God can be so hilarious

How ya doin'?

This semester is finally over and I'm still here. I came out alive, and things have changed.....oh, how they have mightily changed.
Life is moving along and everyone is making something of themselves, and I'm just here watching it all happen. I know people who have gotten married, who have gotten engaged, who have gotten straight A's, who have graduated, who have started dating, who have gone on missions, internships, foreign countries.....and I'm just here....living 'n stuff. 

Regardless of all that.... I am happy. I really am happy. This year....I honestly had no idea what this year would hold for me. Nothing significant really appeared on the radar. Maybe nothing ginormous like a ring, or say, a baby happened (ha. wouldn't THAT be funny?), but a couple notable things have changed me and allowed me to become more like the person I want to be. I went through an extremely dark period of my life that I'm sure only a handful of people knew about. And it's not something I was proud of. But it made me stop and realize that I and only I have control over my life and my resulting happiness. I have now made it my personal goal to wake up every morning, making the choice to be happy and help change the lives of others around me.

And as a wrap up of this golden semester, here are some behind the scene photos that never made it to the FB.

I donated blood for the very first time. And oh, what an accomplishment for me that was.
O + in the houuuuuse

Kevinsky. He beat us all to the punch. Congrats, bro.

Cami, Cami, Cami. How glad I am to have met you and gotten to know you this semester.
Thanks for being my big b. 

This makes up for that one time you pushed me into the dirt.

This little missy got her back handspring!
And did I mention she's only 7?

Looking at this multiple times a day is what got me through finals week, my friends.
Love these kiddos.

No comment, really. Except for I love these guys.

Realizing that my college experience is already halfway over. 

I joined a band that lasted all of one rehearsal.

Mom: "I don't know where to put my hands.."

Dad: "Okay now let's take a serious one."

Whoever thought it was a good idea to make me a manager of these people was on crack. 

Many late night Stats study sessions were had. 

I bought a car, y'all. Adulthood is real. And so are car payments. 

And if I could only explain this to you, I would. 
But I can't.
So let's just say I pick Cats Knot.


Hey y'all

And you thought we wouldn't be having one of these?

(ha that's funny because I'm a Soc major, not a Psych major.)
Oh goodness, it's late.

I'm back


Honestly. Who did you think I was, not drinking a can of Coca-Cola?

This time, Tweety is comforting me.
But not comforting my head that needs rest.

Pippy Longstocking has always been a hero of sorts for me. 

Writin dem papers at 4 in the morning and life couldn't be better

Except when you tempt me with Coke again...

I literally can't resist.
Or take my eyes off it.

Told ya.

Oh, and the purpose of these glasses is NOT to look like a hipster.

But to help me with my paper.

happy finals

P.S. this is my favorite tradition of life now. So appreciate it. And get ready for SUMMER 2014


Grow Till Tall

[Cue emotional throwup]

It’s amazing how I’ve perceived things have changed in a short year, yet so little truly has.

A year ago I was wondering what kind of people I would meet, who I would spend most of my days with (if I would spend time with anyone at all), who I would live with, and, to be blatantly honest, I was definitely not looking forward to the lonely summer that was presented to me with a smug grin from the universe. I was moving back home. I was working my tail off. And I was going through the motions of happiness because the future seemed dim and lonely.

Heavenly Father - through a series of events - changed that mindset and attitude and blessed me beyond belief. But, as the scriptures so blatantly say, what he giveth, he can taketh away. And taketh away he has. Ripped from my stiff and unwilling fingers, I was left in a pool of emotions and depression.
In my journal a yearish ago, I wrote “Lately I have just been trying to live Heavenly Father’s plan for me and accept His will. I mean, I made the decision to not go on a mission with his help, but after deciding that, it’s just up to him I guess. I don’t really know where my life is taking me, but I trust His plan and take it in small steps and small decisions.”

And I guess I’m back to the exact same place I was a year ago when that entry was penned. Except now, I’m extremely mad at myself for allowing Nicole 2014 to get back to the same place that Nicole 2013 was. I look back at this past year and wonder, is there anything I could have done different? Done better? Shouldn't I have grown, progressed and have something more than a broken spirit to show for a whole 365 days? After giving everything I was into multiple relationships and investing time and emotion into many people, my answer is still “I don’t know.” I probably could have done so much more, but I would have been left with the same results- being left out to dry by the people I love and the people who said loved me because that's just a thing that always happens to people- especially people named Nicole Hopkinson.  That’s not a bad thing- I mean, people live their lives and nothing is permanent because that’s like, the Plan of Salvation, I just am more sensitive to it than I'd like to admit. However, I cannot express how grateful I am that I learned early on in life that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is not just for sin and repentance, but also for pain and shattered hearts. It is the only thing that can save me from myself and my own harsh judgments. And if there is one thing I learned from General Conference this weekend, it’s that I must access the Atonement and live my life with a disposition of gratitude so that I can combat those feelings that bring sorrow. President Uchtdorf’s talk was for me. And I’ve never experienced anything like that before where I knew a specific talk was inspired revelation I was meant to hear because everything applied to me. It was everything I needed to hear and more. It taught me that the good things we have in this life can “end”, but in reality, they will continue on into the eternities. And oh what a reassuring statement that was for me.

I get on Facebook every day and I encounter more posts than not of relationship statuses (stati?). And sometimes it plain ticks me off.  Engaged. Dating. Friends. More friends. IT NEVER ENDS. Why does everyone else get to experience that or other happiness that results from it? Why not me? Haven’t I done enough to deserve happiness? I have given everything I am to serve others and be a reliable person when others are in need, and what have I gotten from it? Only a finger or two of people I can count that have stuck by me in my darkest times. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been grateful for those few brave souls and my happiness and joy should not - and WILL NOT - be based on or controlled by others. The only thing that I should gauge that after is my relationship with the Savior and realizing how proud I [hope that I] make my Heavenly Father.

Everyone else may change and break promises and leave me in the dust, but through all that I can truly say that I know who I am, and I will never veer from that and disappoint others. No one may want me, but Heavenly Father always does. I chose to come to the life and I will finish it strong. My head will be held high and I will be proud and happy with myself. Always.