The woman behind the blog

It’s important that before you dig too far into Our Inspired Hearts, you learn a little (or a lot) about the things that inspire the author.

For starters, my name is Nikki, and I am a senior undergraduate studying Bible/religion and journalism. I’ve always been really good at school, and have considered making it a career by continuing toward the PhD level to one day become a professor. I’m still not entirely sure what’s next for me after I graduate in December, but I am excited (and terrified) by all of the possibilities.

I am an obsessive Chicago Cubs fan. My first favorite baseball player was #16, Aramis Ramirez, whom I first saw play in the 2008 season. Each year, to celebrate finishing another year of college, I have taken my parents to Chicago to see a game.

The first year we did this, we ran wildly late and didn’t arrive until the bottom of the 7th inning. A Wrigley Field security worker looked at me and said, “Honey, why are you crying? There’s no crying in baseball!”

And like the true spitfire I am, I looked her dead in the eye and cried out, “Well, there is today!”

The 25 minutes of the game we got to see were all worth it. Admittedly, I could still cry thinking about how big of a disaster that day was.

As a kid, I was a huge nerd for dogs. I still am, but not in quite the same way. I own at least 5 dog encyclopedias that detail breed attributes, histories, and behavioral features. At one point in time, I could’ve relayed pretty much word-for-word any given breed’s history and makeup. Now, I mostly spend my dog-obsessed time snuggling with my pup, Jinx. He’s an unusual pup: his mama was a 5lbs Yorkshire Terrier, and his dad was a 65lbs Australian Shepherd. This was an accidental breeding, and we rescued him at four weeks old, hand fed him for several weeks, and taught him what it meant to be a dog. I love my little bear, my Jinxy-Pooh, my Barky McBark Bark.

These days, I’m a huge fan of tattoos. I’m pretty much the worst person ever to ask for advice about whether or not you should get inked; I’m almost guaranteed to emphatically support you. I currently have 5 tattoos, all fairly small, but I am beginning the process of getting a sleeve. I absolutely love my ink, and there’s a story behind each tattoo.

I’m a theologian by nature. “Who is God? And what does it matter?” are basically my default settings. It makes me really fun at parties.

There is so much more for you to learn and discover about me, a lot of which you will find sprinkled throughout my blog. For now, though, I’ll offer you this fun list of ice breaker questions that I simply can’t resist answering:

What is your biggest fear?

Well, as pitiful as this is: I’m terrified of people in full-body costumes. Mascots? They give me literal, actual, real-life panic attacks. I’ve also always been afraid of a tree falling on me.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Five-year-old Nikki wanted to be a singing/acting veterinarian. I thought I could balance it all.

What would you sing at karaoke night?

Probably something really depressing and slow, with a big belt at some point. I listen to the most depressing music, really. I’ve performed Adele at a few shows in college, and that’s always been really fun. If I had to pick a song, I’d probably go with “When We Were Young” by Adele, or maybe “Vienna” by Billy Joel. “Vienna” is actually my all-time favorite song; some of the lyrics are tattooed on my arm.

What is your favorite book?

“Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech. It makes me sob every single time.

What is your favorite TV show?

There are several that I really enjoy. A few, in no particular order, are: White Collar, Doctor Who, The Golden Girls, Boy Meets World, Full House, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Criminal Minds, Law and Order: SVU, Forensic Files, Chopped, The Office, Friends, Shark Tank, The Waltons, Parks and Recreation, Grace and Frankie, House Hunters, Property Brothers…oh man, I’ve got to stop. I’m no movie buff, but I can appreciate a good TV binge.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Currently, my answer would have to be cabbage roll casserole. I know it’s weird, and cooked cabbage does smell pretty awful, but it’s got hamburger, rice, tomatoes and cabbage, and it’s seriously heaven. Sometimes I eat it for multiple meals in a row, including breakfast. I’m crazy.

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?

I sure would love to meet Laura Ingalls Wilder and experience the prairie life for a day or two. I know it was different in real life, and women were pretty darn oppressed, and there was no ibuprofen…but still, I’ve always been curious.

What are your hobbies?

Reading, photography, writing, making YouTube videos, painting and wood burning…I also enjoy hiking, fishing and generally being outside, just so long I can avoid the sun. Oh, and back road cruises. That’s a hobby for those of us who live in the Midwest, or maybe just in my home town.

What’s your favorite zoo animal?

Tigers, wolves, and meerkats. I also like snakes! And orangutans! All the animals!

How many pillows do you sleep with?

Two or three, but usually just two.

What’s the longest you’ve ever been without sleep, and why?

When I was in middle school, a friend and I thought it would be a great idea to stay up for 36 hours. We succeeded, but boy did it mess with my sleep cycle.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

On a regular weekday, 10 minutes. On a day I want to be fancier, I can take up to an hour.

What is your favorite movie?

From childhood, The Parent Trap (Lohan version) and The Polar Express. Now? Who am I kidding, still those. There’s a whole list of movies I think are indispensable to my life, but these top it.

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?

Paper, a pack of pens, and my hammock(?). Living on the assumption that I’ll have water and a food source.

Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?

Drew Brees is a distant relative, but he shows up pretty close to my mom on the family tree.

What was your first job?

I was an assistant cook at a nearby church camp for two years. As it turned out, I was the most efficient dishwasher and ended up taking that role from volunteers because I could do it in less than half the time. It was both a win and a loss.

What is one thing you will never do again?

I’ll never get another part of my body pierced again. I got my ears pierced when I was 8, I think, and then soon after had to have surgery. The process of taking out the earrings was hours-long because it hurt so much. Never, ever again.

Who knows you best?

Undoubtedly my mom. But for all the things my mom doesn’t know, my best friend, Jamie, does. Both know me better than I know myself, I daresay.

There you go! Now, you are a near expert on the woman behind the blog!

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