I got that Bob Barker suit game and plinko in my style. MONEY.

It wouldn't be a true semester of college done by yours truly if we didn't have one of these posts where I procrastinate writing a paper by using the crappiest version of photobooth and let you into my sleep deprived mind and my apartment past visiting hours. WUT UP.

And this night is definitely that night that always seems to pop up like the annoying relative on Thanksgiving. I can't avoid it. I just can't.

Care to reminisce?
Last years posts are available for your viewing pleasure and introduction in the links provided below:

And now.......

Fall 2013



This is the best "space" face I could imagine. 
What faces do astronauts even make in space?
Or does gravity force their faces into uncontrollable contortions?
Do you think they wear homemade space sweatshirts in space?

"And I don't want the world to see me....

.....cuz I don't think that they'd understand."

Are you seduced yet? 

I grabbed the closest object and put it on my head. Deal with it.

Coke even made a special appearance. As she does every year.

Throwing dem signs like I'm Iron Man or sumthin

Straight up G. 


Oh wait. One second. I'm on the phone with Dan Reynolds.

Haters gonna hate.

Rotaters gonna rotate

And the best news of all??

My hair is DEFS growing. 
It goes out of the frame in this pixture so I call that a win.

And the sleep deprivation is totes kicking in as shown by me spelling the word "picture" as "pixture".
Not even going to bother changing it.



Givin' the academy a rain check

There once was a time in my life that was similar to what it is like now. I was also a sophomore like I am now. So apparently, it has taken me more than 4 years to learn that particular lesson as I have been presented with almost the exact same scenario. So I’ll tell you a story and you can decide what’s really happening the second time around here.

I was a sophomore in high school. I was in band. I was on the JV ballroom team. And I was happy.
I really was! 

I felt like I fit in. My sophomore year of high school on most days were genuinely like hell to me, but ballroom was where I truly made my friends that year. I enjoyed my teammates and even though I was “only on JV”, our team definitely had a lot of fun and unexpected success. Looking back on the history of Timpview Ballroom, we were undoubtedly and unarguably the best Junior Varsity team that company ever saw- you can ask any coach that. Our team was made up of a lot of sophomores and a lot of new recruits who had never been on a real ballroom team before, but we all decided we were going to make something of ourselves and be as successful as we could be.  But come the final countdown of school days before winter break, a decision was placed before me that changed how I saw things.

 A senior girl from the company’s Varsity team had announced she was quitting come the end of the semester, and you better believe with that announcement came speculation of who the coaches would choose to replace her. I didn't really mind or care much as I was happy where I was. I also didn't think that I would even be considered for Varsity, because honestly, I was not by any means the best dancer or had the best technique or could even be compared to the dancers on the Varsity team. So you could say I was taken off my guard when come one day over the intercom the booming voice said, 

“Would Nicole Hopkinson please report to the ballroom office immediately?”

Being myself, however, I didn’t think it was regarding being moved up a team; my mind immediately raced to all the things I could have possibly done wrong to cause my coaches to summon me to their lair in the confines of Studio C (No really, it was called Studio C). So when I was offered a spot on Varsity right then and there, I kind of just sat there and stared at my coaches. And I then had to ask myself if that was something that I really wanted and if that would make me happy.

“There’s a good chance you won’t be placed on our competing team to dance at nationals. You would basically be an alternate and wouldn't get much floor time. You might be able to learn a couple routines before the spring concert, but we just need another girl in case something happens.”

That’s basically what was said to me regarding my expectations should I accept. In addition to those wonderful conditions, I would have to leave all my friends on JV- my best friends at the time. I didn't know practically anyone on Varsity and they intimidated me to no extent. Would that make me happy? No. I wouldn't be able to compete and perform the routine that my teammates and I had been working for so long on. Would that make me happy? No. And the reason that swayed me most was another girl on the team. She was a senior and she was on JV- not something that was very common that year. She would have been a lot happier on Varsity, yet there just wasn't enough spots for her on the strictly configured team. She was also an amazing dancer! Why they didn't consider her before me, I will never know, but I couldn't take that spot on Varsity with a clean and fair conscience. Would taking her rightfully deserved spot make me happy? No.

So, long story short, as I thought about all this, I didn't want that. I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that I was the only girl on the Timpview Ballroom Junior Varsity team that would have even thought about rejecting the offer. Most – if not all – girls would have said yes without hesitation. And here I was, trying to convince myself and forge reasons why I should accept the golden offer. Well, I've never been like the other girls, have I now? So I thanked my coaches for the offer, kindly declined, and told them they should move Mindy up because she deserved it more.

Mindy was moved up to Varsity the next day and I never regretted that decision in the slightest.

And now, here I am 4 years later in almost the exact same position. I’m happy. I’m comfortable. There are little expectations of me and I finally feel like I fit in. But a change is about to happen that could “ruin” that. Like that booming voice on the intercom, I don’t know if I’ll be called in and be expected to accept the call of duty that could potentially be placed in front of me. I really don’t know. I don’t expect it, because I know I’m not ready or capable and anyone who says I am is on crazy pills. But I know it could happen. And unlike 4 years ago, I have the chance to prepare myself and make a decision before I walk into that office. So let’s hope I can make the right decision again this time around if it be presented before my scared eyes. As I turned to my Book of 1000 Yiddish Proverbs for help and guidance, the authors presented me with this:

“One’s good luck is another’s misfortune.”

But they also told me that 

“A second wife is like a wooden leg” 

so now I’m trying to connect the dots and it ain't working out so well. 


Down in the valley

I came to college counting on the fact that I’d make endless amounts of friends. I imagined guys and girls hanging out in my living room, chatting into the wee hours of the morning and having the time of their seemingly perfect college experience. Did that happen? No. But what’s life if it goes how you planned?

For the past year, as much as I say I don’t care, I still think back to those visions. Will that ever happen? Will I ever have those college friends where you don’t even have to call or text them that you’re coming over- they just show up? You can automatically assume that any activity or party will involve those of your close group of friends. You take classes together, you sit in church together, and you actually hang out together past forced ward activities. That's what I thought was guaranteed for me.

However, after months of not seeing this come into my life, I realized something. 
That’s not me. That’s not me. 
I don’t want that. 
At all.

I've realized that my life lately is coming home to my roommate and her boyfriend in the kitchen, who are eagerly waiting to ask me how my day was and me doing everything in my power to avoid them and idle chatter. It’s going to sleep in a room with two beds where two girls live, but only one person sleeps the majority of the time. It’s praying that the kid who just eyed the row you're sitting in won’t sit in the available seat next to you because you really don’t feel like having a forced, fake conversation with someone you’ll only know for 50 minutes and then odds are never see again (hopefully). It’s taking random walks to the duck pond or drives around town because that’s the only way to completely escape everything weighing you down and all the stimulation that exists in your life. It’s coming up with excuses to not go to someone’s house so that you might watch General Conference alone because you like it better that way. It’s going inside the temple of the Lord and feeling sorry for the chatty groups of freshmen girls who don’t have the courage attend by themselves. It’s making the 5 minute drive to your house to hang out with your hip, beanie crocheting mom. It’s feeling accomplished on a day when your proudest moment was making something other than Spaghettios or a quesadilla for dinner. It’s considering a Saturday night crazy when you do puzzles as your activity of choice. It's being excited at filling up one journal in less than 6 months because there are too many thoughts in that weirdly crafted brain of yours. It's not being to stop those impulse online shopping purchases you often make because no one is there to talk you out of it- or at least talk you into the cheaper option. It's coming up with a list of facts about yourself so you'll be prepared in case some singles ward activity committee decides to make you play "Never have I ever".

Do I have the infinite amount of friends I was promised by traditions of other college students who came before me- the ones who had proven this theory? No. But I realized I have the friends I need. I have been given what I need and that is sufficient. And I need to stop looking for more. Because in all reality, my life rocks. I don't have to have human contact to feel successful in life.

So here's to the closet introverts of the world. Here's to the realization that trying to socialize is completely overrated. Here's to the realization that sometimes all you need is yourself. And some red velvet cake ice cream. And some Coke. Annnnd that's about it. 


"We shouted for joy"

"The devil made me do it."

". . . the adversary cannot make us do anything. He does lie at our door as the scriptures say, and he follows us each day. Every time we go out, every decision we make, we are either choosing to move in his direction or in the direction of our Savior. But the adversary must depart if we tell him to depart. He cannot influence us unless we allow him to do so, and he knows that! The only time he can affect our minds and bodies - our very spirits - is when we allow him to do so. In other words we do not have to succumb to his enticements!"

Watch the whole conference talk here and prepared to be enlightened because it's boss. Robert D. Hales is a boss. ALL the general authorities are boss. And on that note....


But really, I've never been SO. FREAKING. EXCITED for a session of General Conference in my entire life. This conference will be one for the books. Yeah, yeah...last year was the one for the records, but not for me. THIS year, I am unbelievably determined to stay awake for all four sessions of conference. Let's turn this blog into a judgment free zone for a post or so because I'm admitting something I find slightly embarrassing....
In all my 19 years and 37 (almost 38) sessions of conference, I have yet to stay conscious for all 8 hours. I know. #pathetic
But this is the year I will be successful. I've been preparing myself- praying, fasting, watching past talks- basically getting PUMPED UP, YO.

Pajama church is the best kind of church and I'm going to rock those Dr. Seuss footies of mine.



I attend BYU.
Brigham Young University.

(look at dem mountains....mmmmmmm......)

In case you're not familiar with BYU and it's culture, it is more widely known for it's soberness, it's founder being a polygamist, being the birthplace of Jimmermania, it's cheap tuition, it's somewhat successful and inconsistent sports teams, and it's underlying purpose to marry off each student before they graduate from college or each girl before the end of their freshman year- whichever comes first.

That however, is NOT one of my goals. I came to college for an education and an education I will receive. Whatever happens in the midst of all that, well...let's just say marriage isn't in my range of thinking or fathoming abilities quite yet.
So it's inevitable that you come across those girls. Yes, those girls. If you attend BYU, you already know exactly what I'm talking about. Most likely out of state, decently personable, attention-seeker, devoutly LDS, sometimes high maintenance....Yep. It doesn't get much better than that combination. We've all had them- whether it be a roommate, a "friend" (more like acquaintances in my case) or just that random girl in your ward, but she exists. She's the one whose goal - whether she voices it or not - is to get a ring and get out; the one who can't control her mouth on the first Sunday of your new ward; the one who is holding a guy's hand before week 1 of school ends and after only hour 5 of meeting him.

If you're like me, when above situation happens to someone within your sphere of obligatory acquaintances, you ask yourself, "Is there something wrong with me? Do I smell bad? Do I have a sign on my forehead that says, 'I'm single and happy'?" Because most likely, this isn't happening to you. Bravo. I mean, in all reality, I am  single and perfectly  happy, but sometimes a little human contact never hurt anybody, right? Right. And I continuously see this happen with naive girls who aren't really that naive because they know for a fact they are manipulating men with their extrovert and eager flirtations. I'm not jealous in any aspect of what they have "going for them", and I knew this was coming the minute I applied and was accepted to my dear and beloved Brigham Young University. BUT I JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. So now I ask you to listen to Bill Nye and

We've all heard that saying that goes something along the lines of "you can't know what flavor you like until you try multiple flavors." As true as that may be in a dating sense, I'd like to question this ingenious saying. If we put this in terms of ice cream because, well - who doesn't love ice cream and this analogy always ends up in those terms anyways - isn't there a point where you've tried so many "flavors" that your palette turns into a freezing mess of numb flesh and taste buds? Is it really necessary to try them all? Just because Baskin-Robbins offers 31 flavors doesn't mean it's required for you to stand in line for a good half hour and request to sample them all. No one's buying the act if you ask to try pistachio because you think this time you'll like it. Newsflash: YOU WON'T. At this point after sampling that many flavors, we can see that you're just here for the free ice cream anyways and you'll be full before you get to the double scoop waffle cone that everyone else came for. Idiot.

And just because I found this on the internet and is slightly relevant because it has to do with ice cream and Provo, I'm going to include this picture for the world to see:

So, after my little rant and rave party, you now think I'm just the other typical BYU girl who adds #foreveralone after every picture I post on the Facebook. Well, even though that's the title of this post, you're wrong. I won't be forever alone. I just already know which flavor of ice cream I like, and I'm eagerly waiting for that flavor to make it's appearance because it's special edition and it's only available during certain months of the year.
And now I've taken this analogy too far. Maybe it's because I'm hungry. Maybe not. Either way, let this be a lesson to all to stop eating all the ice cream and just pick one, goshdangit.


Off my chest

As I sit here and realize that the gap between the time I left high school and the present is steadily increasing, I can successfully look back on situations and actually learn something from them. Nifty, I know. So here is a story for y'all. Something that, as said above, I need to get off my chest. And because the other star of this story is gone off serving the Lord (as he is definitely a better human being than I am), and due to the fact that no one reads this anyways, I know I am perfectly safe in posting this- not that I care if he sees it because I am the one that looks like a whiny brat and not him. So, here goes feelings and stuff.....

Once upon a high school girl's existence, I was a junior. It was the closing of the school year, and I was about to become a senior. Previously being 4th chair in Symphonic Band and playing 2nd clarinet, I was preparing for the upcoming auditions. Once I began realizing what was coming, I got a little freaked out. If all went as it was projected to be, I was to become first chair clarinet the next fall. I began to take the audition a little more seriously than I had past auditions. But come audition time behind the Timpview curtain 'o love, I still bombed it because let's just face it, I'm a horrible auditioner. Bottom line period.

However, when the chair assignments were posted, there I was: first chair in all it's "glory". I was officially section leader and first chair. Everything I had been working for since initially picking up my clarinet at age 10 had paid off. I mean, doesn't every clarinetist (or musician at that) want to be first chair their senior year in high school? I wanted to lead my dear clarinets to victory and that was what I planned to do. But this experience for me was like becoming drum major all over again.
Like really though, I got real freaked out. Do you know the caliber of first chair clarinet music that the Timpview High School Symphonic band played under Dr. Fullmer's reign? INSANE. That's what. And I wasn't good enough or ready for this responsibility. I will be the first to tell you that.
So, I picked up the phone, and called Miss Emileigh Norling. I needed lessons and lessons was what I was going to get. I started immediately.

And I learned SO MUCH in my lessons. Sure Emileigh and I fooled around half the time, but the other time was spent gaining more knowledge than I had ever  had in my clarinet span of life. I had never had lessons before this and it was an eye opener as to what I had been missing. My embouchure improved, my technique tightened, scales and sight-reading abilities skyrocketed. Life was good. I started working on an incredibly hard solo. I remember thinking I could play anything that was put in front of me. I wasn't scared of the black on the page anymore. In fact, I welcomed it with open arms and an attitude that I could use to conquer Hitler. Yeah, I was that hardcore.

Fall came and there I was, sitting in the first chair with my best friend Nick right next to me. There wasn't a semester of Symphonic Band that we didn't sit next to each other. With our new clarinet section of 2011, we were going to conquer the world. And that my friends, we did. Fall semester was GREAT! I was pretty happy with everyone's contributions to our section. We played Second Suite in F by Holst. I will never forget the concert where I got to play my first solo. Unforgettable. Then fall semester ended. That's when everything changed.

Christmas break came....and ended.....and with that came my last audition of high school. I did the normal routine - as much as I had prepared myself, my audition was just average. The new seating list was to be put up by DF during the basketball game while the pep band was playing. I, however, had yet another ballroom competition and had to leave early before the list was posted. Later that night after I got home, I checked my phone, and I found a text from who else but my band pal, Jared Larkin:

"I'm really sorry. Are you okay?"


I'm sorry, did I miss something? 

I also got a text from Nick who said something along the lines of, 
"Nicole, I'm sorry that it's like this. I didn't want it to be like this. I hope this doesn't change anything between us and just remember it will always be Nick and Nicole forever!"

Do you know how many texts I got from other friends just like the one Jared sent me? Too many to count on my fingers, that's how many. 

Okay, I don't know about y'all, but it sounded like I went through some nasty break-up. I was so confused. I go to a ballroom competition for 3 hours and all the sudden the world comes crashing down and people are treating me as if my family died in a car crash. I'M NOT HARRY POTTER PRE-ELEVENTH BIRTHDAY OKAY. 
The greatest part is this was on a Friday and I had the whole weekend to ponder what these texts could possibly mean, because no one was being helpful and informing me.

The next week at school was a bit awkward. I saw for myself what they were talking about. There, upon the corkboard in the band room, under the name of Nick Walton, was none other than that of Nicole Hopkinson. UNDER, my friends. Under. 

Well, okay. No big deal. I was second chair. Who cares? And most importantly, why was everyone making such a big deal out of it? People were defs treating me different and for what? Second chair? These people needed to get over it. I mean, I  had already gotten over it. Fullmer did this all the time, switching the first two chairs at semester when they were about the same playing level and both seniors. NO. BIG. DEAL.

I honestly was fine. I REALLY WAS. Until people talked to me about it, that is. 
"Are you okay, Nicole?" and 
"Are you sure that list is right?" and 
"Well I  think you're a better player."

I couldn't take it anymore! I started dwelling on it and thinking and analyzing why it happened that way. Because that's what I do- I analyze everything.
Was my audition really that bad? Was Fullmer disappointed in me? Why would he really put Nick first chair and me second? Everyone knew we were neck and neck on the clarinet, but didn't he know that overall, I was the better player? I was taking lessons for crying out loud - if not once, but TWICE a week. I even payed for them myself and managed to scrape up the cash when I had no job and no money. Nick wasn't taking lessons. Did he know that Nick didn't even audition for All-State when I had made it in? Was it because I was in ballroom as well and I devoted myself 98% instead of the desired 100%? Did he know that I practiced like a beast in independent music study while Nick fooled around and went to lunch early? Did I need humbling? Well I needed humbling only because he had placed me 2nd chair; up until that point I didn't!
What was his reasoning?

It bugged me. But the fact is that I let it bug me. I thought I was okay about it. But the more I thought about it, the angrier I became. I resented Dr. Fullmer's decision. My biggest desire was to march up to him in his office and demand to know why in the world he thought that was okay. I'm ashamed to admit that now, because that was not how I should have handled the situation. dang natural man. Let's just say that this wasn't one of the proudest moments in the life of Nicole.
My mom helped me think out the situation and eventually talked me out of confronting DF. I didn't get to play the solo in Elsa's. I didn't get to play the solo in Children's March. I didn't get to run sectionals. I wasn't technically section leader anymore. I felt like I was a failure to my section. I lacked confidence in myself and it ate at me until I snapped at people about it, murmuring under my breath. It began to affect my playing, and I even took my anger out on Nick. This experience should have made me work harder to prove what kind of a first chair section leader he was missing, but I gave up and stopped trying. It wasn't the best decision I've ever made, but it was a learning experience. Then DF told us he was leaving Timpview. After a couple weeks of pondering this impact, I wanted nothing more than to get the truth out of him before he left us. I couldn't decide if I was going to or not. Because did I really want his last memory of me to be whining, wanting to know why he didn't place the entitled brat as first chair? No.

So, to end a long story, did I ask him? No.
Do I know why I was put second chair? No.
Do I care? No.
Am I okay with that? Finally, yes. I am okay with it.
But, in a certain weird way, I do know why I was second chair.

I can't really write it out in words, because you see, you wouldn't understand. But the best I can do to explain it is to say that whatever the real reason behind this whole learning experience, it might have been for me, and it might have been for someone else. I've learned recently that sometimes the things we go through aren't always for us. There might not be something for us to gain, and we sit there thinking, "Heavenly Father, what in the world was I supposed to learn from this?" A lot of the times, we'll never know, and I think we just need to know and be satisfied with the fact that it helped someone else.

After looking back on all this and writing this post, let me try to use an example to help you understand.
When Harry Potter wasn't made prefect his fifth year, he was at first shocked. He initially came to terms with it, but I think it still secretly ate at him until he finally was told by Dumbledore why he wasn't chosen. The reason I like to think about more often is that it gave Ron a chance to prove himself and shine. It in no way downplayed Harry's abilities (it was only Harry that could do that to himself), but instead allowed others to succeed and progress. Now, in no way am I comparing my charming personality to our dear, fictional Harry Potter, but that's how I came to understand my own experience.
"You may, perhaps, have wondered why I never chose you as a prefect? I must confess . . . that I rather thought . . . you had enough responsibility to be going on with."

So basically I the only way I can cope with life is through Harry Potter analogies and pretending every situation I go through is as dramatic and world changing as his. But seriously, it's now that I realize that it's the situations like that in my life that were never even in the first place remotely important. While experiencing the emotions I felt at the time this was all going on, I told myself, "Nicole, in a couple months, this won't be a big deal, so why are you stressing out about it now? CALM DOWN." I really did try. But it wasn't until after the fact that I realize how trivial this whole experience was. I'm a little slow, okay? 

When I didn't get into the BYU marching band, at first I told myself it was okay. NO. BIG. DEAL. But then, unfortunately, it all played out like the situation above. It was only a couple, short months ago when I finally came to terms with the reality and wasn't mad at the world for not getting in. Not because I actually wanted to get in, but I wanted to prove that I could  get in. There was absolutely NO reason why I shouldn't have been accepted. None. (At least that's what my mom told me and she's supposed to support me like that ;). Dr. Fullmer even said himself that he would have put me in had he still been assistant director. But, the thing in, he wasn't still the assistant director. That's how life played out. And even though I see now why I wasn't in the marching band for MULTIPLE reasons, maybe it was because some other unsuspecting person was sent a tender mercy from Heavenly Father and they needed to be in the marching band at that time. He knew I didn't need to be in the marching band to be happy. He knew I wasn't supposed to be first chair. And such a wise father He is for knowing that. 
He knows what is best for us and what is best for us, He WILL give unto us.
I just forget that.... a lot.....

And that's all I have to say about that....


A little, old place where we can get together

For those of you who may or may not know, I used to work at a snow cone shack.
I know, get your laughs out now.
I really did love it.
I think it was the best job I've ever had. Plus, it holds a special place in my heart since it was my first job ever. I worked there for 3 summers and I will truly miss it. I got to make children happy by hyping them up on sugar. It was the greatest.
But unfortunately, I am on to "bigger" and "better" things, even though I wish I could just work at a snow cone shack for the rest of my existence. It really is the life, I promise.

Anywho, this is a post dedicated to my dear Surf 'n Slurp. I will always love you and I hope that one day you run The Barn out of business. Because they are jerks who deserve to go broke.

So in honor of not working there, I thought I'd share the common questions/occurances I often experienced at the dear old shack and the things I wish  I could have said to the customers in response.

A question I was asked practically 100 times a day:
"What's in the flavor Maui Wowee?"
What I wish I could have said:
"How am I supposed to know? It's a made up flavor, okay? DEAL WITH IT OR LEAVE."

An old lady was having trouble getting money out of her GINORMOUS purse and said to me:
"You need a place like a ledge to put purses on."
What I wish I could have said:
"We're a snow cone shack, lady. Not a 5 star restaurant. NO."

On the days it would rain or be absolutely freezing, we would still get customers. And they would almost always say:
"It's freezing!"
as if in attempt to make their visit to a snow cone shack on a rainy day a humorous thing.
What I wish I could have said:
"Yet you're still here getting a snow cone, genius. Don't come complaining back to me when your snow cone inevitably disintegrates in the rain. And no, we don't give refunds for disintegrated snow cones."

People would constantly drive up in their cars and order through the tiny, low-to-the-ground window and block traffic in the narrow Day's parking lot as if we were a drive through.
What I wish I could have said:
And then I would have slammed the window.

"Can I get more than one flavor on my snow cone?"
What I wish I could have said:
"No. We run a Nazi establishment here. You only get one."

"Can I have a spoon?"
What I wish I could have said:
"No. Spoons are for cool people only. And unfortunately, you don't make that list. I have that list right here if you would like to see it."

A 12 year old girl who came at least once a day once asked me:
"You must make a ton of money! How much money do you make?"
What I wish I could have said:
"Oh, like a bajillion dollars an hour."
(Maybe it's a good thing I didn't lie to her and given her a warped reality of life.)

Often I would listen to orchestral movie scores from movies, operas or ballets, such as The Nutcracker. 
"Are you listening to the Nutcracker in there?"
What I wish I could have said:

It's a good thing I learned to think before I spoke.


Prune practices that ought to be prohibited

There exists 3 children whose parents are on a vacation.
Which means.....
Nicole is in charge.
And when Nicole is in charge, things get.....interesting. (Like really though, I'm going to be the weirdest mother in the universe someday, those poor kids....)
But really. It's Harry Potter time ALL the time; I made sure of that.

So, each night the kids wanted to watch a different Harry Potter movie in order. Did I argue? No sir.
But my little 6 year old, she only had one request. It must have kissing. She INSISTED. She wouldn't watch it unless we promised her it had kissing (good thing she fell asleep before the movie ended so my little white lie wasn't discovered....). But after her insisting this, I said to her, "A little too young to be obsessed with such nonsense, eh little miss?" Well she explained to me that she has a best friend...who is a boy....and one day she is going to kiss him and marry him. At least she's got goals, right? She's going places and has plans, which is lot better than I can say......
I told her she should probably fill her life with other things to distract her until the time comes where she is allowed to plant one on a boy, many  years from now.
AND THEN she asked me if I kissed boys.
And I was like, "Oh yeah, I kiss boys alllllllllll  the time."
And then, without missing a beat she said, "No you don't!"
She didn't believe me. Dang.
And then I was like, "Yeah, you're right. Eat your dinner."

Sad day, Jose.
I think this weekend was a gypsy foretelling parts of my future and creepily whispering them into my ear while wagging her long fingers in my face.
"Nicole, you shall have 3 childrennnnnnnnnn."
"Nicole, you shall be singlllllleeeeeeeeeeeee."
"Nicole, you will expose your children to Harry Potter every day of their liveeeeesssssssssss."

Well, at least we know one of those isn't true. Because due to magic needle voodoo and fortune telling best friends, I will have 5 children. And hopefully I will be better equipped and prepared to deal with them than I can currently care for 3 children all by myself for 5 days.

After reminiscing on my experiences last year, I found this picture and had a good chuckle.

You don't understand how true this is until you realize YOU will be the one to drive to the hospital should injuries occur. 
Come to think of it, I don't even know where the hospital is.....


Nicole's world: Day 1

Day one and I've already attempted to silence them.
I'm a great sitter.

It took us 3 hours and approximately 400 back and forth trips with 2 quart pitchers to fill up that sucker of a pool. BUT I TAUGHT THOSE CHILDREN PERSEVERANCE AND DEDICATION SO WHO CARES.
And it all ended in a waterfall of love.

I swam with a turtle. Deal with it.

Classic round of Monopoly. Where I technically won even though the game ended on a note of tantrums and accusations of cheating. I imagine this is somewhat how the real world will work...

Slip 'n slidin' like a boss. 
A cold, wet, boss.

I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing, NOTHING more precious than reading the first chapter of Harry Potter to 3 newcomers of the wizarding world. And then picking up a tiny, sleeping 6 year old in your arms after reading to carry her to bed. Especially after saying, "Nicole, you look like you should be in a movie because of your strawberry blond hair." 

I'll take that compliment, little miss. I'll take it with a big smile and melted heart.


1000 Taiwanese Proverbs

Life has a lot of irony. Like Alanis Morissette and her need for a knife when she has 10,000 spoons. Poor girl. Maybe this will cheer her up.

The point is, it was ironic that the girl from Provo, Utah roomed with the girl from Taiwan. Culture shock, right? Okay, more like a culture nuclear bomb. But yeah, I remember stalking the crap out of my future roommate and seeing all these Asian characters as statuses and just staring at them and just going WUT. But thankfully, Facebook can translate them for you at the click of a button! So I did just that and recorded all the greatest ones for your viewing pleasure and suddenly felt about life in a better way.

What are language barriers if you can't have fun with things lost in translation?

"Through the lens, we can often see that spread out of the feelings hide"

"In a two-hour hop dance crazy dance
Sequelae of foot pain is the first super super sour!"

"Someone asked me Suspenders look great where to buy
I can only embarrassed to go back ..... Taiwan ...."

"Willing to wait forever for the food in Taiwan"

"Temperament? Talk about it"

"But obviously only three postcards stuffed a bunch of people"

"Taiwan people when most United?
In the United States completely unable to find site ob 4:30 I really was too weak to get up and tragedy, obediently went back to sleep face book text relay ... My hostel filled with x-cries eight eight eight."

"It's freaking cold in Utah!! I just want my bed....."

And my personal favorite:

"I do chores in a hostel!"

We all did, hun.

Thanks for putting up with me and my staunch American views, Sharon. Remember when I ate your Asian food and had to spit it out because it tasted like a styrofoam ball covered in nuts? Or that time you gave us all Asian names? OH OH or when we skyped with your Taiwanese friends and they asked me why I didn't -have a boyfriend. That sure did boost my self-esteem, so I thank you for that.
Through all that culture sharing, I'm just glad we both shared a mutual love of good 'ole American chicken nuggets.
Even if you did eat them with a fork and knife...



I started reading Harry Potter at the ripe, young age of 6.

We lived in Texas and a thunderstorm had caused a power outage. My mom, being the wise woman she is, brought us scared children to the living room with a candle and decided to read aloud from the newest book on our bookshelf. Well, my  bookshelf actually. I'm the only one who ever did any reading as the boys thought only Nazis read books. Welcome to my life. Anyways, I remember very clearly her reading the very first page aloud.

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four 
Privet Drive, were proud to say that they 
were perfectly normal, thank you very much."

With all my might I used every ounce of my 6 year old brain to concentrate on the words she was saying and string them together into a story. We only got through the first chapter before my mom sent us back up to bed, but I was enthralled. WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN TO HARRY. You don't just leave a baby on a doorstep and expect a 6 year old to be happy.

So the next morning, I stole the book, plopped down on the couch, and didn't stop reading until I had finished it. And from then on, me and Harry Potter were history. Given I didn't understand it quite like I do now - I thought Hogwarts was a meat packing plant where Harry was sent to work and Hagrid scared the crap outta me - but I loved it nonetheless. Receiving Harry Potter books for birthdays was expected and when I had nothing else to do during the summer, I picked up my tattered copies and read them endlessly.

So in honor of my favorite thing in the entire world located just under America on my favorites list, I've whipped up a list of the 20 best things (in no particular order) about Mr. Potter and his many adventures.


1. Because even Hermione had her blonde moments too.

2. Eleven year old Harry just takes on Voldemort like it's no biggie. Eleven year old Nicole was still playing with barbies and figuring out how to match her clothes.

3. If Harry can have an arch enemy, so can I.

4. You don't need a best friend that's a girl to feel happy and complete. Two guys are all you need, really.

5. Because you become friends over beating up a troll in a bathroom. Now that's  true friendship

6. No matter how stupid Harry, Ron, and Hermione's plans were, they still went through with them because (most of the time) it was the right thing to do. "Have you ever heard of a plan where so many things could go wrong?"

7. It goes to show that anybody can go from a whiny, annoying adolescent to a mature adult. Case in point: Ginny and/or Hermione. Let's face it, no one really like them in their younger years.

8. The subtle humor that JK constantly puts in the pages. Quotes like these make my day:
"We don't send people to Azkaban just for blowing up their aunts!"

"He'd escaped Lord Voldemort three times; he wasn't completely useless...."

"It's obvious what this means. There's going to be loads of fog tonight." -Ron

"Wow, I wonder what it'd be like to have a difficult life?" -Harry

"You can't give a dementor the old one-two."

"What now? Have they sentenced you to anything? Do your lot have the death penalty?" -Uncle Vernon

SPHINX: "You are very near your goal. The quickest way is past me."
HARRY: "So . . . So will you move, please?

"Just because its taken YOU three years to notice, Ron, doesn't mean no one ELSE had spotted I'm a girl!" -Hermione

9. I love that they say "skiving" class instead of "ditching". Because anything is better than saying "sluffing".

10. From what we know, wizards only start school when they're 11, and then they are done when they are 17 when at that time they are considered adults. THAT'S ONLY 7 YEARS OF SCHOOLING. Then they can get real jobs and go do whatever the heck they want. Maybe that's why this whole wizarding life always appealed to me...

11. Dumbledore's words of wisdom:
"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

12. British children opened up a whole new world of insults to me including "eat slugs" and "get stuffed". Ooooooh, scary.

13. It's proof that class systems exist. Case in point: NOBODY LIKES A HUFFLEPUFF. It's true. Sorry all you badgers out there. We all know you're bottom of the food chain.

14. One word: Dobby.

15. Mafalda Hopkirk's name. She's probably my alter ego of the wizarding world.

16. CHO CHANG WHO ARE YOU. Are you Asian? Are you human? Where did you come from? I guess the only thing you're good for is giving Harry his first kiss so he doesn't look like an idiot in front of Ginny you disposable, love-monger you.

17. HARRY TALKS IN ALL CAPS JUST LIKE THIS. Well, most of the time he does. When he's angry and stuff. Which is a lot.

18. One of the Gryffindor passwords was abstinence. Thanks for that message, J.K. Rowling.

19. The wizarding world in the 7th book is what America would look like had the Constitution not been created. So take that, anti-federalists. Ha, just kidding. I'm just trying to throw my American Heritage knowledge at you.

20. It's where I got the name of this blog. Provided to you courtesy of Ron Weasley and Felix Felicis.


Too. Many. Feelings.

On some occasions, like today for example, my brain just shuts down so it doesn't explode with the amount of feelings that could potentially leak from the open cavities.
So thankfully, Fleetwood Mac saves the day.


The worst things in life come free to us

Know what I did today?
I did a great  thing.
Absolutely great.

That little check mark in that box - know what I did after I clicked it?
I deleted it.
It's finally gone.

Don't ask me why, but I've been holding onto those words- just in case I ever wanted to go back and read that sucker to remind myself of my anger and hatred and resentment towards them. And trust me, I have done just that many a time this past school year.
But finally, something clicked inside of me and I didn't need it anymore.
I'm different than I was a year ago, and this Nicole doesn't need justifications and excuses.

So what?
They're happy.
I'm happy.
I bet Ghandi is happy

wherever he is..


And you ask me what I want this year

I want to do this

And I'm saving money because I really  want to go and do this

Not to mention THIS

I also would like to be a counselor for this

Oh, and did I mention my dream is to one day be this?

Don't be surprised when I do this on my birthday in 62 days.

Somehow, I will make these happen.

"The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just."

Thanks, Lincoln. I trust you.
You got my back.
I only wish I had yours when Booth shot yours.

Too soon?


You've gotta take it on your own from here

Wanna know what makes Nicole the happiest or close to it?

When "little" band children run up to you after the Pillow Concert and hug you to death and tell you they love you and miss you. It makes me think that they actually liked  me. And it's the only time I willingly give out genuine hugs and "I love you"s.

It's the moments like this that make me miss it (except you probably don't believe me because I say that every other day). But it's for reals this time.
Not to mention that this video gets me close to tears everytime.
Good stuff right thur.

Oh how I would give anything to go back and be their drum major again. Just once more.

But what else is new?

Well I'll tell you what's new.
This derp Nicole face:

Just kidding.
That isn't new at all.
Oh well


But I will see you again, a long time from now

Everybody's family is constructed differently. Mine, I believe, just happens to be constructed a lot more bizarre than most others. I could sit down and try to explain to you how the many relatives I have are only semi-related to me, but it would take days to completely understand. I mean, here I am at 18 years of age and I still don't quite understand all the relationships in my family. But the one thing that intrigues me is the thought of my dead relatives. Morbid, I know. And plus that's a lot of dead relatives in the line of Nicole Hopkinson. However, there are 3 particular people who have been long gone and who have joined the cheering section for us with the big man upstairs that I think about quite often. I think about making them proud.

Grandpa Dick
Aunt Cindy
Uncle Ricky

Uncle Ricky was my dad's older brother and died from SIDS. He was my grandparent's first child and I can't imagine having to deal with losing your firstborn child at such a young age. We talk about him often, but no one knows much about him obviously since he was just a couple months old. Sometimes when we visit his grave, I imagine him and make up a life for him today if he was still alive; He would have a wife whose name started with an 'S' to carry the family tradition - Sarah or perhaps Samantha. They'd have kids about the same age as my family and we'd probably be best friends. Uncle Ricky would be the greatest uncle in the world. I know that because he was taken so early, he must be a strong spirit up in Heaven. He'd probably have some cool, fancy job that made him travel the country so that our family wasn't always the one family left out of the constant Provo Hopkinson clan. He'd be the uncle that every girl needs. And let's get real, I'd probably be his favorite niece. 

Aunt Cindy was my mom's younger and only sister who died from a brain aneurysm in her early twenties. She had a one year old daughter at the time of her death who was just 2 months older than me - my cousin who is my aunt Cindy's only child. The aneurysm was unexpected and sometimes I forget that my mom ever had a sister because I was so young when it happened that I don't have memories of Cindy. I've seen pictures and home videos and I've realized that I look almost exactly like her as I continue to grow older. I wonder if my mom ever looks at me and imagines her sister in my place. Sometimes I feel like that's why my mom and I have such a good relationship, because she's the sister I never had, and I'm the sister she lost. I'm excited to be reunited and officially meet her, but I'm more excited for my cousin Aubrey to meet her mom. And then we can all be a happy family together - a family of Anthony women, which is the way it should be.

Grandpa Dick was my Dad's father and died of colon cancer four months after my parents got married. My grandma has been single ever since and that's the only life I've ever known. Just like Uncle Ricky, I don't know him; I don't know his personality, his quirks, what makes him tick...I don't know anything about my own grandpa unless I was told about it through a story. So most of what I know about him, I've probably made it up in my head. But sometimes I yearn to have memories of him. I feel like he would be that tough grandpa that would do anything for his grandchildren. He would probably give the best, no-nonsense advice. I can feel it. And I feel that when the time comes that we will all be reunited again, I will run into my grandpa's arms like we'd never been parted. We'll have so much catching up to do. I know his spirit is there.

And this is why the Plan of Salvation is true.
So that people like me can think about their dead relatives.
Welcome to my life.


Let's call it off

"Nicole, you can't come in at 2:30 in the morning anymore."

Well, this is gonna be a problem....
And a very long summer.

Time to start looking for other options.

Also, I hate security cameras. Someone should take their attention off of gun laws and make security camera laws. Those are causing some serious problems  in my opinion.


The posh, posh, traveling life

How do I spend my posh Friday nights while vacationing in Washington D.C. you ask (because I know you asked and you're dying  for me to tell you)? Well only because you asked, I'll tell. I'm learning how to be popular and to do so, you spend your vacation nights attending the oh-so upper class concerts at the Library of Congress.

Here's what happened:

     Emma and I were busy wining and dining with the President himself............ just kidding. Fooled ya. We were busy taking a nap on the Capitol grounds and basking in the glorious sunlight when my dear cousin Amy - who was gracious enough to house us homeless college kids at her place for the week - texted me asking if we would be interested in attending "an orchestra concert at the Library of Congress" that night. Well OF COURSE WE DID. If I want to fit in and be popular, I have to attend such notable events of the district.
     What I thought "orchestra concert" meant was a fine night of classical music (lower case 'c' to indicate the genre, NOT the era) where they perhaps might play Percy Grainger because I'm naive enough to think that every orchestra and symphony loves Percy Grainger as much as I do. Was Grainger on their repertoire? No. But I was excited nonetheless. I would be able to use my newly discovered Music 101 knowledge and impress all the bureaucrats at the concert. Someone so young as I shouldn't know as much as I should, they would say to me. We would then hold up our pinkies and chat about how popular we were. But really. Imma be brutally honest here, Emma and I were defs the youngest in the auditorium, by a good decade.


Now don't get me wrong, I like modern music just as much as the next guy in the psych ward does. Heck, the Timpview Band even played modern music. I can be a serious musician; I appreciate the arts. But was I prepared for the night of music I was given that night? Not in the slightest.

     I maintained composure as long as I could. It was enjoyable for the first piece since I could easily appreciate and relate to the amazing clarinetists. Then, they began to pull out all the stops (<---- see how I'm using all my Music 101 knowledge?).

The music just got weirder and weirder and soon enough the musicians were just doing freaky stuff that I was convinced I was being inducted into a cult of some local Indian tribesmen. I tried so hard  to appreciate it. I thought to myself, "Well, maybe if you look at it in a different way, you can better enjoy it the way it meant to be enjoyed."
So I started listening to it with one eye closed.
That didn't do much.
Then I tried rapidly blinking my eyes as fast as I could!
That was fun, I'd totally recommend that. It heightened my experience greatly.
I even watched and listened to them with my eyes out of focus to make everything blurred.
But really. I was doing amazing....

And then they pulled out the Jew's Harp.


It was a JEW'S HARP PEOPLE. So basically I was laughing my head off, but in attempts to control that laughter, I started crying because I was keeping it in. I couldn't stop thinking of all the funny texts I would send to my dear old brother - the Jew's harp lover - after the concert. And it just went downhill from there. 

     Anyways, I don't really know why I decided to tell you this story. I just thought modern music could easily be appreciated. Obviously I was wrong. Moral of the story: Nicole shouldn't go to fancy, upscale concerts. Also, Nicole should live in Washington D.C. Yep.


Home, where I wanted to go.


I have them.

I'm living at the home for the summer. I know, I know. I'm that Provo girl. Trust me, it's great fun.
I know that right now it's what I'm supposed to be doing, although sometimes it's hard to realize that. I'm saving money so that I might be the independent woman I've always dreamed of (we all know I'm talking about Rosie the Riveter here) and move out and pay for most of it on my own. I figured the more ties I cut with my parentals who live in P-town, the better. Then I won't be the "girl living at her parent's who has no friends". But I hate rules. I. HATE. THEM. Just kidding. I thrive for rules and structure. But only if it's rules that I actually like and want to follow. I know, I'm hard to please. So when I suddenly have to revert back to following rules and "curfews" and checking in with my parents and cancel all my reckless behavior (or at least that's the behavior my parents would call it), it's hard. And yes, I would like some cheese with my whine. Cheddar, please.

I also can't decide what ward to go to.
If I stay in my home ward, they'll give me a calling, I just know it. I'd also be going alone as my brothers attend the singles ward and my parents are in a BYU ward bishopric. And lately, I like sliding past the radar unnoticed. I did my duty as primary teacher last summer. And let me tell you, I failed. The second I confirm that my records will stay in the good 'ole Sherwood Hills ward, those bishopric members will pounce like our neighborhood cougar pounced on the Gray family's poor cat. And then I will be stuck. Or dead.

On the other hand, I could go to the stake singles ward. Whoop de doo. Tag a long with my most popular, older brothers and mingle with old, desperate RM's? Sign me up!

Or I could take the last and most desirable option I've come up with which is to go "inactive" and become a  ward hopper who goes to missionary farewells all summer. Okay cool, that was my plan all along.

Should I just give up my dreams of a fun summer vacation and work till I collapse? Should I move out summer term and go to school? WHAT DO I DO. The second I think I have things decided, new, shiny options are presented before me. And boy do I like shiny things.

Well, on we go with life and I think I'll just mull things over for a bit while I'm in Washington D.C. 
See ya, folks.


Penrose 89

Ah, what a glorious place to live. 

This is the story of how I lucked out. 

Originally when I got my housing date, I was for sure thinking I could get into New Heritage. It was new, fancy, functioning....you know- the perfect place to live. I mean, just look at it. Big/new kitchens, big/new living rooms, big/new everything. What's not to love?

But only when my housing date got closer did I actually come to the realization that living there wasn't going to happen and I probably wasn't even going to get into Old Heritage. Now people, this was a heartbreaking moment of Nicole's life. My grandma and my mom both lived there. I went to EFY and stayed in those dorms for 3 years. I had grown up 18 years set on the fact that I would GO to BYU and GO to live in the Old Heritage dorms. There was NO second option.

I remember very distinctly that on April 4th, 2012, I was on a bus driving to Payson High School for Symphonic's Band region performance to conclude our spring tour. Right after we warmed up and right before we performed, I was outside in the hallway, on the phone with my mom, trying to talk things out with her. I gave her our best case scenario, Plan B's, last resorts, EVERYTHING. She would click on a room in Wyview (the only housing left I would even think of living at), read the roommate descriptions, and I would yea or nay it. I nay'ed most of them. It was getting so frustrating that I remember saying, "Mom, I just don't care anymore. Pick the one you think is the best. I have to go perform now." 

Well, I performed, I got home, looked at my room, stalked my roommates, and nothing felt right. I always hate when people say that something just doesn't feel right, because what does "not feeling right" feel like? But let me tell you people, that was one of the only times that I have experienced that "feeling". I was not going to live in Wyview. That's the only thing I knew. I don't know how many room swap requests I placed, but eventually I got to a room in Wyview that seemed doable. One Sunday, my mom and I went driving past the apartments and went into the parking to map it all out and check it out. She was being really encouraging and hopeful and I refused to smile. This wasn't just some "other plan" that Heavenly Father had for me. I knew I wasn't supposed to live there. 

Then one day, my mom texted me at work and told me I had gotten into Old Heritage. Every Monday and Wednesday they released the rooms that people dropped out of for whatever reason and we had both been trying to get into a room for a couple weeks. I was in disbelief. My BYU experience was about to be complete. Then I got home and the first thing I did was stalk the future roommates (obvi). It didn't look bad at all! I somehow still thought I could get into New Heritage. Case in point, my first conversation with the roommates:

[For some reason, we thought our room was in the basement and neither of us wanted that. When we found out that we were actually on the 2nd floor, our world was made]

Anyways, I ended up staying in the NOT basement room of Penrose Hall with these 5 lovely ladies. And I am oh so grateful. I found out that the girl who was originally in my room decided not to go to BYU or something like that and to that girl, I love you. Thanks for giving up your room, because I love these girls more than you ever could or would have. Ha. That was rude. Don't care. 

Why this picture describes Penrose 89.
Well, why it describes everyone's true personalities. 

Kahlie was always smiling. Always happy. Always awesome. She doesn't judge you. She just smiles at you. And I love her smile. Because she is gorgeous.

Sharon was always laughing at us. When things got lost in translation, things got real funny real quick. All you have to do is say her name and she'll probably start laughing. 

Shannon has this outward appearance of niceness (which she really is) and then on the inside, she's crazy. This picture shows her face when she was probably coming up with one of her ideas. Actually, she was probably just defending herself from our constant attacks on her favorite movie The Last Unicorn.

I don't know what Rachel was doing. Which was pretty standard. She would just smile at us the whole time and suddenly, she would be doing something that came out of no where. 

Emma secretly attracted all the men. This was her doing so. She could be a model if she wanted. She's that cool. As long as she looks good and has a hunky man for a husband, life will be good.

Couldn't make an appearance in the photo because she is currently serving the Lord. She probably would have been making some dancing pose trying to dance. 

And then there's me. Facepalming and shaking my head, secretly wondering why I'm there. 
Well it's no secret now. 

I love these girls.