Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nicholas Family September Birthdays

My family has several September birthdays, so we usually have one big get-together. David turned 44 and he's excited about his chocolate cake!

Austin (the baby of the family!) turned 11. He and Kaleb are just SILLY. They giggle every time they're together and it makes me so happy that they're such close cousins.
Carlee turned 14!! I can't believe she was 2 the first time I met her. She's the cutest. Here she is with her mom Carrie and their Chihuahua, Layla.
David's girlfriend, Renee, technically has an October birthday, but she got in on the party this time. She'll be 50 on October 11. In the middle of the present openeings, her son, Sam, asked my mom if we could have a February birthday party... Casey thought that was a good idea :)

Here's mom and her new baby, Blue. He's super cute and fuzzy! No, Kim, he has no tail and yes, he wags his whole rear end. My dogs more than make up for the lack of tails at my mom's house, though, I promise.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

30 and Flirty in NYC

Five of us roommates from Westmont got together to celebrate our 30th birthdays collaboratively. We had a long weekend in New York City, which was a wonderful adventure. I'm so thankful for the girls, the time, the fun and the promise of more times in the future!

I love Paige's zest and enthusiasm for life. She fully embraces everyone and every circumstance that comes her way.

Marci is such a thoughtful, deliberate friend. I love that we share an appreciation for and extensive time in the theatre. I love spending time with her and can't wait for her visit to Dallas!! She was texting in this picture :)

Dana is insightful, free, inquisitive and real, so any gathering with her is bound to be equal amounts of subtance and fun.

Kim is such a stabalizing presence to me. She is 10 weeks pregnant in these pics and she did a great job keeping up with all the activities despite early pregnancy. Below she's talking to her Dad, Big Ray, telling him what a wonderful the dinner he treated us to at Sushi Samba.

We stayed at a high-rise with an awesome view and managed just one room and one bathroom between us :) We enjoyed a relaxing breakfast together each morning before we ventured out on our daily adventures. We ate great food, saw lots of sights, shopped more than I should have, saw a great show, toured NBC studios and saw Cameron Diaz and James Franco rehearsing with the Saturday Night Live cast. It was pretty cool... Dana squealed!

Happy Birthday, girls! I hope thirty is the best year yet... Can't wait to celebrate 35 together :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Summer fun with Paige

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting my friend Paige, she's a gem. She has come to visit me in Texas every summer since we were in college at Westmont together. Now she is living in Thailand, but she still comes to visit us! We had a great time just hanging out, talking and sharing, but we also had some great times of prayer and worship together - right in our living room. She loves all things Texas...

We were so excited to pick her up in our new Prius hybrid. But was she happy that we're saving money and the environment? Was she excited about our new purchase? Oh, no! She was angry. Angry that Casey did not pick her up in his pick-up truck, because that's what you do in Texas. Never mind the 30 miles/gallon it saves us! Thankfully, Casey comes from a long line of truck owners (who think his new car is "nerdy") and Kaye offered to give Paige a ride around Frisco in one of Ricky's trucks. Whew - crisis averted. Thanks, Kaye. She might not have come back...

Monday, September 15, 2008


I would just like to say that Casey's mom is by far the most fun "Honey" in the world. She's so fun, on a random Thursday afternoon, she draws eyeliner moustaches on her grandsons, who want to look like "Nacho Wibre"...

Brady "Nacho" Smith

Beau "Casey" Smith

Betsy "She's a Grill - She doesn't get a Moustache" Smith
(Notice Holly and Kaye's legs in the background. They must be related!)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Our Houston Adventure

So, we planned to end our trip with a quick stay with our sweet friend, Taylor, in Houston. In the end, we did just that, but it looked a lot different than we expected. On our way out of Galveston, my Hybrid Ford Escape stopped on the highway. We had to get it towed to the nearest Ford dealership and have Casey's family drop us off at a shopping center, luggage in tow, so Taylor could pick us up when she finished work. We were worried that the problem might not be fixed before the long weekend and we'd be stuck in Houston: hurrican fast approaching, people evactuating everywhere, no rental cars available, etc. The dealership called us and told us we could pick it up on Saturday morning. So we had a great fun-filled evening with Taylor and Craig, spent the night, enjoyed breakfast together and went to pick it up. "Oops! It's not just the battery like we thought" the dealership told us at 3 PM. So, Taylor and Craig had to drop they're plans to go the the UT football game to taxi us around, in case they don't get it fixed before 6 PM. We went to Kemah, a cool boardwalk on the gulf and went back to the dealership. They never could find the other problem, but gave us the car anyway. We prayed we'd make it home... and we did. Thanks, Taylor and Craig! We loved every minute :)


Casey and I got to have ANOTHER week-long vacation, this time with Casey's family. They've gone to Galveston almost yearly since Casey's parents went on their honeymoon there. We had a wonderfully relaxing time and we're so thankful for such an awesome family. Below: the boys and their beers! Jeff, Barron and Casey...

The girls in black: Nanny, Morgan and Holly.

Betsy and her big brother, Brady.

Unfortunately, the mosquitos swarmed us anytime we headed to the water. Beau is apparently the tastiest of the whole clan. He looked like he had the chicken pox! He told me he was a "mosquito bite (pronounced bat) machine" and that the sand in his belly button was put their by a friendly mosquito. He kept us laughing all week. He is IN LOVE with his uncle Casey, to the point of patting Casey's hair and hand during dinner. So cute!

Our most memborable moments were at the dinner table all together. After chewing his kabab for 10 minutes one night, Beau announced inistantly "MY BEEF IS HARD" and we laughed and laughed.

Ricky, aka Tatoo, and his favorite granddaughter, Betsy. She loves him and watches him wherever he goes...