Friday, April 18, 2014

2012 Scrapbook - FINALLY!

Finally finished my 2012 Scrapbook, and realized I could stick it on my blog. :)  Just trying it, hope it works!

Build your own high-quality photo books at

Thursday, November 29, 2012


 "Compassion is not a bending toward the underprivileged from a privileged position; it is not reaching out from on high to those who are less fortunate below; it is not a gesture of sympathy or pity for those who fail to make it in the upward pull. On the contrary compassion means going directly to those people and places where suffering is most acute and building a home there."

Check out this link to a speech by Katie Davis...totally awesome and inspiring.  I have to remember that we have the hurting, poor, and need right here on our doorstep too.  We just need to look, listen to the Lord's voice, and obey His call.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Hawkeye Baby

 I've been loving Craigslist lately, trying to find good baby deals so we don't go back into debt buying baby things. :)  A lady from Colorado posted this ridiculously awesome lot of hawkeye clothes, and we snatched it right up (size 3 months - 2T!).  SO, here's our Hawkeye baby!

Can he be any cuter?!

Will with all his Hawkeye goodness.

Sporty baby!  Hard to wear all these clothes living in State country though...

Isn't this hat awesome?!

"Mom, is all this posing really necessary?!"

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Seriously: Why IS there SO MUCH LAUNDRY!?

I guess a blog is about documenting your daily life, so I've decided to fully embrace the new roles in my life and just go for it!  Some day I know I'll look back at these posts with fondness, remembering some "in the trenches" moments.  :)  

Now, from this and my last post, those of you with a keen eye for detail may be able to sense a theme in my life.  Inquisitive minds want to know: Nicole, why do you have so much laundry?  

Reason 1: Chris

(The plane has nothing to do with this post, I just like this picture!  Note the ridiculously huge remote control hanging from his neck...that's my man!)
Yes, I am married.  Have been for 7 years, so this first reason shouldn't surprise me.  I guess I have a lot to be thankful for actually, because compared to his brother MATT FARLEY (love you brother!) Chris produces very little dirty laundry!  :)

Bigger Reason 2: Will

SERIOUSLY, could this boy get any cuter?!

Who knew such a little guy could make so much dirty laundry?!  Case in point: note the slobber beginning to creep down his shirt...washing machine here we come!


Ah yes, the REAL culprit.  I am LOVING using cloth diapers, but I wasn't quite prepared for how many loads of laundry would be added to my life!  Wouldn't change it though, I'm a serious fan.  (more to come on that later!)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What Happens to Our Laundry When We Die?

 Since Will has been born I've been really surprised at how little time I have to get things done.  The first month I didn't want to lay him down while he was sleeping, so I blame that month on myself.  Now though?  Where does the time go?  When will I start getting everything done again?!  (moms: cue laughter!)

Obviously that last question is a big joke.  I've been caught up in the "rat race" mindset lately, where I get to the end of a day and realize that I've just spent the whole day rushing rushing rushing to get...wait, what did I get done?  I obviously get things done, but many of the things that happen in my day have little or no eternal value.  I mean, let's be honest.  It's nice to have a clean house and good smelling laundry, but I'm pretty sure my perfectly ironed pants will not be accompanying me when I approach those pearly white gates!

After my grandma died I remember finding a journal that she had kept of what she did each day.  Her days were FILLED with "un-eternal" things - laundry, cleaning, food preparation, gardening.  What's so interesting, though, is that grandma impacted so many lives in the midst of her "unimportant" tasks.  Stuck between two loads of laundry and making lunch for grandpa, she'd "visit with Verla" or "take supper over to Sam" or "call Brad" or "send a birthday card to Tommy".  She didn't let the to-do list sitting right in front of her distract her from people. 

My biggest fear is that I'll get to the end of my life and wonder if it was well-lived.  God is working on that fear (1 John 4:18 - ...perfect love drives out fear...), and I think He's doing that through this time in life.  Because the most pressing items on my to do list is to snuggle my baby and make supper, I am able to focus on people more.  I'm obviously still working through this, but it's a start!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Just a little push...

I'm definitely a seasonal person. I absolutely NEED a change of pace, an ebb and flow, an altering of "normal".  Being a music teacher,therefore, is perfect for me.  We have concert seasons, show choir seasons, semester, quarters, grading madness, and the best of all - summer!

I'm naming my last personal season "Blog? What Blog?".  The onset of this "season" happened for a variety of reasons...Will was born, summer happened, I entered a new stage of life, and we got a new camera/new phones/new computer storage so our picture systems were totally messed up.  I also would blog about events in the past, but big events are less possible with small kids.  Hmm....the universe was conspiring against this blog!

I ran into my friend Rachel Greene today at the grocery store (hollah Rachel!), and she said something about my blog absence.  And, that's all it took!  I spent the drive home thinking of million posts I could write.  New format?  Everyday life.

Every Day Life: Aldi

In honor of Rachel's nudge back into the blogging world, I thought I'd write about a place that I often frequent (and where we ran into each other): Aldi.  I SERIOUSLY love Aldi.  We've been going there since we were dirt-poor during my second grade year.  We were always really low on moola throughout my childhood, but when my dad decided to go back to grad school, cash flow dropped to an all-time low.  Enter Aldi (and food stamps, but we'll save that for another post).

Since we just grew up going there, I never had the hesitation that a lot of my friends feel.  Admittedly, some Aldi stores can be a bit sketchy.  But it is SO CHEAP!  I got a full cart load of predominantly fresh produce today, and the grand total?  $84.  Would have been pushing $140 at Fareway or Hy-Vee, EASILY.

And so, Aldi has become a part of my bi-weekly life.  Every other Friday Will and I head off to cheap, nameless brand, park-your-own-cart and bag-your-own-food world of Aldi.  We've kind of gotten it down to a science.  And anything we can't get there, Chris picks up on his way home from Hy-Vee that night!

I'm not saying anyone should change their mind about Aldi.  If it feels too sketchy and you don't like to pay a quarter for your cart, that's just fine.  Me?  I'm an Aldi girl all the way. :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

What's the Buzz...

I had a friend from high school that would always sing "What's the buzz, tell me what's happening" from Jesus Christ Superstar.  So as a call out to Katie Baedke, here's "the buzz" from the Farley household.

I'm totally enjoying time home with Will this summer.  I try to plan an outing at least every other day, and then have a small to-do list on the days that we stay home.  It's been a little harder to want to leave the house with the extreme heat lately, but if I stay at home for too long I go pretty stir-crazy!  We've been going on lots of walks, been rollerblading/biking with dad, meeting up with friends in Ames and at different parks, and we even went grocery shopping without any help from dad one day!  (It's the little things that are suddenly so exciting!)  Just when I think we're getting into a routine though, something crazy happens with Will's body and everything is thrown out of whack.  He had a long two-week growth spurt where he acted almost collicky every day.  Then as soon as that was done, he started sleeping through the night (yippee!), which has seemed to change his eating needs during the day.  All that to say, I'm realizing that our routine may change from day to day, and I just need to be okay with that!

Let's see, what else?

- We put our Webster City house on the market again, and are PRAYING WITH FAITH for God to sell it in the next three months.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about Jesus' statement that if we ask for anything to the glory of God, He will give it to us.  Also praying that God will grow my faith and wipe out the fear that so often comes with asking for something from the Lord.

- We've had some really fun visitors - my best friend Katie Suddarth and her husband Eli came for an awesome visit, and then our friend Dave Wiebe from Kansas stopped through to meet Will.  We love visitors!

- We've gotten to go boating twice with Will, and it feels almost empowering.  It's been great to figure out ways to do the "normal" life activities with a isn't over as we know it, just a little different!

- Chris and I are re-doing our budget and praying about how God wants us to live life from this (debt-free!) point onward.

- As of June 18th, we've been married for 7 years!!!   How the time has flown...

- We're praying about finding a place overseas that we can invest in over an extended period of time...go there twice a year, raise money for that specific place, line up other volunteers, etc.

- I've been so thankful to be living with my parents lately!  It's always been great, but it feels like this home has morphed into something awesome since Will was born - just so supportive and loving, it's so fun.

- I'll say it again in case you missed it the first time - Will is sleeping THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!

- I've started talking with the full-time choir director up at Webster City, and we're organizing the room/storage areas and starting to form a vision for what next year is going to look like.  I'm pretty excited, but am starting to feel sad about not being home with Will full-time!  I think it's going to be a lot harder than I expected to even be gone just two days a week.

- I'm working to catch up on my bible/book reading, since I have totally slacked since March.  The end of school and then Will being born took me out for a good three months!  Gotta get back on it if I'm going to reach those goals!

- We have decided to change our foster care status to "respite only" until we move out of my parent's house.  We've been doing more respite lately, and it feels really fun to stay involved even when we can't take long-term placements because of emotional and physical capacities.

- I've kind of "resigned" myself to being back in the states indefinitely, since it's been very clear that God brought us back here to learn some things.  It feels good to have come to that point emotionally (not longing to be back in India or somewhere overseas), because I'm now becoming focused on intentionally living well here in America, whereas before I felt like I was in a sort of holding pattern until we could move again. 

- Chris is thinking about going to a "Power and Love" conference that our cousin Jason went to.  It's basically about allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to work through you, and sounds really neat.

- We're working to find new and exciting things to do here in Iowa.  I'm realizing that even though I've lived in this area for basically my whole life, there's a lot of things that I've never done or seen!  Anyone have something we should check out in central Iowa?

- We went to the fireworks at the capital last night with some family/friends...totally sweet!

And there's "the buzz" from the Farleys!  Happy 4th, and stay cool!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Loving Me Some Shutterfly

I just want to say that I. LOVE. SHUTTERFLY.  Why, you say!?  Let me tell you!

1. It's simple.  I don't have to have a scrapbooking station that takes up a whole corner of a room!  I also don't have tons of paper scraps and stickers lying around everywhere...

2. It's reproducible.  I made a scrapbook of the trip that my dad and I took to Chile to visit Matthew, and was able to order a smaller version for him for Father's Day.  It would have taken HOURS to make another scrapbook for him the old way.

3. It's cheap.  When I scrapbooked the old way, each scrapbook probably cost between $300-$400 by the time I was finished.  These books cost between $50-$75 each depending on how patient and resourceful you can be with coupon codes. :)

4. It looks good.  I especially love how big the pictures can be.  The old way, I used to get all 4 x 6 pictures...and in a current book I'm working on, I've got a full 24 x 12 spread!  It's pretty sweet.

5. It's small.  Each book is about 1/2" thick and extremely light.  The old way, each book was 3-4" thick, and was HEAVY!

6. It's stored.  If there's a fire and our new books get burned, I'll just order new ones.  If there's a fire and the old books get burned, I lose tons of work and memories.

7. It's multi-taskable (is that a word?!).  You can work on multiple projects at the same time.  I'm currently working on a "Will, Year 1" book, a "Ladakh" book, 2 "India" books, a June 2011-December 2011" book, and a "2012" book.  That would have taken up an entire room the old way, jeez!

Just thought I'd tell the world...I'm Lovin' Me Some Shutterfly!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy 7 Years Baby!

I can hardly believe it, but I've been married to the love of my life for 7 years!  We didn't have a huge celebration this year...except that we left Will with mom and dad, so we had time to ourselves, and I guess that felt huge!

Chris got off work early and we got a couple's massage (Chris' idea and TOTALLY awesome!), then went out to eat at Olive Garden in Ankeny.  During supper we had a really great conversation inspired by the marriage study we're going through with our small group.  We asked/discussed these questions...

1) What are you concerned about?
2) What do you desire?
3) What are you willing to do about it?
4) List 7 inexpensive, simple things that the other person can do to make you feel loved.

The questions were so open-ended that it really encouraged great conversation.  I feel like I learned a lot about Chris' heart for where our lives are right now and where he wants to lead us.  He thinks deeply and has lots of dreams, but (unlike me who just says everything that's on my mind!) is so introspective that sometimes I don't know what he's been thinking unless I specifically ask.  Before Will was born we seemed to have more time to have those conversations, but since he's been born it's been much harder to find that time.  

And so, with a simple supper and a great conversation, we celebrated 7 years of marriage.  We've had lots of adventures, lots of change, lots of relationships, and lots of growth in those years...and I can't wait to see what the next 7 bring! 

Love you babe!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Memorial Day Family Reunion

Since my parents have built their dream house, they've been really faithful to fill up the rooms as much as they can.  One of those ways has been hosting family events, since they have a space big enough to accommodate a large number of people.  For Memorial Day weekend, mom invited everyone to come celebrate a bunch of things in one fun-filled weekend :)

Uncle Matthew met Will for the first time!

Papa made his famous whole-wheat waffles. :)

We had a really neat memorial service for Nana...

...and planted a tree in her honor.

A celebration isn't complete without a cake from the Quality bakery!
Snuggle time meeting Uncle Doug!

Olivia was such a good helper with Will!

"Uncle" Matthew doing his thing with the kiddos.

Just love this picture!

We had a birthday celebration for Papa...89 years old!

The kids all took turns holding Will :)

Papa with all the "May-babies" (3 were born on May1st, 2 were born on may 3rd!)

Can't have a trip to Story City without having a ride on the carousel!

LOTS of this over the weekend...hanging out and visiting.
We hung out all weekend!

Snuggle time while meeting Uncle Doug

Papa's other specialty - rides on the lawn mower!

They threw us a baby fun!

Our prediction for when the next baby will show up. :)

Hmm....not sure that one fits right...


Weirdo :)

Off they go!

Don't tip over!

Master Griller!

Slip 'n' Slide,,,

And some serious water-game competitions
The whole crew!
It was a GREAT weekend, filled with laughter, noise, chaos, conversation, and great memories.  We missed the California Ouimettes, but otherwise this was the largest family reunion we've had in years!  We love family. :)