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

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? 


Monday, June 27, 2011

DIY weather balloon


Is this really possible?  And how successful is this?

Answer: YES. 

good case of the mondays

It's Monday! 

Usually we don't like Mondays... 

but I like this Monday because: 

- I am going to fill in as the receptionist at Dad's office. I love Santa Monica! 

- I have the night off from my other receptionist job, which means

- I can go have dinner with family friends! woot! 

Here are some funny things to start your day off right: 

This one's for you Cara, hope you feel better! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

paradise falls

Dear future husband: 

Some day, we will go to Paradise Falls. 

We will travel down to South America after having saved up our quarters dimes and nickels in a large glass jar. 

And this is what we will see: 

Iguazu Falls 

Found where Brazil and Argentina meet

Thursday, June 23, 2011

moments that matter most

This is so well done.  I love how our church can portray a prophet's words with beautiful effects that really enhance the message. 

mission prep 101.4 - "Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist"

R. O. U. S. 

Rodents of Unusual Size 

I have a  friend who served in Argentina (Christopher Cole) tell me he saw these creatures in his mission. I didn't believe him until he sent me a wikipedia link... and then I continued to research. 

"carpincho" or capybara 
One of the largest rodents in the world, weighing at 110lb. 

b ahahahaa 

They are found in the northeastern parts of Argentina. 

Here's hoping I run into one in Rosario - I gotta have one exotic animal photo op! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

secret crush / winner of the G7 Golden Globes

On Friday we had our ward film festival. 

The audience voted on the best film, and this is what they picked! 

Aaron Hatch is one talented fellow.  I've had this song stuck in my head {in a good way, I absolutely love it!} ever since Friday! 

luau on aliso beach, aka what heaven should look like

Let me paint a picture for you: 

I now work on Saturdays.  This leads me to a strong desire to do something incredibly fun the moment my feet touch my driveway, and at least talk with my friends in hopes that I can meet up with their fun they've been enjoying while I've been sitting working.  

I live for texts during work.  I keep my phone on silent but am mindful to catch a glimpse of my phone's screen every once in a while to see if anyone is kind enough to update me on what the rest of the world is in enjoying on their leisurely weekend day.  I am a receptionist, mind you - and if you've ever worked front desk you know you are bound to find at least a minute of down time when you can sneakily and gleefully reconnect with the outside world, even if it be for just a brief moment. 

A few Saturdays ago I got one of the best texts.  It was from Cecilly and it read something like "There is a Luau going on in Laguna tonight!  Come with me!"  You don't have to tell me twice when an invitation includes the word Laguna. 

If the location couldn't be exciting enough, the people sure got me even more stoked once we got to the spot.
I have never seen so many good looking YSA's in one place. 
This sight caused me to say, "I think Heaven should look like this. Yup. I quite like this right now." 

great dance performances - hula, haka, and others I don't know the names of... and an amazing dance following. 

I found these photos on the event photographer's facebook.  Looks like we made the cut. 

watching the dancers 

they pulled up the Bishop and other guys in the San Clemente 5th ward to show us their best "tiki face"

in case you were wondering, dancing on sand is difficult. 

 I am in this above photo.  Only part of my profile can be seen... a whole bunch of us G7ers are rockin' it in the top middle section. 

And yes, we danced around those tiki torches. Hair and skin were almost burnt {not mine} and after a few limbo games and congo lines the torches were extinguished.  In the end I guess we are all pyros. 


Later on, another friend said to me, "It's like we're in 'YSA the movie!'"

We concluded the night with breakfast for dinner at a diner a few miles south in Dana Point. 
It was great fun, and I hope to be able to attend more outdoor dances soon.
What is it about dancing outside that makes me so happy?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

happy first day of summer!

It's summer time. 

My friend Brandon is back in town. 
He says to me, "This summer has a lot of potential Hill Mill. We can make it a really good one if we want to."

I am so lucky to have an amigo like him who thinks like me!

And so I will start off this summer with this mentality: 

I want to have a really good summer.

Filled with 

More photography, 

More beach, 

More dancing outside {post to come on one of the best outdoor dances I have ever attended}

More watching the sun set 

More staying up late on Sunday nights playing cards with friends 

More going to the temple : )

More bonfires 

More free concerts 


This summer is going to be different in a lot of ways, but I know it can be a good different. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

flying colors

My employer at my receptionist job just e-mailed me 
"You have passed your probation period with flying colors"

The job is not-so-challenging, yet very detail oriented. 
It's the kind that keeps my mind completely focused on the job, from the minute I clock in to when I clock out, which is exactly what I need right now.  It's a perfect amount of distraction from my own daydreaming I tend to fall into when I have too much free time. 

What do I daydream about? 
Well, besides Argentina...  all the things I'd like to do before I leave, plus photography and film ideas... mostly good daydreaming things. 

I also was just booked to be an assistant for another CHP commercial {thank you father}
The crew I work with is always so positive, fun and willing to teach me. 

AND I am shooting my friends' wedding {yes friends, as in I actually met the groom and then the bride separately before they started dating!  They are probably the best looking blonde and blue-eyed couple I have ever seen.  And I get to make a rockin' video of them!! In Newport! I am pretty stoked.} 

There is something so wonderful about being busy, and needed, and praised for my work. 
I am glad I have these opportunities - to not only improve my skills, but to work in an area where I feel like I am helping people and always having fun. 

Having fun + camera in hands/doing something creative + making people smile + being part of a big event + getting paid for it = dream job. 

I hope amazing comes along my way, because it's been pretty great so far... 

Friday, June 10, 2011

young women : queens in training

I am in the midst of finishing a talk that I will be giving on Sunday for a Young Women Recognition Program, where a few girls will receive their YW Medallion after completing their Personal Progress.  To learn more, click here : ) Even I learned something new when I was doing a little research.
Do you know what an Honor Bee is?

Since we are talking about ladies, here are some things I've found recently: 

found while blog stalking. It reads:

"Invite others to come unto Christ"
"Teach by the Spirit"
"Dominate the Elders"


The following corresponds with what I'll be talking about.

 "Sisters, regardless of your age, please understand all that you are and must be, all that you were prepared to be in royal courts on high by God Himself."  Margaret D. Nadauld,  "The Joy of Womanhood" October 2000 General Conference 

videographer - march wedding

I was 2nd Camera for this awesome wedding in LA.
My friend Lars was kind enough to teach me a few tricks with his fun equipment.
Check out his other work!

Here is a preview he edited of their wedding day:

I love filming weddings! 
It was really fun to see the bride getting ready, looking nervous/anxiously excited in front of the mirror, smiling, slightly shaking, greeting her female friends as they entered the dressing room.  
You could feel the excitement in the air. 

I also loved hearing the toasts at the reception.  The groom's buddies were funny, and you could just see so much love and camaraderie through their years of friendship as they watched their friend start a new life with his new best friend, his bride. They are such a handsome couple!  Don't you love the way she danced so properly?  She is such a lady.  

The reception was held at Lawry's!  Prime rib baby! 

The guests also became more entertaining as more alcohol was consumed. 

Hmm, I was going to end there, but let's not. 

This was one of my first times where I handed off what I filmed for someone else to edit.
It felt incredibly refreshing to be honest.  All I had to do was wait and see what was to come of it after having fun for a few hours with a nice camera! 
I do enjoy editing my own work, but this was refreshing to see someone else's style combined with all the great things they shot.  Good work Lars! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

google is coo-gle {cool}

someone please go on google and make a better recording than the one I have done

This is genius! 

Happy Birthday, AE Jones!

Today is my friend Ashley E Jones' Birthday! 

Last summer Ash was in LA as an intern and became a part of our G7 crew. Now she is back in Utah  working as an assistant publicist for Deseret Book in Salt Lake! 

Here are some fun things we have done together: 

Wakeboarding/boating with the boys - one of our first times hanging out!

Girls' night out - Dodger game 

Her birthday party last year! 

Hill J's baptism in August last year

When I returned to school for my last semester Ashley invited me to attend the Relief Society Broadcast with her and her darling mother!  Such a great evening. 

She also came down to Provo when I was in town in April when I announced that I was going on a mission!  She served a mission in Germany, so I am planning on asking her a lot of questions about being a sister missionary before I leave!

She is one of the sweetest girls I know. Always so loving and positive, and has great advice too! 
One day, {I am convinced} she will return to her good roots in California. 

Miss and love you Ash!  Hope you have a fantastic day!