Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oh, The Places Mama Has Gone!

My oh my, how things have changed!! But I suppose it has been about 4 bad!

Well I finished up my student teaching in a second grade class. And boy did I love it. To start off,  I had the BEST mentor teacher. I was her first student teacher and the first week I remember how nervous she was about being good enough for me. Silly teacher, she was everything I needed! She is an amazing teacher: she knows her students, loves her students, is patient, hard working, and a team player. And those are just a few things. And heavens my second graders were just plain ADORABLE!!!! I had so many good times with those kiddos. They were quite the characters. And they just made me feel so loved. I definitely had my challenges during student teaching. I had to try and keep up with work and let me tell you by Friday night I was always EXHAUSTED.

And unfortunately the day that I was to have my last BYU observation I got in a car accident on my way to school. On the freeway. And my first baby, my little Yaris, was totaled. To say the least it only increased my stress in my life. But on that day I was reminded that I have so many people in my life that love and care about me. First off, my dad: who answered my hysterical phone call. Let's just say I was crying like crazy and pretty much hyperventilating. My mentor teacher: who told me to not even worry about it, she had the day covered (I was teaching all day at this point so she didn't have my lesson plans and whatnot). She also had the kids write me letters and they were so cute and hilarious. The tow-truck driver: he want just too nice and helped me calm down. We discussed education on the way!  My brother-in-law: who rescued me from where they towed me, took me to breakfast, and called the insurance company for me (yeah...I was still trying to compose myself at this point) Austin: who left his classes and showed up with flowers, my favorite treats and drink. He then proceeded to spend the day with me, took me to get my rental, treated me to lunch and just kept me company (spoiled much? yes I definitely was). Well following my lovely accident my last observation was rescheduled. And I proceeded to finish student teaching!! It was such a remarkable feeling to walk out of the school that day and know that I had finished everything and was done with college! But, I was definitely sad when I had to say bye to my class.

On my last day of student teaching aka college I was also able to go to my first JAZZ GAME!!

It was awesome! I officially became a fake fan on that day. I picked #15, my boy Derrick Favors, because I thought he was pretty cute! Turns out he is also pretty good at basketball ;) Let's just say this was my first game but definitely not the last.

Did I mention that the Jazz game was also my first official date with this guy?

Meet Austin. He's my boyfriend. 

I mentioned him earlier in this post and also in this post from a while back. Basically we've worked together for a couple years and we've always been really good friends. We never hung out outside of work though until this past February. That first night we hung out we watched a movie and somehow accidentally ended up cuddling (oops! I didn't mean for it to happen! hahaha) And then we kept hanging out and I could tell that he liked me (and I had just a little inside information) but I was trying to pull the friend card. But it doesn't help when you are best friends and you want to be hanging out all the time. And when your best friend happens to be a cute boy that will cuddle sometimes what is a single girl supposed to do? So to say I messed with his head a little bit in the beginning is an understatement. But boy if their is one thing I know about Austin it's how persistent he can be. Always willing to help me with school stuff, bring me dinner, bring a movie, keep me company, make me promise to wait and watch TV with him, offer interview advice, etc. I mean how do you say no to a cute boy willing to do so much for you?!?! And the whole time I just wanted to pretend like we were just friends and that would be that....yeah that lasted only about 2 weeks! haha

Everything changed for me on April 1st when he spent all day with me and my family. By the end of the night I was finally starting to admit to myself that I had feelings for him and wanted to be more than friends.  But that night when we hugged goodbye I was still unsure of what to think! Did I really want to chance ruining another friendship by trying to date? We all  know how it's failed in the past. And Austin just seemed too good to be true. But I think what scared me the most was that I knew if I let myself fall for Austin it would happen and happen quickly. So really what I was asking myself was am I ready to fall in love and can I handle the consequences if it didn't end up working?

So like all things in life I was waiting for someone else to tell me what to do. I mean he had met my mom and dad so maybe they would step in and show me what was wrong about Austin and then I would be able to say no to him/myself. But talking on the phone with my mom all she said was how nice he was and funny. Well that didnt help! That only encouraged me more. (No offense to my mom but usually she is good at warning me about the faults in certain guys I've liked).

So, the next night we were together again watching a movie and cuddling...of course. And the whole time all I wanted to do was kiss him. And up until that day I had never before really considered it. I decided to take that as my sign that I was ready to take the risk and fall for Austin.  So I did the whole staring at him thing and just smiling. But I was getting nothing. Stubborn boy! hahaha Then I decided I was going to say something about it but then I chickened out. Only problem was he caught me and forced me to tell him what I was about to say (he had a gun to my head, what was I going to do???) So that's when I took matters into my own hands (fessed up) and kissed him! 

The rest is history ;) 

Now we've spent many days together and nights going out. And we've had our share of some fun adventures here and there.

Jazz Game

Bees Game! 

Pentatonix Concert
(So amazing)

Went to see Aladdin at Tuacahn

Hiking the Narrows at Zion's

Pretty much we just have a lot of fun with each other. It's nice and easy dating your best friend. I'm living the good life :) And boy does he treat me like a princess. Good thing I treat him like a prince!

Unfortunately, Austin is too good of a person. He decided to spend the summer (2 months) in Africa helping out at an orphanage and hospital. 

Okay confession....when I said he decided I should admit to the fact that he decided based on my persuading and advice. Remember earlier when I said that I kept pulling the friend card?? Well at the time that Austin was trying to decide what to do for the summer I was still trying to convince myself that we were just friends. And because he was so persistent and I didn't know what to do I may have said that he should definitely go to Africa. I tried to say it was because he loved it so much last year and he would regret it if he didn't. Truth be told I was also being selfish and thinking it would be my way out. Austin admits that he finally decided to and that he figured it would be the time he needed to get over me.

So back to Austin being in Africa...He is amazing like that. He brought over a bag full of medical supplies and gifts for the kids. He spends his days playing, talking, teaching and loving many children who are far from their own families. Thankfully we have only one month left to go! Now we communicate through emails and Skype. And when I say Skype this is what usually happens....

We spend 20 of the 30 minutes just trying to get the call to go through. To say I miss him is an understatement. It was definitely a big change going from seeing each other everyday to emails and Skyping (when it works). But it is worth it because of all the good he is doing. He makes me proud, that's for sure :)

Here are a few things that I love about Austin
1. He works harder than any other guy I've met.
2. He loves his family.
3. He is a gentleman...he always opens my doors and treats me like a girl should be treated.
4. His smile and handsome looks.
5. He hates foods he has never tried.
6. His dancing abilities...or lack of ;)
7. He makes me smile constantly.
8. He is always willing to help anyone and everyone.
9. He always reminds me that I'm beautiful.
10. He's stubborn. In a good way :)
11. He surprises me when I least expect it.
12. He loves children and does pretty well with them (only makes them cry every once in while...on accident of course).
13. He gives good advice.
14. He gives even better massages.
15. He makes me laugh.
16. He is willing to try and do new things.
17. He listens to me and remembers everything.
18. He takes care of me on my bad days, sick days and good days (so everyday).
19. He is technology challenged.
20. He dresses well....on most days ;)

Most of all he's my best friend who loves me and makes me happier than I have ever been.

(Yep, you have my permission to make fun of how mushy that all was! But it's true and I'm not afraid to admit how much I care about him!)

So, in between dating and finishing up student teaching I graduated college! It was so surreal. Haven't seen any of the pictures my sister took from that day so I can't really include any on here...sorry...maybe some time in the future! Just know that mama looked good!!! haha Mostly it was my cute new outfit (skirt and high heels).

The heels...ignore my sister's messy room :)

Following graduating I got to go on an amazing graduation trip to San Francisco (thanks mom and dad!) with all the girls in my family!! It was so much fun with everyone there. We explored the city like crazy. Drove around in a limo, rode bikes across the golden gate, got fat eating Ghirardelli's chocolate, visited Alcatraz,  walked too many crazy hills, rode in a glass elevator, explored a farmer's market, and much much more.

Limo ride through the city!
(courtesy of Coley)

The ferry ride to/from Alcatraz

All of us on Lombard Street the first Afternoon

Before our biking adventure!

On the Golden Gate Bridge

After graduating and vacationing it was time to start stressing about finding a job and what not. Pretty sure I got a few gray hairs from it all. My first interview was close to where I would be living for a first grade position but I didn't get it. Sad day. My second interview was at the school I had just finished student teaching in and for a second grade position and.... I GOT IT!!! Within an hour after the interview the principal called me and officially offered me the position. I was freaking out! And soo excited. So I will be a real teacher starting July 25, 2012. I will be teaching at a year round school which has pros and cons but I'm ready for them all.

So now that I have a job and some sort of a plan for life I've been trying to enjoy my summer days (as much as I can without Austin, that is).

I do a lot of this...

...laying out and playing at the local water park (yay for a season pass!)

A lot of this... time = reading time!

Eating a lot of these...

...the most delicious snow cones ever.

Oh and did I mention...MAMA GOT A NEW CAR!!!

Me and my Chevy Equinox. It's a beauty and I love it.

Tomorrow is my last shift at Cinemark. So after 3 1/2 years I will end my time selling tickets, scooping popcorn, sweeping up popcorn and yelling at employees ;) I have made so many friends that are basically family now because of that job. There have been highs and lows but overall I could not have asked for a better job during my college days. 

Well, I think that about covers the last 4 months of my life. Obviously there are many more moments that have occurred but I've tried to successfully cover the big ones!

Quite Possibly One of the Most Special Weekends/Weeks Ever

**Just noticed this post was never published. But it occurred back in February

You know those moments that remind you how blessed you are? Pretty sure I had about 50 of those moments in the past 5 days. And of course I am going to share them with you.

Friday: Fun day with the kiddos. We had a mountain man/pioneer rendezvous. I learned how to play cats cradle and then teach it to those adorable little fourth graders. After school I was able to head up to my parents for the night. I got to go swimming with my fun/crazy/cute nephews!! They make me smile :)

Saturday: My nephews Crew and Jakson were sealed to their parents and sister. Although I wasn't able to be there I know how special and amazing it had to have been. Afterwards they were able to give Crew a baby blessing and then we enjoyed a delicious meal. Then celebrate my other nephew, Coen's, first birthday. That little boy is a gem! We made it back up to my parents eventually where we relaxed and got to spend time with each other.  Then some of us girls made our way to see THE to love me some Channing Tatum. And that yummy popcorn and pretzel m&ms.

Sunday: SLEPT IN!!!! The best feeling ever. Seriously. Then went to church to see my other sister's baby girl be blessed. Yeah you read that right. Two baby blessings in one weekend plus a sealing. I am so grateful for my family and the opportunity we have to be together forever. That night I got to spend more time with my California nephews. Played some pictionary, hide and seek, down by the banks, and worked on my fighting (more like protection) skills.

Monday: I found out that I get to student teach in a second grade class in about a week and a half. I cannot wait. I was hoping to see what it is like to teach second. Also I received a letter in the mail from my best friend Brittani! I totally miss that girl. The great thing about her is she is one of those people  that you could go months without talking to and the minute you do again it's like no time past at all. I just love that girl. She amazes me. I also got an email from my friend who is on his mission. It was great to hear from him again. Now I have four people to write letters to and I am the worst at it. The worst.

Tuesday. It's Valentine's Day!!! Had fun at school watching all the kids get excited for their party and pass out treats. Also joined them in a little jump rope and basketball at recess. No big deal. :) Now, as usual, I am procrastinating planning, grading and bed time. Typical.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My fears...

A while ago one of my coworkers was asking some people what their greatest fears were in life for an article she was writing. Kind of got me thinking and last night I think some of them came to me.

1. I fear that a student who comes into my classroom will forget how amazing he/she is.

This is linked to a story from yesterday. In the class I am student teaching for, there is a young student who is self-contained. This means he is pulled for resource for about half the day. After teaching a whole class lesson I have to provide more one-on-one help to this particular student. Sadly, he has anxiety and a low self-esteem. He knows that he is below everyone else and is always worried what others are thinking about him. Well, over the past few weeks we've gained a relationship and he now chooses to come to the back table to work with me on his own. As a teacher this is one of the greatest feelings. To know that a student trusts you and wants your guidance. Well, yesterday we were at the back table and he was taking his science test. There where two fill-in the blank question that had multiple answers and he was really struggling, but the great thing about him is he wouldn't give up. I told him he could skip them if he didn't know and he said no and kept thinking. Well he did successfully answer the first one after spending quite a while on it. Well the second one was a lot more difficult. He didn't understand the vocabulary fully which made answering it difficult. As we sat there talking he said something to the extent, "There's just a lot going on in my mind. Like people are fighting and stuff." I told him to just do his best and try to picture the videos we watched in class and the activities he participated in. After about a minute of silence he then said, "Sometimes, when I when I can't answer things and I don't know things,  I want to kill myself." My heart dropped. I responded saying, "(his name), don't ever say that. You are amazing." Him: "But, how do you know that?" I almost started crying. I seriously had to force myself to hold back the tears. I then gave him reasons I thought he was amazing. He just looked at me almost as if he was expecting me to not have an answer or real reasons. That I was just saying that to say it and that I didn't really mean it. I knew he wanted to respond with reasons he wasn't (because he usually does) but he just looked back at his paper. That was one of the most difficult moments I have had so far as a teacher.

I am not worried that my students will never know how much I care for them, how amazing I think they are, or how much potential they have. But I am worried that after they leave my classroom they'll forget. That others won't remind them. That their peers won't accept them. Children are unique and irreplaceable. I fear that some of them will never fully understand that.

2. Love.

This one is hard to explain. I'm not saying I think I am going to be single forever. It's not that. But will I know what real love is when it comes?  Will the person I love with all my heart, love me back the same way? Will they fight for me when times are tough or will they just walk away? After talking with a friend last night I just wouldn't know what I would do if I ever got married and things didn't go as "planned". That thought scares me. Would I be strong enough to find happiness even if it means doing something tough? I couldn't tell you that. Especially now. But I know from past "relationships" that selflessness during and moving on after isn't easy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Sunday Tradition...?

Sometimes I should be doing homework and focusing. But because I feel like that is all I am constantly doing I allow myself to get sidetracked and enjoy life a little. Thankfully I have an amazing roommate to help me out. So yesterday instead of creating a post test and finishing lessons plans early we decided to remake this awesome YouTube video.

So for your entertainment here is our recreation of the video. Warning: the song will get stuck in your head and 95% positive you'll want to dance :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Day Off....

My day off consists of this....

...writing papers and planning for the week.

If I am lucky I'll get to watch a little of this before heading to bed.

P.S. Did I mention I finally went running this morning?! New goal: Wake up and run at 5:15 am (yep you read that right) on Tuesdays and Thursdays with my sister. Here's to a healthier, more fit mama!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sage, Planking and Other Happenings.

Meet Sage Aspen Bybee. My totally adorable niece.

Sage and her mama aka my twin

We are already the best of friends :)

I was actually able to be at the hospital for her birth. Which may have caused me to get less than 3 hours of sleep before teaching the next day but I would definitely do it again!

I hope ya'll are ready for this next part.

Me and Celestial have found our new favorite thing to do. Planking. This video is what inspired us. And we have just begun!! Warning: it was 12:45 am and we were bored at work. And let's just say when you are tired everything is funny and responsibility goes out the window hahaha.

This is the picture that started it all! We were standing there and I suggested it and Celestial was brave enough to do it. She sure is on top of a filing cabinet in the our office.

Theater planking.

 Patrick showing us up.

Yep, she planked on top of our ice cream freezer.

Sure did find a rock and stop on our way home from church the next day to capture this beauty. Unfortunately, my shoes fell off my feet into the snow so I ran back to the car barefoot and frozen. Worth it.

Human planking with my little sister. She is just a tad special but I still love her.

Also mama got her hair done this weekend! Not the best picture but then again when do I ever get a good one? haha I cut it and got dark brown and red highlights. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color. 

Last but not least: Celestial and I lookin' good for church. Mama's gotta find a man ;)

Life is good :) 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Me?

Well who am I kidding? I don't really want to change that much about me and more than that I won't have that much free time for me this year. There will definitely be many changes in my life. Some big changes to look forward to for the year 2012:

- graduating college
- getting a teaching job (fingers crossed)
- moving (most likely back in with my parents).

Three rather exciting experiences. This year my goal is simple: Make new/more friends. Yes, I have to set that as a goal because I kinda fail in this department.  But I will say this. Because I accomplished my goal from last year: No soda for a year, I feel confident that I can conquer this year's.

So here's to a new year!

* Side note: You better believe I had one of these little guys on January 1, 2012. (Thanks to David).

P.S. I start student teaching tomorrow! Be ready for some fun updates/stories :)

Here's to a new year!