S: Senior Memory Book
BC: A Good Beginning Makes a Good Ending
FC: REVIEW | the years in
1: for the | Chapter 1 : Who Am I? Chapter 2 : Before I Was. There Were Chapter 3 : Suddenly, I Became Me Chapter 4 : School Bells Chapter 5 : More School Bells Chapter 6 : I Grew Up Here Chapter 7 : Hide and Seek Chapter 8 : My First Boyfriend Chapter 9 : I Wish I Could See Krissy Again Chapter 10 : Middle School Chapter 11 : Let's Go To The Movies Chapter 12 : I'm Really In Love This Time Chapter 13 : Let's Take A Vacation Chapter 14 : High School : The Early Years Chapter 15 : At Last, I'm A Senior Epilogue : If I Could Live My Life All Over Again I Would . . .
2: I am Erica Nielsen. I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas and I still live here. It's just me, my parents and my sister in the family. | I am very close with all my family even though a lot of them are very distant. They have still always been here for me whenever they are needed. | I am very interested in working with young children. I've helped bring up all my cousins and other young family members. | This Is Me!
3: My ultimate life goal is run my own day care center. I'm going to go to school to get a degree in Early Childhood Education. Currently I am in a class at Heights where I can go out to the child development center and work with kids. The class also gives me credits at some colleges to take the classes there. Its really good to have that kind of experience with young kids if you are going into a career like that.
4: is a little world created by love. | Before I Was, There Were . . . | Before I was, there were my parents, Barbara and Bob, and my sister Alicia. My parents and my sister moved down here to Kansas from California when my sister was 2 years old. My mom's grandma, my grandma Florence, lived down here and they got a house just a block away from her so she could watch my sister during the day.
5: "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln | My grandma Lucille, is my grandma from my mom's side, my grandma Florence's daughter. She lives in Yucca Valley, California. She has 5 kids including my mom. My Aunt Laura, Uncle Joel, Uncle Rick, and Uncle Ron. One of my uncles lives in California and my other two live in Colorado. My Aunt Laura lives in Iowa, she is the coolest aunt ever. | My grandma Janet is my grandma from my dad's side. She lives in Escondido, California. She has 3 kids including my dad. My Uncle Ricky died before I ever got to meet him, but I would have loved too because I hear he was an amazing guy. My Aunt Cindie lives in California, she is also the coolest aunt ever.
6: I became me on April 8th, 1994 at 9:47 am at Wesley Medical Center. I weighed 6 pounds and 13 ounces and was 18 inches long. A lot of my family from California came down to see me when I was born. I was a very happy baby. I slept all night and took 2 naps a day. | Suddenly I Became Me | A very important person in me becoming me is my grandma Florence. She took care of me since I was a baby. My mom worked all day so when I was born she watched me and my sister while my mom went to work. My grandma's house was always like another home to me because I grew up there throughout my whole life. | Grandma Florence
7: Age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying you. | Alicia turned 5 a week before I was born. She was very taken with me when I was little and was either always holding me or jumping in every picture they took of me as a baby. My grandma Janet came down before my mom's scheduled c-section to be here when I was born. My first word was dada and I took my first steps around 14 months. I went to preschool at age 3 at ABC&D preschool. | Grandma Janet
8: School Bells | I started school when I was 5 years old at Pleasant Valley Elementary School. I was very nervous to start school and be there all day. I will admit I was one of those kids who didn't want their mom to leave. I got adjusted to it pretty well pretty quick. I remember always having a lot of fun and loving to go to school. Especially when I met my 2 best friends for life, Krissy and Devon. In kindergarten I had 2 teachers, they switched off between days. They were my favorite teachers and I was sad when I went to 1st grade that they wouldn't be my teachers anymore. | When I started 1st grade, Devon was in my class so I was ok with starting a new grade. My teacher turned out to be really cool. She had a rope that she would add clips too every time we were good, and when we got to a certain number, she would bring in her dog to class. When it was time for reading I would go to a different class because I was in a 3rd grade reading class that was more advanced that the kids in my class.
9: I was super excited to go to 2nd grade because my kindergarten teachers were now 2nd grade teachers and I got them again! I wasn't in the same class with Devon this year but I had other friends in the class from the year before. 2nd grade was the year in elementary school that I remember the most because it was when 9/11 happened. I remember my teacher turning on the news in class and we were all so young we had no clue what was going on.
10: As the grade levels got bigger, school work got harder for me. In 4th grade, I had a really awesome teacher and a really cool class. I had a lot of friends in class and social time was good, but when it came to work I started falling behind easier. School has never been my favorite thing. But luckily, I had a really good teacher who helped me out and kept me up and going. | In 4th grade I remember having pet mealworms. They were so disgusting. I would never touch mine because I was a total girly girl and it made me want to get sick. Before we finally got to take them home, I actually touched it. My teacher was so proud of me. Then it eventually turned into a beetle and then it was even more disgusting than before. | More School Bells
11: In 5th grade, we didn't have a big trip or anything but I remember a lot of field trips, mostly to the zoo. We went on earth day and after the zoo, we went and picked up trash all along the Sedgwick County Park trail and outside the zoo. I also remember doing DARE. I switched classes around the middle of that time period. I just switched to another teacher because my teacher and I didn't get along. | Devon was in my new class and I was really excited. I had a lot of friends in that class, but at the same time I missed my friends in my old class, but I got to see them all at recess. Of course as we all got older, more and more drama came up between kids and everybody always got mixed up in it. Things always got better, especially when it came time to graduate 5th grade and move up to middle school.
12: I Grew Up Here | I grew up right here, in Wichita, Kansas. I was born and raised here and I've lived in the same house ever since I was born. My whole family is from California. I was the only one born here. My sister was basically raised here. She was raised in California for 2 years and then the rest of her life here. I've left the state to travel, but only a few times. This has always been my home.
13: Not trying to sound perfect, but I've had a better upbringing then a lot of kids. Most kids switch schools or move houses at least once in their early life, but I haven't. I've never moved houses and I went to the same elementary school all 5 years, middle school all 3, and high school all 4. I guess you could call me more of a sheltered” child. My parents never wanted me to have to go to new schools or houses. | Most people hate Kansas, and want to leave. I'm quite the opposite. I don't think I want to leave and live in another state. I would feel really homesick. The only other place that feels somewhat like home is California. I wouldn't mind living there someday, but not anytime soon. I want to stay here and enjoy all of the weird things about Kansas that I love and grew up with.
14: Hide and Seek
15: costume | party | I guess you could say hide and seek was not my favorite game as a kid. My friends and I were much weirder than normal kids who play average kid games. Not saying we didn’t play hide and seek, we just had more fun things to do. From dress-up to walking each other around with sleeping bags over our heads, my friends and I were strange kids. Dress up started when my cousin Mikayla and I would find the weirdest clothes we could find and put them on and take pictures with my Polaroid camera. We mixed and matched Halloween costumes and just ran around the house like that for hours. Another time, we found my matching monkey pillow and blanket and made the blanket a dress and the big pillow a hat. We were too easily amused by the smallest things we did. The sleeping bag races began at one of my birthday parties when I was still in middle school. I believe it was sixth grade. My friends and me were just sitting around being bored when we had this brilliant idea to put sleeping bags over our heads and have someone walk us around like that. It was quite entertaining depending on who was walking you around. We ran into a few door facings but we lived. The funniest part of it was my friend Maria had a bright yellow sleeping bag and we laughed because she looked like a giant banana.
16: It was never meant to be, it just happened. I was in the seventh grade, that’s when it all started. I met Sean in sixth grade but we hated each other. Around the middle of seventh grade is when we actually became friends and started talking to each other. We started dating November 20, 2007. It didn’t mean much at first because we were young, but it all changed not long after that. | If I were to go into detail about everything we went through, I could write a novel. Everything was fine for about nine months into the relationship. We were thirteen years old, and young kids do stupid things. Well, we were those stupid kids who got ourselves into the worst mess of our lives at that young age. I won’t go into detail but it was pretty bad. Things were all over for us a few months after that. It was a constant battle to try to get him back, but all he did was treat me worse. | I tried for months, from the beginning of the school year to the end to try to get him back, but it just wasn’t enough I guess. We had been through the toughest thing a couple could go through and I’m pretty sure he was scared of the thought of it all happening again. After years of all this, I finally learned that I was worthy of someone else who would treat me better. I realized it was time to move on and find someone else. | My First Boyfriend
17: Prom Alternative 2007 | Prom Alternative 2008
18: LIVE | L A U G H | I Wish I Could See Krissy Again. . . | It was the first day of kindergarten that I met my best friend, Krissy. We instantly clicked and we were best friends from that day on. We were inseparable at school and eventually became inseparable outside of school as well. Her house was like a second home to me all my life, even though they made me eat nasty food. Over the years, I eventually got used to it. We weren’t in the same class again after kindergarten, but we still always saw each other at recess and of course outside of school at our houses. When we got to middle school, I found out Krissy wasn’t going to be at the same school as me. It really hurt me because even though we weren’t in the same classes in elementary, we were still at the same school. We were still best friends close as could be throughout the roughest years of my life, but things only got rougher after middle school was over. I still remember the day Krissy told me she was moving to Texas. Her dad had gotten transferred because of his job and they had no choice but to leave. I was devastated because I had never really lost a friend before. I knew I wouldn’t see her as often as I had over the last nine years. Her family had become mine and mine had become hers. We had our last night together at my house and we took tons of pictures and just had a blast staying up all night looking at the memories we had over the years. I’ve only seen Krissy a few times since she left, and when she does come to visit, we take advantage of that time because we no longer have what we used too.
19: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
20: Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breaths away. | Middle School | I guess the simplest way I could put it is, middle school was not the greatest years of my life. There were both good times and bad, but If I could go back, I would change a lot about it. I liked a lot of my teachers, but probably disliked more. Middle school was a lot of ups and downs and back and forth’s. It’s hard to even go back to the school because there are so many bad memories that take over any of the good ones I had. The first year, I was fairly content with middle school life. I liked getting used to lunched being different and switching classes and all the fun stuff that came with being a middle school kid. I liked all my classes and getting to see my friends and have a passing period. The only thing I hated was homeroom class. There was this boy who was mean to me and was always hitting me and we hated each other and were always getting in trouble for fighting.
21: It's the little moments that make life big. | When seventh grade rolled around, I fell in love with the loser. He finally stopped being mean to me, but then all the drama of middle school started. A bunch of my friends like him, so I became the backstabber because I was the only one with the guts to actually ask him out and start dating him. So I lost a few friends over that but my real ones stuck by my side and made seventh grade probably the best year out of the three. The words “eighth grade,” still haunt me to this day. I cant even stand the thought of thinking about everything that happened because a lot of it is a complete blur and I don’t want to remember. I wont go into detail, but the guy broke my heart, I lost a lot more of my friends, there was always screaming and fighting, and it was just awful. I wanted nothing more than to get it over with and move onto high school to make new friends and make a new and better start in life.
22: Let | Let's Go To The Movies
23: When I was little, all I watched were Disney movies. They were all I knew that was possible to watch on the TV for the longest time. My all time favorite for as long as I can remember is “Beauty and The Beast.” I watched it probably every day. My other favorite movie at the time was “Toy Story.” | As i got older, i really didn't grow into more teenage type movies. My favorite movie when i was seventeen was "Toy Story 3." I have a three year old nephew so i had to watch it all the time. It also became one of my favorites because it was the movie that I watched the night my boyfriend, Joe asked me out. So it brings back a memory whenever I watch it. | My all time favorite movie has to be "The Vow," because it was my first date with my boyfriend, Joe. It was a great movie and every time I even hear the title of the movie it makes me so happy inside. It was the best first date ever because the movie was so romantic and it was also the first night that we kissed.
24: February 26th, 2012 | you | the best thing about me is | ARMY
25: I'm Really In Love This Time | I never saw this as the type of relationship I would ever go into, a military one. I always thought I would be the type that was too weak, and I would never even try it. Well, all that changed when once again, I never thought, that the kid who sat next to me my whole senior year in English class would be the one I fell in love with. My life has defiantly been turned in a complete opposite way then I had planned it, but its not a bad thing at all. It felt like the relationship would never start. We were both getting over someone else and kind of needed a little time to heal together. So we would hang out and text each other every minute for days. We went to see “The Vow,” together as our first date. I thought he was never going to kiss me, until that night of course, because he finally did. It picked up from there but we still weren’t actually together. He came over one night to watch “Toy Story 3,” with me, and later that night when I took him home, and after what seemed like forever, he finally asked me out. Well, I said yes and from that night on, I have never been happier with my life. It didn’t take long to fall for him. I knew from the start that I was going to be in love with him before I knew it. He treats me like a girl should be treated, like a princess. I could not ask for a better guy than him. No matter what mood I’m in, he can always make me happy. That’s all I’ve ever wanted in life and now I finally have it, and I never want that feeling to go away. We knew from the beginning our time was limited, and we both had to accept that this wasn’t going to be easy, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been worth it. Knowing from the day you get together that you only have 106 days left until your apart for six months can be hard for some people to take in. I saw it as a new adventure in life I was willing to take because I knew from the day I developed a serious liking for him, he was going to be worth the wait.
26: vacation | FAMILY
27: "It isn't how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it's how you spend the time." - David Brenner | The only vacations I’ve known my whole life, have been to my family’s home state, California. I’ve been there only a few times in my life but they all have been very memorable and I love visiting there any chance I can get. There’s been a few times we went as an actual vacation and a few times to just visit. The first time I went that I was old enough to remember was when I was seven. I could not have been happier to fins out I was going to go to Disneyland for the first time. It wasn’t a typical tourist day though because it was right after 9/11 and there was really no people there. So we got on all the rides right away and we rode a lot of them at least twice. We had a great day. Then the next day, we went to SeaWorld which is my second favorite place on earth next to Disneyland. The next time that we went, I was twelve. I was just expecting it to be just like the last time we went to Disneyland, but it was definitely not what I had expected. I had never seen so many people in my life. It was so crowded, it took forever to get on rides. I was lucky if I got to get on one once! I wouldn’t say that experience sucked, but it wasn’t great. They canceled the firework show due to wind, I missed the parade, which is normally done at night, during the day to go on a ride, and it was the night the high school graduates get the whole park to themselves so they closed early. The last two times we just went to visit. The most recent time, it was just my mom and I. So she decided she would take me to SeaWorld again. It was an amazing experience. I had such a fun day seeing the kind of animals I love and I got one of the coolest experiences in life. I got to swim with the dolphins. I got to get in the water and interact with them, and feed them, and make them do tricks. It had to be my favorite vacation experience, ever.
28: High School : The Early Years | I guess they really don’t lie when they say high school will be the best years of your life. At the beginning, I was really scared that I wasn’t going to like it and I wouldn’t have fun. Well, that all changed pretty quick. Freshman year I made a lot of really good, new friends. I made so many lifetime friendships and high school had barely started yet. Sophomore year is really when everything changed for the better for me. I got with my first high school boyfriend, Cole, and we started our big group of friends. It was Raven, Conner, Miranda, Avery, Cole, and me. That was the group, and we were always together. The most fun we ever had together was at Avery and Conner’s birthday party. We took so many pictures and just had the greatest time ever. Junior year was a really great year for me as well. I had a great boyfriend, a great group of friends, and I also met a really good new friend. She was a foreign exchange student from The Netherlands. Her name is Anneloes. I haven’t been able to really communicate with her since she went back, but we were very close when she was here. The majority of my junior year consisted of Cole and always spending time with him. We pretty much started distancing ourselves from our group. That’s when things really started going downhill with us and at the beginning of that summer after junior year, we ended things between us.
30: At Last, I'm A Senior
31: I can definitely say that senior year has been my favorite year in some ways, but not all of them. It’s been a very stressful year in so many ways and I can’t believe it’s already almost over. I’ve made so many friendships and great memories over these last four years and it makes me sad to know that now, its really the end. The beginning of senior year could have definitely been better for me. For lack of better words, the first couple weeks really sucked! I just got out of a summer romance and I was really upset all the time. One day I realized that I really needed to get on track and get school organized and put first in the picture. After I did that, life seemed to get better for the first few months. When second semester hit, I have no clue what really happened to me. I started really slacking off and getting very far behind in the two classes I needed most to graduate. Now, I’ve always had a thing about slacking off in school and procrastinating to the last minute, but this time, I don’t know what I was thinking. This is the last semester of school I will ever really have, and I blew it! My boyfriend, Joe, has really helped me in getting myself back to focusing on school and he has really helped because without him, I would have no chance of making it. They say that people who procrastinate wait until the last minute to do their tasks because it gives them a rush of adrenaline knowing you have to get it done in a very limited amount of time. I really don’t understand that for myself because I don’t think I really feel adrenaline, all I feel is a lot of stress, not excitement. With graduation right around the corner, I have very limited time to pick up my slack and get with the program. They say that high school graduation is the end, but my life is really just beginning.
33: If I could live my life all over again, I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. They say everything in life happens for a reason. Like everything that happens, leads you to something better for yourself. Good or bad, there is a plan for your life and there is many different ups and downs to go with it along the way. I know that everything that has happened to me has gotten me to where I am today, and right now, I love my life. There has been many things, both good and bad, that have happened to me. Even when the bad things hurt me, they really only made me a stronger person. Today, I believe that I am a very strong person. I have dealt with a lot over all the years of my life. Without all these things, I would have nothing to learn from. You learn from watching others. If they fail, you learn that sometimes in life, you have to fail, you can’t always win. I don’t believe that people make mistakes. To me, mistakes are just lessons learned. I don’t regret anything that I have done in my life, because I learned from all of those things. I haven’t had a perfect life, but I don’t want to have a perfect life. How boring would that be? Nobody is perfect because you would never really know how to live life if you were. You only have one life to live, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the one I’ve had because I love my life, just the way it is. | If I Cold Live My Life All Over Again, I Would . . .