Saturday, November 10, 2012

my new favorite song and other exciting things

My favorite song changes a lot. It can be hard to pick when you've got several gazillion to choose from. Every couple of months I find one that I love. Here's my new one. The music video gives me chills.

Well. Now that you feel like climbing a mountain, let me fill you in on some exciting things in my life.

The amazingly talented leads, Colin and Sedona
as Frank and Annie
Opening night for our musical, "Annie Get Your Gun" was last night! Oh. MY. GOSH! I don't think I've ever been so pumped up in my whole life! It was incredible! It's been such an awesome experience preparing for it, and we're finally performing!

And I owe it all to my dear friend Brooke. Without her, I never would've even auditioned for this. I'm so glad I have friends that love me! (Thanks Brooke. Nicole loves you.)

So come and see it! November 9, 10, 16 & 17 @ 7:00, Molalla High School auditorium

Wish us luck tonight! :D

Okay, so, I never have bad hair days. I always thought that kind terminology was only for the girly and the dramatic. But yesterday I had one. It was awful, no joke. My hair felt so gross. And I wouldn't have cared all that much except I had to leave for a funeral in fifteen minutes. But good news, everyone. I figured out how to fix. You ready? So I have these flower hair clips one of my YW's leaders made me. If you pull all your hair back in a pony or a bun with a thick headband, and then clip one of the flowers behind your ear and wear matching earrings, you look like a doll. Can you picture it in your head? Picture it in your head. Seriously guys, it looked so cute, I wish I had a photo of it.

While we're on the subject of random awesome things, if any of you care, I found some excuses to paint for school. Whenever there's a poster due for a class, I'm the first one to volunteer for the artisticky part (imagine that). One of the posters was for Hollywood themed homecoming, where our homeroom was assigned the movie Titanic. The other was for Spanish class.

That's right, baby. We had to choose something or someone to describe fully in Spanish (clothes, traits, likes, dislikes, etc.) and we chose Rapunzel. Can't get much cooler than this.

Rapunzel le gusta pintar y cantar y bailar. Ella lleva un vestido morado y no zapatos. Ella tiene el pelo largo y rubio. Los ojos de ella son verdes y grandes. Rapunzel es muy bonita y muy simpatica.

Dang, I'm good.

I mean...Soy bien.

Adios, mis amigos.

Oh, wait! Speaking of homecoming (because I was talking about it in my head), I went to it! Pictures coming soon!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

my well-deserved time-out

I do believe I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

I had the incredible opportunity to go to Time-Out for Girls with one of my best friends. Basically, we got to listen to these amazing famous LDS speakers sing and give inspiring talks.

It was awesome. (And I mean that--It. Was. Awesome. Not awesome like the new Taylor Swift CD, or the Avengers, or the frozen burrito I had for lunch. Think about the word "awesome." It means something that inspires awe. Human beings should not throw around this word so carelessly unless the thing you're describing is really that awesome. This is one of those times.)

Prepare to be blown away.

John Bytheway was there. Like, the real John Bytheway. The hilarious and inspiring author of three of my very favorite books? The one who remixed Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Trees? Yeah. That was awesome. He is awesome.

Kris Blecher and John Hilton III were also there. John was pretty hilarious too. He talked about getting personal revelation by searching the scriptures. (But when you're mad at someone and you're seeking for peace, and you open up to a scripture that says "slay him" don't do it. Remember to apply the verse correctly.)

Okay. Prepare to be blown away AGAIN.

My friend Brooke just introduced me to this really cool video by Carmen Rasmusen Herbert and Alex Boye. Watch. Inspire yourself.

If that didn't blow you away, this will.


Look! There I am next to a Season 2 American Idol finalist who also happens to be an amazing Latter-Day Saint woman! She is so awesome! I love how even in Hollywood, with all those negative influences around her trying to get her to compromise her standards, she stood firm.  She talked about how true beauty isn't on the outside, but on the inside.

You know who else I got to meet? SANDRA TURLEY. She's a Broadway star who performed in Les Miserables. She was such inspiring speaker. She also didn't give in to the world trying to get her to do things against what she knew was right. Besides that, she has an incredible voice. Like, seriously. This girl was born to be on Broadway.

I admire both of these women because even though they were famous, they decided to end their careers and start families. Carmen said while we were there, "Fame and fortune do not hold a candle to faith and family." I love that. Nothing is more important than faith and family. We want to become who God wants us to be, not what the world does.

One of my favorite parts of the whole day was at the very end when Carmen and Sandra sand "For Good" from Wicked. That song is so special to me, I couldn't believe it when I heard the song starting! Both of them have gorgeous voices and strong spirits, and I hope someday I can be like them.

Laurel Christensen, who wrote my book "He Loves Us and We Love Him" was there too. She said this:

"There is a plan for your life. There is a story that is yours. Just. Yours. What part of your story are you writing today?"

I want to do the best I can to be my best self and write the best life story I can. I needed this time-out so bad. I'm so glad I got to go to this event and feel the spirit.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

perfume and a book

Before I went to bed last night, as I was brushing my teeth, I saw this little bottle of perfume on the dresser. It's purple, wild violet scented. It reminds me of when I was little. I think I got it for my sixth birthday. I don't even remember who gave it to me, but I remember that I loved it. I haven't used it in years, because I don't want it to run out. I want to remember the smell. It's silly, but it brings back memories.

By the time I was ready for bed, it was about 11 at night. It's Friday. I probably should've gone to bed. But I didn't. I don't know why. I was really tired. Instead, I started going around the house looking for books that I remember being read to me when I was really little. Don't ask me why, because I don't know. I tried to be quiet because all my little siblings were asleep. I couldn't find "The Country Mouse and the City Mouse" or "The Velveteen Rabbit," but I did find these:

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" by Iza Trapani
"Frog and Toad" by Arnold Lobel
"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein
"The Mouse Who Wanted to Marry" by Doris Orgel
"Commotion in the Ocean" by Giles Andreae
"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak
"Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch

I gathered them all together on my bed and I turned on the lamp, and I read them. Some of them I read cover to cover, and some of them I just looked at the pictures and smiled.

I picked up the last one, "Love You Forever" and I stared at the cover for a long time. I remembered this one the most.

I began to read. The story is about a mother who loves her baby son very much. As the little boy gets older, every night his mom still sings him this song when he's alseep:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be.

I read every word and looked at all the pictures and thought of my mom and my dad. My mom used to read me this book over and over. It's such a little tiny thing but I'm so grateful she did.

When I got to page 24, when the mother is old, and tries to sing it to her son who's all grown up now, I surprised myself.

I started to cry.

I turn the page, and I'm at the part where the grown up boy cradles his mom in his arms and sings her the song. I'm sobbing now.

I finished the book, and I just laid in my bed and cried. I don't know why. Sometimes people cry when they're sad. Sometimes people cry when they're happy. Sometimes people cry for no reason. Especially girls. I don't know what reason I was crying for, but I promised myself that I would read that book to my kid every night when I have one, and then when they grow up, I'm going to give it to them.

My parents probably have no idea how much that book means to me, or that bottle of perfume, or eating graham crackers with peanut butter and milk, or Dad reading The Alchemist to us every summer, or his soundtrack by a Spanish singer named Laura Pausini he plays in the living room stereo every so often. All of them just give me a warm nostalgic feeling.

I pulled myself together, took my contacts out, laid in bed for a while. I thought about memories, and how special they are. I thought about my family, and I thought about the rest of my life. Then I turned out the lamp and fell asleep to my dad's Spanish CD.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

things I did this summer.

1. I saw this by the library in town.

Hehehe. I thought people only did this in movies.

2. I started a novel.

Yeah, that's right. I started a novel. It's going great, thanks for asking.

I like writing. Most of the time, I just write to write, which results in multiple abandoned Microsoft Word documents full of exerpts of wannabe-novels that are going nowhere because they have no plot behind them. But THIS TIME I have a plot.

Go me! However, if I get any comments in the comment section of this post that sound remotely like this...

"Ooh, you're writing a novel? What's it about??"

...I will probably make a face that looks similar to this...

One does not simply tell people what they write about, or walk into Mordor. Silly goose.

I'll give you the first word, though, just because I'm in a good mood.


3. I started the Harry Potter series. Again. For the third time.

I really wanted to read a lot of books this summer. I did, I promise. Unfortunately, that didn't really happen. I thought about reading a lot. But that's all I really did. I thought about it. Every time I picked up a book, I would get bored, and do something else for a while with my time. Finally I just had to face the dreaded truth that I was in a reading slump.

I hate reading slumps.

So then, I did the only thing I thought would help me get out of this slowly state.

I picked up the good ol' Harry Potter books again. For the third time. Because this series is just too awesome to be read just once. Or twice, for that matter. Hopefully, this will bring me back into the reading world.

Snape approves of my decision.

4. I hiked around in intense heat wearing pioneer clothes for a week.

Definitely one of the highlights of my summer. Allow me to explain.

In our church, every four years we do something called a Pioneer Trek where we dress like pioneers and pack belongings in a 5 gallon bucket and pull handcarts in the local desert for a couple days to reinact a little of what the pioneers crossing the plains had to go through. And that is most definitely a run-on sentence, but I'm leaving it like it is. This year we called our adventure "The Rescue" because prior to the trek we were asked to research a deceased ancestor that we would later perform temple work for.

It was a really special, spiritual experience, something I'll never forget.

Here's a picture of our handcart company. You can feel the heat just looking at it, can't you? Yeah, me too. Don't worry, the watermelon, trees, and sprinklers at the end in Zion were definitely worth it.

5. I brushed up on my Disney Classics.

Why aren't all movies like Disney Classics and The Avengers? I don't know either.

This summer, I watched Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and Aladdin for the first time in a really long time. I plan to watch Tarzan again with my friend who has been deprived her entire childhood and has not seen it.

I love Disney movies. So much.

6. I took lots and lots and lots of pictures.

Here are a few of my favorites. (All photos (C) Nicole Pederson 2012.) Man, something about just being able to copyright something...just makes you feel all powerful and stuff.

Blade of grass at Silver Creek Falls

Front yard (It's a hydrangea! It looks like a tree!)

Leaf in the front yard. I don't know why I needed to point out that it was a leaf.

Front yard (See how I didn't point out it was a rose this time?)

Lauren's shadow getting sprayed by the sprinkler on the basketball court in our front yard

My footprints on the Lincoln City Beach. My footprints, guys.

7. I saw the coolest shooting star I will probably ever see in my life.

Out in our backyard in the middle of the night, we went out to watch the most epic meteor shower I've ever seen. The shooting stars stretched across the sky, with thick, long, white tails... (I feel a poem coming on or something.)

The biggest one was my favorite. It stretched across the entire night sky, and you could see the particles at the tip turn orange from breaking up in the atmosphere. It was so long, Mom said, "Kurt, look at that!" and when he looked up, he could still see it shooting across the sky. It was gorgeous.

I made some pretty good wishes that night.

My summer has been amazing. But, to quote Isaiah Mustafa,

"Like all great things, this too must end. There's giant oaks that need chain-sawing into yacht boats. Bermuda Triangle mysteries that need solving with huge magnifying glasses. And everyone knows I could use one or twelve medals for winning exotic car throwing competitions. I must ride my jet-ski line into the sunset."

The sunset being a metaphor for high school.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

in which I meet an author and become a superhero

That's right, guys. I'm a superhero. Sort of.

Awesome-Author-Rachel and Me
My aunt Liane's sister, Rachel McClellan, author of an awesome book called Fractured Light came to stay next door to us. As a mutual activity, she came to speak to our Young Women's group about becoming our own superheroes. (Double awesome. Meeting author. Who is also a superhero.)

She started out with this awesome quote by Marianne Williamson:

"We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?"

She told us that we have this light inside of us that we need to use to help, uplift, and serve others. Our SUPERPOWER. (I know, right?!) In order to use our power for good, we have to be unselfish, not judging, have a desire to serve, and be courageous.

Imagine Superman, she told us, sitting in a diner, eating his enchilada soup. What if he was selfish? What if he judged others? What if he didn't want to help the people outside who were being chased by that giant robot? What if he was too afraid to save them? Would he be a superhero? "Of course not," Rachel said, "He wouldn't be a superhero. He's just a really good looking guy in a cape and tights."

Even Superman, with all of his strength, talents, and abilities, wouldn't be anything if he was selfish, judging, and afraid.

But he is a superhero. And those good qualities, being selfless, courageous, brave, kind...we need to be all those things if we want to become our own superheroes.

Rachel's an author. She knows that people, like characters, have flaws. Nobody's perfect. But we need to be the best that we can be so that we can be the heroes of our own stories.

So guess what, guys? I'm not the only hero around here.

You're a superhero too.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Take a look.

Looks kind of like a rainbow, doesn't it? Or maybe one of those little swirly things you get at the fair? What are they called.....? ....Pinwheels. Right. It kinda looks like a pinwheel.

Let's zoom in a little bit.

Can you tell what it is now?

Why, yes, that IS my rather extensive shirt collection that contains every shade of every color except red and purple. Good job.

You know, the whole "I-don't-have-to-wear-school-uniforms-for-high-school" thing sorta hit me yesterday. At the beginning of the summer, I was excited and all, but then yesterday it was like, BAM! Guys, I get to wear normal clothes. Normal, colorful, non-uniformy clothes.  I actually get to wear my shirts.

Look at all those shirts.

That's like a different shirt for every day of the month. That's a lot of shirts.

That's a lot of nail polish too. Don't even get me started on my nail polish.

And while we're on the subject of rainbow circles, I guess now would be a good time to show off my rock collection.

No matter how I look at this picture the dark blue one is always staring at me.

Oh, well. Have a good day, I'll be at home painting my nails and having a fashion show in front of my mirror.

Dark Blue wishes you a good day too.

EDIT: I forgot to thank Patricia @ :PEH and Nicole @ Nicky Ticky for nominating me for the versatile blogger award! You guys are awesome. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

two cuties

We're having my family reunion right now, so we've been having bunches of cousins over lately.

My sister Lauren's best-buddy-cousin Jessi came all the way from California and the two of them together are just too cute! I got the opportunity to snap some pictures of them being adorable.

Check these two out:

Thank you Lauren and Jessi for being such adorable little models. I had so much fun with you guys! :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

sisters in charity

I just returned home about a week ago from the most amazing week I've had all year: Young Women's Camp. I always just feel so strong and empowered when I come back from camp, and this year was the best yet.

We were divided into cabin groups, and each group represented a YW value, faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice & accountability, good works, integrity or virtue. The group I was in was the only group that didn't get one of these values--we got the value of charity. Let me tell you, charity was definitely the theme for our family--I mean group. Did I say family? Well, we were a family. We all grew so close, and we loved and trusted each other so much. Each one of those girls I felt like was one of my sisters.

Mikayla and Mikayla with our Charity Flag. Yes, I know it's awesome.

Our theme for this year was "The Warrior Within" and the scripture that went with it was "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13) This verse means so much to me now that YW's Camp has helped me truly apply it to my life. Jesus Christ is my brother. He died for me. Even if I was his only sister, he still would have died for me. He gives me strenth, and through him, I can do anything.

The campfire songs, the dancing, the laughing, the Bishop's Day activities...those are all fun. But the real reason why I will remember this YW's Camp year is because my testimony grew so much.

One of the pivotal moments ("aha moments" as we liked to call them) for me was during one of our YCL, Hannah's devotional late at night in our A-Frame cabin. We just started talking about everything, about where we came from, why we're here, where we're going. It was inredible. As we sat gathered around with our flashlights at 11 pm, everything, everything just made sense. You know that feeling? I love that feeling. Everything, for those couple of hours just came together, and for those couple hours, I could see past my worldly problems, I could suddenly see the whole picture.

Hannah then said something I will never forget: she began talking about our life before we came to earth, where we lived with our Father in Heaven. She said, "He held me, when I was a baby. Just like a dad holds his child in his arms, He held me." She had tears streaming down her face as she kept repeating, "He held me." Pretty soon, I was crying too. Because I knew it was true. My Heavenly Father loves me. He probably held me just like Hannah said, and told me that Earth life would be hard, but it I stayed faithful, that I would make it back to Him. I want that so badly. I want to return to Him and have Him smile at me and say, "You did it."

On Friday, testimony meeting day and Bishop's Day, we lit our testimony jars we had made earlier in the week. We each got to decorate a jar, and I put the word "SHINE" on the front of mine, to help me to always remember to hold up my metaphorical light. After testimony meeting, we split from our cabin groups into our Ward groups and had a mini-get-together with our Bishop from our Ward. Each of us went around the circle and said something we can testify of as we held our jars in our hands. The Spirit was so strong.

This year at YW's Camp was incredible. I made so many awesome girls that I feel like I can call my sisters, my testimony grew tremendously. I hope that I will have the courage and faith to stand up for what I know is right, even if I stand alone. Because I cannot have fear if I have faith.

Me and my "Sisters in Charity" in front of our A-Frame Cabin. You guys are incredible.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

for good.

I still can't believe it happened. I graduated from 8th grade. I'm leaving my little school with all of my wonderful and supportive friends and teachers. I'll never walk the campus there as a student ever again.

These past three years at MRA have been the journey of a lifetime for me. I’ve met so many wonderful friends, so many awesome teachers, and had experiences that I know I’ll never forget. I’ve never felt so passionately about a school and the people in it, that I don’t even think I can call it just a school. It’s like a second home.


Yesterday I graduated, as a part of the first ever graduating class at Molalla River Academy. Today I am a freshman.

At graduation, one of my very best friends, Brooke, and I sang the song "For Good" from the musical Wicked. The song fits my experience with everyone at this school perfectly.

This group of adults right here have inspired me so much throughout this year. I'm so lucky to have had them as my teachers--they have definitely changed me for the better in ways that I can't really explain. They helped me develop my love for learning. They helped me find myself.

So I wrote this song. It’s a song about my friends at this school. Is it cheesy? Yes. But I like it anyway. It reminds me of how MRA taught me how to be a true friend.

I will never, ever forget the feeling that I got after I sang this song to a group of my closest friends. On the very last note, my voice broke because of the lump in my throat. When I looked over, the friend who was sitting on the piano bench next to me had tears streaming down her face. Pretty soon, I was crying too because I knew we all felt the same way about each other. We’re sisters. And no matter what, we’ll always be there for each other, no matter where we go.

So thank you, Molalla River Academy for giving me the best three years ever. I love you. I’ll miss you. And no matter what—I will always remember you. And because of you, the experiences I've had and the people I've met along the way, I have been changed for good.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

change is good.

Summer's comin' up, time for some changes around here.

What do you think? I miss my long hair already, but I like the cute short style. Reminds me of summer! :)

Speaking of changes. And summer. This school year is almost over. Then summer comes. Then you know what happens after summer?

Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan comes out?

Yes. I mean no! That's not--

We get to go see "The Hobbit" in the theaters?

No. I mean yes, but I'm going--

You get to go school clothes shopping!

No! I--wait a second. Computer? Are you...talking to me?


*stares at computer screen for a few seconds*

Um...okay. Anyway, as I was saying, After the summer...get ready...I'm going to highschool.

How weird is that? *sighs* Oh, my gosh. I still can't believe I'm leaving behind MRA and all of my 7th grade friends and favorite teachers for big, scary highschool. MRA, my little charter school gave me the best 3 years of my pre-highschool life. I'm going to miss it so much...

But I'm excited for highschool. It's probably not as big and scary as people make it sound anyway. I actually will get to go school clothes shopping (which I haven't done since 5th grade, before I wore a uniform to school everyday).

I knew it.

But I'm feeling pretty ready. It will be different, that's for sure. But change is good, right?


Monday, April 30, 2012

I love me some classics.

Look at what I got today. Tell me these aren't the most beautiful things in the world. I dare you.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter and other things

Hello, all. Happy Easter.

*Contented sigh* Wow, I don't know if it's just because these are the first two consecutive days of sun we've had in 5 months, or because it's Easter Sunday, but I feel really good right now. I just feel....refreshed, and happy. It's hard to explain. Everything around me is just reminding me of good things.

Maybe it's the birds singing outside, or the sound of airplanes and people mowing their lawns. Maybe it's because school's almost out. Perhaps because flowers are finally starting to bloom all over. Or maybe it's because I'm wearing high-heel sandals with capris. (I don't know why that makes me happy, it just reminds me of summertime!)

Whatever it is, I'm so grateful today on Easter for it all. I'm thankful for my family and my friends, and for spring and all the wonderful stuff that comes with it. Most of all, I'm grateful for my Savior and all that he's done for me. So, I hope you are all having as beautiful a day as I am, whether or not you have sun or birds or flowers or family and friends to spend it with. May we all find things to be grateful for, and in doing so, creating our own happiness.


Friday, March 30, 2012

in honor of district 12

I'm pretty much the only person in this whole town who hasn't seen the Hunger Games movie yet, because I love my best friend Brooke so much I'm waiting for her to come back from vacation tomorrow so we can see it Monday together. And just so I can prove my loyalty to you, Brooke, my parents are going to see it tonight and I am not, by my choosing. Don't worry, Brooke. I won't snap. I will be strong.

So instead of running around the house freaking out about how I can't wait to see the movie, I run around freaking out and productively create Hunger Games related things while I wait. Patiently.

Here is my vain attempt at making Mockingjay-style nails. Me and my friend at our sleep over were having an awesome time playing with her decorative nail polish brushes, as you can see.

And here is a sketch I made of Katniss and Peeta in their arena uniforms. It took me forever to get their faces right... but I think it turned out cool anyway.

Also, I conveniently have figured out "Safe and Sound" on the piano and have been practicing it and singing with Brooke who's learning how to play the violin. Monday just can't come fast enough can it?

EDIT: Guess what? It's Saturday now, and Brooke invited me to see the Hunger Games! I just got back, and it was awesome!! My parents changed their plans and are going to see it right now. You know, just in case any of you care.