Monday, April 27, 2009

Summer 2009: We're Just Trying to Cause some Trouble

I'm here: Springfield Virginia. The 703. The DC area.
Whatever you want to call it, it is stunning
These three and a half days here have felt so much longer. I'm exhausted and it's probably a mix of the humidity, working out with Jessi (the machine) and just trying to figure out my new surroundings. I'm fascinated by all the differences and all the similarities.
The most interesting this is the dynamic of working people here.
DC is to Politicians/Military 
as
San Jose is to Computer Geeks
I have already learned to love Hank's tirades on the going-ons of the capitol and all it's people and pretty much everyone I've met is connected to the government/military somehow. It's definitely a different dynamic and I'm soaking it in. Call me SpongeHilary-YogaPants.

I say yoga pants because Jessi has a strict PT schedule and Bikram Yoga is every Tuesday and Thursday. (I'll let you know how my first session goes tomorrow) I'm pleasantly sore from the gym because it's been a while since I've worked out regularly. Jessi's obsession fixed that.

As for Virginia, it's exactly what I expected and yet a constant surprise. Driving from BWI (Baltimore Washington International Airport in Maryland) to Sidenstricker Road filled me with memories, thoughts and excitement. I'd forgotten the world gets warm and stays warm (VA stays warm all night too. Humidity. I'm loving what it's doing for my hair.) and that the smell of cut grass means summer.
The roads are all lined with trees. Birch I think. Something about it reminds me of driving in Palo Alto and it's comforting in it's newness. I have to say though, I've fallen in love with dogwoods. Those trees are gorgeous and they're everywhere! the distinct white and pink flowers accent the carpet-like lawns and Manor style houses. It's a whole other world in the "south" and I'm fitting in quite well despite my blasphemous California-self.

As for my living situation, I was a little unsure at first how I was supposed to fit in. That has already been destroyed by the Molinengo's hospitality and Hank's obsession with making everyone comfortable. We're already shipmates, Hank and I. It makes it easy to know how I can pitch in and feel like I'm not intruding.

All in all, this newsy post sums up to one thing:
 I'm happy, I'm healthy and I'm helping.
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Goodbye Winter 2009

I am officially done with the 2008/2009 school year and I couldn't be happier.

Today as I walked home from my last final I couldn't help but be bouncy from joy. I was walking home with nothing but sun in my life. I was wearing my white summer dress with wavy summer hair under the white blossoms and warm sun. There is no better way to end a long winter than with solid grades, happy weather and an adventurous future.

Then, (as if a perfect packing session wasn't good enough) McKenzie and I went to dinner. We try to make it a regular-ish habit, and it's always amazing. We usually get a light dinner (tonight it was bread twists and salad from the Pizza factory) and then just make the most of our payment by  nursing Diet Coke and just sitting in the restaurant and talking for hours. (Tonight's bonding lasted 2.5) Unbelievable to think how we didn't get along at all in the not so distant future. Thank goodness for growing up! McKenzie is the BEST confidant one could ask for and an even better little sister. Listening to her describe her newest passion (El Salvador and micro-somethingorother) and her almost new passion (Austin Hyde) reminds me of why we became best friends. She's a champ. Hands down.

The Hurst kids can't help but be obsessed with each other. BTW.

Yesterday Philip, Liz and I went over to visit Boyd and Betty and take Aunt Betty some gorgeous flowers Philip did a fabulous job of picking out. They'll find out Wednesday afternoon if the surgery was successful and give her more information on how this round of cancer looks. Betty is so strong. She looked tired, but after so many fights with cancer she looks beautiful. Hopefully she'll overcome it this time as well as she has before.

I'm getting ready to head off to DC and I'm getting a tiny bit of the nervous excitement I had before Berlin. Still can't believe I'm not coming home to San Jose.
Dad, I'm so excited to see you Thursday before you head off to Colorado and Mom I miss you tons.

LOVE!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Faces and Memories

(L-R Top row: Silvia Ruggieri, Erin Miller, me, America Ruggieri,
Jessi Molinengo, Kinsi Suttner, Ashlan Schofield 
bottom row: Allyse Pixton, Bridgette Balkman, Tiffany Miller, 
Chelsea Short, Lauren Wilkes)

One of our games was the TP bride one. Tiffany picked Erin (far left)
as the winner because it looks most like Tiff's real dress.
This has been dubbed our Family Portrait.

As I sat watching the mix of girls gathered at my home I couldn't help but wonder what the mother's were thinking. What was Fran (who belongs to Jessi Molinengo) throwing around her mind? or America Ruggieri's mother? What was her quiet fa├žade masking as a dozen 2o-year-old women buzzed about her?
What does any mother think? Poor Tiffany Miller's (the bride-to-be and reason for our gathering) mother was frantic that she couldn't be a part of her daughter's bridal shower. All she ever wanted was to watch her daughter's excitement manifest itself: to laugh as Tiff shyly tried to get out of dancing for the crowd, to cheer as Tiff giggles at lace-y lingerie, to smile as Tiffany laughs and discusses life with her girls.

And so I wonder; what do parents think of as they watch their children? What memories are inspired by differences in lighting or that specific shirt their offspring happens to be donning?

I sometimes wish I knew what Hilary my parents see. Do my tired eyes remind them of that one time at Red Iguanas? Does the summer breeze remind them of Lou's clam chowder? What thoughts exist at specific moments? Sometimes the unfolding, dark, curly haired baby still trying to blink through the bright lights. Other times the bone-headed toddler just trying to do what she wants. The next time view reminds of the awkward middle-schooler with Rapunzel hair. And maybe even at times the tall teenager standing on the swim block, ready to win. (And maybe even go all the way across the pool without stopping. Either way I get a medal, right?) 

I know that as I sat there watching my eclectic gathering of friends, I was impressed by how awesome we are. And I say awesome in every sense of the word.

First, because of our history. Almost everybody there came from the BYU 15th ward. 2 years out and we've still go each others' backs. We all care about each other and I was shocked by how comfortable we are with each other. There were topics discussed on a level that proved how much we trust each other. Not only that, but we realize how unique our connection is. Our freshman ward was unbelievably tight and we still are. Even the married/engaged girls are excited to see our guys get home from their missions.
The second reason the gathering is such a fun people-watching experience is because we all got along despite the fact the twelve of us are from different "groups" if you will. We all just clicked (including the non-15th ward friends) and conversation just flowed. You know those super awkward pauses where you're not sure who to talk to or what topic you should bring up?
Yeah, that moment? Those didn't happen.
And as far as I could tell, there were very few conversations that completely excluded people.
And as we interacted, I had those moments where one person's micro-emotion threw me back to almost forgotten instant.
Jessi's version of the McNasty screams of late-night dorm craziness and army crawling.
Kinsi's facial expression takes me back to Berlin.
Tiffany's knowing smile tells of the moments shared only by those who understand.
Each laugh tells a different story and brings back those thoughts not inspired by any other moment.
My girls (and it is the first time in my life that I really do have "girls") define who I am. They remind me of the best parts of me and have given a hand in sanding down my rough joints. They allow me to be ridiculous and love me for it. They are the keepers of the unique parts of my life.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Testing...testing...

As I sit contemplating what will interest ya'll I realize that this whole blogging thing is weird, and it'll take me a little while to really get use to it. So, until then, bear with me. Thanks.

Random stories from the week:
First-This week I got the score on my benchmark (For my news-writing class we had to watch a news conference and then write a story on it. It's graded on a 50-40-30-20-10 scale and you have to get at least a 30 to apply for your major.) I was really worried about it, but I got a 50!! I was so stoked because that will help me in applying to PR and it means I pretty much did a perfect job. Way excited.
Second-Taylor Jarman finally shipped off to army basic training this week. JeffGeorge and I drove him up to Salt Lake and I gave him a hug goodbye. I'm good, nothing emotional, but he is one of my closest friends so I'll miss kicking it with him.
Third-I registered for Fall semester 2009 classes and I'm excited. It will be a crazy semester but I'll have Fridays off which will be really nice.
Fourth-I really want a scooter/motorcycle. (Sorry Mom, I had to say it. But, I'm not getting anything just yet so no fears.)

Let's go from the ridiculous to the sublime, shall we?

Today is Easter, and as some of you may know it is the end of the Catholic holiday Lent. For those of you who don't know, Lent is a time of fasting where one gives something up to help them remember Christ and prepare for Easter. While that may not be the official definition, that's what I interpreted it to be. On Fat Tuesday (aka. Mardi Gras/the start of Lent) McKenzie, Philip, Liz and I got together to celebrate and McKenzie made mention of the fact she tried to give up Diet Coke for the 40 or so days preceding Easter. It was weird how strongly it hit me: I should do that same thing. (Side note: McKenzie made it six hours. Haha. I'm sorry, I just thought that was funny) So I did. 
It's been really interesting how the experience effected me. 
For the majority of the time, I didn't think much beyond that fact I had to have water with my Wingers or hamburger, but this weekend has made the entire sacrifice worth it.

This week is Holy Week in the Catholic perspective. It begins with Palm Sunday and continues with Holy Thursday (The day Christ atoned for us in Gethsemane and the last supper) then Good Friday (the day Christ was crucified) then Easter Sunday (The day Christ was risen). 

Normally I just think to myself, "Oh right, it's Good Friday. Why the heck doesn't BYU give us the day off? Notre Dame would be so ashamed." but this entire weekend has been very tender for me. I won't get into details, beyond one story, but I will let you know that I have felt Christ's sacrifice in a more personal sense and I know that our Father in Heaven loves us. 
My one story:
I had my English 218 - Creative writing class on Good Friday and we read the poem "Saint Judas" by James Wright.

When I went out to kill myself, I caught A pack of hoodlums beating up a man. Running to spare his suffering, I forgot My name, my number, how my day began,
How soldiers milled around the garden stone And sang amusing songs; how all that day Their javelins measured crowds; how I alone Bargained the proper coins, and slipped away.  Banished from heaven, I found this victim beaten, Stripped, kneed, and left to cry.  Dropping my rope Aside, I ran, ignored the uniforms:
Then I remembered bread my flesh had eaten, The kiss that ate my flesh.  Flayed without hope, I held the man for nothing in my arms.
WHAM. It hit me: Christ died so that we could become more like him in every way. Here was Judas the betrayer who sold Christ for 30 silver coins (the price of a slave) spending his last moments in complete selflessness. I hope you'll find your own meaning in the holiday, but I'll just leave you with the knowledge that I found something very dear to me this year.
I love you all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I have officially given in

I'm now a blogger. Ech. I will admit it's a huge pride buster to say that. But, let's be honest, it's not that bad.
In my English 218-Creative Writing class we were discussing different things (I'll spare any of you who actually read this the entire story) and for some reason it hit me:

1-Instead of doing weekly emails I'll do a blog so I can post pictures and people can find it more easily.
2-I already have a blog set up from my English 312-Persuasive Writing class last semester.

So here we go. I don't promise anything, but hopefully this will keep people updated on my life and what the heck I happen to be doing because heaven knows I'm not very good at keeping in contact. I'm sorry.

Thought for the night: I don't know what I'm going to do without JeffGeorge's movie room next year. That thing is ballin' and he's unbelievably kind for letting me crash his place so often.