Get To Know Me...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

secret letters

Earlier this evening my mom called me into her bedroom. She handed me an envelope and said "I found something of yours." I looked down at the envelope and written in crooked handwriting I recognized all too well were the words "A Note to Nicole. to be kept for her to read in later years."

I opened the envelope and inside was a simple and elegant card- white with three pink roses in the center. Written inside was this note:

"Darling little girl,
Welcome to our family tree. A new blossom is always welcome.
Our prayer for you is that you grow up knowing God and all the wonders He has provided for us to enjoy.
May your generation leave this world a better place for your being here.
May you enjoy good health as you grow to maturity.
Remember the very best things in life are free- Love, Faith, Hope, and a dream for the future.
You will always be in our prayers-
Love forever,
Great-Grandmother Duitsmann

When I finished reading this card I was blinking back tears. My great-grandma wrote this note the year I was born, when she was 80. Receiving this letter twenty years after it was written
was such a heartwarming experience.

My favorite line is "Remember the very best things in life are free- Love, Faith, Hope, and a dream for the future." Now, 20 years after this was written, I do believe love, faith, hope, and dreams are some of the most important things in life, just as she wished.

My great-grandma died three years ago this month. She was 97 and lived a full life. I don't think I can describe how much getting this letter meant to me. I'm sad she isn't alive with us to know how much she touched my heart, even after her death on Earth.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vacation Bible School!

It was Vacation Bible School week, more commonly known as VBS, this week at church! That means, on top of babysitting for five hours a day and completing nine observation hours for my summer class (I have the tendency to procrastinate :), I was at church from 5:15-9:00pm every night- dancing, singing, laughing, cheering, praying, learning, loving, and definitely scolding... It was a wonderful week, filled with awesome kids. :)

This was my first year leading a crew for VBS. Last year I was in the nursery caring for infants and years before that I helped out wherever my mom or grandmother happened to be helping. In the group I was in there were some of the sweetest and funniest kids I've ever met, some go to our church, others are just vistors. Nevertheless, I love everyone I got to share this week with. The ages ranged far and wide- six to eleven, so that was pretty difficult. I remember on the first night an older kid sat next to an adorable little boy who is five and goes to my church. He turned around and said to me with such an exasperated look on his face, "Ms. Cole, he's TEN!" He seemed so shocked by their age difference; it was hilarious.

Tonight, as all of the leaders were having our nightly "huddle", my pastor was saying how much it means to the church that we all gave up our evenings to be with these children, to love them and to show them that they are cared for, and that all felt backwards to me. I feel like the blessed one, for being able to share this wonderful experience with all of those children.

VBS this week really showed me that I'm meant to be a teacher. I had so much fun with everyone in our group, but especially the younger ones, which is the age I'm going to school for. My crew had three older boys and they were quite a handful. I'd much rather be with the six-year-olds. :) Some of the most joyful things I've ever experienced happened this week- being asked to hold hands, being asked for my help specifically when making crafts, being told I was to sit by them, being asked if they could sit on my lap. One boy, the cute five-year-old I mentioned earlier, invitied me to his birthday party and he made me the invitation during the closing finale on an offering envelope. They're all so sweet, and I can't imagine a better career than being surrounded by small children- blessings from God.

Friday, July 17, 2009

one month

One month from today I will be beginning to move out of my home and into a townhouse with two roommates. For the first time in my life I'm going to be on my own. As much as I'm excited, I'm also nervous. I'm not moving far, only an hour away to be closer to school, and I'm planning on coming home every other weekend to see my family and attend the church I've been going to for thirteen years. But I won't see my mom daily, I won't be annoyed by my brother daily, and I won't see my dog, Sage, daily. It's certainly going to be a bittersweet occasion.

We went up there last night and I cleaned the kitchen up a bit- it was really grimy before and now it's only a little grimy. Every time we go up there, I get really excited. I'm so anxious to paint and move in- to make it mine. I want this upcoming month to speed by, but at the same time I don't. My feelings are becoming quite complicated.

Last night my mom said she's going to be working a lot after I move out, so she won't be home as much, because then she'll "cry her eyes out," because I'm her "baby girl." It was a heartbreaking moment.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

something wicked this way comes

Harry Potter has been on my mind and consuming my life for the past week. Even as I write this, I'm halfway watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I've been attempting to watch a movie a day, but it hasn't really worked out so well- I'm 1 1/2 behind- and I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince(for the sixth time, I believe) all in preparation for tomorrow night at 11:59pm, when the movie is released.

It all started when my mom bought me Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone waaaay back in 1998. I was a young eleven-years-old and had no idea what this series would mean to me as I grew older. As more and more books were released, I fell more and more in love with the characters of Harry Potter. I saw the movies, I read the books multiple times, I read theories, I cried, I laughed, I even took a class specializing in Harry Potter- Special Themes in Literature. My finishing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (14 hours) was a bittersweet occasion, on the one hand I had been waiting nine years for the result of the book, and on the other hand I had been waiting NINE YEARS, my childhood. After I finished the book I was at a loss, I didn't know what to do. I grew up alongside the characters and they all meant so much to me, it was hard to believe that I could no longer look forward to reading about their latest journeys.

As the release of the final seventh film(s) loom nearer, I'm kind of worried. Harry Potter was my childhood, and it has been a major part of my life for an extreme 11 years. The release of these movies are going to be the end of my childhood, even though I'll probably be 22 and my childhood would have ended many years ago. I will have the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios to look forward to, but it's nothing like the excitement and anticipation that the books and movies have brought me, especially after I go there a few dozen times. Still, I believe the magical world of Harry Potter will continue to be a major part of my life for many years to come.

Friday, July 10, 2009


This afternoon as I returned home from babysitting, happy that it's Friday and excited about the Game Night I would be attending later, I learned something extremely disappointing about my younger brother, who is seventeen. He betrayed my trust and I don't even want to speak to him until I calm down. To make me even more upset, my mother wasn't as distressed as you'd have thought, or at least as I'd have thought, she would have been. Everyone else probably finds me to be overreacting, but with our past and family history, what he did was unacceptable in my eyes. I always seem to believe the best of people, especially my family, and when I get let down, it's agonizing. My brother is generally a good person, he may be hyperactive, a little immature, and annoying, but he truly has good intentions. I just never expected this from him.

It's hard when I'm around people who don't see eye-to-eye with me, namely my family. That is one huge flaw about myself that I need to get straightened out, but it will take some dedicated work. Maybe one day I won't care how people act or what they say... I doubt it.

I had this really happy post about Harry Potter planned, but that fell through the roof.... perhaps tomorrow.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day and summer class woes

Tonight myself and some friends continued with our Independence Day festivities by eating leftover cheesecake and dancing around with sparklers and water balloons, hoping to make this a monthly activity. My real 4th of July was a nice day. I cleaned my room that morning (I even dusted and I truly despise dusting), ate a nice family lunch, no grandparent's this year-they're in Hawaii and I reek of jealousy, went to a friend's house and played Hearts, Upwords, and Cheater (I like BS more) for a few hours, then headed to watch a local fireworks display and listen to an awful arrangement of 1812 Overture. After Titusville's version of a fireworks show, we went back to said friend's house where her father put on his own mini-fireworks show. All in all, it was a pretty nice day.

I have so much trouble getting motivated to complete assignments for my summer class. It doesn't help that it's probably one of the most boring classes in the world- Children in Schools: Legal, Ethical, and Safety Concerns. It's an online class, which makes it so much worse for me. I find the internet to be such a distraction. It doesn't help that my teacher always seems to be late in telling us our assignments for the week and posts the articles we're supposed to read in three different folders. I started working on my assignment at 6:30pm tonight and didn't finish until 9pm. It wasn't anything hard, I just had to read two articles and write about three paragraphs for each article. Why did such a simple assignment take me 2.5 hours?? This class was only offered for Summer C, which means it lasts from May through July and it's eating up my summertime fun. I never want to take another summer class again. Wishful thinking. :(

Tomorrow my plans for the day include mowing the lawn, dusting and mopping the house, reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in preparation for next Tuesday!!!, technically Wednesday, and doing my regular babysitting duties....

goodnight moon

Friday, July 3, 2009

A new beginning

After much thought, I finally decided to make the switch from LiveJournal, who I was with since eighth grade. My username was outdated, as was everything I wrote about- complaints mostly, there was nothing of substance. I'm trying to become more serious with my writing, so I figured a fresh start is just what I need.

I've been thinking about my future a lot lately, as much as it makes me excited, it also makes me nervous and unsure. For as long as I can remember, I've had the popular "change the world" mindset. I want to impact lives and make a difference in our world, by whatever means I can. I'm getting a degree in Early Childhood Education because I love working with children and I want to influence students as much as my first and second grade teacher did. Since traveling to Ireland two years ago, I've wanted to move to Dublin for about a year after getting my Bachelor's doing whatever work I can find, be it working in a pub or cafe. For the past year or so I've entertained the thought of going into the Peace Corps once I get my Bachelor's and teaching wherever I would be sent. After going to How It Ends ( last week, I've thought about going to Uganda, or Africa in general, for the teacher exchange program, going there on a mission trip, or even touring with IC around the States- if they're still doing that in 2+ years. At the rate I'm going at, it'll be another 2 years before I graduate, and I've even been thinking about getting a second minor, which would push my graduation date even farther up. I want to get my Master's Degree in Special Education after settling down in my career, however long that takes me. I have so many expectations for my future and I'm worried they're all going to fall through and nothing will happen. That I'll end up working a lousy minimum wage job, dreaming of what my life could have been like. As often as I tell myself I will have an accomplished life, there's always that possibility that something will get in the way and it will all go downhill.

This summer I've been making my money babysitting twin nine-year-olds, a boy and a girl. Most of the time they are so much fun to be around, but there are times when they drive me absolutely insane. Let me provide a wonderful example: Wednesday we decided to play the board game Sorry! I'm sure you all understand the basic rules behind this game: Each player has four pawns, and deciding on which cards are drawn you either move forward or backward, or if you're lucky you take an opponenets place on the board. So we were playing Sorry! and the girl got the replacement card and she switches spots with her brother, who then starts yelling and crying because he has to go back to start. I explain to him that that's simply the point of the game, but he doesn't take it and continues with his crying. His sister chimes in, "Yeah, it's the point of the game! Don't be a crybaby!" I decide that his sister and I will continue in the game and he can join back in when he's decided to stop crying. Eventually we are all playing again and I get the coveted replacement card. Looking at the board, I see I can only trade with the girl. Once I make my move, she starts crying and yelling that it's not fair and she doesn't want to go back to start. Really?
I suppose this is practice for my future career.

It's now past 1am and I told myself I'd be in bed by midnight in an attempt to fix my sleep schedule. Unfortunately my brother decided 1am is the perfect time to clean his bedroom.