Thursday, August 30, 2012

Some might call it an addiction.

The thought of spending the glorious Labor Day weekend in Utah Valley might sound fun for some.... but last night I could not sleep thinking about it!  Dreams of 82 degree beach days.... Salmon Sunday dinners.... and most important the annual Labor Day Weekend Barker Karaoke Extravaganza!

It's ridiculous.  Seriously ridiculous.  I mean it's just one three day weekend.  It's okay to not have anything to do...especially because I am going to San Diego next weekend.... and I was there last weekend.... yes... I might need a patch for this addiction.

So this morning I looked online realizing that it is a day before Friday, yes I think we call it Thursday.  But I realized that the prices for a plane ticket the day before... especially on a 3 day weekend... probably going to be ridiculous.  BUT just last weekend I got a $400 credit because my flight was overbooked so I stayed in John Wayne airport an extra 2 hours.  Yes that was the best 2 hours I've spent in a long time.  (I've already spent the credit on two other flights....) but I felt justified in buying a plane ticket this weekend if the price was decent....especially because I can bum a ride home on Monday with Myra and Kenneth.

You can imagine my excitement when I found a flight for $121.  So where am I going this weekend.  You better believe it.

Since I've become the expert on flying from Southern California to Salt Lake over the last year.... I figure I'll tell ya everything I know: (Caution if you don't fly to southern California stop reading now.)  For me and the places that I visit in Southern California there really isn't a good airport.  I feel like every airport is going to take me about 45 minutes to get to where ever I am going.  So here is my thoughts on each airport:

Long Beach:
Hands down my favorite airport.  Probably because I feel like I am traveling back in time to the 1950's in LA.  I love this airport for two reasons: Jet Blue and never any wait time.  I feel perfectly comfortable getting to this airport 15 minutes before we board.  Jet Blue typically has the cheapest direct flights to LA area through Long Beach.  But Delta sometimes beats Jet Blue's price.  I usually pay around $200 to fly into Long Beach.  I have been lucky enough to get round trip for $100 before.  

John Wayne:  
This might be my new favorite airport.  It is super duper nice and still very small... and 15 miles from Disneyland.  Delta has a direct flight to John Wayne that sometimes is the same price or close to the price of flying into Long Beach on Jet Blue. ($200)  But I have now found that Southwest has decent price tickets to John Wayne...downside.... layovers in Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Oakland.  So a 2 hour trip becomes a 3:30 to 5 hour trip.  But I can typically find prices around $200.  United also has decent prices but their layover are always at least 5 hours and I just don't think it's worth it.  

Closest airport to Glendora but always the most expensive AND typically a layover.   So sadly I rarely fly into Ontario.  But if I do fly into Ontario I fly Southwest.

Bob Hope: 
I love this airport when I am visiting the Glendale/Burbank/Pasadena area.  (AKA going to church with Lars)  Delta is a direct flight but always expensive and Southwest is always a layover.

LAX: I NEVER EVER EVER fly into LAX.  Two reasons: traffic.  It's a mess.  But the important reason it's always more expensive and I never understood why.  Until someone told me it costs the airlines more to land there.  Whether that is true or not I never even look at LAX.

Lastly, what has been so shocking to me is how inconsistent prices are.  I'll look at flights and sometimes book a flight in at one airport and a flight out at another airport on the same weekend.  But the bottom line is there truly is no place like southern California.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I realize lately most of my blog posts have been pictures.  Cool pictures... but pretty boring.  My life on the other hand has been not boring at all.  BUT especially because someone else's life is involved... I figure I shouldn't really talk about what is on my mind as of late.  (But feel free to call or text anytime :)  

This is a blog post that I wrote a while ago... I think when I was on an airplane on my iPhone.  But just this morning I was reminded on how we have no idea what someone has gone through... so we have no idea why people act the way they do. Anyways here ya go:

It's strange how these blogs work. We read day by day the activities and inner thoughts of one person. The thoughts...the feelings... that we would never know if we were just people watching. But really that is what reading blogs is... People watching. Often times we read and try to fill in the missing pieces with our own thoughts and ideas. It's kinda strange how I can feel like I know someone that I've never met by reading a flat screen. I was just reading and harshly judging a girl based off her last blogpost. She just had another relationship fall apart. It's pathetic the ridiculous judgments and criticism that was just running through my mind. I wonder if this blog stalking is such a good idea. Think about it....Because I somehow stumbled upon a blog I feel like I have a right... A say... In passing judgment on how this girl lives her life. When in reality I know nothing at all...
But then again... Why am I judging anyone!? 

Parent teacher conference is never something I look forward to... Talking to typically 100 sets of guardians who are hoping I have some mind blowing insight on their student based off my encounter for 80 minutes every other day with 40 other students in the class that they as guardians haven't picked up on in the kid's 15 years of life. Ever thought of it that way? Kinda sad what we expect from teachers. Anyway back to judging. There is one reason why I am so glad we have parent teacher conferences and it had nothing to do with improving student learning. More often than not when I meet my students' guardians I am more sympathetic to the student. Kinder. More patient. If I am having a problem with the student the source of the problem can often be found in the home life. I judge the student less. Their actions. Their annoying behavior. Their lack of logic and reasoning skills. Everything about that student.... I judge so much less. Often times I admire and love that student because of the struggles they are facing at home. Those poor kids are just doing the best they can...

Back to blogs or I guess we could say judging people. Often times on blogs we try and put our best foot forward. At worst we could say we are trying to make our lives seem better than they really are or at best we could say trying to “remember the forget me nots”... Either way we rarely wear our problems our weaknesses on our sleeves. And since I'm reading about this person on a flat screen clearly... I have no flipping clue what is really going on in the bloggers real life. Can you imagine if we could really see the trials a person was going through? Like when I meet my punk student’s parents I think I would be a lot more sympathetic, patient, understanding, and loving towards that person. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


They say the chains of habit are often to small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

This video is almost like being there. (As Cecilly would say all you need is a cream cheese pretzel and a coke)

P.S. Of all nights.... when I am totally missing Disneyland my dear friend text me to tell me they are listening to Big Rock Candy Mountain on Thunder Mt.  It really is the happiest place on earth.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'd better write this down...

Whelp yesterday was my first day of school.  My 8th first day of school as a teacher. But here was the crazy thing.  Around 11:30 am.... after my first class had left and I was in the middle of my lecture during my second class.  I looked up at the clock and couldn't believe how fast time had flown by.   I was cracking jokes... my students were laughing.... they were excited to be there..... I was relishing in the limelight.... it was then and there at that moment that I thought, "You have got to be kidding me!  I'm getting paid to do this!"

Sometimes as a teacher I feel so lucky to have my job.  To have my kids.  To get to teach my subject.  For the first half of the day yesterday, that is what I was feeling...

And you'd better believe, I need to write that down.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Introducing the Blogbook Theme for 2011-2012

The longer I do this blogging thing the more excited I am about making some type of theme for my blog book each year.  (I work on my blog book all summer, yes it takes THAT long, so my blogging year goes from August to August) Last year clearly being the year of Disneyland, a year of dreaming, a year of hope… became “When you wish upon a star.”  This blogging year was different.  I was done dreaming, I was done hoping, I was ready to go out and seize the day.  I was done dreaming about being in California during the school year.  Now clearly I didn’t up and move my life down there…. Rather I made sure to visit every three weeks.  I was done dreaming about an amazing European Adventure… instead I just did it.  But most important I was done dreaming about being happy.  Done hoping for a better future.  This year I can honestly say things were different.

It wasn’t Victoria, Canada; North Shore, Hawaii; South Beach, Florida; Sorrento, Italy;

or even Main Street USA that changed anything.  It was my attitude.  Like when I was visiting LA and Lars and I were stuck on the 10 freeway in horrible traffic last January I said, “Oh my gosh, look how amazing today is!  The sun is shining; the palm trees are swaying in the breeze; how are we so lucky?"   Lars’ response, “And that’s why I need you to come visit, to remind me how great I have it.”  Nothing really changed this year.  My life currently is in the exact same spot it was a year ago.  But…. Everything has changed.  Any time I would lay in bed, cuddle up with Schnuckums and try and feel sorry for myself… I just couldn’t do.  Why?  Because I would look across my room see this painting and remember…
Carpe Diem by Sara Peterson

Introducing the Blogbook Random Kristin Volume 4

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Life is a strange thing.  Things we think we want.  Things we think we can never get.  Things that we think there is no way it's possible. 

The fun thing about life is how quickly our whole perspective can change.  I guess it's fun and it's scary.  It's good and it's bad.  But right now for me it's awesome.

People ask me all the time why I am attracted to Jason.  It's such an interesting question when you really think about it.  I mean I could talk about his looks, his personality, the excitement that surrounds him.... but it's not just that.  I always stumble through some type of response that I never feel adequately describes how awesome he is.

But then last night I realized what it is that I am most attracted to about him.  It is his confidence.  His confidence about himself.  His confidence in our relationship.  But most important his confidence in me. 

It's interesting how easily a perspective can change when someone you trust 100% believes in you.  You start to feel like with him by your side you could do anything.... and although in the great scheme of things what I accomplished last night really isn't that big of deal... but what matters is.... before him, I never would have thought it was possible.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

God's Country

When I think of the most beautiful places on earth... it's strange.  I don't think of Hawaii, I don't think of La Jolla Cove.... I don't even think of the Amalfi Coast.  I love the ocean, I love the beach but when I think of the most beautiful place on earth for some reason, probably trained by a certain arteest in my life, that there is one place only that can count as the most beautiful place on earth.  
To me there is nothing more beautiful than the hour before the sunsets in Fremont County Idaho.... (Picture above is from a different location of the same Grand Teton.)

My favorite view of the Tetons are actually as you drive to Mesa Falls through the fields of farmland that make patchworks of different greens, yellows, and occasional purples with the majestic mountains in the distance.   

Well last week we got to see it in all it's glory.  But sadly I didn't take any pictures of it.  BUT what we did get some pictures of was our trip around the loop of Yellowstone.  I feel like this is a pilgrimage that every American needs to do at least once in their life... But let's be honest, once is probably enough.
By the time we got to Yellowstone lake we were exhausted....
The cutest kids ever.... yes I know I'm biased... but seriously! 

We had a blast in Yellowstone, but I'll tell ya what.  Kids.... are exhausting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Public Virtue.

I loved Batman.  (But don't ask Jason because he'd probably say I hated it.)  (It's not my fault I can't sit still!)

But while I was watching the movie I kept thinking about something I used to teach back at Paradigm when I taught leadership.

Public Virtue.

It's something that we don't really talk about much any more.  But back when I was crazy and thought it was fun to read the political philosophies of the founding fathers. (Yes, I used to think that was cool.)  The founding fathers, particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams kept talking about this thing public virtue.  I didn't really understand what it meant at first.  Eventually the definition that I used in my classes to describe public virtue was: sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of society.

Even as I type the definition I think it sounds a bit crazy.  But sadly I think our constitution and our freedom are in jeopardy because we think that public virtue sounds crazy.  I could start into a history lesson of stories that have become legends about key figures during the American Revolution that had public virtue.  I could talk about how Jefferson lost his wife and daughter because he signed the declaration.  I could talk about Robert Morris who died in debtors prison after practically financing the entire war particularly the Christmas Day attack when George crossed the Delaware.  And don't even get me started about George!!!! But I get it.... no one wants to hear a history lesson.  Half of you have probably already stopped reading.

But as I sat and watched Batman I just kept thinking about how much we crave public virtue in our society today.  We all see how important it is for a society to function.  We see that without it freedom can not exist. But sometimes I'm afraid rather than actually trying to do things to better society we want to dream that some invincible guy will come around and do the hard things for us.

It's about time to start another school year.  Anyone that knows me knows that I have a difficult time teaching.  Just the thought of going back in my classroom makes me want to cry.  So the rest of this post is a peptalk to myself.  So any teacher out there, this is for you too.

The other day someone said to me, "Kristin, you make teaching too hard.  You need to learn how to coast.  You need to get to the point where you aren't so invested in the kids.  Think of how easy teaching could be."  Although I appreciated this person's concern for my welfare... the reason I am a teacher is not because of summers off... spring break.... christmas break.... fall break... thanksgiving break...short mondays... or my great benefits.  As much as I complain, as much as punk students drive me crazy, as much as I am so exhausted at the end of the day, Jason gets it.  Last night we were watching a little story during the Olympics on Michael Phelps and how he is the best in the world.  I asked Jason if he could be the best in the world at something what would he want.  As I asked I was dreaming about being the fastest runner in the world.  I think that would be pretty incredible.  You know those people that run like gazelles.  I don't even remember what Jason's response was.  (Yes I am a terrible girlfriend.  I am sure it had something to do with flying....)  Then I asked Jason, "What do you think I would like to be the best in the world at?"  I figured he'd say running.... I was shocked when he said, "Although you probably won't admit it, you say you are so sick of it, but I think you'd want to be the best teacher in the world."

He was so right.

The reason why I am constantly reinventing the wheel as a teacher, the reason why I spend so much time and energy trying to come up with ideas and stories for heart to hearts, the reason I don't just hand out packets is because to me my job is so much more than a job.  To me teaching is my way to try and help society.  To me being a teacher is about public virtue.  In other words, working with punk 14 year olds all day is my way to get to where a cape.