Monday, April 29, 2013


I was on the treadmill when I got a text from my mom this morning letting me know that Grandpa Parson at age 96 passed away. Tears instantly flooded my eyes. (Yes I must have looked ridiculous to the guys running next to me as I wipe tears for the majority of my run) hopefully they just thought it was sweat.

But the wonderful part was they were tears of joy. I thought of the people that were there to greet him. I thought of his wife Myra, his mom... Then I thought of his two grandchildren that passed on before him. What a wonderful experience it must have been.

With death always comes a new found reflection... A reason to look at life and wonder of its purpose. I don't have anything new or profound to say. Sadly I never really knew Grandpa. Being one of 50 grand kids meant I was just one of the herd. But I will alway be indebted to the legacy he created. A legacy of education, of art, and most important, as a convert to the church, a love for the Gospel and a testimony of his Father and Savior. The legacy Oliver Parson created is one I am so proud of and will do everything I can to move it forward.

And let's be honest... What a stud!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Don't Tell Jason...

So Jason and I currently live in the basement of my sister and her husband's new home.  We  needed a place to live and they needed some extra hands because you see, they have:

 and they just had:

I'll be honest... I was worried how Jason would handle it.  6 boys age 9 and under...  I'll let the pictures describe how he's handled it.  (But don't tell him I put all these pictures online for the whole wide world to see... it might hurt his bad boy image :)

ok, ok I'll promise I'm done with the mushy stuff for a while.

Monday, April 15, 2013

One Year Ago.

In some ways it seems like yesterday and some ways forever.  All I know is, I am so grateful that I got up the courage to call him back.  My life has been changed forever.

A year in review...





Best year of my life.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I knew it would be different.  I knew my life would drastic change.  But it's nights like tonight that make me so unbelievably happy.


Because I'm sitting in my bed in my pjs on a Friday night at 6:46 pm with no plans of getting out any time soon.

Those of you that got married  young or a long time ago might not remember... but I do.  I remember how terrible/guilty/worthless I would feel a year ago if I was sitting home in my pjs in bed on a Friday night.  Especially a night as beautiful as tonight.  Now some of my older single friends have said they got over it.  The idea that every weekend night needed to be filled with dates/parties/or something instagram worthy.  But sadly I never got over it.

And oh how thankful I am that those days are over.

Jason is currently taking a biology test hence I'm in my bed.

But here are some other ways my life has changed.

Here's what we've (me, Sara, and Jake) made this week.
First three recipes are from my cookbook but here they are:
Baked Fish Sticks with Tart Sauce
Huge hit but I would definitely put a little more spice in the bread mix.
Gyro Burger Pitas
FANTASTIC!  Honestly one of the best homemade meals I've had in a long time. It did help that Sara made unreal homemade pitas but the meat... (I used ground turkey with a little bit of hamburger to stretch it a little bit further) was amazing!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs

(My mom's recipe Sara and I have eaten since we were kids...)
Snickerdoodles that finally turned out the second try...

Steak Fajitas last night

and tonight to reward Jason for his hard work... he requested
Tres Leches Cupcakes
(The jury is still out about these.... I'll let you know when Jason tries one)

Speaking of bragging about my husband.  It's weird how life changes.  Having someone else's happiness mean more than your own.  It's an amazing thing.  So you can imagine when I got this picture from him.  Mind you........ he HATES writing.  It's painful for him.  Pulling teeth painful.  (Which clearly I have a difficult time understanding because deep down I secretly wish I was a professional writer.)  Anyway..... here is the results of his last 8 page paper for his critical writing class.


I recognize this is a touchy controversial subject that is receiving a lot of attention in the news recently.  Yesterday when my dear friend who's been teaching for 18 years said, "Being in education sucks now." it got me thinking.  I'm going to try hard to keep this brief with bullet points so people can actually read it.  I'd be happy to go in further depth if anyone is interested in my opinions.

1. The number one problem in education is... there is no clear definition or purpose of what "education" is.
Possible answers from educators and politicians:
- Good test scores
- Create good employees
- Teach how to think
- Responsible Citizens (Whatever that definition looks like to that particular educator)
- Raise America's youth

And obviously besides "Good test scores" these purposes for education are very difficult to objectively measure.

2. We expect way too much out of this "education".  No one will ever care as much about your kids, his well-being, his education, and his future as much as you do.

3. The big talk in Utah right now is Merit Pay.  Here is the problem with merit pay.  With no clear definition of education how do you determine what a good teacher is?
One that:
- Passes the most students/fails the most students
- One that gets the best test scores
- The one that is funniest or most popular
- The one that pushes students to new levels
- One that takes all the lowest performing students and inspires them to work
- The one that the principal likes the most or evaluated highest?
Point is.... it is extreme difficult to measure a "good" teacher when we can't define education.

Example: When I first came to my current school I got mediocre scores on my evaluation.  Then on the bottom the principal wrote, "There is no question that these students will walk out of this class with a life long passion to learn about world and the people in it."  I was furious.  According to the evaluation I was mediocre???

This year I made sure to teach to the "test" or evaluation    Now... I am "master teacher".   When if I am honest with myself, I don't feel like I am as good of a teacher as I was 5 years ago.

4. People are flipping out about the new core being implemented.  Having studied the core, as far as I can decipher there is nothing detrimental or bad about the new core.  But what I have a major problem with is: federal government being involved in education and creating core in the first place.

Ok, I'll get off my soap box and get back to molding the minds of the future of America.  Muhaha.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


It's quite strange really.  I try so hard to describe to my geography students the value of learning about different areas.  I tell them the story of a woman crying when I knew her home country of Romania was next to the Black Sea.  My students have the hardest time understanding why that would make her cry.  Often a punk student will raise his hand and say, "Let me get this straight... some lady started bawling because you knew where a country was?"

And the answer of course is yes.

So Saturday night we went to get Sushi with one of Jason's friends and his friends from San Diego.  Not just San Diego.... La Jolla/Torrey Pines/Del Mar.... like possibly the most elite beautiful part of the most beautiful county in the United States.  (Clearly my opinion of course)

As we all know, no one loves Southern California more than me.  But when Jason egged (is that how you say it?) on the girl sitting across from me to tell me how cool San Diego is... I couldn't help it.  My blood just started to boil.  I get it.  I know San Diego has perfect weather.  I know it is beautiful.  I know as I have heard over and over again, "People in San Diego are just cooler."  I know my home town is totally podunk.  I know the wind. always. blows.  I know we don't have an ocean, a mall or even a Target.  I know that if my family didn't live there I would probably never return.... well besides as a pit stop on the way to San Diego. :)  But there is still a sense of pride associated with my cute little town.  So you can imagine my joy when the rumors were finally confirmed.  I couldn't be more excited that it's going to be less than a mile from my parent's home.  I couldn't help but have my eyes filled with tears when I finally heard President Monson announce, the Cedar City Temple.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


So yesterday morning was my first day of Spring Break.  It was kinda a really sad thing for me.  Something that I know I should probably just get used to.  I know I know, it's not normal for grown adults to think that just because they have a break from work means they get to party....

But yesterday as I was laying in bed looking outside at the cold rainy day I decided to look at all the blogs I've been neglecting since I haven't had internet.

I first went to this blog: of my old roommate.
Tell me about it, Sister.

Of course it tugged at my heart strings.

Then I randomly saw this blog by some family I don't even know....
The Fife Life

And my heart started melting like a popcicle on the Fourth of July.  (Name that movie :)

And I started thinking about a blog post I wanted to write.  Why is Disneyland just so dang magical?  Why is it that so many people young, old, rich, poor..... it doesn't matter.  Why do so many people fall in love with Disneyland?

It reminded me of something my dad said once while we were there.  I mean my dad for heavens sakes will even go to Disneyland....  the guy that when  climbing the Alps singing with Maria was so bummed that it was so manicured and neat said, "Well... it's alright, but it's certainly not the Tetons." Anyway, one time while at Disneyland he said, "Disneyland is one of the only places left you can go and feel nothing but wholesome goodness."  Sure there is commercialism up to wahzoo... but there is no evil or very little evil.  No expense is spared to feel like you've entered into a completely different reality filled with beauty and laughter.

So I really don't have to finish this blog right, you all know what happened next.  I text my teacher friend and said, "So I know it's late notice, but what are you doing today?"

8 hours later... in a car that gets almost 40 miles to the gallon, I'm sitting here typing this, getting ready to go for a run before we head off to Disneyland.  Jason had class until 10 last night, wants to dirt bike tonight, and I'll be home by the time he gets home on tomorrow.  The entire trip will probably cost me about $175.  And that is how I do Disney..........

P.S.  I probably should have renewed that annual pass I let expire last June... but oh well hind site is always 20/20.

P.S.S.  Man I love road trips.  When we were 36 miles away from Barstow, meaning we had already driven... 500 miles Shanna said, "Wow, this is the first time this entire trip I even looked at how many miles we had left, and that was only because I have to pee."

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Tour of Our New Home

Here is a picture tour of our new home.  I must say... this only one roommate thing is pretty fantastic.  Although I really have 8 other roommates.... but that's another post for another day.

We'll start with our kitchen.

I'm really proud of this table.  Pottery Barn... super cute. KSL does it again.
The curtain Jason put up to the next portion of our home:
And our bedroom:

Yes, my mother-in-law made this quilt for us.... tulips and all!!! 

Our couch with our personal quilts from Jason's mom.... yes she is an amazing quilter!
My closet
The rest of our bedroom and his closet.  (I don't know how people share closets.)
Our bathroom:  

 Our spare bedroom/ Jason's study... so anyone that wants to come stay with us :)


 And of course last but least........ the husband, reliving his glory days of high school on his electric guitar.