Monday, February 20, 2017

byeeeeee, january! (:

so i was getting all caught up on my blogging about my temple trips...and then i realized i hadn't caught up on the REST of my life in january yet, haha (#whoopsie). so, i figured since i caught up on my january temples, now i can update y'all on my remaining january adventures (from where we left off last, which i think was january 15th)...

remember how i said i'd start being a mormon runner girl sometime soon? (; well thanks to my awesome running buddy, sarah (dunn), i've been out running more this winter than arguably any winter that i've spent in utah! we got four miles in this one day...

...on relatively dry ground! ps aren't running shoes the cutest!? i love all the bright colors. (:

literally a dream running partner. pushes me just enough, but not so much that i feel like my lungs are going to implode. (;

in other news - i bought a new temple dress!! mine was pretty old & needed replacing (mostly because the zipper kept getting stuck & the material it was made out of just wasn't as comfortable for me to wear, at least not anymore). i debated posting these photos on my blog but honestly it's not like it's anything secret, hahaha. for those of you who aren't familiar with the lds faith, here's a brief explanation of why we wear white inside of our temples (from

Those who attend the temple go to a dressing room to change from their street clothes into white clothing. This change of clothing serves as a reminder that visitors are temporarily leaving the world behind and entering a holy place. White clothing symbolizes purity, and the fact that all are dressed alike in the temple creates a sense of unity and equality.

i love that description! leaving the outside world behind. purity, unity, equality, and i think for me it's also an outward sign of respect for my God & also for my Savior, Jesus Christ - as the temples really are the Lord's house here on earth! (: i love love love temples, guys. seriously! (:

so, long story short: i bought a new white temple dress (this is my "i said yes to the dress!" excited face :). and i absolutely love it!

#honestymoment --> it's mega hard for me sometimes to find dresses that fit & are flattering to my body type. this dress is the london, size XXS from white elegance (they make you feel reeeeal good about your body size with their sizing in that store, lemme tell ya ;). i love the empire waist - i feel like it's probably flattering for most body types!

and though it might be a little awkward to have a chest shot on here, i wanted to show off the lace design up-close. it's only on the chest/arms - and i absolutely adore it. the dress is mega comfortable and i feel beautiful wearing it! highly recommend it. (:

sidenote: i also went to deseret book to pick up my newly engraved scriptures! i had two separate scriptures before (one Bible, one Book of Mormon/triple combination), but i like being able to put them into my purse...and that kind of destroys the binding after awhile (if there is no snap closure). so i paid the money to get a big beautiful brown quad that has a snap closure - and now i don't have to worry about the binding getting torn or anything when i put it into my purse or anything. (: love it!

YOU GUYS. I STARTED TAKING A WEIGHT TRAINING CLASS. i've always been such a lame-o when it came to "lifting weights" at the gym. AKA i never had any clue what i was doing, really. taking this class at BYU as my last "real" class (in my last semester before graduation!) has been an amazing decision. i have felt stronger already & am so excited to get stronger & feel better about my body as a result! note: i love & am grateful for my body, but there's nothing wrong with getting stronger & fitter, & feeling more confident as a result, right? (:

enjoyed some amazing cinnamon roll sweet potato waffle fries & sweet potato cheesecake thanks to bff jt, who was nice enough to bring some by after work at SPUDS one night (everyone go there! and take me with you so i can eat some more of those heavenly waffle friessss <3 :). thanks jt!!

i introduced myself officially to my students through the use of (YOU GUESSED IT) - BOOKS! it was awesome.

basically i lined up 10 books/sets of books along the dry erase board in my classroom & put a number above each book/set of books. then when the students came in, i had them each vote (up to three times) on books that looked interesting to them, as each had a story behind them from my personal life. the top 3-4 stories were the ones that i shared the story behind. the students were engaged in listening to my stories & it was a fun way to introduce myself to them (and a great segue into turning it around on them afterwards so they could tell me a little bit about themselves!).

we had our ward missionary reconnect night, where we get out our laptops, head over to bishop's house, & start trying to get in touch with people and share the gospel through social media. it's an awesome program! one week we had some leaders of our church come down from salt lake city & give us a brief devotional about the work we are doing. i love love love missionary work. (:

here are some fun photos from that evening (lots of ward members, visitors from church headquarters in SLC, & pizza!):

awesome as always to see bro. walz at these events, when he comes to visit! he's anna's (my awesome tv news reporter sister) like, favorite byu professor from the broadcast journalism program. he's so stinkin nice and always willing to take a selfie with me to send her way. (:

celebrated bff arielle's BIRTHDAYAYAYAYYY! we celebrated by going to the black sheep cafe & eating what was the single most delicious buffalo burger i have ever had in my liiiiife. SO. YUM. 

k, so it was also the ONLY buffalo burger i've ever had, but srsly, it was amazing. plus look how cute she is with her birthday ice cream! (:

confession: we went through the chick-fil-a drive-thru after dinner because we both understand the need of CHOCOLATE in a good dessert and we were seriously lacking after that vanilla ice cream #thisiswhywearefriends hahah :) she's so cute! i love you arielle! <3

we continued celebrations by heading back to her apartment & her artsy-fartsy amazing roommates dayna & brennan gave us a mini art show of their work! these are some of my favorite drawings that they showed us:



get in touch with me if you want some artwork from them & i'll get you in touch with them (;

i saw la la land! aaaand...i didn't love it have grown to like it a lot more after talking/thinking about it a lot since seeing it. i think i'd need to see it again to decide how much i really do like it, but i think people just hyped it up a little too much for me, haha! we went with a monster huge group from our ward (like 17-20 of us, i think?) and that was an adventure.

I CELEBRATED FINISHING THREE WEEKS OF STUDENT TEACHING! with two krispy kreme donuts. because why not?!

also it's insane to think that this is from when i had only finished 3 i've already finished SEVEN. WHAT. time is flying!

that night i went to my first hefy networking event, with my amigos (L ---> R): Jordan Ramos, Sydnee Taylor, & JT Carden. love these dudes.

i love HEFY! it's also so crazy to think of how much i wanted to to this way back in january when i had no clue if i would be selected as a trip leader or not!! you can read up about this amazing program more by clicking HERE.

drove in practically a blizzard to get to the mt. timpanogos temple with some awesome amigos as a part of my #utahtempletour2017!

you can read my post about that trip HERE.

per usual, awesome to see & hang out with my bff, deb!

OH. MY. GOODNESS. i woke up one morning (for student teaching) and my eye was just a mess, hahahah. i had my fair share of eye problems on my mission (losing eyelashes, swollen eyelid) and so when it got to the point that i couldn't even blink without being in pain (!!!!), i knew i had to take a day off of student teaching so that i could see an eye doctor. basically it was "just a sty" - so i put a warm compress on it like, once, and got a TON of sleep, & went back to school the next day. crazy crazy.

hung out with madison & talked about the joys of dating in provo... (; i love this kid. he's like the cousin close to my age (& living close to me!) that i've never really had. he's my sister ruth's husband's cousin (can you follow that? hahah. my brother-in-law's cousin.), but we have become friends over the years since we're about the same age & both live in provo! always a fun time with madison. we ate at the yummy good thyme eatery (i just realized that i eat a i guess i'm really getting to know yummy food places around provo/utah this semester! ;) & then got hot cocoa at denny's after. great times. (:

channeled my inner anna & elsa & braided my hair on a not-so-great hair day while student teaching (hence the high school bathroom background ;). per usual, i sent the braids photo to my sister to show my 3-year-old niece, annabelle! she (& my childhood bff sara henderson) are the only ones who really understand my love for braids (;

bffs (from the HEFY photo above) jordan & jt bought me a love fern some flowers because they're adorable and they thought i was mad at them, hahah. long story short - it was probably mostly just a rough day for me. but they're awesome to do that nonetheless. even if i am not used to taking care of plants (remember how i accidentally killed my succulent plant, ruby, earlier this year?) and all of the flowers died within a week because i forgot to water it...#oops. haha it's the thought that counts though! thanks again guys. (:

did some lesson planning...and more lesson planning (for my two classes that i teach: 7 sections of English 10/sophomore English and one section of Sports Literature - an English elective)... #thatstudentteachinglife

APPLIED FOR MY FIRST JOB EVER. which i later found out that i didn't get (or even get interviewed for) because they filled it with an intern, lol. but it's all good! it was good to get that experience nonetheless. (:

FINISHED ANOTHER WEEK OF STUDENT TEACHING! 10 weeks down (get it!? ;) & only 4 more to go (at this point)!!

celebrated by going on another 3-miler with running bff sarah - a liiiiitle bit icier than our last run (see earlier in this post), but we made it through nonetheless!

#utahtempletour2017 temple #4 of 17 - brigham city utah temple - happened at the tail end of january (the 28th).

you can read more about that trip HERE.

seeing debbie = seriously one of the highlights every week. (: (: (: #bestiesforever

found out that the cedar city temple (currently under construction) is going to be dedicated before the end of this year!!! AKA it is totally possible for me to go inside & participate in an endowment session in there before the end of 2017, which will mean that i have done an endowment session in 16 of the 17 temples in utah before the end of 2017 (instead of only 15)! fingers crossed that the jordan river temple will be done with renovations before the end of this year, so that i can go inside all 17 of the 17 temples in utah before the year is through...! (:

my sister (famous tv reporter) anna sent me this photo & i couldn't help but share it.

"MEN TO THE LEFT...BECAUSE WOMEN ARE ALWAYS RIGHT." #bathroomsdoneright (; hahahah. love it. (: thanks, anna!

for our final & 5th sunday of the month for january, we staged our own "Face-to-Face" event with the members of our Bishopric & their wives. basically, we all got together in one big room & any of us young single adults could text in questions (or have submitted questions in advance) for topics that they wanted discussed or answered by our church leaders (some topics included dating/marriage, scripture study, personal challenges, & etc.), as moderated by myself (the relief society president) & braden (our elder's quorum president) - aka the two of us who are basically the leaders of the young single adult female & male groups in our congregation. it was way fun. (:

you can see examples of face-to-face events that the LDS church has done (which was our inspiration for this one, though it is not affiliated with/endorsed by the LDS church in any way) by clicking HERE.

back to school again on monday...and we started doing a ROOT WORDS study. basically root words are words (or word parts) like "bio" or "phon(e)" or "sym" - and each of them MEAN something that helps make up part of a word! for example, SYM (means "together") and PHON(E) (means "sound"), so the word SYMPHONY literally means "SOUND TOGETHER." which is basically what a symphony is!! how neat is that!? #ilovewords :) 

we did a little activity for students to mark how well they knew different words relating to our study of root words as an introduction into this study (root words instead of standard vocabulary words). each student had a blue, red, & green marker, and they had to go around to these different pages (all with a word/phrase that had something to do with the study of root words) and mark in that color on the page how well they understood that word (green = they understand the word/phrase, blue = they've maybe heard of it, red = they've never heard of it). it's fun to let my students be able to exercise STUDENT CHOICE - aka doing things in THEIR OWN WAY - so i love activities like this that let them show a little bit about themselves (because i let them draw whatever symbol they wanted to on the page, as long as it was in the corresponding color!).

that all probably sounds super confusing to anyone who isn't me or my cooperating teacher, hahaha. but moral of the story = it was AWESOME and the kids seemed to enjoy drawing all over these pages that were hung all around the room. and i LOVE the study of root words wayyyyy more than standard vocal words, because root words help you understand way more words than just ONE. ya know? #iloveenglish. (:

oh - i took my second to last BYU final (for my weight training class) - and got 100%! i did NOT buy the book (even though it was open book) because i did NOT have $84 to spare...LOL. instead, my friend (from my ward & this class) had the idea of going to the library, where we checked out the FIRST edition of this book (as opposed to paying for the 5th edition!) & used it to both successfully pass the test. (: #winning!

went out with my teacher friends from my major for "tacos and tears tuesday" - aka we got mexican food (except for me, since i showed up late & my ward was having dinner right after) & talked about the woes & joys of student teaching. oh, and it was a monday. LOL. but it was still great to catch up with these awesome girls from my major!

america's future english teachers:

bff dayna braided my hair (you better believe i also sent this photo to my sister to show my niece ;). #ilovebraids

i think i got these dove chocolates from a stake relief society training on sunday & then i ate them during lunchtime at school. "try something new today" & "take a moment for yourself." two things that i definitely love to do. (: #thanksdove!

ah, & finally - I LOVE TEACHING. I LOVE SPANISH FORK (where i'm doing my student teaching :). & i love love love love LOVE (seriously, i could go on ;) living in utah & seeing these gorgeous, breathtaking, incredible mountains just about EVERYWHERE i go.

so, one day, i took a photo of all of my favorite snow-capped mountains as i was driving away from spanish fork high school & back home to provo.

<3 <3 <3

i may or may not have taken a few of these while driving (sorry!), but the photos don't even do the mountains/clouds/sky/everything justice. THESE MOUNTAINS are a huge part of the reason why i could be happy living in utah forever & ever & ever.

 i remember way back during my freshman year at byu when i was living in helaman halls, i was talking with my daddy on the phone about how i LOVED seeing the mountains on my walk up to campus every single day. he responded by saying something like "just remember how much you love them and don't take them for granted - it's easy to forget you love them when you see them every day after a few years!" 

i am happy to report that i have lived in utah now (on & off) from 2009-2017, and i STILL love seeing those beautiful mountains when i'm out driving around - especially on my morning commute to spanish fork, when the sun is at varying points of peaking over the mountain tops to the east. (:

I. LOVE. UTAH. fingers crossed that i do get a teaching job here for the fall....!!! i could happily stay here forever. (: (: (:

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