Thursday, May 28, 2015

life changes and stuff!

Lately I feel like all my friends have had these insane life changes and i'm over here like "waaa waaa waaaaaaaa" 
THEN I got a phone call that made me freak out!
I have had a job offer on the table since February, I felt really excited about it but also something wasn't....settling right? I'm not sure what it was. It just was a strange feeling. 
So when I got a phone call a few days ago that offered me as close to a dream job as I can get in PROVO, meaning I don't have to drive over the point of the mountain every day, another dream come true, I knew there was a reason my first offer didn't feel totally right. 
I'll be doing a lot of new things at this job. 
I will be teaching English AND History, combined. Sort of. It's a really weird schedule but i'm excited about the new curriculum.
PLUS let's talk about the books that 7th/8th graders get to read...Holes, The Giver, Stargirl, Hatchet,  The Outsiders, Speak, Anne Frank, AHHHH I just can't handle my excitement! 

I get to teach gifted kids, which I have done for this past year and I love it.
I get to coach We The People and Mock Trial. I have always wanted to coach SOMETHING. Even though it's a huge amount of work I feel like you connect with so many more kids so it's just worth it. Plus I am coaching with someone else so it won't be completely overwhelming at the start. 

So in honor of officially feeling like I am employed for next year, we bought a car! Haha not that we really had a choice, Mark's 1991 Honda just stopped accelerating. It was over a grand to fix and would have been worth like $800 when we fixed it, so it was kind of a no brainer. 

Buying a car made me feel like a grown up for the first time. You would think getting married would do that but...yeah, no. haha. 

So I wanted some major life changes and I got em! Woo woo! 

A lot of people have asked since Mark goes to school at UVU and I work in Provo if we are going to move down there. The answer is...not yet. We just signed a year lease in an apartment we love last month so we will stay in Lehi for at least a year. Plus I really like being close to our families, we feel far enough away from them as it is. 

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Inside My Classroom

School, man.
We have less than 14 school days left! Every day I take a paper chain off and the kids lose their mind a little bit more. Note to self: No paper chain next year. While 14 days seems short, it reality it means that I have two more units left so everyone just needs to calm down around here.

Speaking of, if anyone knows a Vietnam Vet that wants to come talk to some cute sixth graders, I would love that!

Since I am leaving my district, (and i'm about to tell everyone where I am going to! yay!) I have to give my sweet baby laptop back. So I have been starting to move all my crap onto my hard drive. I found a ton of pictures of stuff that we have done this year and want to share them, if you would like to see!

When you are a teacher, you tend to get asked a lot about your teaching style. Mine is pretty simple: NO POWERPOINTS. I will go out of my way to NOT do a powerpoint. I can't deal with them. So this is me teaching my kids and not dealing with powerpoints. 

When talking Renaissance, we compared pre-Renaissance paintings to the Mona Lisa. Then we talked about how the Mona Lisa would be portrayed today. This is what my kids came up with: 

Turns out this was a pretty good way for me to get to know the kids, too. All of the Mona Lisa's were so different and equally awesome.

Then we talked Michelangelo. Here my kids are painting under their desks like Michelangelo. Their favorite thing so far. 

I tried it myself, it is so hard!

My classroom used to be an art room so I have ginormous bulletin boards that I every week. It's my favorite thing to do. Apparently my favorite thing to not do is take pictures of them, because this is the only one I have. Kids have a really hard time understanding time and events so I really like timelines. Super visual way for the kids to get it. 

Also sorry my line is un-even. 7th grade teacher aides try their best, guys.

When we were talking about the Industrial Revolution, we talked a lot about child labor and how it still happens today. All the kids picked a company to write to and ask about their child labor policies. We wrote to over 50 companies and only three wrote back. Lego, Crayola, and Apple! Crayola sent some crayons to my student and Apple sent Apple stickers! My kids were so beyond excited. 

I love teaching History sooooo much! I love my kids a lot too. I get really frustrated with them but I know for a 100% fact that I will miss them, bad.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

happy list///a word or two about mother's day

I just got a phone call with THE BEST NEWS EVER. However, because i'm me, I have to wait a little bit before I let the cat out of the bag. 

Alright, a happy list

Cafe Rio tortilla soup. Holy. Cow.///rreallllllyyy cold water especially since my throat has been feeling like I swallowed razor blades///mint eos///cloudy with a chance of meatballs, one and two of course///dang good salsa///private collections ice cream///when my kids have no energy and are so quiet and i'm like YUP///my homeward bound shirt///sarah dessen's new book///finding an Aaron Carter cd in one of my really old books
So in case you somehow escaped social media on Sunday, it was Mother's Day. For some reason this year I had a few thoughts that were different than the normal thankfulness. 
One, I saw a lot of posts saying "I love my Mom because she loved me when I was impossible to love" or "I'm so thankful for my Mom because even though I did everything for her to stop loving me she kept giving me love"
That led me to think about a conversation that my Mom and I had right before I got married? Or I actually can't remember when, but I was almost done with college. Anyway, I was expressing to her how grateful I was to her when she loved me when I was so unloveable. She honestly gave me the strangest look and told me the thought never occurred to her not to!

I think that we don't give our mama's enough credit. I haven't been a Mom but from what I understand it's the most unconditional love that has ever existed. So as bad as we sometimes think we are, as unloveable as we think we may be, I don't think we are.
See Also: Jesus

Another thought I had is how cool it has been to see ladies my age have babies and morph into these super moms! Maybe it's because I think about having another human life depend on me 100% and I have a mini freak out. I'm just so darn proud of those ladies, especially because a lot of people hate on them for some reason.


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

one year!

When I say that i've been married for a year, it sounds just as strange and surreal as my actual wedding day. A blur, really. Like it's not my life? I don't even know how to explain it, but it's weird.
Anyway, it's been a great year! Great but crazy with tons of changes that if I had to face them alone it would be a doozy and too much to handle. The whole Maryland fiasco, student teaching, getting a job, etc. I'm so grateful my first year of marriage was this one!
Anyway, I have been thinking about everything I have learned this year. To Mark's dismay, it hasn't been picking up my shoes after I take them off.  I used to hate when people wrote about how they were experts about marriage when they hadn't been married very long. However, I know now that those people know more than someone who hasn't been married at all. 
So that being said, here are some things i've learned: 
-The one minute rule will save your life and your marriage.
-Go grocery shopping, even when neither of you want to go. Just get it done.
-Don't set up furniture together. Ever.
-Be very specific and vocal about what you want, how you are feeling, etc. Communication is as important as everybody says it is.
-Go on vacations. Don't think about money, you'll pay it off eventually. That's my pretty dumb but also brilliant advice. We have done a lot and are officially debt free so I might have sooomme credibility? But also probably not. 
-Invest in the following the second you get engaged: King bed, two twin duvets, earplugs and breathe right strips. I didn't sleep for the first like six months of marriage and I was not a nice person.
-You will gain weight. You will gain weight even if you don't marry an asian and double your rice intake. Sign up for a gym when you get engaged and hate yourself a little less.
-Share family time during the holidays. Or figure out a plan well in advance so everyone is on the same page. 
-Be individuals. The first little bit I got really lost in the fact that I was connected to another person and I had to realize that we could still be individuals as well as married. We like to do different things and it's totally ok to do that. 
-Peeing with the door closed is super overrated. 
-Know how much is in your bank account. I'm really bad at this which is unfortunate because i'm somewhat in charge of the money. I always know that there is about this much. However a lot of stressy situations could have been avoided if I would have been better at this.
-If your wife is anything like me, don't put her in charge of the money
-Get your priorities straight
-Be open to trying mayo instead of miracle whip, as well as sleeping without a top sheet.
-Don't accidentally throw your birth control in the garbage
-Watch a TV series that neither of you have seen together. Then feel the betrayal when one of you watches without the other. (sorrrrrry Mark)
-Go to bed angry! Everyone always tells you not to do that which is total crap, at least for us. If we go to bed angry, 99% of the time we wake up not remembering what we were fighting about, why we were so mad or what side we were on.
-Find something you can do together. Mark and I have taken up disk golf since there is a really nice course by our house. It's nice to have something to do together.
I'm sure there is a lot more. Marriage was kind of a doozy for me, I am basically an only child who was really used to being alone and spending whatever money I wanted. It's so good that marriage came along and made me a better person, seriously. 
Since I love picture montages...check out Mark and I through the ages!

Mark and I met in high school. You can read more about that here. He took me to my senior ball!

We got lucky and both of us decided to go to USU. You can read about that here. This is Mark and I on his 19th birthday. 

Mark went to Thailand on his LDS mission. While he was gone I realized I really loved him. You can read about that here.

We started dating on a "trial basis" after he had been home for a few months. I had gone to Boston to clear my head and when I got back I knew it was go time. Post about that here.

We dated for almost two years! Dating was super awesome. I loved it. Here is a post I wrote on our 1 year dating anniversary. If you are tired of reading sentimental stuff, go to that post.

On February 10th, 2014 Mark gave me the biggest shock of my life and proposed to me! Here is the post about that.

On May 6th, 2014 we got married in the Salt Lake Temple. Here are the posts about the wedding. ONE TWO

The next day we got in the car and drove to Baltimore, MD where we would be living for the summer to do summer sales. First, we got on a cruise ship that took us to the Bahamas!

Living in Maryland was the biggest trial of my life but now that all our friends have gone back this summer I miss it absolutely terribly. 

We came back to Utah and had an extremely poor semester while I was student teaching. Now we have gotten adjusted to our new life and new schedules while Mark is working, going to school and while I am working like 55 hours a week. We are truly living the dream! Haha, but really.

I don't get mushy a lot, mostly because I know a majority of people dislike reading about happiness, especially on social media. It's true. Statistics prove it to be true. However I love Mark like I have never loved anybody and never will. I can't understand how he can work so hard, do so much and then not kill me when I leave cereal and milk in the bowl and it gets all hard and weird. That's true love.
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Monday, May 4, 2015

The Philadelphian

I first noticed The Philadelphian in Sandy, UT when I was in middle school, it was right next to a place where my family bought carpet for our living room. We had just gotten back from a trip to Philadelphia, actually. So I thought it was interesting, but I had never been there. 
Fast forward ten years. Mark grew up literally down the street from here. He said "You can't be from Sandy and NOT have eaten at The Philadelphian."
So when we got a buy one get one free coupon, I knew it was time to try it out. Mark warned me how dirty the place was before we went. He was very concerned about my reaction to the place, but I guess they have done a bunch of remodeling so it was not at all the place Mark had described eating at throughout high school. 

The bread of the sandwich was so delicious. That's a weird thing to say. Usually at sandwich shops the bread is like super hard and weird, but this bread was perfect.

Soon I am getting a new camera and so I won't have sad iphone pictures anymore! Hooray!

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Garage/Yard Sale Tips


The weather in Utah has been super warm since...well, February. Way earlier than years past, people have been outside,  swimming, eating snowcones. I have also seen another characteristic of summer popping up earlier than usually, garage sales. 

Before you roll your eyes or judge me, let me tell you some things about garage sales.

My family has done yard sales for literally as long as I can remember. The first memory I have of a yard sale, I had to be three or four years old. I had my little cash register and I would sit outside and be the "cashier". For the first many years, we were pretty disorganized. We had my aunts bring their stuff, we had our stuff, we never knew whose was what. It was kind of a mess. THEN. Ohhhh, then. Then, my sister Alison became an expert. My sister was born to thrift. She used to have an ebay business and made a way way decent salary, just selling stuff, usually 80's toys, that she found at thrift stores. That being said, some stuff wouldn't sell on ebay so she ended up starting to do garage sales to sell off the excess. She wanted to be super organized as this was her living. She taught me everything I know. So when she stopped doing Ebay and therefore stopped being the head garage sale planner for the family, I stepped in. Apprentice becomes Master? Anyway, last year when we got home from Maryland I started to plan for a family wide yard sale. 

Mark was super skeptical about garage sales. Last year he reallllly judged me and my family while we were getting ready, understandably. He kept telling me how we weren't going to make money and no one was going to come. I knew he would be regretting these words after the garage sale was over.
This first garage sale Mark witnessed had 200+ people coming in and out of our garage all day. Together, all the families made about $700. He was shocked. He is still shocked. 

To me, it's worth it and it's kind of a family bonding thing now, so it's fine. I get that it isn't a lot of people's thing, and that's fine. However, if you are just getting started, here are some helpful tips to keep you organized and to have a really successful yard sale!

ALRIGHT. After a way (too) long intro, here are the tips! 

TIP #1
Shoutout to Sims. Luh you boo.

The night before the sale, move the cars out of the garage. The goal is to get everything somewhat set up and then drag it into the driveway in the morning. Your yard sale will be 100x more organized and just all around better if you take an hour the night before and get totally set up in the garage. 
 You are going to need as many tables as you can get your hands on. Last year, we used 10. You are also going to need old blankets. If you have a clothes rack, that's helpful. Or this year, we just put a round dowel between two ladders and it was awesome as a makeshift rack. That way your nice clothes aren't on the ground.

What to put on the tables...
-Put all glassware like small decorations, household items, etc. on a table. 
-Put all electronics on a table. Wrap the cords and secure them with those things that bread is wrapped in. Very few people will look through a tangle of cords.
-Craft/Scrapbook Items

What to put on the blankets...
Any nice clothing that could be hung up on the clothes rack, should be. That being said, we put certain clothing folded on blankets. 
-Sweatshirts and t-shirts 
-PJs, sweats, workout, etc.
-Kids clothes. If you could put these on smaller blankets or beach towels and have them organized by size, clearly marked, that's the best idea. 

What to put in boxes...
-Random things that aren't worth much. For example, I had a bunch of random belts and hats. I put them in a box and put a sign that said ".50 EACH" If people wanted to dig through those, they could. And they did.
-BOOKS! People that want books will dig through boxes. They can't be kept on a blanket or table reasonably. The only thing that worked better than boxes is a bookshelf. This year we hauled a bookshelf out and put a lot of books on there, but we still had books in boxes. People were happy to look through the boxes, even when they had plenty of options on the shelf.

That's pretty much it. People hate boxes in a serious way. 

TIP #2
To save from headaches, set a flat price for clothes. We did $1.00 a piece for any clothing item. In years past we have done $1.00 for t-shirts, $2.00 for sweatshirts, $1.50 for shoes, and it just became way too much to keep track of. Just keep it at a flat price and be grateful that it's leaving your house at all. You are going to want to make a lot of signs on word that say "ALL CLOTHES $1.00 EACH" or "ALL BOOKS .50 EACH" and hang them up all around. A lot of people won't buy stuff if the price isn't clear because they are embarrassed to ask. 

For bigger items, like last year Mark sold his PS3 and we had a lot of furniture there, make large signs on word. Print off multiple and tape them all around the item. 

For everything else and mostly the stuff on the table, use the dot sticker system and write the prices on that sticker.

Please remember, it's a yard sale. Most things aren't worth what you think they are. Be open to offers and price fairly. 

TIP #3
Something I tried last year that worked out really well is I put a flier on all the Facebook yard sale sites near our house. The funnier you make it, the more people will come. This was the one I made last year. 

We had SO MANY PEOPLE come because I put this flier on the yard sale page. I also put this flier on KSL Classifieds and Craigslist. 

The next thing you are going to want to do is put signs up. I have started to really like the signs with the arrows, people love to follow arrows. However it's really important to have the address very clear on the poster. We used to do dates on the poster but we stopped doing those, they just clutter things up.

When do you put these posters up and where? Of all the things we have down, this is not one. This year I sent my Mom right as we started pulling the stuff we had set up into the driveway. This was too early. We had people flooding in before we could even finish getting set up. I would say about 5 minutes before you are done being set up. 

TIP #4
Since we have a multi family yard sale every single time, we have started to use a color system.

On all my items, I put a yellow sticker, including clothes. The only time I write a price on the sticker is with the items on the table or with the random things that won't fit on a table. Otherwise, the signs will have you covered.

The next thing I do is at the checkout stand I have an ipad. I have a google doc spreadsheet with everyone's names along the top. When I make a sale, I go through each item and type who gets what amount.
Example: Someone brings me a shirt with an orange dot, a book with a red dot and a picture frame with a green dot. I will go into my spread sheet and put $1 under my Aunt, who is orange. I will put .50 under my Mom, who is red and I will put .50 under my Sister, who is green.

At the end of the yard sale you will just enter the sum equation into excel and it will tell you who owes what. You will take all of the money in your box and divide it equally. Remember, whoever put money in for the change at the start of the day needs to have that added to the amount they made. 

TIP #5
This has become something I more and more believe in. It prevents from random people just taking money and not knowing who gets what money. 
Take a table or a desk. Put it in a place that you can see the entire sale and the entire sale can see you. Make a huge poster sign that says "CHECK OUT HERE!"
Have your ipad and a little box or something to keep the money in. NEVER LET THE MONEY OUT OF YOUR SIGHT. EVER. Too many bad experiences to not give you that advice.

Also, it's nice to have boxes/grocery bags for people's purchases. 

MOST IMPORTANT- You will need change! Try to do this the day before. We always forget and someone is rushing to the bank at 7:30 AM. 

TIP #6 
When my Sister was still running the show, she would put me in charge of this part. I was happy because I made bank! The day before the yard sale my Mom would take me to Costco and we would buy those really long licorice ropes and one other kind of candy. Then, at the yard sale, I would have a little table where I sold candy and drinks for like $1.00 apiece. I made so much money and people really liked to have a snack while shopping. Or something to distract their kids who are 100% tired of going from house to house.

I also used my snow cone machine one year which was like, THE biggest hit of all.

Just like at a store, people hate shopping in a disorganized mess. People will come in waves at your sale. Take the downtime to quickly refold clothes, put things back where they belong and make sure everything can be seen. You will need help, I was very frustrated this last yardsale because no one would help me so this maintain part didn't really get done and really, I think we paid for it. People do drivebys, they want to see what you've got. If they think for even one second that they have to do some effort to find good stuff, they won't stop. I mean, would you?
Moral of the story: Assemble a great team. 

-Start the yard sale EARLY, at 7:30 or 8. End at about 2:00. If you are starting to lose momentum around 1:00, that's a good time to start loading leftover stuff in the truck to go to D.I. That way you will be cleaned up by 2:00. 

-Put all your big stuff like furniture out by the road. People are way more likely to stop. 

-Organize your yard sale like a store would organize theirs. Put all of the clothes in one area, all of the children's stuff in another. 

-Don't forget to take your signs down. We have had people ring our doorbell at 6 pm thinking we were having a secret indoor yard sale. 

I'm sure i'm forgetting so many things, so this might be something I continually add to.

Good luck and happy selling!

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