Thursday, March 25, 2010

a belated birthday tribute...

In typical "Hillary style"... I managed to put off my Dad's birthday tribute and now I'm a day late! (Sorry Dad!) But... better late than never right?!
I have to start off by saying I think I have the best Dad in the world! He's the first one to admit he's nowhere near perfect, but in my opinion, he's pretty close ;)
I've made a lot of special memories with my Dad over the last 23 years... some are more vivid than others obviously, but they're still special. One of my favorites has always been going fishing in the early morning before he headed off to work. After Lissa was pooped on by a bird one time, it became a 'just Dad and Hill outing' :) Even though I've never been a morning person, I really enjoyed getting up and going fishing. I remember we always listened to Guardian or Petra (our "cool" music) cranked right up (guess that's how we woke up!) and sometimes even leaving the tape in and volume up just to give Mom a little surprise the next time she used the car ;) Sometimes... (ok, it was probably every time!) we stopped at Tim Horton's so Dad could get a coffee and I got a hot chocolate. Those were some special trips, Dad and I'll always be thankful that you were willing to take me with you on your fishing trips and I'll never forget your patience as you tied yet another lure on my line because I got the last one stuck in the mud or tied in with the reeds!

One other very significant time we had together was when we went to Uganda together. It was so special to have Dad share my passion, and see him be stretched in ways he never would have expected. What an incredible experience to be able to introduce him to my African family and show him around Mbale :) Thanks for beeing such a good sport and for displaying a willingness to step out of your comfort zone for the sake of spreading the Gospel. I loved seeing you so fired up after we had gone out with our teammates sharing our testimonies and saw people coming to Christ!
Another thing that I love about my Dad is his "soft side" and compassionate heart. He's always full of sympathy and always looking for ways to help people. He's a great listening ear and has a deep and genuine love for people.
Dad's also quite a trooper when it comes to the dates I drag him on... from taking me to the zoo to going to concerts, he's always willing to do anything to make me happy :) Here's two of my favorite pictures from one of our zoo dates..

Dad sure has taught me a lot of life skills over the years as well... how to throw a football and a baseball, how to drive, and how to love God with all your heart. Thank you Dad for the countless times you've given up your newspaper to play catch with me, put down a book to let me sit in your lap, and most of all, thank you for teaching me how to be a shining light to the world and love others as God loves us!

I love you Dad! Hope you had a fantastic birthday! I'm looking forward to making more memories with you in the years to come! :)

(any guesses who the better skater is??)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

another addition of the Saturday smile list :)

Well hello again! Sorry for the lack of blogs... these days my life isn't too blog-worthy! I've been working on my Statement of Faith for Christar and that's pretty much it! I have certainly enjoyed being at home all week, being able to stay in my pj's all day... and also do things around the house to help out my Momma and make cookies for my Pappa :)

Anyway, I've tried my best to keep track of the things that made me smile this week and here they are...

-discovering that it is not a wise choise to have a blow drier and a straightener running at the same time! what can I say... I was trying to be efficiant with my time and I had my straightener warming up while I was drying my hair! Apparently the breaker didn't like that idea! :P


-finding a birthday present for Dad

-watching a pregnant Mom play with her son and a little bouncy ball on a lovely sunny, spring day

-the sun! funny how you don't realize just how much you love it until it goes away for a while and then comes back!

-laughter and 'inside jokes' with Mom and Dad

-having someone ask me in church during the greeting time how to say Good Morning in Japanese

-a wonderful Sunday afternoon nap :)

-a 3 hour phone call with Ang :)


-Minute to Win It

-The Amazing Race

-having an unlimited long distance plan for anywhere in Canada AND the States! (aka having the freedom to call someone special in Maryland any time I want!)

-wearing my new flip flops around the house just because... ok, so I'm weird... and a little anxious for flip flop season!

-crossing things off a to-do list

-accomplishing goals and finishing things!

-having someone to help me set goals and inspire me to meet those goals :)

-being able to open the windows... and hear birds chirping outside!

-discovering there's a Japanese church in Winnipeg!


-yummy desserts!

-a spontaneous trip to the park and the mall with Sheila :)

-talking with Drew and Izzy on skype :)

-a big muscular man walking through Wal-mart holding two small potted rose plants..... awwww :)

-new hot pink nail polish for my toes :)

-perfectly timed e-mails ;)

-Mcdonald's breakfast... especially the hashbrown! (and the fact that it was brought home to me by Mom and Dad on Saturday morning)

There you have it... life is still good and I'm loving it!
On a side note... just 9 more sleeps till Bobby comes to Winnipeg! We're finally in the single digits! :) I think we're both equally excited about this visit and I'm pretty sure my family's looking forward to it too.
Have I mentioned that life is beautiful?! :) Hope you get some time to enjoy the sunshine today!

Friday, March 12, 2010

oodles of pictures and oodles of fun!!

I finally found a wireless connection so since it saved me a lot of time not having to transfer all the pictures to my parents' computer, I decided I better do this today before I get another scolding!

As I said in my 'teaser post', I had a fantastic time in Maryland! I really don't think it could have been any better. It was just a really special time for Bobby and I because we had been apart for 2 months. We were able to do a lot of talking and laughing, went on several dates (something we weren't really able to do a lot in Japan), and just enjoyed doing "everyday stuff" together like going to the grocery store and going to church together.

We also spent a fair amount of time with his family and it was really fun getting to know them. It was really good to meet his younger brother who is battling Leukemia right now (he was in the hospital the whole time I was there, but he got to go home the day after I left). I especially enjoyed spending time with Drew and Izzy, Bobby's nephew and niece. One day we (Bobby and I, his brother and sister in law and the kids) went to this place called "Family Place to Play" where they have a giant climbing structure and super fast slides as well as a few of those big play structures that are blown up with air. We sure had fun and we certainly laughed a lot as the kid was brought out in all of us! We all got a good workout that day and my stomach was aching for a few days after because I had been laughing so much!

Here's a glimpse of the fun we had... Drew and Izzy are SO cute!

Izzy and I...
Drew and I...
Izzy, cute as ever!
bouncing around...
these slides were ridiculously fast!! (I quickly found out why you have to sign a waiver when you go in!)

A few days after that, we went on a little road trip to Hershey, Pensylvania :) We had some Christar staff that we had dinner with about an hour away from there so we stopped at Hershey Chocolate World and a little Hershey history museum. It was really cool! Chocolate World is free (!) and they have a neat little tour that you go on that's kind of like a ride and it explains how they make chocolate. They also have a huge gift store (where we took this first picture) We also went to a 3D show about the history of Hershey. The whole experience was really cool and now I can say I've been to Hershey!

The first of many of our famous self portraits :)

We were having fun trying to get the sign in the background and then a kind stranger came and offered to help us out! :)

Another day we decided to go skating! I found it funny that we had been planning to go skating when Bobby comes to Canada but ended up doing it in Maryland! We had a lot of fun and actually had the rink to ourselves for at least 1/2 the time we were there. It was fun racing and pretending we were Olympic figure skaters :)

Thought this one was cool since it has both of our flags in it (and the Maryland flag!)

What a fine skater! :)

I needed a little break! (We skated for almost 2 hours!)

Then one day we went to Washington and went to some of the free (!) Smithsonian museums. We also went up the Washington Monument (free too!) which was really cool!
One of the views from the top...

Having fun at the bottom... (It was a little cold- can you tell we were freezing?!)

At the museum of natural history, we went to a 3D Imax movie about the ocean... I know, you're jealous because you wish you were as cool as we are!

Because my boyfriend is so amazing and knows how to make me smile, we went into the butterfly exhibit at the same museum and Bobby took some awesome pictures...

Then another day, we went to the zoo in Washington... which was free too! (How cool is that?!)

Couldn't resist posing for this one... and look,
I found my prince!!! :)
Yeah, that's right... we're so cool, you don't have to tell us!
After the zoo, we went home and got dressed up for our first "fancy date" and we went to the Cheesecake Factory :) It was really fun... and of course delicious! Unfortunately, no one was home to take a picture of us so we went for another self portrait :)
We clean up pretty good don't we?! :)
Then on Sunday, since it was such a beautiful day, we enjoyed some time outside at his parent's farm. Bobby took some fantastic pictures of his Mom's crocuses... these are just 2 of them...

We also took some pretty good ones of us... here's 2 of my favorites....

So there you have it... just a glimpse of the amazing time I had in Maryland! Thanks for the many memories, Bobby! I love you!
Now we're looking forward to Bobby's visit to Winnipeg at the end of this month! He'll even get to meet Lissa and Brad because they're coming for Easter :) Boy, it sure is fun being in love! I don't think I could be much happier than I am right now! God is so good...