Saturday, January 28, 2017

JANUARY UPDATE & also i love oreos.

so sometimes i plan out my blogging in advance (via photos) and then don't get around to actually blogging about them until way later... #thischangesnow, haha. (: at least i'm in JANUARY now though, right!?

one of my favorite post-Christmas gifts = finding these tucked away (thanks mama!) in my snack bag before i left home (ohio) --> fly back to utah. chocolate-covered oreos. i won't tell you how quickly they disappeared. that's officially the key to my heart & my new favorite. (:

ah. so, SO yum. (:

so, here's the run down of my first two weeks of january:

i learned to be more domestic & meal prep breakfast burritos (!) which are my new favorite breakfast, combined with a glass of chocolate milk & maybe a banana on the side. (:

super quick & easy to prep (scrambled eggs + cut up sausage + spinach + shredded cheese), roll-up in wheat tortillas, & wrap in plastic wrap, so i can toss them in the freezer & whip them out for 1 min 30 sec each morning before i head off to school/work! (: thanks maren (mtc companion from the mission!) for the idea/inspiration!

sad day...remember when i bought ruby? and then she grew like crazy and i totally forgot about her and she just kinda died due to lack of light/water while i was back in ohio for two weeks (oops...). bad mothering moment on my part... :/ she is no longer with us (aka she is no longer in my apartment...i will spare you the sad details) but she was a great plant & brought me a lot of joy when i bought her a few months back. thanks for the memories, ruby baby! <3 

finally put away my TC badge for good...7 semester & one spring term. long long time! it served me well. <3 i can't believe i'm graduating byu soon...still kind of surreal!!

i opened the "letter-to-self" that i wrote back at the beginning of 2016....wowzers. i still laughed out loud (when i told myself i would in the letter), hahaha, and it was good/interesting to see where i was at just over a year ago.

i didn't open it til january 2017, so i was good (; but i don't think i'll do another letter to self this year -just trying to focus on living in the present (minus all of these catching up blog posts, obviously ;).


even waking up to the world's craziest first day of student teaching in the history of forever - LOL. so. much. snow! but it was worth it to drive out & see my (mentor teacher's) classroom & spend my first (of many!) full day(s) there!

face-timed my favorite family (just missing some of the family members ;) and told them how obsessed i am with student teaching, and also probably how much i love & miss them. winter break was just way too short!

so crazy that now i'm technically FACULTY at a HIGH SCHOOL. I LOVE IT. minus not being able to see the lines in the parking lot due to so much snow. hahahah.

first day = "late start" aka two-hour delay aka apparently that never happens in utah...?! at least not in my school's district. so that was fun to tell my students that two-hour delays are a normal kind of schedule back in dublin city schools...not sure if they were impressed or jealous or what, haha. snow days don't really happen out here (even though they probs get way more snow than i ever did in ohio!).

my classroom (click on it to see it bigger!):

my BYU supervisor (annette brown) came in during my first week or so of school to say hi & meet me & give me my first-week-of-school goodie bag/treat! complete with a pencil, hand sanitizer, breath mints, & chocolate. aka basic necessities for any teacher. (;

I ALMOST FINISHED MY INDEPENDENT STUDY CLASS AKA MY LAST REAL BYU CLASS EVER EVER EVER. just need to take that final (next week!), and i am FREEEEE. i really loved learning about all these different authors/time periods/etc. hopefully i pass the final so i can still graduate (and so my daddy won't be stressed anymore) (sorry daddy, hahaha) (i will be studying so much to prep for this next week, haha!). (;

found out that the post office is used to sending baseball bats through the mail (you're welcome, dk ;)...

and also discovered (for myself, this time!) the awesome art of VIRTUAL REALITY thanks to my amigo, andrew! there were some serious glitches with the system so i'm pretty sure i got like 30 mins of extra play time while they tried to figure out his system... overall it was awesome though!

and then we ate at this amazing (literally the best) chinese food place i've ever been probably in my life. if you're in provo, go to the green panda & get yourself some orange chicken. you can thank me later (also thank you thank you thank you, andrew!)

my roommate caught me trying to talk to her while i was basically falling asleep at one point...

aaaaand - we started our UTAH TEMPLE TOUR 2017! i'll be doing individual blog posts about those as they happen, but rest assured, week #1 (and all the way through week #4!) was (have all been) a great success!

provo temple: 01/07/2017, with (L-->R) tj thomas, mary riker, me, andrew schwartz, & jt carden!

remember way back when i went to UCTE (utah council for teachers of english) conference & won a bunch of free books? i also won a barnes & noble gift card...and used it to buy my first real book (aka bought by me) since i became an english teaching major - to add to my personal/school library! naturally it had to be the book that helped rekindle my love for reading in college (matthew lowe, i am eternally grateful to you for suggesting i read this book!): suzanne collins' THE HUNGER GAMES. also loved that they give you a list of books "you may also like" if you liked the book you bought that day - so cool!

went to hang out at SPUD'S (maybe i should be a food blogger...?! i just love eating/talking about food haha :) because my bff jt works there & man oh man, biggest & best baked potatoes ever, but also: THOSE CINNAMON ROLL SWEET POTATO WAFFLE FRIES. i don't even need to say anything else. 

*heart eyes everywhereeee*

angelica (roommate!) came along & jt obviously is the master in the kitchen. everyone go visit him & get some yummy waffle fries for yourself! and bring some back for me, k? (;

oh my gracious this is only THE FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY UP UNTIL NOW. hahahaha. i guess a lot happened! i'll try to be more quick with the rest of this update...less talk, more photos, k? (;

i sang in the choir for the Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults with President Russell M. Nelson & his wife, Wendy! it was amazing & an experience i won't soon forget! got to sit in the front row because i was the second (yes, you read that correctly) shortest girl in the choir.

roommate sydnee sang with me (though she's a bit taller so she was farther up ;), and we were so so pumped!

click below to see the panoramic shot of the marriott center before the devo started:

check us out! aka i took this so i'm not in it but the choir was seriously HUGE! so so many beautiful voices!

my favorite moment by far was while were were still rehearsing before the devotional started, and President Nelson & his wife walked in and walked right up to us....which was just a few feet or so in front of me (major perks of being short & in the front row!). we were singing as he walked towards us, and as he got closer, i could feel my heart tightening up and the Spirit testified to me in that moment that this man is an Apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ! i knew it, i know it, and i can't and won't deny it! such a neat experience! he said something along the lines of "Let us all press on" (which was the name of one of the hymns we sang; the other was Hope of Israel, both beautiful arrangements). let us all press on, indeed!

it was cool to have dk & andrew catch me on tv, too. but seeing President Nelson & having that spiritual experience was highlight #1 for sure. (:

FINALLY requested that final exam (it was a more complicated process than i thought it would be...haha) for my independent study class...! again, SO excited to take it & finally be done with the class this week (!!!).

find a new mantra for my iPhone home screen:

and facetimed some of my amazing family some more:

and went to the temple again (temple #2 of 17 on our Utah Temple Tour: Ogden! 01/14/17, L-->R: jt carden, luke mangum, jordan ramos, tj thomas, me, kylie harthun, mary riker).

went to my first ever byu (vs. utah!) hockey game (like, totally by accident...we were going to go ice skating and long story short, ended up at this game instead, haha! #awesome).

click on the photo to see the panoramic shot in full:

we (a group of six of us) heard about a photo contest so naturally, we entered...

...AND WE TOTALLY WON. thanks to ray ray's awesome photoshopping skills. 2 free hot chocolates for him! hahaha. even though byu didn't win, at least we did (;

such a fun group! check out those smiles. (: (: (: (: (: (:

SUNDAY NIGHT WAS AMAZING. i hadn't seen my first mission president & his wife (from my amazing six weeks in the great MDM aka MICHIGAN DETRIOT MISSION while i waited on my visa to brazil!) since OCTOBER 2013 WHEN I WAS STILL ON MY MISSION. holy cannoli, it had been wayyyyy way too long!

president & sister gerber are AMAZING. x infinity. they had my MDM companion & trainer, sister (christa!) cutler over to their home for dinner (they didn't know she was my +1...though i wouldn't have rathered have anyone else there with me that night for obvious reasons!). it was SO so fun to sit & chat (& eat yummy food!) together for a couple of hours in their beautiful home, with one of their daughters there, too! we talked about life, the mission, and so much more. president gerber gave me a blessing before i left to drive back to provo...and it was just what i needed. that man helped me through some of the hardest parts of my mission in those first six weeks...i am beyond grateful that i had the blessed opportunity to spend my first precious six weeks of my mission in the field in michigan with these three amazing people.

missions = blessings. and amazing friends forever. <3 <3 what a night to remember! <3 <3

aaaaand speaking of missions....!!!!!!!

DK STARTED HIS MISSION PAPERSSSS AYAYAYYAYAYAYYYYYYY!!! words can HARDLY describe my excitement about this!!!! he is going to be quite literally THEEEE BEST missionary this world has ever seen!!!! ahhhh! :D congrats DK!!!!! <3

love love love missions, love new beginnings, love january, love this new year, love love love so many wonderful things. LIFE is wonderful. sure, it has its ups & downs, but it really is seriously amazing. (:

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