lost dreams and photography

i always knew i wanted to be an elementary school teacher, but that doesn't mean my attention was never sparked by other occupations. for example, photography is fascinating to me. i have such a high respect for photographers, and i constantly find myself drooling over their genius angles or quality editing skills. i have no intentions of resigning from the education world, but every once in a while i get a little photography itch. when i feel these itches, i grab my iphone, snap a million pictures, and edit the heck out of them.

yesterday, i lived that past dream a little and snapped away at the beautiful gloomy sky. i am obviously a sucker for cloudy days on byu's campus. the colors were to die for - i felt like i was walking through a forest! here is the extent of my photography portfolio:
all taken yesterday with my iPhone 4 and the apps afterlight and pro HDR.
such a fun creative outlet.

don't laugh, but here are the other positions i have considered (or at least wanted to learn more about):
+ interior designer
+ belle at disneyland
+ high school english teacher
+ graphic designer
+ writer/editor
+ algebra teacher
+ watercolor or oil painter

with the proper training, i think any of these would be enjoyable for me. but nothing brings me greater happiness or satisfaction than helping, mentoring, teaching, and caring for children. i'm so happy with my career choice and the path i am on. i can't wait to teach 4th grade in just a short 3 months.

and let's face it -- as a teacher, i'll be decorating my own classroom (interior designer), critiquing stories and writing assignments (editor), teaching literature and parts of speech (english teacher), along with math (algebra teacher), conducting weekly art projects (painter), and designing my own worksheets and graphic organizers (graphic designer). all i need is a disney character dress up day, and i've fulfilled all my employment dreams. talk about a win-win-win! 


memorial day weekend

well, the long weekend has come and gone.

i'm less than excited about returning to school tomorrow. 

now that my second practicum is over, i'll be in school monday - thursday from 8-3 (*cough*with no breaks*cough*) AND, because i put the "pro" in "procrastination", i'll also be taking a statistics class from 5-7. 

luckily, my fantastic weekend with family reminded me how much i love life. i'm happy, rejuvenated, and ready to crush the next 2 months of summer school. here is a little recap of what we did: 

FRIDAY: dinner at chili's, and game night
SATURDAY: costco, shopping, picnic in the park, playing in grass, feeding ducks, homemade pizza, games, and froyo date 
SUNDAY: spencer's farewell, spencer's farewell breakfast, eva's blessing, eva's blessing lunch, and family time in midway
MONDAY: sleeping in, homework, running, target, and more homework. 
... nothing exciting enough to take pictures of. 

i love my family, and i love three day weekends.
hope you all enjoyed your long weekend and are ready for the start of a new week!


ferrari friday

scotty is the best. seriously. he works so extremely hard to provide for me while i'm trying to finish school, and he'll do whatever it takes to make me smile. i am lucky to be married to someone as compassionate, hard working, and fun as he is! in an attempt to show appreciation to my husband, i bought a groupon voucher for a ferrari drive. if any of you know scotty, you know he's quite the car person. he loves going fast. he drools over expensive cars. most of his long-term goals include a camaro. needless to say, he was pretty excited! the deal consisted of a 3-lap drive and a cd of pictures. 
have you seen a bigger grin on his face? i don't think i have!
i love you, scotty! thanks for all you do. 


10 freezer to crockpot meals

adulthood has changed me -- i'm not the fun and spontaneous person i used to be! i was blessed with 5 days off (yes, 5 days) between winter semester and spring semester, and i spent every minute doing boring housewifey stuff. you know, like laundry, cleaning the apartment, rearranging the living room, and making freezer meals. 

but let me tell you, making those freezer meals was one of the best decisions of my life! totally worth the social sacrifices. you can do it too! it's so easy. the hardest part was spending hours on pinterest researching and looking for the best recipes. i tried to pick ones that had some similar ingredients. after that, all you need is a buttload of food, money, and ziploc gallon bags! 

i picked 8 recipes to make 10 meals (i doubled two of them). i went to costco and harmons and bought everything i didn't already have. i spent a total of about $110, with some of the purchases being spices, oils, or bottles of things that i can keep using for a long time. 
i let the bags of chicken thaw out, and then i laid out all the other ingredients. i was ready to dominate! i labeled ten 1-gallon ziploc bags with the recipe name, cooking time, and any other instructions. i turned on les mis. then i chopped away and packed a bag at a time! 
things got pretty crowded. 
it was really time consuming, but really simple. it took me almost 3 hours, but to be honest i was taking my sweet precious time. i wasn't in a hurry at all. also, i was feeling a little OCD so i washed my hands like 492 times. and i probably worked longer than necessary because i didn't chop all my veggies at once, i went recipe by recipe. and i had to stop chopping peppers to sob while anne hathaway was singing. bless her heart. 
anyway, the few pieces of advice i have for this project are to add the liquids LAST, and make sure each bag thaws for a good amount of time before you dump the contents in the crockpot. duh and duh -- but for noobs like me, those things didn't come easy :) also, get as much air out of the bag as possible, and once everything is in the bag, squish it around with your hands so the contents are distributed evenly. 
 now for the moment you've all been waiting for... pictures and recipes! 
cilantro lime chicken
in the bag: 
3 chicken breasts
juice from 2 limes
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 (16 oz) bag corn
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
to cook: 
cook on low for 8 hours
shred meat and serve on tortillas
chicken broccoli alfredo
in the bag: 
3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 (16 oz) bag frozen broccoli 
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 (16 oz) jars alfredo sauce
to cook: 
cook on low for 4-6 hours
serve over noodles
hawaiian chicken
in the bag: 
2-3 chicken breasts
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs soy sauce
1/2 can of large pineapple chunks
1/2 cup of pineapple juice (from can) 
to cook: 
cook on low for 6-7 hours
shred and serve over rice
teriyaki chicken
in the bag: 
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces 
1 cup teriyaki sauce 
1 cup water
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
a few sprinkles of ginger
to cook: 
cook on low for 4-6 hours
creamy italian chicken
in the bag: 
4 chicken breasts
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can cream of chicken
1 dry packet of italian seasoning
to cook: 
cook on low for 4-6 hours
honey rosemary chicken
in the bag: 
4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup honey 
1/3 cup olive oil 
3 tbs rosemary, chopped
1 tsp salt
to cook: 
cook on low for 6-8 hours
bbq chicken
in the bag: 
4-6 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 (12 oz) bottle of bbq sauce 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar 
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
to cook: 
cook on low for 4-6 hours
chicken fajitas
in the bag: 
2 green peppers 
1 onion
3 chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken broth
taco seasoning packet
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
to cook: 
cook on low for 5-6 hours
shred meat and serve on tortillas

that's all! i doubled the teriyaki chicken and the cilantro lime chicken because i thought they sounded the best, but i'm excited to try all of them! can you tell i'm not a huge red meat person :) ? and i am not one to plagiarize, so let me give you the sources for these recipes. i got the chicken broccoli alfredo and cilanto lime chicken from six sisters stuff. i got the honey rosemary chicken from kojo designs, hawaiian chicken and chicken fajitas from this post, and then i got teriyaki chicken, sweet bbq chicken, creamy italian chicken from over the big moon. she has great tips and ideas. how did people know recipes before pinterest? pinterest and these ladies just saved me from 10 nights of dinner-prepping stress.

so there you have it. $110, 1 hour of grocery shopping, 2.5 hours of prepping, and i was able to stuff my freezer with 10 meals - ready to be eaten!  
good luck to you all, and let me know how it goes!
p.s. if you have any great crockpot recipes, i would love to hear them.
p.p.s. my blog is now on bloglovin' so make sure to follow! 


first year funnies

you know how people say your first year of marriage is the hardest? i agree, but i also think it's a lot more awesome than hard. it's full of changes, new discoveries, bliss, and a few tears. just because you're adjusting to this new way of life doesn't mean you can't have some freaking great times.

in fact, you need those freaking great times.

because those are what keep you going through the hard times. a year ago, i started compiling all of the ridiculous "hard things" scotty and i experienced during our first year of marriage with the intentions of posting them on our one-year anniversary. when the time came, some of these were still sore subjects... it was too soon to post. but hey, time heals all wounds and now i think they're all hilarious! today we have been married for a year and a half. so in celebration and for your comedic pleasure, here are some of mine and scotty's first year trials. enjoy.
-the first night we were married and settled into our apartment with stocked cabinets, scotty said, "so what are you going to make for dinner?" i didn't know. he asked, "how about we just make some rice and cook up two chicken breasts?" i then realized that i didn't know how to prepare rice. a basic skill that every 5 year old in china knows how to do. and i didn't. and i cried.

-on the second morning of our honeymoon, scotty woke up to the sound of me sobbing in bed. i was crying so hard. he didn't know if he did something wrong or if i was regretting our marriage or what. the poor guy had no idea what was going on! a few minutes later, i woke up from a dream of my mom dying... my pet turtle named mom.

-i fell for a freaking radio scam. i called in thinking i was paying $40 for a $300 gas card... but really i paid to learn not to trust anyone. and to talk to my financial advisor (scotty) before making any purchases.

-scotty didn't give me flowers (or anything at all) on our first valentines day. coworkers and friends, i lied to you to save myself the embarrassment. but i can assure you this will never happen again. we both learned very valuable lessons that night. 
-i was doing laundry one day and i went to the laundry room to pick up our dry clothes... someone had stolen our laundry basket. jerks.

-scotty was complaining about a stain on one of his older-than-old t-shirts, so i put my finger in one of the many holes and ripped the shirt in half.  i later found out that this was the first "class of '07" shirt he ever bought in high school and it was special to him.

-i went into the bathroom and found water on the ground.  "scotty! dry off after you take a shower!!!" i complained. "i haven't even taken a shower today!" ... "really...?" scotty came in and examined the floor.  we both agreed that it was, indeed, wet. we looked up. water was dripping from our ceiling. but wait, the story gets better! we called maintenance and within a few minutes the guy was in our apartment inspecting everything. a light bulb clicked in his head, and he went to talk to the people who live above us. long story short, the lazy people above us were using paper towels in place of toilet paper because they were all out. im sure your imagination can make the connection between my idiotic neighbors and my leaky ceiling.
-once, one of us thought it would be funny to switch the placement of our almost-identical toothbrushes. it was not. 

-scotty signed us up to feed the missionaries, didn't tell me, and wasn't home when they came. my conversation with them when they showed up at the door was pretty awkward. 

-i put one of scotty's nice wool sweaters in the dryer... it went from size xl to xxxxs in a matter of minutes.

-for days and days i nagged scotty about putting away the cords to the TV, because he always left them out in the middle of the living room in order for the antenna to get better reception. after a heated discussion, i threatened him one last time (like the mean wife that i am) and gave up. the next day, he tripped over the cords and broke a piece off of our TV that is irreplaceable.

-once i had loaded the dishwasher almost full- i thought i would wait to start it because surely i could stick just a few more things in there- and i left for work. i came home later that day and my sweet husband had seen the full dishwasher and unloaded it.
-one morning, we both woke up to sharp pains from me head-butting scotty in my sleep.

-a different morning, scotty filled a bowl with cereal and about 1/3 cup of milk. there wasn't enough in the jug so he just left the bowl there to get soggy and went to work. what a lovely surprise to come home to :)

-speaking of milk, one of the hardest difficulties to overcome in a marriage is buying the right milk. do i buy a whole gallon and have the last little bit go sour? or do i buy a 1/2 gallon and use it up too fast? all i need is a 3/4 jug! someone get on that.
look at us now. so much wiser, happier, and chubbier. the first year was great, but the second has been even better. we work so well together and we really understand each other. i'm so lucky to be married to my scotty!