09 September 2017

If we were having lunch, I'd tell you...

I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! Just been really busy.

So almost three weeks and I'm alive! Grad school hasn't killed me yet. I've learned a lot about studying smarter, not necessarily harder. My first week we had over 250 pages in just one class, and I (being the little naive one) read every single page. Did I retain much of it? No way Jose. This week and last I have been working on a better way to read and keep track of things, and it seems to be going better. We'll see tomorrow.

Work is going well. I'm getting to know my kids a lot better, and that helps a TON. This week is College Week, and we are having a door decorating contest. Guess who crafted all weekend? Oh yeah, that's me. :)

My Clara's first volleyball game was today, and it was against my old school. Clara did well, and got the ball over the net a couple of times. Yay! Amber sent me pictures, and I recognized a lot of girls from last year. She was giving me a play by play of the A team game, and it was hilarious. It made me miss volleyball and coaching. Hopefully one day soon I'll be able to play and coach again. (P.S. It's also really hard to cheer for two rival teams! I coached at KMS last year, but some of my club girls play for the Academy. It's fun.)

I also looked up the high school teams in Kingman and 3 of my KMS girls and 2 other club girls made varsity. AS FRESHMEN. I am so proud! :)

Roka and I like to go on bike rides around the church parking lot. She still pulls at scary noises then runs into the street (which is no good if I'm sprawled on the sidewalk next to a busy street). The church parking lot will be just fine for now.

I'm excited to go camping in October! I'm trying to piece together a fall break because my work and my school breaks don't line up. I'm planning on Bryce Canyon and maybe Capitol Reef. I need more stamps in my National Parks Passport!

I'm super excited for fall. The cooling temperatures at night have been marvelous. The changing colors are my favorite. It was one reason I was excited to move to Utah (I've missed four seasons...no offense Arizona!).

I got to go on a University of Utah tour with out 9th graders this week. It was my first "official" tour of campus (my friend Kelsey gave me a MUCH better tour last fall), but it was fun to hang out with my kiddos. I definitely had class on campus that week, so I was on TRAX for 3 hours that day. Thank heavens for my awesome roommate who let me ride with her to class. :)

For Labor Day I got to go to an Oldham Family BBQ. It was so much fun! Jake's mom Carolyn was so kind to invite me to join their family. It was a lot of fun to see everyone again. It was harder to recognize them without Bear Lake gear or swimsuits. :)

For the first time for the Holy War, I finally have a team to root for, instead of just rooting against both teams. Go Utes!

I hope that you're doing well. We should do it again. :)

17 August 2017

Fortnight of Adventures

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted, and I've been busy! 

I had to take a prerequisite American Government class, and I was a teensy bit terrified.

But it wasn't too bad. I'm pretty sure I passed. 

My class was the same night as my birthday, so I didn't do much. I celebrated with my new friends the night before, and my roommates took me to a trampoline park the day after. It was awesome! (I definitely got hit on by two 14 year olds. One tried to kiss me. It was uber awkward.)

I started my new job at Early Light Academy! It's a charter school in Daybreak and I am incredibly excited. {We did a picture scavenger hunt tour of the school...it was fun!}

I ride TRAX everyday to work, and it's awesome! I seriously love it. The Historic Gardner station is right outside of Gardner Village in West Jordan. Archibald Gardner is my 3rd great grandfather and helped settle a lot of the Salt Lake Valley.

I also seriously enjoy podcasts. The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd and Levar Burton Reads are my two current favorites. The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd is reminiscent of Rocky and Bullwinkle, but just like an old time radio show.

I did take a chance to go home and see my family. I'm not going home for the eclipse, and I haven't been home since Christmas. 

Roka LOVED it. It was like Disneyland for her. She was grinning the entire time {except for this picture}. She loved having a friend who would chase her, and ALL. OF. THE. SMELLS.  The cute Rottweiler is Abe, Sarina's pup. He was excited to have a friend too.

I got to see my best friend and her cute girls, and the rest of her family. {Wedding receptions are incredibly convenient for that!} I got to see some other friends over the weekend as well. That is one thing I miss- since I grew up in the same little town, I knew everyone really well. Not just my friends, but their entire families. I knew where to go and how to get there. I definitely hope to raise my kids in a small town. 

It's been a few good weeks! I start school (both work and personally) on Monday, I have a new calling, I'm making friends, and I'm excited (and terrified) for an opportunity for a grad assistantship. 

Bring it on, school year! Bring it on!

04 August 2017

27 Things I Learned When I Was 27

Per my birthday tradition, I like to look back and reflect on the the past year to see where I've been, accomplished, and grown. 27 was a really good year to me! Had you asked me even 5 years ago I couldn't have even imagined this is where I'd be.

So here goes nothing...and in no particular order...

27 Things I Learned While I was 27

 1. People have called me Wonder Woman for many years. I hope it is because I am trying to be kind, just, and fair. {Also because I'm awesome!}

2. I love to travel. It always gives me a sense of  humility and gratitude for where I've been and where I want to be.

3. Friends come in very unexpected ways. Sometimes they come all at once, sometimes they come very slowly. Sometimes they surprise in how much they mean to you.

4. Hot melted candle wax doesn't smell good forever. Nor is it easy to clean up.

5. Dogs are the best. Roka has been a lot of work, but I always feel more complete with her around. {I'm watching her play catch with herself right now with two tennis balls...she's hilarious!}

6. The fear of missing out and not trying always trumps the fear of getting sick.

7. There is value to staying in one place for a while. You get comfortable with the little things so that you can tackle the big things. 

8. No matter what you do, there will always be someone who doesn't like what you do. Too bad. Do it anyway. I always have a method to my madness. It might not be apparent to you, but there is always a reason why I do things the way I do. 

9. It's always worth it to do things that bring you joy, even if it isn't always practical. (It's also fun to see yourself get better over time!)

10. God very much knows us personally and wants us to feel successful. We might not always be able to see or understand what He has in store for us, but we can always be confident that He knows what's best. {Here's looking at you, GWU!}

11. It's okay to toot your horn every once in a while! There are so many things we work so hard for, and it's okay to be proud of that work.

12. Nature and mountains and green grass and trees make my heart so SO happy.

13. Little bits of practice when you can builds up talent over time. Case in point: my British accent.

14. Save a little bit of each paycheck. Use your credit card wisely. Be smart about your finances.

15. Middle schoolers are hilarious. They are almost human and can drive you crazy, but can also astound you with the amount of good and potential inside of them.

16. Honesty is always the best policy. Don't make excuses. Excuses are lame. Change the root of the problem.

17. A splash of bright yellow can help in any situation. (Unless you are colorblind.)

18. It's okay to stick to your guns when something is important to you. People won't understand. They will think you are crazy or anal or ridiculous. It doesn't matter. See #8.
19. Sisters make the best road trip buddies.

20. There is joy in creating something with your brain and own two hands.

21. Sometimes you need to have a tough conversation with someone. Always do it with love, but do it. It will be hard and awkward, and it might not solve it, but you will feel so much better afterward.
22. There is no answer key to life's questions.  You get to make it up as you go along.
23. There is SO much to being a coach. I'm grateful for all of the coaches that taught me so many things over the years! 

24. You've got to do something that scares you every once in a while. It reminds you that you are alive and have something to live for.
25. Adventure is always out there.
26. Pursuing your dreams doesn't have a timeline. Your dreams make a difference, even if its just for you. You are also good enough to make it happen.
27. I finally figured out why I was sent to Kingman. 

There were many other things I know I learned along the way, and I am so grateful for everyone in my life that helped me learn those lessons. I have found myself missing Kingman (Salt Lake is still overwhelming), but I know that this is where I'm supposed to be.

Here's on to #28! Cheers!

01 August 2017

If You Buy a Mouse a Notebook....

Happy August!

Just a few thoughts before I go back to studying...

Going back to school is a little overwhelming. {Okay, a lot.} I sat down to take notes for my short course this weekend and realized I didn't know how I was going to take notes for it. {PANIC!} How I take notes for myself personally is a lot different than I took notes for classes in school. 

Thought process:  Do I get a notebook and take notes like that for school? Do I get a regular notebook? A composition notebook? Do I get a binder and loose leaf paper? Do I get graph paper? Do I get a separate notebook for each class? Or do I keep all my notes in one place, like I do now? I only have class once a week, so that wouldn't be too bad, and it would beat having three notebooks. But keeping them separate would make things more chronological...

Also during my thought process: Is it still okay to decorate my notebook for grad school? I'm not going to show up with a puppy on my binder, but still?

Then you have your writing utensil. I have definitely learned that taking notes is SO MUCH BETTER when you have a good pen that you enjoy. Hooray for $1 sales of my favorite expensive colorful pens! 

It was weird not having to shop for my classroom. I had to stop myself from saying "Ooh, I could use it for this..." or "A couple extra of these would be handy..." Pens and a notebook was my mission today. I'm grateful that I have the means to buy my own school supplies, and that I was able to provide so much for my students. At the same time, if you have the means, pick up a couple of extra of what you are already purchasing and donate them to your local school. Send them with your children. Your teacher will love you. When teachers send out class lists, I know that can be frustrating. I promise you are not supplying the entire class, and I also promise that they aren't used willy nilly. Teachers are SO frugal with the supplies that they get. They ask for things they know they will need in class. They also ask because they know many of their students' families have to choose between school supplies or barely surviving. 

{Also, I love my car. It is totally a family car, and that's one reason I bought it. I definitely get a lot of questions about my kids though. :) It makes it easier to get suckers at the bank! }

Happy back-to-school season!