Tuesday, September 6, 2011

wave hello again

By the time you read this I will have been set apart as a missionary. 
Gosh, that sounds so surreal and far away from now... it's really only three days from when I am now writing this.  

After Sunday, August 28th,  I discovered that I hate goodbyes.  I choose to use that word sparingly. I don't hate a lot of things in life, and it's comforting to know that I am sure I will not be able to find a decent human being who would love saying goodbye to the ones they love.  So I will say it again:  I hate goodbyes. And doing it over, and over, and over again on Sunday evening and again on Thursday evening and this weekend was really hard for me.  

I may or may not have scripted my desired goodbyes in my head; crafted careful phrases to express how I feel about those who helped raise me, helped teach me, loved me, shared adventures with me... 
and those choice words flew right out the window when the moment arrived.  I could not manage to form any other words except, "Thank you" or "I love you!" or "I will miss you SO much" and I may or may not have said more than once, "I want EVERYONE here to come with me to Argentina!" 

SO. In my efforts to redeem myself from my sad inability to express how I feel when I wanted to, and to wipe away the tad feeling of possibly not sounding genuine because I was lost for words when I last saw you, I am solving everything by not calling these moments "goodbyes".  They are what I will call "momentary partings."

In many cultures where Spanish is spoken ¡Adios! {literally translated to mean "Go with God." Cool, right?} is used less often than ¡Hasta luego! or ¡Hasta pronto!, or my favorite ¡Chau! which mean "Cya later", or "Cya real soon!"  or "Ciao."  

And that is how I feel about all of you.  This is just a momentary parting, not a goodbye forever.

"And if you never stop when you wave goodbye
You just might find if you give it time
You will wave hello again"

I ran on the San Clemente beach while listening to this and I couldn't help but post all of the words.
And no, I did not come up with a reason just to be able to mention my favorite John Mayer.  Nice try.  

Wheel by John Mayer

People have the right to fly
And will when it gets compromised
Their hearts say "Move along"
Their minds say "Gotcha heart"
Let's move it along
Let's move it along

And airports
See it all the time
Where someone's last goodbye
Blends in with someone's sigh
Cause someone's coming home
In hand a single rose

And that's the way this wheel keeps working now
That's the way this wheel keeps working now
And I won't be the last
No I won't be the last,
To love her

And you can't build a house of leaves
And live like it's an evergreen
It's just a season thing
It's just this thing that seasons do

And that's the way this wheel keeps working now
That's the way this wheel keeps working now
And you won't be the first
No you won't be the first
To love me

You can find me, if you ever want again
I'll be around the bend
I'll be around the bend
I'll be around,
I'll be around
And if you never stop when you wave goodbye
You just might find if you give it time
You will wave hello again
You just might wave hello again

And that's the way this wheel keeps working now
That's the way this wheel keeps working now

You can't love too much, one part of it (repeat then fade)

I believe that my life's gonna see
The love I give
Return to me
I believe that my life's gonna see
The love I give
Return to me
I believe that my life's gonna see
The love I give
Return to me 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

sundays are the prettiest days

Today I 

Saw a huge rainbow while driving home from church 

Laid down on the grass in the backyard and watched the clouds 

Danced in the rain with my sister 
It was a sunny kind of rain - but the sun was setting, so the clouds were bright pink and orange! 
There was another rainbow, amazing! 

My last Sunday home. What a beautiful day! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Laura & Austin - wedding video

Check out my last project before I head off! 

On August 13th my friends Laura & Austin got married in the Newport Beach temple and had a beautiful reception at the South Coast Collection.  I probably will never see another wedding like it!  Everything was perfect, from the weather to the location to the food and music - but especially the two happy families that were constantly having fun and laughing throughout the day. 

1st camera & editing - hillary nicole
2nd camera - lars lindstrom 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

mission prep 101.7 - music for the soul

I have recently acquired a nice little pile of CD's that I will be taking along with me on my mission. 
{Courtesy of my buddy Jake}  Included is a wide spectrum of what may or may not be allowed for me to listen to while I am serving {some mission presidents are more strict than others}.

I have yet to listen to all of them, but so far I have discovered that I now possess songs from: 

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir - beautiful! 

The Prince of Egypt Soundtrack - chills 

EFY music - memories 

Josh Groban - so talented! 

Spanish Hymns - ¡para practicar! 

And I just now rediscovered one of my favorite gospel albums while browsing on my dad's old MacBook.  That's right gospel. As in Hallelujah! gospel. 

I may or may not burn a CD to listen to on my way to church next week. OH and bring on my mission.
Once upon a time, before my rock solid video iPod died, I would listen to Gladys Knight and her choir on Sunday mornings.  And usually these listenings were by myself, so I was free to sing as loud as possible with my wannabe gospel choir voice.  I do remember having my roommate Alyssa listen to it while we got ready for church in the morning, and I think she liked it! She very well may have just been trying to be polite. I will never know.  The best connection I had with someone else and this album was while studying abroad in Italy.  The back of our bus was the grooviest thanks to these soulful songs. 

Crossing my fingers that my president will feel the same!  Whether or not, you should consider listening to this album.  Especially Come Come Ye Saints - it's like MoTab meets The Lion King! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

enjoy the little moments

These past few Sundays have been really great ones.  I don't know if it is because we had incredible speakers and testimonies or if it's me trying to hold on to everything about G7 before it escapes me. 

Last Sunday during Break the Fast I received some really valuable missionary advice from my friend Charan.  He told me there will be hard days, no doubt about that. He said he got stuck in a rut at one point and his companion helped him turn his attitude around once he started to enjoy the little moments. He said time will fly and you will have a blast as long as you find fun one day at a time. 

I am a huge fan of that mentality!  
I have a newer notebook where I write down the little beautiful things that happen everyday. 

Some of my favorite small moments as of recent: 

people watching at the South Pasadena Farmer's Market

watching my friends learn the Lindy 

Riding a mustang at Griffith Park with my family

holding little Callie in church 

I also had videos from my dad's iphone to post here, but they didn't work. (help?!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

what makes me happy? swing dancing

Tonight I went swing dancing (east coast and lindy hop) with a whole bunch of friends from my ward at a place called Lindy Groove in Old Town Pasadena. 

Let me tell you - I was beyond excited to go because it had been two years since my last visit and I was looking forward to see how my friends would like this different scene. 

Long story short, they are hooked.
Glad they finally understand what I have been loving all of these years! I must admit, I have been keeping this love tucked away for awhile with my recent work schedule and my other love for temple nights and salsa dancing.

Cat, you missed out!  And all you other G7 readers... you're next too.
You may get bit by the jitterbug and like it. 

I will never stop loving the groove of the lindy hop.

We were also privileged to see this amazing performance: 

{The video was filmed earlier this year at Camp Hollywood}

Dancing makes me happy. 
Dancing to old music makes me happy. 
Dancing with cute old men who have great style makes me happy. 
Dancing with guy friends who are just picking up Lindy Hop makes me happy. 
and watching my friends get caught up in what feels like a time warp back to the 40's makes me really happy : )

Monday, August 8, 2011

one month

I have one month left before I leave for my mission!

It is starting to sink in.  Every time I am with my cousins, playing games with my family, or hanging out with ward friends I become really nostalgic and sentimental thinking back about all of our good memories we've shared.  I am going to miss everyone so much. SO so much.  I wish I could bring everyone along with me so I could share this wonderful experience with them! As of now I have three friends who would like to sneak into my suitcase.  Any more takers?  

I thought that around this time before my mission I would feel a little panicked about all the things I need to buy and tasks I must complete before I leave.  Instead I just feel this great need to just be with the people that I love.  Unfortunately there is not enough time to have nice long heart-to-hearts {as I like to call them} with my favorite people. But I am doing as much as I can as I am now done with work {except for one really exciting project - shooting my friends' wedding this Saturday! woot!}

18 months. A year and a half.  September 2011 - Spring 2013.  Wow. 

I am trying to imagine what Argentina will be like. I daydream about it often:

Answering people's questions about Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, and the temple.
Speaking in Spanish 24/7 {I can't wait!}  
Eating steak with chimichurri sauce.  
Having a companion. 
Watching people's lives change. 
Service. Non-stop service.
Talking to anyone and everyone on the street or bus.
Living in a modest apartment with unreliable appliances, 
killing cockroaches, 
and praying to never encounter large furry spiders.  
{Don't worry, I've already had a nightmare about that.}
Walking in the rain. 
{Call me silly, but I love the rain. I am convinced that I will still love it after walking in it constantly on my mission! You can hold me to it!}  
Keeping my artistic hunger satisfied with cute sister missionary outfits, hair accessories, and hair styles. 
{This girl is about to become the girliest she has ever been. Get ready!}
Dulce de leche. 
Walking on a dusty trail beside a corral of horses. 
Kids speaking in "vos".   
Pronouncing words with "y" "ll" or "rr" with "j"/"sha".  
Seeing miracles happen everyday.  

I am starting to think what it will be like when I see my little cousins in 2013. How many inches will they grow?  Will they have lost all of their baby teeth?  Will the littlest ones remember me?  

And my sister!  My buddy Brandon was teasing me the other day and said, "What if she got married while you were gone?" I didn't laugh. I got kinda freaked out at that idea.  Em, don't even think about it. 

And my G7ers - will they still be there when I get back?  Will a lot of them "graduate" and be married?  {I have a guess that two of my girl friends will be engaged soon : ) }  Will they go on to get master's degrees?  Will they move?  Will they get amazing grown-up jobs? 

  I know a lot will happen while I am gone, but I am looking at all of this as a exhilarating, breath-taking adventure into the unknown for everyone! 

Newport Temple, with my parents, Emily, and my cousin Heather after receiving my endowments. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ride the Wave

This weekend provided me with a big metaphor, and I felt that I should share it with you.

I am a huge fan when it comes to beautiful motifs I find repeatedly within a brief moment in time.  To me it feels like a gentle whisper from the Spirit, reminding me that Heavenly Father is not only looking out for me by providing me this beautiful message through nature or life, but he is also speaking my language.  I am learning that the Spirit is this amazing tool that speaks in specific ways to specific people and will speak to us depending on how we are listening, what level where are at, and what environment we are in! 

  Late Friday night my friend Liz and I decided to go for a walk by the beach near where we were staying.  We discovered that the San Clemente Pier does not close until midnight, so we ventured out onto the long wooden platform that stretches out into the dark waters. Yes, it was creepy looking, but rest assured there was a surprising amount of young people and families walking around, fishing, and taking pictures considering the time of night.  When we reached the very end of the pier all we could see was pitch black.  On the edges of the coast, southward and northward, we could see the city lights stop abruptly at what seemed to be a black wall.  Below us we could barely make out the outlines of the breathing ocean; its swells moving up and down, the ripples of coming waves moving slowly toward us, under the pier, ultimately breaking onto the shore.  I had never seen the ocean in this way before!  Liz shared this amazing analogy with me. She said something along the lines of, {I wish I could remember word for word!} "I was near the ocean one time and I started thinking about my life and certain unexpected changes and challenges I have gone and am going through.  I looked out and thought of this.

The ocean at night is this amazing metaphor: You can only see so much ahead of you into that darkness, just like the future.  We just have to trust God because he can see everything, and even though we don't know what kind of wave is coming, we must remember it will be beautiful because it is comes from Him!"

Then today another metaphor hit me, and it made me even happier because I could tie it into the first! 

Sister Price, our bishop's wife, made a remark to all of us after Gospel Doctrine class.  She stood up and said, "Please know that Bishop and I love you very much.  How do I know that the Bishop loves you so much?  How can a 64 year-old man be able to stay in the water all day and keep pushing out girl after girl on their surf boards?  I don't know how except for he does it because he loves you." Bishop and ten other dads from the La Cañada ward put together the 2nd Annual Relief Society Surf Day at Dana Point yesterday.  It was my third time ever surfing, and Emie's second time {she did it back in eighth grade!} and we were lucky to have the Bishop help both of us.   Sister Price's words helped me realize that in life we have amazing leaders, fathers, mothers, older and wiser and more experienced people who are there right behind us, yelling "Keep paddling!!!" and don't ever leave us alone in the ocean, or in life for that matter!  My parents are right behind me with my choices in life.  They say, "Don't give up!" when I feel frustrated about jobs, social conflicts, and even dating.  Sometimes Bishop gave us girls a push on a board to catch the wave, but after we got the hang of it, we starting catching our own waves! Even still, our "Surfing Dads" were still there when we returned once more to give us tips if we asked for it.  The best part of the surfing day was seeing Bishop's thumbs up and big grin after I finally caught a bigger wave on the shorter board.  "You did it Hill!  You figured it out!" as well as hearing other girlfriends and leaders on the shore cheering.    Great metaphor, right?  

We are surfing through life.  We might have a different board than someone else because we are going through different experiences. We don't all catch the same waves, but oh, when we do it is one beautiful moment! To be able to share the same struggle or even a triumph with a friend is a blessing; a cherished and special moment because we know almost exactly what the other is going through.  Francesca Ricci and I caught one or two of the same waves, and we couldn't help but laugh and shout cries of excitement as we were riding the wave simultaneously.  

(I took this in 2007 at T Street!  That's San Clemente Pier in the background)

I must say that after surfing all day and watching amazing surfers along the pier Saturday evening really got me thinking about wanting to surf consistently when I get back from my mission.  There is so much more I can add to this metaphor, but I will let you experience it on your own the next time you are on the waves or by the beach.  

Here's a great quote from a surfer at the end of Jack Johnson's "Breakdown"on the September Sessions album:

"I think one of the big lessons you learn about surfing is how to operate in the present. That's really what the entire foundation of the surfing experience is."

Take a deep breath
keep paddling
and don't look back.
Remember: it's going to be one sweet ride. 

(I don't think I took this picture, I just found it in one of my photo albums. Credit to, Em or Cara?)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I think I became a bigger fan of this wonderful Pixar Production after I discovered I will be making adventures of my own in South America. 

It's been ages since I've been able to cross any films off ofmy list! 

I finally saw Evita all the way through. The history is really quite interesting, though I wish there was more dialogue to explain more specifically what is all going on.  Musicals can only be so historically rich because they want to still entertain you!  I wish all movies about Argentina could be this beautifully shot.

I've only seen bits and pieces of this from film classes, and I caught the first hour last night while Dad was watching it. 

The young Christian Bale is pretty talented.   

And I'm watching this right now.  What is it about cunning sneaky criminal films that gets me going?! 
The music, the main titles!  I should watch Ocean's again, now that I think about it.... it's been too long. 

heather's engagement photos

Skip over to  hillarynicole.com  to see some photos I took in May of Heather & Austin for their engagement. 

Ok, okok, one sneak peek: 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

mission prep 101.6 - how to get a Visa

Here involves one of the craziest conglomerate of steps I will probably ever execute in my life.
I have never re-read directions so many times or triple-checked, no, quadruple-checked my work as I did for obtaining my Visa for Argentina.  
I will say that this could have been worse - I am grateful for how short the lines were and for every employee who helped me with a smile! That was the most surprising because I was preparing for a DMV/Jury Duty-esque  environment. 

Take a big breath. Brace yourselves.  Ready?  

1.  Obtain a Passport (done and done back in 2009!)

Scan in every single page of your passport and e-mail to the Church.
Make two black and white copies of your photo/signature page of your passport

2. Obtain a Police Letter of Good Conduct 
A notary must be present. There is no notary on site at my city's PD, so I had to have a notary meet me, which costs extra. 
Location:  my police department 
I have a clean report!  Who would've thought?

3.  Obtain 2 copies of Certified Birth Certificates
Location:  East Los Angeles 
(In order to request a birth certificate, I read online that I needed to get a notarized certificate of identity.  Turns out I only needed that if I was doing this by mail! Oh well, better to have done more than necessary, right?) 

4.  Send the Police Letter and Birth Certificates to the Secretary of State to request apostilles for each document. Write a cover letter explaining your need for these documents for a Visa for Argentina.

What is an apostille?  It is an authentication of a document that another country approves. Basically I have to prove to Argentina that I am a real citizen of the US/California and that I am not a criminal.  Who knew it would take 100 miles of driving and over $100 to get signatures and papers with seals to prove it?! 

I discovered I needed an extra step.  Instead of mailing my documents to Sacramento's Secretary of State office, I wanted to do everything in person in the DTLA office so I could get everything done in the same day and decrease any chance of anyone misplacing these valuable papers.  In order to do this, my notarized Police Letter needed to be authenticated by the county clerk!  I was worried I needed to go back to the LA County Registrar in East LA where I obtained my birth certificates (which were printed with the county clerk's signature), but after more research online and calling the DTLA office I discovered I needed to go to an office in Norwalk.  ? 

New step:  Take the Police Letter of Good Conduct to have the notarized signature authenticated by the county clerk. 
Location: Norwalk
(Isn't a notary already authenticated?? Oh geez...)

5.  Take 4 color professional photos, cut 1.5 x 1.5 inches 
You must wear missionary attire.
Do not smile, do not wear glasses.  Right ear must be showing {awkward chuckle}.  Move hair if necessary.
paperclip photos to passport 
Location:  First the Post Office.  They were too expensive and could not zoom out to compensate for the smaller size. They suggested AAA.  They were extremely helpful and gave me 6 photos for half the price! (They let me keep the test run)
And no I am not posting them here. 
Oh - almost forgot - because AAA also could only make 2 x 2 inches, I had to go home and cut them myself. I discovered that there was not enough head room, so I scanned, uploaded, and slightly shrunk my photo to fit the dimensions.  I wonder how someone would be able to complete these steps if they didn't have photoshop?  

This is all the driving I did in one day with my Mom.   I had already received my birth certificates a few days prior with my Dad in East LA. 
 1.  Norwalk for county clerk signature. 2. Downtown to the Ronald Regan building to request apostilles. 3. The temple's distribution services to get what I needed before going through the temple {and that my friends, is a post for another day. In short, we are going to be ordering online from now on, or trekking out to Upland if necessary.} 

I sent the following items in a big envelope to Salt Lake:

My actual passport (I was nervous about that)
My awkward photographs
2 black and white copies of my passport
2 Birth certificates with attached apostilles 
1 Police Letter of Good Conduct - notarized and county clerked and apostilled

I must admit, as educational as this was, I never want to be this stressed about paperwork again. 
If anything is wrong or lost, I will be. . . more than a little peeved. 

Update:  ahaha.  I just called Salt Lake and my photos did not pass the test because they were not clear enough!  The lady in the office also told me that the requirements changed - my photos can be a traditional passport photo, meaning I can face forward and it can remain 2x2 inches!  Oh goodness!

I just have to laugh at all of this : )  I am glad that I have the resources and time to do everything. 
Argentina, I hope you're happy with this wild goose chase I am running for you! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

heather's wedding

Today was a beautiful day for a wedding! 

My cousin Heather was sealed to her sweetheart Austin for time and all eternity in the Newport Beach Temple. 

Here are some of my photographs I took today.  She was so beautiful, had the greatest smile on her face, and had the perfect dress!  I loved every minute of it and was so happy to be able to witness the event : )

Friday, July 8, 2011

the magic never dies

Next week is when "it all ends,"  but I don't believe it.

Even though I have pretty spectacular plans the eve of the midnight showing next week, I am a little sad that I won't be able to dress up with my friends and watch it on the first night with them.  
Hopefully I can find someone who wants to see it again so they can accompany me on my first viewing! 

When I get back from my mission and I have some down time from work, I will re-read the books through a whole new perspective.  I was barely out of high school when I finished the 7th book, so it's about time I experience Harry's adventures in a new light.  There's something great about experiencing a favorite story multiple times at different stages in life.  I can recall feeling differently after viewing Little Women from when I was very little to just a few weeks ago.  You can see yourself in a character different from the last, and you have more experiences yourself that you can bring to the table.
I love stories. 

As for the great HP, this is nowhere near the end!  There may not be additional films or books, but I will definitely read Harry Potter to my future children!   How lucky are we to have had this unique opportunity to watch an incredible and enchanting world form before our very eyes.  Well, it doesn't stop here.  The magic will never die. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I love fireworks

And I love them even more so now that I know how to take proper photographs of them! 

(thanks to marcello, who is very talented.)

My friends and I watched the Rose Bowl fireworks on the Fourth of July on a hillside adjacent to Chandler School.   I was so worried that my friends wouldn't get to the spot in time because parking was insane - but they did! I wish I could properly tell their story of how insane it really was.  
It involved Liz driving down a street that became narrower and narrower, lots of honking yelling and cursing (not from them, claro), some attitude from some sassy female who poked out through her sun roof, and clever Lars asking a neighbor if the group could pay them ten bucks to park in their driveway. They were happy to report that no windows were broken or tires slashed upon their return to their vehicle.  

I think I found a great spot for future Fourth's. 
(My next one here will be in 2013!  How insane is that?)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day!

Emily played me this song a few years ago, and I absolutely love it! 


What are you doing to be patriotic? 

I am wearing the denim shirt I found in my Mom's closet of old clothes. 

I am going to the BEACH to play with the little and big cousins! 

I am going to watch HUGE fireworks with friends!! 

I may light a sparkler or two. 

Have a wonderful Independence Day today! 

How blessed we are to live in such a wonderful country. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

sparklers in the backyard

The other night my two friends, Ash Mills and Jake, and I were having a hard time figuring out what we should do with our evening. We had eaten dinner at Cafe Río and had no other plans. You should have seen us sitting in Jake's driveway.  We didn't drive out for a good five minutes as we tossed ideas around. Bowling?  Karaoke? Movie theatre? Other parties we heard about were too far away... 
Finally we decided to buy sparklers at the fireworks booth and do Night Graffiti! 

We had Chase Cole come over too!  The above photo is our sad attempt to spell "MOO"

A Duel.  

I've saved the best for last: 

Tripod + DSLR + 4-8 seconds with the shutter open + rogue explosions from ghetto fireworks that don't last more than two minutes = lots of laughter +  cool memory made 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Congratulations, Alana!

Last night my good friend Alana got engaged! 

This was especially exciting because I remember the day when Steve and Alana first met. 
It was exactly a year ago yesterday! 
I invited Alana to come to the huge bonfire FHE at Dockweiler Beach the LA and Santa Monica singles wards throw during the summer months. 

She and I drove separately because she came straight from work.  I vividly remember only seeing her after I got out of the restroom. She was heading off to throw a frisbee with some guys and had a big smile on her face as she said, "You are welcome to join us!" I watched from a distance - I saw her talking and tossing frisbee amongst a handful of USC Dental students, one of which was a Mr. Steve Johnson {or should I say Dr.?} I thought  I think she is really enjoying this bonfire activity!

Alana and Steve started dating soon after that. 

Just last week I attended the first Dockweiler bonfire FHE of the year.  I was thinking about Alana and Steve, actually, when about half an hour into the bonfire I received a voicemail from Steve himself! He had never called me before, so I knew immediately why he was calling.  We played phone tag for a day or two and finally I heard "So next week I am planning to propose to Alana at the place where we first met last year!" Perfect!  And it was the perfect proposal - check it out on Alana's family's blog

It would have been even more perfect if I didn't have to work that evening - Steve wanted me to photograph the magical moment on the beach!  But I did get to see them back at the Finlay's when they returned, and I snapped these: 

On the phone with her brother Ian. 

Alrighty, let me explain these purple cups.  This tradition was unbeknownst to me until last night.  This is one of many fun traditions the Finlay's have {such as random nicknames and a competition to see who can visit all 50 states first! So fun. I love them.}

Growing up, each child had their own color cup; two cups came in each color.  When James got married, his wife, Megan used his color cup... and I guess it turned into a "ceremony" for the new member of the Finlay family to officially use the matching cup.  

Now it's official! 

Sis. Finlay examining the ring


She didn't know I was coming over, so it was great to hear her squeal of excitement. 
I loved when she said, "Everyone knew but me!"

This is pure happiness right here : )

Way to go Steve.  You picked a lovely ring, and an even more lovely girl : )

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

let's make a deal

So you might have heard that Jimmer was drafted to the NBA on Thursday. 

I got chills when I heard my University's name called from the pulpit at the NBA Draft. 
When was the last time BYU's name was mentioned during the first round?? Such a great moment.

I was joking with Dad when I told him I've been using the Secret  to get Jimmer to California. 
And you might be thinking, "Why were you hoping to have him go to the Sacramento Queens??"
My plan will be complete if the team actually does end up moving to Anaheim. 

He later said, "You know I think he's engaged."

and I thought, I don't care! As long as it doesn't affect his crossovers or insane 3-point range. 

Dad also said,  "Did you know there is still talk about there not even being a season next year?"

Hmm... coincidence that I will be gone on my mission where I wouldn't be able to watch basketball for 18 months?  Is this another possible result of me using the Secret?  We'll never know... but I would be okay with that.  NBA, just wait for me! Let's make a deal, put off the season until I get back, and I could recruit for you.


Welcome to California, Jimmer.  You will be the only reason why I would watch the Sacramento.. did I say Queens?  Oops. 

mission prep 101.5 - how to look your best

I have just finished looking at every page on the new Dress and Grooming Standards page on lds.org

I can't get enough of our church's website. 

Talk about professional and attractive!  I am even more excited than I was before about wearing fun and colorful outfits in Argentina. 

Check it out! 

even make up tips! 

Get ready for my favorite part. The skirts. 

Melanie- is this similar to the skirt you mentioned??

I found a pattern to make this kind of skirt. 
I'm thinking emerald green with a white trim. 

I am obsessed. 

I am also laughing at myself considering these are pieces you see anywhere in stores, but they are so much more desirable for me to own now because I know I can wear them as a sister missionary! ! ! 

This is a big deal. These examples are better than the ones included in the mission booklet!

New additions to the shopping list/ suitcase list {things I already own}: 

wide belt 
my red Gap pea coat

I have this already!

Oh, and speaking of cute coats, check out this one!

{I had no idea she was on this until I went for more screen shots of my favorite coats, haha!}
What a cutie. 

AND hopefully I can raid mom's closet in hopes to find something older she wouldn't mind parting with.

{just fyi, the clothes are just examples, they are not for sale on the site.}

Ok, I don't think I've ever said this before... ready?