The Curious and Quirky are Welcome HERE. A tribute to Mr. Hazell

His name is Alva, and the only Alva I’ve ever met. I think he was a school teacher, but he did brain surgery on the side. I looked him up the other day on Facebook and in probably 25 years he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s doing video production (quirky) and art projects (awesome) near Lebanon, Mo, probably among a lot of other things.

He operated on my skull when I was a teenager, while I was at a summer camp called DLA (Drury Leadership Academy). It took place in a classroom at Drury College, in Springfield, Mo, while we all sat around in a circle on the floor. I made sure each year that I signed up for whatever class he was hosting, it didn’t matter the name or the subject.

He is one of those people who can guide a young mind on incredible journeys of discovery. He woke up the rarely challenged spirit of invention and creativity in children. Most people are content to let kids be kids, but he seemed to want us to see possibilities beyond just ‘kiddery’.

I remember crafting new contraptions out of a box of discarded parts and batteries. I ‘invented’ a device for installing into bathtubs. It gave a signal when the preset water level was reached and warned if the temperature was too hot. I was probably 13 or 14. It took just a couple days. We only used  random Radio Shack junk, And it worked!… kinda.

He gave kids the confidence that they could accomplish ANYTHING. Wow! Mindblower for me!

Another time he sliced open my noggin’ and operated on it, was an exercise I’ll call Song Dissection. He took popular radio songs (which we thought was so cool!) and played them in short clips. REM had a song called Losing My Religion. He’d play – “ I thought that I heard you laughing” then we’d talk about it for a bit. Next was “I thought that I heard you sing” then “I think I thought I saw you try”.

Basically we broke down the songs, line by line. He wanted us not to just hear the music but to listen, to look closer and even comprehend the meaning behind the words. This was the first time I can remember someone encouraging me to pull back the curtain, to question the questions themselves and to not take everything just at face value.

His version of brain surgery must’ve been powerful. I’ve remembered those moments in his class often in my life. I’m sure he didn’t care if knew the real meaning of those REM songs back in the early nineties. I do think though, that he’d be glad that his operations ignited deep mental curiosities that are still burning in me today.

How much do we just intake information from the ever expanding explosion of media around us? How often do we question and probe with in-depth examination the concepts, the catch-phrases and the content pouring into our minds through TV, Radio and Internet?

I think Alva, excuse me, Mr. Hazell, would be glad to know that we don’t just constantly set our minds on cruise control. If I had that capability as a youngster, I think he helped to carve it out and toss it away. Thank God, and for that surgery, and thank Mr. Alva Hazell for making it FUN!!

Until next week my friends… Question EVERYTHING!!


Aaron Nichols

It’s a Coast-To-Coast Hissy Fit!

The country is crying right now. The wailing is shrill and coming from every direction. It seems as this election draws nearer the volume is doubling by the day. It’s loud and we can hardly hear ourselves think among all the noise. I believe though, the fact that our country is crying, is a good thing.

Just this morning, my little ‘turkey-monkey’ daughter was playing around the house and had waddled off to another room. It wasn’t long before I heard a banging crash sound. I wasn’t able right then to rush to get her. I was really wanting and hoping and so relieved to hear her cry. Her howling told me exactly what I wanted to know.

When I was young and watching our antenna TV, I remember the commercials that repeated tragic video clips of starving African toddlers. The spokesman quoted that we could adopt one of these children for just pennies a day. I remember seeing some of those kids bawling and letting loose their voices, in response to their hunger. I was more impacted though, by the sincere gaze of one small boy, who was quiet and just let the flies crawl around on his face. He wasn’t swatting them or yelling for his mother. It seemed as though, he might have given up hope…

The crying of a child indicates pain. The wailing is fear, discomfort, annoyance and a loud ear-piercing request for help! A cry tells Mom or Dad lots of important information. From the pitch and cadence, most parents know exactly what the issue is, that will soothe the fit-throwing baby.

A cry is language, in the most primitive form. A cry is positive because it announces that major bodily systems are functioning properly. The senses are working, the lungs are healthy and the kiddo wants some relief, right now!

The point of a cry, is not to simply practice the art of it. The reason we cry, is that we want things to improve. It’s an action meaning ‘we want change!’. It says that we are healthy enough to recognize the wrongings around us. It means we have hope yet, we haven’t given up, and we are trying the things we know to try.

Lots of people are more than concerned about our country and its future. I have children myself that will be living into the world that seems so incendiary right now. The good thing is that our great American citizens are raising their voices. They are saying, ‘This isn’t right’, and for all their attacking each other back and forth, it’s still a positive sign.

Beware the time when the collective voices begin to hush one-by-one. Be watchful if suddenly, there isn’t any more sound of resistance. Gather close your loved ones, if you notice that our country has gone mute, through censorship or forced restraint. If those words are too ominous, at least keep vigilant that Hope herself is tended to and nursed lovingly. If she passes away, I think we have far more to fear than either one of the next POTUS candidates.

Cry loudly my friends, but don’t stop there. Do your own part, to affect the things within your personal power, to make America Great Again. Don’t be fooled that the few on TV have much of anything to do with it.

Until next week, Take Care of Yourselves and may God Bless the U.S.A.


Aaron Nichols



Do you believe in Baby Magic??

Our baby has a magic face. Maybe your babies’ faces are too. Do you think it’s possible that every face, on every baby is supernatural?

I’ve been wondering if that could be true.

We have a baby who has one complete set of facial features, like most do. It consists of two eyes, a nose, some cheeks and mouth with tiny teeth coming in. I think it’s a cute one, but that’s nothing notable, I’m her Dad, of course I do!

Other people though, seem to have vastly varying opinions when they comment on our daughter’s appearance. People like to point out, what family resemblances they see in her little mug. Listening to the array of names that are mentioned, it makes me wonder if we are all looking at the same kid!

Is it possible that somehow she’s transforming and conjuring up completely different countenances for every person she sees?? HA! Don’t Think So!

Here is a list of just the remarks I can remember, and I am surely leaving some out!
“Oh, how cute, She looks so much like:
A Roecker Kid
A Nichols Kid
Her Mommy, Lindsay
Her Daddy, Me
Her Grandma, Linda
Her Aunt Alexis
Her Cousin Robbi
Her Dad’s cousin Megan
Her Dad’s Aunt Melissa
and even Her Mom’s Grandpa Al!

(it’s late right now, after a loooong day, I am surely leaving out a bunch of them)

Anyway, there are tons of different faces that our baby’s face seems to be a copy of. Interesting isn’t it? How can any one of these opinions be true, and still allow the others to have merit? Is her face so generic that it can look like anyone else’s? Is it somehow a perfectly designed face-puzzle that uses genetic pieces from each family in perfect alignments to look like all these other people? Or is it actually just magic??


Situations like these birth questions in my mind that completely intrigue me. So here is my insight that I’ve come up with so far…

The face of the baby is a fresh image upon our realm of existence. It’s new and therefore hasn’t had time and repetitious enough viewage to have staked an exact claim of identity for itself. It is also constantly changing and growing and yes, full of two family forests worth of DNA.

But ‘who’ the baby looks like, has so much more to do with the observer, than the lil’ tike themselves. It seems to me that there are images in the minds of the onlooker, that are being searched out of their mental catalog and are undergoing a matching process. The more the observer is familiar with a certain family member’s facial features, the more likely they are to relate the new child to them.

We tend to see things that we have already seen. We tend to observe things as a pattern of our past observances. We can powerfully overlay characteristics of which we are accustomed, onto an almost blank canvas of possibility…

Hmmm… did I stray too far there to follow??

I wonder if a new day in front of us, is just like the face of that dear little lovably bright-eyed child we see. I wonder if situations we encounter in our lives work the same way too. I wonder if the nature of life itself, has a construct embedded, in which we project outwardly onto the physical plane, the patterns and images we catalog internally in the ether of the mind.

The vast array of observers of my baby’s face, have actually created a montage of memories that correspond to Their individual consciousnesses. They’ve magically made something out of almost nothing. To a stranger, they may say, ‘Hey, nice baby ya’ got there,’ but they probably wouldn’t attach remembered emotions to that viewing. And all the time, it’s the same one JoJo face.

As much as I hate to admit it, I can look at the infant of a day born right in my lap first thing in the morning, and begin to design it instantly. I can say ‘Oh it looks like all these days I’ve had before!’ ‘Oh, it looks like another crazy day at work.’ ‘Oh great, it reminds me exactly like that one bad day, and I can’t wait to get it over with!’ I can expertly recall memories and project them into the immediateness of the Now, even when I don’t like the way they look.

I might want to be careful with that. I might want to start looking less at the way, I know they have looked in the past, and more about new possibilities that I haven’t even begun to imagine yet!

I mean really, how do we know exactly who Joella looks like. We only have us old people to compare her to. It could turn out that she looks identical to her new delicate baby sister, or her bouncing baby brother. She could match them better than everyone else! And it would stand to reason that she would.

For that though, we’ll have to wait until early May of 2017. Who knows, maybe by then, this Daddy will have learned to project more positively and prosperously into the blank canvas of our families’ future, than ever before. Let’s hope for our sake, that we all do 🙂

Until next week

See the powerfully creative self that you are and always have been, beautifully.

God Bless –

Aaron Nichols

The most exciting thing I’ve done all summer!

With only 25% left to upload, it won’t be long until you can watch a 4 minute video about my roadtrip to San Diego and back, a couple weeks ago. Yes, I think it will be interesting to some, but probably not to most.

Even though I have great camera gear, and saw awesome scenery, the video came out a little dark. I rode over 3700 miles in the drivers’ seat on that trip, and veiwed first-hand everything from prairie to mountains to desert to ocean, there isn’t much landscape in the movie I made. Actually, the continuous walkaround ‘film’ I created just shows how I packed my car for the trip…

Big Whoop!

Actually, YouTube is full of videos that 99% of viewers would consider a complete waste of time to watch. There seems to be enough people clicking around on the interweb though, that somebody may find it useful or amusing to them.

Along with my stepdad Joe, we built an organizer system for the rear cargo area of my SUV. It gave me a short but deep space to slide an under-bed Tupperware box for my tools. On the other side of the divider was a place for my tent and tent-mat, a chair and my folded up sleeping cot too.  I screwed metal anchors to the top of the plywood ‘floor’ to tie down various tubs. I made a special spot for the Dog Roxy too, complete with her own rubber floor protector that she seemed to like to lay on any chance she got.

I thought back to my previous long roadtrip to make some improvements on my in-car storage solutions. I spent a lot of time before my trip deciding just how I wanted to arrange all my essentials and non-essentials and hope-I-don’t-have-to-use-at-all items inside the car. It may seem silly to You, but I just love designing things, and this overland voyage to the coast and back gave me a nice opportunity to do that with my camping gear.

In fact, finding tiny ways to improve the efficiency and organization of critical items is something I seemed to be obsessed with.

This car camping setup, is just one of many projects that I have spent a bunch of time planning out and fussing over. At our restaurant, this same drive has prompted me to reconfigure and re-imagine almost every area of our kitchen, bar, dining room, back room and office too. Tiny changes here, big changes there, I love to look at a setup and play with ideas on how we can make it better. I’ve certainly been made fun of, for trying to save our staff just a couple steps, or to reduce one set of actions down to its most important core.

Over time and over now thousands of plates of food later, I know that tiny adjustments to our equipment or procedures or even a change in the direction of the swing of a door, has made a huge difference. At least I’d like to believe it has anyway.

I am delighted when I can work or in this case, drive and easily have with reach, the tools and items I need most. When our staff can concentrate on cooking your meal, instead of fiddling around looking for utensils or an ingredient, I smile. You may laugh when I tell when I tell you that I spent several minutes looking for a cinder-block to hold open a door, rather than just go in and out of it three or four times. I’d say that next time I want to unload a bunch of stuff out of the car, that cinder-block will be right there, where I can use it.

If I were leaving tomorrow for another 3700 mile highway romp with my always-ready pooch Rox, I would again make adjustments to my vehicle setup. Overall though, I love the project itself and then working with the designs and ideas to see how they perform.

If you have four minutes that you don’t care about, and are somebody who watches the mundane on YouTube, click here, I’m glad to show off the most exciting thing I’ve done all summer… Pack for a Roadtrip!

Until next week, have fun my friends designing and improving your own world, as best you can.

God Bless


Aaron Nichols

MacGuyver Gourmet on Vacay!

So I ‘cooked’ my wife breakfast in the bathroom sink on Monday. High on the 28th floor of this Bayfront hotel in San Diego, California, it was the only option I could think of at the time. See, we are staying at a very nice place, but without a microwave or even a mini-fridge, our food options are limited.

Sure we could buy every meal at one of the many restaurants around. Or I could have ordered her room service, like I did this morning. However with almost a week to stay here, that $30.00 plate of two eggs would have added up real quick!

Since I was out walking with little JoJo in her stroller, and we cruised to the grocery store, I bought some bagels and cheese and a package of pre-cooked frozen sausages. Back at the room, as my wife was waking up, I told her that breakfast would be ready soon. I had put the brown round pucks into a ziplock baggie and laid them in the bathroom sink. With the water on full-hot, the sausages thawed out and even warmed up. Sous-Vide MacGuyver style, Yum!

We dined on a sandwich that was quite the opposite of the setting. It was basic and cooked in the bathroom. But these are the things I will probably remember about our trip.

We are in a stunningly beautiful setting this week. San Diego has weather that is almost unbelievable. Every minute outside is perfect for tee shirt and shorts. The people are friendly, and everyone you work with says ‘Have a beautiful day!’ Ha, how could you not!

Last Saturday and Sunday, I blasted across the open West, cruising many times between 85-90mph. The roads where open and the speed limits high. I made it down here in two long days of driving from home in Princeton, Kay-Ess. I loved the scenery, the freedom and the mission, to come see my ladies, here in sunny San Diego.

Why is it that the hiccups and the snafu’s are the items that stand out to me in memory about these fun vacation experiences? Why is it that the hotel room is just as much adventure for our little Joella, as the Zoo, or the activity of Mission Beach? As people, we must be wired to forget the comfortable, the neutral, the ‘good’ moments in time. The wide grey band of dandy happenings on this trip are like a card catalog that I have to search through to remember already. The best moments seems to come from the worst circumstances, if you can call anything here ‘worst’?

I tend toward the times that we had to ‘make do’ or improvise and get creative with our plans and activities. I am curious about what it would be like to vacation with money as no object. We could get a car to take us wherever we wanted to go. We could eat out for every meal and shop till we drop at every store we saw. It would be nice to just valet an Italian sportscar, instead of picking our way through the tight parking in my dog-stinky 96 4Runner…

But really, I cannot make myself believe that without any challenges or mini-adversities that we would enjoy ourselves that much more. We did spend a day at the beach, an a couple more would be fine, but after that, what fun is there just lying around all the time? We would want to stir up some mischief somewhere, right?

As of this afternoon, I will begin my journey back to Kansas. I might leave in just a couple hours. Right now, I have no idea which direction I am taking exactly. East seems like a good bet.

Having everything perfectly planned out, isn’t my idea of fun, and so I’ll pick up the dog and maybe then decide to which highway we will start motoring back in our road-ready 250,000 mile SUV.

The return mission is just like the first. See some country, drive like the dickens, and get home safe to see my girls, any which way I can. That is the perfectly un-predictable plan, I can appreciate, even when leaving such a spectacular place like sunny Southern California.

Until next week, my friends… ‘Have a Beautiful Day!’


Aaron Nichols

Made in the Shade

Where did we get the idea that perfection is required in all things at all times? I don’t think that one iota of myself is perfect, but subconsciously it does seem to be the static benchmark I measure against. Accepting imperfection and opening up to the fluid ebb and flow of the charmingly chaotic world around us may be a step toward more inner peace and well being.

My garden is planted in probably the best spot in my back yard for vegetables. It’s almost perfect in fact. The ‘problems’ though are two hackberry trees that live right on it’s edge. They are getting quite big as of this year, and stretch out up top, creating lots of shade.0604160916b

Plants need sun, and heat units from it, to grow. The shade isan area that sun doesn’t reach… The trees are probably parasitic to the available water my veggies need. The trees are likely growing so well because of the extra fertilizer, water and special treatment that filters down to their roots.

Some may suggest that in order to have an even fantastiker garden, that I should cut down those trees. I could get full sun all day to my tommy-toes and peppers that way. They wouldn’t have to share their water with the trees. I may get higher yields of tender yellow squash or bright acidic Better Boys or spicy Japs to share with Harlan Proctor.

The ever striving reach for perfection may drive me to that someday, but not yet. Not now, those trees and my garden coexist just fine. I seem to really enjoy my gardening experience regardless of the morning shade onthe west side and the afternoon shade on the east. I am amazed every year that the tiny brown oval shaped seed is so packed with potential. It jumps out of the ground with green life and begins it’s work, whether or not a tree is casting shade its way. It just does what it can do, exactly where it is, right now, constantly and unceasingly.

Our little daughter is the same way, she just does and does and does at all times, she isn’t waiting for perfection first to begin her exploration. It’s just right now, all the time…

All of us have massive trees that cast a shadow over some area of our lives. We want sunshine and brightness to exist everywhere, but it rarely does. The shade may not always be a negative, it could be protecting us too. In the triple digit temps of late July and August, the hackberries screen out excessive heat. My plants may have an advantage that time of year, vs living wide open to every wave of the suns radiation…

I can’t answer for sure which is the better way. I know that perfection isn’t what it’s about. The lessons that perennially sprout up from the dirt are the real fruit of my garden. It’s about a cute moment with my daughter walking around looking at the plants and the dog and waving to the cars passing by.

The whole thing is in balancedperfection, from God’s eye view, even if we don’t see it from where we are standing.

Until next week, be well my friends.


Aaron Nichols0604160916d

Make mistakes… at least Make Something!!

A camping cot is not the safest of playpens, but that is what I’m using to contain my speedy and curious daughter this morning. Several weeks ago, I bought this cot in preparation for a long roadtrip campout I’m planning for the summer. I set it up in the living room to test it out, and it’s been there ever since.

Usually I lounge on it in the early morning while she plays with her toys, but this morning, she’s wanting to crawl anywhere but the places I want her to stay. So for fifteen minutes at least, she has been content playing on the cot, throwing toys off the side and occasionally hanging off an arm, testing out a dismount.  I’m typing close by, and can reach over to dadgrab her if needed.

I’ve setup an artificially limited miniaturization of the world to contain her.

Earlier she knew there was more to explore, but for a short period of time this new playplace has amused her. As she gets more comfortable though, it takes more interaction to keep her happy there. A new toy or moving the cot away from the TV stand is necessary. She is too active and won’t stay put forever on this little canvas island in the living room.

It is our instinctive nature to explore.  We can’t help it at 9 months old to want to see every corner of the house, taste every toy and cardboard box and tipped over trash can that exists. We just do, uninhibited and without fear, constantly.

At age 37 now, I can’t quite recall when the desire faded to be in constant adventure mode, somewhere along the way though it happened. At the end of many days I can look back and notice that I inched my way along, just ‘getting through’ each task at hand, till the clock shows midnight. I didn’t crawl and push and grab and laugh, in all-out discovery and examination each and every step of the way. Avoiding this kind of strenuous activity was probably a more accurate description.

Some days I dabble in exploration of self. I appreciate our weekly Bible study, for the spiritual insights and unlocking of mystery that can happen there. I use this blog platform and my graphic design work to express creativity to the blank page. I dive deeper and deeper into strange subjects in documentaries online, freaking myself out, about the very nature of this nation and world as we know it…

Overall though, my physical traversing is quite limited. After for several days of the week, I move barely a mile from where I woke up, over to my work, then back to home again.

I remember roughly a quote from life coach Steve Hardison, it was about the complexity and magnitude and awesomeness of the lives we have already led. He talked about how amazing we are as people, just creating the story of us, with all the trials and tests we’ve already experienced. Then he went on to illustrate that the entirety of what we know, is but a fraction of a square inch, painted into the tiny corner of a massively huge blank canvas.

There is lot more to left to explore.

I am glad to be reminded by my earnestly active little daughter, that we are innately driven toward discovery.  There is no shame in pushing limits. There is value in trying new things. We cannot regret our attempting, even when it fails. Eventually, we will only be sorry about those things that we didn’t try at all.

I hope I don’t find out someday, that there was no government agency, or no elite bloodline, or no illuminati, that kept me penned up and corralled on my own little canvas island in the middle of this expansive beautiful world. I hope I don’t find out that the only thing holding me back, from seeing and experiencing, is my own self-imposed mental prison. If that is the real truth, the one that seems to be the great mystery right in front of my face, then I pray I will have at least tested the rigidity of the seemingly steel bars all around.

I hope to know that I attempted to continue pushing limits some way, some how, each day… even when it sounds like anything but fun.

Until next week my friends, explore, discover and create a mess! It could be more than fun, it could be pure exhilaration!


Aaron Nichols


Poof! Is it gone?

Composition, Color Theory, Emphasis and Polish would be important for all of us to take into consideration, right? What about Contrast and Hue, Value and Visual Weight? These are fundamental principles, right? I use them every day.

Mostly, I am thinking about the basics of design, when I am creating artwork for tee shirts and other apparel. I don’t always just use them then, however. Holding my cell phone up to click a picture, I innately and almost unthinkingly square up the image or make a visually interesting angle, and drop the subjects somewhere close to the rule-of-thirds, while filling the frame.

If I have a simple picture, that I want to add some text to, and post it online for an ad for our restaurant, I use all the same building blocks of solid design there too.

I cannot create anything, even down to a grocery list, without wanting to make it visually appealing.

This is something I learned to do, long ago, and has become second nature to me.

Back in 2010, I was driving thousands of miles across the wide open western part of the country. I had a cheapie little digital camera, and I took tons of photos. On that trip, I created a blog post per day. I uploaded a bunch of pictures and people complimented them. I didn’t show them all the crappy pictures I took, just the best of what I had done. Because I knew the importance of an artistic eye, my simple camera was able to capture some really nice shots.

It’s hard for me, not to notice that most of the general population has been shown, much advanced design theory. I can scroll through facebook and see thousands of poorly pointed photographs. They may even be decent pics, but they need a waaay tighter crop. Of the millions of images posted online, there are few that demand your eye to study them. Sure, we look at a lot of pictures, but few make an impression on our soul itself.

Once learned, these principals become part of the person themselves. I can’t imagine that many artists can just browse a website or magazine or family photo album without noticing the successful compositions versus the awkwardly arranged snapshot.

And even if you haven’t had any formal training in design, you too can ‘feel’ the power of an image, or its lack thereof.

See, these ‘rules’ of design, aren’t just someone’s current hot opinion. Someone may attempt to be rebellious and flip some of the standards on their heads from time to time, and even succeed. But in reality, the human spirit is moved and excited and gripped by, great artwork.

Once you learn the differences, it can’t be unlearned. I cannot ever now, be unaware of a poorly kerned title, or cliché font combinations. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know the principals of good design at all, since so much bad exists in our world.

In the same way a highly trained chef, may lose the enjoyment of a simple greasy paper bag of drive-thru fast food. His taste buds have experienced another level of balance, quality and refinement of flavors. The blast of sodium and over-processed meat patty could be almost painful to partake of.

Be careful about what you learn. In the movie The Matrix, Morpheus offers Neo a choice between two pills. One would wake him up to the greater truths of the ‘real’ world, the other a memory eraser.

There are things I wish I didn’t know sometimes. Asking Jesus into my heart, only changed everything about the way the world looks to me now. It is sometimes harder to see things in our broken world, knowing His love and presence is available, but not wanted by all.

Some knowledge can burden the mind as much as it frees it. I know that I would never want to release the reality of God’s love that I’ve been blessed with. I do sometimes miss my pre-born-again, infantile moments. Back then, I thought I’d mastered the point of life: Just to party and plow through, only working for the perpetual weekend, away from it all… If we could just be rich and relax on a beach with a beer… forever… That would’ve been Heaven!

Now, I’m not so absolutely sure.

Anyway, there are real principals that guide and direct the universe. They were designed by God. Working with them, we create great art, great food, great lives and afterlives. Against them, all our creations are like fine flash-powder, gone in a loud poof, leaving behind nothing but a faint scorch.

Until next week my friends, be well. Notice and be proud of the chance you have to create greatness for yourself, on whatever scale, or to benefit whoever may be blessed by your work.

God Bless!


Aaron Nichols




It’s getting harder to shoot the baby

At work, I’ve been accused of taking too many pictures. It’s been said that I take more pictures with my phone everyday than anyone else on EARTH!! Surely, that can’t be true, right?

I do take a lot of pictures. I use pictures instead of words to do a lot of my communicating. I am a graphic designer after all. I love that we can so easily snap a photo, maybe edit, draw on it, add text and then send it to someone else. I use them all the time for fun and for work too!

Speaking of taking pictures of my daughter, I do that soooo much! I am with her right now, on a typical morning at home, before I head off to work for the day. I am letting her play and roll around while I type. My wife loves to know how each one of our mornings has been spent. I take a few pictures and almost every day send her a photo collage of our cute baby girl.

Something I’ve noticed though is that little Joella and her expressions and actions are hard to capture on ‘film’. Especially in the morning, she is so animated and giddy. She cheeses super-wide grins and waves her arms almost anytime I look at her. She is intrigued and goes a little cross-eyed focusing in, to grab the tag of a plush toy. Her tired face gets a little red and she pulls a blanket up over her head right before she sleeps.

I want to record the exact thing I am seeing and experiencing, with my phone/camera and it is really difficult. I understand that the auto-focus isn’t quick enough to keep up with her movements, and babies rarely sit still. It’s something else, I think it is certainly her ever increasing awareness.

Actually, it’s a beautiful example of quantum mechanics at work.

Without the complex scientific definitions, it could be summed up with a phrase like this from Wayne Dyer:

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

See, when I am enjoying a small moment of observing my child at play, she is doing jsut that: play. It may have to do with the fact, that I am not trying to get her attention, or that she is totally engrossed in some fuzzy toy. Either way, the state of my observation of her, is allowing the adorableness that I am seeing.

When I change the nature of my intentions from observing to recording, then the nature of her play changes as well. I cannot make a shift in my actions without creating one in hers.

I could be really blunt and say that, “Every time I get out my camera, the kiddo stops being cute and just looks at the phone instead!”

And that is a very true statement.

However, this child has arrived, as they all do, to teach the parents some new things. Mine just happens to be clearly expressing the laws of quantum physics, that’s all 🙂

Back to Wayne Dyers comments; he usually was speaking to an audience of people, looking to make a positive shift in their lives. Maybe it is work, or love or money or spiritual purpose they want to improve. His words were designed to encourage and open thinking pathways to shift the mental gridlock that can cement us into negative places.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Scientifically is a proven truth, that the act of observation changes the nature of the observed. Joella shows me that too.

If I want something in my life to change, that I observe to be problematic, the solution cannot exclusively come by forcing a reconstructive effort upon that object itself. Without a change in my own perspective as observer, it will remain in the state it is.

All I have to do, to deflate the cutest little moment of daddy daughter time, is to pull out my phone and try to capture it. When I do that, it’s gone. So I’m learning to wait. I can photograph our kiddo with bright smiles and pics for mommy, but only when I’m willing to interrupt her world. Many times now, I let her be, let her learn and take my shots later.

Now that I’m an expert in quantum physics, I can create anything I want, right? Well, I’m actually still an infant too. Just spending my days exploring and trying to learn how this world works. I don’t by any stretch of the imagination, have it all figured out.

Until next week, my friends be well. God Bless You.


Aaron Nichols


Kidding For Real

Just noticing this week how a kid comes back when they’re given a little attention. I have a funny pair that always harass and joke with me at the restaurant. One is a young and sassy girl, then big brother joins in too.

I could almost give you a word for word description of every time an adult took time to engage in a conversation with me, when I was a kid. When a big person, swings their attention away from the other big people, and lean down into the little person’s level, it creates an amazing bond.

I know that it meant a lot to me, when I was growing up. I probably connected better with some adults who wanted to really talk to me, than the kids my age who just wanted to goof around. Well, that’s just the way I was, and still can be now.

I hope I keep remembering, as my little girl grows, the importance of seeing eye to eye with the little ones.

These days I have my mini-friends visiting often at the Brand’N Iron, and they are some of my very favorite guests. A couple packages of crackers keep them happy. I know we are all doing a good job, when the smallest diners are smiling 🙂

Until next week, say hi to the kids for me.


Aaron Nichols