Sunday, February 16, 2014


This past October, I turned 24. 



For some reason, that was a big one for me. 

My thought process went like this: "Well 23 is still your early 20's, but 24 is technically considered your mid-twenties! And that means I'm only one year away from being 25, which is a quarter of a century old! I've lived over a quarter of my life! Wait...and if you follow the rounding principles I teach my 5th graders, 25 rounded to the nearest ten is basically I'm 30!!!!"

*deep breaths*

Luckily, I have the sweetest girlfriends in the ENTIRE world who got together and threw me a surprise party at my house. My first surprise party ever! I forgot all about how old I was, and just remembered how lucky I am to have such wonderful, supportive friends and family. Daniel was totally in on the whole thing, and he sneakily set it up without me having a clue!

We were all having so much fun hanging out, eating yummy food, chatting, and staying up past our 24-year-old bedtimes that we didn't take a single picture. (Those are the best nights, aren't they?) But I just have to show you the cake that  expert-chef Liz Moffit made me...

It was a giant, spectacular, 8-layer piece of perfection! But if you think it looks pretty, you should have tasted it. It was as heavenly as you could imagine! I felt so, so spoiled. 

Thank you to my most fabulous, awesome girls for making 24 one of the most amazing birthdays of my life. You are the best friends a girl could ask for!


Halloween at an Elementary School

I have come to the conclusion that you have not experienced Halloween until you have spent it with 30 children at an Elementary School. Halloween is by FAR my favorite day of the school year. It's my very favorite holiday, and I love dressing up and getting to party with the kiddos! 

We did one of those stations where the kids had to feel something gross and guess what it was. One of the moms in my class is HILARIOUS, and brought the bowl labeled "worms". All the kids guessed spaghetti, gummy worms, etc...but guess what was in the bowl? ACTUAL WORMS!!!! Oh my gosh, it was too funny. You should have seen the kids' faces when we showed them what they had touched. So, naturally, we took the bowl down to the faculty room after the party and had all the teachers feel it too. SO funny!!

Two of my cute parent volunteers!

Halloween Mod Podge Art

 I wish I could post a million more pictures of our party (I actually took 186 that day), but I can't show their cute faces on the blog. So all you get is a few pictures of our party activities, and a picture of my costume this year:

I was a minion! The idea credit goes completely to Lauren Bradley, the queen of costume ideas and one of my very best friends. It was a fun costume and my kids really liked it!

Any costume ideas for me next year? I'd love to hear!


three years.

Actual date: August 16, 2013

So this is crazy. I happen to be posting this on our three-and-a-half year anniversary, exactly. February 16, 2014. Spooooky...

This past August, Daniel and I celebrated our three-year anniversary. What?! How did that come so fast? On one hand, I can't even remember what life was like without Daniel. But on the other hand, I can't believe how fast the time has gone. 

Daniel and I celebrated by going on a little "staycation" over the weekend. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel downtown, went out to dinner, shopped, and spent time together. It was so relaxing and just what we needed. 

Happy three (and a half) years to my amazing husband! I am so blessed to have you in my life, Daniel. I can't wait to see what other wonderful adventures life has in store for us!


Classroom Setup, Year 2!

Actual Date: August-ish?

This past year, I started my 2nd year teaching! I am still teaching at Mill Creek Elementary, and this year I am teaching 5th grade. At the beginning, it felt kind of strange to just have one grade level to worry about, since last year I had two! I ended up having to move my classroom to the end of the hallway to make room for another 4th grade class, so I had to start all over in the classroom setup department.

First of all, I cannot thank my fabulous friends and family enough for helping me get my room ready this year. I had SO many people in there helping me move boxes, hang bulletin boards, clean stuff out, and organize everything. I seriously could not have done it without you guys! I'm looking at you, Daniel, Mom, Allison, Emily, Kimi, Lizzie, Lauren, Marianne, etc! You are a bunch of lifesavers.

It started off a little rocky. Moving stuff was seriously not fun, and the teacher before me had left a lot of things to be cleaned out...

 *CRINGE* this is what I found at the bottom of the ball bin. Gives me chills to this day. You should have seen what we found in the desk drawers...

But we finally got some things to come together.

And, with the help of Lizzie, we created a fun little welcome bulletin board for my kiddos!

And that brings us to what it looks like today. These photos were taken about a week ago in my classroom. Looking back, I can't believe what the room looked like before!

My little owl lantern friend who presides over the classroom.

And there you have it! My 5th grade classroom for the 2013-2014 school year. This year has been a lot easier than last year. The combination of only having one grade instead of a split, and it being my 2nd year teaching has been so much better. If you're a first year teacher and you're reading this - just know it gets better! =) You can do it!


Our trip to Pahrump!

Actual Date: August 7 to August 11, 2013
Remember in my last post how I said that Daniel's parents moved to Nevada in last June? Well, we decided to take a quick end-of-summer road trip to go and visit them! We were lucky enough to go down at the same time as a few other family members. It was such a fun trip! We loved getting to know the cute little town of Pahrump, and had lots of adventures along the way.

We drove down at night, which actually turned out to be a pretty gorgeous drive. 

The first morning we were there, we were sent to get some donuts from a local donut shop. We ordered a dozen donuts, and they gave us 18. We aren't really sure why...perhaps a Pahrumpian "baker's dozen" is different than Utah? Did they struggle to count? Were they the nicest donut shop workers ever? Either way, thanks guys! They were delicious!

Daniel's parents moved into an absolutely gorgeous house in a neighborhood right off of a golf course. Their house even came with a Koi Pond!! We had the best time sitting out on the back porch, feeding the fish way too much, and looking at all of the lilies and wildlife in the pond.

Speaking of wildlife...we saw SO many animals while we were down there! Koi, toads, rabbits, birds of prey, a turtle, a heron, and more. The coolest thing was when we saw the toads chowing down on spiders and other insects. I wanted to bring one home to take up residence in my apartment.

We got to visit Daniel's Dad at his office, I saw how artichokes really grow, and Daniel went out to play a round of golf with his new clubs!

We also discovered a boxed pretzel dough mix while we were down there that is the stuff of legend. It was SO GOOD! We made one box the first day and annihilated it.  By the next day we were all craving it so bad that Kimi and I were sent to the store. True to form, this is what we brought back. Pretty sure the Pahrumpian cashiers thought we were mental.

One of the days, Daniel and I hit up Vegas with Kimi and Emily. Good times were had by all. We shopped, had gelato and pizza, and explored the strip. And Daniel only got one comment about being from Utah and having 3 wives!

Overall, it was a super fun vacation spent with family! We are so excited to go back. We are headed down in just a few short weeks to visit, and see Celine Dion in Vegas with Daniel's parents. Can't wait!!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

24th of July Weekend

Date: July 24th-ish, 2013

We had a super fun 24th of July weekend! It was spent mostly hanging out with family, lighting off fireworks, and generally having a fabulous time.

We definitely took advantage of the newly-declared legality of aerial fireworks.
 Daniel riding his bike......
 I made my very first batch of homemade raspberry jam! I used fresh raspberries picked from my Grandparents' garden, and it was delicious.
 We also finally got a mirror to put above the sofa! We've since changed up the arrangement of our front room a little bit, and finally gotten covers for our wing chairs. It's always a work in progress over here.
Hooray for holiday weekends! I love it when Daniel is off of work/school in the summer so we can hang out all day. Hope your weekend was awesome as well!


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