Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mom's Living Happy

This last Fall I received a phone call from a friend asking my opinion on a project she was considering starting.  Within a couple minutes of our conversation I was completely intrigued.  Her idea was to create a site where mothers from all across the world can come together and share ways they are living happy. A place where mothers can uplift and inspire one another through their stories. Not only was she completely inspired to do this......she MADE it happen! Within the first day of launching MOM'S LIVING HAPPY they were featured on the THE TODAY SHOW'S  twitter page. I was asked to share a little about myself with Mom's living happy. We did a quick little interview in my basement. Learn more about MOM'S LIVING HAPPY and see my interview here: MOM'S LIVING HAPPY .  As they post more and more stories you'll be inspired with each one. As I travel around singing and speaking to different groups of women, old and young I've realized the one thing we have in common is we all have our "Stuff" not one of us is perfect. Being a mother is one of life's greatest blessing but with that comes the struggle of  raising happy, healthy people. We find ourselves asking the question.....Am I doing this right? Could I have done that better? The answer: Yes and yes. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. When you become a mother, guilt is a feeling you will feel often. It's all apart of a mothers journey and it's okay! I can't tell you how many times Ive asked forgiveness from my children over different things. We are all learning together. I can't imagine a more worthy goal than raising a little family.
 Dieter F. Uchtdorf--- “The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments.”  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I headed into the studio a couple weeks ago to record a version of Pharrell Williams Happy with Jhonny K and Jason Jones I hope you enjoy the video as much as we enjoyed making it. We had a great time. You get to see a side of me that only those closest to me usually see. For the record my kids like this  side of me best......Thank you to everyone who submitted videos. I love them all. You can watch the video HERE  You can view all my videos under the "Video" section at
 Enjoy! and remember to be HAPPY! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Date Night "Photo Shoot"

I was in need of some new promo photo's so I asked the AMAZING and INCREDIBLE Morgan Slade if she'd do me the honor. I wanted something fun, edgy and completely different. I asked her if she'd meet me downtown Provo. She agreed. It was Friday night and for those who know me well, know my husband and I never miss date night. Why not make my photo shoot into our date night, right?! My husband and Morgan hopped in our car driving around as if they were the paparazzi.  Morgan hanging out the sunroof snapping pictures left and right ( Wish I had a photo of the entire thing). SO MUCH FUN! At one point during the photo shoot Morgan captured some photos of me and my husband. I'm grateful she did. True candid photos! I don't think you can plan something like this, not without losing the authenticity. We ended the night by taking Morgan to our favorite Soda Shop SODALICIOUS for a dirty diet coke and sugar cookie.Thank you Morgan! These are photo's we will always treasure. It was the best "date night paparazzi photo shoot" ever!

                  You can view more of the Photo Shoot HERE

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