Thursday, March 31, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 12 - your most treasured item}

My most treasured item is my engagement/wedding ring. Not at all because of monetary value, but because of what they mean and symbolize. My sweet husband searched high and low to find the perfect ring to express his love for me. He didn't let me see my band until our wedding day and I loved the surprise and that he got to see my face before anyone else. I was so surprised and impressed. I am so glad I gave him zero guidance and let him do his thing. I love wearing these rings to look at every day to remind myself of the vow we made and the life we live together. It's pretty fantastic to do life with him. 

PS I need to write about the proposal one day... his goal was to surprise me. He did.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 11 - what you believe}

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

"He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'" Luke 10:27

Jesus died on the cross to wash away my sins. I have been cleansed of my sin because of His sacrifice. I am saved by grace. I love Jesus and am so glad he is in my life!

These two songs are my favorite worship songs. And both bring me to tears.

Revelation song, sung by Kari Jobe.**.

Glorious Day sung by Todd Agnew. It's my favorite version!

**What is really funny is I wrote this post last week before 3 or 4 of my blog friends posted about it. It is seriously a wonderfully moving song!! It blesses me in a new way every time I listen.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 10 - favorite TV shows/casts}

First of all, I don't really watch a lot of TV, but when I do, these are my faves!

Modern Family - umm hilarious. that is all

Bones - LOVE this show! 

Friends - always a favorite

NCIS - I'm required to like this, it's Tyler's favorite. We have "Tyler TV Tuesday" in our house. ha!

The Big Bang Theory - Bazinga!
{photo credit}

Monday, March 28, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 9 - something you're scared of}


I hate them.

I contemplate how long it would take me to roll down my window and unbuckle my seatbelt every single time I cross one over water. I usually drive with one hand on the window button. Just in case.

I hate all bridges, but one in particular puts me in tears. Not even kidding. I despise this bridge:

 {photo credit}
{photo credit}

Beautiful bridge, right? It's the Astoria bridge in Astoria, Oregon. The first time I went over it, 1/2 was covered by fog. I pretty much thought the bridge was broken and we wouldn't be able to get across and therefore we would be dying. I'm a little irrational sometimes. This summer when we went to Astoria, I purposely drove the longer way so that I wouldn't have to cross the bridge. I knew I wouldn't be able to without breaking down and I was the one driving! Tyler had never been to Astoria and had no clue there was a shorter way... I'm sneaky like that. I did tell him once we got to town though!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 8 - A picture of your friends}

I'm really running short on recent pictures. This is another post with pictures taken entirely from facebook. I really need my computer to get to workin' stat! Here are a few of my very sweet friends!!

 {Sarah and I out to dinner around Christmas 2010}

 {me, Meredith, Kelsey: NKOTB Concert, Dallas 2008}

 {Jessica and Laura and Jess' wedding 2010}

{Lauren, Jessie, Meredith, Kelsey, me, Jodie, Amy: my bachelorette party}

Saturday, March 26, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 7 - A Place You've Traveled to}

We've been all over, but I'm going to post a few from our recent trip to the Pacific Northwest. I love it up there!

 {Mt. Saint Helens}

{Seaside, Oregon} 

{Seattle, Washington: Space Needle} 

{Seattle, Washington: Public Market}

 {Kalama, Washington: view from my Dad's deck}

 {Astoria, Oregon: Astoria Tower}

 {Astoria, Oregon: view from the top of the tower}

{Bend, Oregon: Deschutes Brewery Pub}

Friday, March 25, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 6 - A picture of something that makes you happy}

I'm not good at following directions, so I'm doing more than one thing that makes me happy.

1. Fresh flowers on my bedside table.

2. My Grandmother's cookbook. 
{she got it for her wedding in 1963}

3. The color yellow.
{especially when it's my newly painted chalkboard frame!}

4. This guy.
 {he kidnapped the camera. see me dying in the background?)

5. Sampson and Bear.
{this was yesterday while I was recording the vlog. They were concerned for me!}

6. Sweet tea with Sonic ice in a Lilly tumbler.

7. Herbs growing on the porch.

8. Fingernail Polish.

9. Razorback games.
{Arkansas vs. LSU 2010 - the game that took us to the Sugar Bowl!}

10. Hanson.

3 Questions - Vlog Style

I don't really know what convinced me to do a vlog, but I sure did jump on the bandwagon. ha! Feel free to join in over at Kodi's blog and answer the questions!

Also, I wish I was brave enough to show you the outtakes. They are hilarious. Roll on the floor hilarious. I'm special. ;)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 5 - A picture of your siblings}

I have a huge family. My mom has been married a couple times and with those marriages came some awesome brothers and sisters. I have 1 actual 1/2 brother, but the rest are just steps. My dad and stepmom also have a daughter, she's a step, too, but my dad did adopt her, so she's legally mine. ha! The easiest way to do this is by age! ha! This might get a little confusing, 

This is Taylor with my mama at my wedding. He got married this fall in Vegas! We didn't go, but got to watch live online. It was pretty awesome.

This is Katie (and Jeni and I in the background). Her husband Mike is the biggest Hog fan I know :)

{Mike and Tyler after our Hogs beat LSU!!}

This is Matthew, he's my real brother. He's an awesome kid. 
{taken at Katie's wedding reception}

This is Jeni. She's Katie's real sister. She's an amazing violinist and I made her mad at my wedding because I wouldn't let her be a bridesmaid because I wanted her to play. We made a compromise and she got to wear a bridesmaid's dress. ha!

This is Averie and I at my wedding. She's my dad and stepmom's daughter. She goes to the high school that is in Twilight. (interesting fact... the high school shown isn't actually in Forks. Because Forks high school is yuck.). Also. I hate Twilight.

Here is a recent picture of  everyone on my Mama's side :) We are missing Taylor's wife Allisa and we added in Matthew's girlfriend Danielle. 
{family dinner at Mom's house - everyone's looking a little rough}

{Tyler, Me, Mike, Katie, Mom and Matthew at Mike and Katie's wedding}

And here are my sisters in law! Amanda and Sarah. Love them! I am so glad they were part of the package when I married T! And they are going to be parents to twins this fall! I'm still so stinkin' excited.

I seriously adore all of my siblings. They are hysterical and I can't imagine life without them!

{confession, I stole a good 1/2 of these from Facebook. ha! My computer is still on the fritz so I'm using Tyler's netbook and don't have any pictures stored on here!}

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 4 - A picture of your parents}

I have awesome parents. They are the friendliest divorced couple I've ever met. ha!

This is my Mama. She is an Emergency Room RN and is a great mama. I happen to think she did a great job raising us and made me the woman I am today. I am forever grateful. She was a single mom and worked very hard to make sure we still got the best out of life.

{I think I look just like her here}

This is my Daddy. He lives in another state and is the coolest dad ever. He's always been very honest about his mistakes in life and I think that seriously helped me make decisions about where my life was going, especially when I was young.
{Dad's face cracks me up in this picture!} 

{Dad and stepmom, Mel}

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 3 - A picture of someone you love}

I could put pictures of so many people up here! But, I'm going with the one I love. He is my love.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him ever. I love his smile in it. He was so happy that day!! I know the lighting is bad and it's "technically" a bad picture, but I just love it. This was in Seaside, Oregon this summer on our vacation to visit my dad.

I have to include this one...
I have roughly 180,679,298 pictures of him doing this. He knows it drives me crazy ;)
And yes, in case you were wondering that is his favorite shirt.

I love this man.

Monday, March 21, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Day 2 - Meaning behind your blog name} and a recipe

My blog name isn't a super top secret, no one can figure it out kind of a name. It's pretty self explanatory. 

The Biker: 
Tyler's favorite hobby is riding his bike. Every time I tell someone this, they assume I mean a motorcycle. Nope, not so much. Motorcycles aren't allowed in our house. ;) We're talking mountain bikes. 
{my new favorite picture. taken right after he got back from his first ride of the spring. it was successful}

Go in the woods, pedal yourself, get absolutely filthy mountain biking. I am not so much into the biking. This is a hobby he shares with my dad and I am grateful they have something in common. My dad and stepmom are very into biking and every time we go visit, Tyler gets to have a great ride with them (usually while I go shopping). I've tried biking with him on a few occasions, but I'd much rather just run. 

The Baker:
I LOVE to bake. I don't really like to eat what I bake, but that's what I have a husband and friends for.
I just love to be in the kitchen no matter what, but making cakes, cookies, pies and anything else I can think of just makes me almost giddy. Today is a good day for this post because I actually got to bake something yesterday and not feel guilty! We celebrated Tyler's birthday (oh, only a month late) with his family so I made his  favorite cake! Yay!

And here is that recipe:
I got it from Sophistimom and I love her. Go check out her site, not only does she take beautiful photos, but I have made a lot of her recipes and have never had a bad one!!

vanilla bean cupcakes
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean (these can always be left out, and the cupcakes will still be delicious)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Fill cupcake liners slightly more then halfway full.
2. Bake for 15 minutes, or until center cupcakes bounce back when touched. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. 

I also add 1/4-1/2 tbsp of {dry} vanilla pudding mix. And she makes these with strawberry icing, but Tyler likes chocolate buttercream, so that is what I make for him!

Tyler's {very} belated birthday dinner

Last night we had Tyler's Dad, stepmom, and our sisters in law over for dinner and to see our house. We didn't get to celebrate his birthday on his birthday since I was so sick, so this was his birthday dinner, too!

We grilled barbecue chicken, parmesan potato wedges and a salad. It was all so good! I'm taking everyone's word for the chicken being good. I also made Tyler's new favorite cake. It was a disaster. I almost cried. I have never in my life made a cake as ugly as this one turned out! It completely fell apart and just looked ridiculous. But, it tasted delicious, so I guess that's what really counts. And I was going to show you a picture of the disaster, but apparently I deleted it! ha! Tyler said "Well, just tell everyone I did it." It. Was. Bad.

Amanda and Sarah brought some silly hats and games with them to play with. It was hysterical watching 6 adults try to figure out cheap kids toys. Tony and Marsha got Tyler a great new tool bag and a few tools to go in it. He definitely needed this and he was really excited. Amanda and Sarah got him a home depot card... I'm super excited about this one.

We also got the fantastic news that Amanda and Sarah are expecting twins!! So super happy for them. They will be such wonderful parents and I can't wait to be an aunt. And hopefully we will have kids soon so the cousins can be close in age! 

So yesterday was quite the fabulous day! We are so blessed to have wonderful families that we actually enjoy hanging out with!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge {Intro and Day 1}

I have a few friends that have passed this little 30-day photo challenge around on facebook and blogs. There have been a few different variations. So I’m picking my favorites from all of them and going with it! 

I will be doing this, hopefully, for the next thirty days! I’m really hoping that this will be a way to make me blog and to get into the swing of regularly writing. I really enjoy it and really like having our lives documented, I just need to do it! I’ll also throw in other posts here and there. 

Here is the list I’m going to follow:
Day 1: Introduce, recent picture, 15 facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: A Picture of someone you love
Day 4: A Picture of your parents
Day 5: A Picture of your siblings
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: A place you've traveled to
Day 8: A picture of your friends
Day 9: Something you're afraid of
Day 10: Favorite tv shows/cast of favorite shows
Day 11: What you believe
Day 12: A picture of your most treasured item
Day 13: A picture you love
Day 14: Your favorite Bible verse
Day 15: Something you're looking forward to
Day 16: A picture of something you hate
Day 17: A picture that makes you laugh
Day 18: A picture of something you miss
Day 19: A picture of your typical day
Day 20: A picture of yourself
Day 21: A picture of your family
Day 22: A picture of your Pets
Day 23: A picture of your biggest insecurity
Day 24: A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 25: Favorite Movies
Day 26: Favorite books
Day 27: Something you would like to do before you die
Day 28: A picture of someone who inspires you
Day 29: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life lately
Day 30: Something you've learned

So, Day 1. Ready. Set. Go.
{taken in NOLA-Sugar Bowl week}

I'm Niki. I'm a 20-something part time housewife, part time teacher and part time nanny. I love my husband, Jesus, my family, my friends, our dogs, baking, Razorback Football, and Hanson. Tyler and I have been together 7 years and married for almost three. He's awesome and is the funniest person I've ever met. I love that God chose him for me. 

Now onto 15 random facts about me!
1. I'm a vegetarian. I eat seafood on very rare occasions and usually just when I'm on the coast visiting my Dad. But for 99% of my life, I eat nothing with a face.
2. I hate stairs. I will use them, but I hate them. I fell down an entire flight of stairs in high school and had a bruise on my bum for 2 years. I am not exaggerating at all.
3. I can't wait to be a mom.
4. You know that song Secret Agent Man? Up until about 5 years ago, I thought they were singing Secret Asian Man. Yup. I'm that girl.
5. I love {with all my heart}Hanson. Old and new. I'm not ashamed. I listen daily. I love New Kids on the Block, too. But Hanson wins.
6.I have an addiction to fingernail polish. I change the color on my nails at least twice a week.
7. I had a boyfriend in college from Ozark who raised cattle. I had a knockdown drag out fight with him over the fact that the red stuff in packaged meat was not blood, it was meat juice, just as my mother had always told me. I ended up calling her to verify and she still told me it was meat juice. Its a wonder I'm a vegetarian. {shocked that relationship didn't work out! ha!}
8. I paint, sew, knit, design stationery, make bows... and anything else I can think of. I have too many hobbies. 
9.  I very rarely remember my dreams, and when I do it is because I have woken up to something horrible. The dream I have the most often is of my brother getting kidnapped and me chasing after him to no avail. I hate this dream and I have had it for years
10. I cry over everything. My feelings don't really get hurt all that often, but I'm talking about ridiculous things... commercials? Yep. Sweet things my class say? You betcha. Lifetime movies? Well, of course. Pretty sure I even cried during the Oscars this year. The worst is kLove radio station. 3 seconds in and I will be in tears. Guaranteed.
11. I have no shame over the fact that I watch {and enjoy} shows on Disney and Nickelodeon. None.
12. I have 3 favorite colors. Yellow, green and turquoise. Used to be pink, I still like pink, but I don't own much pink anymore!
13. I love to read. When we go on vacation, I usually take 4 or 5 books with me and 9 times out of 10 will end up having to buy more while we are there. 
14. I am a blond at heart and mind. I once asked where the yellow line was on the football field at a Razorback game. Sad, I know. I also thought that water polo actually involved horses. I had a HUGE a
argument with Tyler during the olympics when we were dating. It was sad. He still married me.
15. I love Anthropologie. If I had an unlimited income I would own everything in the store.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's been quite the boring week... :)

We are sitting here on the couch watching the Social Network. I'm on Facebook, twitter and blogger all at the same time. Do all people do that when they watch this movie?

We haven't had a whole lot going on this week. Tyler has worked or been at school almost every day this week, so just sitting on the couch is great! We did have homegroup Thursday and it was HUGE I think there were 22 people there (kids and adults) and we had a great time. I so enjoy the church and the people God led us to and feel incredibly blessed to have found them. 

This Sunday we are having Tyler's dad, stepmom and our sisters-in-law over for his very belated birthday dinner. We are very excited to have them come over! It has been way too long since we all got to hang out. And this means T actually gets a day off. Kinda great.

The only other exciting thing happening in our lives is that Tyler is changing up his work schedule, at least for this month. We will see how it works out, but for the time being he will be off Thursdays and Sundays!! Which means he can go to church and homegroup all month! Also, he's changed his time at work from 11am-11pm to 1pm-1am. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this yet, but Tyler seems to really want the change. We shall see!

Have a fantastic weekend!!! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Heifer International and Clinton Library

Tyler and I joined a gym Tuesday. I've gone every day. I'm also on Day 2 of Jillian's 30 Day Shred. I think I'm dying.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way...

Mom, my little brother Matthew, his adorable girlfriend Danielle and I went to lunch at the Heifer International Global Village Cafe. I am sure there is a better name for that, but I don't know it, so that's what I'm going with. I LOVE Heifer International. I think it's a great organization and I love what they do around the world and in my city. We didn't do much touring today, but will go back and look around sometime. I did take this picture of my little brother and I love it. He's a really interesting kid (he's 21, yes he'll always be a kid to me) and he finds beauty in so many things. He really appreciates the world. He's been through a lot in his 21 years and I feel like he's overcome a lot of that.

And this is my mama, she's going to kill me for posting this. Please don't tell her. ;)

You don't get a picture of me, I'm not allowed to use hair products or wear make up until next week. I had an allergic reaction to something, not a clue what, and the doctor said I can't use anything! Boo. So I was looking hot today. ha! It really helped my self esteem that my brother's girlfriend is a make up artist and was dressed to the nines and even had false eyelashes on!

When we left lunch, I had to go to the Clinton Library for an assignment and Mom was gracious enough to tag along. I've been before, so was really only interested in the Dr. Seuss exhibit and the requirement for my assignment - photographic evidence, 2nd floor or higher. ha! I guess somebody has tried to cheat my teacher before and just took photos in the lobby. No good, folks. But the Seuss exhibit was great!

I'll be spending my weekend cleaning and trying to finish up the art room. It just has to get done! I've procrastinated enough! Have a great weekend.

By the way, aren't you proud of me blogging twice this week? It's a miracle.