Friday, October 31, 2008

We just wouldn't be the Rollins' if...

Sometimes I think to myself, "wouldn't it be nice if I were more motivated like some of my friends and got my lazy tush to the gym early in the morning and then I could be ready for the rest of the day all exercised and fresh, instead of waiting until I was more awake to get to the Y and then looking like garbage until I finally shower at noon." Or, "wouldn't it be nice if Ben shaved everyday and refrained from dressing like a mountain man on his "off" days." Or, "wouldn't it be nice if I were motivated to style my hair everyday." Or, "wouldn't it be nice if Ben and I talked more genteel and gave up the slang."

And today I thought to myself that although all of those things are worthy of working towards Ben just wouldn't be Ben without 2, or 3, or 5 days (after an extra long weekend) of facial growth and a "freakin' a!" every now and then. And Niki just wouldn't be Niki without days (sometimes many in a row) of jeans, tennis shoes, zip-up hoodies, and a pony tail, or a stop at the grocery store after working out. If I see you before you see me, I will run!

Here is my mountain man in Alaska rolling boulders down the mountain with his friends. What's more cave man than that, AND more worthy of mountaineering attire and facial scruff? Could also be asked as, "What's more Ben-like than that?"

So, as much as I'd like to imagine us a sophisticated, manicured, tea-sipping type people, I've come to accept (at least for today) that we aren't and we just wouldn't be the Rollins' you all know if we were!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Good Bye Fall and a Grudgingly Hello to Winter

It is raining today and at times the rain is turning to snow. I hate it. These pictures are from the last couple weeks and they are how I always want to remember Ithaca.

Yellow, Lime Green & Orange leaves!! I took this picture laying on a bed of leaves beneath these trees.

Ben had a few days off last week (the fall break) and we took a day trip up to Canandaigua, NY. We stopped at the Whitmer Farm which is on the way and then visited the Sonnenberg gardens and mansion in Canandaigua. I was a little disappointed at first because I was comparing Thanksgiving Points perfectly manicured gardens to the government owned Sonnenberg gardens. There were many weeds and it seemed a little rustic, but the trees were amazing.

The mansion was really fun to walk through! Again, a little neglected, but it was like being in a movie. The dining room had a beautiful banquet table with a massive fireplace. A small breakfast/tea table was at the other end and huge glass doors on hinges allowed the entire wall to be removed and open onto a patio with a charming water feature. Just like in the movies or in my imagination when reading books from this period. I could tell of many more mansion-like features that I loved, but I'm sure are boring to readers.

The following day we went to a pumpkin patch and farm not far from here. We pet the goats, drank apple cider, and took a hay ride. It was very season appropriate!

Yea, we didn't get a great picture of either of the boys in the pumpkins.

Check out those hills! It's what we're surrounded by everywhere and it's great. Not much longer and they will be grey sticks. They are beautiful covered with snow, but you've got to take the impossible temperature with them.

And this is my cheesy boy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

White Trash??

So, apparently I must have some serious white trash blood running through me because I'm still totally loving Kid Rock's new song. If I were more computer savvy like many of you I would post a cool little link to the song, but alas, I suck. Some may find the song a little "unworthy"...sipping whisky out the bottle, making love out by the lake...but I can't help myself! Love it every time I hear it!!

Also, who doesn't love Sawyer??? Come on, now!

My art collecting, country clubbing parents are so ashamed!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Prom Night

Prom Video - Oct 4, 2008

11 yrs later...Ben & Niki at Cornell's "free prom" (Oct 2008)...

Every few years Ben plans a "surprise" date. I am given directions on what to wear and that's it. Ben even figures out babysitting, which is fabulous! Back in '06 he got us tickets to the So You Think You Can Dance tour and it was super, super fun. This year he conned a few other husbands into taking their wives to the "free prom." It was at the Cornell Museum and mostly for the freshman. We made the tissue paper flowers we're sporting and took these highly professional photos down in the museum basement, and then busted a move for awhile before leaving. You should have seen these white boys dance!! It was a fun night. Good job Ben!

These are our friends, the Hayter's (left) and the Lucas' (middle).

Let me tell you a little about our flower making. I was putting together a surprisingly decent pink rose with some dark green leaves while Ben put together the beauty pictured above. I went to tuck it in his lapel and he says, "No, you have to change the leaves to this green paper. It doesn't look right." Heaven forbid the paper flower look wrong! Yea, he made me change the leaves. His "artsiness" still surprises me sometimes.

Ben was just reading over my shoulder and says, "you're making it look like I only take you on 1 date a year." Disclaimer...we do go out more than that, the "surprise" dates are only every few years.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tagged - The Ben & Niki Super Story

Ben & Niki at Viewmont High School's Christmas Dance (Dec 1997)
In order to save face you can see Ben's rebuttal in blue italics.

I may have been tagged before, but have ignored it only because unless I know your husband, child, dog, whoever you are writing about I find it (sorry) boring. So, I am responding to the following tag by my long-time friend Ambyr because I simply have nothing else to blog about right now, no new pictures because Ben busted our camera and I haven't figured out the new one yet, and maybe some of you (who know Ben) might find these facts amusing or at the least interesting (I find them super interesting). And so...

Where did you meet???

As a sixteen year old having moved to UT a year earlier I was cruising State Street (yep, SLC State Street) with friends and we met Zack Treasure. Zack was abandoned by his friends (not including Ben) and my friend offered him a ride home. I was dropped off before he was and my friends gave him my phone number when they dropped him off. Two weeks later a boy named Ben called telling me he was Zack's, the boy you met on State Street's, friend. I said, "oh, yeah" and that weekend we went out for pizza. Good thing we had such inspired friends to do the number exchanging for us.  I imagine a lot of guys were also praying for inspiration to meet a beautiful blond girl from California - I guess my prayer requests were at the top of the list. 

How long did you date before getting married?

We dated (non-committed, teenage dating, he was not my boyfriend, I was not his girlfriend, dated other people to prove it while hurting each others feelings because of it) from Feb 1997, when I met him, until Dec 1997, when he left on his mission. After the mission we continued the "non-committed dating" for a few months (Jan 2000-March 2000), became a committed couple around April, engaged in October, married in November 2000.

How long have you been married?

Almost 8 years. It will make 8 years on November 25th.  The best 8 years of my life.

What does he do that surprises you?

Picks his freakin' nose in front of me!!! However, I have never, in all the 7 years of marriage heard or smelled him pass gas. Ever!!! The man is just not gassy. I count myself lucky. Scratch, not pick - there is no penetration.

What is your favorite feature about him?

His big, currently in the process of being whitened for all the upcoming job interviews, toothy grin.  Special thanks to Dad Rollins for the braces. 

What's your favorite quality about him?

Most definitely, my favorite quality about him is also one of the most irksome. Ben does not wait around for fun to happen to him, he makes it happen. Why is this irksome you may say? Because sometimes I just want to stay home, or sometimes I don't want to whirlwind clean my house because he just invited 4 people to come over for ice cream in 10 minutes, or sometimes the boys shouldn't stay up until 10pm for the 3rd night in a row because we took them to a movie, a concert in the park, a birthday party for the neighbor. See what I'm saying? However, I also love that he makes the fun for us. We do a lot of fun things because Ben makes it happen!  "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays." -The Music Man

Does he have a nickname for you?

How do I answer this?? For those of you who know me as Nicole, I would tell you my nickname is Niki. When we move to new wards I find that many of the men start to call me Niki because that's what Ben says when he refers to me in conversation, until their wives say, "No, no, no, that's what Ben calls her. It's Nicole." I usually introduce myself as's more formal, more grown-up and so the women and then eventually the men end up calling me Nicole. Really, I don't care what I'm called as long as it's one of the two. But, coming out of Ben's mouth I don't see "Niki" as a nickname. It's what I was when I met him, it's what he's always known me as. When he calls me Nicole it doesn't sound right. He also calls me "Babe." That's about it. "Super Model Mom."  Quick story - Nicole is in charge of the Moms group at business school.  She sent out emails to all the new students spouses before they arrived in Ithaca.  When one student spouse saw Nicole for the first time she told Nicole, "I didn't expect the leader of the Moms group to look like you!"  

She also has a sweet spirit...

What's his favorite color?

Blue, I think.  BYU Cougar Blue

What's his favorite sport?

He is a die-hard BYU football and Utah Jazz fan. But I couldn't tell you which sport he enjoys playing the most. Since being at Cornell he has taken full advantage (well, as much as I let him) to participate in every sport he can squeeze in his schedule. Last semester he took a kayaking class, this semester he's in a sailing class. He's gone rock climbing several times. In fact he's got a camping trip planned in a few weekends at some state park that's got amazing rocks. He's President of the Business School Football Club and Vice President of the Outdoors club. Anyone surprised??  I would also add the sport of "avoiding the diaper change".

Who said "I love you" first?

Ben made it very clear before leaving on his mission that he would be the first to say this by first, asking me if I'd ever told a boy that I loved him. While watching a movie and really not paying attention to what he was getting at I said, "Uh, I told my dad." He went on to tell me that he was never going to tell a girl he loved her until he was sure he was going to marry her. Ah-ha, I get it...this was his way of keeping me from ever saying it first, not having to "go there" before his mission and also telling me that if I danced with any thoughts about marrying him that I should not be telling this to any other boy while he was gone...which I didn't. I also knew that this statement would be a proposal and my responding the same would be the answer...which it was. Although Ben didn't present a ring and ask me to marry him until October of 2000 I knew we were gonna get married in August which is when these words were exchanged.  I married a smart one.  

When and where was your first kiss?

I was convinced that Ben was a Mormon, UT, player boy and so I held out for quite awhile. I thought for sure he was just looking to make out and move on. I held out so long that he actually had conversations with his friends about the possibility of me having been assaulted somehow which made me super uncomfortable kissing boys. I know...stupid boy. We finally smooched in the driveway of Zack's house. Not too romantic, but I thought it was a great night. I can only imagine the hoots and hollers his friends gave him when he went back into the house (I went home, I had my car) having finally broke me.  I was a very nice boy looking for a very nice girl.

What's your favorite thing to do as a couple?

Really...I don't know. We do still like each other, but I could really care less to scale a rock wall and he would rather stub his toe multiple times than watch a romantic comedy. To this day we have never seen a romantic comedy together in the theater. We've watched them together at home, or rather, I've watched and he sat next to me and checked his email, surfed the net. So let me think...we do enjoy having friends over, and we do this a lot since we don't live near family.  romantic kisses

How old is he?

29, for 3 more months!!!  Prime-time.

What's his favorite type of music?

Good old rock n roll.  Anything fun.

What do you most admire about him?

His undying optimism. Really though, this is one of those love it/hate it characteristics because sometimes I just want to yell, "just give it up already!!!" But again, we've done some really fun things because he's managed to fit it in AND convince me it's a good idea, which is usually harder than fitting it in. I'm optimistic that we can have 12 kids - but I might lose that battle!

What's his favorite past time?

I often hear him talk of the great trips he took with his high school hommies to St George in the "Magic Van" over spring break. Sounds shady, doesn't it? The Magic Van was before my time so I can't tell you what went on in there. I like to think that they called it magic because it had a way of not breaking down, or maybe an ability to find the most groovin' party. Really, Ben was a good boy and I have no idea why they called it that. Obviously they knew it insinuated so much. Stupid boys!  It was a dark day when the Magic Van was sold.

Do you think he's going to read this?

Not for many weeks from now when we're watching a romantic comedy and he's run out of emails to check and sport articles to read.

And that's it! I must admit, I found this more fun then I thought it would be and I've killed an entire evening. I would love to post more pictures of us back in the day, but it was just that...back in the day before digital and we have not scanned in many of our old photos. In fact, the one at the top is the only one. And so, for those who made it through this congrats and consider yourself more Rollins educated!  I feel much more informed, thank you!