Monday, November 23, 2015

Heart to Heart part 10

When I was student teaching I came to a brutal reality - teaching sucks.  It sucks bad.  Like crazy bad.  It was a pretty depressing reality to come to.  I had just spent 4 years of my life and thousands of dollars with one plan.... to be a teacher.

Now let me explain back then why I realized teaching sucks.  (If I was going to make the list today it would be much longer and detailed but we'll keep this list to what I figured out then)  Students are tough.  They just want to be entertained.  The harder you work, the more effort you put in to creating lessons, activities, and assignments to really help them learn, the more they complain.   The more they hate you.  The more they hate your class.  Learning is hard work.  Bottom line.  So if you want kids to actually learn and grow you have to expect and prepare for major kick back from them.

So there I was depressed about teaching.  Realizing how wrongly I had chosen.  I didn't want to be a teacher.

And a flicker of light came into my life.  I was the Relief Society President in my student ward.  And one day my bishop's wife came up to me and said, "Kristin, I am so impressed with you.  I have seen what you have done with this ward and calling and I can tell you are a woman of power.  I have an insurance agency.  I would like to offer you a job to come work for me.  You will start as just a receptionist but with time you will learn the business and I figure within 2-3 years you will have learned everything there is to know about our company and you will be able to start your own branch of our insurance agency."  It was such a huge compliment.  And best of all - it was a way out of teaching!

I was so excited I started working almost immediately.  It was a fun and exciting career with so much potential for growth.  And the best part - the harder I worked, unlike teaching, the more grateful people were and  the more successful my experience was.

But I needed to still finish student teaching so I could graduate with my degree.  So I kept teaching, kept trucking along.  Until one fateful night.  I was grading essaying and decided to watch the season finale of American Idol.  It was the year that Carry Underwood won.  But I don't really remember her.  I don't remember the songs or the other competitors.  All I remember was one stupid sentence said by Ryan Secrist that change the course of my life forever, "Last night 36 million people voted for your next American Idol.  That is more people than voted for the last president of the United States."

Yes.  More people voted for a girl to get a record deal than the next most powerful person in the entire world.

I was absolutely sick.  What is this world coming to?  Seriously?

How in the world is our nation going to survive when more people care about entertainment than their rights and freedom??????

I knew what I needed to do.  The thing I didn't want to do more than anything.  But it was like right then and there I knew I had a mission in life and making loads of money with an insurance agency wasn't it.

I wish I had the conversation recorded when I called my insurance agent mentor, "I'm so sorry Sheri, (sob) I really appreciate what you've seen in me and what you have offered but I have to be a..... be a.... (sob) teacher."

That fall I started my career as a teacher.

(At this point in the class period I start talking about government philosophy and we discuss why learning about government is so important.)

Sometimes I give this mini heart to heart, sometimes I don't.  It hurts my heart a little bit sometimes, still 10 years later, I regret my decision to not choose a different path.  Sometimes I still wonder what it would have been like to be an insurance agent instead of a teacher......

But then like so many other times before I got a letter yesterday from one of the students that I worked with the most, worried about the most, and worked harder for than most to help influence him.

And I remember it's all worth it.  The crap.  The misery.  The absolute frustration beyond belief.  For that one kid, it was all worth it.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Baby Shower

Yesterday my two aunts, Becky and Raine threw me the most amazing baby shower.  It was absolutely darling.  I felt so incredibly loved.  I am so lucky to have so many wonderful women in my life.

This is getting pretty real around here.....Baby is coming in less than 66 days whether I'm ready for it or not!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fallbreak 2015

I had no idea what I should do for fallbreak.  Jason couldn't go anywhere or do anything because he had huge tests so more than anything I wanted to spend my babymoon with Linz in Japan.......... but I had no idea how I would be feeling at that point.  So sadly, I missed out on that trip and it will now have to be postponed for a year or more.... oh well.

So I had no idea what I was going to do.  Until I got this picture from Aunt Raine.  Then there was no question where I was headed.

I was a little worried about spending 10 hours by myself driving.  I mean of course I have done it countless times before, but once again, with this alien in my belly, sometimes I have no idea how I will feel.  But the one thing I always do know........ my bedtime is before the sun goes down. So I asked Erica what book I should listen to.  She gave me a great fun recommendation.
And if there is one thing I know for sure, there are very few things I love in life more than a road trip.  I have no idea why I love it so much.  The feeling of progression?  The forced time to just sit and think?  The beatiful ever changing scenery?  Hmmmm probably the junk food.  But anyway, it's crazy how quickly the 10 hour drive went by.  And the book was so good I almost wanted to just keep driving!

As always it was a party at Raine's house.  What else is new.  But the main reason for my trip down was one last trip to Disneyland before the baby comes.  

It was kinda a bummer trying to decide what rides I would or wouldn't go on.  I consulted my dr. (Dr. Craig that is)  And he told me what I kinda already figured.  There is very little evidence that riding any ride at Disneyland would risk my baby or my health.  But after a lot of consideration I decided nothing is worth the risk...... and I didn't go on ANY of my favorite rides.  But it was still a wonderful day.

I went to Disneyland with my dear friend Jo.  I met Jo at Disneyland training and she still works at Disneyland.  Currently at the Plaza Inn but hopefully she'll be moving up soon!   Disneyland was a beautiful and packed especially with Utards as ever.  I know the days of short lines and room to skip through the park are probably over.... I blame Instagram.  But I digressed.

Like any perfect day at Disneyland, as soon as we walked down Mainstreet smelling the delicious aromas they blast into the streets to make you want to eat anything and everything in sight, we headed straight to my favorite location for the best tasting Diet Coke ever, Coke Corner.  (I've really tried throughout pregnancy to not drink soda but at DISNEYLAND???? I had to.)

Of course as soon as we got into the park the first thing I needed was my traditional castle photo.  Maybe someday I'll decide it's too cliche to take pictures in the castle and find somewhere more hip or creative........but man that castle rocks my world.

I figured we should start in my favorite area of Disneyland, New Orleans Square.  So we started with Pirates of the Caribbean.  The lines were crazy long, but the great part of this trip was: I couldn't ride many rides that had huge lines so I didn't have to worry about getting onto every typical ride AND I got into Disneyland for FREE!!! Who gets that?  So I could not complain in the slightest.  The weather was perfectly hot and beautiful.

The two tiny waterfalls gave my stomach such a rush on Pirates that I realized it was probably a really good thing I wasn't going on more "extreme" rides.  As Jo and I were walking I ran into my cousin's kids who were at Disneyland with their dad.  We went on Jungle Cruise with them and of course got a couple of pictures in front of the castle.  The oldest daughter, Taylor, had been in my geography class last year.  So it was super fun running into them.

After that Jo and I headed to DCA to try some things neither of us had done before.  This summer when I went to Disneyland with Jo she had never been to DCA.  It was so fun to show her my favorite parts of the park.  But today, we searched for new things neither of us has been to.  We started with the Frozen Sing-Along.  This attraction is ABSOLUTELY genius.  I'm not the biggest Frozen fan around but man it was so stinkin' fun!  It included characters and a little show, singing your guts out as loud as you can, and even some magical snow falling at the end.

Next we grabbed some dinner at the Fisherman's Wharf.  We shared a pesto turkey sandwich and a chicken salad bread bowl.  Honestly, not my favorite meal at Disneyland ever.  Kinda sad we didn't hold out for something better, but oh well.

We decided we needed to hit up the ferris wheel next because who waits in line for the ferris wheel???  It was pretty darn magical as the sun was setting to watch Disneyland and DCA become golden.  Man I love this place.

After we watched the DCA parade....... not my favorite because I must admit I am not a huge Pixar fan.  (Who dares say that, I don't know)  But we decided to sit and watch it.  And I'll admit having a comfortable easy seat to watch a parade rather than the insane mad house of Disneyland was pretty fantastic.

But we did leave early to make it to the Aladdin show.  I had been to the Aladdin show once before back in 2011 with Lars.  I remember it being great, but somehow I absolutely forgot that the Genie is AMAZING.  Hilarious through and through.  It was awesome.

As it was getting dark, like every other guest at the Disneyland Resort, it's like this magnet to return to Disneyland.  To the magic.  The park was insanely crowded.  But we couldn't leave without ice cream from Main Street!  And of course a walk through Fantasy land.

 I absolutely love walking through Snow Whites wishing well area to enter Fantasyland.... especially at night.  I feel like that is where all the magic is.  I was hoping to get on Peter Pan.  I haven't been on it since it was renovated this summer.  But alas the line was over an hour long and my lower back was starting to kill me from all the walking.  (Don't worry we still got in 9 miles of walking)  So instead we stopped at the Mad Hatter...

We walked through Fantasy land past the Matterhorn into Tomorrowland to take the train back to the entrance.

It was a different day than most at Disneyland.  Less running, thrills, and excitement but it still was a glorious day of different adventures and wonderful memories.