The most wonderful time of the year

I'm not sure exactly how to sum up our Christmas break so far. Words fail me at describing this relaxing and blissful time. And, I don't even have my cord to upload any pictures, but they will come soon, I promise!

This has definitely been a different Christmas- my first away from home. And, there have been a few moments of sadness and homesickness. It's weird to not have dozens of kids running around and to see palm trees with Christmas lights. But, the Martinez's are so good to me, and so fun to be with. I'm lucky to be part of their family now.

We've had so much fun being with family- looking at Christmas lights, playing games, watching movies, working on puzzles, going to a Christmas concert. We had a wonderful Christmas full of presents (I was very spoiled.) We made a fabulous journey into the city to see the beautiful lights, and of course there have been trips to the beach. Bryan and I had a great day yesterday- he took me to Carmel and Monterey for my birthday. It was so beautiful, and so fun to spend time together.

Bryan always makes fun of me because I start feeling sad about leaving before we even go some place! So, although I dread heading back to cold and snowy Utah and work on Monday, I am 100% enjoying this time and I'm so grateful we could take this vacation to celebrate the love of the season with family.


Oh fun!

I realize that this is post #2 for the day (okay, for the hour) but I saw this on Shauna and Ashley's blogs and it looked too fun! I've done the things that are bold

Started your own blog
Slept under the stars
Played in a band
Visited Hawaii
Watched a meteor shower
Given more than you can afford to charity
Been to Disneyland
Climbed a mountain
Held a praying mantis
Sang a solo
Bungee jumped
Visited Paris
Watched a lightning storm at sea
Taught yourself an art from scratch
Adopted a child
Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
Grown your own vegetables
Seen the Mona Lisa in France
Slept on an overnight train
Had a pillow fight
Taken a sick day when you're not ill
Built a snow fort
Held a lamb
Gone skinny dipping
Run a marathon
Ridden in a gondola in Venice
Seen a total eclipse
Watched a sunrise or sunset
Hit a home run
Been on a cruise
Seen Niagara Falls in person
Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
Seen an Amish community
Taught yourself a new language
Had enough money to be truly satisfied
Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
Gone rock climbing
Seen Michelangelo's David
Sung karaoke
Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
Visited Africa
Walked on a beach by moonlight
Been transported in an ambulance
Had your portrait painted
Gone deep sea fishing
Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud
Gone to a drive-in theater
Been in a movie
Visited the Great Wall of China
Started a business
Taken a martial arts class
Visited Russia
Served at a soup kitchen
Sold Girl Scout Cookies
Gone whale watching
Got flowers for no reason
Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
Gone sky diving
Visited a Nazi concentration camp
Bounced a check
Flown in a helicopter
Saved a favorite childhood toy
Visited the Lincoln Memorial
Eaten caviar
Pieced a quilt
Stood in Times Square
Toured the Everglades
Been fired from a job
Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
Broken a bone (does my baby toe count?)
Been on a speeding motorcycle
Seen the Grand Canyon in person
Published a book
Visited the Vatican
Bought a brand new car
Walked in Jerusalem
Had your picture in the newspaper
Read the entire Bible
Visited the White House
Killed and prepared an animal for eating
Had chicken pox
Saved someone's life
Sat on a jury
Met someone famous
Joined a book club
Lost a loved one
Had a baby
Seen the Alamo in person
Swam in the Great Salt Lake
Been involved in a lawsuit
Owned a cell phone
Been stung by a bee

Looks like I have a lot to do, but it's fun to take a little walk back in time.

In the meadow we can build a snowman

Oh, glorious Christmas Break. You couldn't have come soon enough. My normally kind and patient husband has been a beast of sorts as he has suffered through this nightmarish week (He's back to his normal self now, thank goodness.) My classroom has been in complete chaos. I arrived at school shaking and white-knuckled every morning because of that icky white stuff all over the roads. I stood outside in freezing temperatures for 15 minutes a day monitoring 150 rambunctious eight through ten year olds. My head is still pounding from leading the crazy fourth graders as we rocked out to Bruce Springsteen for our Christmas Sing Along. I have wrapped at least 10,000 gifts (it seemed...and I actually liked that part.)

In the morning we're off to the land of burritos and sunshine. I'm ready for a good dose of family, Christmas cheer, sleeping, reading, and eating. Just one more obstacle to my utopia- Nevada. And, a snowy Nevada at that. We're hoping for a good driving day tomorrow.

So, in case I get too busy relaxing, have a very Merry Christmas!!!!


No Tiffany,

I'm not pregnant. Unfortunately. Trust me, if I was pregnant you would have all heard my screams of excitement all across the country. #1 - I would have a baby, and #2 - I would get to stop working!!!! (ps- I do love teaching, I just am craving the stay-at-home mom/wife lifestyle, call me crazy if you want...)

To explain my previous very misleading post, cute Bryan is doing the 12 hints of Christmas for me. I get one hint a day to figure out my present. I left my computer open on our blog and Bryan decided to make his premier post my hint for the day. Unfortunately, I know Bryan all too well and figured my present out after clue 3 (Bryan is now protesting that he made the clues really easy because he wanted me to figure it out quick.) My present is Elf, one of my very very favorite Christmas movies. (Dad is a hint because my dad basically thinks this is the greatest movie ever made.)


Our very favorite SNL skit is Michael Vick, Really? It gets us every time. Tonight I would like to propose Canyon Crest, Really?

Really, You thought it would be a good idea to have a faculty Christmas party at 7:30 am, even though school doesn't start until 8:45, Really?
Really, You thought no one would want to skip our delightful 3 1/2 hour training on Friday afternoon so we could have the party then, Really?
Really, You thought this would actually be a nice thing to do, Really?
Really, You thought we felt like we didn't spend enough time at school, Really?
Really, You think people will show up, Really?

Obviously I'm a little bitter. And, despite all my complaining and sarcasm, we all know that good little Rachel will be there to festivate at 7:30 tomorrow morning.

Your next hint is....


A Eulogy

My dear iBook G4 reached its ultimate demise today. At approximately 3:45 pm it stopped breathing. We are waiting for the autopsy results, but it looks like the cause of death was old age.

My iBook was originally a gift from the kind-hearted Provo School District. It was an experienced computer that had lived through at least 15 other teachers before me. There was a crack in the plastic, the letters on the A,S,D,F,J,K,T,and C keys were missing, and it took at least 10 minutes to do anything. But, it had created many a quiz and worksheet. It was faithful at visiting the Powerschool website as well as the Canyon Crest calendar. How I will miss my little friend.

The first scare with my iBook occurred early this Spring when it crashed for the first time. My hero Mr. Swallow was able to resuscitate my iBook and even save all of my data. The good doctor is working hard this time, but the prognosis doesn't look good. I just don't know if little iBook can pull through this time.

At this point we are hoping for a Christmas Miracle- a brand spanking new MacBook (note the upgrade) and the ability to transfer all of my information (including tons of irreplaceable photos from the past 6 months.)

ps- Sorry about the random boxes in my last post. I really tried, but I couldn't figure out how to get rid of them. Obviously I'm not an electronics expert.


Saying Goodbye

Thanksgiving was excellent. I don't have time for the details, but trust me- it was excellent. Unfortunately though, it ended. And then came my least favorite part of living in Utah- saying goodbye.

I have self-diagnosed acute separation anxiety. Despite the fact that I am almost 23 years old, have a very supportive husband, and have lived on my own for 4 1/2 years I completely lose my composure when they leave. Basically I bawl my eyes out. Who wouldn't if they had to say goodbye to this:

Luckily I am friends with one of the most amazing girls in the world. Sweet Lisa Michelle has carried me through many departures from my family and was in full force on this one. On Tuesday she delivered this beautiful ray of sunshine to my school with the sweetest card.

You couldn't ask for a better friend. Thank You Lis!!!!!