Saturday, June 30, 2012

city of beautiful.

meet nauvoo. my love grew. so will you. heres the to do. 

Go to the temple. Our nightly routine (at the beginning of the week) included scripture study/journal writing/pondering outside the temple and it was absolutely perfect. 

Go to Sunset on the Mississippi and play with friends.

Go to Carthage. Take Sara Bailey (the sweetest girl with down syndrome) with you, and hear her testify of Joseph Smith. Your life will be changed.

Visit the Nauvoo Cementary. Feel the spirit that is there, and the beauty. Ponder the sacrifice people gave.

Take this girl with you. Kjersti has more love of Nauvoo and its contagious. And be prepared to sweat a lot. 
Take the advice of signs, and go in all the cute shops and fall in love with everything
Have a mission call overnighted so you can open it in Nauvoo
Show how excited you are for Kjersti to open her mission call in the Seventies Hall (the original MTC)
Watch a friend open their mission call. Riverside CA, spanish speaking. Tears are optional.
Go to Annie's and get custard. I recommend Salted Carmel with Heath. Oh yes, and take your favorite people with.
if you do all those thing you are guaranteed an amazing week. plus throw in amazing youth, the 168th anniversary of the martyrdom, a musical program, late night meetings, lots of cereal, new caterers, no cell service, air conditioning, and your own bathroom. life is perfect.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yo Pod...

Happy Father’s Day to this guy…

I count myself blessed to have had William Mackey Hall as my father. He is one of my favorite people in the world. He is wonderful. I am definitely daddy’s little girl at heart.

A short list of the reasons I am grateful he is my father
  • We have a similar sense of humor- we will laugh and laugh over a “stuck” open gas tank, or a missing plate of food.

  • He has a way of making me feel so loved- I don’t know how he does it, but I never doubt he loves me. When he comes in town I know I am a priority in his life.

  • He is my favorite dancing partner- we have been dancing since before I could walk. He will dance with me anywhere. One of my favorite memories was dancing in front of everyone at a high school jazz concert. They invited people to come up and dance to “unforgettable” and no one moved, no one besides Bill. He grabbed my hand and up we went. It was perfect.

  • He is kind and friendly to everyone- growing up he would wave to everyone, as we would drive places. I would ask if he knew them, he would smile and say no and then wave at the next person.

  • He is bald- it made for lots of funny jokes and perfect “dopey/snow white” kisses as a little girl
  • He has awful fashion sense- I love more than anything his overalls and flannel shirts in the winter. His sneakers with black socks (he doesn’t do this anymore). And old t-shirts and hats.

  • He thinks he is still 20- It is great, because I still think I am 7, but he does not seem like an old fogy

  • He is active- He still loves biking and skiing. Stay active is important to him. Who else will take their daughter on a freezing cold bike ride Christmas Eve day in Chicago?

  • He will take me skiing- because he loves it soo much he will take us skiing when he comes to town. He is the nicest.
  • He loves the gospel and has taught me to love the gospel- its just the way he lives his life. It is part of everything he does.

  • He is patient- he rarely gets mad, and will handle all of our imperfections.
  • He will tell me when I am being ridiculous- I still remember the day he flat out told me I was being prideful. The worst part was he was completely right. I am so grateful that he would help me see when I am not being the person I should.

  • He takes care of me- he will help me with my car and things I need help with around the house. He makes sure I have everything I need.
  • He helps me be healthy- he will buy me new running shoes so I don’t get injured and has helped sponsor many a race

  • He gives the best hugs- growing up with inside the coat hugs and bear hugs were the best
  • He is a great grandpa- he will play with the little guys and chase them around the house.

  • He tells amazing stories- both from his life (he was a crazy teenager) and bedtime stories.
  • He teaches me- I know how Air Conditioning ducts, Christmas lights, and many other things work. He will take the time to explain anything.

  • He has an answer to every question- even if he doesn’t know the answer he will think for a bit and then come up with a logical answer than makes complete sense
  • He provides for our family- I have never had an opportunity taken away because of lack of money. I was able to do gymnastics, dance, soccer, band, etc. because of him.
  • He is frugal- he has taught us that you get water if you go out to dinner, and that’s if you go out in the first place. But because of this we were able to go on vacations.

  • He is not competitive, but secretly is- We will play games and he will just give people cards they want- but somehow seems to still win somehow. Karma.
  • He is aware- if I am having a rough time he knows and is great at comforting me. There was once he called me about bike stuff, two minutes later he called back, “Ellie, is everything okay- you sounded like something was wrong” In truth it was that I had just woken up from a nap- but he knew something was different and cared.

  • He is a worthy priesthood holder- I have been given countless father’s blessings, and have seen the difference in my life.
  • He is always happy- he just has a sparkle in his eyes and is always jovial.
  • He is selfless- he spent hours making ice skating rinks, balance beams, and helping us with homework.
  • He writes in all caps- I have no idea why this brings me such joy- but HALL on everything we own just makes me smile

The list goes on and on. He really is wonderful- I wish every girl was able to have him as her father. I have seen myself looking for many of the qualities I have seen him in my future spouse. So boys…take note.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

yvan velasquez.

there are times in life where everything just seems to go wrong. but there are other times that things just seems to work perfectly. You are in the right place at the right time. that was what happened today at work. I wasn't supposed to be there. I wasn't supposed to be at the window. But things worked out perfectly so I was able to meet yvan velasquez.

He was one of the most amazing people I have ever met. He needed help applying for financial aid and wanted to know what was available to him. At one point he said, "I hate debts" but with his strong accent I didn't understand. I heard "I hate dates." I clarified and we laughed. The girl next me made a comment of "me too" and he then gave us one of the most wonderful pep talks of my life.

He talked about life, and just not worrying. He talked about trusting in the lord's timing, and just taking life one step at a time. To not worry about the future but to live life. He was a sergeant in the Army and told us how fragile life is, and to just love life. He talked to me about prayer, how it is not a formal conversation. But a conversation with your FATHER in heaven, how should talk to him just like we are talking to each other. Expressing our concerns, and what we know. Telling him all that is important to us. Yvan was wonderful and we talked for over half an hour. I am grateful that work was slow so I was able to spend the time and have him uplift me. He came in needing help, but helped me more. He left telling us over and over again- have hope, and letting us know that the spirit shines in our eyes.

He made my day. and changed my life. and all because people had training and I needed to change where I was and stay on the window.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I feel like I am falling apart. Literally. My body just aches- it’s the worstest. Last night I was so excited to climb into bed, curl up with my blankets, and have a restful night’s sleep…  I spent the night wide awake. I tried problem solving. First thought- My body needed food. When life gets stressful and busy I forget to eat, and my stomach has been hating me of late. Yesterday my day consisted of a banana and a bagel. So at 1 30 in the morning I made a trip downstairs and had a quick snack. Back up to bed- nutrients in store. No luck. 2 00. Still wide awake. The math started. If I fall asleep now I will get 4 ½ hours of sleep. I switched directions in my bed (my head where my feet were) with the hope that having the wall on the other side would help. It gave me a whole new perspective of my room but no sleep. At 2 30 I resorted to music. Maybe I was just thinking too much. I listened until my computer ran out of battery. No luck. By 3 30 I gave in and got IBprofen. My body was still aching and I couldn’t get comfortable. (side note: I am not a fan of taking medicine when I am sick, I have this thought that if I only use it when I absolutely need it, it will work better…) I am sad to say it didn’t help. I laid in my bed watching the hours tick by. 5 o’clock came. 1 ½ hours if I fall asleep. Thoughts of waking up and going to the gym crossed my mind. What else was I going to do with the extra time? Reality check: Ellie, your body hurts, you didn’t sleep a wink- what in the world are you thinking?! So I laid there and watched out my window as the sky changed colors- I finally accepted the fact that I was not going to sleep. It was beautiful and peaceful. I had no problem getting out of bed in the morning (one advantage to being wide awake all night) and was ready with time to spare. 

Dear body,
You are not allowed to do that again. We need all the sleep we can get. deal?
A very weary Ellie

Saturday, June 2, 2012

an eight year old little girl...

I start blog posts and never finish them. dear life- please stop being busy

My dear Arielle Oara Hall turned eight last month. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in Panera with Keri talking about what they were going to name the baby on the way. Today she was baptized. It was beautiful and tender and I was so grateful to be able to be there for her baptism.

As we sat waiting for it to begin, I looked at her in her dressed in white. She was grinning from ear to ear. I just sat there thinking she was still the four year old girl I remember. When did she grow up? How is she old enough to realize what she is doing? Is she really ready to be accountable for her sins? My thoughts were put at ease as my father stood and talked about baptism. It is at this time that we BEGIN to be accountable for our sins. It is not like yesterday was a free for all, and now you are expected to be perfect. We are all progressing, and with the knowledge we have we become more and more accountable. I looked at my niece and her excitement and was so proud of her. After being baptized she came back in dressed in her beautiful white dress. She was radiant. pure.

We went back to Matt and Keri's for some lunch and family time. I had a one of those wonderful father daughter talks. They seem to be far and few between since I have moved away from home. He had something in his talk that I had never heard, that I instantly fell in love with. He told Ari that she might not feel any different after she was baptized. He recounted the day he had married my mom. He had gone up to her later and asked if she felt any different. She responded that she felt same. She then told him the change didn't come when she made the covenant, but when she fell in love. He told Ari that she might not feel any different because the change had come when she fell in love with the gospel. So my dad and I talked. We talked about change, love, dating. He gave me his advice, to which he put the disclaimer "you must do what is right for you- take this for what it's worth"

Another moment came when I went downstairs to grab the fruit for lunch. I hadn't seen Ari, so I peaked my head in her room. "Ari, are you down here?" a muffled "yes" came from under a blanket. We went on to talk about what was wrong. She wanted to wear what she was wearing but her other grandma told her to put on play clothes rather than the pajama like clothes she was wearing and she didn't want to. We talked. We talked about how important it really was for her to change, why her grandma might have asked her to change, why she didn't want to change. Once the situation at hand was diffused- our conversation switched to the exciting events of the day. We sat there on her bed talking about what it meant to her to be baptized. We talked about the sacrament. It was one of those special moments, one that I loved and will remember for ever and always. She followed me upstairs with the promise of being my buddy during lunch.

The rest of the day was filled with naps and a trip up to heber. We had the priviledge of visiting my mom's cousins who are serving missions at the Heber Valley Camp. It was the coolest camp...ever. complete with challenge courses, volleyball courts, cabins, nice bathrooms, a lake front with paddle boats and canoes, they had the whole shabang. Family Reunion 2013. it's going to be epic. (ps I am missing Family Reunion 2012 because of EFY, to say I am sad would be an understatement. thank goodness for technology that allows us to keep in contact)

my paddle boat buddy. not smart in a dress.
such a good little canoe-er
the extended family

Life today was wonderful. I am so grateful for my family and to have them so close. I am so blessed.