Memories Past and Future

It appears that I am rather awful at remembering to make time to write on my blog. It’s a good thing that I don’t fantasize about becoming a widely followed and popular blogger who is sponsored. Haha, that dream would probably never come ture, but hey, that’s really okay with me… Last I wrote, I was filling out new hire paperwork and thinking about all the changes and choices I would be facing. So, let me give you a quick update!

September 23rd I started my first, full time teaching position. It’s not exactly what I had been educated in or what I had anticipated teaching… I guess you could say it’s been a lesson in adaptation and trial and error. It has definitely been a growing opportunity and an adventure. I’m teaching…


Theatre vs. Theater – Theatre is the performance aspect where Theater is the physical building… Mhmmm yeah… so interesting, I know…

Now, these are some of the questions that come up when I tell people that I’m teaching Theatre…

  1. Oh, so you must love acting?
    1. Uhm, I guess so…but –shrug– not really?
  2. Did you do drama in high school?
    1. headshake- Nope…
  3. Did you study drama in college?
    1. headshake- Nope…
  4. Have you been in a lot of plays?
    1. headshake- Nope…
  5. Do you have any experience with drama?
    1. -headshake- Not really, I was in a play when I was in 3rd grade, I was friends with people who were in drama when I was in high school, I took a few classes in college that were focused more on performance (Shakespeare and Bible as Lit), and recently I was in a “skit” for a church thing… But I love watching plays and musicals…
  6. So…how?
    1. Just what they offered me…and drama is covered by an English teaching credential… The teacher who held the position before me was also in a similar boat.

But, the truth is… I kind of love it. It’s probably one of the jobs I will look back on and think, “That was really fun.” Don’t get me wrong, it is also extremely challenging. For example, I am the Theatre department. Haha, yeah… I am the Theater/Theatre Director, I teach 6 classes of Theatre, 4 Intro classes, 1 Theatre 2 class, and an Advanced Theatre class. And among those classes, I am participating in IB and AP… I’m also the Drama Club adviser. I also get to run the after school program, which consists of putting on 2 productions each year, a Fall play and a Spring musical.


I’m teaching at a high school; I went to the homecoming game. We won!


I have A LOT of keys…. Some of them I don’t know how to use…


My classroom…back looking to the front….


My classroom from the front looking to the back…the giant grey thing is the air conditioning…


A view of the stage….


A view of the “house” where the audience sits…

I wanted to get my feet wet, I wanted my students to really get the most out of being in Theatre, and I wanted to make sure that the transition was smooth. I decided to go ahead and produce a play this Fall, despite not knowing exactly how that works. I was so grateful to have such an amazing predecessor, who gave me so much help with curriculum and even stuck around to show me how to run auditions. {In case anyone is wondering, snacks are a vital part of the audition process…} We produced The Crucible. It’s about the Salem Witch Trials essentially…if you haven’t seen it…I don’t know what to tell you. I’m not sure I’d recommend watching it. The movie is….-shrug– not that great, though it did help with some creative ideas…

20141202_164709 20141202_172043

I had a lot of fun and anxiety with this first production. I learned a lot, which was really the point. And while we had a lot of fun with this production, my kiddos are looking forward to the musical. I decided on Into the Woods. Most of the kids seems pretty excited and the more we talk about it, the more excited they get. They have even started planning the set! And really, the set was what gave me the most headaches. Scheduling was often a NIGHTMARE; between sports, other clubs, and academics (and probably a few other things I’m forgetting – OH! Doctor’s appointments…) it was sometimes hard to get a full cast together. And I think we had like 5 people drop out throughout the course of the play… Yeah, that was fun….

Anyway, we made it through it. I learned a lot about the traditions of this particular program that I think I will keep. And we’re going to hit the ground, mostly, running when we get back. Which reminds me of about 70 things I need to do in order to be ready…. haha – oy….

I don’t believe in coincidences. I really don’t. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that God is ever aware of the things we need and what others need. He knows what we’re capable of and I have a firm testimony that I am meant to be where I am right now for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me right now. And I know that things happened the way they did so that I would be ready to take this opportunity on fully committed to doing the task at hand.

Other, perhaps random, things that have been going on….

  • I went to Arizona for Thanksgiving…
  • My students are both surprised and excited to discover that I can sing and play the piano….They want me to be in the musical, as in they want me to have a part….
  • I have had to take a involuntary break from crossfit because… I may or may not have a stress fracture in my clavicle. They’re really not sure what’s going on with it yet….

My MRI for my shoulder…

  • So in the mean time I have a 24 Hour Fitness membership (yay) so I can run after work in a relatively safe environment…


    Shameless and obligatory gym-bathroom-mirror-selfie

  • I got an annual pass to Disneyland!
    Which helped me really get into the Christmas spirit….after I had already done this…


    Yeah, I’m banned from crossfit, but I’m not going to quit completely….

  • 20141222_195347
    Beyond excited!
  • I played Santa’s Helper this year and got to assemble a train set by myself… Yes, it functioned properly…


    This transforms into a car….


    This is the car…

  • I got some really neat Christmas presents…


    This is probably my favorite gift….(the necklace…)

All in all, I guess 2014 has been an okay year. Nothing fantabulous has happened I guess. Israel was the highlight and getting a job was an amazing blessing. I didn’t “graduate” from anything. Many of my friends are reaching other milestones that I have yet to reach, but I think I’m okay with where I am right now. Friends have come and gone, so have love interests. And yet, I remain hopeful. I’m kinda feeling like a mix of the following songs…

  1. Dear No One – Tori Kelly  (lyrics)
  2. It’s Not Right For Your – The Script (lyrics)
  3. Style – Taylor Swift  (lyrics) the video is not the same version as is on the album….
  4. Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran (lyrics)
  5. Demons – Boyce Avenue cover (lyrics)

As 2015 approaches I can’t help but feel excited, nervous, and hopeful for the adventures that I will encounter. I hope that most of them will be fond memories and yet I know there will likely be some heartaches as well.

“Oh, if life were made of moments,
Even now and then a bad one-!
But if life were only moments,
Then you’d never know you had one.”
– Baker’s Wife

“Best to take the moment present
As a present for the moment.”
– Cinderella’s Prince

Until next time…


“It’s a weird life, but it’s where I’m at right now.”

Yes, that is a quote from New Girl. And no, I’m not ashamed to admit it.  (Go read this 20 New Girl Quotes That Actually Sum Up Your Everyday Life)

Haha, it’s been awhile since I last posted about my rest day and baking some paleo recipe that was actually quite satisfying and delicious. My progress is continuing. I’m getting strong each day and I can see it in small ways here and there. But mostly, I think I’m happier. Not only have I been getting myself into shape physically, but I feel like I am making progress with other areas of my life. I started substitute teaching. So on top of the after school program I’m teaching, I am accruing a lot of funny stories. Today I was told that I look 21 and then another student told me I look like I’m 16. I’m not sure which is better. I just said, “Thank you [Student].” Because that’s what you say when people say… nice things? Haha…

Anyway, I am alive. I am well. I am still Cross Fitting. I do not regret the subject of my degree(s). I am living my weird life, but that’s where I am right now. And I am learning to embrace it. I should be enjoying the fact that I don’t have FINALS to deal with. I mean… This is probably the first time in about 7+ years that I have not had some project or paper to worry about. I am pretty much in charge of my own schedule. I am getting the experience I need and working on some of the things I wanted to accomplish.

Some songs to check out!  (Links to videos)

  1. Compass by Lady Antebellum
  2. More of You by The Goo Goo Dolls
  3. Rebel Beat by The Goo Goo Dolls
  4. Unconditionally by Katy Perry
  5. Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me by Hunter Hayes ft. Jason Mraz
  6. Say Something by A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera


Finding Peace and Patience…

I have been meaning to blog for awhile and things just seem to get in the way. I’m sure I could have tried harder to make time. But I get that weird writer’s block every time I log in. Why is that? I can instagram like nobody’s business, but when it comes to recording real thoughts and events I’ve felt like a mute. I think partly it is because of the highs and lows from the last several weeks. It’s hard to believe some of it and thinking about it now brings back some sad and poignant memories.

Starting from the last post, I did in fact start and finish my “on ramp” {introduction to the basic movements} classes for CrossFit.  The on ramp classes were pretty brutal, but I loved how strong and happy I felt after each work out. This was especially true after working out with other people. Promptly after finishing (and feeling spectacular), I got a cold from one of my most favorite little people. This cold lasted about two weeks and made me feel purty awful.

4 new members of the SHIELD family

4 new members of the SHIELD family

A few days after finishing on ramp, I found out that one of my cousins (mother’s side) passed away and plans were made to be at the funeral the next weekend. The funeral was very touching. It was amazing to see how many people came to remember my cousin Jonathan. He had so many talents and he was a very special person. We had the opportunity to listen to one of the apostles, Elder Russell M. Nelson, at the end of the service. He had very comforting words to share and the other speakers did a fine job paying tribute to Jon and reminding us that through the power of the atonement we will get to see Jon again.

musician, family, world traveler, an amazing guy

musician, family, world traveler, an amazing guy

While visiting for the funeral, I got to visit with old and new friends. I met up with a few of my roomies and had some AMAZING pizza in Salt Lake City. If you’re ever there, go to The Pie. Another stop was a waffle place across from Pioneer Park called Bruges. It was weird to eat so much fat-tastic food when I’ve been trying to be really good about what I eat. haha, I spent some time being sick during my trip. Just sayin… We also went to Farr’s which has amazing ice cream. Think Baskin Robins with the 31 flavors, but way better.

pizza at the pie | waffles at bruges | farr's ice cream | salt lake city temple

pizza at the pie | waffles at bruges | farr’s ice cream | salt lake city temple

When I got home, I was right back in the box! The first work out was hard, duh, but it felt great to be back at it. It was the return to normalcy that I needed. I’ve been going regularly ever since, striving for at least 3 days, but so far I’ve made it 3 days that first week, 5 days the following week and this week probably 5 days again.  According to the scale I have lost 13lbs since December ’12 and I have lost 12 inches total since July ’13. Most of it seems to be on my arms. I’m totally okay with that, by the way.

“relief society jiggle”


Left Feb ’13 | Right Sept ’13



I should probably add that on Sep 30th I did a 1 rep max of 125 lbs. Today I was able to do that same weight 3 times. So..yeah. It’s working. haha

On October 4th, I went to and participated in Barbells for Boobs Seal Beach. This is a fundraiser that moves around and raises money for screenings for those who can’t afford to get them otherwise. You do a work out called “Grace.” Which is 30 clean and jerks for time. The Rx weight was 95 lbs for women. I did 55lbs and finished in 3:31. And I made a shirt for the event as well! SHIELD had ordered special editions of the box shirts, but I was out of town and didn’t order one. So, like I said, I made my own.

top: me clean and jerking 55lbs | bottom left: members of the SHIELD family | bottom right: CrossFit Seal Beach shirt

top: me clean and jerking 55lbs | bottom left: members of the SHIELD family | bottom right: CrossFit Seal Beach shirt

Teaching… haha oh man…. I am teaching grades 4-7 in Alhambra, 3 days a week, for 2.5 hours MWF. I teach grades 5-7 2 days a week for 2 hours TTh. These kids crack me up, drive me nuts, and remind me why I wanted to teach older kids; however, I still want to teach. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to gain more experience and still work on my personal goals. My students also think that it’s time I get married. After all “don’t people get married at like 24?” Haha….oh dear…

my students have a strange fascination with pigs....

my students have a strange fascination with pigs….

My mom started the on ramp classes. It’s been interesting to listen to her talk about the stuff that I do. And last night we watched some of the CrossFit Games Women’s events. haha… We both agree that pistols look awful…

I’ve been thinking a lot about life and recently I was asked to prepare a talk on patience. More specifically, about when we should be patient and when we should be more decisive. If you know me in real life you know that I’m not very good at being patient outside of my classroom. As a teacher, I think I’m very patient. As a person, with my friends, I’d say I’m a bit above average. When it comes to waiting for “life to happen” and things I really want? I’m awful. I want things to happen smoothly and quickly. Especially, if I’ve already made up my mind about what I want.  A lot of different things have happened in the last several weeks. Some things that made me incredibly happy and hopeful. Others things broke my heart a little bit, but also woke me up to reality.

Sometimes in life we are not meant to be the one driving. I have seen “Student Driver” cars and big rigs (yeah…go figure) a lot lately. In my own experience as a student driver, I can’t recall if there was a set of pedals on my instructors side, but I have seen movies or TV shows where there are. I think that life is sometimes like learning to drive in one of those cars with the second pair of pedals and a steering wheel. There are times when our Father in Heaven allows us to control how fast we go, when we stop, and where we go. There are other times when He takes the wheel from our hands and directs us where He most needs us. We can struggle to push the gas and steer in whatever direction we want, but ultimately His set of breaks overrides our gas pedal and He will patiently wait with foot on the break until we begin to accept His directions. He won’t force us, but He will prevent us from straying too far from where He wants us to be if we truly want to have Him in our lives. He requires us to be patient because He is patient with us. With this patience and acceptance, we can often find peace from our heartbreak.

In the LDS (Latter-day Saint aka Mormon) community, we recently had a semi-annual conference in which the prophet, several apostles, and various administrators in the church organization spoke to us. Many of the talks I was able to hear were about love, repentance, and moving forward with our hearts and minds firmly planted in gospel principles. Having faith in His plan. Acknowledging His love and His law. And allows others the same opportunities for forgiveness and joy that enrich our own lives.

If you’re not Mormon and  you want to know more, go listen. If you are a member and you’re struggling, go listen. If you are a member and you’re not struggling, go listen. But here are some “highlights.”

President Uchtdorf

President Packer – Key to Spiritual Protection

Elder Holland – Like a Broken Vessel

President Monson – True Shepherds

Until next time…whenever that is… haha….

Okay, I’m a Believer – Movie Watching Workouts!

Last night I did something that I was pretty skeptical about. I’ve seen pins on Pinterest for “work outs” that you’re supposed to do when you watch a movie. Personally, that sorta sucks all the fun out of sitting and watching a movie, but when you’re sitting around with your friends and you all groan  because you have to get up and do lunges? That’s pretty funny.

Pitch-slap your muscles!

I was invited to watch Pitch Perfect and do an ab workout. While I find the movie rather funny, it wasn’t enough to laugh we did some actual exercises when certain things happened:

  1. When someone throws up – 10 push-ups
  2. When Bumper (lead in Treble Makers) is crude – 20 crunches
  3. When anyone mentions the word cardio – “horizonal running” for 1 minute. Lay on your side and elevate your legs while you “run.”

    “I’m doing horizontal running…”

  4. When Lily (the really quiet Barden Bella) says something creepy – Reverse situps (leg raises)
  5. When Kimmy Jinn glares at Becca – alternating ankle reaches
  6. When Stacie says/does something sexual – hip raises
  7. When the announcer says something sexist – 10 bicycles
  8. When anyone says something with the “a ca”(a ca-awkward, a ca-scuse me?, etc) in front of it – 10 lunges

I feel like there were possibly more, but I can’t think of them at the moment…It was pretty fun to do this work out and I didn’t feel too badly for the procrastination aspect of it either. Plus, I got to socialize which is {almost} always a good thing.

The music in this movie is actually very good too. I bought the soundtrack. I’ve been buying a lot of new music lately though. Partly for working out and partly jus’ cuz I wanna. BOOM!   Haha =]   Any recommendations out there for workout jams?

Side-note: I’m in a really good place today. Scripture study rocked and this weekend is basically 4 days. I’ll likely spend it finishing up some lesson plans/lesson prep, but I am also going to get another facial and try to get myself on a sleep schedule.

It’s My Turn

So as I once posted in an incredibly deep way on Facebook, “Now that 2012 did not end the way I had hoped nor has 2013 started out the way I had anticipated, I wonder what adventures are in store for me…”  This year I’ve decided is going to be a year of change and Challenges. Notice that is challenges with a “C.” I have decided to give myself the following Challenges:

  1. Gratitude challenge – I already talked about this one. Record 5 things every week that I am grateful for.
  2. Read the book my mom gave me for Christmas
  3. It’s My Turn aka the 90-day Body by ViSalus challenge
  4. Scripture study challenge – read scriptures for 30 mins a day (first thing in the morning).

First on my list tonight of things to record while I procrastinate my lesson plans a bit longer is to record my  things I’m grateful for from last week because I didn’t get around to posting on Sunday.

  1. I am incredibly grateful for my faith. I am grateful for the way it helps me through hard times and allows me to have a bigger picture.
  2. I am grateful for my mother. No, I’m not just saying that. She has been incredibly supportive of me the last few weeks even though I’ve been in really crabby moods. She loves me and it is apparent in everything she does.
  3. I am grateful to be living in a country where I can obtain an education and choose my own career. I know I gripe about school and how much work it is, but I am truly grateful that I was able to choose where my life would take me as far as what I wanted to study and where.
  4. I am grateful not to live in the snow anymore. That may seem silly to say, but I am definitely affected by seasons and such and so snow/winter in Utah was not really my friend. At least not when I needed to be productive.
  5. I am grateful for music. Music has the ability to lift the spirit and quicken the heart. To give courage and confidence and I am glad that I am able to hear music.

Second, MEd met today and that was actually a pretty productive meeting. I’ll post some of my visual representations later, but I think I’m getting a more clear idea of what I want to investigate!


Next, the third thing on my Challenges list was the 90-day Challenge from ViSalus. I am a little embarrassed to be posting this publicly. I guess there is a reason why we tend to stick to our goals when we make them public. It some how holds us a little more accountable, eh?  Essentially, ViSalus is a weight loss program that uses shakes and a few dietary supplements to support a healthy lifestyle and weight loss.  If you’re familiar with Herbal Life, I think it’s sorta similar to that.  I have already been working out and eating better; I’ve felt a lot better, but I need a little extra help so starting tomorrow I’ll be substituting two of my normal meals with these shakes and I’m rather excited about this adventure. I decided that there is no better time than now and it’s my turn.

To be freakin' hot yo!

To not feel embarrassed by my body at the gym, at the beach, or at the mall.

AND now something more fun, my current jams.

T.H.E (The Hardest Ever)  –
The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes
Give Me Everything – Pitbull
Say You’re Just a Friend – Austin Mahone

I guess I should really get back to work now. I don’t want to be up all night. Have an awesome week!

Know You’re Not Alone

So, lately I’ve been listening to music to fill the quiet and keep myself from being distracted.  I was catching up on Glee (because I rather like their musical arrangements) when I heard the Homeward Bound/Home mash-up. It reminded me of how much I love Phillip Phillips’ song Home.

Mhmm, Phillip Phillips you may come into my room and serenade me anytime…

Today I was thinking about the song  Home (go watch it) and went to listen to it. Now, I’m gonna be real with ya, yesterday I was friggin’ de-pressed! I mean, sad, dejected, if-I-were-emo-I’d-cut-myself depressed. This morning was a bit better but not by much and then I got home from student teaching and I felt anxious and sick to my stomach. I went to class early, hoping that I could get some work done and I did (a tiny bit) but I got distracted (in a good and uplifting way) by this song. I suddenly felt like something great and amazing is on the horizon and so…I will continue to venture forward.

I’ve included the lyrics here… for your reading pleasure.

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home