Home Sweet Home

Today I was at school from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm so it's a darn good thing that I love my classroom. This year I got the premium location- very front of the school right across from the office. I can make a quick exit, I have two big windows, and I can easily send my kids across the hall to the principal's office if needs be. I spent many hours this summer fixing up my new room only to go into a panic the night before school started because I was worried it was too girly. But, so far none of the boys have complained so I'm sticking with it.

Here are some pictures of my home away from home. My theme this year is Fifth Grade Hits the Spot.


What a Week!

In my first full week of school I realized the honeymoon was over. My kids got a little more rambunctious and I realized just how big fifth graders are! Quite a few are taller than me, and we just can't fit all of them and their desks in our room, it's so crowded! We'll have to work on that next week, along with a few other things. :)

Meanwhile, my mom and 3 sisters came for the week. They came down one day to meet my kids and help out in my classroom, which was so nice of them. We also had a big sleepover at our apartment one night (it was extremely crowded, but very fun.) We went to a few family picnics during the week and it was great to see lots of cousins. We also watched fabulous movies like Hannah Montana and Seventeen Again. Katie moved into her new apartment, which is 2 blocks further away from us, but still within 5 blocks so we can handle it. We also made the usual journey to Park City for some shopping. It was a wonderful week, and I was so sad to see them go.

Unfortunately, my new camera didn't arrive until Thursday so we don't have pictures to document the week, but from now on I promise the pictures will be back!

Tomorrow is Bryan's last first day of school. We're both very excited for him to start his graduate program because that means there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we're also well aware of the busy and difficult year ahead. This is just one of Bryan's books and its 4 inch thick spine is enough to make me want to break down in tears. Luckily I married a Civil Engineering genius. Go Bryan!



I've never been very good at dealing with change. Every year on the night before the first day of school (and I've had a lot of first days of school) I have a nervous breakdown. Last week I attempted to figure out why this annual meltdown occurs. It's not that I don't like school, on the contrary I have always loved school. I finally realized that I just hated to not be at home all day with my mom. I knew I would miss her so much while I was gone all day.

This year I knew I was in for quite a year. I went from a school in the wealthiest part of Provo to a school in the poorest part of the city. My students are sweet and darling, but have VERY different family lives than my previous students. In my opinion, fifth graders' greatest concern should be what color hair ribbon to wear instead of how their family is going to eat that night. But, these kids are adorable and I'm so glad I'm able to spend this year with them.

It's been tough to adjust back to a work schedule again. I miss my free time, clean apartment, and full refrigerator. But, all change has a silver lining and I know this year holds experiences that will be exciting and enriching.


Looking Forward

I must admit, I am not exactly jumping for joy at the prospect of trading in my wonderful care-free days of summer for work on Wednesday. I do love teaching, but I also love my free time and being able to do whatever I want whenever I want. I can feel the stress creeping in as I run around preparing my room and figuring out what on earth I'm going to teach these kids.

Feeling very pleased with my ability to find the positive in the midst of my stress, I told Bryan, "I decided that I'm excited for school to start because Christmas can't come unless school starts, and I'm very excited for Christmas." He wasn't as impressed with me as I was.

My wise husband said, "It's great to look forward to things, but then you forget that you're supposed to be living today. We should find something to look forward to every day so we make sure we enjoy it."

Due to construction we had a long drive back from SLC to discuss this and I decided he's right. I often spend so much time looking forward to something in the future that I waste time I have right now. Instead of appreciating the moments I have now that are slipping so fast I dream of moments to come in the future. I think it's an easy thing to do because "it's always greener on the other side." But I'd like to try Bryan's advice and find something to look forward to every day.

Today I'm looking forward to Bryan coming home from his meetings at church so we can make yummy panini sandwiches for dinner.


Chocolate Dream Cake

Bry and I just got back from a fabulous weekend getaway to visit his parents. We biked around San Francisco, ate lots of mom's delicious food, enjoyed a black and tan (best ice cream treat ever, and I am quite an ice cream expert,) played blokus, visited Dillon Beach, went to a wild and crazy soccer game, and the girls got pedicures. It was a weekend full of fun and relaxation.

On Thursday night I had a dream that Michael (Bryan's dad) made chocolate cake for breakfast. I told him the next morning and we laughed at the absurdity. But late that night after everyone else had gone to bed, Michael went out to the front lawn (so he wouldn't wake us) and mixed up a chocolate cake. When I went into the kitchen on Saturday there was a beautiful chocolate cake sitting on the table for breakfast. This is why I love these people.

ps- Our camera is broken so I unfortunately have no pictures of the beautiful cake, you just have to trust me on this one.


Once Upon a Time

I was a young eighteen year old girl walking into S Hall feeling completely scared to death. There were many wonderful girls that I met that year, but this post is dedicated to a girl named Lisa. She was everything I wasn't- tall, gorgeous, smart, athletic, funny, and did I mention tall? We had great times together that year and the years to follow. We rushed home from dates to tell each other every gushy detail, we made dinner together and chatted about the adventures of our day, we took fabulous trips to Disneyland, Hooper, and Salt Lake, we cheered our loudest at football games, had awesome dance parties, and sometimes Lisa would even play her guitar and sing for me before we went to bed. We agonized over difficult tests, and celebrated when those tests were over. I will never forget one January I had left my family after Christmas break and was coming back to a difficult semester and a terrible Utah winter. Tears flowed as I drove down from the airport. But Lisa was there to meet me on the stairs and practically carried me up to our apartment. She sat next to me all night as we laughed and cried about our fun breaks and the semester ahead of us. Lisa taught me what it means to be a good friend.

In the summer of 2007 we both married our Bryans from the Bay Area (conveniently they were roommates as well.) It was hard to know we would never be roommates again, but luckily we found apartments on the same block. We still went to ward activities together, double dated, had Just Girls nights, and visited, texted, emailed, or called to report on our day.

This week Lisa moved to California. As you can imagine, it was not the happiest event to occur in my life. I feel lost without my BYU buddy. For the past 5 years, we've pretty much shared every big event together. But the great thing about life these days is that even though we live far apart, we can still share every big event together. I owe S Hall many thanks for helping me find one of my dearest friends.

This is one of my favorite pictures of us (note the matchy scarves!) from our Sophomore year



Yesterday I was watching Good Things Utah and saw them make this:

I decided to try it for Family Night, and of course it didn't turn out as beautiful or perfect as it did on tv, but it was pretty good. We loved that it was a cold summer apple pie to hold us over until Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

  • 1-1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese softened
  • 2 (4 oz.) pkgs. Instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • 1 prepared 9 inch graham cracker crust
  • 1 (21 oz.) can apple pie filling
  • 2 T. toasted slivered almonds
Place cream cheese in large bowl and gradually beat milk into it until smooth. Add pudding mix and stir. Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and beat for another 2 minutes; spread into pie crust. In medium sized bowl, mix apple pie filling and remaining cinnamon. Spread evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Cover and chill for 4 hours or until set. Sprinkle with almonds just before stirring. Store pie in refrigerator.

{I was lazy and just put the milk and cream cheese in the blender instead of killing my wrist stirring. And, I found out that sometimes pudding is sold in 5 oz packages a little too late, so I added too much pudding (10 oz instead of 8 oz) but it was still tasty}