Saturday, January 21, 2012

volleyball jammin

happy volleyball game. now that megan works for the paper our daily conversations have been cut down to monthly. So Megan, Miranda and I decided it was time for a reunion. tonight we went to the BYU v USC volleyball game. It was epic- for multiple reasons. One being it went all five games and at the end it was way too close for comfort. No worries, we won. Second reason was I won an iPod Shuffle.

How did this happen? It all came from knowing Jason Sanders. I walked in and yelled hello to him as he was working the game. A few minutes later I got a call, "Where are you sitting". He came and found us and asked if I wanted to win an iPod. My answer was "Of course!" So after the first game I played are you sharper than a cheese grater in front of everyone. A little nerve racking. Lucky for me the audience helped out a lot. The questions? Is Atlanta, Georgia located on the coast? False. Pluto was recently demoted to a...Dwarf Planet. Thank you BYU Athletics for the new iPod- it is perfect for running.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

pretty much the bestest parents ever.

William and Cate on their wedding day. note the similarity to Prince William and Kate Middleton
my parents are in town. i love them. well technically my dad left yesterday. they came in on Saturday because my nephew turned 12 and was receiving the priesthood. how did he get so old?? but it has been so wonderful having them in town. They are probably the most generous people ever. My dad filled my gas tank, replaced my headlight, replaces my windshield wipers, and helped me wax the scratches on my car. Not to mention they paid me to not go to work on Tuesday so I could play with them more. And by play I mean play while working on projects at Matt and Keri's. To continue on their generosity. My mom took Keri and I to Brick Oven on Monday for lunch. I got teary eyed I was so excited. Followed by Spicy Thai with the whole family on Tuesday for dinner. I also got teary eyed I was so excited. Yes food makes me that happy. Followed by a Mother Daughter date last night to Zupas. Yes, I know, their generosity is ridiculous.

The other day my mom was telling me about when her and my dad were engaged. She said she felt bad for her newly married sister because she only thought she was in love. My mom thought there had never been a love greater than her and my dad's love. I am very grateful to have two parents who love each other after 35 years of marriage. Especially in a world that doesn't value marriage. They are wonderful wonderful examples to me. Also check out my dad's sweet tux.
serendipity moment. On the list of things to do was another girl lunch date after work today. I have a cousin who recently moved down to Provo who I have yet to seen, so we decided it would be great if she was able to come. I texted her about it, but unfortunately she was going out of town in the morning. So as sorry, Cate and I were sitting talking at Zupas she just happened to walk in. We were able to sit and talk while she ate. It was one of those kind of perfect moments.

also to add to the reasons i love my dad. he dances with me. it is probably my favorite thing in the world. while we were at Matt and Keri's he grabbed my hands and started twirling me around the room. My little niece, Ari, just watched. I have to say my dad and I are pretty good dance partners. It could be that we have been practicing together for the last 21 years. but it still brings me as much joy now as it did when I was five.

My dad and I circa 1992. Check out that amazing handle bar mustache. He is a hoot!
take home message from this post: I love my parents.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

efy dreamin

All men of action are dreamers.
James Huneker

oh the efy dreams have started again. January. i think this is a new record. last night was an interesting night of sleep. I woke up probably about five times. But it was the- "oh yes! I get to go back to bed" type of waking up. Why was I waking up so much? Because I was late. In my dream I was in Batavia and had to get to a Sunday Night Devotional that was 2 hours away in fifteen minutes. It was awful. I woke up feeling scared and nervous and terrified for this summer. Don't get me wrong, it will be a great learning experience and Im excited. but still slightly terrified. oh yes did I mention that I am officially coordinating this year for efy. 9 weeks straight of my life will be spent jetting around the midwest with efy. It will be great. 

sad (but then exciting) story. in one of my awakened moments I reached for my phone to see what time it was and in the process knocked over the new jewelry tree I got for Christmas. luckily, only the jewelry I had worn the day before was on it. however, as I went to pick up the missing pieces my favorite ring from london was missing. The rose one. The one I went to portobello road to get after dreaming about it for a week. I spent the day distraught. But what was the first thing I did when I got home from a long day of classes and family time? you guessed it. a thorough search of my room. I am proud to say that I my efforts were not in vain. But seriously sleepy ellie is clumsy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

new year. new "talents."

You know that feeling of "i should do that" but you just don't want to. meet blogging. the fact that I use it as my semi-journal gives me this feeling of obligation which then makes me try to avoid it. Which I think I have done a very good job of lately. I started a "happy 2012" post and I only made it halfway. Still unfinished. One day it will come. But exciting things of my life aka updates.

I learned how to quilt. Thank you youtube and for teaching me how to make a quilt. I had left over fabric from a project I had done forever ago, so the obvious thing was to "just make a quilt with the leftovers" there is no just in making a quilt. It took forever. Parts were so fun, other parts enjoyable, and other parts made me hate quilting and never want to do it again. The fact that I dont like making decisions made it even worse. Questions like "how big are you going to make it?" or "what fabric do you want for your border, backing, binding....." made me want to curl up in a corner and forget about the quilt. But after an hour at hobby lobby talking with Julie (the very nice worker woman) we finally made decisions. I also learned I hate basting. Thank you Cathy for doing that for me while I watched youtube videos on how to free motion quilt.

where i spent my Christmas break was spent
Free motion quilting. sounds way scary right. cathy was asking me lots of questions (which stresses me out) about how i was going to quilt it. If i was going tie it, or if I was going to hire someone to quilt it, or if I would do it myself. Considering I am cheap and dont like the way tying looks- so doing myself was the winner. as scared as i was- i loved it. love love loved it. add it to the list of new talents.

free motion quilting...woowhoo!
next talent. demolition and construction.

My brother and his wife just bought a new house in Orem. Well a new, old house. Meaning there are lots of projects and remodeling. I have filled my days with chipping away at concrete, painting a cold storage room, and using power tools. It has been wonderful! They have been nice enough to save the "fun" jobs for me. Next projects. Installing a toilet, and cutting drywall. To say im excited would be an understatement. Weird? Maybe.

what else does 2012 hold? hmmm maybe I will learn how to speak a new language....adios.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

ive been hoppin for the last 45 minutes...

friends. how i love friends.

rachel morgan and I finally got together after having not all been together since efy. (Morgan had the audacity to go to DC for an interniship) we met halfway (rachel had moved to salt lake) at thanksgiving point where I ran quickly into a friends wedding reception before we went to din din. we had no plans on where to go, so our plan was to use the drive by and see what looks good. what was the winner you ask? IHOP. yes folks. IHOP was the winner. why? because I got overly excited about it (cate and I had for some reason really wanted to go over winter break).

the three of us with sami in MO. the lit up the marquee for us. That auditorium was the most beautiful thing of my life
our waiter loved us. he was the bestest. we had soo much fun. I dont know the last time I laughed that much. ironic moments with the smallness of the world, and life updates made the night perfect.

one of the wonderful moments of the night- we were discussing our sadness with rachel moving. we were talking about how you cant just hop over- you have to drive for 45 minutes and then what do you say "yo rach, ive been hoppin for the last 45 minutes" unfortunately it doesnt work that well.

moral of the story. i love those girls lots.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hello Winter Semester 2012. I think we are going to get along.

New Year. New Resolutions. New Semester. New Outlook. oh boy, so many new things. it's all kind of exciting.

I will admit that in the hustle and bustle of welcoming in the new year with family in Chicago, I failed at writing down my resolutions. A friend told me if you didn't write them down that day they didnt count, i disagree. So while I was a week late I took the time to look at my life, where I am now, and where I want to be come 2013. At church we talked about how goals should be something you want to become not just something to do. Truth it is much better to accomplish a "to do" rather than a "to be" but that why you set small ways to accomplish your goals. Or so i think. major goal. Become who my heavenly father wants me to be. holy huge, right? my guess is it will take a life time to finally accomplish this one. but no better day to start than today.

so i have lots of random thoughts today. excuse to choppiness and randomness of this whole post.

second thought. i've realized I am stubborn. If you had asked my mom she could have told you this years ago. But my stubbornness comes from my want for independence and control over my own life. Heavenly Father has a funny way of getting around my stubbornness. I like to plan my life out. I like security. And I like what's comfortable. But it seems like heavenly father always has something better in store for me. Had I gone with my "plan" two years ago, I wouldn't have met some of my very best friends, I wouldn't have gone to London, I wouldn't have worked another summer with EFY, and wouldnt have learned the same life lessons I have now...the list goes on and on.  Heavenly Father just has funny ways of showing me, but I am grateful he loves me enough and knows what is best for me.

last year I went to a devotional with President Holland, Elder Holland's son, at UVU and it was absolutely amazing. He talked about wilderness experiences and the song Lead Kindly Light. With my desire to plan out my life the line "one step enough for me" gets me. i want that to be true, I want my faith in my heavenly father to way out my desire to know what my life holds.

I love love LOVE this video. It is so great for new beginnings, new years, and new adventures. At one pooint someone says something along the lines of "you cant look back, so you might as well live forward in the best way possible." I might have butchered that quote, but its so true. The past is the past, no matter what you do you cant change it. But you have the ability to change the future. You can be constantly getting better, so dont dwell on mistakes of the past, or things you wish you had done better. learn from them, and live for tomorrow.

Sorry for the random musings. I tend to compartmentalize my life. I have my colony life, my batavia life. my EFY life. my mountainwood life. my london life. Which makes life really easy. I tend to not miss people because I dont think about it. It's not because I don't love them, it's just that they aren't normally part of that life. It makes it easy to not dwell on people I miss, but it also makes me horrible at keeping in touch with people. I am the worstest at it.

Oh brother I am amazing at tangents. back on track. winter semester, and why it is so great.

Im in a moral foundations of family life class. and i love it. the professor is perfect. he is old, grey hair, dresses like a professor, and actually knows how to teach. He explains these new concepts of moral agency in a way that makes sense. But what makes the class even better is its application to everyday life. We had an assignment where we had do think of a time we denied a thought to do good, self-betrayal, and what our thought process was. It was amazing to look back and realize how ridiculous I can be at times. But for real. Moral of the story (haha pun.) it is a wonderful class.

the end of my random tangents and musings.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What are the odds.

Today as I was walking home I ran into the wonderful Sean Brown who is married to the beautiful Cali Brown. His first words "My wife is wearing that shirt today" we talked a little more and I found out he was going to visit the dear right then. I tagged along. We went and said hi, he left for class, and Cali and I talked for almost an hour. It is amazing to have friends where you can go months without seeing and it is like you were never apart. It was a grand grand moment. And we cherished the fact we had the same shirt on, the same shirt from camden market in London. (I will admit i copied her in buying it)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

once upon a time there was this thing called christmas

once upon a time in a land far far away, there was a family that loved each other very much. these pictures show their adventures over Winter Break 2011.

they went to see the christmas carol.
*it was my first time seeing it. it was wonderful. and warren was my cuddle buddy for the majority of the time. i loved it.

they practiced their modeling skills in downtown chicago while they waited for their deep dish pizza at Giordano's

they ate the most delicious pizza in the world. and loved the team work needed to get the pizza onto the plate because of the cheese.
*look at warren in the picture. cutest kid ever. also James became potty trained over the break. it was very traumatic to go in public places. example a. giordano's

they walked to the German Market and on the way they saw a slew of Santas who were going on massive bike ride through the city. but dont forget the dradle.

they explored the german market and saw lots of amazing things. all very over priced. but beautiful.
*the top left picture is of a decoration we used to have. you put candles in and light them and it causes the decoration to spin. ours caught on fire. it was slightly my fault...only slightly. the story goes. I had lit it and then my dad called me to help him with something. my mom said it was okay to leave it. when i came back it was in flames.

they had fun exploring the rest of the city. the windows at macy's and seeing the huge christmas tree. they went in the old public library and saw the beautiful architecture and domes. they raced to the car. and tried to stay warm all bundled up.

on sunday they tried their hands at some crafts. making little mitten ornaments. we all took a turn practicing and learning to sew. while they weren't perfect they sure had fun. 

and the finished products turned out great.

they ate chocolate. lots and lots of chocolate. and shared with the little guys.

and they made chocolate covered pretzels. after all it is tradition. that night they got a present as a family. 17 Miracles. they watched all together and marveled at the faith of the Pioneers.

the next day they made their way down to Naperville to visit the papa bear at work. they ate at the cafeteria and toured the tunnels. The little guys even got security badges.

*warren loved the penguins. he would go up look at them. get closer. touch them and then run back to his mom and laugh. he would hug her and then go and do it again.

they loved playing. they loved to play games and have fun. dr mario tournaments were had. brackets and all. ticket to ride and scum. puerto rico and mormon bridge. games galore. but on tuesday they got out and played a new game. they went bowling. it was a fun game. and a close game. but cate won out of us all.

*probably the best way to keep warren from running off. good work jeff!

the fun and games were not over. they brought out their crafty sides again to make gingerbread houses.

 Becca and Jeff, and James and Jonathan made gingerbread trains. Becca and Jeff recreated the last year of their life with each side representing a different aspect. Jonathan and James was perfect and showed that a little kid had made it. More candy might have ended up in James' mouth than on the train but that is half the fun.

Chelsea and Ellie were Gingerbread house making buddies. It was epic. Chelsea made a stained class window! Intense! They didn't know what to on the back so we made our house have a snow drift in the back. and then they put snow everywhere...they call it "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"

If you thought this family had reached the fun limit you were wrong. They still hadn't had their annual dart gun fight. This year was double the fun, because Becca and Jeff were leaving before Christmas. What does that mean? They just had to have Christmas twice.

Chelsea brought the heat. Jeff found a great hiding place. Super Safe. Poor Warren, was so cute, and a perfect target.

*notice the dart stuck to the diaper. i almost peed my pants.

probably my favorite picture of bill ever.

The filled Christmas Eve with traditions. They had Pizza Hut for lunch (a Hostetter Family Tradition). They ordered two. Received four. Paid for three.

They followed the pizza with a wonderful, traditional, Christmas eve dinner. Ham, potatoes, the whole enchilada. Dinner was followed with acting out the nativity.

*I was joseph and a sheep. We dont type cast

That night they all went to bed hoping that Santa would come. At he did not disappoint. He even ate the cookies they left for him. But while Santa is magical, there is nothing more magical that Christmas with little kids.

*Jonathan and Chelsea gave me a UofC zip-up. I loved it. So so soft. 

*Chelsea asked for a garbage can with a peddle lid. This is what she got. When you opened it it made the sounds of water bubbles. The kids LOVED them. Lets just say bill was not on the top of Chelsea's list.

 Christmas came quickly to an end, and the once loud bustling house became quiet. very very quite. So it became time to complete projects. This year's project. Quilting. The house that was once taken over by toys quickly became taken over by fabric.

The monotony of quilting was broken up by the excitement of a New Year. The celebration was too exciting to celebrate in little ole Batavia. So Ellie picked up and went down to the city to celebrate with Jonathan and Chelsea. Sparkling grape juice and all.

They had lots of fun playing while Jonathan finished a few things on his dissertation. The favorite game was jumping and climbing on the love sac, quickly followed by playing with Ellie's phone.

*quotes of the day from james:
Ellie: James why dont you have a shirt on? (silence) Is it so you can show off your abs?
James: YEP!

Ellie: James you're adorable.
James: Ellie, Im not a door. The door is over there!!

Needless to say, I was laughing a lot.

Another funny moment: Warren loved riding around on his little car with this hamburger in his mouth. He would just bite down and go. So so funny!

Once the kids were in bed they played games like never before. 7 wonders and Small World were the games of choice. There was lots of learning, and explaining but they had fun strategizing. They had so much fun they lost track of the time. It was 11:58 and when they realized they should find a way to watch the count down. No television made life tricky so they just did there own, and guessed how many seconds were left. They had amazing guessing skills because their countdown ended right as their phones changed to midnight.

The Hall Family had lots and lots of fun over the winter break and made many fun memories. At the end they all went their seperate ways, but they all lived happily ever after.

The end.