Saturday, May 31, 2008


With hardwood floors that I have to clean way too frequently, we decided that we needed to get the dogs groomed. I was so tired of sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping up all the dog hair around the house. So, Mr. Howard took Harley to get shaved. I was petrified that he would behave poorly (he's never been to the groomers) and so I begged him to be the one to pick him up (just in case they wanted to berate us for being awful pup parents). Of course, Harley was fine and the groomers were very nice.

It was hard to get a good picture of him, but he looks like he did when we first got him as a puppy.

Below is the picture from the day we adopted him from the pound. See the resemblance of his younger-self for yourself.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Jordan graduated from San Diego State University this past weekend and we had the pleasure of attending his graduation party!!! We left Sacramento early Sunday morning, flew to Long Beach, picked up our rental car, had a quick lunch with Jen and Jenna, hopped back in the car, drove to pick up shoes for Mr. Howard, headed straight to my parents hotel in Irvine to pick them up, loaded the gang into the car, and headed to Jordan's party. We left the party, headed back to Long Beach, spent the night at the Mariott, got back in the rental, dropped it off, went to the airport, flew back to Sacramento, drove straight to Mr. Howard's work (he changed in the car), dropped him off at work, and I headed back to the dogs. Ahhhh. All in a day's time.
While it was an incredibly short visit to Newport Beach and Long Beach, we were happy we could be there with him on his day. When we initially got word about the party, we weren't sure we were going to be able to do it, but with such advanced notice - we were able to make it work. :-) Jordan, we love and miss you!!! Congratulations!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What happens in documented in photos!

A sorority sister and close friend had her bachelorette party in Vegas. So, we all happily escaped from our boring work-lives for a girls weekend in Vegas. I was super excited because it meant I got to see the Southern California friends I miss so much!

Here's a synopsis of what I had missed: Sara (a.k.a The Bride) just finished her first year of Law School at Chapman and celebrated the end of her finals with a weekend of fun. Allison looked so beautiful (she's already five months pregnant) and brought news that she's having a beautiful baby girl with her husband Jack!!! Amy is in the process of transfering to a new (and more fabulous, I'm sure) job. She also informed me about a boyfriend I had somehow not heard about, who happened to have a knack for spelling. ;-) Love you Amy! And Cristina (who I hadn't seen since college) got married in August and got a baby (an adorable pup) with her husband Jonathan.

Check out the pictures from the weekend:

Cristina, Sara "The Bride", Me, and Amy (below)
The New Mommy, Allison, and Me at Buca Di Beppo
Me, Cristina, and Amy - The Roomies at Belagio (below)
Allison, Me, Cristina, Carmen, and Kristen at Buca Di Beppo (below)
Dinner at Cheescake Factory (below)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's hard, but close your eyes and TRY to imagine!!!

Check out our backyard. Believe it or not, we have actually already worked on it for two whole days!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mr. Howard's Hidden Talent

He is a dancing machine!!! I've been meaning to post about this for ages. :-) A few months ago my friends Diana, Susan, and I attended our school's Chuck-E-Cheese night. While us gals sat around, chatted, and ate yummy pizza, Mr. Howard ran around with my students playing all the arcade games. Towards the end of the evening, he showed us his Dance Dance Revolution skills.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ode to Kira and Adam

Advice for a graduate:

  • (1) Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years.
  • (2) Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
  • (3) You won't discover new lands unless you lose sight of the shore.
  • (4) You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself Any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go. (Dr. Seuss "Oh the Places You'll Go")
  • (5) The purpose of a liberal education is to make you philosophical enough to accept the fact that you will never make much money.
  • (6) Your families are extremely proud of you. You can't imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money.

Congratulations Guys!

Love you!
The Howards

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Project Clean-up Yard Complete...well...

We spent over six hours putting our hearts into Project Yard Clean-up and our hard work has paid off. One neighbor already came over to tell us how wonderful it looks. He also gave us some good ideas on what to do with the pond we've left for a later date.

Surprisingly, we got most of the yard done. We now only have two small projects to finish: (1) the pond needs to be filled in and we need to plant something in it and (2) we have a square to the left of the front yard that is currently dirt. We drove around the neighborhood trying to get ideas for that square and we decided on putting bushes in it. We just need to go to Lowes and pick some out. Unfortunately we have run out of daylight, so it'll have to be a project for another day.
In our clean-up efforts, we discovered we have three mini rose bushes (we think there was a fourth that died). We also discovered that a plant has been stolen from our yard (we knew this because there was an unexplained HUGE hole in the dirt). We joked to each other that a plant thief had come and ripped us off. Of course, our hilarious theory was confirmed by a neighbor who told us she remembers seeing a beautiful plant and wondered where it went. So, Lincoln neighbors, be forewarned: a plant thief is on the loose!!!

Front Yard Clean Up Project

All morning we've been working on Project Yard Clean-up. Our poor neighbors have politely ignored the state of our yard and we, too, have turned our eyes when passing by. As our inside projects have lately bored us, we woke up this morning and thought, "Let's get started on the front." So, off to Lowes we went to buy wood chips and a hose to get started.

The rest of the morning was spent pulling weeds, picking up left-over slate from the walkway, and getting everything ready to lay the fresh wood chips.

We are now on our lunch break, trying to muster the stamina to go back out into the heat. Luckily as each neighbor drives up the street or walks down the street with their kids, they offer encouragement and praise. In fact, one neighbor even offered us a wheelbarrow and several others offered up their yard waste trashcans (since we filled ours within the first half hour). It is this, and this only, that is keeping us motivated on our path to do our part to beautify the neighborhood. :-)
Hopefully by the end of the day we'll have "after" photos to post. Although, with how our lunch break is going, it's looking like we might only have "during" photos to post at the end of the day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Family of Four

Moving is always stressful on everyone and pets are no different. Harley has been through 4 moves with us (one of which was from So Cal to Northern California), but this was our first move with Jake. We weren't really sure how he would take it or what he would think (he's already a skittish/ultra sensitive pup). So, thinking ahead, we brought them along with us for short visits to the new house before we actually moved in. That way, on the day of the move they would feel like they already knew the house and wouldn't be frightened about being left there.

Things were going really well. They both acclimated instantly after the day we moved in. Of course, they wanted to pee on everything - which was not too big of a deal because we have hardwood floors. But that territorial/marking phase quickly passed (as we knew it would).

This week, however, it seems the stress has culminated. Jake started doing this wheezing thing and has now started throwing up in his wheezing fits. Harley is just super skittish in the mornings when Mr. Howard leaves for work and I'm still in bed. I know this too shall pass and they'll be fine, but it's just a reminder that dogs feel stress just like humans and it's just more proof that they're little members of our family.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Slightly Delayed

On April 26, 2008 at around 3:00p.m. my friend Diana , with her husband Bill by her side, gave birth to their beautiful baby girl Sophia Marie. She was 7 pounds, 7 ounces.

My friend Susan and I had the honor of visiting her and the new mama on Sophia's third day on this planet and she was just precious. Diana was gracious enough to let us hold her for the entire 2 and a half hour time that we were there. Of course, I hogged her for most of that time. :-) After about two hours of holding her, she began to get fussy. Thinking that she was hungry and must want her mama back, I handed her over to Diana. Not minutes after putting her back in her mommy's arms, she spit up and pooped. Clearly, Diana and Bill have taught her good manners already - "never poop or spit up in some strangers arms." ;-)

Miss Sophia, you are so lucky to have your mommy and daddy as parents! Welcome to the world!!

See here for the original blog announcing her pregnancy. My, how the last 6 months have FLOWN by!!!!

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