Thursday, February 27, 2014

Teaching for the First Time

I just finished another of my education classes and I loved it! This time we got to actually go into classrooms to work with current teachers and students. Some of the teachers I worked with just had me observe, others had me teach. The experiences where I got to teach were definitely the most helpful. It was so refreshing to realize that I could be successful getting up in front of a class. 

The class has the thought that "find out now if you hate being a teacher, or want to change your focus" so they have us go to elementary, middle, and high school. Elementary school was fun, I got to help in a kindergarten class, and as much as I admire and respect those teachers, the experience reconfirmed that I couldn't do that every day. 

The middle school and high school kids I loved, which is good since my major was already secondary education. They had their differences, but I would be happy to teach in either setting. The best way that I can think of to describe my different experiences was that in middle school, students can be excited to learn things for the first time, while in high school the students start to make connections that influence the way they view the world. Seeing either of these things happen while I teach will be fulfilling. 

One lesson I team-taught with another girl in my class had to do with political parities, why we need them, what they do, and how they differ. They were eighth graders, so it wasn't too detailed. We just talked about how different people have different goals, and that you usually spend money on what your goals are. We then gave them this worksheet to do, where they could work individually or with their neighbor. It was funny to see the kids who actually tried, and the ones that took us for our word when we told them to "make up" their own political party. 

How do you see the effect of what you do for a living?
What do you think is most important effect an educator can have?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Social

Favorite breakfast food.
This girl loves breakfast food. I sometimes have to remind myself that there are other things to eat for dinner besides breakfast food again. With health concerns aside, I love a good ham and vegetable omelet, string hash browns, bacon, and a big glass of 2% milk. Lately, I would have to go for some oatmeal with brown sugar or a healthier egg white omelet with no ham.

Best way to spend a free day.
With Brett. Probably start the day at the gym, come home for lunch, maybe read a book, or go on a hike. Then a good home-cooked dinner (a good hearty soup!) before we head out to a movie.

Airline ticket to anywhere in the world....where would you go and why?
Selfish Answer: Somewhere in the Near East, probably starting of with Istanbul. There is so much history and beauty in that city that I would love to see (how could you not?), but I know that Brett would be going just because I would want to.
Unselfish Answer: Somewhere warm and adventurous. Somewhere that has a city life, but we could also go for a hike, or do something crazy. Central America maybe? Or the East Coast? For the sake of this question, probably London. We speak the language, and there would something for both of us to do.

image via
You can only leave the house with one thing...what would it be?
This is difficult, but right now I would have to answer with my journals and pictures that are stored next to each other. Everything else can be replaced, but those thoughts and moments I wanted to remember may be forgotten. I keep letters from Brett tucked in the pages of my journal, and to loose those would break my heart.

How do you take your coffee?
I actually don't take it at all. As of member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe in and follow the Word of Wisdom, which advises against substances that are potential harmful to the body, including tea and coffee. This is a personal decision on my part that I have never regretted. I have been known to love a good hot chocolate though! In fact, drinking hot chocolate is one of my favorite things to do in the winter and around a campfire and I love hazelnut and caramel sauce mixed in.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Basketball Night

We are both huge fans of basketball, as has been established multiple times (here and here). That is why I was so surprised when Brett told me that he had never been to a BYU basketball game. He moved here in 2007, and other than his 2 year mission, has lived here ever since. I on the other hand spent way too much time going to nearly every home game for my first two years at school. We were so happy when one of Brett’s coworkers had two tickets she wasn't going to use and let us use them instead. By coincidence, Brett’s brother, his new wife and her sister were also at the game so we were able to meet up with them for a little while too, although we didn't get a picture of all of us for some reason.

Don’t worry though, Brett isn't wearing a BYU shirt, but rather the Powell’s Books shirt that he wears all the time. Good thing it is a good shirt and I love the fact that my husband loves books and is wearing a shirt in support of a bookstore not run by a university! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

So Excited for Summer

I know that it is only February, but I can't stop thinking about this summer. Part of it might be because Provo has been unseasonably warm lately, but mostly it is because we found out where we will be living from May to August.
Brett got an internship working on the budget for the City of Kenmore right by Seattle, Washington. He worked really hard, applied to lots of jobs, and got one he wanted. During our trip to Portland last July we made a day drive to Seattle so Brett could meet with this city manager, and since then everything has worked out for him to get the job, so we are moving out there as soon as the semester is done.

We could not be more excited. Seriously, I feel bad about how excited I am. There is a couple reasons for this. First, for some reason I have always wanted to live in Seattle. Growing up near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Seattle was always the city on the other side of Washington that people went to on vacation. When I finally went there with Brett, I feel in love with the city and the love deepens each time we visit.  Second, we will be closer to both our families, but yet far enough away to still be doing our own thing. Brett's family will be closest at about 3 hours away and mine will be about 4. I am so excited to see more of the family that we only get to see at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Since neither of our families have ever lived in Seattle, we get to set out on this new adventure by ourselves, creating our own traditions, likes and dislikes, and adventures and I am so looking forward to it. There are things that scare me, like finding a job, knowing how to get around, the cost of living, and the possibility of being lonely at first, but the positive potential greatly outweighs the fear. I want to create our own space, become a downtown public transportation rock star, hike the coast to a lighthouse, hike green mountains like I have always loved, and spend the summer watching the best summer sport at Safeco Field. Whatever it is that happens, I will be glad to do it all with the man I love in a part of the country we love together.

If you could live anywhere for the summer, where would you  go?
Any good ideas of what to do in Seattle in the summer?


Sorry that this is super grainy.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

What are your favorite things to do on a lazy day?
This is an easy one. Read a book and cook good food. I love both those things. Sadly, right now there is no such thing as a lazy day, even the day off school tomorrow means homework and an extra shift at work. Hopefully we can get enough stuff done that I can do both of those things tomorrow!

What is your TV guilty pleasure?
The problem is that I don't even feel guilty about this. I love How I Met Your Mother. Thanks so much to my old roommate for introducing me to the wonderfulness that is HIMYM. I am so sad and yet so happy at the same time that the series is coming to a close. I am excited for the finale and that they are smart enough to end their series when it should, not dragging it out after Ted meets the Mother! So happy.

What is your favorite road trip music?
Whatever I can sing to. If I am by myself, I jam out to some country music. If I am road tripping with Brett, 90's music and 30 Seconds to Mars are a common occurrence.

What are your favorite magazines or books to read by the pool or laying around?
I'm not really a magazine person, but as far as books are concerned, my go to genres when I want to relax are historical fiction and mystery. It has been a while since I read a good Agatha Christie book, so I might have to do that this summer.

What is your favorite snack?
Popcorn and chips and salsa. Both of those can be as bad for you, or as good for you as you want them to be, so they are good snacks for different moods. Since I found out that I have to eat extra healthy these two snacks have saved my life. I even figure out how to make my own tortilla chips to pair with a homemade salsa that I love!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Day I Struggled to Be an Adult

This all happened in one (exhausting) day-
  1. Lost my phone: We have a small one bedroom apartment. I remember using it at 10:30 on the couch, then we I went to leave for school the next morning it was nowhere to be seen. We spent 20 minutes ripping the living room apart trying to find it before we were going to be too late to class. *note: we found it! It had fallen off the arm of the couch into Brett's bag of basketball gear and we found it when we went to the gym.
  2. Cut a chunk out of my thumb: At least it was for the children, right? I was volunteering in a kindergarten classroom and was helping prep for the 100th day of school celebration. My job was to cut the centers out of card stock "100" glasses the kids would decorate and wear. The centers are too hard for the little hands, but apparently for me too. While trying to poke the scissors through the card stock I totally sliced my finger. Three Band-Aids and an hour later it had finally stopped bleeding. 
  3. Didn't do homework: Somehow when I put all my assignments into my planner for the semester (my planner runs my life) I missed an assignment. No idea how. Found out the night before it was due, so I was able to whip something together, kinda. 
I can't tell you the last day I struggled like this. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What Doing Homework Looks Like

Normally my Thursday's are crazy, but last week I had a 3 hour class canceled, leaving me with 4 straight hours open. I took the opportunity to get crap done! Sometimes you just get in the mood where you need to go into power mode and this was one of those times. I took the biggest backpack I have ever seen, picked a spot in the library, set up camp, and demolished my to do list.

I do have some pretty specific needs when I have a major homework session like this. I have to be by myself, have everything within reach, and never leave. This is why I love the lower levels of the BYU library. Around most of the walls are little individual boxes of solitude and I thrive there.

Some people do a "get to know me" post by using their purse, but mine is going to be my backpack since that is really what I always have with me.

First off, did I not tell you that they are the perfect sized individual cubical? Seriously. A shelf up top for the space that you need and everything is within reach! Yay! Now the organization begins. 

The laptop is a necessity, obviously. So much of my homework is online it is ridiculous. To the right of that is my red personal catch-all notebook. I have notes from starting work at the library, different scribbles of when classes are available to register for, random notes from books I read in my free time, all that jazz. I don't always have it with me, but I love its convenient size and the fact that the cover is hard so it doesn't get smashed. 

Top Shelf: Notebook for a class that doesn't have a textbook (the one that sends me around to volunteer in different schools). Folder for the other education class that doesn't have a textbook. Honestly, the folder is more of a catch-all for other classes too.

Back Edge (L to R): The books for each class I need to work on that day, stacked by class. I wish this was all the books I had but this doesn't show an entire class that has 4 more. Then lunch of course! Water, carrots, applesauce, and a crunchy peanut butter sandwich (crunchy is the best!). By this point, I was already too impatient to wait for lunch and ate my banana and reduced fat wheat thins already. Don't judge. 

Lastly, the control of my life. My planner and colored pens are so vital to my organization. Every once in a while someone will tell me that its old fashioned to use a planner and that it would be easier to use something electronic, but I like getting to write out my lists and cross things off when I am done. 

The pens all mean a different thing too. Black=everyday things, regular assignments, etc. Pink=major deadlines. Green=planning ahead to major assignments. Blue=personal life. I like this system but it took me a while to get it figured out. I tried doing each class a different color, but found that what I really wanted to stand out was all my major deadlines, not just separate subjects. 

The iPod and the Burt's Bees are a no brainer for a college student. This time of year in Utah is so dry that I feel like I am constantly using fighting dry lips.

So there it is. All my necessities for a major homework session. I do this each and every time I can. If I only have an hour or less the story is a little different. Then I will just sit in an armchair and take out one thing at a time. Its all or nothing I guess.

What requirements do you have for yourself when you need to get things done? Do you like to be alone, or in a busy place?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Friend from Out of Town

Last week this girl was in town for a conference and to visit people she missed while she was in the area, and I am so glad that I got the chance to see her. Elisabeth and I met at church about 9 months after we were married and we totally hit it off. We would get together pretty often, just the two of us and with our husbands. When he graduated last April and got a job in Ohio I was sad to see them leave.

We only had a little bit of time, but we got to meet up at the local mall, got some drinks and just walked around while we caught up on life. It was a really great conversation and way to end the week. I am excited for the next time she comes back, hopefully we can meet up again!

If you only had an hour and a half with a friend, what would you make sure to do?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Goal Recap-January

To try and make myself more accountable for everything I wanted to accomplish I decided to write about my goals at the end of each month. Last year I only did it at halfway and I noticed my desire for success increase before I posted. Hopefully this will continue as I make this happen. 
  • Physical:
    • Exercising has been awesome so far. Since I increased the intensity of each workout I am still doing 5 days a week, but it is wonderfully consistent. Success!
    • Eating well has also been a big success. The first week after finding out that I needed a change was pretty hard, but since we got it figured out what was on or off limits and got rid of the bad stuff it hasn't been too bad. 
  • Spiritual:
    • My daily reading is also fantastically more consistent, although still not yet perfect.
    • I have a new calling at church where I get to teach our Relief Society one Sunday a month out of this year's manual and I am really looking forward to my first lesson next week. 
  • Financial:
    • Going strong. January is always tight after Christmas and paying tuition, but we continue to sit down once a week to go over where we stand and set goals. This has really worked well for us.
  • Intellectual:
    • School is going great and I am loving the classes I am in. I have taken classes every available semester since September 2012 so burn out is inevitable but not here yet.
    • As for my "for fun" book of the month. I am going to go ahead and count Harry Potter for that!
And now on to February where I hope to be at least as successful!

How are you doing on your goals so far?

A picture from the photo booth at Matt and Hannah's wedding in December. I seriously love this picture.