Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Happy Birthday to Babe!

Guess what? Jonathan had a birthday last week! Unfortunately his birthday fell on a weekday that we both worked, which was quite unfortunate, so we went hiking a few days before his birthday (that'll be a separate post) since that's something he enjoys doing. Anyway, he kept saying how he didn't really feel like his birthday was coming up. I think this is partly due to the fact he has been super busy, and partly due to the fact he doesn't want to be 29 yet.

I decided to surprise him. He loves decorations, so I decorated the living for him with streamers, giant fish, balloons, a banner, and some spirals:

I did this the day before his birthday because I wanted to throw him off guard. Plus, I last minute found out I didn't have to teach that night so I was able to spend the evening with him. I got to see his reaction when he walked in and it made me happy. :) We had a mini birthday party (just the two of us and the kitties, haha) and I had a few gifts for him to open. Nothing too fancy nor expensive (because we're poor), but they were all things that very much remind me of him and he got so excited each time he opened a new present:

We had some dessert and went walking together and it was just nice to have the evening. What he didn't know was I had another surprise for him. I still wanted his actual birthday to feel special!

So the background story: Sometimes we walk around Hobby Lobby looking at the fun stuff there. Every time we walk down this one aisle he mentions that we should get glow in the dark stars. I kept saying no, because that's something you put in a kid's room. Well, I bought a TON of glow in the dark stars and while he was at work on his birthday, I spent two and a half hours putting them on our ceiling. There were about 200 stars, and I organized them into about 8 real constellations, and 3 fake constellations (plus random stars here and there). I tried to take a picture, but it looks dumb when the lights are on and the camera wouldn't pick it up when the lights are off. You'll just have to take my word for it that it looked awesome.

HE LOVED IT! He was so excited. We kept them up, and he still gets all giddy at night when we turn the lights off to go to bed. I admit, I like them too. It's fun sleeping "under the stars". :)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hair Challenge

The last few weeks I challenged myself to be kinder to my hair. This meant keeping heat tools to a minimum, and washing my hair every other day instead of every day. It amazed me how many different hairstyles you can actually do without a flat iron or curling iron. Additionally, it amazed me how many hairstyles look fine with hair that's been "washed" with dry shampoo. I didn't take pictures of myself each day, but I have my recordings from when I taught. I took screenshots from my recordings so you can see what I ended up doing:

This first picture gives you a glimpse of what my hair looked like when the pink was still there. This day I kept my hair natural. I have a few framing layers that were going a little bit crazy though, so I pulled them back in a half pony tail.

This was the next day. I didn't wash my hair, so this was just my natural hair with some dry shampoo.(You can't really see the pink in this because the quality of the photo is so terrible, but the pink was still there -- just looked more like a rose gold)

I took a shower and braided my hair. I slept in the braids with the intent to have my hair curly the next day. But when I woke up, my braids still looked fine, so I decided to go with the Pippy look. It took me 0 minutes to do my hair in the morning, which meant extra sleeping time. :)

The next day  I just undid the braids and wore my hair curly. That was an easy hair day too, because undoing the braids took 20 seconds.

And of course, you've got your basic pony tail. That's a hairstyle that requires no hot tools.

This day I cheated. I did use my flat iron to add some curl to my hair, but I didn't do it everywhere. My natural has a tad bit of wave to it already, so I just played that up. And I added this little braid for added interest.

My go-to 3 minute hairstyle is a bun on top of my head. If my natural hair is not cooperating, or I want a quick hairdo that keeps me cool on hot days, I go this route. I use a hair elastic to put my hair in a pony tail, then I split the pony tail into two sections and twist them together. I wrap that piece in a bun shape, and then use about 3 or 4 bobby pins to secure it in place. Easy peasy.

This is another go to hairstyle I'll use if my natural hair isn't cooperating. I can't do a single braid going straight down my back (I'm still working on mastering that skill... it just always comes out as a failure). I usually opt out for this side braid instead because it's fast and easy. Sometimes I'll do a french braid, but I'd say 9/10 times I do a dutch braid instead. I usually pinch and pull at my braid to make it fuller since my hair is generally pretty thin.

This is what my hair looks like when I undo my loose side braid. It's not super curly, but it adds just a little bit of wave. Best part, no hot tools! All I did was add a little dry shampoo.

There were a few other days where I repeated hairstyles. I slept in braids another night, and did a half up pony tail another day too, I believe. But I'm glad I challenged myself to be kinder to my hair because 1) It made me appreciate my natural hair rather than despising it like I usually do, 2) It got me thinking outside the box. Instead of repeating the same two hairstyles, I tried to experiment with other styles that work with my hair, and 3) I learned that it IS possible to wash my hair every other day and not look disgusting (my hair gets greasy and oily fast, which is why I couldn't stand skipping a day of washing it). 

Any female friends out there reading this, I challenge you to take this next week and be kinder to your hair too. :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Random Updates and Thoughts

The reality of Phoenix weather is starting to hit me. I read and hear people talking about how much they are loving the cooler weather and seeing the leaves change colors. But it's still 100+ degrees here and the cactus and palm trees look exactly the same. Part of me is a little bit sad because I love fall! It's my favorite season! But I keep reminding myself that it will cool off eventually and I'll be loving the weather come December/January when I don't have to deal with snow. It's just weird to see a temperature reading of 104 when it's mid September.

We had a really unique experience last week. On Friday night we went to the LDS Gilbert temple and volunteered to do cleaning! We were there from 9:15pm-midnight. Including Jonathan and myself, there were about 27 volunteers. I had no idea what to expect. We entered the temple, showed our recommends, signed a volunteer check-in sheet, and then went downstairs. There was a room with bins of different sized white scrubs and little white booties to put over your shoes. We changed into scrubs (Which are so comfortable, by the way! I need to go get me some scrubs to lounge around in!) and then we all met in a room where a housekeeping "team" gave a prayer, spiritual thought, and then explained how things would be working. We were split into 4 different groups and followed one of the housekeeping team members for further instruction.

Jonathan and I got to clean the main floor and we volunteered for the only two-person job available - bathrooms! You know, cleaning bathrooms doesn't sound like the most fun job, but I was very impressed with how organized everything was. There was a very specific way we were told to clean and all of the rags were color coded for different things...it was really cool. I never once thought, "gross. cleaning bathrooms...." because the bathrooms are constantly taken care of. I LOVED getting to go in the bathrooms in the Bride's rooms - chandeliers and sparkly things everywhere! :) Most of all though, I liked that I got to stay with Jonathan the whole time. Even though we weren't performing any ordinances, we were still able to feel the spirit and it was awesome.

My hair is getting really long, and my bangs were getting ridiculously annoying, so I went in for a haircut a few weeks ago. I came out with highlights and pink in my hair! The last time I got highlights was back in 2009. Then I chopped my hair short so I was back to my natural. I think I dyed my hair once with my roommates back in 2010, but then I chopped my hair short again a year or two later, so I've been with my natural hair for quite some time. Part of me was a little nervous to put color in my hair again (What if I didn't like it? Or Jonathan didn't like it? Or it looked bad?) but I'm so glad I did it because I am LOVING it!! The pink is pretty much all faded now because I started out with a really soft pink to begin with, and pink dye fades fast, but I'm liking the blonde in my hair mixed with my natural (a picture will have to come later, sorry!). I'll probably have to wait another 6-10 years before I get highlights ever again though because HOLY HANNAH hair appointments cost a pretty penny. I don't understand how people can afford to go in every 4-6 weeks.

Anyway.... in other news I put in 79 hours this last pay period! I'm a little bit nervous as to what my manager might say. I'm not supposed to go over 40 hrs/wk and I got mighty close to that. But I'm working so many more hours than last semester. It's inevitable that my time log is going to show that. Also, I'm 97.8% sure I took a nap every day this week. I don't know why little kids complain about having to take a nap... naps are GLORIOUS!

Oh, I also caught something pretty awful a few weeks ago. It resulted in about 12 days of extreme mouth pain, white pockets on my tonsils, blisters on the back of my throat, ulcers under my tongue in multiple places, and swollen lymph nodes. On top of that I had a cold. I never had a fever, but I had achy skin, runny nose, congestion, and all that good stuff. I went in to see a doctor who told me he wasn't certain what it was, but that it was probably the cold sore virus. Since I've never been exposed to it before, the first encounter results in random mouth pain. But next time, I'll actually see the cold sores. I guess? I think that's what he said? He wrote me a prescription for the pain, but after a couple pharmacies told me they couldn't fill it, I just endured the pain and eventually healed. My current health insurance is under my dad's and only works in California, so that little trip to the doctor was an expensive $185 that I'll never get back. I wanted to make sure I didn't have strep though. That's the only reason I ended up going in. I'm 100% better now, so all is good. Hopefully I don't have to make any other trips to the doctor anytime soon. Jonathan and I are in the process of getting approved for other insurance options, but that is a whole different headache of a conversation I don't feel like having.

Till next time, blog reading friends! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Don't Worry, I'm Alive.

I can't believe an entire month has gone by since I last blogged. I can't let that keep happening. 

Jonathan finished his Family Medicine rotation. Now he's doing OB/GYN. This time he only has to commute 20 minutes (to Gilbert), which has been awesome. Typically he works from 7-4, but there are some days where he goes and helps at the hospital instead of the clinic and so the hours are different for that. He LOVES the doctor he's with - Dr. Guzman. He raves about him every day, haha. I'm so happy that Jonathan's loving his experience though. One of his upcoming rotations is supposedly with a doctor who yells a lot and he's been feeling pretty nervous about that, so it's good that he has a nice doctor right now to distract him. :) 

A semester ended and a new one began. I was really, really sad to see the semester come to a close. I LOVED my class! They were so great at participating, they were hard working, they kept me in the loop on their progress in the course and how they were feeling about exams and such. They were the perfect class, haha. It was so hard starting the next semester less than a week later. 

I'm a lot busier. The good news is I'm working a lot more hours! Last semester I was averaging only about 15 hours a week and this last month I've been averaging 30/35 a week. I'm teaching 3 online classes for Ology, 1 online class for Acer (our sister company), doing data analysis, and another project to help track student progress/ create study plans for struggling students. I might be doing scheduling again too, but that's still TBD. I'm so excited to be working more hours and having more work responsibilities. The only downside is I have a split schedule. I teach from 8am-11am M-TH, and then 5-8pm on MW, and 6-9pm on TTH. I get Fridays off from teaching though! 

If I'm being honest, I'm also grateful for the hours because I've been feeling pretty guilty about quitting my kindergarten job. It's come up in conversation a few times this past month and even though I know I made the right decision for me, it's been haunting me a little bit. We don't have kids yet and so part of me feels like I should be working as much as physically possible to earn as much as we possibly can. And whenever we talk about the future and things that we want -- buying a house, having kids, paying off student loans quickly, etc. it's kind of depressing to mentally see the dollar signs adding up and I can't help but wonder, "how on earth are we ever going to afford any of that?" I guess my point is that those things will happen when and how they're supposed to, but I feel better knowing I'm working hard and able to do my part financially at this stage of our marriage. I still think life is way too expensive, but whatever. 

That's pretty much how the days have been around here. I'm going to have to take pictures of our apartment now that it's furnished and mostly decorated. That'll be another post to come. Hopefully sooner than a month from now. I have a few other things I could rant/discuss/ponder/talk about, but I'm going to have to call this post good for now. I gots a math lesson to go prepare! Sorry all I talk about is work. It's....pretty much all I'm doing with my life right now.

Monday, August 8, 2016


Hello there!

Blogging is getting tougher to do these days. I've been really busy the last week and a half. Since I am no longer committed to that kindergarten job (see previous post), I decided to create a schedule for myself with how I wanted to manage my time during the days.

I've been doing my online classes M-Th evenings and doing my data analysis, but I also put in about 12 hours last week for a project for work. I'm really excited about it because it's going to improve the online class tremendously and save me so much time in the long run. Boy, is it time consuming though!

Anyway, I've set aside a schedule factoring in that project, prep time for the sister company whose online classes I'll be teaching starting September, as well as household chores to complete each day, and putting in time for exercising as well. It was a busy week and a half, but I followed my schedule faithfully and got a lot accomplished! It was a really rewarding feeling!

Jonathan's schedule for his new rotation (family medicine) is in downtown Phoenix and he generally has to be there from 7-5 every day. It takes him an hour to get there and back, so we've been going to bed by 10 and getting up by 5 every day. Getting up at 5 breaks my rule to never get up before the sun, so I usually go back to sleep for a little bit. But since we have been going to bed so early, getting up by 6:30 or 7 isn't a big deal. I wouldn't really consider myself a morning person (partly because I have the worst time falling/staying asleep at night, so I'm exhausted in the morning), but I've found that if I force myself to get up, my day is way more productive and I feel happier. I've also found that napping is a lot easier for me these days...haha

Anyway, the semester is coming to a close and I'll have about a week and a half before the next one starts, so I'm getting super excited about having some time to decorate the house. The furniture has helped it feel more like a home, and I've gotten a lot of progress done in our bedroom and bathroom decor, but I know once I hang up pictures and such in our living room it'll officially feel like home.

Also, we had to choose between the TV or the piano in our living room and we made the call to have the TV in the back room and the piano out front. This decision has proved to be really great. Not that we have a lot of free time, but when we do we are more inclined to play the piano right there in the living room than go in the back room to watch TV. I really am wanting to get in the habit of not relying on TV for entertainment (I still watch AGT though, haha I can't give that one up). Jonathan and I used to wind down in the evenings by watching a show together, but now we go for a walk instead and it's great! It's amazing that a small change of where you put your television can have such a positive effect! It's been good for us at least, and it's getting us in good habits! If you're daring enough and willing enough to back away from TV, I challenge you to take your TV out of the living room or bedroom for just a week and see the difference it makes in your home and in your relationships with your family. :)

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Last Two Weeks

If I could summarize the last two weeks for you in one word, the word would be: exhaustion.

First I need to back up.. 2 weekends ago was really great! We had a fun date night going bowling (although I got a TERRIBLE score), and then on Saturday we went to the pet store and came out with a new friend for Alvin. We named him Sebastian.

Then on Monday it was my first day of training for my new job. Training was at the convention center in downtown Phoenix and there were about 700 people there - it was crazy. I would leave around 7am each morning and get home about 6pm each evening. They were long days. I learned a lot about the company, but a lot of the training didn't feel very applicable to me because I'd keep hearing things like "It'll depend on your school" or "It'll depend on your teacher". I met a lot of new people and forced myself out of my comfort zone to carry on conversations. By Tuesday afternoon I had made a friend who I spent the rest of the week with at lunch time and such. Her name was Sarah and she was going to be a kindergarten teaching fellow (like me) at the same school I would be working at.

Here are some pictures from the week:

Coming home at night was stressful because technically my online class starts at 5, but because there was no way for me to get home early enough, I had to postpone my classes all week. I did get a sub for Tuesday which was helpful, but my students hated it. My online class is a 3 hour class, and then I would have to squeeze in time for lesson planning and data analysis. Essentially I was busy from 7am-10pm every day.

It was fun to have a new little kitten around. It took Alvin a couple of days to warm up to the idea of Sebastian, but by Wednesday they were playing together and getting along. Alvin is actually really cute with Sebastian; he follows him around, grooms him, plays with him. I love it.

The weekend after my training, Jonathan and I spent date night at the dollar theater. We saw Jungle Book. I liked the movie, and I realized that it was our first time going to the movies just the two of us! We also got our furniture! It was a logistical nightmare that I don't want to relive....but let's just say figuring out how we were going to get it to our apartment was quite a headache. We got it all figured out though and it was like Christmas.

I am so happy to have a kitchen table and a couch. My dad also sent me everything that relates to me in any way, shape, or form. The boxes are full of my childhood - school projects, prom dresses,  scrapbooks, games, journals, Pokemon cards, Beanie Babies, books, etc. He also sent a toddler bed.  Nice "subtle" message, Dad.

The following week was on-site training for my job. It was for all the staff at the school I'd be working at. The school is in downtown Phoenix and the commute ranged anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. Traffic is HORRENDOUS here. It's a miracle I didn't die. During that training I learned more about my specific responsibilities.

If I'm being honest, I found out the job wasn't at all what I expected it to be. I was under the impression I'd be helping out in the kindergarten classroom and then in the afternoons be rotating between kindergarten classrooms doing music time. I quickly learned that although my job included helping in the classroom, I wouldn't be doing music time. My roles included teaching PE to kindergarten, monitoring at recess, lunch duty, and monitoring a study hall before and after school.

It occurred to me that I was already dreading this job before it began. It wasn't the job I was thinking it would be. As I sat and thought about the logistics of it (having to leave at 6:30 in the morning to make it for early morning study hall and getting home at 6:30 on the days I did afternoon hall), I started to panic. I was committing to 10 months of that. On top of teaching my online class in the evenings. And finding time for lesson plans. And setting aside 2 hours of my day to drive in traffic. And when would I even have time to clean my house? Or eat dinner? Or spend time with my husband?

I'm sure some people could handle that schedule. For me, it wasn't something I could do and be happy. After a lot of thought and discussions with Jonathan and my parents, I decided I was going to quit.

I felt horrible. I didn't want to be that person. The one who bails a week before classes start. Who lets people down. But like I said, I knew I wasn't going to be happy putting myself through that schedule day in and day out. I quit on Wednesday and even though I was choking back tears when I left and started my drive home, I felt a sense of relief. I have nothing against that school or company. I just bit off more than I could chew.

And you'll never guess what happened next.

I contacted my manager for my online job saying I had more flexibility in my schedule now. My manager told me they were extremely short staffed and she would be happy to give me ALL the online classes that run for not only our company, but the sister company as well. On top of that, she is letting me continue the data analysis project and take on two new projects. It really is a blessing because financially, quitting that kindergarten job was not a wise decision. But I knew I needed to do what was best for me and my little family, and I'm grateful that things worked out so I'd be able to still provide financially after all. No doubt Heavenly Father had a hand in that.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My Trip To Utah (In Pictures)

A month ago, we went to Utah for a week! We went partly because we missed our families and partly because Jonathan had to take boards in St. George. Anyway, we drove to Hurricane where Jonathan's parents live. I stayed for only a night, then I took off with Alvin to Springville so I could visit my mom. Jonathan was busy studying for boards, so we planned to meet up again once boards were over.

I got to Springville Monday late afternoon and left Friday morning. Those days are all kind of a blur to me. 

On Monday I went into Ology and got all set up to do online tutoring. Literally 5 minutes after I had everything set up, the student canceled on me. My mom was still at work, so I went to visit my cousin Sara and meet her baby Skye! She was only 2 weeks old when I met her!

I visited with my mom that night, but then we all went to bed. Tuesday was crazy. I went into Ology earlier than planned to help my director with some scheduling issues she was having. Then I taught my online class that night. It really wasn't much of a vacation since I was at work so much! But I did get to have lunch with some buddies from Provo - JulZ and Melissa! It was really nice to get to see them and visit with them. :) Made me happy.

Alvin had no problem adapting to my mom's place. haha I love that cat. He is so chill and just makes himself comfortable wherever.

He'd come in at nights and stay in the room I was sleeping in. I'd like to think it's because he wanted to be where I was, but I'm almost positive it was because he loved being on the tower of boxes in that room.

Wednesday was great! My brother came into town, I got to go shopping with my mom (we both had the day off!), I got to go see Mom's new house in Santaquin (they got the keys right after I left!), we went to dinner with Sara and her husband and Uncle Dave and Aunt Wendy, and I got to hold baby Skye again! Wednesday definitely went by too fast. :(

Mom had to work on Thursday, and I honestly don't remember much of what happened that day. I know that I hung out with Trev most of the afternoon, but then I had to leave for work around 4 or so. I got home and we all just hung out and relaxed.

The trip went by way too fast. It was a bummer that both me and my mom had to work so much, but I was happy to spend the time with her that I did.

I drove back to Hurricane on Friday and spent a few days with Jonathan and his family. On Saturday we went to the BIGGEST FAMILY REUNION EVER. It was a reunion of his great grandparents and their posterity.

Above is the "roster". Lenna is Jonathan's grandma and the other people are her siblings. All those sheets of paper are the names of the kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and great great grandkids of Lenna and her siblings.

The reunion was on a farm. There were SO MANY PEOPLE. A lot of them camped at the farm, but we lived close enough that we didn't have to camp. There were lots of activities for the kids - archery, bounce house, bubbles, wading pool, etc. There was also a zip line that my 4 year old niece forced me into doing with her. It was actually pretty fun.

We drove back to Arizona on Sunday evening and got home pretty late. I wish we had more time in Utah, but it's nice to know that it's within driving distance and we could make a trip again soon if we really wanted to. :)