Friday, March 7, 2014

Beautiful Craig part 2

Here is a follow up from THIS POST about Craig.
First of all Craig want's to thank all of you who have helped him so far. He was a little apprehensive about taking a picture (as you can imagine) but he really wanted to do it, to let you all know how grateful he is. He is amazed, shocked and humbled that so many of you would be willing to help a stranger. What Craig doesn't understand is that he's really not a stranger at all,  he is our brother.

          My husband and I were a little uncomfortable about posting Craig's situation. We could have easily taken care of it on our own. (Like I mentioned in the previous post my husband comes across these situations often and takes care of those he can. Most times I don't find out about it until much later ) We have felt very strong that this particular situation isn't about our little family and our ability to help but something much bigger. We hope and pray that many of you have felt the spirit of love, brotherhood and service through this experience. It's been a beautiful sight to see so many of you come together to support Craig. I have watched my husband run errands with Craig taking him grocery shopping, gathering aluminum and wherever else Craig may need to go. I've watched this beautiful friendship take place between these two men.

     Several weeks ago  I watched my husband get up early Saturday morning to take Craig grocery shopping. He promised Craig he'd be there and he always keeps his word. I thought for sure he wouldn't go. You see two days prior my husbands Mother passed away. It  was somewhat of a traumatic experience as my husband  tried to  revive his mother with CPR. Surely he was mourning his mother. He got up early Saturday morning helped Craig, accomplished the task at hand and never said a word to anyone about it. (I want to be Lance Nicholes when I grow up) Lance, if you are reading this I know you are mad I posted these things about you. I can't help it. The world needs more men like you in it. 143!

Craig still needs our love and support
Craig was hired to work at Zion's National Park.  His start date was scheduled to start his job on March 19th but in his review of the hiring document his start date was postponed until April 2, 2014.
With the generous donations made in Craig's behalf he has been able to live in a warm home for the past month and purchase groceries.  With Craig's diligent collection of cans and recycling daily he has been able to help himself as well.
Craig's goal is to collect 500 cans per day or roughly $10 per day. We have run the math; 500 cans per day/ 30 cans per pound * $.65 per pound is roughly equal to $10.00 per day.
We know that Craig struggles to collect 500 cans per day especially with bad weather and being 66 years old.
Craig will be living in Provo Canyon for the next 21 days beginning this Monday as he has no money to pay rent.  He did tell us yesterday that he went up Provo canyon to check on his tent and some animals have torn up his tent and camp.  He said he would sleep on the ground and he could possibly make it until  he leaves town for the Zion's job
WE NEED CANS!!!!! If you have any you can donate please let us know. Also, you can make cash donations HERE

A special thank you to.......Bodine family, Mark Allen, Fran Nicholes, Lance Nicholes family, Burbidge boys, Daniel Williams, Doman family, Stay family, Susan Jones, Eric Nicholes family, Karen Matthews, Laura Belnap, Jeremy Stocks, Winston Williams family, and KC Smalley!

Craig receives $0.65 per pound of cans he collects. It's about 30-35 cans per pound

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Suicide, Let's talk about it

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a suicidal person?
Have you lost someone to suicide or know someone who has?
After losing my sister to suicide just over a year ago, my idea of what a suicidal person is has completely changed. Honestly, before my sister’s death suicide is not something I knew much about. It has completely rocked our world. Never did I think someone I love so dearly would fall victim to suicide, anxiety, depression or whatever you want to call it. It's all the same and creeps into ones thoughts and heart convincing them that they are no good and of no worth and that those around them are better off without them. The reality is that these untruths become the victim’s truth.

Each situation is unique and different, but I truly believe with the right help most suicides are preventable.
My sister was in the center of "The perfect storm" She had major back surgery months before her death taking a toll on her physically and mentally. She had separated from her husband and was still trying to support her family financially. It was a combination of many things. There are so many layers to a situation like this.  I find myself wanting to shut down and not talk about it. I want to run and hide under the covers and pretend it didn't happen. There is a stigma that comes with suicide and because of this we find it uncomfortable to talk about, and that's the problem. It's hush hush..... And as awkward and uncomfortable as it is for me to share and talk about I'm pushing myself outside my comfort zone. Without going into great detail, let’s just say I've had some tender mercies that have inspired me and given me the strength to pull the covers back and talk about suicide. We need to break free of our comfort zone, stop the stigma and talk about it.

 My Sister teaching my youngest to walk

I have joined forces with other musician's to help prevent suicide learn more at arisewithus and follow us HERE

We at arise gathered together in the studio to record a version of Katy Perry's "Unconditional"
It was an emotional day. It was November 5th, my sisters birthday and a week shy of the year mark of her death. After we finished recording the song I was just leaving when the camera man asked if he could do a quick interview with me. I agreed. My interview ended up being the video. This was completely unexpected and unplanned. For the first time I've been able to watch the entire video all the way through. It's real emotion and a little uncomfortable for me to watch. You can watch the video HERE

(Celebrating my Sisters on her birthday by sending her balloons and notes)

Here are a few statistics found at Jason Foundation

Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2010 CDC WISQARS)

  • Suicide is the THIRD leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18. (2010 CDC WISQARS)
  • More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
  • Each day in our nation there are an average of over 5,400 attempts by young people grades 7-12.
  • Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs
  • The Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System (YRBS) is a survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that includes national, state, and local school-based representative samples of 9th through 12th grade students. The purpose is to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth in the United States.
  • The surveys are conducted every two years to determine the prevalence of these health risk behaviors. Behaviors that contribute to unhealthy lifestyles and those that indicate possible depression and/or suicidal ideation are included. Click here for the full report
  • I miss my sister everyday but see and feel her all around me.

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

    Beautiful Craig

    A few months ago my husband and oldest son had the opportunity to meet a gentle hearted man named Craig. We joke in our family how often these random situations happen to my husband. I know better. These situations are not random or coincidence. God places those he trusts most in the pathway of his children who are struggling or downtrodden to lift and guide them along. That's probably why these random situations rarely happen to me :)  

     The following story is told by my husband, lance: 

    It was on a beautiful January day 2014, right before the cold spell hit. My son and I were at a local gas station when we noticed an older gentleman carrying several bags. He looked rugged, tired and beat down by the world.  Everywhere you look these days there is someone in need of something. If it were feasible, we'd help everyone. My wife and I have done our best to teach our children to listen to their heart when it comes to helping the homeless. My son, keenly aware of his feelings leaned over and asked me if we should help this man. I told my son I thought he'd be okay. A second time, my sweet boy leaned over and very firmly said: "Dad, we need to help him I can FEEL it"...... That's how we came to know Craig. Craig is a sixty two year old man who has kind eyes and is deeply independent. He doesn't hold a sign asking for help.  He simply wants to put in an honest day’s work. After conversing with Craig we learned that his full time job is recycling.  I asked him what he recycles and he said aluminum cans.  I asked Craig where he lived. He told me he lives in a tent up Provo canyon and that he would travel to and from the canyon each day collecting cans along the way and turning them into Sims recycling on 800 North Orem. 
    He told us that when he can he will ride a UTA bus to get around and stay warm on snowy days. Craig told me he was trying to make enough money from recycling to buy a Greyhound bus ticket to travel to Las Vegas where it’s warmer.  I asked him how much a ticket was and he said around $80.00. I asked him how much more he needed to purchase the ticket and he said roughly $20.00.  I offered him $20.00. He was extremely hesitant to accept the money. I insisted and he said thank you, God bless you.  Craig said he would leave for Las Vegas in the next few days.  As my son and I drove away we were humbled by Craig and his circumstances.  We prayed for Craig this night that he would be alright and that he would make it to Las Vegas.
      1 month later early this February I was driving to an appointment on 1600 North in Orem around 1:00pm.  I am normally never around 1600 North around 1:00p.  I drove past the McDonalds heading west and noticed Craig standing at the bus stop.  I drove for about a mile and had this overwhelming feeling to turn around and talk to Craig.  I pulled up and called to him.  He walked over to my car and I asked Craig how he was and asked him if he ever made it to Las Vegas.  Craig told me after I gave him the $20.00 he was making plans to leave and became sick with a bad case of gout and needed to use some of the money for medicine.  He said he would like to give me the $20.00 back.  I said no.  We have been able to help Craig up to this point but feel this is something greater than our little family. This is an incredible opportunity to come together and help out our brother.  The last time I saw Craig there was something different about him. He showered, shaved and had his hair combed, but it was something more than that. He expressed his gratitude and told me that for the first time in a longtime he has HOPE. I think just knowing someone cares about him is overwhelming. Can you imagine how he would feel if he knew so many of you were helping as well.  

    Craig can stay in a warm home with a warm shower for $10.00 per day. His collecting of cans provides enough for food.  If he doesn't come up with $10.00 per day he stays in Provo Canyon in his tent. Craig secured a job at Zion’s Nation Park which begins on March 19th.  Craig is trying to make it until this date. Craig has never once asked for help and doesn’t expect it. Again, he wants to work and has expressed his frustration in trying to find a consistent job at his age. Craig is competent, willing and ready to work. Let’s help him out. There are two things Craig’s needs, money and aluminum cans. If you want to help, please contact Lance or Jodi directly or donate to Craig’s cause with the account set up on this link, Craig's Cause We will do a follow up post to keep everyone up to date with the happenings of Craig.


    With Love, The Nicholes Family



    Friday, February 7, 2014

    Xtend Barre, What???

    When people ask me about my workout, their always a little confused when they hear me say Xtend Barre. What exactly is Xtend Barre? The Xtend Barre Workout is basically a mix of  Pilates and Dance Amplified. After having my last baby I was having major sciatic nerve pain. I knew I needed something to help strengthen my core. A friend told me about Xtend Barre in Provo  I've been attending Xtend Barre for about a year now and I'm 100% hooked! It has completely helped with my nerve pain and I feel so much STRONGER. I didn't expect dramatic results in such a short time. It really does sculpt your body. Best of all I have more Stamina throughout the day.
    HERE is all the info you need to learn more about Xtend Barre. I do regular Xtend Barre class once or twice a week.
     I try and do Xtend Barre Stick twice a week. The stick class has a bit more Pilates than regular Xrend Barre. It's my favorite class. You can learn about Xtend Barre Stick class  HERE
    My husband is always asking me what I do in class and thanks to  Xtend Barre Provo he was able to find out.
     Xtend Barre Provo hosted a BYOM (Bring Your Own Man) night
    It was the perfect way for my guy to see what I do. Being a triathlete, I don't think my husband anticipated how challenging the class would be. He was completely sore the next day. 
    I think it's fair to say most the men were exhausted by the end of class.
    If you are looking for a great core workout with small burst of cardio
    Xtend Barre is a great fit for you plus you get to feel like a ballerina.
    Here are some photos from BYOM Night! We had a BLAST!
    Photo: Tonight was BYOM night at @xtendbarreprovo. This feller of mine learned some fancy ballet moves. He now understands why this class kicks my trash. We ended our "workout date"with a sugar cookie from @sodaliciousutah. Don't worry we spilt our cookie. we're healthy like that. @lancenicholes



     Photo Credit Provo Xtend Barre

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

    Crafting with LOVE

    If you are reading this from my Website you can go to to read all my blog post
    I love a gorgeous craft project but as I've gotten older my crafting has changed. If it's a project my kids cant be involved in I typically wont spend much time doing it. To me crafting is much more than creating something tangibly beautiful that you can look at or use, its about creating moments with your family and friends. There is nothing better than being surrounded by your children at a table full of crafts discussing your future plans and different events that have transpired. Its around the crafting table where some of our funniest moments have taken place. When prepping for a craft project, particularly when it involves holiday d├ęcor I ask myself  three question's
    1. Is it an easy enough project to where my kids can get involved? There is nothing worse than doing a project that is so detailed there is no room for error. (We want to have fun while crafting)
    2. Is it a craft project that can be tailored to what I like?  I really enjoy taking an idea, then making it my own. I love simplicity and beautiful colors.
    3. Once the craft project is done and displayed in our  home, I ask myself......Does this create an environment that feels good? Will my kids feel good in this space every time they walk in the door from school?  Does this environment encourage my kids excitement for the upcoming holiday?

    Here's an easy little valentine craft  my kids and I did. We cut heart shapes out of colored paper we had around the house creating a heart shaped garland then strung it up over our upstairs mantel . I have since added valentine's day lantern string lights. You can get them HERE  My favorite part about this craft is that each heart is completely different and imperfect. This led to a beautiful conversation with my kids. We talked about how we are all unique and imperfect. That's what makes the world such an interesting, wonderful place. This little project took  about 40 minutes but the conversation we had will last forever.
      Our down stairs mantel needed a little something too
    The felt heart garland and pre-lit heart tinsel garland are from target you can get them HERE
    and HERE


    Friday, January 31, 2014

    Three of my favorite products RIGHT NOW

    When I'm on stage singing or speaking I want to look my best. I am always on the lookout for great new products.
    1. The Hac Pack by MaskCara
    This includes IIID foundation, IIID cream blush and the IIID Illuminator

    This is a contouring foundation with a Highlighting concealer.
     I've been using this foundation for a couple months now. The idea of contouring can be a little overwhelming, but you can do as much or as little as you want. This product is MAGIC!
     The illuminator and Cream blush are a dream.


    You can learn more about IIID Foundation HERE
    The one bummer is that it's always sold out! I purchased mine back in November and still have a good month or so of use left.
    2. NeriumAD Night cream
    To be completely honest, I was hesitant about trying Nerium. I'm NOT a big fan of companies that encourage you to get your friends, friends, cabbage patch kids, sisters cousin to join. A friend I trust suggested I give it a try. I'm so glad I did!!!! I learned really quick that once you've used this product you don't need any convincing. It's truly a remarkable product with incredible results. People everywhere are raving about it. . After using it for 30 days My husband couldn't stop complimenting me on my skin. The best part YOU DONT HAVE TO JOIN THE COMPANY! you can just be a customer like me.  Be warned, once you've tried NeriumAD you'll keep coming back for more.  If you want to try Nerium order HERE
    here's a VIDEO about NeriumAD
    3. SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair
    There is nothing like a great eye cream, and this my friends is GREAT!
    I purchase mine from  SPA TROUVE 
    The ladies at Spa Trouve are WONDERFUL! and can give you a consultation. Do it! 

    Friday, January 3, 2014

    Music In My Soul

     I always say music is my language, it's in my soul, in my blood but it's NOT who I am. I learned years ago music is something I do but it does not define me. I believe it's an unhealthy mindset when a performer of any kind uses the phrase "_____ is who I am".   I have been singing and performing since the age of 5. My professionally career began at the age of 10. It's all I've ever known. The stage feels like home to me. It would be easy for me to get caught up in the idea that singing is who I am. My worth as a person is much, much more than my singing.  By the time I was married I was burned out, tired and ready to take a breather from music. (Not singing) I would continued to sing around the house in my car anywhere I was alone. I made it clear to my newlywed husband that I didn't want anyone to know I was a singer.  I needed to figure out who I was without my voice without performing. About 8 months into my "Soul searching"  I saw a flyer for a singing competition at the mall. CASH PRIZES! Nothing is more appealing to a newlywed than cash. We needed that money and I was going to get it. So I got on stage, I performed and sang my heart out. It was completely therapeutic and I was reminded why I love to sing. Not to be a star, or be in the music business, or perform on stage but to communicate the best way my soul knows how......MUSIC!  There is nothing more rewarding to me as a singer/songwriter than sharing and communicating music from one heart to another. We all have a language, a way of expressing ourselves. what's yours?