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.
|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.|
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...