Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sorry I've been MIA.... I've kinda been busy.


And here is where they say.... And They Lived Happily Ever After.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Post.

Well this morning when I looked at the clock bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on the day... you can imagine my disappointment when I saw it was:
So for the last 51 minutes I have wasted my time catching up on every blog I could think of.  My top three favorite blogs of people that I am not super good friends with:
1. Hungry Runner Girl (I used to see her at the gym and go to her spin classes.  She is one of the insane ones. (yes I recognize this is coming from the girl that goes to the gym every morning, rain or shine, but this girl makes me look like a normal person))
2. I'm obsessed with Mormon food blogs... so take your pick, Our Best Bites, Pioneer Woman are my top two.
3. Probably Rockstar Diaries which now has a different name.... but they just spent 2 weeks in Italy.  Drooling.

Anyways back to my happy post.  I realized I haven't posted pictures in a while.  There is a tragic reason for that.  I almost don't want to admit it out loud hoping that I can change the problem.  But I guess it's time to face the music.  Jason hates pictures.  Now I know, I know, you are thinking, "Kristin there is no guy in his right mind that likes pictures."  But I am not talking about kinda not liking them, or even thinking they are annoying.  I am talking would rather go to the dentist, take a 4 hour final, or as he put it to me the other day, "You know how you feel about eating in my gross, kitchen."  (His small basement kitchen that is the home of 2 big, hairy, drooling dogs, like the kitchen is where they are trapped for most of the day)  Anyways back to the comparison.  He said, "You know how you feel about eating in my kitchen... that's how I feel about pictures."

So as you can imagine, the number of pictures I have taken since dating Jason has decreased dramatically.  That being said, here is how our Holidays have looked so far.

We went with my brother Chad, my cousin Chase, and company to Temple Square... I swear it never gets old!

We also attended an Ugly Sweater Party.... yes clearly we are party poopers.  But we were headed to Jason's friend's band's show right after........ so yeah.

And last.... I've been dying to go to Scheels since I heard there is a Ferris Wheel inside!!  I LOVED that store!!!  

But the best news is the last day before Christmas Break.  I am THRILLED!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Grinch or Eeyore... neither are very good.

This week I kinda felt like Eeyore. I felt like I was walking around with not only a big ugly gray cloud hanging over my head. There are a few things that created or added to this cloud all week. I was really hurt by someone that I'm positive had no intentions of hurting me, so confused about something, the awful tragic event in Connecticut  but the thing that has made me most upset all week is this stupid Facebook campaign by sisters to wear pants on Sunday in protest against the inequality within the church. 

It has really really upset me. I have written and rewritten blog posts that I've wanted to share on the subject.  (I decided something's are better left unsaid) (Hence I haven't blogged in a while)

But this gray cloud hung over me all week.  So today when I was looking around the Sunday School room, I saw it. Something that I was SO hoping I wouldn't see in my ward. So when I looked over and saw her... I was so mad. There she was in her wedge shoes, nylons.... And green khaki pants. I looked her up and down and thought of every possible nasty judgement I could. It's almost indescribable the anger that ran through my head as I stared at this girl sitting there, staring at her phone, with a little smirk on her face. 

Part of me wonders if the Sunday school teacher taught the wrong lesson on purpose. (I taught last week so I know he was supposed to teach on Ether) but instead he taught the beginning of Moroni and our Sunday School turned into a discussion about the priesthood and particularly women's role. I made a comment (of an idea I had already formed through one of the two blogposts I didn't post) about my gratitude about how divinely different the roles of the genders are, making reference to the proclamation to the family. I probably slipped in how I've been thinking about it all week... But I definitely didn't go farther than that. But there were some sweet girls sitting on the opposite side of the room who clearly didn't see the girl in pants. They not only brought up the pants protest, but called it Satan's work. 

Everyone on my side of the room were squirming in their seats as we listened to these young naive girls make unfiltered comments while the girl in pants stared at her phone with her face getting more and more red every second. 

I think that's when it happened. It was almost like I was the Grinch that had a heart two sizes too small... I think it was then, or maybe it was when the girl in pants finally raised her hand and made a comment that wasn't mean, wasn't harsh, just suggested that maybe not all wards are as great as ours. 

It was then that I could almost literally feel my little Grinch heart grow and I had so much love for the girl in pants. All I wanted to do for the rest of that Sunday School lesson was just put my arms around her to make sure she knew how much I loved her and how glad I was that she came to church that day. 

Now I wish I could tell you that some miraculous thing happened where we all joined hands and sang "He's got the whole world in His hands" together. But it didn't. But what did happen took away my little grey cloud replaced it with rays of sunshine. 

The girl in pants was sitting by herself so after Sunday School I went and moved her scripture case and sat next to her. We talked about the game she was playing on her phone, she showed me the church's wifi password, and when the bishop got up in Relief Society to say "Wear whatever you want to church, all God asks is to wear your best" and tears rolled down her cheeks, I was there to put my arm around her. 

Now this is an embarrassing story really. I should have been kinder, had better thoughts, and been more loving from the beginning... But sometimes it's lessons like this that help me remember what this life, what the gospel, is all about. It's not about being or looking perfect. It is, despite our individual trials and challenges, using the Gospel to come unto Christ. I have no idea why the girl in pants wanted to make a stand... and honestly it doesn't matter.  She is still a child of God, still a good person, and still deserves my respect and love.  

It reminds me of my favorite quote of all time by C.S. Lewis from the essay, "The Weight of Glory." 

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendors."

So I guess I hope when the girl in pants went home after Relief Society... I hope she can say, "I'm so glad I went to church today"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dear Blog Readers,

Whenever I sit down, lay down in my bed with my head propped up on Schnuckums and my laptop on my belly, I stare at the cursor blinking on the crisp new blog post, I'll be honest I rarely think about the people that will read what I am about to write.

I mean sure I always have my mom in the back of my head to make sure I never write anything TOO revealing or inappropriate.  Or sometimes I hope certain people that have made a great impact on my life will read it if I mention them.  But for the most part, I am a sentimental emo that uses a blog to express thoughts and emotions.  I like to imagine that's how any type of artist feels as they create... because deep down beyond all sense of logic I probably wish that I was an artist.  (Don't tell Uncle Leon that because he would gloat too much.  He says I missed the boat.  He says I would have been one of the greats.  Or maybe that's just what he told me because his twisted humor thought it would be fun to relish in my misery of his Drawing 101 class.)

But alas, I use words rather than oil to paint a picture of the world around me.  I create hoping not to forget the beauty, the fun, and the love.  And I find so much joy in reliving the memories of moments I've created through my blog.  (I reread it more times than I should admit)

But it is so fun when randomly I hear about someone that enjoys reading my creations.  Clearly the purpose of this blog has never been and hopefully never will be about making money or becoming famous.  I feel great that 1-2 hundred people read it every day.  But sometimes I still wonder, who are you?

Thanks Chris, I'm glad you enjoy it! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

There's 2 types of people in this world...

Normal People and Morning People.  Sadly..... despite all my best efforts I belong to the morning people.  It doesn't matter how late I stay up, how exhausted I am, unless I am drugged, it is darn near impossible for me to sleep in.

So this lovely freezing Sunday morning, I've prepared a lesson, baked 4 dozen peanut butter kiss cookies for lesson, cleaned the kitchen, started on the Chicken Parmesan for dinner, figured out how I am going to do Erin's hair for her bridals in a couple hours, and crawled back in bed for a nap.

And this was before 7 am.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Google Earth

Now I should be embarrassed   Very embarrassed.  I teach World Geography but yesterday was the first time I've ever really used Google Earth in my class.  I have had a difficult time showing my students the difference between the beach resorts towns and the rest of Mexico.  So I'm having them use Google Earth to discover the stark contrast on their own.

I mean I've looked at my house before.... but beyond that I haven't used Good Earth too much.  So just barely I was looking at Google Earth at all sorts of places across the world.  It was spectacular!  Amazing how advanced technology has become!  I can know exactly what places look like without ever leaving the comforts of my own comfy desk chair.  Then I started to look at all the locations I visited this summer through Europe.  Not only did it look exactly like I remembered, because of the time of year or the placement of the sun, often times the places looked even more beautiful.  For a second there I was bummed.  Super bummed.  Why in the world did I spend thousands of dollars to travel when I could have just looked at Google Earth?

But then I thought of my favorite movies, and one of my all time favorite scenes, a monologue by Robin Williams.  Spectacular. (Yes, I did some editing.)

So, if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo. You know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But I bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seen that....You're a tough kid. I ask you about war, you'd probably uh...throw Shakespeare at me, right? "Once more into the breach, dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, and watched him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I ask you about love, y'probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable...known someone that could level you with her eyes. Feeling like God put an angel on Earth just for you..who could rescue you from the depths of Hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, n to have that love for her be there forever. Through anything. Through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleepin' sittin' up in a hospital room for two months, holding her hand because the doctors could see in your eyes that the term "visiting hours" doesn't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. I look at you: I don't see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared crapless kid. But you're a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. You're an orphan, right? Do you think I'd know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don't give a crap about that, because you know what? I can't learn anything from you I can't read in some book. Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. And I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't wanna do that, do you, sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.

All the images and videos that Google Earth can throw at someone cannot create memories and images that traveling and experiencing a place makes.  Traveling changes people in ways that I don't think anything else can.

Or at least that is what I am going to tell myself so I can sleep at night.

Oh no....

It's starting to happen.  It happens every year, well every year so far in my teaching career.  Teaching 15 year olds is an interesting thing.  It causes all ranges of the spectrum of emotion in a normal adult teacher. (Well... if we can call me that)  Sometimes they are so dense and oblivious that even if they hit a brick wall they wouldn't notice while other times their innocence exposes their raw goodness that is so sweet it makes a heart melt.  So as you can imagine with that type of range of experiences it's not difficult for a teacher to go from pure rage to complete humility in the course of one 80 minute class period.

I think of the book Leadership and Self-Deception where it teaches that viewing a person as a walking, thinking, feeling human being rather than an object changes completely how we treat them.

Well I'll admit when a new batch of 265 annoying and awkward Freshmen walk into my classroom it is difficult to view them as anything beyond stinky, whiny, needy objects that I am responsible for babysitting for 80 minutes 2-3 times a week.  I roll my eyes, stomp my feet, and count down the seconds of class more times than I'd like to admit.

There comes a point typically somewhere around or typically before Thanksgiving (usually the whole month of October) that I have no hope.  That my career seems desperately miserable and that I am doomed to live a life of figuratively wiping these ignorant objects noses'.  Sadly, the visits of students from the past actually dampen my spirits rather than encourage me at this point, because I am so blinded by the annoyance of the objects that I cannot imagine that they could someday grow up into what the visiting students have become, delightful.

But then it happens.  I have no idea how it happens.  Or why it happens.  But oh how I thank the heavens that it does indeed happen.  And how I fear that someday I may become so calyst from the month of October that it doesn't.  But the objects that I've seen since the beginning of school melt and form into walking breathing little humans that need me.  They have feelings.  They actually do indeed have brains.  And my favorite part, despite popular belief, they are ridiculously funny!

Every year, thankfully, it happens.  I absolutely fall in love with my students.  It's at this point, and not a moment sooner, that I want to do everything in my power to make them the best, smartest, and wisest little humans I can.

Don't get me wrong.  It's not like it's all roses from here on out.  Kids are punks.  They make mistakes.  They whine.  They complain.  They can't sit still.  They are lazy.  But at least I see them as kids rather than square boxes.

But honestly, just in time for Christmas, I couldn't ask for a better present.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I wish I remembered why.  I am sure it make so much more sense if I remembered.  But the conversation clearly wasn't memorable until Jason said, "You are not nostalgic at all."  I seriously laughed.  Out loud. The belly laugh kind.  I have stacks of yearbooks, scrapbooks, and journals that would beg to differ with that statement.  But I came to the most amazing realization as I racked my brain trying to figure out why Jason would think I am not nostalgic.  *Warning.  This is going to be mushy for a minute.  My life is so wonderful right now, I am so happy with Jason, that I rarely long for the past.   

But last night we met up with some of my friends, and for the first time in a long time I longed for the past.  I've talked about these friends a lot.  I've dedicated blogposts to them.  But sometimes, I still miss them.
But it got me thinking as we were driving home last night, what other times do I long for?  What moments in my life do I miss so much that I wish I could go back?  It's an amazing thing what our memory does.  Goldenizing the past, covering up the ugly parts, and recycling it over and over in our minds to make it more than it was.  But it's the people not that places, not the history, not the event that I miss so much.  People that touched my life if only for a moment that I will never forget.  Driving around Cedar with Linz, putting up a Christmas tree with Schyler, or watching Jessica make a picture perfect apple pie.

This morning when I got to school I pulled out all my old scrap books.  Looking through the picture, I loved seeing how much I've grown, changed, and learned.  But there are three moments in time that really do make me nostalgic.

(Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures, I just took a picture of the picture with my iPhone.)

This was the summer after our Freshman Year.  15 years old and all the possibilities in the world.  Luckily I see Ashley all the time, but this picture makes me miss Mandy so much I almost can't stand it. 

This is the only decent picture of Erica and I that I can find.... from close to the time period.  (Well except ones with my granola boyfriend that we lovingly refered to as Sh-wan) but there was a time as 18 year old girls that Erica and I were so connected that we couldn't stand to go a day without talking.  

But the thing that probably makes me most nostalgic is the thought of a sunset in Idaho in August with the smell of alfalfa in the cooling summer breeze.  I kinda wonder what it makes me most nostalgic about it.  Sure it reminds of my days at college, summers with the Parsons, but most important.... it makes me nostalgic for my dad.  His humor, his fun and games, but mostly his sentimental, romantic side.  I don't think I'll ever be able to look at a old broken down barn in the country or the river bottoms of the Snake River without thinking about him. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Best Songs of Christmas.

I tried.  I did.  I wanted to come up with the best 10 Christmas songs of all time.  But sadly.  I failed.  So without further ado... my top 17 Christmas Songs of all time.

17. Britney Spears - My Only Wish
16. Allred - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
15. Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Cannon Rock
14. Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick
13. Jessica Simpson - Baby It's Cold Outside
12. Jimmy Eat World - Last Christmas
11. The Drifters - White Christmas
10. Frank Sinatra - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
9. Jackson 5 - Santa Claus is Coming to Town
8. Michael Buble - It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas
7. U2 - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
6. Justin Beiber - Mistletoe
5. N'Sync - Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday
4. Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is You
3. Taylor Swift - Silent Night
2. Bing Crosby - White Christmas
1. Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tis the Season : Top 5 Christmas Episodes of all time.

Every year around this time people start talking about classic Christmas movies.  Like Christmas isn't complete or the season hasn't started without watching A Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation.

Being the T.V. junkie that I am, I feel like we often forget how much of our Christmas experience has been molded by some of our favorite T.V. shows.  So in honor of Christmas and what this season means to me, I've come up with 5 T.V. episodes that I think have molded my Christmas experience into what it is today.

Number 5: The Office: Christmas Party.  Nothing gets the Christmas spirit going like the episode when Jim spends time and energy coming up with the perfect secret Santa gift for Pam.  Michael almost ruins it by creating a Yankee Swap trying to get back his $400 iPod.  But of course everything is okay when Pam trades the iPod to get the gift Jim intended for her.  So sweet.

Number 4: Full House: Our Very First Christmas Show.  When the Tanners' get stranded in an airport on Christmas Eve we learn that Christmas is so much more than presents.

Number 3: Grey's Anatomy: Grandma God Ran Over by a Reindeer.  It was here that I learned to lay under the tree and look up.

Number 2: Saved by the Bell: Home for Christmas  It was this episode that taught me that good people can be homeless too.

and the number one T.V. episode of Christmas....

The OC: The Best Chrismakkah

Now I get it.  The OC clearly isn't an American classic.  But the invention of Christmakah by my favorite TV character of all time is epic.  I mean he says it best:

Seth: So, what’s it going to be, huh? You want your menorah or a candy cane, hmm? Christmas or Hanukkah?
Ryan: Um… I’m not-
Seth: Ah! Don’t worry about it buddy, because in this house, you don’t have to choose. Allow me to introduce to you a little something that I like to call… Chrismukkah.
Ryan: Chrismukkah?
Seth: That’s right. It’s the new holiday, Ryan, and it’s sweeping the nation.

Sandy: Well, Chrismukkah’s ruined.
Seth: Ah! Don’t even say it, man. Come on. Chrismukkah is unruinable. It’s got twice the resistance of any normal holiday.

Ryan: You better pray for a Chrismukkah miracle.
Seth: I’ve got Jesus and Moses on my side, man.

Up tomorrow: Top 10 Christmas songs of all time.