Our Family Stories: Nichole’s Story


November is National Family Stories Month in the United States, and we are sharing a few of our stories with  you this month.

Nichole is first up in this Tuesday series, with a story written for her eldest daughter Ellie last Christmas season.


I walked into your room with a big bag, you stretched your arms and still at 2 years old you clutch to your baby blanket and cover your head.

“Two minutes mom,” you moaned with your raspy voice.

Then you flipped onto your back curious about the bag I was holding.

“Thank you so much Mom!” expecting I was carrying in a present for you.

“No, we are going to share some of your clothes Ellie,”

I started gathering, two of each type of clothing: jeans, leggings, shirts, dresses, pajamas….

“HEY! Those mine…” You pounced out of bed and reclaimed a pair of jeans from the bag and began to change into them.

“No, Ellie…. we need to share with a friend, she needs clothes….she’s cold.” I responded.

“Come put them in the bag, help me.”

“No, my jeans.” your eyes beady, challenging me to try and pry them from your arms.

“Ellie…we need to share that’s Christmas…look you still have all these,” as I gestured toward your remaining articles of clothing.

You complied as I provided choices of which you would like to share.

Your belief of Christmas began this season with a tree…

Every time you walked into the living room for several days after the tree was decorated you exclaimed…”CHRISTMAS!”

This morphed into singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, repeatedly.

And then singing along to Christmas songs on the radio.

Each day your understanding about Christmas grows.

That evening as we baked chocolate chip cookies, your very most favorite treat, as we were plating a batch and getting another sheet ready for the oven you stopped jabbing for 2 seconds, a record for you, and you froze. You looked up at me with a blank stare.

“I share these cookies with Kay, Mom?” and you descended from your stool and went to the pantry and brought back a bowl.

I smiled and gave you five, ok, maybe ten kisses praising you for your idea.

You gleamed with pride and then looked up and quietly said “Christmas.”

We packed the cookies in the bags filled with clothing and Christmas decorations.


Sweet, loving Ellie – may you always find it in your heart to share your wealth, whatever that may be, with others.

May you be aware of those that need and provide for them.

Auntie Kathy reminded me of the starfish parable. I’m sure those cookies made a difference.

“While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

He came closer still and called out, ‘Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?’

The young man paused, looked up, and replied ‘Throwing starfish into the ocean.’

The old man smiled, and said, ‘I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?’

To this, the young man replied, ‘The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.’

Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, ‘But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!’

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, ‘It made a difference for that one.’






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Lives for sneaking a spoon of peanut butter in the pantry, secret moments with her two girls, and begging for 2 more minutes of a back rub from her husband each night. Nichole is a storyteller, iPhone photographer, mother, coffee drinker, wife, blogger and Behavior Analyst. She struggles daily with the dichotomy of caregiver and breadwinner and the implications in a world still dominated by gender stereotypes. As a breadwinner, she is a Behavior Analyst specializing in Autism and works at a nationally recognized center of excellence near downtown Phoenix. As a caregiver, she specializes in chocolate chip pancakes, play-doh, and styling parties. You can follow her on Instagram - @azlocalliving


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