January 31, 2010

snowed in.

Remember how cold I said it was on Friday? Well, Saturday morning we woke up to it starting to snow!
It was so pretty and exciting. It snowed ALL day and we didn't leave the house at all. It was fun for a while but then it got REALLY BORING.
The crappy laptop we have with us wouldn't turn on so we were TRAPPED with no movies or internet or LOST! We played every game we have with us (1 board game and 2 decks of cards), then we got creative. We wrote a play, played MASH, played the SCARIEST GAME OF Hide and Go Seek in the Dark EVER EVER EVER! It was a fun night. Here is me FINALLY getting my book from Amazon.com. I'm two weeks into school already and really needed it, PHEW!A cute dad and little boy were sledding together, aw. We're not creepsters, I swear.

This was the first pizza we ordered. Then we got another one, because this one sucked. Pizza Hut, you saved my life. Deep dish cheese, bacon, chicken, onions, and tomatoes is my new FAVORITE thing EVER.
Pretty snow outside on Sunday morning. We found out church was cancelled though! We were so sad because it was our time to get out and meet and talk to people! SNOWED IN FOR THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW! NOoooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
We got super bundled up and walked to the library. It wasn't that cold out and I sweated the whole way. I love life!
And I really love this guy:

















January 29, 2010

Family Portrait

Yesterday (Friday) was absolutely the most FREEZING day I've had in a while. It was about 20 degrees, but what really gets you is the WIND. The face-cutting wind that gets into any little crack in your clothing and freezes your whole body and even your scalp! The worst thing is that we had to walk 20 minutes home in it! Haha, what a day. We were both dying but then sweet Collin starts singing, "Come, Come Ye Saints." I hummed along. Then we sang Hymns and primary songs for the rest of the walk. It might sound cheesy, but honestly, it made it not so bad. I'm grateful for all my blessings! Collin gave me his gloves because he loves me. What a wonderful man I've married. The job hunt is still on, but going well!

We finally got to start enjoying being in this amazing city! Collin had a lunch meeting downtown and when that was over we spent the rest of our afternoon and evening visiting galleries and monuments. This is our favorite thing ever and our NEW LIFE.

The Metro is SO EXPENSIVE compared to other cities we've each lived in where this was our transportation. But what choice do we have? "Just put the money into the machine and don't think about it." We love it though. We mostly walk, but it's a bus ride and 30 mins on the Red line to get into the city.





First we went to the Washington Monument. I have this memory of climbing up the stairs when I was little, but this time we took an elevator up the 500 stories. It was such an amazing view! And we saw the temple in the far distance. It was beautiful.
These girls were talking to each other and were like, "What is THAT out there??" I saw it and gasped, "The Temple!!!" One asked, "Of What?" I got really excited and said, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!!!!!" We told them we had just been to it and that they should go whenever they get a chance. It was awesome!!!!



Then to the American History Museum. EVERYTHING is free in the city! ALL the monuments and museums!! So one by one, we'll see everything! And then when friends and family come to visit, we'll know the best things to show them for their individual taste!
We saw THE Star-Spangled Banner, the GIANT flag that flew and that inspired America's National Anthem. Being here in DC with all the history etc is really bringing out the patriotism in me. It's all pretty incredible.

THIS KITCHEN WAS OUR FAVORITE THING EVER! It's Julia Child's ACTUAL Kitchen from when she was living in Cambridge! I love her colors and all the awesome kitchen gadgets. I seriously want those green drawers down on the right.
Everyone rent: Julie & Julia. I think Julie was a self-absorbed fame whore, but I love Julia's story, the great love between her and her husband, and her love of food and cooking. She makes me want to be more confident, and a better wife and person.

We saw a lot more in the American History museum including the inaguration gowns of all the first ladies, AND Kermit the Frog. REALLY HIM. In a glass case! It was so weird because to me, he actually lived and breathed. Strange seeing him like that...as a puppet.

Then to the Natural History Museum. Okay, I love museums, I thought all museums, but Natural History Museums are my VERY least favorite. thing. ever. Something about stuffed every species and bugs and bats not living. yuck. I like the zoo though---except for the bugs and snakes and gross stuff....
Okay, here comes my cynical skepticism. I don't believe in Dinosaurs. I DON'T. What proof is there? They say these bones, but I've never seen any. Everything I have seen always says it's a cast of the original, or has a made in china sticker on the side. And where does it REALLY fit in with Heavenly Father's plan? Great beasts in the bible? That could be elephants or any number of things. Now elephants I've seen. Not that I've seen the moon, but man, Dinosaurs? I just don't buy it. Sorry. And hey, if we get to the other side and I'm wrong, I'll admit it. But for now, no way.

That's enough museum talk for now. Plus my camera just died so I can't upload any more photos. I'll do part 2 later: The National Art Gallery and National Portrait Gallery.

It's snowing and I'm in a Silent film as I watch out the window and listen to Rachel's, Music for Egon Schiele.

January 28, 2010

Alright, Ladies and Gentlemen. I don't really have heroes besides modern day and Book of Mormon prophets.
The one I do have, Jerome David Salinger, my favorite author, died yesterday. He was 91 years old and he died of natural causes in his home. He had been a recluse for about 50 years and lived there with his wife. He was a genius, in my opinion, and his few published writings have deeply changed my way of thinking and my life. I have detailed directions to his house and I'll make it there this summer.
See you on the other side, JD.

"You 'd have thought they 'd taken baths in the same bathtub or something when they were little kids. Old buddyroos."

January 24, 2010

Carcassonne and two decks of cards

We've been in our new place for a weekend, and things are going well!! Church today was a very good experience. It has been hard to be away from our good friends in Provo, so we're so grateful to feel so welcomed and loved. New people are little more scarce around here, so right away a lot of people came up and introduced themselves. Everyone has been so friendly; I stopped writing in my journal about all the people we were meeting because there were too many!--And all different ages and types of people too. We already have some dinner invites this week! We met with the Bishop right away, and he's eager to put us to work! I have this strange feeling I'll be put into Primary--hehe--so I'll enjoy Relief Society while I can, heheheh. (I've been in nursery for the past 6 months and've LOVED it, but am excited to be in R.S.!!)
THE COOLEST THING is that we meet in the Stake Center NEXT to the temple!!!! It's amazing! We went to Choir Practice and it is held in the Visitor's Center! Wow, so spoiled. We thought we would never get to go to a temple as often and we did in Provo again, but we were wrong!!

Here is the outside of our new place. There are 7 other apartments. We have a two bedroom, a balcony with a beautiful view, and plenty of space for a wicked dance party. Now we need some friends!
We're excited about a Gas Stove!!!

Here's the view from the Balcony. There are picnic tables and little grills. We can't wait till Spring and Summer when everything turns green! We also have a pool RIGHT outside of our door! With a DIVING BOARD!
Dancin with my se-elf.

I always have a hard time figuring out how to introduce myself in a new place. My name is Nicole, and I've gone by it at work and school my whole life, but my family calls me Nikki. People always ask, "What do you like to be called?" and I never have a preference. So I decided: I'm going to be "Nikki" in this ward. Today people kept thinking my name was "Micky," and I figured out that it was because I was saying, "I'M Nikki." Get it? Confusing.

The job hunt is still on for both of us. But we've gotten tons of leads and we're working hard. Yesterday we walked all around town applying. It's a beautiful walk and adventure everywhere we go. We went grocery shopping, and honestly, it's NOT that bad of prices. We were prepared to pay crazy amounts. Our local store, McGruger's, is adorable!
Our stuff is STILL IS NOT HERE!!!!!! That is ALL I'm going to say about that. It stinks, but it's not that bad...hey...we survived in Africa for a month. We can do -no pots or pans- for a few more days. :) Love you all, and I'm especially in love with Collin H. Smith----Nicole E Money
Cutest, Bluest & Tiniest little house ever.

Mr. + Mrs. Smith go to Washington

Rockville, Maryland actually. We have spent the last week - from Friday January 15th to Friday January 22nd - with the Stromsdorfers. Now we are in our new home! It is a real home too. With two bedrooms. The funny part is that we are sleeping in the second bedroom because it has a bed. And frankly, every time I go into the master bedroom I keep thinking I am going into someone's parent's room. But I am the someone and I am the "parent" adult. It is a weird feeling. Like I have to grow up - bigger.

Our view is gorgeous, the grass is green and there are so many trees. While none of them have leaves on them, it feels very homey, woody. And then there's the temple! We don't have a view from our house, but it is on the same lot as where we meet each Sunday for church. It shoots out of the top of the forest like a great white castle. I can't wait to go in! Church was great - such a friendly ward. Lots of young couples, army medical students, law students, older families. We have joined the choir. Fun. Annnddddd. We love it. This is where we are meant to be.

Of course, it is hard to be away from old friends. It is difficult to not just drop by with an arm full of board games or run off to our favorite Mexican joint. We don't have anyone to spend a few hours with jamming out to Rock Band or sharing Family Home Evening on Monday nights, but it will come.

We are close to other family that we haven't seen in awhile. My brother Ian and his wife Ashley with Lauren, Kate and soon-to-come Lincoln live 12 hours away in Clarksville, TN. Nikki's cousins live in Pitman, NJ and I have many friends in New York City (which is just a $25 round-trip, 3-hour ride on the China Town Bus!!). I am SOOO nervous. Can't help it. I have a wife to support, not to mention my unquenchable appetite. But it goes well for now. We have the faith that we are where we are supposed to be, and that I will find the job that is right for my career.
-Collin

January 20, 2010

Montgomery County

We woke up and took the orange line on the metro down to DC and then got on the red line to go to Rockville. When we move in on Friday, we'll live about a mile and a half from the metro station. We walked around the main down town area applying for jobs. It was so cute. I really want to work at the front desk of the aveda salon. Or at the ice cream/candy store.
We visited the library and got accounts! I'm so excited to live there. It's a very cute little place, and seems so east coasty, if you know what I mean. Pictures will be coming. Today our camera died just as we got there. I love all the interesting characters here. And everyone is so nice!!! People that you stereotypically would not go up to and talk to you on the street just walk by and smile and say, "hello!" I love it!
You know, I do miss the mountains though. Send me mountains!


January 19, 2010

thoughts -Nikki

I'm not very good at the blogging part of this....But I'll try harder.
So I've decided to never listen to anyone ever again. Collin and I wanted to move to downtown DC and everyone told us it would be way too expensive and wayyyyy too dangerous so we've looked and looked in all the surrounding areas. Guess what, folks, everywhere else is just as expensive and just as dangerous. And now we have no car! Don't get me wrong; I'm excited about living in Rockville,
but sister, I'm ready for the city life!
I've started school back up--online. It's pretty great so far. I love being a student. I love that people don't believe I'm over 24. I love cap'n crunch.
Our stuff should arrive..ooohhhh "sometime after Thursday," and I can't wait to feel like I've really moved across the country. It's time to go watch WAIT UNTIL DARK, Audrey Hepburn. I'll let you know how it comes out.

New days, new

I can't believe that people drive down the freeway every single day and see the temple like this! I can't wait to go inside.
DC is beautiful.


NASA in Greenbelt, MD




Some of the stuff was cheesy and broken, but
some of it was aweeeesome. This is where we learned about
Jupiter. It felt like we were in space and it FREAKED me OUT!!!

We found a place to live!
Rockville, MD and Collin has a
couple of interviews this week.
Life is exciting, but I miss Provo
friends a lot. It's hard to think of making
new friends. I think I can do it though.
I'm just so glad I'm with my best
buddy, Smith.

January 12, 2010

PACKING!!!!!!!!!!! ALL WEEK!!!!

We're really going and it's so crazy. It's definitely hard to say goodbye to some of the people here. We started our marriage here. I consider the Provo temple "my temple," and I love our apartment. Oh well, I'm sure we'll fins another haunted building to live in.

These are most of the boxes, but we still have a quite a few more!
Tomorrow is our last day of packing.

I love you Marion even though you don't play for the suns anymore.
And I love you SUNS. And I love you Kobe.
I'm so confused.


January 5, 2010

DELICIOUS Snickerdoodles recipe

Into a large mixing bowl:

-1/2 cup butter (melted)
beat for 30 seconds

-add 1 cup sugar and mix

-add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, 1/4 tsp baking soda and mix

-add 1 egg, 1/2 tsp vanilla and mix

-add 1&1/2 cup flour and mix

Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours

Take out dough and let sit for 5 or so minutes to warm a little
Set oven to Bake at 375 degrees
in a separate (small) bowl mix 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 Tbsp sugar

Roll 1 inch balls of dough and roll them in cinnamon/sugar mix

Place on greased baking sheets 1 inch apart and bake for 11 minutes

January 3, 2010

I'm Mr. Heat Miser; I'm Mr. Sun



Christmas Time in Phoenix


Christmas Carols around the Piano
Aw, brother and husband on Christmas Sunday

Leo Patrone pose

Dangerous
Weirdddddd
Family home evening Traditions night.
Gingerbread houses and cookies from scratch!!!!
Joe spent the entire break on the trampoline
oh man, these were really really good.
Gingerbread smells soooooo good
building our houses


my creation

Joe's roof had an adorable worker fixing this broken candy, hehehe.
Collin's Candy Tabernacle! WOW!
Christmas EVE. We spent all day watching Cmas movies, had a huge dinner with friends, visited the Brugmans, then went home and read Luke 2, Dad recited 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, & got PJs. Then the kids went upstairs and watched The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Dad, Mom, Joseph, Collin, Nikki, AJ. We MISS YOU, DAVID!
Brothers minus 1
Love bugs
Micky the Santa Dog
Christmas morning! He wins for the most appreciated present.




I got the Game of Life!
Sushi at Hon Machi for dinner. DELICIOUS.
AWESOME CRAZY lighted up house!!!

There goes Christmas.