Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cocoa Nightmare

So one tradition in Mark's family is that every year his mom has baked him a "Buttermilk Cake". This has been a tradition in their family, passed on through the years. They are extremely delicious cakes, and always something to look forward to. Now that I we are married, Mark's mom was gracious enough to pass the "Buttermilk cake" baton on to me. However, since we were in Iowa the day of Mark's birthday a couple weeks ago, I decided that we would wait until tomorrow night to have the cake. You see, my birthday present to Mark was tickets to go see the final US tour of "Les Mis" at the Ordway tomorrow night. (It's his favorite show...he's not a huge "musical" guy, but this is one he really likes). So, in a way, we will be completing his birthday celebration tomorrow night, so it makes sense to eat the cake then. This meant that after I got home from work tonight (around 9:30), I realized that I would need to bake his cake tonight. So I waited until he went to bed, then around 11 (yes, 11) I set out to make the cake. All was going well until I got to the part of the recipe that called for 7 TBS of powdered cocoa. I had purchased some Hershey's baking cocoa just for this purpose awhile back, so I got the container out, took the plastic lid off the top, and then realized it had one of those "vacuum seal" type things on it. I briefly considered peeling the seal off. "Nah, too tight", I thought. Then I thought about poking it with a pair of kitchen shears. "Nah, then I have to get those out. It's late; I don't have any time to waste.". So...what did I do? I pressed my thumbs into the seal, in an effort to "pop" it. And boy did it pop! In fact, it wasn't a pop, it was more like an cocoa explosion! Suddenly, there was cocoa EVERYWHERE! We're talking PILES...on the counter, on the stove, all over my recipe book, on the microwave, in the utensil container, on the salt, on the rug, and...on ME! The entire front of my shirt was covered with brown, and there were layers of cocoa on my sleeves! So...it's 11 pm, I'm halfway through the recipe, I'm covered in cocoa, and I've destroyed the kitchen! And I'm standing there laughing - by MYSELF!

I doubt that ever happens to Rachael Ray.

Stay tuned for my next column where I will describe my continual habit of letting the water in the bathroom sink overflow...

I'm quite the home-maker, let me tell you! :)

Monday, January 30, 2006

4 Things

Four Jobs I’ve Had in My Life:
CIT/STM (High School work crew) coordinator at camp
Kitchen Aid at camp
Art Director
Supervisor at Christian bookstore

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over, and Have:
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Napoleon Dynamite
A Christmas Story
While You Were Sleeping

Four Places I Have Lived:
Minneapolis, MN
Edina, MN
McGregor, MN
Bloomington, MN

Four TV Shows I Love To Watch:
American Idol
Everybody Loves Raymond
Yes, Dear
Freaks & Geeks

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation:
Sanibel Island, FL
Anaheim, CA
Williamsburg, VA
Astoria, OR

Four Websites I Visit Daily:

Four Favorite Foods:
Poppy Seed chicken
PF Chang's Crispy Honey Chicken
Sloppy Joes

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:
Sanibel Island, FL
On vacation, anywhere :)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Idol Prediction #1

I would like to make my first American Idol prediction of the season. I would like to predict that a young singer by the name of Katherine McPhee (not to be confused with Nanny McPhee) will make it to the top 5.

Watch & see if I'm right... :)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Old Friends

Early on in high school, this was the crew I spent a lot of time with...I went my separate ways from them in 11th grade (when I moved on to a different school), but ever since then that connection has still been there, though weak at times. Anyway, tonight was the first of what will hopefully will be rather frequent "Monday night game night" get togethers with them all. It was a lot of fun! These girls are some of the most loyal, sweet and funky chicks you will ever meet & I'm really looking forward to getting to spend more time having fun with them again. :)

It's Fun Being an Aunt

This weekend we were in Ames, yet again (this time to celebrate a very late Christmas!), and I got to see my adorable nieces...here's a pic of me with 2 of them. I look creepy, but they're just plain cute. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Nikki's Music Picks Volume 1

I thought it might be fun to every once in awhile use my blog to spotlight an artist that I've been listening to lately...

Today I'd like to spotlight a local band called "Cofield". I'm not very good at categorizing music, but if I had to describe them I'd say they are essentially an alt rock band with a cello. :) They first came to my attention a few summers ago when they came to play at a concert series going on at my store, not to mention the fact that the band consists of a number of random personal acquaintances/obscure connections to me (the cello player's family & my family are old friends...I had a college class with the old drummer...I used to work with the bass player's wife...that sort of thing). ANYWAY, they put out a CD within the last year or so that I finally decided to pick up last week...and it's been in my CD player ever since. I love it! Good, catchy, fun stuff that I would highly recommend. Give them a listen. You can visit their myspace page at: www.myspace.com/cofield .

Oh, an extra fun note is that as I was reading the liner notes, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my cousin Mindy lent her fluting skills to 2 of the tracks! Neat!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

End of an Era


Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Great Getaway...

Mark & I just returned this afternoon from a nice, long weekend in Ames with our brother & sister-in-law & our adorable nieces...thanks to them all for their hospitality! It was just what we needed, and Mark was able to celebrate his 31st birthday yesterday with the biggest, most delicious frosted chocolate-chip-cookie we've ever seen! (yummm! :)).

Seriously, it was a great time. What could have been a very difficult weekend evolved into something really restful & rejuvinating. God continues to guide us through this time & I know He'll prove Himself faithful. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A New Chapter, A New Song

"He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord."
-Psalm 40:3

This week I said goodbye to something that I have poured much of my heart into for the past several years. It was not something I wanted to say goodbye to, but was a part of a step of obedience that had to be taken. The initial realization of that "farewell" has been tough. Today I am feeling more hopeful, though. While the realization of that "goodbye" is very much there, the realization of the potential "hellos" that it opens up is dawning on me. Really, all that came to a close was an outlet. Now my job is to find a NEW outlet. That's a scary yet exhilerating thing. Isn't it funny how something so difficult can actually push you toward God in a whole new way, and challenge you to exercise spiritual "muscles" you haven't really used before? I am excited for the adventure that lies ahead, and looking forward to pursue new opportunities to express God's glory.

One thing that I am going to be pursuing more is my own music...performing and recording more proactively. This is a scary and humbling thing to think about, because as I look around the vast sea of extraordinarily gifted Christian musicians in the area, I certainly feel like I don't have a lot to offer! But I am excited to offer what little I can with the resources God has given me and the time that has now opened up in my schedule. Anyway. I have started a myspace page for my music...a little premature :), but if I ever perform anywhere or record anything, it will be listed there, if anyone is interested. It's at www.myspace.com/nikkiwallacemusic

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What do you think...

...the thought process is behind vacuuming, with a broken vacuum cleaner, at 10:30 on a weeknight, when you live on the 2nd floor of an apartment/condo building?

And not just tonight...but EVERY time you vacuum?

...I'm just wondering.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Roll Call

I'm just wondering...does anyone read this fair blog of mine? If so, post a comment here and say hello. :)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Truth Sung by an American Idol

I guess it’s gonna have to hurt
I guess i’m gonna have to cry
And let go of some things i’ve loved
To get on to the other side
I guess it’s gonna break me down
Like falling when you’re trying to fly
It’s sad, but moving on with the rest of your life
Starts with goodbye

I know there’s a blue horizon
Somewhere up ahead just waiting for me
But getting there means leaving things behind
Sometimes life’s so bittersweet

-from "Starts with Goodbye", sung by Carrie Underwood

Oftentimes following God means stepping from what is familiar into the unknown. It can be a painful process, but the bottom line is that we are each called to stand up for what we believe in, and follow God wherever He directs us. To be revolutionaries. It's the old "narrow road" analogy Jesus gave, and it's much easier to talk about than to walk down. We are grateful to have eachother on this journey, and above all, our God. He's our one constant.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Please Pray

It's been an excruciatingly difficult day...we are hurting...please pray for continued peace.

Monday, January 02, 2006


"Every Christian, without exception, is called into the place where Jesus stood. To the extent we are called to leadership, we are called to ministry, even costly ministry. The greater the leadership, the greater is to be the ministry. The word "minister" is not a title of power, but a designation of servanthood. There is to be no Christian guru. We must reject this constantly and carefully. A minister, a man who is a leader in the church of God (and never more needed in a day like ours, when the battle is so great), MUST make plain to the men, women, boys and girls who come to the places of leadership that instead of lording their authority over others and allowing it to become an ego trip, they are to serve in humility.

Again, Jesus said 'be ye not called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren." (Matt. 23:8). This does not mean there is to be no order in the church. It does mean that the basic relationship between Christians is not that of elder and people, or pastor and people, but that of brothers and sisters in Christ. This denotes that there is one Father in the family and that his offspring are equal. There are different jobs to be done, different offices to be filled, but we as Christians are equal before one Master. We are not to seek a great title; we are to have the places together as brethren."

-from the book "No Little People" by Francis Schaeffer, pp 26 & 27.

John Piper goes hip-hop?