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.
"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. scrabblecheat.com. 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. lds.org. 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!!
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.
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.