Monday, December 27, 2010

Meddy Christmas

Christmas this year was much better than I expected.

I'll be honest, I've had a hard time this year getting that warm Christmas feeling inside. I tried everything. I tried decorating, listening to Christmas music, having a Christmas party, Christmas baking, Christmas shopping... That feeling that was there even a few years ago was gone. It's hard to create that kind of serenity and happiness living alone, and it's hard to do it at home in California with so much noise and brothers lacking in Christmas spirit and enthusiasm.

Nevertheless, it was a REALLY good day without problems or snags of any kind.

I received

-Pajamas and socks
-Musical note wall decor
-Dish drying mat
-Spice rack
-Knives
-iPod alarm clock radio
-Victoria's Secret undies
-A long, brown sweater thing
-Magic bullet
-Soup bowl
-Measuring cups
-Scentsy burners and wax
-a NOOK!!!! woot

And that's just from my parentals.

Jared got me a memory foam pillow--I was so happy about this. I wanted one so bad.
Jake got me a dark chocolate bar.
Grandparents got me dinero.
Rachel got me Beauty and the Beast on Blu-Ray, a cookie jar, and some French milled Shea butter soap.

We have yet to go to Carmen's, and she's always got some cool gadgets for me.  That's tomorrow :)

My break has been very uneventful which makes me extremely happy. I was a little anxious about how it was going to be, but things are much better than I anticipated.

I've been playing with my Nook--downloaded Mark Twain's Autobiography which I am stoked about. I managed to get most of my stuff fit into the spare suitcase I brought along.

Going to go get ready to have lunch with Allyn and Steph! I'm very excited to see them. Yay!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Howl

A song entitled "Howl" by Florence + the Machine has a fabulous line that I cannot get out of my brain...

It goes like this:

"I drag my teeth across your chest and taste your beating heart."

Seriously? How awesome is that?

I know, right?

I wish I could write amazing song lyrics.

Le sigh.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Medicine

You know, I am a believer in that God gave us bodily and natural mechanisms to defeat the health issues we face on earth. I think the body is an amazing self-healing machine, and I think nature provides what our bodies cannot.

On Wednesday I had a freak out episode. I do that once or twice a year, where it's that bad. I hadn't even thought of calming myself down, but I should have because I know that every time I freak out like that, I get sick. It's like my stress turns into a little virus ball and immediately spreads out. Thursday after school while I was doing more fruitless laboring on behalf of my students, I could feel that scratchy feeling in my throat. That one where you go, "Uh oh."

I was pretty disappointed because I had been planning a little Christmas get together for Friday. I had much work to do and wanted the energy to really enjoy myself.

So on Thursday, I took two Airborne tablets. And I had some lemon Echinacea tea (for "throat health") with honey. I slept quite well. Friday morning I was still feeling sluggish and yucky. I had more tea, more Airborne, and some Naproxen (I like Aleve better than Ibuprofen). I made it through the school day without coughing too much, and my kids were really good for the most part. Perhaps they were sympathetic to my plight? Mm... Nah. That gives them too much credit. When I got home, I took more Airborne, more Naproxen, and more Airborne.

I made it through Friday night with enthusiasm and minimal discomfort--occasional coughs.

Here I am on Saturday morning, pretty able and ready. I can feel the stuff in my chest loosening, but my coughs are productive and not excessive. I'm not sore, my glands are normal, and I feel about the same as yesterday. I think I conquered the sickness before it could get worse than this. And I honestly give the lemon echinacea tea most of the credit. Thanks, nature.

Nevertheless, I'm going to go get To Kill a Mockingbird on DVD from Murray library (which completes my lesson planning for next week. hehe) and make a stop at my complex's office. Then I'm going to veg on my couch and watch Christmas movies--I even rented the old animated kind. All of this right after I shower and make French toast.

By the way, here are the cookies we decorated. Don't be jealous. We're professionals.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pizza Pizza

Normal pizza order conversation:

"Thank you for calling (insert name of pizza place here), what can I do for you?"

"Hi, I'd like to place an order for pickup please."

"OK, can I get your phone number, name, etc.?"

OR "OK, order whenever you're ready."

Retarded pizza order conversation a moment ago:

"Thank you for calling (insert name of pizza place here), what can I do for you?"

"Hi, I'd like to place an order for pickup please."

"OK."

"...."

"...."

"...."

"...."

"Do I need to give you my phone number or anything?"

"No."

"OK, then I want..."

Like wow, are you kidding me dude?

No, "Order whenever you're ready," or "What can I get for you?"???

Are we really going to sit in silence the rest of the night?

Oh, right. The customer has to break the silence created by your insolence.

I should've known.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Just Felt Like Running

Perhaps going for a 20-minute run around the cemetery after not having worked out for many moons was not my best idea.

---------------------------------------------------

Just some tips for the desperate...

If the skin around your eyes gets really dry, itchy, and flaky, there's not a whole lot you can do. Here is a list of things I tried:

1. Cetaphil
2. Neosporin
3. Olive Oil
4. A + D
5. Cocoa butter lotion

Of all of the above, A&D works the best. I had this Refresh stuff recommended to me, but it was too expensive and  not exactly what I was looking for.

My eyes are still extremely dry. The end

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Neville

It's time to spill the beans. The love of my life's name is...

Neville Longbottom.

Seriously. He's my homeboy.

I LOVED the new Harry Potter film (which is awesome because 5 and 6 took me a few watches). I saw it tonight in a theater with only 6 other people in it. I had the best seat in the house. And I used my gift card. $0.

It ended at a spectacular place for being cut in half.

I was so excited and so anxious as the movie began. Because even though it was an anxiously awaited step in the Harry Potter film series, it was also a step closer to the end.

Guys, I've been doing this since I was a teenager. I love Harry Potter. I really, really do.

I feel like the characters are some of my closest friends and family. Especially Hagrid. I've been through tragedy and triumph with them. I've laughed with them and cried with them.

And now it's going to be over.

I think my heart will break on the night I see the last movie. Ugh. Will it ever! *sigh*

It's cool though, I've got some Neville heroics to look forward to, right? Some Weasley and Granger heroics. Some Potter heroics. A little 'a this. A little 'a that.

Annnnnd it's time for bed. Obviously.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Church and Rice Krispie Treats

I tried my hand at Rice Krispie Treats tonight.


They came out OK. I couldn't get the marshmallow to spread evenly. Not sure how to make that better in the future.


Apparently they only stay good for a day or two tops. So I packaged up two for each of my TAs as a Christmas thank you. Cute, huh? I'm so nice. Pretty sure everyone wants to be my TA.


For the last month or so I have really struggled in my faith. I won't get into it suffice it to say that troubles with my younger brother and other personal things have just made it really hard for me.

I've felt my heart harden, felt a resistance to repent, felt my desire to go to church waning, felt the Spirit distancing itself from me, felt like prayer doesn't matter, and felt my scripture study decreasing in importance and frequency. I suppose we all go through times like this for different reasons.

On Sunday I decided to fast for myself, for a change... To feel humbled, to be able to sincerely repent, to have my heart softened, and have the Spirit return to me.

Ladies and gents, I tell ya... I think my testimony in pretty much everything increased yesterday.

In my fast, all it took was the sacrament hymn, "With Humble Heart," to get me to totally break down in tears. Already my heart had softened. I could feel the importance of the Savior's atonement for me, and the broken heart and contrite spirit that I needed to bring the atonement into play.

Every Sunday during sacrament I read Isaiah 53. This time I read each verse slowly and cried after nearly every single one. Testimony of the scriptures? Increased.

Then I met with the bishop for tithing settlement. I thought it would be a quick 5-minute one. I try not to be wordy, especially when the bishop has so many others to get through. But at this point my testimony of the priesthood, priesthood leadership, prayer, and fasting all increased. In what was supposed to be a, "Yep I pay my tithing" interview, the bishop saw right through my smiles and "I'm good"s. He knew something was up and pretty much blindsided me with knowing that there was something I wasn't saying. He told me that, "There was something behind my eyes" that told him I had more to say. I didn't think on that day that I was ready to say what I needed to say, but I guess if he saw it in me then the Lord knew I was ready.

The bishop is having everyone set a goal for the new year. Mine is to renew my temple recommend and visit the temple twice per month. I've got a ways to go. But I've come from much farther behind before!

I tell ya... When I feel so unworthy of forgiveness and so far away from and so unloved by the Lord, He's got a way of making me do a big 180.

The Savior lives. Heavenly Father loves us. He gave us His son, so that we could be with Him again. This is no small act of love.

"And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." (Matt 7:25)

Sometimes parts of my foundation slip into the sand. I ought not to let it get so far.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Straight from the Source

Boy: you know how you don't write someone every day for a year and then build them a dream house?

Janae: yes.

Boy: you also don't meet someone by coincidence who used to live in the same house.. 600 miles aways.. and end up both english teachers with similar personalities. and you also don't go on tour with bon jovi.. and become friends with pete wentz. so those movies might be on to somethin :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Busy Bee

Monday: work, dinner (slow cooked), and a movie (Letters to God)

Tuesday: work till 3:15, class till 7:00, Glee till 8:30, not home till 9:20.

Wednesday: work, dinner and hang out with Brianne

Thursday: work, dinner with Rachel, Transsiberian Orchestra concert till 11 PM.

Friday: work.

I'm looking forward to doing NOTHING tomorrow night. Though, my apartment is a wreck so I should probably do something about that.

Saturday I am finally free from homework but REALLY need to grade those essays I've had for like three weeks, and I need to do some special lesson plans for my class project.

I love having friends and having plans. What really sucks is going a week or two doing absolutely nothing. Then having a week where I have been nonstop! haha. I'd like an even pace.

Bedtime (4 hours ago. heh).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

5 Things I'll Do

There are a number of things I tell myself I will or will never do as a parent someday... These are things I feel are most important, at this moment in time. We'll see how I feel when I'm actually in that stage of my life. I'm sure I'll just want to add.

1.    Have regular prayer and communication with my husband regarding all things important, namely children, finances, employment, mutual happiness and mutual improvement.
2.    Have family dinner at least five nights per week, whether it’s over Chinese takeout or chicken and dumplings, where all aspects of life will be discussed.
3.    Bear my testimony of Jesus Christ and his gospel to my family freely and frequently in several ways, namely through words, frequent prayer, utilizing the priesthood, attending church, and attending the temple.
4.    Show love to my husband and to my children every day, by word or deed.
5.    Teach my children right from wrong as well as how to right their wrongs, through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Friday, November 12, 2010

In His Palm

I am the rock
in His palm.

I am held.
Thrown
in whichever direction He pleases.

I am a rough object
in His soft hand.
Smoothing over time.

I am sand
Crumbling
in the wind, rain, and storm.

I am a rock
Sand
made shaped and solid

in His palm.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Cravings

I've NEVER wanted Christmas decorations up so early, or to start listening to Christmas music so soon.

Not sure what to do about this.

I love Christmas.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dead Bird

Who knows how long ago, a bird crashed into my balcony door. I noticed him laying on the threshold when I opened my door several nights ago.

I've finally gotten around to moving its little corpse into a bag.

Yeah... A bird carcass is sitting inside my trash can.

Don't worry about it.

(P.S. Really, don't worry about it. I'm taking the bag out tonight.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Repost This"

OK...

Too many annoying status trends on Facebook lately.

For example:

"If your Dad is your hero, your best friend, or just the best Dad ever. Whether you are blessed to have your Dad still with you, or if he is an angel in heaven. Copy & paste this into your status and let everyone know you are proud of your Dad & that you love him & he is always in your heart & on your mind."

"5 years old: my mom is the best! 7 years old: Mom I love you. 10 years old: mom whatever. 17 years old: OMG my mom is so annoying. 18 years old: I wanna leave this house. 25 years old: I wanna go back to my moms house. 50 years old: I don't wanna lose my mom. 70 years old: I would...give... up everything for my mom to be here...with me...post this on your wall if you appreciate your MOMMA!"

"BROTHER WEEK. If you have a brother who has made you laugh, knocked you around,stuck up for you, drove you crazy, hugged you, watched you succeed, saw you fall (or tripped you, once or twice), picked you backup, cheered you on, made you strong, and most importantly loved you,... then copy & paste this to your status."


Those are copied and pasted without changes. 

Now, while the intentions here are good, I want to point out one of the major flaws of Facebook (and people). We rely on it to communicate for us, indirectly, to those we care about.

My dad barely ever gets on Facebook. Reposting something like the above would just be a way for me to look "oh, so sweet," to everyone else on Facebook. Why do that when my dad won't see it anyway? 



I have a solution... just TELL the people you care about how you feel about them.


I call my dad almost every day. We talk about nothing or everything. I love him. He knows that because I call him and because we talk. Not because I reposted a stupid Facebook update. 

I call my mom just as often, for any reason and every reason. Sickness, girl stuff, cooking, whatever. I prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for my mom very recently. I thought she might like to know, since Heavenly Father's not gonna go tell her. So I texted her to let her know. I'm pretty sure it made her night. She's on Facebook all the time, but even SHE could  miss a status update. 

I love my brothers. I call them or text THEM to let them know. Not Facebook. 


I believe in taking the opportunity to have real, direct connections with people. Status chains and trends may never get seen. What good is it to them anyway?  

Walk the walk, people. Walk the walk.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vichyssoise of Verbiage

So remember that time my car got broken into in Provo because I accidentally left my door unlocked?

I forgot again.

And got robbed again.

Now, don't judge me, folks. I COMPULSIVELY lock my car when I leave it. Sometimes I even push the lock button twice. I push the lock button on my key chain twice to hear my car honk, as if to say, "I'm locked, I'm locked!" I lock, lock, lock my car!

However, sometimes I go and check my mail then come back to my car to get all my stuff (especially if I have lots of groceries). Such was the case on Friday eve. I probably came back to get my stuff and forgot to lock my car. On Saturday I went to get into my car, and the same setup had happened. I guess they're all alike. My sunglasses were out on my seat, my oil change card and car registration out of my glove compartment, etc.

This time, I had no cash available to the thief. I also remembered, as I always do, to bring my iPod in the house. In my center console I have plugins for chargers and also my auxiliary in plug. I have had an iPod charger for my car for the last five years. It consists of a white port that plugs into the lighter area, and the cord that goes from that port to my iPod. Let me tell you how stupid this bastage thief was...

He took the freaking port and not the cord. Seriously? What the freak!?

Let me explain also that my iPod charger is NOT for a USB plug. It will only match up with that awkward plug that he left in my car. So that idiot will get all of NOTHING out of that charger. What a freaking moron.

I went to Big Lots today and got a new iPod charger for all of seven dollars. I know, right? That guy's gonna make a whoppin' $7 off of my car charger. Thanks for inconveniencing me over such a dumb thing, McDouche. If the cops catch you I hope they slit your throat. Grrr.

---

My grandma got me a mug. It's cute. It looks like this...

It's cute. I know.

----

I graded book reviews and finalized term 1 grades on Friday. In the pile were the book reviews of twin siblings. One is a total wench and hates my guts. The other is a sweet boy who loves me and gives me hugs. He works hard and is honest and great. I was really surprised that both of their book reviews were not only exactly the same, they came from this website. Very original. Second hit when I searched "Twilight book review," too.

I confronted them about it today and one was apologetic, and the other one didn't care. I'm sure you can appropriate the comments yourself.

----

I called Blockbuster on my way home to see how much V for Vendetta was for sale. Because the 5th of November is coming up! Woot woot. They had it for $10, new. But FYE had it for the same price, used, special edition!

The good news doesn't end there. When I was checking out, the employee was telling me how she got V for Vendetta on Blu-Ray for "like eleven bucks." She pointed me in the right direction, and I purchased the Blu-Ray for $11.99 plus tax. Stoked? Me too.

----

I worked out today for the first time in probably a month or more. I got home from work at 4ish (having stopped to purchase a movie and an iPod charger) and decided not to sit around. It relieves so much stress and tension. I love it.

The past six months or more have been the roughest in my life in terms of my body image. My back and forth dieting last year made my body hold on to weight that it never even had to begin with, so this is the largest I've ever been. I saw it even more clearly when I looked at my profile in the mirror as I was on the elliptical today.

I pretty much disgust myself. I can't take a decent picture anymore. I don't accept compliments well because I have a hard time believing they're true. I just can't do it.

I generally eat REALLY well... Yogurt/oatmeal/cereal/fruit/juice/something of the sort for breakfast. Granola bar/apple/string cheese/etc. for a snack. Leftovers/salad/protein shake/300 calorie frozen meal/etc. for lunch. Dinner is probably where I go wrong. But I pride myself on being relatively healthy, consistently. I'm looking for permanent changes, not back and forth metabolic alterations that RUIN my body like they have in the last year. So I'm trying to be consistent. It hasn't worked. Because once my body is stable, it stays the same and doesn't gain or lose weight. I'm kind of at a loss of what to do to get results without throwing everything off like I have been.

I've never hated myself so much when I look in the mirror. So there's my ultra personal rant which probably no one will read. That lets you know that I'm not fishing for compliments. I am genuinely struggling with my self-image and no compliment would help that anyway.

So anyways the gym was good for me this evening. Hopefully now I can eat, shower, relax, read (or finish) my book, and sleep, feeling highly accomplished. 

----

I could write a really long blog on re-reading books. But I read books in large part for language. Original, beautiful language, dripping with uniqueness. So I'm reading The Lovely Bones again. I haven't read it in eight years or so. It is even more amazing this time, since the depth of my emotions runs much deeper and my self-awareness runs much higher.

----

I feel like I'm exposing myself to a lot of "loss" lately. In the book I'm reading, the movies I'm watching... There's this pattern of deep sadness that I'm exposing myself to. Yesterday it really got to me. I was fasting though, and am probably PMSing. But The Greatest was a fantastic movie, and I wouldn't take back my watching it yesterday for anything. I just feel for characters of all sorts... That's probably why I love books and movies so much--being able to feel and experience through others, and being able to learn from that, and empathize with it.

----

Ramble, ramble, ramble. I haven't made a regular habit of writing, and my patriarchal blessing reminded me that I am "blessed with the gift of writing." So it's just gotta happen, even if no one reads it. :)

Shower time. (sing it, like "hammertime.")

Love.

Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Warm Up your Fish on a Budget

My apartment is very cold.

So is my fish's water.

This morning, he was very lethargic and didn't even want to eat. When does a fish not want to eat? Come on.

I don't want to put my heat on. I'm poor. And that's what blankets are for.

Right?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Adolescent Wisdom

The three best comments I've heard this week...

One:

Student: "Are you sick?"
Me: "No."
Student: "You look sick."
Me: "Thanks."

Two:

Student: "You look like a real teacher today."
Me: "What does that mean?"
Student: "You normally dress like a school girl or like you're going to church."

Three:

Me: "You're already done?"
Student: "Yeah! I'm a genius."
Me: "Oh, right. I should have known." 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good Life

I started off the day with Josh Radin’s new, amazing album.

I was highly entertained (and frustrated, of course) by my 1st period class. They were really funny today. Even though they’re ridiculous.

I downed eight pieces of sushi for lunch. Awesome.

It is sunny outside. I like the sun.

Can life get better? Probably. But it’s good anyway!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Underrated

I decided that I love when people tell me how much a movie sucks.

This way, it's almost inevitable that I'll enjoy it!

Like this one...


I thought it was really fun! I called the ending pretty easily, but still! I was entertained. And I may or may not have drooled a little.

How can you not, though? I mean, look...


I kind of can't get over how much my attraction to this man increases every minute. He gets me all hot. Mmm...

When people tell me how good a book or movie is, I'm usually disappointed. So tell me how terrible things are, please! Come one, come all! Give me your least recommended pieces of entertainment.

Especially if it includes Jake Gyllenhaal. I'm going to go have awesome dreams now.

*I'd also like to add that after looking up his IMDB profile, I have learned that he is six feet tall, and that his favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. These facts have increased his appeal, while simultaneously convincing me that we are, in fact, soul mates. Thank you very much. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halloween

I've got a lot going through my brain this morning. I'm not sure how to articulate any of it, except that my loneliness is getting to me. Most days I'm fine, and it takes something to set it off. Anyway... I've got some pictures.

Rachel bought me a cute little pumpkin. And my grandma bought me tons of Halloween decorations. Like these stuffed pumpkins. 


His name is Albi Mortimer. 

Another deco from my grandma. 

Rachel traversing the treacherous terrain to retrieve a pumpkin. 

Top center. He was the goal. 

He's like a basketball. 

Rachel's a model. 

This is my little punkin family. They are cute. I will carve one of them or all of them later. 

I put some spider webs under my fishy. 

Another item from grandma, with Albi. 
It's almost fall break. I have to get an oil change in the next few days so I can head home on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Maybe seeing my family will make me feel better.

Oh and I had a date last night. It was fun.

I was talking to someone online yesterday and he called me "aggressive." I'm not sure how much I liked that word. I'm perfectly aware that I am a fiery girl. I know I talk too much and too loud and that I say things really matter-of-factly. I know that. I know I have strong opinions, and I know I can come off as being mean or rude. His word choice to describe me got me thinking.

I want somebody who can handle all of these things that I come with, enjoy them, challenge them, or even rival them. I want him to be able to do all of these things without pointing me out. Don't point out these qualities in me, just give it right back. Is that so much to ask?

Apparently so, because the last person I found who could do that really effortlessly decided to just up and ignore me. He would joke around with me, accept my abrasiveness without pointing it out, and be just as abrasive back at me. That. Is what I want.

Minus the ignoring.

Friday, October 8, 2010

BFFs and Pumpkinssss

Best Friday in a long time? Yes.

Dinner at Friday's
Picking awesome pumpkins for $.19/lb at Smith's. I got three. Pics later.
Cold Stone
Good conversation
Whip It

All with Rachel.

Love my liiiiife.

I have to seriously clean my place tomorrow, and definitely do dishes. It's gettin' gross around here. Mighty gross, I reckon.

Also get to do homework. :(

And go on a date. :)

I win.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Another Great Law of Teaching

Item #1

A simple one, really...

Give them the freedom to choose a partner, and they will get the work done.

It seems totally contradictory, but the level of effort I get from these kids when I put them in partners is not even close to when they choose their own.

I wonder how this would work in research projects/groups. You always have those kids who don't want to join one. Hm.

Item #2

On LDSSingles, a 49-year old divorced man with two children wanted to match our profiles. Um, seriously? That is wrong on so many levels. First of all, my DAD is 47. Secondly, his kids are probably all the same ages as me and my siblings. Thirdly, WTF could he even be thinking that would make him imagine that I would even be slightly interested? I might understand if he looked like Brad Pitt. But let's be honest, no normal 49-year olds look like Brad Pitt.

Item #3

I am pretty sure a student called me a bitch the other day. I wasn't sure if I heard it or not, so I didn't address it. Surprisingly, it didn't hurt my feelings at all. Like, at all. haha. What am I coming to?

Item #4

I am way behind in my planning this term... I'm doing lesson plans a day ahead of time. This happened because the original plans I had have all gotten messed up because the book is taking so much longer than I expected. I'm also terrible at making decisions. We've got to start our inquiry and research this week and I haven't even decided what we're going to focus on. UUUUGH!! I'm stressed. On top of spending hours on homework every Saturday morning for the next two years of my life, I'm not sure how well this is gonna go.

Item #5

I don't have a fifth item, but ending on #4 is just weird.

/bye

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BYU Parking Citation Appeal


(emphasis added)

To whom it may concern:

I received a parking ticket in the Museum of Art Visitors’ lot at 4 PM on September 28, 2010. The comment on this ticket says, “lied to booth officer in order to park.” Under any circumstance, this comment is accusatory and inappropriate. However, in this case it is also completely false.

I graduated from BYU in April 2010. I have since moved to Murray and do not take classes on campus. From August 2005 to April 2010, I have registered my car for parking in the Y-lots every fall and have never violated parking standards or received a citation; I am familiar with and have always respected the parking procedures.

As a graduate visiting campus today, in Fall 2010, I had assumed that I was no longer registered to park in the Y lots. I pulled into the Museum of Art Visitors’ lot to make a brief visit to the records office to get a transcript. When the booth officer asked if my car was registered to park in the Y lots, I confidently and honestly answered, “No.”

The only mix-up I can see happening in this situation is that I take a class through the CITES program off campus at Mountain View High School in Orem. Perhaps without my knowledge, this off-campus class automatically registered me to park in the Y lots. Being that I have never had a need to be on campus this semester, I have no idea if that’s the case and would have no way of knowing if that’s the case. It is a problem I never would have considered as a graduate and not a traditional on-campus student.

If this latter situation is the case, then please forgive my ignorance and accept my appeal on this citation. I had no intention of “lying to the booth officer” in order to get a good parking spot. I gave him what I believed to be an honest and confident answer as a BYU graduate visiting campus for a few minutes.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Janae Balibrea


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Overjoyed

I'm not sure where to start with this post. I guess I'll see how it turns out and fix it if I need to.

If I haven't made it clear by now, I wouldn't be who I am without the gospel of Jesus Christ. I wouldn't know my purpose on earth. I wouldn't know my worth. I wouldn't understand my own personal suffering. And I wouldn't have anyone to endure it with me and for me the way I know Christ does.

Every time we have to sing "Families Can Be Together Forever" at church, I can't do it. I can maybe get through 8 words before I start bawling my eyes out.

If I haven't made it clear by now, my family is not perfect. It actually has some serious issues on an individual basis. And it needs serious mending as a whole.

In spite of this, I want to be with my family forever. It breaks my heart when they are hurting and don't know where to turn. It hurts me to my very core to know the happiness they could have, if they'd open their hearts to it. It tears me to pieces to know how very many problems most likely could have been avoided if my family had and used and taught and lived the gospel.

Home is a very difficult place to be for me. I don't say this to hurt anyone. I say it because it's true. There is a lot of speech and behavior that offends the Spirit and drives it away from me. It's difficult to keep him with me. Nevertheless, I love being home and being with my family and do my best to show love and patience when I am there. I try very hard not to be self-righteous. I've been accused of being this way on several occasions by my family, especially by Jason, who feels strongly that I try to force my beliefs onto them.

Over three years ago, my brother Jason who is the one with the most personal struggles and demons wrote me this message on MySpace [sic]: "I love you. You are the heart of this family. Im glad I got to see you and have you motivate me haha. thank you for everything. Im glad you got home safe. Don't let [the boy] thing bother you anymore. Stay strong :).....well i just wanted to tell you that your a great sister and this family needs you!"

That message meant the world to me.

I called home tonight to check on my (perpetually) injured mother. She said my brother and dad had yet another long talk today, and that Jason brought up some valid points. Among the things he said, my mom informed me that Jason said that he misses me. That alone brings tears to my eyes. He said today, in essence, exactly what he said in the above message, that this family fell apart when I left home. He said that the vibes when I'm home are so different and so good, because of the Spirit I bring with me. He said he wanted to have dinner as a family.

Oh, my brother. How I love you. And I know you love our family, and how I wish you could express your love to them. And how I am so glad to know that you desire that closeness and togetherness and unity that you know our family struggles to have. And how glad I am to know that you feel the Spirit when you are near me, because I try so very hard to keep it there and to bring it home to you and to everyone in our house--the right way.

I am so imperfect. I am so prideful that I struggle to repent on a daily basis. I have shortcomings and temptations galore, things I know others have no struggle with at all. But I do try. I try so hard, especially at home. And I'm so glad that with the Savior's help, I am able to show His love and example when I am at home.

I sometimes feel guilty for leaving, only knowing part of what would happen without me there. I feel guilty for not being home to take my little brother to church, to show him the truth and the happiness it brings to my life. I feel guilty for feeling like "out of sight, out of mind" is how I deal with things. I feel guilty for so much, and feel so selfish for abandoning them. At the same time, I don't know that I would be who I am today without having broken away; I expect that I wouldn't be. I hope I have grown in such a way to make a bigger difference when I do go home; I hope I've gotten that much stronger.

I know the Lord hears and answers our prayers. I needed to know that things would get better. I needed to know that my steady example was making a difference. For heaven's sake, if someone like my brother knows that family dinner is going to make a positive difference, that's a small and miraculous step in the right direction: one that gives me hope. Maybe we can be an eternal family. And maybe it'll start with family dinner.

I am so grateful.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lessons Learned from Little Miss Sunshine

On my blog to the right, there's a still frame from Little Miss Sunshine with a quote underneath it: "Alright, everyone, just... pretend to be normal."

This movie spoke to me four years ago when I watched it, and it continues to speak to me. Here's some of the wisdom I glean from this movie...

Moms are emotional and crazy sometimes, but man, do they love their family!

Parents can go about things entirely the wrong way, but they almost always have the best intentions.

A family that can get through a hardship together and then laugh about it is a family that's got what it needs: a sense of humor.

Adolescents can be inexplicably selfish and hurtful sometimes. They only mean half of what they say.

Adolescents can hurt you the worst, love you the most, and protect you the best.

Grandpas might seem obnoxious and crazy, but they have wisdom to share. It should be heard.

Family members are sometimes uncomfortable expressing love and concern. When they try to show love, embrace it, appreciate it, and return it.

Sometimes a hug is all it takes.

With family, an apology is always necessary, and is all that's necessary.

We forgive and forget with families; it just comes naturally. 

I am me, you are you, we are we: a family. Support quirkiness. ("We've got to let Olive be Olive!")

Do all you can to support each other's goals.

Road trips are vital to family closeness.

So is family dinner. Dysfunction included.

Compassion and empathy are hard to come by; that's what families are for.

Mourn with those that mourn.

Dance like no one is watching.

Defend each other at all costs.

Say constructive things. Families are for love and security.

Chicken every night is OK, mismatching glasses are OK, eating as a family is the only way.

Ice cream for breakfast is alright.

Applaud efforts.

Treat your family better than your friends; they're the best ones you have.

Go to each other's performances.

Fix your mistakes.

Sometimes, you've just gotta pretend to be normal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Green Lights and Parents

This morning I started my new scripture study plan which is essentially nothing formal, but I am guiding scripture study along with Preach My Gospel. I read Lehi's dream in 1 Nephi 8. I really felt a connection with Lehi in wanting to share his joy (his fruit) with his family. And I understood his sadness and disappointment when his sons would not partake. Oh, how I would love if my loved ones would know and partake of the joy that I know... If everyone could understand how much their Savior loves them, and how he already suffered for them, and how it makes your burdens so much lighter to feel his support. If everyone could know that, everyone would be so much happier.

So I thought I started my day off the right way. Then I got every red light on the way to school! It was bad. I tried to breathe off my frustration and make it a good day. And it was a good day. My kids were awesome. I also got free dinner before conferences--Joe Morley's BBQ. Pulled chicken sandwich, pork & beans, potato salad, cole slaw, amazing pie. It was delicious. AND free Dr. Pepper. I think I heard someone say we're having Panda tomorrow. I love free food.

So parent-teacher conferences were tonight from 4:30 to 7:30. Apparently I was supposed to count the number of parents who showed. I just went through my rolls afterward and made a list. Thirty-six parents in three hours. That's an average of 5 minutes per parent. I had a constant line. I had to speak Spanish to several parents. I think I was able to take two swigs of my water bottle quickly as another parent sat down in the chairs. I didn't have a moment to breathe. I'm not sure it's possible to explain how exhausting and taxing this whole thing is. I think you just have to be on the other side of it. It's great, but it's a LOT of enthusiasm and repetition and explanation and praise and criticism and TACT! And a lot of naming kids and remembering their class period and finding their parent letters and retrieving their progress reports and remembering to tell them what's due. Holy toledo. Nevertheless, I made it through. I'm much better prepared for tomorrow (progress reports cut and sorted, numbered sign-in sheet created.) Left at 8 PM and will be back in less than 12 hours. I get to do it ALL OVER again tomorrow! Two late nights in a row. Friday is a sleep in day!

I was so sure that they said, "There's very limited parent involvement at this school." Really? Pretty sure there were so many I couldn't breathe. But all things considered, if 36 come again tomorrow, that's only 72 out of 183 students whose parents came. I still think it's a lot compared to last year in Provo. 

However, my night ended well. Because on the way home, I got almost all green lights. So that made up for this morning's frustrations.

I gained a lot of respect for some of my kids who I could tell didn't get the same support at home as others. I now know what they do is all on account of themselves and no one else. I learned a lot of the challenges of some of my kids, some needs to move students, some adjustments for grades, etc. It's a lot to remember and absorb, but I am a professional, right? :)

I have totally revamped my approach to Tom Sawyer as of tomorrow. I'm taking my students in a totally different direction to let them construct their own knowledge and seek it out within the book. Hopefully it will work out. Some may flop, and some may fly. But my professor last night said something profound: "I figure whoever's doing the most talking is doing the most learning." So if the teacher is doing the most talking, then there's a problem. *cough* transmission model *cough* Unfortunately, pouring our knowledge into our students' empty glasses just doesn't cut it. Transferring would be easy. Having them build it on their own is a totally different challenge, and much more effective. (For example, showing a picture of a regular bibliography and an annotated one--both labeled--and asking what the difference is between them. Then asking what an annotated bibliography is based on what they've seen. Or showing examples of persuasive essays, and making a list of what things make those essays good, or not good. This way you're not just TELLING them what's good and not good--they're constructing it on their own. These are simple, simple examples, and it's not as easy to put in practice with everyday stuff, but hopefully I'll get the hang of it as I do more and more of it.)

It is now 9 PM, and I am spent.

/sleep

Monday, September 20, 2010

Clicking and the BoM

So, I want a lot of feedback on this...

Is it possible for only ONE person to feel a connection? For only ONE person to feel chemistry?

I kind of figured connection and chemistry was a two-way street. But can someone be right for you, and you be wrong for them?

A valid question, I think.

(Rest assured, I'm referring to Chris Pine with this question. Not anyone who may or may not have been in a band or who may or may not have totally ignored me since two months ago or who may or may not be completely dominating my dreams lately. Not him.)

NEXT! 

I finished the Book of Mormon this morning. I started last August. Needless to say, it took me a long time, and I did a lot of slacking. But I think the last chapter is the best one, not because it's last. Because of its substance and how real Moroni's voice is in that chapter.

ASK if this is true. Pray. He will answer.

Simple as that. Easy as 1 2 3.

NEXT!

I have my A classes tomorrow... This means I have the student who freaked out last week. Pray for me. *cry*

NEXT! 

The weather when I left school tonight (at 5 PM) was a perfect 75. I had my windows down. It was gorgeous. Then my lesbian lover Rachel sent me a text, and I sent her one at the same time. I was typing, "What glorious weather this is. Perfect for a walk wouldn't you say?" As I was finishing that text, I received one. When I went to read it, it was from Rachel, and it said, "Would you want to go on a long walk at the park tonight?"

WHAT THE.

We freak each other out.

Anyways. We walked for an hour at the park. Laughed to tears at Captain America, a gangly white boy with short American flag running shorts on. He passed by us at least seven times, and we were in hysterics. I'm not sure exactly of the last time we laughed that hard. After treading new ground at the park, we looked at an LDS church building with stained glass windows and wished that our ward met there. And then we looked at an abandoned cute fixer-upper house that we want to purchase. SO much potential. Love.

NEXT!

I have parent-teacher conferences this week. I'm not that excited. Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 7:30. BUT I get Friday off. Woot woot.

NEXT!

Class tomorrow. Long day. But I end it with Glee at my cousin Marla's house. Way to finish 'er off. Yessss!

Bedtime.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sacramental Spillings

Holy three days of blogs in a row, Batman!

Today, as I was grabbing a small sacrament cup from the tray in Rachel's hand, I tried to readjust the cup and failed. The cup of precious sacrament water spilled all over me.

I was momentarily embarrassed, letting out an "Oh my gosh," and an "awesome," at some point... I managed to get two or three drops from the cup and passed it on. The rest was on my turquoise dress.

But really, I totally was upset at myself. I thought of the precious sacrament, and how I had let that blessed water go everywhere but where it was supposed to go. I was so happy to be taking the sacrament, and I spilled it everywhere!

I was thinking of its symbolism, what that water represents--the blood of Christ, and how it absolves me and makes my sins of garnet white as snow. And about how grateful I am for that ordinance every week, and how much of a difference it made to me when my clumsy mistake prevented me from taking full advantage of it. The physical act has everything to do with its meaning. Pretending to drink, from an empty cup, would just not mean anything.

So, I just wanted to put my thoughts down, regarding that plain and precious opportunity I have every week, to repent and allow the Savior to atone for me. It is a blessing, and I don't know what others do without that knowledge. I know what it's like to not take the sacrament, and the difference between when I take it and don't take it is like day and night, respectively.

A public "thank you" to my Savior, brother, and friend, Jesus Christ, who died for me and all of my imperfections. I always wonder how many drops of his blood were spilled for me, and I'm grateful for every one of them. My humble shepherd who makes my life so much better every day because of what he did for me. Most days I'm a pretty terrible person actually, but I really do hope and try to make Him proud, and make his sacrifice worth it.

<3

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lost and Found

Remember how yesterday I couldn't find my BYU Alumni shirt or my concealer that I had been looking for for several days?

After getting a lot of rest last night, my mind was much clearer this morning.



For some reason, my alumni shirt was in the drawer with my thermals and my exercise clothes. WTF?

And I had a sudden epiphany that my concealer fell out of my lap in the car a week and a half ago, and I said, "Meh, I'll just get it later."

Went to the car, and there it was in front of my seat.

Rejoice.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nickelback Omens

It all started when my radio alarm clock went off at 6 AM (I have a radio alarm because that beeping sound makes my blood pressure double and causes anxiety attacks.). The wake-up song? Something by Nickelback. No joke, this immediately pissed me off. I quickly shut it off and got up, muttering at My 99.5 for waking me up with that horrifically iconic growling voice of adult alternative rock.

After taking a long shower with my first time using John Frieda's Brilliant Brunette shampoo, I got out to finish getting ready. Today's Friday, so naturally I wanted to wear jeans and a shirt that'd make me stand out among junior high kids. What better shirt to wear in red U-territory than my BYU blue alumni shirt?

I have this thing lately where I can't find anything. It's kind of weird because I usually remember where I put things and try to stay pretty organized, even if I get cluttery. I searched all of my drawers twice. I searched my t-shirt drawer four times, not joking. Actually pulling out the piles of shirts and going through them multiple times. To no avail. I checked my closet and tried to remember the last time I wore my shirt. I couldn't recall. A little frustrated after spending like ten minutes looking for that shirt, I decided on something else.

For the past several days I've had a clogged pore turned sort of zit turned red area on my face. The last time I had my concealer was in my work bag on picture day last week. I went to get it and couldn't find it. I checked my church purse. I checked my regular purse. I checked my makeup drawer. No concealer.

At this point I could tell it was going to be a rough day. I mean, you can't start your day off with Nickelback and think it's gonna be a good day.

Nevertheless, I tried to call these omens silly. I prayed especially for patience and love for my students today, not knowing why. Silly me. Never ask for those things.

Period 1A was a beast. It sucks because half of those kids are really good! And the other half are not so much. I have these two boys that always have to be next to each other, won't stop talking, won't sit in their correct seats, and won't follow directions. It's getting very annoying. They're darling and funny and clever, but I can't take anymore. That period was a disaster.

But it was OK because I had period 2A to cool off. And I did. I started 3A feeling quite chipper and happy to see them. They were really good, again! This is the class that started off as my beast class but has proven me wrong. (1A took their spot)

On to 4A, my reading class. Always a cinch, right?

Wrong.

Cue Cristobal Kristoffersen. Not her real name. I made it up. Do you like it? Me too.

Cristobal gave me some trouble in the first week of school. She has serious insecurities due to being born with a cleft palate. She also has anger issues. After a couple days, I kept her after to make a deal with her. She improved the next period and was awesome ever since. Problem solved, right?

Wrong.

Cue fluency practice. Partner work. Reader reads for 1 minute, grader marks incorrect words and calculates Correct Words per Minute and Expression scores. I look over, and Cristobal's partner is marking her own passage for her own reading. Uh?

"Cristobal, why aren't you doing your job?"

Cristobal: *ignores teacher*

"What are you supposed to be doing right now?"

Cristobal: *looking away*

"I need you to help your partner, you can't grade your own reading. You need to mark her mistakes and where she ended, please. I'm going to start the timer again, ready?"

Cristobal: *ignore*

"Cristobal, please do what you're supposed to do."

*ignore*

"OK, you can cooperate, or you can call your mother."

*ignore*

"Alright, let's call your mom."

Keep in mind the whole class is having to wait and watch this because they need the timer for fluency. They're watching her completely ignore me, and I'm trying to make sure my face isn't turning totally red.

She stands up, lets out some angry exhalation of "Oh my f-ing gosh," or something along those lines, pushes her desk a little, and storms toward my desk. Given this totally absurd and somewhat violent reaction, I asked her nicely to please step outside.

Are you seeing how patient I am, people? Anyone who accuses me of not being patient will be shot on sight. I repeat: shot on sight.

So I start the timer for the class and step out to see what's plaguing my angry, insecure student.

Breathing heavily (and possibly steaming out of her ears), she informs me that she read perfectly, but Chanel told her she made three mistakes, and Chanel's not reading loud enough, and Chanel put a different expression score than what Cristobal told her to do.

I explain calmly that fluency is not something we do because we're perfect. And we need to take our partner's scores seriously and write them down. It's not to criticize each other, it's to improve our reading. I ask if she's ready to come back in and cooperate, and she comes back in.

I'm ready to start the timer, and it's Cristobal's turn to read. Chanel's ready to grade her. When I start the timer, Cristobal flings her passage over at Chanel and lets out a huge, angry sigh.

Teacher is really frustrated by now. But all the kids are watching! I can't let them see that students can beat the teacher. No sir. must. maintain. control.

"Cristobal, what are you doing? Please knock it off. Can you please pick up those passages off the ground?"

Chanel picks them up. Cristobal takes them, I'm asking her to please be a good partner to read, asking her what the problem is, asked her to please look at me when I'm talking to her, and she starts walking away. Just walking away. Being deliberately disrespectful.

Then she threw the passages down on the back counter. They belong in a color-sorted manila folder. She flung them. FLUNG!

"Cristobal, please put those where they're supposed to be."

*ignore teacher and walk back to seat*

"Please go put those passages where they belong. Why are you throwing my stuff?"

*ignore*

"OK, that's enough. You can get a detention, or you can call your mother now. Up to you."

Cristobal: stands up in a rage, screams "OH MY GOSH!", throws her desk sideways toward Chanel, and stomps toward the phone.

I'm done with her violence and defiance and rudeness at this point. DONE. 

"Please step out of my classroom."

*ignore*

"Step out of my classroom."

"OH MY GOSH!" slams the door, hits some lockers, walks halfway down the school hallway, and sits on the floor.

I do my last round of fluency with my kids, trying to keep it together, meanwhile instant messaging the principal, telling him I'm having an issue with the student.

I walk down the hallway while my kids are copying something out of their vocabulary books. The principal is meeting me there (I didn't know, but that was lucky!).

I tell Cristobal softly that she can come back to class, or sit in Mrs. Wilson-Wright's class (next door), saying it's up to her, if she doesn't want to come back to class that's fine.

*ignore teacher*

Then the principal walks up and asks her if blowing up and acting this way has gotten her anywhere before. She ignores him, and he takes her with him.

I'm relieved and upset and emotional and ready to cry, but I hold it together because I have ten minutes left of class.

Two or three of my students start telling me some things that briefly comforted me.

"Oh my gosh Miss Balibrea, I don't know how you did that!"

"Yeah, you were SO calm!"

"Man, I would've punched her. Did you want to punch her?"

"I would have been like, 'Get the (silence) out of my class right now!'"

And from one of my most challenging pupils whom I'm fortunate enough to have in two classes, "Man, Miss Balibrea, I have so much more respect for you now." And it was a genuine compliment from him.

Another student stated his accordance.

I told them thank you.

Then I called my dad. Then I went to 45-minutes of faculty meeting, rubbing my eyes and my temple and my forehead the whole time, breathing and trying to keep it together.

Then I went back to my classroom and sobbed for twenty minutes.

It's really hard to hold your own in front of that many kids, showing them that you are the boss without being mean. Showing them that they don't have any control over you. Showing them that it doesn't hurt your feelings when they pretend they can't hear you. Showing them that it's not totally rude and hurtful that they walk away when you're talking to them. Showing them that you don't get upset at their complete defiance and mistreatment of you. Showing them that they have the choice in determining their fate.

All the while wanting to be mean, wanting to scream at them, feeling hurt, feeling annoyed, feeling upset, and feeling like you are ready to determine their fate with your hands around their necks.

I feel that I held my own today. And it took more strength than I ever knew I had.

Good thing I prayed for it.

I mean, when your day starts with Nickelback, you have to pray for some help, right?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hazards and Laws

First, one of the hazards of teaching...

Wet-erase pens dying and bleeding gorily all over your hands like so.

It even caused a blood clot on an overhead I was using. I couldn't even get it washed off completely. Maybe later.

In addition to this hazard, there's always the hazard of failure, paper cuts, dry erase marker residue, and too many papers.

Today I re-learned a great law of teaching. I should have remembered this from being a student. Since I was always the kid who got stuff done early--my thought process was like this, "The more I do today, the less I have to do tomorrow!"

After a horrible failure in period 1A with group reading, I thought I might not try it again. My other A class is a beast. But I thought I'd offer them a chance, with a different approach.

The Law of Motivation

Part 1: Offer a choice. This way they can't complain, because they have opted and voted for what it is they're doing. For example: You can read the chapters and do the outline alone, or you can do it in groups that I choose for you.

Part 2: Give a consequence of not using the time wisely. For example: What you don't finish in class is homework.

Naturally, these two parts worked together for an AMAZING period of group reading. My students turned their desks together, read the book together, and filled in the worksheet together. I had only a handful who did not finish, which is totally OK--some groups read more slowly. When time was up, they put their desks back in rows, turned in their papers, and were on their way.

I couldn't believe it. It was so great. I was a good teacher instead of a lazy one, and was constantly getting up and monitoring them, making sure they were on task, understanding, etc. If I had been lazy, it would have been fine, because these kids did NOT want homework! They were a-workin' hard.

In other news, I got my shower curtain today, and my bathroom is feeling a little more complete.


My apartment is pretty much clean today (my room could use a 5-minute cleaning), dishes are done, and the TV is on... broadcasting Remember the Titans. I really, really love this movie. Such a good message, in a true story! It makes me cry, basically every time.

Since I was gone all day on Monday at work and Brianne's, and then gone all day on Tuesday at work, class, and J-Dawg's with Curtis, I'm happy to be at home. Here I go to relax on my couch.

xoxo

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm Not Listening Anyway

I'm on a kick today: a The Used kick...

I love them so much.

Someone else I know really liked them too.

Today, I particularly loved the lyrics, "I don't see anything now, so just say what you wanna say. It's kind of funny how I'm not listening anyway."

Remember that time when no matter how many people reminded me how stupid I am, I wasn't listening anyway?

All I've got is my heart instructing me otherwise. I can't see anything now. So just say what you wanna say. It's kind of funny how I'm not listening anyway.

Sigh. Bedtime.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oh, the Things...

There are probably a thousand things I could talk about since it's been 20 days since my last post.

I had a dream last night that I was at the beach on a date with this boy. He was like really small. I wanted a hot chocolate (I guess it was a cold day at the beach), and we held hands to walk over there. Who did we see other than my ex and his posse? Don't worry, I pretended that he wasn't there. Stirred up all sorts of madness around me.

Let's also discuss how I just now received an IM from a 44-year old divorced father of four children who just had to tell me how gorgeous he thinks I am. I mean I know my dad recognizes a beautiful young woman when he sees her, and it's gross and all, but like... Can this just stop? I'm tired of old men. Really. I'm also tired of unattractive ones. I feel like I'm being super shallow and stuff, but I can usually tell if I'm going to find someone attractive or not. Little things bother me a LOT, even physically. Like, bad teeth bug me. Big noses bug me. And boring questions and boring people bug me. I get bored so easily.

I'm trying to decide if I really just have to get to know someone before we start dating. That's what has usually happened for me; I've never done traditional dating. I'm friends first and become attracted in the process. Because if I am on this website, and someone doesn't look even slightly OK to me, I don't even want to give them the time of day in real life. I'll be nice online, but that's kind of it. I don't see these things working out for me. This brings me to my next obnoxious topic...

This boy who blew me off almost two months ago is still rolling around in my brain. He's in my dreams, even! How ridiculous am I? But the chemistry that was there on BOTH sides was incredible to me, and to him. The coincidences were insane. The commonalities were amazing. I never, ever, ever felt something like that before in my life. Instant energy within 5 minutes of talking, no exaggeration. Staying up till 7 AM just talking about whatever, or IMing for three hours about deep thoughts, feelings, and poetry, or texting for hours on end, or calling randomly... That doesn't say, "I don't like you," to me. But being that I haven't heard from him in that long, I wonder if I was just something to pass those hours with, and he settled for it because he'd have been bored otherwise.

I don't know. The thing about this guy was he was really good looking in my eyes. He wasn't tall or really muscular or anything like that, you know? It was the energy that was there on top of a pretty decent physical attraction. So it's not like I'm hoping for someone perfect or super hot.

But he ruined my freaking life. hahaha. It sounds so dramatic, but how am I supposed to feel like that with someone again, so quickly? He's now set this totally ridiculous standard. I wish he hadn't been such a douchebag. I want to kick him in his shin.

Now everyone who messages me is either not attractive or not interesting. I'll try to get into it, message back, be friendly, but then I just get bored with their "I'm trying really hard to be intriguing" questions. Sorry, not interested.

I am annoyed.

Another topic. I lucked out with this mattress. You're always worried if your back will take it, you know? I loved the mattress I picked out when I was engaged, but had no chance of getting that back. The mattress I chose has been amazing. My back has not hurt at all on it. It's so nice. But there's so much empty space. And it'll never get filled because I am a picky bratty silly girl. Hmph.

I love Murray. I love living close to my friend Rachel. I love having company all the time--my grandma, my friend Brianne or Sydnie.

Here are pictures.






Jimmy Dean and Alice in Wonderland... Higgins hides my router. That's his job.

I'm waiting on a seashell shower curtain from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

I have built everything in my house alone, and put up everything alone--including two wall mounted light fixtures. The only thing I haven't done is put up my TV mount and shelf. :) Thanks, Uncle Dave.

 I have zero dollars... I can't wait to get paid. 19 more days. I haven't been paid since May, and I'm living on credit and some borrowed money from my parents :(

However, I am proud to say that my gas only cost $13.44 and power cost $22.38! The bills were more than that because of connection fees and all that other dumb stuff they add on. Thanks guys. I'm really poor. I appreciate those tacked on things.

I started class on Tuesday. It was a good and fun class. It's just annoying to me to see and talk about theory instead of practical ways to get at the issue. What do you want ME to do to combat this huge machine that's in place? What? It's just annoying. But such will be my Tuesdays for the next 2.5 years. I'm hoping that I do a good enough job this year that my school will keep me... They did hire me pending my pursuing a reading endorsement, so if they fire me that'd be really sad.

My kids are pretty great. I have a few difficult ones, but such is life for every teacher. The school has some great resources (let's not talk about the grading program), like Teleparent! I can send calls home to inform parents of dates/assignments, to tell them their kid was bad, or tell them their kid was amazing. It's really cool. I also have a projector connected to my computer in my room and am not sure how I ever did without one. It's nice to do this year of teaching because even though there's a learning curve, I learned that last year. I learned that I won't know how to do everything and just have to figure it out or take it as it comes. I also figured out all my procedures last year and how I want things done. So that's saved me quite a bit of time and energy. I'm leaving school at reasonable hours, sometimes even on time at 3:15! The reading class is going OK because I'm just copying the other reading teacher, and she is so amazing and helpful. Like my mama teacher. haha.

Oh also, I've been sick for over a week. Super bad over Labor day weekend, and then I worked all week, preventing myself from getting better. Still coughing as I type. Oh well. 

I have rambled for a bajillion pages now. I've felt super internally off balance because of not writing for so long. I need to keep my eye out for more regular posting topics. I gotta go read now. Both for school and for my own professional endeavors. Hope you enjoyed the epic and have something to say in response!

Monday, August 23, 2010

1st Day, Perfected Soda, Bed Set

First day of school was long, long, long! My room was terribly stuffy and hot. It was only 77 degrees outside today. It was glorious when I came outside after being in my classroom! I should've opened my windows. It was bad. Anyway, three 83-minute long classes... One class, on the first day, is the devil. On the first day! That's a terrible sign. I need to figure out how to manage this situation. I kept them for a minute and a half after the bell rang. Yikes.

We discussed a quote on the bulletin board that says, "How little do they see what really is, who frame their hasty judgment upon that which seems." - Daniel Webster. We broke it down, and I tried to help them understand it. 

After three long classes, a crazy lunch duty, a hot classroom, and a devil class, it completely made my day when one of my students came back after school and knocked on my door. He came in and asked if he could please take a picture of the quote on my bulletin board.

How freaking awesome is that? My choice of quote touched this kid in some way. I love it. Makes my job worth it.

In other news, I have perfected my Tiger's Blood Italian Soda art.

I'm eyeballing it, and it's coming out amazingly. I'm wondering how much I'm averaging a drink, since I paid like $3.25 at Cocoa Bean.

1.5 oz strawberry - $.43
1.5 oz coconut - $.43
1.5 oz half and half - $.45
1/2 bottle sparkling water - $.50

Total - $1.81 (plus whipped cream, which doesn't count).

Yep, I win. Except that I can now have one of these every day and am gonna stay fat. hahaaaa.

They called about my bedroom set today. It's coming on Thursday between 3 and 7 (I preferenced later). Hallelujah.

P.S. I'm loving the Harry Potter extravaganza that's on HBO and the Family channel. I think this is the third time I've watched the Half-blood Prince in like 5 days. Not joking.

I went bowling with Sydnie on Saturday. And watched Lars and the Real Girl. And yesterday morning I watched Secret Life of Bees and LOVED it.

And I tried a new ward. It was too small. We'll see.

And tonight I'm gonna watch Best in Show. Never seen it. :) Time to go.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tiger's Blood and Sara Lee

So for five or six months a little while I've had an addiction to the Tiger's Blood Italian Soda at the Cocoa Bean Cupcake Cafe. It's strawberry coconut, for those of you who don't know. It is delicious. I may or may not have earned a few free drinks on their drink cards. They use half and half, strawberry and coconut Torani syrups, and sparkling water... Plus a little whipped cream on top. It's glorious. One of the saddest things about my move away from Provo (one of the maybe 3 things...) is that I can't have these sodas when I feel like it. Not to mention the cupcakes.

Some of you might remember my chocolate chip thing that I did when I had a Red Mango addiction. I am a bargain shopper and will do what I can to save a buck in a craving.

So, naturally, what do I do when I don't have this soda available at my leisure? Price the Torani's of course.

K-Mart had a deal of three 750 ml for $28 or so. I found a better deal on worldpantry.com where I got the same amount for $22. So I got three 750 ml of coconut, 3 bottles of strawberry, and 1 bottle of vanilla (for fun).


(actual photo taken on my beautiful table, only half of my syrups)

I received my package today, so of course I had to try my hand at my Italian concoction (with a little recipe help from Torani's website).

It wasn't perfect, but it was dang good. It'll take a few more practices. Don't worry though, I'm willing to drink it "only OK" several more times... hahaaaa! I think it'll take a little less water, or a little more syrup. Either way, I'll get it right very quickly.

Oh, and don't worry that I got blueberry bagels, a loaf of honey wheat bread, and honey nut Special K bars for $3. There is a Sara Lee outlet right by my apartment. I shall no longer pay $3 per loaf at the grocery store. They shall not get the better of me!

Since I live alone, I have to make my life fun. So I cooked hot dogs over my fireplace in my living room. I was going to do s'mores also (I have the stuff), but am full after that Italian soda. Maybe tomorrow night with Sydnie or Raytch. 

I also watched The Runaways tonight. Excellent performance on the part of Dakota Fanning, and, I'll admit it, even on Kristen Stewart's part. I think her facial expression never changes, but it was one of her better performances. Lots of language, and lez action, if you're into that. I'm not, but the movie was alright. 

My coffee table should get here tomorrow! Pray that Knight's calls about the arrival of my bedroom set as well! Please!

I meet my few 7th graders tomorrow. Wish me luck. We'll see how quickly I fall back into my teacher game, eh?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Move: Pwned

Just to start, does this scream irony at anyone besides me?


OK. Now that we have that out of the way.

This is my bedroom set. I only got the headboard, mirror, dresser, and night stand. But, it was a four piece set for $500. And mine is black, however brown this picture may look.


In addition to the fact that it's totally gorgeous... I also figured out that it will all fit in my room easily!

My table at I.M. Home didn't work out, and I'm SO glad because then I could get the one I really wanted.

It was only $200 ($20 cheaper than the first table, and $20 cheaper than Big Logs had it for)! It looks beautiful and fits perfectly in my apartment.

I went to Ikea to see my options for a coffee table. My mother thought that a black table would be too dark for my couch set ($600, RC Willey), which is this one:

My cushions are reddish brown by the way. 

The table I wanted at Ikea was only $100 and black, but they had no more. And thank heaven for that because...

I checked my mailbox here at Stillwater and got a coupon for 10% off my entire order at Overstock.com. I decided to see if they had any coffee tables. Guess what I found?

It matches my kitchen table! And, with 10% off, it was only $108! Plus tax and $3 shipping. A beautiful matching coffee table for $119! That's what I'm talking about.

Also, don't worry that Big Lots has a matching end table with a lamp on it. It had no price tag on it, so I'm going to go back later and check if it's available to buy.

I'm kind of amazed at how everything is coming together though, seriously? Like when I think I missed out on one boat, a better opportunity arises. Like when we went back to look at my TV to show my mom and grandma, they had knocked it down 20 more bucks. So since it was within a week, they took $20 off my invoice. Yeah!

I also tried Qwest internet. It was activated the day they said it would be. My modem and wireless router work perfectly (I am in the living room, and the internet stuff is in my bedroom). It has yet to fail me. Their customer service was pretty fantastic as well, super easy to call and set up my internet.

At Ikea, I did find a desk! And put it together all by myself, in two hours. It took a long time; it was hard trying to hold everything together myself with no help.

I love it. It fits perfectly in my living room. So until today I was using my  kitchen stool to sit at my desk. But I found this beauty at Big Lots for $50:


I put that together myself about an hour ago and am now sitting comfortably in my luxurious leather chair. 

Don't worry also that my moving day had a totally rough start (having to get to the apt. at 7:30 AM for the delivery of my stuff, when I couldn't move in to the apt. till 9 AM, had to sit and wait with my couches and table and TV, went to get my keys, couldn't pay 1st month's rent with a card, tried to get a money order, couldn't do it till 10 AM, waited till 10 AM, they said I had to do it with cash--freaking wow, finally saw the Chase that was right across the street that whole time, could've gone at 9 AM, went and got a cashier's check, and finally got into the apartment). My brother, cousin Tyler, and I basically did EVERYTHING! It was pretty impressive and amazing. Those boys were incredibly helpful. We three had to get the couch and chaise through my little door. We were rejoicing, giving high fives, etc.

So now I'll have a matching kitchen and coffee table, possibly an end table, if it's for sale...

My DirecTV didn't work out because they couldn't mount the satellite in a place that they could direct it appropriately. I'm not allowed to mount a satellite anywhere except the balcony bars--not on the roof. So I got all the channels Comcast offers, plus HBO, for 6 months for $30. I just have to figure out a DVR situation because I really want DVR. So we'll see.

I'm waiting on my bedroom set, hopefully by the end of the week. I'm sleeping on an air mattress till then. Thanks Raytch! And anxiously awaiting that coffee table.

Also I got a microwave for $59, and a vacuum for $50. They're both really good and were a super good deal. Thanks mom! 

I had to get my safety and emissions done because I need to register my car. I got a deal with my teachers' union thing through Larry H. Miller, free emissions with inspection. I paid $27.50! I saved $17.50, because other places were charging $45 and $47. With a $10 coupon I got for the $45 place, I could have paid $35, but I only paid $27.50 at Miller! How awesome is that?

Also I had to get some more stuff at Big Lots and earned my 20% off purchase! So I saved $20 by doing that. Figure out how much I spent at Big Lots, why don't you? ;)

I've spent a lot of money but have done a good job distributing it and finding the best deals possible before committing to what I've purchased. I'm pretty proud of all of this and am feeling super grown up right now.

The job is starting to weigh on me. I tried to get down to business yesterday and should find it much easier to focus tomorrow as I will be there all day trying to plan for my reading class and my English classes. :) Back to Big Lots for that end table. I now have cable TV--those guys only took 20 minutes while I was writing my blog to set up my TV! Awesome. Uncle Dave is coming to mount my TV and shelf. Oh it's going to be so beautiful when it's finished. And it won't be finished anytime soon, since bathroom towels/decor and whatnot is yet to come.

Lots to do, lots to be thankful for. But pray that I'll be safe in this apartment alone. :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Kicks

Did I mention that while I was packing my desk drawers up the other day, I came across a package from my old babysitter? I fumbled through it and found $6 in cash. Score.

Today I had to try to get my phone fixed. My friend works for Sprint and is amazing and helps me every time I go in. I love her. Thanks Rheanna! She fixed it and it hasn't shut down yet. It got wet at Six Flags. Awesome, I know.

I went to Best Buy to check on the problem with my computer not charging... I was hoping it was the cord and NOT my computer. My positive energy has been answered! The problem was with the adapter portion of the cord. Best Buy is stupid and he didn't suggest replacing it for me. HP was stupid and said Best Buy would have to replace it. So I'm just going a different route and paying $20 for a new cord with NO silly adapter, from a different company. $20 versus the $80 I paid is kind of miraculous. And I'm SO glad it was my cord and not the hardware of my computer. That makes me so, so happy.

Also, I got a deal on satellite and internet for $67 per month. I'm pretty stoked about it. I get a DVR, and a $50 prepaid VISA card also. Yep.

I saw while I was going to Best Buy that Shoe Carnival was having a sale, buy one get one 1/2 off. I wanted some Chucks so I could be comfortable teaching all day, and thought I'd find another pair too. Oh, did I!

Your basic Converse. Haven't had them since 2nd grade. I no longer have to worry about stupid labels attached to such things and can rock them with dressy clothes. Woot. Did I also mention that dude Converse were $5 cheaper than women's? So of course I got the dude ones. Duh.



Check those out! I know, right? I walked by them on display and said, "Man, those are hot!" Then I checked the sizes, and they didn't have mine. I walked away, head hanging low in disappointment. After looking around some more, I thought I'd give them another shot. I tried on the size 6 pair (usually I'm 5 or 5.5), and they FIT! I was ecstatic. Got those puppies for $20. That's right. I'm in love.

$6 in a drawer. Non-broken computer. Non-broken phone. Cheap satellite and internet. $20 hot shoes. 

/end of positive post. I win!