go, you say you want to walk the dog. We had a lot of fun with this, they give you all Varsity hats, too. We had one of the girls from the youth group, Victoria Garner, hanging out with us, too.

I got to go to the famous Georgia aquarium for the first time with them. It's always more fun to do these kinds of things with kids because they always get such a huge kick out of everything.


The otters were sooo cute. Who ever knew? They swam around on their back like the picture above and sucked their thumb while doing it! They looked incredibly cuddly.



Emory had a blast taking pictures with my camera, I have include about 1% of them. Let's just say the event was well documented :) Anyway, we had a really fun time.

Point of the story: if you come to Atlanta to see us you can just picture how much fun you will have by inserting your face in the pictures above... aren't you excited!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

3 Things

Believe it or not, I have three things to post about today and NONE of them have to do with Emory! For all you Emory Fan Club members, I am sorry, but, believe me, she is getting cuter every day.

#1. I did it, I actually got my nose pierced! I know to most of you this must come as a shock, but we can get through this together. It's definitely not like me to do something like this, but I have always talked about wanting one, and I finally decided to put the words into action. Why has it taken me so long? Here is a convo I had on the issue with my dearest dad:

Me: Dad, I think I want a nose ring

Dad: Don't you think that will hurt?

Me: Not anymore than when I got my ears pierced.

Dad: I didn't mean when you had it done, I meant when I ripped it out. (No grin on his face)

I'm sure I will regret doing this when I have a teenage daughter... Let's everyone keep this a secret from her, ok?

See? It's very small, no need to worry :)

#2 Chris bought me these beautiful flowers yesterday. Why? you might ask. Well, I will soon be a published author in the journal Current Biology. This means, one step closer to graduation, one step closer to me finally being done with school after 20 years! I was very excited when I found out that the paper I had submitted to Current Biology was accepted yesterday. We have to make a few minor changes, and then my name will be in print!


#3 I had a lot of fun hanging out this past week with some friends of ours that were visiting from France, the family Verdier. I got to practice my French A LOT, which was good. There was also a lot of smiling and nodding and blank stares going on. While we were in Columbus for the weekend, we went to the brand new infantry museum, and I got to practice shooting a real riffle that soldiers use in combat (it wasn't loaded with bullets, it just had a microchip in it). I felt really cool. Chris shot a bigger gun than this one, but I was too consumed with my own glory to take a picture of him, sorry Chris.




Can you tell that Chris is wearing an Obama shirt? He has so far chosen to wear it in back woods hick town North Georgia and in Columbus, Georgia to an infantry museum. Can you see why these might be inappropriate times for him to flaunt his political leanings?


In the above picture, we are at the Coke museum in Atlanta. I am standing with Nathalie, the daughter of the Verdier family. We were good friends when I was 6 years old living in France.


This is me in front of the BEAUTIFUL orchids. Thankfully, my shirt matches. I think Mr. Verdier is making me laugh. Oh yeah, we were at the botanical gardens in Atlanta. Chris and I already had 4 free tickets to the gardens so we didn't have to buy many more. For the story on how we came by these free tickets, you'll have to ask me in person.


This is the whole Verdier family. They are a bunch of clowns and super fun to be with... even if your French isn't too good.




I just had to show some of the beautiful flowers we saw there. God's creativity never ceases to blow my mind. I love how much he cherishes beauty. His beauty is all around us, and isn't that what we seek when we are at our lowest? When I'm down, nothing lifts me up like God's beauty, a colorful sunset, a breathtaking view from a mountain top, the endless ocean, and my favorite... flowers! I've been reading the book Captivating, and I love how the author describes the traits of God that are only revealed in femininity. One of these is his beauty and his love for beauty. It may have no "practical" purpose in the western worldview, but I believe God created it for a reason. Sometimes we just need to soak it in!