Transformation Tuesday

My BYU graduation was last week, and I've spent a lot of time reflecting on the past five years. So many things changed between these two graduations! I look at my high school picture and barely even recognize that girl. I'm so proud of the person I've become, and the accomplishments I've made along this journey. 
18  ------->  23
white  ------->  blue
desperately single  ------->  happily married 
bengal  ------->  cougar
Las Vegas resident  ------->  Salt Lake City resident
thin awkward eyebrows ------->  filled & shaped eyebrows
Volvo S40  ------->  Hyundai Elantra
student council  ------->  honor-code violator 
Dr. Pepper  ------->  bottled water 
Barnes  ------->  Marx 
savings account  ------->  student loans
virgin hair  ------->  subtle ombre
David Archuleta  ------->  Justin Bieber 
pet turtle  ------->  anti-animals
MAC  -------> Bare Minerals 
super baby hungry  ------->  terrified of offspring
guitar hero  ------->  subway surfers 
macbook  ------->  macbook air
bangs  ------->  bang-free 
American Idol & Survivor  ------->  Modern Family & Grey's Anatomy
warm summer's tan  ------->  pale white skin
LG chocolate touch  ------->  iPhone 5S
honor's medallion  ------->  just happy to pass 
favorite subject: English  ------->  favorite subject: science
part-time job at a dry cleaner  ------->  full-time 4th grade teacher
Mean Girls  ------->  Pitch Perfect
Facebook  ------->  Instagram
2009  ------->  2014



Welp, we are moving.
Every corner of our apartment looks like this right now.

After 2.5 years of living in Midvale, we have decided to pack our bags and venture off into the bustling, delightful patch of land that is Salt Lake City. And I'm not talking "Salt Lake City" as in one of the nearby cities close enough to call it Salt Lake City -- I'm talking downtown, behind the conference center, seeing the glow of the Christmas lights at Temple Square, Salt Lake City.

I have mixed feelings about this milestone. Yes, I'm excited. But I'm also not excited. If my 23 years have taught me anything about this life, it's this: Most changes are bittersweet. At least, to some extent. In helps to lighten my mood about the whole situation, I've been compiling a list of pros/cons. Except I'm presenting it as a list of cons/pros, because ending on a happy note seems like the better option here. Some of the situations I've been battling or celebrating are as follows:

- Potentially an extremely long, painful commute for me to West Jordan. (If I continue working in West Jordan. Which is another post for another day.)
- I will miss the amazing friends we've made in our ward and apartment complex.
- A heartbreakingly far distance away from a Super Target.
- No dishwasher. I know, I know. I cried a little bit. I foresee many paper plates being purchased in the near future. Scotty signed a full-time contract for dish duty, and he's currently on the hunt for a portable dishwasher.
- The bathroom in our new apartment sucks balls. LISTEN, I know that phrase is wildly inappropriate, but I promise you there's no better description. There is literally not an inch of counter space, no cabinets, no drawers, and I really hope the grout in there was painted brown. I can barely fit inside the bathroom, so two people seems completely out of the question! I'm thinking we will need to put an office/vanity area in the living room so I have somewhere to do my hair. Which also isn't ideal.
- The closet. *shudders* Picture this: a dark, cold, 1.5 ft. by .5 ft slice of wall space with a rickety pole and a couple of shelves. One where you need to stand sideways and suck in to be able to get through the door. That's our new closet. Pray for me.
- I reeeeeaaaally wanted to move into a 2 bedroom apartment. Sadly, this only has one bedroom.
- Packing and moving. Ugh.

- Rent is $200 less than what we're paying now, for more sq feet. So that's awesome. With my income doubling and the smaller rent check, Scotty predicts we'll save at least 7 grand next year.
- That extra stash of money could possibly turn into a down payment for a house!
- Harmon's and Trader Joes will be my new convenient grocery stores of choice! I love those places!
- Scotty can walk (within minutes!) to work and school. No more daily TRAX ticket purchases, planning out a schedule for the car, or driving way out of my way to pick him up!
- The living room in our new apartment is GREAT! It's bigger than ours, and it feels really open. There are huge windows that provide beautiful natural light, and the whole thing just seems fresh. It's not like the yellow-tinted cave we're living in now.
- We'll be living on the second floor. Every night in our current apartment, I fall asleep to the sweet sound of elephants stomping around above me and serenading me with their bodily fluids falling into the toilet. I won't miss that.
- Our new place is walking distance from City Creek, the Conference Center, Temple Square, and other enjoyable SLC hot-spots.
- I'm excited to explore a new city. Scotty and I love finding little hole-in-the-wall places. I want to get the authentic SLC experience! Unique restaurants, home stores, and clothing boutiques are calling my name!
- THE KITCHEN! Oh my goodness, the kitchen! It's open, it's full of light, it actually has decent cabinet space, and here's the best part -- more than one person can stand in it at a time. Isn't that magical? It's like all of my wife duties and experiences have been leading up to this point!
- Speaking of the kitchen, someone left a huuuuuge brand new freezer there. Score. I treasure my freezer space! I am so excited to buy in bulk and vacuum seal things even more than I already do.
- I'm excited for a fresh start with new friends, a new ward, and new neighbors.
- The Bountiful Temple won't be so out of the way. I love that temple; it's gorgeous!
- Whilst packing, I plan to do a lot of PURGING, which brings me an unspeakable amount of joy. I love de-junking and organizing. D.I. better clear some shelves!
- Combine the de-junking and saving extra money each month... Do you smell that? That's the sweet smell of new furniture and decorations.
-I may or may not have been bribed with hair extensions.

As you can see, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. My mind is a swirling pool of emotions right now. I'm happy, I'm excited, I'm anxious, stressed, terrified, humbled, and worried. Wish us luck!



WELL, I think it's safe to say I suck at blogging. Majorly suck. But, something I don't suck at is taking pictures on my phone. So here's a picture for every day in February... because frankly... that's all I have time for. Word.

Scotty set up a home computer with every movie, song, and picture we've ever had and connected it to our Apple TV... unlimited access to everything!  
My cousin recently had a baby and we went to his blessing. This is Sam's other boy, Chris, and he is pretty freaking cute. Also, we went to a Super Bowl party with my mom's side of the family.
Bill's the man. He taught me everything I know.
Fabric shopping for a potential DIY project... that houndstooth is calling my name. 
Enjoying off-track time, but anxiously preparing for my next few units. 
Found a new favorite app: Waterlogue. It magically turns all of my selfies (or any picture) into a fancy watercolor-like work of art. 
Hate. This. Game. 
Met with my counselor at BYU. He said I can graduate. I was so happy, I celebrated with chocolate milk and dark chocolate sea salt caramels. Good times. 
My secret admirer passed me a valentine during church. 
First day back at school after a 3-week break, and things got dirty! 
Early V-day gift from my coworker... true love, right here! 
Late-night Walmart trip for some essentials...
... to make soil layers in a cup! Probably my favorite lesson I've ever taught. 
Romantic spa night with my cute valentine. 
Parents came into town. We played mini golf at Trafalga, ate lots of candy, and I finally earned my place at the "adult" dinner. Precious bonding time. 
I laughed all day long looking at this picture of Scotty shining a light on my grandma so she could read the menu. I love both of them! Then we had theee best pot roast dinner at her house. 
Family went back to vegas. We had a heart-breaking (but delicious) goodbye at Fazolis. 
Enjoyed reading some of the Valentine's Day work. Grading isn't as boring as you'd think! 
Still on a candy-hangover from Valentine's day. My students spoiled me. 
We found out Scotty got accepted to the U! I am so excited and so proud of him! 
This is what our living room looks like at any given time. Hashtag teacher problems. 
We donated plasma for the first time... success! (and yay for extra target shopping money!) 
I officially started pinning for my graduation party... APRIL 25th!!! WOOO! 
SHORT SLEEVE WEATHER, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!? However, I know Utah too well. This will not be the end of winter. Just a friendly sneak peek of what's to come in 3 months.
Classic Utah move: hot one day, rainy the next. 
I didn't mind, though. I'm a sucker for rainy days.
We housesat for my aunt Julie. I thoroughly enjoyed living in a house for a few days. We experienced a majestic life with a pantry, quality dishwasher, PERSONAL WASHER/DRYER, and kitchen that holds more than one person!
Another picture from Julie's. Scotty was pretty excited about their TV. Oh, and Grey's came back on... what a joke. But let's be honest, Dr. Kepner made the right choice. 
Finally tried a Swig sugar cookie... It didn't disappoint. 
Scotty's oatmeal one tasted like poop, though. 

Here's to a magnificent March!



Here are all of the noteworthy things that happened in my life this year! I am so ready for 2013 to be over, haha.

+ My brother left for his mission.
+ We started a new semester of school.
+ Scotty turned 24.
+ There was that day with freezing rain. People were literally skating across campus. Google it.
+ We got a new computer, and got KSL-screwed on our old one.
+ The Believe Acoustic album was released.
+ I quit my job at the BYU Student Employment Office.
+ I ran over a bumper and ruined our perfect little car. It looks ugly and broken.
+ I became obsessed with the movie Pitch Perfect.

+ We sold Scotty's truck.
+ I watched Top Gun for the first time.
+ We bought an iPad Mini.
+ We celebrated Valentine's Day at Cheesecake Factory.
+ We visited baby Eva in the hospital!
+ I went to my first blogger party.
+ I started my practicum.
+ We went to a Jazz vs. Celtics game.

+ Both of our moms came into town! (in the same week)
+ We boycotted St. Patrick's day.
+ I took the PRAXIS (licensure test for teaching).
+ Scotty got a new position at work.
+ I successfully hid an entire box of girl scout cookies from my husband.
+ My family visited during their spring break. We went to a BYU game.
+ I was offered a teaching job! We celebrated.
+ We sold our bunny.
+ Scotty bought Les Mis for me.

+ Ron and Kim visited!
+ Jen and Tony invited us to General Conference with them.
+ Scotty upgraded his phone to an iPhone 5.
+ The iPhone 5 was stolen off his desk at work.
+ I got a ticket. Stupid HOV lane.
+ Scotty's hard drive crashed, erasing every single homework assignment, work project, etc.
+ We went to St. George for our cruise friends' baby blessing.
+ The "Ship My Pants" commercial came into my life. Never gets old.
+ We went to a BYU Baseball game with my my aunt and uncle.
+ We finished another semester of school.
+ I enjoyed my four-day break before summer school started. Projects and relaxing.

+ It freaking snowed. In May.
+ We went to Vegas for our niece Dakota's baby blessing.
+ Scotty drove a Ferrari.
+ My family visited for Memorial Day.
+ Great Gatsby. We loved the soundtrack more than the actual movie.
+ I started my second practicum.
+ We talked to my missionary brother on the phone!
+ Scotty bought equity in his boss's company.

+ We saw Ron and Kim while they were in SLC for girl's camp.
+ I went to Vegas with Jen for less than 24 hours.
+ I passed my statistics class (PRAISE THE LORD!).
+ Scotty got a ticket for crossing over the trax tracks. What a joke.
+ I spent a butt-load of time making and buying things for my classroom.
+ The rest of June was a blur... I was gone for 13 HOURS A DAY. I left every morning at 7, had classes from 8:00 to 3:00 with no breaks, I spent 3:00 to 5:00 doing homework, then I went to a statistics class from 5:00 to 7:00, which put me home around 7:45 or 8:00. Scotty was running the call center. His hours started later to match when people would be home to call, so he wasn't getting home until 10:30 pm. We were both working really, really, really hard. It was stressful and exhausting. And it sucked.

+ We celebrated the Fourth of July.
+ We drove to Daybreak every weekend to drool over houses. Free and fun entertainment.
+ We swam in our pool a few times trying to make up for the fact that we didn't get to go to Oceanside with my family or Huntington Beach with Scotty's family.
+ We dressed up like cows to get free Chick-fil-a.
+ We were locked inside our apartment complex's laundry room for 20 minutes.
+ Again, kind of a blur with our busy schedules.

+ I finished my classes at BYU!!! Happiest day.
+ Our cruise friends came to visit.
+ My mom and Tanner also came to visit.
+ Scotty's boss gave us a $100 gift card to Gap, which was kind of amazing. We were so poor all year, we rarely went shopping for fun.
+ I got called to work with the young women in my ward.
+ I started using DoTerra oils.
+ Our Lake Powell trip was canceled. We were seriously heartbroken.
+ We went to Las Vegas for a weekend.
+ I fulfilled my life dreams by setting up the cutest classroom and teaching the cutest students.
+ My first day of school was amazing. 
+ I survived the intimidating Back-to-School Night.

+ We felt really old while chaperoning a church youth dance.
+ The LDS Business College reserved an endowment session for all of the students and their spouses. All of the workers at that time were professors and other school administrators. It was seriously one of the coolest experiences! Before the session, everyone met in the chapel and the temple president spoke to us. So so special!
+ I barely slept because I had no idea how to grade papers, plan lessons, etc.
+ I deactivated my Facebook for a month. So nice!
+ I went to the Relief Society Broadcast with my grandma, aunt, and cousin!
+ We fell in love with iOS 7
+ I went to a football game for two of my students.

+ General Conference again!
+ We had dinner with Jen and Tony. Love them.
+ We had a relaxing weekend in Brian Head and Bryce Canyon.
+ Scotty got called as the Ward Mission Leader! He is amazing at it. I am so proud of him. 
+ We went to two Halloween parties.
+ I got a pell grant! Wooo!
+ ... and I used it to pay tuition for the last time ever. Greatest feeling. 
+ My mom visited us.

+ We celebrated our second anniversary! We went to Benihana and the Natural History Museum.
+ Scotty bought me an iPhone 5S. Gold. Beautiful. 
+ We said the prayers in sacrament meeting.
+ We set up our Christmas tree.
+ Scotty bought equity in a leather bag company, Gobi. 
+ I had my first experience running into a student outside of school. It was at Chilis, and his face when he saw me was freaking priceless.
+ I survived parent-teacher conferences.
+ My family visited my classroom. It totally made the list of top ten best days of my life.
+ Thanksgiving with a ton of my mom's family.
+ I found SIX gray hairs. I kid you not.

+ The first snow of the season. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm starting to not hate it. I still don't like it, but hey... baby steps, here. Be proud.
+ We went to a bunch of plays and performances.
+ We went to a holiday cookie swap.
+ I ate lots of cookies before, during, and after the cookie swap.
+ We freaked out because we thought we were part of the Target fraud crisis... but we weren't :)
+ We loved getting Brazilian food with Angela, Shawn, and baby Eva.
+ I got my nose waxed... seriously the best thing ever. Don't think about it, just go do it.
+ We went to a UNLV basketball game.
+ I turned 23.
+ We spent time with our families in Vegas.

2013 was difficult. I faced a lot of trials and struggles. Without the support from Scotty and our families, this year would have been impossible! I am so thankful for the loving relationships in my life and the blessings I have been given. I'm hoping 2014 will bring a diploma, a new apartment, and financial stability. And I guess a smaller pant size wouldn't hurt :) Here's to a new year and a fresh start. 


A Classy Christmas Season

December was an exciting month for us! We enjoyed many different things. Usually we spend our quality time at the mall, Target, the movie theater, etc... the usual. This month, however, we felt extra cultured as we attended all kinds of artistic events! 

First, we went to Savior of the World. It is an annual program put on by the church held in the conference center theater downtown, and my good friend/coworker performed in it. Scotty doesn't usually like the singing-dancing stuff I drag him to, but this one was so different. The play depicts the Savior's birth and death. Scotty and I both got teary; it was absolutely beautiful! This performance was the perfect thing to put us in a spiritual christmasy mode. 
Another classy thing we went to was The Nutcracker. One of my cute students was performing in it, so I just had to go!!! She did great. Scotty had never been to a ballet before, so I was surprised when he told me he enjoyed it. He recognized most of the music, and I think he liked the fact that there weren't any cheesy broadway-type songs being sung :) I personally love ballets! I am always mesmerized by the jeweled costumes and graceful dance moves.
Then we went to the Music and the Spoken Word slash the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert with our good friends Jessica and Wade! Wade scored four tickets and was kind enough to think of us to invite! We are lucky to have such good friends. 
Mo Tab never disappoints! I loved listening to the hymns. My favorite was Angels We Have Heard On High. So so powerful! It was also fun to see the organist's feet move crazily back and forth, and to see John Rhys-Davies fly off the stage and hover above the audience! Intense special effects in that conference center, haha. The prophet attended the concert as well -- it's always exciting to be in the same room as he is. 
 Lastly, we went to Temple Square with the Zeiglers and saw the temple lights! I love this tradition! It's always a treat to visit the Salt Lake temple and remember the church's history. I feel so blessed and honored to be a part of the LDS church. I love the magical spirit of Christmas I feel when I see their lights. 
A beautiful display of architecture and electricity. 
So beautiful, in fact, that some would recommend holding a camera in each hand: 
I love her haha! We are so happy we found some fun friends in our ward. It is starting to feel more and more like home. 
What a fun month! Now we are in Vegas making more memories with our families and friends. I am so grateful for all the people and experiences I've been blessed with in this life! Merry Christmas! 


How's teaching?

When someone asks, "How's teaching?" I get embarrassed because there's really no simple answer. I can't just say, "Oh it's going great!" or, "Actually, it sucks!" or, "It's freaking exhausting!" or, "I love it!" because any one of those phrases alone would give someone an incomplete idea. Teaching is great! and it does suck! And jeeze, it's exhausting! But I really do love it.

But now the problem is if I respond with something like, "It's great, sucky, and exhausting, but I can't get enough of it!" people will think I'm going insane. Send me to a nut house or something. All I can do to prove I'm not losing my marbles is provide stories that support each statement.

It's going great: 
Teaching IS going great! My kids are amazing! They are so smart and so capable. They did reports on Utah's state symbols in small groups and they completely blew my mind. They created posters, planned the presentations, and researched the information all by themselves. I almost teared up on presentation day. They are rock stars. For the most part, I've stayed organized and clean, which I'm incredibly proud of. I don't know if you've looked at any other teacher desks lately, but I'd say being able to see the top of mine is a pretty big deal. On another happy note, I've had a few parents donate supplies to the classroom and I'm just tickled pink about it. Some of my lesson plans are just straight up amazing and creative. I'm super proud of that. I mean, come on, I used Taylor Swift's Red to teach similes and metaphors. Genius. My management has been pretty decent, and it's getting even better. My relationships with my students are all positive, but professional. It's great.

It sucks:
Teaching really does suck. It sucks! Kids get bullied. Feelings get hurt. I have to mediate arguments and disagreements. I hear the most depressing stories about home and family life. They break my heart. I'm emotionally drained after being supportive and concerned for 24 other souls. I have to do recess duty in the cold, and after-school duty on occasion. I have to hold my pee for 4+ hours at a time. I can't munch on snacks whenever I want to. I'm supposed to be all-knowing and able to supply my children with bandaids every five minutes when another scab is scratched off. They are always wanting to share irrelevant stories. They need to get a drink every two minutes, and then cry when I won't let them. They complain about handwriting time. I even have to buy their supplies with my own money. I catch their colds, I watch them pick their noses... the list goes on and on, people. It sucks.

It's freaking exhausting: 
I feel like every first year teacher should have to sign a form saying "I UNDERSTAND I WILL ONLY SLEEP, EAT, AND BREATHE SCHOOL FOR THE NEXT 6 MONTHS!" I knew it would be really time consuming, but I thought it'd at least still have time to communicate with the outside world or itch the occasional scratch. Planning, preparing, shopping, grading, and making crap for my classroom is taking up my life. I can't catch a break and it's killing me. I rarely get to sleep before 12, and I'm out the door by 7. I work from 8-6, come home and stuff some food down my throat, then I'm back in my corner grading and planning. Then the process starts over. The sad thing is, I work so hard to prepare for the next week, and then there's a new week after that. and a new week after that. and after that. Sometimes I feel like it's never going to end. I don't want to neglect my poor husband, but I feel like I'm giving my whole self to barely hit the minimum amount of work I need to do. Oh, and my feet are practically falling off. Any good shoe recommendations? I'm dying over here. It's exhausting.

I love it:
I LOVE IT! I promise! Even though I spent the last two paragraphs complaining about it, it's amazing. There's nothing more thrilling and rewarding. I have 24 people who write me notes, draw me pictures, and laugh at my jokes. It's great. I love getting them excited about learning and watching them progress.  It's amazing to for me to watch a student struggle, present the material to her in a different way, and see the light bulbs come on. A few weeks ago, one of my girls couldn't round numbers to save her life. Rounding! She just didn't understand. I worked with her in a small group setting and one-on-one until she felt comfortable enough to explain rounding to me. We took our unit 1 test a few weeks ago, and she got 16/17. It's incredible. Some days are bad, but I always have a second chance. There's always the next lesson. My students are so passionate and dedicated. We learned about evaporation, and a few of my students went home and conducted their own evaporation experiments! I love sharing my enthusiasm with them, and singing with them, and learning with them. Watching Bill Nye, conducting experiments, and writing metaphors... how could you not love it? Right?

So... that's my answer.
And here is a picture.


Halloween 2013

Scotty and I have now been together for FOUR Halloweens. The sad thing is, none of them have been particularly festive. Let's recap:

Halloween 2010: Ah, young love. We'd only been dating 3 months. Our Halloween was a fun trip to Texas with the Marx family. We went to a wedding, ate Chick-fil-a, and toured Fortworth! A great trip, but I spent Halloween day in the airport haha. No costumes, no carving pumpkins, and no candy. (Although, Scotty was wearing a ridiculous orange shirt which could have resembled a pumpkin, and my eyebrows were scarier than any monster I've ever seen!)

Halloween 2011: SO ANXIOUS TO GET MARRIED! Just a mere 11 days away! I spent the weekend in Vegas getting a marriage license, going through the temple, and wedding planning. Halloween was the following Monday, which I spent getting my IUD in and sleeping for the rest of the day because I was knocked out on drugs. I woke up at 7 p.m. and did homework. No costumes, but Scotty and I carved pumpkins and ate a pack of sweetarts. I posted this anti status on Facebook: 

Halloween 2012: Our first Halloween together as a married couple! I dreamt of cute themed couples costumes and pretty Halloween parties, but reality had a different vision. I had to work a carnival at BYU, so Scotty stayed home and handed out halloween candy all alone. We DID go to Jen & Tony's to watch the presidential debate and make Halloween wreaths. Also, I made a skeleton cut-out shirt with Lauren for the carnival. And who could forget the mini pumpkins Scotty and I carved? A little more festive, but still missing some essential elements. 

This year was bound to be special. After three years of boring, we dressed up, celebrated, and went to parties!

Halloween 2013:
Our festivities started on Tuesday night with an awesome Halloween party at our friend's house. We ate gourmet french toast, played mafia, and took pictures in a spooky photobooth. On Wednesday, we went to our ward Halloween party and Trunk-or-Treat. We passed out candy, stuffed our faces with cheese balls and pumpkin bread, and mingled with friends. I tried not to be pissed toward the other couple wearing our exact costume. Thursday, I went to the Halloween carnival at my school, and then Scotty and I watched all the Halloween episodes of The Office. We bought candy to pass out, but sadly not a single trick-or-treater came to our door. Boo! However, I'd say this year was the most festive we've ever been; take a look at our sweet bank-account-inspired costumes!
Happy Halloween!