Friday, December 16, 2011

poked and prodded.

Today was a momentous day. A day I have been waiting for for the last four years of my life. Today I finally found the cause of my awful stomach problems... miracle of miracle. No more cringing in pain, no more getting overly full without even eating what's on my plate, no more wanting to throw up. Amazing right. So what is the diagnosis you ask.. acid reflux. Why it has taken so long to figure out is beyond me, but I am happy to know how to make it better, feeling sick is kind of the worst thing ever.

today was also a momentous day because i have become less doctorphobic. I told both doctors I saw today that I liked them. It sure beats three year old Ellie who told her doctor she hated him. harsh ellie, harsh. but today was just a great day with the docs, they were friendly, personable, and told me good news instead of bad. The mole on my neck- not a problem. my stomach- soon to be fixed. and I didn't even cry when they took my blood, impressive right?

sad news in finding out what is wrong. I cant have spicy food, dairy, or tomatoes for the next three months while my stomach heals. This is the saddest because Taco Soup is my favorite thing of all time, but explains why I always feel sick when I on occasion have it for all three meals (yes, Im weird and eat normal foods for breakfast sometime). So tonight for dinner we had taco soup as a farewell meal. It was delicious, but sure enough my stomach hurt afterwards. Rather than get sad, or annoyed, I was so excited, why? because I finally know why. knowledge is power my friends.

other random tidbits of the day.

I picked up Becca and Jeff from the cutest little town in Illinois... Dwight- I will possibly one day maybe live there possibly. but the GPS failed me in the fact it wouldn't pick up a single until I finally found the train station. dear tomtom, that is of no help.

My father is hysterical, I dont remember what happened (lame) but dinner was hysterical because of him

Aaron and Amanda were here for dinner. Amanda is Chelsey's (my sister-in-law) cousin who we love. She is the cutest, and Aaron is the wonderful boy she is dating.

Dr. Mario Tournament with Cathy, Becca, and Jeff...I dominated.

My phone fails at getting reception in our house. Its the worstest. Sorry for the delayed texting world. I really do love you, even if I tell you 7 years later.

I have this trait where I get overly excited easily. I get my hopes way to high way to fast. Mentioning something fun to me that might not happen is not a smart thing, I invest quickly. Its a problem. I need to work on it.

Also on Tuesday I lost a bet. I know we shouldn't bet but I did. It was about a car from Cars. Mater to be exact. Did you know his name is really Towmater. Yep, I didn't. But I am sad to say its the truth. So i owed Nate frostys. But there is a new bet on the table. Temple Run, its a game for Ipods and things of the sorts. addicting, be careful. Who can get the high score over break. Im right now in the lead with around 800,000 but we have a long two week ahead and a lot can happen. Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'll be home for Christmas...

The Christmas Eve Feast Circa 2009
Oh the joys of being home. I am in heaven. Literally. They say a home can be like heaven on earth, right? It is going to be a fun adventure being home for the next two and a half weeks. Its a long time, I normally come home for a week at a time. But there are two different portions of my trip. There is the super fun party with other family portion- filled with seeing A Christmas Carol, seeing the lights downtown, and gingerbread house making. And then the alone with the parents, get projects done (hopefully make a quilt) portion.

But like all fun adventures, and not being in school, it means my blog has a sudden increase because there is just so much to share and remember.

So, what made today so great you ask?

First off, I once again was reminded of my nerdiness as I stood in line at the airport to check my baggage. I was scared I would be late for my flights so I figured out how long I would be in line. I found the average amount of time for them to call the next person up, it was about 20 seconds. And then went on to multiply it by the number of people or groups in front of me. I am proud to say I was only a minute off. Not too shabby. Yes, im a nerd.

I made a friend while waiting to board the airplane and shared my dream of having the whole airplane sing christmas carols together. unfortunately this was not the flight, but he was a very nice guy, with a beard, that he combed, in public.

I found that Ipod touches make plane rides so much more enjoyable. It has everything. music. movies. games. you name it.

Getting a hug from your Mom when she picks you up from the airport. priceless. Also can i just say I have the funniest mom ever. She is the cutest. And I found where my lack of laughing comes from- Catherine Daines Hall. I realize I dont really laugh. I chuckle slightly, its a problem, especially in funny movies. The only time I am reliable to laugh is when something unfortunate happens. A headband breaks, you go over a curb, you spill peanut butter- I am the awful person who thinks it is hysterical. I also laugh if I am getting tickled, but it is more of a "im terrified for my life right now" nervous laugh. But as I was telling this to my loving mom she helped solve the mystery as she explained that she was not one who was easy to laugh either. Our car ride home was full of stories and catching up. That is always my favorite time. The car ride home from the airport.

My dad. Everything about him is wonderful. If there was a contest for best dad I think I would win, sure he isnt perfect but he comes close. He has twinkly eyes, so when he sees you and smiles its just perfect. And nothing beats a hug from your dad, except maybe your mom, the jury is still out. There was music, and without fail he grabbed my hands and we started dancing. We have been dancing for 21 years now and he is the perfect dance partner. I know his moves, I know what is coming, and it is always so fun to dance with him. Is it bad that I am more excited to dance with him at my future wedding than with my future spouse? Note to future husband: You need to dance with me, Bill can give you lessons if you would like. Also my dad decided he was going to set me up with someone while at the YSA christmas party. Dont worry, I remind him I was currently dating someone, but that didn't stop him. He put his arm around me and said "he didn't come" and then went on to point someone out. I just laughed and told him he was funny. He then went on to introduce me to everyone around, including his choice. He is a very social guy my father, and everyone loves him. How can you not?

Driving stick. I got to drive home from the party in our stick shift car. It was good to refresh my memory and know i can still do it. The best moment came as we got off the free way. A light changed to yellow and I had to quickly come to a stop, while I applied the brakes hard it was a very smooth stop. My mom and I were talking about the amazingness that was my stop when I stalled the car, not without a few jerks first, while sitting at the red light. embarrassing? slightly. amazing? most definitely.

The magic of Christmas. our house is magical at Christmas. There are white lights everywhere. Yes white, not colored. My mom  was the cutest and ran in the house before me so she could plug them in so it would be magical when I walked in. Do I love her? very much so.

Fruit galore. The kitchen is full of fruit. All I have been craving all day is fruit. The only thing I wanted as I got off the plane was a Jamba Juice, but the clementine that sat in our kitchen was the most delicious clementine the world has seen and filled my craving.

Two built in friends. We got home late from the party and all I wanted to do was play and talk with my two built in friends. While we did talk and laugh (i guess i also laugh, or chuckle slightly with my family) unfortunately the parental units were tired and went to bed

Sleeping Cold. Tonight my dad asked if I liked sleeping cold. I quickly reminded him of our AC battles in the summer. I wake up and make it colder, he wakes up and turns the AC off to be more economical. I was pleased when he said, oh good, we have been sleeping with the house way cold recently. So I am in bed with cool air around me snuggled up with lots of blankets. Perfection.

Its good to be home.

between me and Chicago.

 "Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." 

i procrastinated. no bueno.

I get to go home today! In talking to my mom this morning as I faced the frigid walk to work (I regretted not wearing socks this morning- thats how cold I was) she asked if I was excited to come home. My response: Im stressed, but I will be!

What stands in the way of me and my family:
3 hours of work and studying for a final.
1 final.
1 cleaning check.
A drive to Salt Lake.
Checking baggage.
Going through security.
A 3.5 hour flight.

After that it is smoooooooth sailing. Actually after packing it is smooth sailing. Plus Cathy- or Cate- has done a great job of planning fun activities, meaning it will be a vacation of play! It will be great. Now I just have to find the motivation to actually study.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

it's a wonderful life- Jimmy Stewart style

 You see George, you've really had a wonderful life. 
Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?
-Clarence It's A Wonderful Life
I have never been good at keeping a journal. I have documented January 1st through the 7th of many years, as I start out with New Year's resolutions, but I rarely succeed at continuing on. I normally forget and get behind, and then I become overwhelmed and just give up. To physically write it out takes too long and I normally vote I am too tired. That is the lovely thing about a blog. I use it as my journal. I probably share too much of my thoughts and feelings for the public view, but I do this more for me than for those who happen to read it.

But I realized the value of going back and reading past entries today. I feel like sometimes I lose who I am, or lose the confidence and "straight-headedness" i once had. I've let little things get to me. I have let stress, lack of sleep, bad nutrition (not taking a lunch to school is not a good idea), and the now gray weather affect my mood way to much. I realize things that normally wouldn't affect me cause me to become sad or grumpy. My patience for silly things has gone way down. It's the dumbest.

So as I sat at the info desk at work I started looking at past entries and realizing how blessed I really am. I realized how wonderful life is and to short to let the little things get you down. I have so much to be grateful for. I have control over how I act and react to situations. That I can find joy in the little things.  That I have had amazing experiences and that I have the gospel of Jesus Christ. That while it's hard at times I still love life.

Basically I have a wonderful life. Being Christmas, how can you not remember the wonderful Jimmy Stewart movie. While life might not be perfect, I am grateful to be alive.

*sorry I got a little link happy- but this one is the best!*

Friday, December 9, 2011

post 101. reunited at last.

“Life is like a blanket too short. You pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and shivers meander about your shoulder; but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night"

-Marion Howard

before this post I had exactly 100 posts. I love exact numbers, it is a beautiful thing. London things would be 1 pound, 1 pound and 7 pence. Perfection. The problem is it makes me hesitant to post again because now it will be 101, not the even 100. so im biting the bullet, and giving up my perfect number of posts.

i am four. i am usually seven, but I have realized now, that my seven year old niece might be more mature than me in some aspects. why am I four you ask? I have a baby blanket. the fact that I am writing about this might be slightly embarrassing, but hey, its who I am. Me and this little pink blanket have been through a lot together. I have had it for forever, and have been attached to it for forever. When I was four I would sit by the dryer and wait for it to be done because I couldn't handle not having it. If I didn't have it, I couldn't sleep. Luckily, it is no longer to that point. I can sleep without it, and I have no problem throwing it in the wash. But it still goes with me most places, aka EFY.

Embarrassing moment came during the Illinois session this year when the session director asked who still had their baby blanket. My hand went up with a bunch of other participants. He then asked who had the blanket with them at EFY, mine was the only hand that went up. It didn't help that I was sitting in the front so I could help lead the medley so everyone could see, as I turned around and saw mine was the only hand up I sheepishly put it down. The session director went on to talk about his daughters baby blanket and equated it to virtue. He talked to me later about my baby blanket and made me bring it to our late night meeting so he could get a picture of me with my blanket to use in lessons to come. But this experience made my blanket even more special.

Mid-October I went to a friends cabin, in packing I grabbed my blanket, mainly because I wasnt sure how the sleeping arrangements would be and I can use it as a pillow. Well tragic day, I left it there. I called the next day to ask those who had stayed to bring it back with them and they said they would. crisis adverted. lies. they forgot to grab it. So for the last two months I have been sans blanket. I didn't realized how attached I was until I started having dreams about getting it back. I would be having a crazy dream and then suddenly someone would hand me my blanket. ridiculous? yes! but I am proud to say that on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, me and my little pink blanket were reunited, and I was just as happy as I was as a four year old when it would come out of the dryer. I'm almost positive Nate thought I was crazy, as well as the friend who brought it back to me, but I was as giddy as could be. But hey, aren't we supposed to be like little children?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'tis the season

The great man is he who does not lose his child's-heart
Mencius, Book IV

so i have a list, actually multiple lists of "things to blog about" this list has continued to grow over the last month and my motivation to blog had greatly decreased as the list has gotten longer and longer. life has been great, and full of fun adventures, thoughts, road trips, and holidays. it is one of those things where I don't even know where to start.... so I guess I will follow Julie Andrews advice from the Sound of Music and "start at the very beginning, its a very good place to start"

warning: this is a novel. but really. but by the end you will pretty much no everything about my life of late.

Rock Climbing. so fun. I went on November 5th. i know, FOREVER ago! but I realized I have a slight fear of heights. Yes, it was fun and exhilarating, but the first time up I got half way, and froze. The next round of Ellie versus the wall, I came off conqueror (ps that was one of the group names at efy, or something along those lines). I learned that I enjoy the really easy walls that I can own, and give me no challenge at all, but I can fly up them. It's probably not the best mind set to have, challenge is good. But on occasion it is nice to do something you are really good at. I also learned that even though I go to the gym, and look like i have muscle. I am the weakest person ever.

Stake Conference. that same weekend. and was wonderful. We talked about remembering Christ through different means. through prayer, scripture study, going to the temple, etc. It was wonderful, and a much needed spiritual boost. It is funny how my view of the church has changed over the years. When I was little stake conference was long and boring. I would break out my coloring book and be set. Now I am still there with a book, but it is to take notes. It is amazing what you can learn, and what the spirit can teach you if you simply pay attention.

11/11/11. most epic day ever. yes? we had an 11/11/11 party at our apartment, thanks to the planning of the lovely Anne. They had 11 different appetizers of things that looked like 11's. kit-kats, the most perfect 11 ever. and watched Ocean's 11. It was fun to meet people in my ward and become better friends with others. Last year I felt like I was extremely close with a lot of people in my ward, this year has not been the same, and it is completely my fault. Last year I was never content to sit in my apartment, I would always be visiting someone, or at an activity, where this year I find myself being perfectly content to stay home and work on other things. While this is probably the more responsible thing to do, and my mother would be very happy to hear, it does make me look back longingly at my years at the Colony.

Sick. I just got over the most annoying bout of being sick ever. it started on the 15th, and I am finally at the tail end of it now. a swollen lymphoid, a sore throat, no energy, achy body, just feeling uncomfortable, and the cough from the bad place. While it was as annoying as could be I had great friends who took care of me. I finally broke down on the 29th and made my way to the health center. My teacher was nice enough to let our group present first so I could leave early and get there before it closed. This was my first time being to the doctor out at school and I had no idea what I was doing. But i am proud to say I figured it out. With a little direction I made it where I needed to be, signed in, and received a mask to wear because of my cough. I felt like a leper sitting there with my yellow mask. They called me back and I got to see the doctor. woowhoo, oh my love for doctors. *sarcasm, i am not a fan of them* he asked me my symptoms and had a look in my ears and throat and then decided he wanted to test for strep and mono. the strep test wasnt awful. i gagged, which considering the cough had started to make me gag wasnt too big of a deal, but the mono test was a blood test. I went to the lab, and tried my hardest not to cry. Shots and I have been enemies for quite some time now. The idea of the shot, or getting poked is what scares me the most. But i am proud to say i didn't cry. i got extremely close, but i was okay. did i text my mom right after and let her know? you betcha. no strep and no mono later, he decided I had a virus and I got a Z pack. I have never sounded more like a super hero in my life, i didnt feel like one, but i sure sounded like one.

White Christmas: On November 17th we went and saw White Christmas at BYU. 3 of the 4 leads are in my ward right now, so we had to go support them. obviously. it was wonderful, i love the storyline and the music. It reminded me of being in London and seeing shows all the time, it also made me crave watching the movie. I love Christmas, and I love the magic that surrounds it, but for some reason I don't feel like it is Christmas time. It could be the lack of snow, or decorations in our apartment. Even though we do have two Christmas trees in our front room. I am so excited to go home though, our house is magical when it is decorated for Christmas, i love it!

The Lights at Riverwoods:  I lied, I did feel the magic of Christmas at one point. November 18th the lite the lights at Riverwoods. It was magical to walk around and see the lights and the people and feel the Christmas spirit. And they have a toy store that was just perfect! Jon Schmidt performed and it was grand. Nate and I were probably only 15 feet away from him as he played song I had heard Nate play. As we were leaving it started snowing which just added to the magic. It felt like something out of a movie.

Don't worry folks, there is more

Thanksgiving. Being from Chicago, it is not always a viable option to go home for Thanksgiving. the expense isnt worth the short trip, when I will be going home for Christmas two weeks later. Last year, almost the whole family went home for Thanksgiving. it was grand. this year we all went our separate ways. I decided I would go home with a friend from work, Megan, to escape from Provo and enjoy the California sunshine. It was great, but I couldn't help but miss my own family as I was surrounded by hers. We went to the beach, and I am the crazy person who didn't care if the water was freezing, I loved getting in. I loved standing there and looking out on the ocean and letting the waves crash around me. I thought about my life and what I wanted from it. I thought about how life has changed, and I thought about all the other people in the world. How the all have individual lives, they have their own hopes and dreams. It is amazing to think that everyone has a story. 

the beautiful california beach. i could stay here forever and be happy

megan silhouetted. beautiful.
that night we got pink berry. best frozen yogurt ever. plus pomegranate seeds to mix in. AMAZING.

We also went and saw Andy Grammer live on Third Street, where he got his start playing on the side of the street. It was perfect- minus the girl who opened for him. She was awful....AWFUL. at one point she sang just a kiss by Lady Antebellum (one of my favorite songs at the moment) and ruined it. ahh i was so sad. but andy. andy was amazing. Thanksgiving dinner was great. The rolls and mashed potatoes are always my favorite. But because of being sick I didnt have much of an appetite. I couldnt finish my first plate, and I skipped dessert because I was so full. Dont worry, i saved some and ate it for breakfast.

waiting for the Andy Grammer Concert
This security guard was our favorite. we played red light  green light with him. 

This guy was amazing. I dont remember his name, but he is a friend of Andy's from his days on third street. He is the break dancer he talks about in his song "biggest man in los angeles"
meeting him after the show. i was giddy.

The UP house. November 19th was quite the epic day. I had heard from many of friend about a house in Harriman, Utah that was built to look just like the house from the movie UP. So Nate and I made an epic trip up there to see it. I was as giddy as could be. The house was perfect! I loved it! While there we talked to the builder and became just the best of friends with him. Later as we were walking around he called Nate over and talked to him. It turns out he had given him a grape soda pin to give to me later. Perfection. After the Up house we continued to have an adventure of a day complete with seeing the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, exploring IKEA (and getting lunch there), exploring Cabella's, and watching the Football Game. Even though I was sick, and dead by the end of the day, it was wonderful.

we found a secret room behind some bookselves. sooo cool. mental note to self. future home. secret room. its a must. and the grape soda pin. woowhoo.

we got to sign the adventure book
the nursery was perfect. and straight from the movie.
I love to see the temple.
IKEA!! yay for food!
 So wonderful that I had to tell my sister-in-law about the house. I thought my nieces and nephews would love it. As I talked to her, I realized that what would be perfect is if I took them so she could have a day to pack with no kids (they are moving into a house!!! happy day!) so we made a day of it. So on December 3rd the kids came over in the morning bringing breakfast. We ate and laughed as Nate joked that his malt was actually ground up hamburgers- gross! We then went up to the loft to watch up and eat popcorn. After that we made paper airplanes and flew them from our loft and then balcony. It was soooo fun! Probably one of my favorite moments with my nieces and nephew. After that we made the trek to Harriman to see the UP house, they loved it. Ari and Lorien both got grape soda pins as well! Afterwards we jetted over to wendy's for lunch. All four of us ate for 8 dollars, and were all full. Amazing? yes. dear Wendy's dollar menu, and bill's trick in getting better value in fries, thank you! The kids were amazing, and we had so much fun. Quote of the day was when I had to go to the bathroom, and i double check with Will that he knew kung fu in case someone tried to kidnap them. he looked at me stone faced and said, "Ellie, I have a knife in my pocket" (a small pocket knife with other tools) i laughed and then felt much better about going to the bathroom. other excitement included running over a sour cream packet with the car to see what happened. it wasn't as exciting as they were hoping, but still fun. Moral of the stories, all wonderful days include the UP house. Go and see it if you haven't, a couple just bought it and it will close to the public after the holidays.

sad/funny story of the day: making popcorn, but it was the super buttery kind so I grabbed a plate to put it on. nate made some comment asking why I was doing that, I told him about my thinking ahead because of the butter. 2 minutes later the popcorn is done, grab the plate, go to pull it off, and it was sticky. I made some remark about how this is why I put it on a plate. no worries, the plate had actually melted to the popcorn bag. we laughed. A LOT.
flying our paper airplanes inside.
"sprit of avenger" its better than the spirit of adventure.
making their paper airplanes.
Will helped me with my paper airplane. i added the "UP" decorations. Let be honest, Will helped everyone with their paper airplanes
flying our airplanes!
the UP house was decorated for Christmas!

Will is very proud of the fact he is almost taller than me. I told him he owes me chocolate the day that happens to console me. he laughed. when he saw the measuring stick on the wall, he pointed out that it was too short for him. growth spurts are the worst when the dont happen to you.

The Front Page. Our family is famous. more so my padre. December 5th was his birthday, the big 6-4, even though he still acts like he is twenty (it is a family trait), and he was on the front page of the daily universe. no, not for his birthday, but for his amazing humor on facebook. last january he was on a roll, all of his comments would make me laugh uncontrollably. I would then show my friend Megan from work so she could enjoy the humor as well. Well as luck would have it, one of her friends was doing a story on parents on facebook and Megan had her talk to me about it. A picture of our family last Christmas, with my dad's amazing comment, made the front page. I now have 6 copies to take home to my mother. ive never felt so loved as my phone was constantly vibrating with texts from friends about it.

Family. Just for the record, I have the bestest family ever. Yes, Im biased, but still. Reasons I love them. Family dinners. Sundays are the best because the feed me. Having Matt and Keri so close has been a huge blessing. The day I got back from Thanksgiving I went straight over there for family dinner. It was so fun to be with them and talk and catch up. Ethan and I played Wii Sing it, and we played Mario Kart. I kind of fail. Favorite quote of the night was will. "I dont want to play the Wii, lets just talk" he is a very mature 11 year old. Sad thing though, Becca and Jeff are moving to St Louis. It will be weird not having them here. especially when then are the nicest and gave me mugs and a cookbook they didn't want. Other familia highlight. Last Thursday I went and played with Ethan while Keri packed, we went to the new park behind their house. It just so happened to be Ari's recess at the same time. We all played. It was great. Then I picked up Will from school and got to talk to him on the way home. He is such a smart kid. When we got back we all just laughed and Ethan and I played Helicopter. Later that night I got a call from Matt asking where I had put their keys, no worries they were in my coat pocket. We went pack to return them, and watched a little of Newsies with the kids. Such a great movie. Then this last sunday ethan was the cutest! We would spin and when we stopped he would do the sign for more. Moral of the story. That little guy has stolen my heart.

singing with the little guy.
aren't we the cutest. haha. yay for family.

if you are still reading you deserve a gold star

Cooking. I am slowly becoming a cook. Not a good one, but still. My days of rice sides and easy mac are becoming a thing of the past. Last week I made Chicken Noodle Soup, the ideal comfort food when feeling sick, and I had a friend who was feeling sick as well so it was perfect. I found a strange amount of joy chopping the carrots and celery. And then on Friday made Chicken Artichoke Pasta. I made some mistakes (i drained the artichokes, you are supposed to just throw it all in, and i left the garlic bread in a tiny bit too long), but I have learned from it and next time it will be perfect! It made me super excited to one day have someone to cook for, as much as I love cooking for myself (that's kind of a lie) it holds so much more excitement when there is someone else to appreciate it. also i have become addicted to unhealthy food. its a problem. sunday we made chocolate chip cookie dough, followed by sugar cookies on monday. good thing ive been going to the gym.

the fearless mixer. back in April he helped me mix four batches of chocolate chip cookies by hand.  he has mad skills.
note the flour on faces (its hard to see in this picture). he started it.
Work. The last time I wrote about my job I am pretty sure it was just a long ventation. Here is whyI love my job. Dwayne. He is this nice old man who works here and walks around every morning saying "good morning" to everyone in the office. He is a ray of sunshine. We had a nice talk while I was at the Info desk a few weeks ago, and then on Monday he commented to Chelsey that I had a great smile. I'm pretty sure I beamed for the rest of the day. He is my favorite. Grover Best name ever, right? Grover was a nice man who called in looking for an email address for financial aid. For the record we dont have one. So instead we searched for an email we could give him. I was directed all over the place, and no one would answer. It felt like a game, the illusive email game. Eventually we found it, but not without a lot of stalling by me and some scrabbling by Jessica, one of the supervisors. We both laughed for a good minute after it was done. He called back in a few minutes later. He actually needed a fax number. I died. Lynn. He is one of the counselors. He bought us all doughnuts today out of the blue. Happy wednesday world. Best day ever.

Hair cut. I finally got my haircut last Thursday. The last time I got it cut was when I was in London. Needless to say, I needed a haircut desperately. My lovely friend (and soon to be roommate!) Kristen Beck cut it for me. Im pretty sure she was appalled by how sick my hair was. about 3 inches later I have no dead ends!! The next morning, I was so sad to see that my hair was no longer super long. it was short. note: its still long, i just had a "my hair is short" freak out moment. But i now LOVE it! It is so nice to have healthy hair, and actually have a hair that has a style- rather than the grown out, super long and nasty look.

School. Happy end of school, and finals week! Today was my last day of Church History with Susan Easton Black. That woman is amazing, and that class has been one of my favorites. I have never met someone who knows as much as she does, and can talk as fast as she does. I normally always take notes by hand, I find my computer to be too much of a temptation, and there is something about physically writing my notes that helps solidify it in my mind. In her class, I bring my computer. Days I don't have my computer are rough. My hand hurts like crazy afterwards. I am so sad it is over. Other classes I do not feel that same level of sadness. But with finals comes stress. i dont like it. I am choosing to not be stressed. We will see how this goes.

gym. this is the last thing i swear. but last night the lovely Rachel Robinson and I went to the gym. We both decided we just wanted to bike while we talked and caught up. Good thing we are both competitive because with 10 minutes left I realized she had gone farther, and she realized I had burned more calories. We both pushed it like we had never pushed it before. My legs were on fire, and afterwards felt like jello. I am sad to say I never caught her, but proud to say she never caught me. a little friendly competition is always a good thing.

PHEW! that was a ton! I will never wait this long to post again, promise. Okay i shouldnt promise that, but I will be better...

Friday, November 11, 2011

the musical stylings of...

Sarah Bareilles.

Courtesy of Anne Pearson.

Im Gonna Get Over You.

*the music video is kind of random. enjoy*

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ice cream adventures.

school this week is awful. well not awful, but not fun. two tests. two papers. plus things every night, and 20 hours of work. It doesnt help that I am the queen of procrastination, and that I like to play way too much.

meet yesterday. work. class. work. class. study. test. dinner. FHE. study. with no breaks in between. It made for a very burnt out Ellie, especially with the knowledge that the rest of the week was going to be very similar. For the first time this semester I decided I wasnt going to go to the Marriott Center for the forum, but would stay and study. I made a critical mistake in telling Megan she should stay with me. Why was this mistake critical? It all started last night when on my second round of studying, this time with Lauren for Church History, when Megan texted me to go get ice cream. Being burnt out and not wanting to study I wished with all my heart I could go, but sadly I declined. Fast forward to studying now. We both just wanted the ice cream we had not gotten the night before. So we grabbed out ID cards, and Jesse, who we had now convinced to stay, and headed down to the vending machines.

Creamery ice cream sold in a vending machine. genius. i went for the cookies and cream, she went for the roasted almond fudge. i swiped my card. punched in the number. pause. and the wheel started spinning, but not only the wheel for my ice cream but another one. i felt like i had won the lottery. I giggled like a little girl as i watched both treats fall to the ground. Megan swiped her card. punched in the number. pause. and the wheel started spinning, but no one the wheel for HER ice cream, but one for a hot pocket. I lost it. I felt like a little kid at christmas I was so excited. The hot pocket got stuck and Jesse and I used teamwork to shake it free. Moral of the story- we made out like bandits.

The rest of the hour was spent eating out ice cream- Jesse ate the other ice cream and hot pocket as well as our left overs, and telling stories. A perfect break from life.

Also i was actually able to make a difference in someone's life today at work. Joshua, thank you for serving a mission, and you are welcome for getting you into BYU. Also Katherine, thank you for being my favorite processor and making me laugh.

Today was a good day. so far.

Monday, November 7, 2011


"We need to be more grateful. It's one of the marks of strong character, to have a feeling of thanksgiving and gratitude for blessings that are ours. We need more of that spirit in our homes, in our daily associations, in church, everywhere. It's so easy to cultivate the spirit of appreciation." 
- Ezra Taft Benson

it is 10:17 and I am in my bed. to go to sleep. this is a joyous occasion. as most nights as I am laying in bed I replay the day. what went well? what could have been better? what can i learn from today to make tomorrow better? oh yes, and over analyze everything. as i went through my day i thought about what we did at FHE (family home evening) tonight. It was a thanksgiving celebration. complete with hand turkeys, gratitude lists, and oreo turkeys. so as i laid in my bed i started running through all the things i am grateful for. i then realized a. i need to be better at blogging and b. it would be good to have this list for a tough day... so here it is- the things i am grateful for... in no particular order

Family. sunday dinners. family texts. little kids. nieces and nephews. phones. skype. technology. indoor plumbing. showers. razors. alarm clocks. roommates. pillow talk. the gospel. the book of mormon. the scriptures. modern day revelation. Thomas S. Monson. Apostles. the priesthood. my testimony. the atonement. Jesus Christ. The first vision. patriarchal blessings. general conference. stake conference. church every sunday. fast sundays. testimony meetings. Clothes. A job. Megan. Jesse. Friends. A place to sleep. blankets. pillows. charlie (my car). laptops. music. piano music. christmas. thanksgiving. food. cookie dough. late night talks with friends. adventures. the mountains. cascade springs. long drives. random texts. being healthy. the gym. byu. education. knowledge. teachers. pens. pencils. candles. bubble baths. movies. the internet. being financially stable. letters. the united states of america. fall. summer. air conditioning. fireworks. christmas lights. snow. snow plows. coats. mittens. hats. heaters. ski lifts. a father who will take me skiing. a father who will dance with me. a father who loves me. a father who loves my mother. a mother who loves me. a mother who will talk to me as i walk to school. choices. free agency. efy. trials. changing leaves. eternal families. the temple. lessons learned. backpacks. jeans. cardigans. refrigerators. the holy ghost. friends to study with. friends to avoid studying with. the testing center. surprises. cafe rio. spicy thai. stoves. ovens. microwaves. clean water. milk. sugar. ice cream. chocolate. taco soup. camelback water bottles. clarity. pictures. cameras. video cameras. memories. parks. play grounds. sand boxes. the beach. pools. hot tubs. kites. umbrellas. soap. face wash. shampoo. conditioner. deodorant. good smells. burberry brit. airplanes. london. shutterfly. efy. cali. rachel. morgan. eliza. tambrea. paul. thomas. jason. james. sarah. everyone. bedtime stories. picture books. hymns. iPods. cereal. freedom. safety. missionaries. highways. security. google. facebook. blogger. piggy back rides. forehead kisses. cuddling. dancing. cleaning supplies. electricity. lights. the mail system. amy grant. christmas music. bon jovi. pricilla ahn. regina spector. josh groban. joshua radin. carrie underwood. lady antebellum. taylor swift. keith urban. musicals. public transportation. running buddies. hyde park. opportunities. study abroad programs. email. growing up. kissing. couches. tables. chairs. a dishwasher. locks on our doors. having family nearby.  hulu. chuck. grocery stores. outdoor ice skating rinks. small town cafes. canyons. reservoirs. dating. heart break- so i appreciate love. my body. water skiing. hiking. riding bikes. running. looking for crawdads, "hiking" the Y, swimming suits. my BYU sweatpants, sweatshirts, comfy shirts. sales and clearance racks. hats. sunglasses. youtube. nauvoo. salt lake. joseph smith. brigham young. the early saints. alexander doniphan. CES firesides. BYU devotionals. sledding. hot chocolate. water colors. crafts. imagination. geneology. examples set before me. older siblings. halloween candy. bike rides with my dad. crisp air. clean air. nature. trees. doodling. pets. birds. bug repellent. boy bands. old friends. new friends. pretty pictures. art. plays. sports. amazing seat to the BYU games. getting to shoot the cannon. being able to go to london. fulfilling dreams. our loft. insurance. doctors. dentists. my eye sight. being able to smell. taste. feel. pain- so i can know joy. forgiveness. repentance. truth. being able to hear. being able to walk. wildflowers. flowers in general. seats with backs on them. tissues. toilet paper. sponges. blow dryers. straighteners. curling irons. hair ties. makeup. tweezers. sickness- so i appreciate being healthy. modern medicine. advice from parents. advice from friends. young women leaders. relief society presidents. church callings. girls nights. sleep overs. heart to heart conversations. conversations about relationships. my major: marriage and family. love sacs. motorcycle rides. summer days. grass. picnics. windows. beds. the ability to forget. the elderly. the feeling of being in a home. having a home. the city. spring. blossoms. vegetables. fruits. bread. keri's amazing desserts. blind dates. service- both the ability to serve and be served. massages. random acts of kindness. little notes. chargers. outlets. garbage men. dumpsters. past jobs. custodians. fast food workers. wendy's dollar menu. police officers. fire fighters. stop lights. stop signs. speed limits. government. the sun. the moon. the stars. telescopes. science. journals. books. harry potter. the hunger games. words with friends. the ability to write. being literate. sanitation. pumpkins. farmers. elementary school. high school. high school friends. growing up in Illinois (outside of Utah). the missionaries who taught my father. laughter. the future.

it is now 11:07. 50 minutes later. there are so many things I am grateful for and so many people in my life and opportunities i have had that it is impossible to list them all. I truly am grateful for all I have, and grateful to a heavenly father who has blessed me with so much! happy november!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

mind over matter

our minds are amazing things. but for real. i have found that running is more a mental game for me then seeing what my body can do. If i am bored i can barely run 2 miles- and the whole time I am thinking about getting back home. if I have a lot on my mind I can run forever. If the weather is pretty, or im engrossed in a conversation with a friend 2 miles flies by and on to 4 or 6.

yesterday at the gym I was dying five minutes in. I didnt want to be there, the elliptical wasnt holding the same allure and the movie was the same as the day before. "mind over matter. mind over matter." kept running through my head. As I pushed through I found myself with more and more motivation to keep going. I conqured, and it felt amazing.

but the mind over matter applies to more than just physical exercise. we have agency in all aspect of our life and I love that. we can choose how we act and react. I must say that there are times i react in situations, I say things I dont mean because I am hurt. It is not the easiest to take control away from your emotions and let your mind take control- and also it is not always bad to let your emotions help make decisions. but the mind is much more rational. truth. the end of my random musings.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


i say halloween wrong. or so im told. I blame this on the fact that my last name is in it, and the excitement that brought me as a child. halloween used to hold months of planning. a bride. a bunny. a Japanese girl. the color purple. cinderella (the cinder part). coming up with a costume was alway so exciting. I remember coming home from school and instantly getting ready. I would have to make sure everything was perfect. As i have gotten older it has lost some of its magic. Realizing I can just drive over to the store and buy as much candy as I want takes the allure of trick-or-treating away. (plus people tend to frown upon a twenty-one year old girl trick-or-treating for herself).

I have found recently that the magic now comes from the younger generation. Christmas is more exciting because of the little ones who still believe in santa. and halloween is more exciting because you get to see them dressed up and excited to get candy. So what does one do- they hang out with the youngsters on such holidays. I am blessed to have family so close, with Matt and Keri and their four kids only a 7 minute drive from my apartment. They give me a home away from home. There has been many a time I called Keri when I was upset and needed someone to cry to, the feed me, house me, and provide me with a break from the normal provo life. Sunday was one such day. A delicious dinner of hawaiian haystacks and four pumpkins later, I was experiencing halloween the little kid way. Ethan (their 1.5 year old) was climbing on the counter, excited about the insides of pumpkins and trying to use each pumpkin as a seat. The girls cleaned out the insides of their pumpkins and sent them my way to pick out the seeds. Ari wanted to count them all, but settled with me picking out "at least 500!" Lucky for me, Jeff taught me the trick of using water and letting the seeds float. I also acquired the role of family photographer- clicking away on Matt's wonderful camera. (unfortunately, I do not have said pictures). The night was full of fun, gook, and of course catching up with Becca and Keri.

That was not the end of our Halloween goodness. There was the actual day of halloween. I think the highlight was getting out of my car, seeing the kids in their costumes, and hearing ethan yell something along the line of "ellie" as he ran towards me. Nothing beats a little tiger loving you. Keri once again fed me, delicious soup, and then the kids and I headed over to the church for some good old fashioned trunk-or-treating. Ethan quickly became a pro trick-or-treater with the help of his older siblings. When we got to trunk-or-treating it was nearing the end so we didnt stay long. We headed back home and then the girls and I went to the town homes. My favorite was the women who made the girls each do a trick for their candy. Lorien just stood their and giggled. Eventually she realized there was no way Lorien could do anything but giggle and gave her a piece anyway. Then it was off to the magical neighborhood.

This neighborhood truly is magical. Old trees line the road with lamp posts. The houses are any little girl's dream home. The houses were decorated for the occasion, and the street was filled with kids. The best was the house that has candy for the kids and hot chocolate for the adults. With how magical the neighborhood was for halloween, we could only imagine the magic that it must have at christmas time. One sunday family activity will be going and seeing the lights. 

The night ended with the traditional pretzels and sorting of candy. My nieces and nephews are the nicest and each gave me a reese's when i wanted a single one. The pretzels were amazing- Keri is an amazing cook, and I tend to reap the benefits often. The conversation left us laughing until our stomachs hurt. The main topics. The song Friday and the abnormally large size of the hall family's heads. Tape measures were used. I am proud to say I had the smallest of the halls present coming in at a whopping 22.75 inches. Matt was the winner at approximately 23.75.

It was a wonderful halloween filled of good memories even if my costume was that of a study abroad student wearing jeans and a shirt from london, with a london headband and london ring. Dear london, thank you for the costume.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Forever and Almost Always

there is nothing like back posting. so here I go a week later... it tends to happen in my life where everything happens on the same night. March 12, 2011 was probably the worst day ever for overbooking. I think I had three things I HADE to be at all at the same time. It was a great lesson on priorities. EFY training beat out the rest. So this lovely friday evening consisted of a lovely work party that I helped plan, watching the football game with a friend, or a Parachute concert in SLC. The concert won, hands down. Rachel texted me earlier this week to invite me, and after much deliberation i decided a night out of Provo and away from the normal things of my life was much needed.

I rode up to the concert with Whitney, Rachel's sister. It was wonderful! I had met her a few times while over at Rachel's but I had never really gotten to know her. It was great to have one on one time with her to make our friendship more than "Oh she is the sister of my friend." With the lovely utah construction we had even more time to talk as we were stuck in traffic. We got to the concert and much to my surprise I saw Kate Voegele's name on the sign as well. I went from being kind of excited to very VERY excited.

The concert itself was wonderful, the music was great, and the performance was captivating. The only thing that would have made it better is if parachute had played forever and always. but alas they did not. I also learned that I am a midget. one of the many times i wished i was taller was at the concert and i craned my neck left and right to try to see the stage. oh to be tall.

the ride back down was wonderful and gave me a chance to talk to rachel, which is always a pleasure. She is such an example to me of having a positive attitude during hard times and keeping the faith. She is an amazing friend to have, and i was reminded of that as we drove back to provo. overall the night was a winner.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.
Bertrand Russell

i am one of those people who hates a quiet house. it makes me feel alone. I will have music playing, or a show in the background just to have human voices. but at times the quiet can be nice.

last night i came home from errands to find a dark, quiet house. I flicked on the lamps which gave our apartment a nice glow. It was one of those nights that it felt like it should be snowing to add to the magic.our apartment was silent. It was just me, no music, no noise. The only sound was the sound I made as I made dinner, or worked on creating decorations for our work halloween party. I was able to just think. And for once I was completely fine being alone. it was refreshing.

there is also something refreshing about taking control of your life. i talked about acting vs reacting the other day, and its so true. i love using my agency and acting versus letting my world control me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the simple joy of a letter.

there are a few things that without fail bring joy into my life. letters definitely make the cut. getting a piece of mail that isn't a bill, or junk mail, takes me back to the days where that was the only way of communication. Ah its just magical. I got a letter today from an EFY participant, and it made my day. She was one of the sweetest girls ever, full of spunk and attitude. She was one person who made me feel very tall, as she was only about three feet tall, but also made me feel very loved as she would smile and run up and hug me. There are times I miss the summer, miss the feeling of being someone important. Oh what this next summer will hold...

... as for now I have a letter to write.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

oh irony.

relationships are like teeter totters. one side up, the other down. perfection comes when both are equal.

do you remember that song by Alanis Morissette back in the day called ironic. meet my life. 

yep. thats it. 

oh yes, and im in love with the song maybe by ingrid michaelson. listen to it. love it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

its the most wonderful time of the year.

christmas is just around the corner, but after yesterday i might have to disagree that christmas is the best time of the year. Dont get me wrong, I am a Christmas enthusiast. I love the snow, the lights, the decorations, the magic. But fall with its crisp air, changing leaves, golden skies, and "jacket weather" might win out.

An old friend and I drove the Alpine Loop today. It was perfection. It is a road that winds up the mountains, showing the autumn leaves in all their splendor. The windows were rolled down and the air smelled so fresh. We made our way up to Cascade Springs which might be one of my favorite places on this earth. I showed him my "thinking bridge" and made him sit with me as we watched the water rush underneath us. Rascal Flatts serenaded us on the way home. I couldnt stop smiling. My cheeks started to hurt because of it. I was amazed how perfect life was, even if just for a moment.


I am constantly shocked i am not 500 pounds because I LOVE food. Especially good food. However being in college, poor, and extremely busy means my meals normally consist of "rice sides" or cold cereal. Very nutritious. Recently on pinterest (yes, I have become addicted with the rest of the female population) I see delicious looking thing after delicious looking thing. I have these moments where I forget I dont have time to cook and think of all the yummy things I am going to make. Reality quickly sets in when another night of rice comes to pass.

But exciting things of this week. It has been the week of delicious lunches. On tuesday a friend from freshman year and I went to the moa for lunch. The turkey harvest croissant made its way onto my plate. I could eat that every day and it would never get old. Who knew apples on a sandwich could be so good. Wednesday Megan and I went to the pendulum court for lunch. Neither of us had ever been, and she was writing a story on the theme day they were having. It was Rock n' Roll. I had the "I wanna hold your hamburger"  a gourmet hamburger that was absolutely amazing! Thursday was the moa again. We didnt have staff meeting so Megan and I decided to go to lunch to fill the extra hour. I branched out and got a chicken pot pie. It was the perfect choice for a fall day.

Moral of the story. I have spent too much money on food this week, but it  has been well worth it!

Here is megans article from the daily universe. She is amazing!

Pendulum Court holds Rock ‘n’ Roll Day

It's both the rotation of the earth and the bass beat that make this pendulum swing

Oct 12, 2011 by
Pendulum Court, the restaurant in the Eyring Science Center run by dietetics students, held a rock ‘n’ roll themed lunch on Wednesday as a way to attract more customers.
The restaurant featured “I Wanna Hold Your Handburger,” a gourmet burger stuffed with feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, and topped with mozzarella cheese, as its main dish. Sides such as “Jimi Hendrix’s Bleeding Heart,” a chilled fruity soup, and “Carry On My Wayward Scone,” a cinnamon and chocolate chip scone, were available as well.

'Sweet Dreams Are Made of This Cookie' and other rock-n-roll themed foods were on the menu at Pendulum Court on Wednesday.

Katie Aston, a post-graduate dietetics intern from Salt Lake City, was one of the interns in charge of the theme day. She said the restaurant likes to hold theme days twice a semester to have fun and attract new customers. To choose the theme, the interns started with the idea of a gourmet burger.
“We’ve seen a lot of trends toward gourmet burgers,” Aston said. “We wanted to do a burger, and thought the rock ‘n’ roll theme would fit that really well, and everything just kind of fell into place after that.”
All items on the menu were prepared from scratch, and recipes were developed specifically for the event. To begin, the interns came up with two different burgers, then had a taste panel decide which was better. After that, they had to rework the recipe, which was originally made in a small batch, to make enough for 150 burgers. A similar process occurred for all menu items.
Madeline Lindberg, a junior from Valencia, Calif., in the dietetics program, was managing Pendulum Court. She said although the atmosphere in a preparation meeting was more stressful than usual due to the high number of reservations, the kitchen atmosphere was more fun because they played music, and workers were allowed to wear a band T-shirt.
“Coming into the day I was a little stressed because I was thinking that this was a theme day, and it has to be good,” Lindberg said. “But really everything was so well prepared … it was actually fun today.”
Students attending Pendulum Court agreed it was a fun way to spend lunch. Ellie Hall, a senior from Chicago majoring in family life, said she had never been there before, but loved it.
“The food was delicious,” Hall said. “It might win out for my favorite place to eat on campus … I loved having the Beatles serenade me while I read trivia facts about different rock ‘n’ roll icons.”
Although Pendulum Court is less known on campus, many students agree it is a place that should not be missed, no matter if it is a theme day or not.
“I can’t believe I waited four years to go to Pendulum Court,” Hall said.

Living the Life of a Seven-Year-Old

I have a wonderful life.I might be a little biased but its true.

Tonight for Family Home Evening we had a childhood theme. It started with "Welcooome to Faaaamillyyy Hooome Evening" which always brings significant joy to my heart. Then Alison took us away with amazing lesson on President Uctdorf's talk from the Relief Society Broadcast. She recounted the analogy of looking for the golden ticket in life. There are times we are so preoccupied with the things we want that we forget what we have. We are so looking forward to getting married, or graduating college, that we wish our life away. Like in Willy Wonka, they stopped enjoying the chocolate because they were so focused on the golden ticket.

We then finger painted. So fun. Except I never know what to draw or paint. So i went with the typical tulip that covers the corners of all my notes as I doodle in class.

What made the night go from good to great were the treats! The girls in charge went way above and beyond the call of duty. They brought dirt cups, tatter tots, chicken nuggets, gushers, fruit roll ups, and fruit snacks.

Our FHE group is so wonderful, and everyone is so fun. We stood around and talked for a bit before people started to realize they had homework waiting for them. Even though responsibility still called, it was nice to escape adulthood even if just for a few hours.

Monday, October 10, 2011

the feeling of being loved.

I dont know if anything can beat the feeling of being loved.

The feeling you get when you are with your family. When you are sick and your mom will let you lay with your head on her lap as she plays with your hair. Kisses you forehead. A random text from a friend saying they miss you. Someone who will listen. A kind note. Someone yelling your name across campus. A father complimenting you. A brother telling you you are wonderful.

It is wonderful.

Today I went to church with a friend. She is trying to convince me to move into her apartment, and told me to see how her ward was. The whole time I was there I kept thinking about what I was missing in my ward. I thought of the people I wasn't seeing, the announcements I wasn't hearing, and the roommates I was deserting. I couldn't help but wonder if anyone who notice I wasn't there. Had I made a mark in the ward? would I be missed?

I went to our "break the fast" and was shocked when the first person I saw asked where I had been. Person after person noticed I hadn't been at church. Remember that feeling of being loved. check. I went from liking my ward to loving my ward in a matter of seconds. It ended up being a perfect Sunday. and it was a perfect fall day. perfection.