Monday, April 11, 2011

Slightly Obsessed

I am one step closer to accomplishing my goal... It's a very challenging one if you would like to know. I am re-reading the Harry Potter books before the movie finale in July. This goal requires much thought and attention. You see, I've thought about this movie since about sixth grade.. and now I'm in my senior year of college... Hopefully soon to graduate. I remember calculating how old I would be when the last movie would premiere and now the Harry Potter saga finale is a mere few months away!

I dressed up at midnight, waited in lines to be the lucky few to buy the book first (as my dad stood right next to me), travelled to different towns when mine didn't offer a Walmart or bookstore, and stood in premiere lines sacrificing sleep (and I love sleep).

As I completed Harry Potter 2 this evening, I popped onto facebook and found this:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blog RE-Vamp

Alright, here comes the newest blog / post from the Howard Household!
These past months, have been comprised of medical school and board studies and I haven't really seen any point in posting. The weeks blended together, as I found myself focusing on the idea of July, after boards are done.

Boards may be over at that point.. However, a new and also challenging chapter of our lives will commence. The rose colored glasses will quickly fall off as Brodie is gone for months at a time and working 5am-8pm days.

So here we are, and will be, once again living in the joys of the present... Get ready for plenty of posts!
Now onto explaining the name "Hula Hoop Chronicles." Last night, while falling asleep I was thinking about catchy blog titles that would go with "Howard." Well hula hoop and Howler (I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books right now) were just about the only H words to pop into my head.

With the word hula hoop, an image of the little girl I nanny follows. She stands in her front yard saying, "Watch This," while maneuvering a continuously spinning pink, sparkly hula hoop from waist, neck, arm, foot.. You name it (I last about twenty seconds hula hooping, so this is always impressive to watch) Every now and then the hula hoop collapses to the ground and at this I say, "Wow, that is so cool, good job," and turn around to go back inside. Before I have time to grab the door handle, she calls out, "Wait, Wait!" And as I turn back around, I see she's grabbed hold of that hula hoop and it's going round n round again.

Not to get all symbolic, but seriously, this totally clicked with how I have been feeling. Round n Round the hula hoop goes from day to passing week, while every now and then we get out of rhythm.. and before you know it.... Plop, the pink sparkly hula hoop lands on the ground. What to do? Quit and go inside, or quickly bend down, pick it up and resume the rhythm? The novice hula hooper may find it's time to quit... But anyone else.. Heck no! So, here it goes round n round... Day to Day.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas in the Howard Home

First I have to say... Are you impressed I'm blogging twice this month? Who knows, it might even make it to three.

So, last night Brodie and I are sitting on the couch. I'm checking my email as he sits next to me studying. He looks across the room at our Christmas tree and says, "We have one ornament on a half lit Christmas tree."... As I looked at the tree, then back to Brodie, we both started laughing, and I realized, this just about sums up our "Christmasness" these past few weeks.... However, for the record, it is about 3/4 lit, I just need to buy one more strand.

Ever since I got married, I feel like life has sped up about ten fold. I can't believe Christmas is only a week away and will basically be over next week at this time. Lame. Once tomorrow hits though, Brodie will be done with school and our tree will be fully decorated! (Many thanks to my mom who bought us bobbles). And now after going to an ornament party yesterday evening, I have fifteen new homemade ornaments to place on our tree!

Onto the good and not so good of this week:

1. Brodie did well on his exams.
2. I got a 97 on a BYU English Paper (that I did not enjoy), 94 on my Bio final (may receive over 100% for the semester), and didn't have to take my Spanish final (have I said how much I love community college?)
3. Y (little boy I babysit) hugged me (big step in our relationship.. we have come a long way since the FATalie incident)
4. I babysat during the evenings and got paid $20/hr!
5. I made some pretty crafty penguin ornaments last night.

Not So Good
6. Found out that Brodie really is allergic to Christmas trees - After he hauled a 7 foot tree up to our third story apartment. On the plus side, we were going to get rid of it, but now he is no longer sniffling and sneezing. So it gets to stay!
7. I have yet to finish my thank you notes (yup from our wedding) and they are constantly on my mind.
8. After babysitting one night, one of the kids had just finished telling me, "this night has been the best night of my life!"(I felt pretty awesome)... then ten minutes before her parents get home, I accidently poke her in the eye with a camping pole (we were attempted to build a fort). It was swollen and sad and she was quite reluctant to give me a hug when I left.

Monday, December 6, 2010


So, last night I couldn't fall asleep and I was thinking about something creative to write, and this is what I came up with:

A few years ago, I was asked to write an essay for the Arizona AIMs testing. I wrote an essay comparing people to cakes. I didn’t think it would go over too well, but to my surprise, it did. So, here’s another shot at it.

People are like cakes, well cakes that are developing, that is. Every year, moment, and even time period of a person’s life is like a layer of a cake. Some layers may be bland, some full of spice, a few possibly dry as dirt, others sweet to the taste, and some just don’t make for a very good cake at all (hopefully though, these layers are thin and undetected after many rich sweet layers are placed on top).

Moment after moment, year after year, these cakes grow in height. Now, you might be picturing a ridiculously large cake. By the end of its layering, yes hopefully it is tall, but don’t be imagining a cake the size of a large dog or shall I include small horse. Imagine a wedding cake. Recently married, I have done plenty of wedding cake researching and boy do wedding cakes come in all shapes, designs, and colors. So picture a tiered wedding cake with 3-4 different levels. The shaping and coloring of it, however, is all up to you.

Once the layering is complete its time for the frosting, the sweetest part yet! Yes, I am talking about old age. My wish, is by the time I’m done creating all these layers on my very own Nicole Howard cake, that I will have enough sweet moments as a grandma and cane walking woman to dab on a rich layer of homemade frosting… none of that store bought nonsense. Now, you might be thinking, “Dab?” “That doesn’t make for a very pretty cake.” I use dab for two reasons. One, even if I live an ideal elderly life, it will never be a period without bumps and smudges. Two, I’ll be old---I’m the maker and creator of this said cake and I doubt my hands and eyes will be up to par for icing.

We are the creators of the cake, we decide what it will taste, smell, and look like by the end, what kind of masterpiece it will become. Many cakes will go unfinished, but may be rich in flavor. Others may be fully completed, however, lacking any flavor at all. So what will yours be? You are the creator. Yes indeed, life circumstances are undeniable, these may add to a developing dry, sour tasting, or just plain gross layer of cake. However, it’s your choice whether or not you will let it become even more gross and dry. Do you add a little cinnamon here, or nutmeg there (It’s Christmas—so I’m thinking of Christmas flavors), or some sugar and oil? What does it take to turn that potential gross layer into something delicious? This of course, is much easier said then done.

So where am I in my cake development? I’m only beginning my masterpiece. I’ve had some pretty rich moments in life, making for some delicious layers. This past year and a half though has probably made for the sweetest layer. I don’t know many time periods that will top it. This layer includes living in London, seeing the white cliffs of Dover, standing on the docks where my ancestors began there journey to America, meeting my newest niece, being proposed to, and marrying my best friend. It’s made for a pretty tasty layer, indeed. Once, this cake is done I will be happy to bite through it.

There have been a few layers, I wish I could go back and throw in some vanilla. But I can’t, it’s cooked and already been added upon. Once my masterpiece of a cake is complete, it will be these layers, which will make me appreciate the rich ones. Plus, a cake too sweet, just makes for a stomachache.

I just hope by the end of my cake process, I will be proud. I will be proud to say, “hey, this is all me, this is my creation. Bon Appetit!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quick Update

The good things about the last week or so.

-Brodie's Mom came into town, and somehow it seemed to be perfect timing.
-My niece Claire turned three and was accompanied by Cinderella, Snow White, and Tinkerbell
-I got to go to an Orthodox Jewish celebration (the families I work for were celebrating the arrival of their new rabbi from Jerusalem). Me and about 100 Orthodox Jewish people... Pretty cool.
-Going to a lake intending to just feed ducks and finding fish (tons), a turtle, and even a pelican lookin bird.

And then there's the not so great and seemingly annoying:

-Getting called FATalie multiple times by a four year old, who thought himself to be very creative.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Re: Last Week

Dear Medical School,

Thank you for returning my husband, it is very much appreciated. I must say however, your needyness does not become you.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You Rock!

It's a typical weekday... Traffic on the freeway inches along, you slam on your breaks as the woman in front of you attempts to apply mascara, and you haven't even had breakfast. For most, this is probably a pretty common scenario, for me, I'm barely three weeks in.
Coming from college, where everything seemed to be walking distance from either campus or my apartment, this early morning excursion occasionally takes its toll. However, last Friday it was totally worth it. You see, I'm a nanny and it's a job I've come to love. Three weeks ago I began nannying for a 17 month old, and last Friday, her three other siblings stayed home from school. As we ate our "porridge," I was asked, "Are you going to babysit us for the year?" Wondering what their response was going to be I answered, "Yup, I sure am!"

And that is when a traffic sucking, tired morning turned from this:

Into this:

With the simple phrase of four united voices, "Yes! This is awesome, you rock!"

What if each day we were all greeted by a friend, family member, or even coworker with a sincere "You Rock!" or a "You're Awesome!" Maybe then that mascara applying, freeway driving woman, wouldn't seem too bad.