Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Livin' the Southern Life!

Oh Sweet Georgia!
We have been here five days now and I have just loved it. The humidity feels great on my skin and a definite relief from Utah's dry as heck atmosphere! We LOVE our apartment! It is a huge sigh of relief and comfort compared to our falling apart basement apartment in Provo. We have definitely taken a step up!! Our closet is huge, we have a dishwasher!!! (that's not human) and a washer and dryer soon to come!!! Living in the apartment has proven difficult to live in with a dog, but we had loads of fun with Koda today! Ivan doesn't have his correlation meeting until Noon M-F, so we have lots of time in the mornings to be together as a familyyyy :D It's nice to actually have time to eat a big breakfast and make a lunch!! today before Ivan left we went on a walk!
Correction: Koda is almost five months and he weighs 22.7 pounds.. wooot go Puppy go!!

Also, mainly because my mom has been asking for them.. Here are pictures of our apartment a few days ago.. since then I have put up more pictures... I've gotten very good at command hooks, mounting tape and hanging up frames without making holes in the walls :)

Things I Love About Georgia So Far:
The People! Folks Have been so nice to me so far, everywhere I go!!
Low/ Regular Altitude Baking!! Holy Cow, I grew up in California and baked all the time and as soon as I hit Utah, I became distraught and utterly distressed when I baked.. to make just normal choc. chips there, you have to add water to the dough and put in less sugar.. just so they'll have a good consistency, which is lame cuz then they taste worse..Boo! Anyway, I've had some delicious ones that other Utah Mommies have made, but I could never pull off anything remotely tasty. I made Chocolate Chip Cookies when Ivan came home last night and I made the dough super fluffy with my Kitchen Aid ;) the dough.. first of all was completely addicting.. haha, right after dinner Ivan went to the bowl and said, Alright now I'm going to have a spoonful of this dough.. I turn around to see a heaping 1/3 cup at least piled on his spoon!! Plus, the cookies were perfect! Hallelujah!!!!! Crispy on the edges, Gooey in the Middle! MmmmMm


P.S. Just an F.Y.I. about this photo... If you know Ivan, you know that if taking a picture around a meal table, he'll take something dark and put in in his front teeth right before the shot, so yeah.. this is what we did.. I can't tell you how many great family/ friends shots have this little beauty in them! Which is perfect, because, growing up, this was our family joke everytime we ate brownies! Therefore, Here we present The Hoffmans: Cookie Dough Night!!!
See the shirt? Go APX

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Can't Wait to Come Back to Nauvoo

"My first recollection of a place of worship was in Nauvoo. It was in a little grove of trees near the site of the temple. In company with my mother I listened here to such men as Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, the Prophet Joseph and the Patriarch Hyrum. I remember quite well attending one meeting in this grove, that a wagon had been drawn up in front of the audience and the Prophet Joseph stood in the box speaking, when it began to rain. Some one or two persons got up and held umbrellas over him, to shield him from the wet. Many of the people had no umbrellas, and it was very annoying and disagreeable to sit there, but I remember very well, though but a little boy, that there was no one went away from the ground while he spoke." President James E. Faust

Our only day in Nauvoo, it was pouring rain, you can see it on the sidewalks of the pictures, the City Building in Old Nauvoo had a flooded basement! Yes, it was a bit "annoying and disagreeable" and we were all huddled under umbrellas but we were all so eager and excited to go see all of the sites! Our favorites were the Blacksmith Shop and The Family Living Center.  The most spiritual experience we had was visiting Carthidge Jail. 
The Visitors Center is also really big and interesting. The next day, we got to go to the Visitor's Center in Independence, Missouri, Liberty Jail, and Adam-ondi-Ahman.

We loved learning about these sights and all that will happen here! Adam-ondi-Ahman is a song in the hymn book pg. 49, if anyone wants to learn more about it! We have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! What awesome church history we have!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

When we went to Hoffman Street!

Somewhere over near Gresham, Wisconsin, (which is somewhere over near Wasau, Wisconsin) is a little church building on Hoffman Street! There were Hoffman restaurants, Hoffman real estate agencies, Hoffman PEOPLE, so many Hoffmans, WOOHOO, which was pretty exciting until the Kodak moments ran out. Now, what brings us over to this little city in this out of the way state..??  (no offense, i really loved Wisconsin actually).... None other than...
BYU Dancers' Company Tour
The your was done in this little guy of a drive... Le Bus! Driven by none other than the great Fred Moseby, our new great friend. We were blessed to meet so many great people like Fred!
SO, the Hoffman St. stop was about the middle of tour, Let me start from the beginning.
The first day was spent driving and the second night in a Super 8 in Ogallala, Nebraska. Funny that I thought, such a random place why would I ever be here again. Little did I know that exactly 3 weeks later, Ivan and I stayed the night in Ogallala, in the exact same hotel- it was en route to Georgia. So, the second day- driving, and this driving brought us to Des Moines, Iowa., Where the next day we went shopping for trinkets, ate goodies and then the first show at Upland High School in Des Moines. We stayed in a beautiful house, just us, in an awesome basement all to ourselves! Some point within these first days, we stopped at the Winter Quaters Temple and Visitors Center! I am so glad that there is a temple there and that there were great sister missionaries to teach us new things about the pioneer's journey!
Ivan and I got to try out pulling a handcart :)
Our bus drove us onward to three days in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

Our Favorite Things About Minneapolis:
1. Mall of Freakin America!!!
There was a Nickelodean Themepark in the middle of a mall! And a ginormus movie theatre, which we watched Wolverine in.. which was AMAZING!! We both loved it :)
There is also an aquarium and ever store you could ever think of.. in this mall. The Hoffmans are going back. There were tons of other gorgeous and interesting sights we saw in Minneapolis, and I know ever local will think of me as absurd to only mention the MOA, but we were kind of complainers and only really cared about the mall... oops. But seriously, it was lovely!!
We arrived in Wasau on a Sunday afternoon, ready for a fireside! Ivan picked out all the songs we sang and helped conduct and prepare us for the fireside. Our fireside was about 1 hr. 15 min. long. Holly Petty conducted it and four company members gave talks. We sang two group numbers, one boys, one ladies and there were two duets.. one just me and Ivan :)
Our host family in Wasau was the Lefferts. We got to know them the most of all our host families and we got to stay with them for three nights. The performance in Wasau was at the Grand Theatre and it was absolutely lovely! The stake was phenomonal hosts and so many people came to the show! While in Wasau performing LecDems, we ate lunch at the schools cafeterias.. Ivan or I have never eaten at an indoor cafeteria like that.. with trays and cafeteria ladies to serve you pasta, or literal salad bars. It was a big culture shock. But everyone thought we were all weird coming from outdoor schools, especially mine where they only served Pizza Hut, Pick Up Stix, or Subway :) Anyway, what great experiences!
So, after kodaking in front of Hoffman St. We spent the night in Appleton, WI. for a show the next day.. meaning.. we get to sleep in!!! But I also got sick. Good thing we stayed at a nicer hotel this night.. I slept from 5:00 pm until 10:00 am. woo hoo! 
After another beautiful host home and family in Appleton, we went to South Bend, Indiana for another show. Our host family actually lived in Michigan, because South Bend is very northern Indiana, it's right on the border. Weird that South bend is North, huh!
The next day was Saturday, the free day we have all been waiting for...
Yes, we saw Mary Poppins, original Broadway cast, yes we had deep dish pizza, walked through Millennium Park, saw all the world famous artwork in the Art Institute of Chicago, and so much more, we did it in one day and we loved it! We also did some hardcore shopping.. especially at the biggest forever 21 we've ever seen, we came out wearing what we bought, it was like a movie.. Conclusion: We are Such City People!!!
Grand Rapids, Michigan
This is what the beach looks like on the Northern coast!! Awesome huh? As a company we came to this lighthouse and learned all about how sailors use it and its comparisons to he gospel. Our host dad was a coast guard in Grand Rapids for twenty some years and taught us all there is to know about Grand Rapids, Michigan. Again, another lovely theater, host family and home and so much to do and learn!!
After Grand Rapids, it was off to Detroit, where we went to yet another museum, the last of about 8 or so on this tour. Our friend Kate Bailey came to see the show with her mum! She's in MDT at BYU with us and will be in Young Ambassadors with us next year, she's lovely!
also in Detroit, we went to a stake center and our hosts, the heads of the BYU Alum in that chapter made us the most delicious barbeque in the rain, mind you! Oh so so good! After staying in a MANSION, literally we stayed in the most beautiful king size bed and bath, right next to a game room, spare kitchen, gym and indoor theatre!! Anyways, we were off to the Nauvoo Villas where we stayed for two nights. The next day was such an amazing spiritual experience and we loved being amongst the old restored village of our pioneers!

So Long Beach...

We LOVE the Beach!
After finals, Ivan and I escaped to sunny California! We scored a deal and traded our beat-up Honda Civic, with my Mom's Suburban, she had a new car and is selling the suburban after the summer. We moved out of our basement apartment in Utah and filled the sub with everything we needed for Georgia! But for now, we were excited to be with family and see the SUN!!
P.S. Ivan and I actually went in the ocean water... it was April 24th.

My Sister Kayla, rockin it in the beach wind.. on top of Pointe Dume.
My Brother Mike.. 
This should be his graduation photo! I say I caught him at a Hugh Jackman moment, He just got back from rock climbing
Me and My Mommy!! Happy Mother's Day!!

We also went to Universal Studios! Ivan's first time!! He took a TON of photos, way to many to post on this blog, the next installment, will be our never ending supply of tour photos and journaling, and the lists of annoyances from Koda, whose indoor pee/poo count is over 20 by now, and we've had him for a week! Yeah for the poop mister! Anyways, California is great :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Koda's first Walk

Well, Koda had a great time, but for Melissa, it was a little different.... can't wait till we get some puppy training :)

walk, walk, stop, sniff, squat, dance in a circle, jump, walk, walk in a diagonal in front of Melissa, get caught in my lease.. HELP! receive help, do a funky leap, walk, walk in a diagonal in back of Melissa, stop linger, sniff, pick up food scrap, eat, spit out, walk, trip Melissa with my lease, HULT! continue, linger, linger, tug, push, pull, walk, run, sniff... I'm one Cr@zy dog!!


Monday, May 18, 2009

HIGHLIGHTS of Our Winter Wonderland

My attempt to condense a semester into one post! But it will probably be easy, because my camera was forgotten on several occasions. New Things: Our First Apartment, Our first semester as husband and wife, Dancers' Company for Ivan, and I wanted to go on tour so they taught me how to do some tech work backstage! I shared my birthday with Sarah on a Sunday this year, so no big party, but the night before, Ivan took me to The Roof. The buffet restaurant on the top floor of the Joseph Smith building with a view of the temple! It was amazing and so delicious!!

February we rehearsed and performed another MDT Showcase
The opener was part Fosse (which Ivan danced in) and part 80s, which I danced in
and The Womack  family came to visit :) Personally, I LOVE being on stage, or just in the same production as Ivan. I sang the solo Climbing Uphill during "The Mock Audition" part of the show and Ivan sang "If I Sing.." in a quartet of male power ballads and also Good Morning. The show was all about the life of a performer and we loved performing it! It was different and funny and everyone seemed to enjoy participating or watching it! The weekend is when the party began! There wasn't much snow this winter, yeah it was cold and we felt lazy and wanted to sleep in and rent movies every weekend, but it was a fabulous semester. The weekend my family came into town was amazing weather!! The first day was pleasant sweater weather where the grass was visible, but Saturday the snow came down!!! Perfect for sledding and snowball fights!

and of course... we had contests and guess who was the winner...

And All During this Same Weekend.. Ivan's best friend Cody came home from his mission and the rest of the semester was filled with friends, laughter, late nights at the laundramat, Ivan working at Joe Vera's, homemade bread and Hoffman Oreo Treats!!
Our apartment was dinky, too cold, then too hot, our days were busy but it went out with a bang and we were SO HAPPY to be done with this school year!
We are spending the summer in Atlanta, GA selling with APX Home Security! Ivan , the hard worker is gunna knock em dead. We're happy to live in a nice new apartment this summer and we Loved Tour!! Pictures soon to come...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Our Honeymoon

St. Regis Monarch Bay Resort & Spa
Dana Point, California
We were, of course, the only ones in the swimming pool on the beautiful morning of Saturday December 20th. It was the most beautiful pool we're ever swam in, plus it was fun being the only ones in the pool :)
We stayed at the Sheraton in Anaheim and spent three days 
at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. We had fun vacationing in California and walking around in our "Just Married" pins and receiving congratulations for park employees and getting free fast passes for some!  

Monday, May 4, 2009

Catching Up!!

December 19, 2008
The day we had waited for so long finally came!! We were so pleased with our wedding photos. They truly are amazing!! The day was perfect! The San Diego Temple is the most beautiful place in the entire world. It was even more gorgeous inside. Everything became worth it! Our dream was to get married in this temple and we'll never regret yet! Yes, it was not the most convenient place we could have chosen, but we loved it! We were married at 10:30 am on the beautiful Friday morning!

We got out of the temple and took pictures with our families, then Bronson of Bauman Photography took us a beautiful beach. La Jolla was such a gorgeous place just outside San Diego. All the pictures at the beach are incredible and we've gotten so many compliments and we still do!!

December 20th 6:30 pm
Oak Park Community Center
So obviously the reception got a little crazy!! Of course, the night began with the bride and groom arriving twenty minutes late, but what can you expect from newlyweds! And we mean.. REALLY NEW :) What surprised layed before us at our reception! I don't think that community center with ever look more beautiful!! 

Our cake was BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS!!! Marble cake with raspberry and cream cheese filling! The top layer is still frozen in The Womacks freezer waiting to be devoured on 12/19/09

The cake eating got real intense, real fast but that was nothing compared to Melissa's embarassing moment that followed...

strike one, strike two (a surprising success!!!)

An Incredible TWO DAYS. We loved that they were spread out so we could enjoy our time together and also relax and enjoy our time meeting old and new friends and family at the reception. We honeymooned at the St. Regis in Monarch Bay Hotel and Resort... so amazing celebrity experience we will have fro years to come. Ivan kept saying it was the kind of place you would see David Beckam at! :) We spent three days at Disneyland and stayed at the Sheraton nearby. We had a lovely Christmas and started new traditions and make many memories! There was love all around!

For Time & All Eternity