Saturday, December 29, 2012


Asking first grade students to explain their answers in writing always produces some comical,  if not very matter-of-fact results.

Q: How do you know your shape is not a triangle?
A: Because the paper said

Q: How do you know your shape is not a triangle?
A: Because it is a rectangle.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I have been wanting to write down something that could possibly express the profound heartache I feel after the tragic shooting in Connecticut on Friday.  I didn't find out what had happened until around lunch time on Friday.  Every news story we heard had different information so I didn't know of the extent of what had happened until later that night. 

 I can't even begin to attempt to try and put into words the thoughts and feelings that I have had since Friday.  My initial reaction was confusion. I just can not wrap my mind around what could have possibly led to this.  My heart just aches for the parents that have lost their babies, the families that have lost mothers, daughters and sisters, and the community that is changed forever. 

One thought I keep going back to is how close this hits to home.   This could be my school. They could be my first graders.  I go into my classroom and look at the faces of my little 6 and 7 year-olds and wonder how on earth someone could want to hurt them.  God bless those brave teachers that stayed with their students and tried to protect them.  As a teacher I know that those children become your own and protecting them wouldn't take a seconds thought.

I am amazed by the strength of the parents that have lost their children.   I am inspired by their faith.  Life is too short.  Life is too short for anger and bitterness.  Give your kids an extra hug.  Tell a teacher thank you.  Tell someone that you love them.  Make amends and forgive.  Be a force for good. 

Tomorrow my first graders will be sending snowflakes to Connecticut.  They will be used to decorate the hallways of the school that the students from Sandy Hook will be attending.  I hope that the families of Newtown can feel the love and prayers that are being sent their way.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Being that it's almost Thanksgiving I figured I would do the typical write-down-what-you-are-thankful-for blog.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately and I have been trying to be more grateful just in general.  I have so much and I need to do a better job of acknowledging the blessings in my life.

*I am thankful for a loving husband who works hard, takes care of me and makes me laugh.
*I am thankful for our home.
*I am thankful for a job that is fun, stressful and makes me want to do better every day.
*I am thankful for the answers to prayers, whether its a feeling of calm or an invitation to dinner.
*I am thankful for my family - parents that love me, brothers that make me laugh, a sister-in-law that is kind and nephews that are pretty much the cutest things ever.
*I am thankful for Annie.  Who knew a dog could be so sensitive.
*I am thankful for my calling in YW.  I am thankful for the people I work with and the girls I try to be a leader to.
*I am thankful for the ability to play the piano.
*I am thankful for music and the feeling that it gives me.
*I am thankful for being able to talk and laugh with friends.
*I am thankful that the weather is cooler....finally.
*I am thankful for past relationships.  Even if those people aren't in our lives anymore I am thankful that we had some good memories.
*I am thankful for my father-in-law and mother-in-law for raising my husband to be the wonderful man that he is.
*I am thankful for the knowledge that Heavenly Father watches out for us and keeps us safe.
*I am thankful for my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

1 of 2

I wrote two posts this morning.  One was in regards to a conversation that Andy and I had last night, but I'm not really up to posting it yet.  The other one was this one.

I am teaching in Young Women's on Sunday.  The lesson was supposed to be another one about food and nutrition, which is great and important...don't get me wrong, but I just felt like it wasn't what I should teach on.  Based off a little experience we had in class a couple weeks ago and my own feelings, I decided that I wanted to teach on gratitude.  I have been really down for the past few months and have moments of feeling sorry for myself.  In looking up stuff for this lesson I came across this quote.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't
learn a lot today, at least we learned a little,
and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get
sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so,
let us all be thankful. -Buddha

I wanted the lesson to focus on showing gratitude for the small things.
 These are some of the things I am thankful for today.

1. My new phone.    2. Editing my brothers wedding pictures and finding things that make me smile.
3. Random pictures sent by a friend that make me laugh.  4.  Sweet pictures of my new nephew.     
5.       6.  Mumford & Sons new album.    7.  A nice text.      8.  A new shelf for school.  
  9. Yummy tacos.    10.  Acting goofy with Andy.


Probably the best thing about starting a new school year is getting a new group of kids, which brings a whole new view into the way kids think.  Sometimes for our writing time I will show them a picture of something and they can write whatever they want about the picture. 

Mondays picture:

Here is what they wrote:

The kangaroo is the laziest I've ever seen.

I think she is getting itchy from the grass.

Maybe he is in love with another kangaroo.

The other day we were in computer lab and the kids were playing a game where they measure the length of a big dinosaur with little dinosaurs.  I'm walking around, watching them put their answers and I noticed a kid that got one wrong.  Before I can say anything, he slaps his hand to his forehead and then makes a fist and says, "Curse you brachiosaurus....curse you."

Kids are awesome.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Life goes by so fast.  The other day I heard someone say that the days are long, but the years are short.  In some ways I feel like I can't believe how much time has passed in my life.  I can't believe how long we've been married, I can't believe how old I am, etc.  In other ways I feel like I am still waiting for life to begin.  The days can be so mundane that it seems at times like I am not living life.  There are moments that break up the mundane though.

 Like this past weekend we were able to welcome a new nephew into our family.  My brother and his wife had their second little boy.  I was happy...and grateful...that my sister-in-law was kind enough to let us come so soon after the baby was born and visit with them in the hospital and show up at their house a couple times a day.  It was so fun snuggling with a brand new baby. 

Andy and baby Landon

All too soon though it was time to leave and get back to life, which made today a rough day.  It's hard for me to gauge how much to write on this thing.  Sometimes I read blogs and people are super open about their feelings and what not and they get tons of feedback and support.  Other times I see people try to be open and people accuse them of being passive aggressive and being scared off by their feelings.  I read this one blog of a girl that I went to college with.  She recently posted a few posts that were very blunt, very open and very honest.  I really admired that.  And then I was jealous.  I was jealous of her ability to do that and I was jealous of all the support that she got.  The truth is I have been having a really rough time for the past few months.  There are a lot of reasons for it and I'm not really up to putting them on here.  I typed out a whole blog (like the one I read) sharing the feelings and anxiety I've been having and as soon as I was done I deleted it.  Everyone has problems and maybe I just need to learn how to be stronger. I am just rambling.  Maybe this one will be deleted too!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Is anyone reading?

Just wondering if anyone reads this!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Some Nights...

Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights, I call it a draw
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I'm still not sure, what I stand for oh oh oh
What do I stand for? Oh what do I stand for?
Most nights, I don't know anymore
Save that for the black and white I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked,
But here they come again to jack my style
That's alright, I found a martyr in my bed tonight
Stops my bones from wondering just who I, who I, who I am, oh who am I, mm, mm
Well some nights, I wish that this all would end
'Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights, I'm scared you'll forget me again
Some nights, I always win, I always win
Well that is it, guys, that is all, five minutes in and I'm bored again
Ten years of this, I'm not sure if anybody understands
Some Nights - FUN

Love this song!

Monday, August 20, 2012


I was going through the 1300+ pictures that I took at my brother's wedding and immediately this one caught my eye.  I love it for so many reasons.  I love that my two year old nephew will fold his arms and look tough just like the rest of the boys.  I love that Andy and my brothers are trying not to laugh at the two year old looking tough.  And I love seeing Andy in a suit.  But most of all I love this picture because of the brothers.  I am grateful that my brothers treat Andy like a brother.  I am grateful that they can hang out and laugh and joke around with each other.  I am glad that when we all get together, they can go and talk and hang out just like brothers should.  I love this picture!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Saras list cont...

11. I love the passion you have for things you like there is no halfway with you, you go all in.
12. I admire your love and passion you have for your students. They may drive you up the wall at times but I truly believe you love each kid you work with.
13. I love your passion for music and how you take great interest in the songs that move you. They don't have to be popular or even well known they just have to touch you.
14. I admire your ability to take on difficult challenges, they may be hard but it seems like you always find a way through them.
15. You always have a compassion for the underdog its the ones that no one gives a chance that you root for because everyone at one time in their life has the odds stacked against them.
16. Your knowledge of gymnastics is amazing and I love hearing you scream Yeah!!! when a gymnast hits their landing and you are so excited like you did for McCayla Maroney when she hit her vault.
17. You do not hide who you are. You are not fake and will not placate people which makes you real. I will always know where I stand with you because you do not put a show on how you want people to perceive you. You are real.
18. I love to travel across the country with you are passion for seeing beauty around the country and our travel conversations make it one of my favorite things to do. Its at these trips we do some of our best communication
19. I love the way you hold on to traditions. Family traditions from your past and ones we make together have always been important to you.
20. I love watching shows and movies with you and enjoying that common ground.

Happy Birthday!

Love Andy

Go to Facebook and check your messages.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


When I dream, I tend to dream very vividly.  Frequently I wake up and I can't tell if the dream was just a dream or if it actually happened.  Last night I had the worst dream.  I still can't shake it.  In my dreams there aren't monsters and chase scenes.  They are a random mix of real life events, my insecurities or some of my deepest fears.  Last nights dream was a mix of my worst insecurities and some of my biggest fears.  It was very real.  It is one of the things I fear the most and I woke up believing it had really happened or was a premonition of things to come.  Sometimes I think I am my own worst enemy.  My subconscious is playing tricks on me.  I really don't like it.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I love...

...finding new music.  Especially new music that I can put on repeat for days.  I love it when a song makes a connection with me and can strike an emotion anytime I listen to it.

My two most recent finds.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

To journal or not to journal....

Last week in YW I taught the lesson on keeping personal records.  It was an interesting lesson for me to teach because I am definitely not one that diligently keeps a journal.  I brought a couple of the journals that I have kept and even read a couple pages out of one to the girls.  My first journal entry was September 15, 1989 and back then my entries consisted of things like this:

As I looked through the scattered journal entries from high school and college, there were a lot of things that I wondered why the heck I wrote them, some good memories and some things I want to forget.  While prepping for my lesson I came across this quote:

"Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are “made up” for a public performance. There is a temptation to paint one’s virtues in rich color and whitewash the vices, but there is also the opposite pitfall of accentuating the negative. Personally I have little respect for anyone who delves into the ugly phases of the life he is portraying, whether it be his own or another's. The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative. Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story. Why dwell on that one ugly truth about someone whose life has been largely circumspect?" - President Spencer W. Kimball, Oct. 1975 New Era

I am an emotional person.  I feel a lot and I feel deeply.  I started this blog as a bit of a journal, but as I've written on it I have found that some things can't and shouldn't be shared in a place like this.  Some things have come back to bite me and other things I want to get out, but don't feel like this is the appropriate place.  There are times when I want to get it out.  The good, bad and really ugly, but 50 years from now I don't want my kids reading my journal and thinking that their mom was a fruit cake.  So how do I find the balance between being honest and not writing down experiences from a "made up" life and not dwelling solely on the negative?  It interesting teaching these lessons to twelve year old girls when you aren't really sure yourself.

Friday, May 25, 2012

So much to see....

Today was my last day of work...well for a week.  Then summer school starts and we're back to the grind.  It seems I've been so busy these past few months and especially these past couple of weeks, that now that I have time to just's kind of weird.  But here I sit...a little bored...a little lonely...and what better to do with my new found free time than plan road trips and daydream.  I have the road trip itch something fierce right now.  There is so much to see!

A couple years ago we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to San Francisco.  It was a life changing trip.  I think I want to continue it.  Only this time we'll start in San Francisco and continue north.  Oregon is the only west coast state that we still need to visit.

Andy and I actually considered doing this one this weekend.  Just for something to do.  Unfortunately, prior commitments made it impossible.  Maybe soon.

This is ultimate road trip #1.  We figured from Virginia and up the east coast would be a separate trip.  Then there is most of the middle states that we'll have to hit too, but for now we'll just plan on this one.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Random bit of catch-up...

My family came down to visit  May 11 & 12.  It was the first time we had all been together since Christmas and I was so excited to see them that I jammed the weekend full of activities.  By the end we were exhausted, but we had a lot of fun.  I love spending time with my family and seeing us become better friends.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Playlist of my life

As I was driving to work this morning a song came on the radio that I listened to A LOT growing up.  It got me to thinking about how many moment in my life have specific songs attached to them.

1. Let the River Run - Carly Simon - Growing up my parents ran several marathons.  My dad would make tapes to run with and every few miles would have a song assigned to them.  We'd sit in the car driving to a race and listen to these tapes.  This song always makes me think of those times with my family.

2. Standing Outside the Fire - Garth Brooks - The year was 1996.  It was the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.  The Magnificent 7 won the 1st team gold medal for USA gymnastics.  That moment changed me.  Instantly I became hooked on gymnastics.  I took lessons (obviously that didn't pan out into anything), I collected Wheaties boxes, I wrote fan letters and went to competitions.  During the Olympics there was a video montage set to this song.  We watched it multiple times as a family and since we taped it I watched it countless more times.  This video can, without a doubt, make me cry within the first 20 seconds.  Every time I hear this song I am taken back to the 13 year old sitting on the couch with tears in her eyes watching those gymnasts get their gold medals.

3. Forever Young - Rod Stewart - My parents put the lyrics to this song in my senior yearbook as my senior tribute.  The lyrics always had an effect and to me it felt like a special connection between my parents and I.

4. She's in Love with a Boy - Trisha Yearwood - Saturday morning cleaning at our house always included this song.  My mom would sing along and it's a very fond memory that I have of her.

5. With Arms Wide Open - Creed - It's the classic story.  Girl dates boy.  Apparently boy is also dating another girl.  The first girl finds out about it when the boy dedicates song on the radio to the second girl.  Girl breaks up with boy.  The end.

6. - 500 Miles - The Proclaimers - A favorite memory of mine from when I went to EA was dancing like a complete buffoon to this song with my friend Emelle.

7. At the Beginning - Donna Lewis & Richard Marx - Classic story part 2.  Girl meets boy.  Boy and girl fall in love.  Boy proposes to girl.  Boy and girl get married and this is their song.  Girl especially likes when boy sings the song to her.

8. Give a Little - Hanson - There are few moments in my life that I can look back on and pinpoint that at that exact moment I was completely happy.  When I heard this song live was one of those times.

9. Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie - I heard this song a few years ago and from the first verse I was hooked.  Death Cab for Cutie is one of my all time favorite groups.

10. Soldier - Gavin DeGraw - My favorite song changes almost on a daily basis.  Today it's this.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sunday Randomness

1. Student-isms - 1st grade writing is the best.  The absolute best.

2. I love The Hunger Games movie.  That is all.

3. I received a very sweet present from someone at work.  Just because she knew it meant something to me.

4. I was super stressed out today and received a text from someone that made me feel special.

5. Sofia Vergara cracks me up and The Amazing Race makes me momentarily irrational.

6. I really, really need a road trip.  Preferably to one of these places.

7. I found a letter that my parents had written to me almost 11 years ago.  It's fun to see the parts of my personality they noticed back then that haven't changed and to realize that even now I still really want to make them proud of me.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Maybe it just takes a mile...

It seems that every time I have an epiphany, it happens at the most random times.  Driving to work or listening to music or even couple days ago when I was playing Angry Birds (I told you it was random). The last week or so I have had several.

Epiphany #1
About a month and a half ago I was called to serve in the Young Womens in our ward.  It would be an understatement to say that my own experience in Young Womens was not the best.  I have spent many years trying to block out that time in my life.  There might have been tears shed when the bishopric came to our house to ask if I was serve.  There might have been even more tears after that.  It might even be safe to say that I was hoping they'd realize they made a mistake.  I honestly did not know what I could possibly offer and the sour taste in my mouth did nothing to help it.  Fast forward to last Wednesday.  It was time to go to mutual and I was driving the mile from our house to the church, when it hit me.  My Young Women's experience was 10 years ago.  I've had 10 years of dwelling on the hurt and negativity of that experience.  10 years is a long time.  Now before you resort to the obvious 'duh' in regards to my previous sentence, maybe it takes stating the complete obvious in order for you to get your priorities in order.  Enter epiphany.  My experience is what it is.  Yes, it sucked, but I can't change it.  I can't go back and fix it.  It happened and while it affected me more than I would like to admit, maybe that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing.  Maybe it's okay that it happened the way it did.  Maybe in order for me to do what I am supposed to do now, I needed to go through that.  It's okay.  I am okay.  And after 10 years that feels really good.

Epiphany #2
One of my biggest strengths is my ability to accept change.  I can totally deal with after holiday let down and last minute cancellations.  When people move away or something really good ends, I just can't wait to see what come next and I look forward to it with complete excitement.   Sounds just like me, right mom? Oh wait, no.  I have that completely backwards.  I do not deal well with change.  It tends to put me in a funk for days and days.  Recently I lost a friendship with someone that I had considered to be a close friend.  The loss of this friendship affected me more than I thought it would.  At first I was angry.  Then that anger turned into hurt.  For whatever reason I was under the assumption that this friendship meant as much to them as it did to me and the realization that it didn't...really hurt.  It still makes me sad to see how much distance is between us and I am not sure we can ever go back.  The problem is that not seeing this person is not an option, so I can continue to be hurt and complain....or I can realize this is part of life and move on.  I choose to move on.

Last, but not least.  Epiphany #3
I have always felt a little weird.  A little out of place.  A little uncomfortable.  Maybe everyone feels that way or maybe it's just me.  Either way, I've been thinking about that a lot recently.  I noticed that I feel the need to apologize for things.  A lot.  I'll ask a question and then think it was stupid and apologize.  I'll want to do something for someone and then assume they will think I'm weird, so I won't.  I want to say things or I will say things and then spend hours repeating it in my head and picking it apart.  I don't like that part of me.  I was watching a talk show and this actress was on talking about how she loves sloths.  She then shared a video of her having a complete melt down because her husband "rented" a sloth to be at her birthday party.  It was totally random and a little odd.  And yet...she seemed completely confident.  That's what she liked and that is who she is and she was totally okay with it.  Weird and all.  I want to  be happy with who I am.  All the weird parts (and there are a lot) included.  I'm completely random.  I cry at least once a day and it's usually at really bizarre stuff like commercials.  I am a creature of habit.  When I like something I REALLY like it and probably tend to go a little overboard.  I love music.  I don't like unloading the dishwasher.  I get jealous.  I hit snooze at least 10 times every morning.  I watch Nickelodeon.  I tear up whenever I see anything related to the 1996 Olympic Gymnastics team.  Charmin toilet paper commercials bug me.  My train of thought goes from point A to point Z in 2.3 seconds.  I love to vacuum.  I like to laugh.  I can be loud and talk really fast.  I want to be noticed in my job and feel like I am doing something right.  I worry...constantly.  I love Andy's hugs.   I hate mushrooms and being tickled. I am just me.

Monday, January 16, 2012


It's almost a month later, but I thought I'd post some pictures from our Christmas adventure in Mexico. We went to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) with my family for Christmas this year.  We had a BLAST.  The week consisted of  four-wheeling, games, presents, movies, playing on the beach, swimming, exploring, finding shells, walking, Nerf gun competition and war, sunset cruise, trip to an aquarium, breaking a pinata and flying over the sea in an Ultralight.  It was quite a week.  Thanks mom and dad for the BEST Christmas! 

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Small things...

I am not a fan of New Years.  Never have been really.  Maybe it's that things change and I don't do well with change.  But since it is inevitable, I figure I should try to make the best of it.  I always do better if I have something to look forward to.  Small things.  They seem to help.  Even if they're seemingly insignificant to others.

Things I'm looking forward to (so far) in 2012

This movie

And this movie

Hunger Games playlist

Visits with these guys

Finishing these

Can't forget this