There was once a time when I was the youngest in my family. I know....weird, right? So that phase didn't last long. It ended officially with the birth of a red-haired, wide-eyed, explosion of a person named Nicole, on June 9th, 1992....twenty years ago.
I say "explosion of a person" because Nicole is one of those people who is just exploding with personality and awesomeness.
Mostly, when I remember Nicole as a baby, I remember her with a shocked expression and hair standing straight up. I remember her blowing bubbles in the bathtub. I remember playing Barbies with her for hours on end, and then playing with our matching horses for the rest of the day.
One time, we were all cleaning the pond behind our house during Spring Break. At one point, Nicole got some pond water on herself and left to change her clothes. When she came back, she was too nervous to get back in the pond, so instead, she stood on top of a storm drain and made up a song to encourage us. For some reason, it didn't exactly encourage us, and we encouraged her to get down. We still tease her about that!
Nicole is super-social, and she makes some really good friends. Her best friend Gina is a favorite of our family.
Nicole and I have an interesting history with stuffed animals. One time, Nicole was annoyed at me about something, and I didn't realize that she was. She came into my room, where I was calmly sitting on my bed, reading a book. She was tenderly holding a stuffed animal of mine, a penguin named Shuffle. Smiling broadly, she said: "Heather, do you like this penguin?"
I looked up. "Oh, sure," I said, and went back to reading.
"Well that's nice," she said, and then proceeded to beat the penguin on the floor repeatedly.
It's okay though, because I got back at her. Nicole has this Blues Clues-esque stuffed animal gender-confused dog called BenKetty. I don't know why, but for some reason, I hate it. I think it annoyed me for real one night and then after that it was just so fun hating it that I couldn't stop.
One time I sent Nicole a picture on her phone of Benketty hanging from the fan.
Another time, I sent her a picture of Benketty about to fall in the toilet.
In response, she sent me a picture of Benketty holding my purse one night before I went on a date. The txt said, "Look who's coming with you on your daaaate!" She also took a picture of Benketty in my suitcase when I was about to go back to Utah with the caption, "You will never escape!"
Would you end such a glorious back-and-forth? Neither would I.
Nicole is very generous. She always gives me zzzz's so I can be more bootylicious. Also, one time she sent me a care package that was literally THE BEST THING OF MY LIFE. It was so great that sometimes I get a little teary thinking about it. Nicole just is so good at thinking of others.
One of my favorite things about Nicole is how hilarious she is. She's funny when she's just waking up and she trudges downstairs with her hair all piled on her head for dinnertime. She's funny when she's singing at the dinner table, or when she's explaining politics to me. She's funny when she's talking to the birds or imitating them. She's funny when she's giving a talk or when she's gushing about Dream Street or Steve Johnson or Winnie. She's just funny all the times!
Nicole's unofficial motto for life is WWFRD: What Would Flo Rida Do? She is a great rapper. And she finds really great music and shares it with me, which I appreciate.
Nicole is a princess, and she loves princess things. In fact, her blog is called "Life as a Princess" and should be read by everyone and their dog because it is so entertaining and great. In high school, everyone called her a princess, and when this one really adorable boy asked her to prom, he gave her a tiara and did it really cutely. Nicole deserves things like that to happen to her, and she looked absolutely gorgeous when she went to Prom with her princess self.
Nicole is super-photogenic. Just see above for proof: ^
Misery loves company, and when I am miserable, I often choose Nicole as my company. She is sympathetic and hilarious. When I complain to her, I feel better. She makes me laugh. She is great.
|Nicole has come to visit me in Utah many times, and we always do such fun things when she does! The first time, we went to the Bean Museum and took funny pictures. We went ice-skating and to Bridal Veil Falls. It was wonderful having her there :)|
Nicole has style! In high school, she would often wear pajama pants to school. It stressed my dad out a lot. He would sometimes work himself into fits as he imagined his daughter going to college without knowing how to dress herself. But he needn't have worried, because Nicole gracefully rose to the occasion. She now dresses SO cutely and so stylishly. She has about 30 cardigans. She wears cute boots and scarves. She is cool.
Nicole is who she is, no matter who she is interacting with. I love this about her, and I'm pretty sure that's one of the big reasons why she has so many friends. She's not trying to impress anyone by being someone else, and people love who she is, so there's no need to, anyway.
I love doing photo shoots with Nicole because she always makes them so funny! This picture (above) is from this last Christmas. My mom wanted pictures of all of us with our baptism quilts. I think it was cold outside and that's why we were all doing those faces? Maybe? Anyway, Nicole's makes me laugh every time I see this picture :)
Troy Toy was one of our favorites of the pest control boys from summer 2009. I mention him because it was funny to me how Nicole interacted with those boys. She would sit with them in the living room, making friendship bracelets and talking about all her boy problems. They loved her, and Troy wore that friendship bracelet for a long time after leaving us.
Nicole is a great travel buddy. She is so good at directions, first of all, so that is super-handy. She just kind of has an innate sense of direction. Sometimes it fails her....like when we tried to go to New Jersey and ended up nearly in New York at 5 in the morning, searching for a hotel we hadn't planned on needing. But that wasn't her fault, and I loved having her in the car with me, because she was so fun, and she stayed awake with me.
I don't know if you are aware, but Nicole is a superhero. She even gave a speech at her graduation about it.
Nicole loves DC. She was a nanny here last year, and she got to know the city pretty well. She integrated herself into the "Moms' Club." She figured out the Metro. And then, at the end of her term as nanny, she brought all of us to DC and took us on a "Tour d' Nicole," where she showed us all of her favorite places. We loved it!
I can't even really get over how great Nicole is. She keeps getting better and better! I love being her sister :)