Category Archives: Nikki


Nikki Had A Case Of The Mondays.

It started with a VERY sleepless Sunday night. That cough kept us both up as I was constantly rubbing Vick’s and sitting her up and all of the other soothing things I could think of. She didn’t want to miss her one early class on Monday because it ONLY happens on Monday and she had a project she was excited about. So, the plan was to get her to the doctor after school. I wasn’t concerned about contagions because we were still talking ONLY a cough and NO fever.

20 minutes after she’s been at school I get a text from her teacher that she left her project in my car.

Luckily, I work from home 5-8 minutes away so I jumped in the car and delivered it.

Then I ended up getting her after that class as she really couldn’t handle school any more.

Then she ended up having to have her ears flushed at the doctor because they were so full of wax and I’m not even going to tell you the size of the chunks of wax that came out.

Then she had to get a strep test. And we all know how awesome those are. I thought we were going to have to hold her down, she was fighting so much, but after some struggle and some talking and some urgency…she let the nurse do it and cried the entire time. And then just balled up in my lap and sobbed after it was over, I could tell she had just HAD ENOUGH.

And of course, the test was positive. Which kinda blew my mind because the only time she even mentioned her throat was a little bit after some major coughing fits Sunday night. I – of course – assumed it was just pain from such severe coughing.

He did say it was VERY faint so it had probably just turned to strep from a general cold/allergy fit – but still. She has strep. After a weekend of hanging out with a million people including 7 kids in a tent for most of Sunday.

AND THEN…when we were waiting in the line at Target for her meds, she got very mean looks from these two ladies every time she coughed and they actually scooted away from us while glaring at her. It was a case of so-insanely-mean-it-was-almost-funny to be honest with you. Nikki noticed, but kinda felt like I did, which was that those two women were just mean that she wasn’t going to feel too bad about disgusting them.

She slept better last night. But, by better, I mean Not As Bad As Sunday Which Was Basically Not Sleeping At All. She has to stay home from school again today, so hopefully she can catch up on some more sleep and just relax her Monday away. And I can distribute “I’m Sorry I Exposed You To Strep” notes to the parents of all of the kids she hung out with this weekend.

Garfield was her spirit animal yesterday, is what I’m saying.


A Teaser Race Report

I’m not sure I can describe the awesomeness that was Saturday’s Sprint Triathlon. I would love to co-write a race report with Nikki, but we had NO time this weekend so I’m hoping to sit down with her tonight. So, until then, know that it was AMAZING, she smiled CONSTANTLY except for two times when she cried (I’ll let her tell you those stories) but she quickly recovered and went back to smiling again! It is a day I will cherish FOREVER.

I do want to show you what we found when we got to transition before the race. If this isn’t a perfect example of how amazing our triathlon community is, I don’t know what better example could possibly exist.


And then the close up:


I’m sure I don’t need to tell you I cried like a baby when I saw it, right?

And to hold you over until our race report, here are some amazing pictures from the always-on-point Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville. (Check out his whole gallery here.)

2014 HSV Sprint Tri (2439 of 2598)-L

2014 HSV Sprint Tri (2528 of 2598)-L

2014 HSV Sprint Tri (1007 of 2598)-L

Thanks for thinking of us and cheering us on from afar. I’ll post more later!

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She’s Going To Become Addicted To Book Signings Now, I Can Feel It.

You guys remember when Nikki wanted to enter a fan art contest for the books “The Land of Stories” by Chris Colfer – but I didn’t realize it was for 18 and over? (Read entry here.) Well, last night was the book signing event that we opted to go to as a consolation prize. And it was such a memorable adventure I just had to document it here, even if it’s probably boring to read about some kid meeting her favorite author.

(If you find that boring, you are in the WRONG PLACE. That’s exciting content around here.)

SO! We actually had a busy weekend. We spent Saturday night in Florence, AL because Donnie had a triathlon yesterday morning. We went to bed late and got up early, and then spent all day in the sun. Afterwards, Nikki and I hitched a ride back home with some friends (THANK GOD, or else we would have had to taken two cars to Florence) so that we could hitch ANOTHER ride with some DIFFERENT friends and head to Atlanta, GA for the book signing. (THANK GOD, or else I would have had to drive which would have NOT GONE WELL AT ALL.)

Nikki and her friend were so good on the drive, just playing with the tablet and talking about books and what not. It was so cool and I’m so glad we ended up finding someone to go with because I think her experiencing all of this with another child fan made the difference between a fun day and the kind of Day She Will Remember Forever.

Anyway! The book store that was holding the event evidently does these things regularly and they have a great system in place. When you buy your ticket (basically the cost of the book plus $5) you get a number and that is your number in line. So we didn’t have to stress about getting there early, because we knew what place we’d be. They set it up so that you could take pictures from a table kinda away from the line/signing table (they didn’t want you to take pictures up close, which I can understand, it would feel very unsettling) and you just went in line and he took time to at least say “Hi” to everyone and even answered questions or spoke if spoken too.

The girls were FREAKING OUT. Nikki the most. She kept wanting to “practice” what she was going to say to him. She also kept saying, “I think I’m going to throw up.” It was SO CUTE. She was a ball of excitement/nerves and it was the most wonderful thing in the world to see. WAAAAAAYYYYY better than a fan art contest.

I made her promise me she would at least say something to him, even if it was just, “I love your books.” When she got to the point where she could see him at the table she turned to me and – red faced – said, “OH MY GOD. I CAN SEE HIM.” And that moment was BEAUTIFUL. So cute and pure and fun and I just loved it.

We realized they had stopped the line after us to give him a 10 minute break and I think that worked out GREAT because when Nikki got up there, she froze. Of course. But he talked to her and I wanted to hug him for that. (They would have arrested me. I’m sure.) He asked her name and then he repeated it back (she has a tricky name, so that impressed me) and he asked her favorite character. I think she did finally say, “I love your books,” but it didn’t matter because they had a conversation and he looked at her like he really and TRULY cared about how she was answering.

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Meeting celebrities is something that is NEVER going to be what you hope it will be, but this was the best I could have wished for her. He was kind. It wasn’t too rushed (I think because we were the end of the first batch) we got pictures and she was in front of him long enough to not completely forget from shock.

I got my book signed too (of course) and told him I enjoyed them as well. He was just as kind to me as he was to her. It was just a great experience over all. I’m grateful I was forced to do it to satiate a disappointed daughter, I’m grateful we went with friends who made it even MORE exciting, and I’m grateful Chris Colfer was kind and genuine to some of his youngest fans. Fans who think he’s great on Glee and all, but mainly love him because of Alex and Conner and the world he has built for them.

“Best. Day. Ever.”
- N. Holmes


The Trait I Hope I Pass

NaBloPoMo is almost over but I’m coming up on the day that has ruined my streak several years: THANKSGIVING. I forgot to post on Thanksgiving on a few years…BUT NOT THIS YEAR, DAMMIT. I WILL REMEMBER.

But I almost forgot this morning. YAY!

I’m still moderating comments because traffic is still escalated from this post. Sorry. People feel strongly about shopping on Thanksgiving.


Look at this note my daughter left me. Sometimes she’s very self-involved because all children are sociopaths, but then she does stuff like this and I pray it’s a glimpse of her future. I want her to be kind and considerate more than anything else in the world. I want her to see what the people need around her, the people she loves, and be the kind of person that tries to give that if she can’t. I have that trait, although I don’t always follow through because I’m also lazy. But it’s the trait I hope I pass on to my kids the most. (Not the laziness…the ability to sense what people need.) When she does stuff like this I have hope. I think the world needs people like us, and I wish I followed through more often so I could do my part to make the world better.

I’d much rather pass that along that my tendency to trip over invisible objects.




Nikki turns 8 tomorrow and as she’s having her first sleepover (ONE FRIEND. Those of you who invite more are B-A-N-A-N-A-S.) tonight I decided to write her birthday entry today. While things are still quiet and I’m not curled up in the fetal position in the corner mumbling about nail polish and rainbow looms.

This has been a big year for her. This seems to be the year she went from being a kid to a…KID. In the sense that she’s showing way more signs of getting older than she is of being young. The last of the preschool habits have faded and we now see the constant reminders that the teen years are around the corner. She plays soccer with strategy and aggression that is targeted instead of just running down the field to score with reckless abandon. She writes using paragraphs and punctuation. She reads books with absolutely zero pictures. She discusses running for student government next year and wants me to take her to the art museum for her birthday. She’s constantly being punished for sassing us and speaking in a tone that would warrant a slap in another generation. She’s dressing more for comfort than for style because her life is active and she has some running to do. But she cries at night about being picked on for having freckles and hairy legs. She started a bullet journal. She read her first Harry Potter book.

I often say that Nikki has the combination of personalities that could easily turn her into that bitchy executive that takes no prisoners as she buys up the world and sells it out into smaller pieces like a monster gobbling up the countryside. She could be successful but also terrifying. I pray I’ll never have to answer to her some day.

But she’s still so very sensitive. She easily gets embarrassed and often gets her feelings hurt. The worst punishment is to yell at her in front of her friends. Her worst embarrassment is when she cries in public. She’s very dramatic and gives the slightest of negative that weight of the world and lets the smallest incident ruin a day. If she gets in trouble for being an asshat to her brother, she wails about being the WORST SISTER IN THE WORLD! If she gets in trouble for sassing her parents she stomps off and says, “I’M THE WORST KID AND NO ONE SHOULD LOVE ME.” If she gets in trouble for forgetting something at school she’ll scream, “THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER!”

She lives only in extremes.

She’s also a thinker. I’ve worked out a lot of my “How Do I Talk To My Kids About…” issues with her. When we’re cuddling in bed at night is when all of the Big World Questions pop into her head. We talk about religion and what Momma believes versus what the kids at school that says she’s not going to heaven believe. We talk about gay marriage because she knows it’s something our family takes very seriously but when it comes up in school she’s still very much the minority who doesn’t think gay people are gross. We talk about politics and how – no matter who we vote for – the President is someone to be respected and admired and I’ll have her write the next president, even if I don’t vote for him. We discuss death a lot. She asks about my Dad and I tell her I don’t believe he exists anywhere but my heart but that is okay. We discuss heartache and how I still cry sometimes thinking about him. We discuss goals and training and studying and she wonders how people just don’t do their homework and has a hard time understanding how that doesn’t make them sociopaths.

But will all the indicators that the teen years are around the corner, with the drama and the sass and the eye-rolling and the deep-thought pondering and the big-book reading…she’s still very much a little girl who needs nightly snuggles and reassurance that it will all be okay. She needs hugs and kisses and stuffed animals to keep her company.

I very much hope I don’t screw things up as she gets older and our personalities clash, I want to stay this close to her forever. I was raised as the only girl in a house of boys, and in this house she’s my only female companion. I need her as much as she needs me right now, but I fear the day that’s no longer true.