Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why I am like Anna from Frozen

*In one of her songs, she sings: "I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face"

*and then she talks about what she thinks it will be like when she first falls in love... 

"But then we laugh and talk all evening,
Which is totally bizarre
Nothing like the life I've lead so far"

which is pretty much what I think I would say when that happened to me. Since I rarely laugh and talk all night with people. 

*We both say awkward things because we speak before we think. 

*She cares about people and puts their needs before her own. (I could still be better at this, but  I feel like I care about people a lot.)

okay, there's more I noticed, but it's time for me to go to bed or work on other stuff!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Recapturing Beauty Challenge: Day 9

List 10 things you like about what your body does.

1. My body can experience many wonderful things. I am grateful for my body because it allows me to experience the joy of 5 senses: I can enjoy the comfort of a warm bed on a cold winter night, the smell of the fresh basil growing in my kitchen, the beautiful sounds of music and the sound of laughter, the beauty of the mountains outside my window, and I can taste the flavor of the delicious Thai food my roommate made us for dinner recently.

2. I can think rationally and make decisions thanks to my amazing brain. I can learn from the things I do and become better every day. My brain is truly a remarkable thing. It is so complex and allows me to think deeply about life, to analyze how I can become better and to think about the effects my actions have on my life.

3. My body can understand and respond to pain. I am grateful that my body warns me when I am experience pain or fatigue so I can make decisions to take care of my body.

4. My body allows me to move. I can do zumba and go hiking, two things I really love.

5. My body houses a spirit that allows me to grow close to my Heavenly Father and choose to do what is right. I am also made in the image of my Heavenly Father, so my body is special just because of that!

6. I chose to come to Earth and receive a body so that I could one day experience eternal life with my Heavenly Father. Thus, my body is special because it is central to the plan of salvation.

7. My body bears resemblance to some of my family members. This helps me to feel connected to my family.

8. I love that I can smile. When I smile, I automatically feel happier and I remember that my life truly is a gift and that I can make each day a good day.

9. My body has a complex system that keeps me alive. It really is miraculous how a machine with so many parts works so well together.

10. My body can heal. I don't understand how this works, but I think it is amazing that though it may take time, my body can be healed from all injuries. Even our hearts and brains can heal from the pain of emotional trauma and it becomes less severe with time. It really is such a blessing.

There are so many more things to love about my body, it really is quite an amazing thing!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Recapturing Beauty Challenge: Day 8

THE CHALLENGE: Instead of looking at your body as something to be fixed, look at it through the eyes of your ancestors. Generations of women have come before you and you have inherited their genes. Instead of looking at your nose as something to be fixed, learn about its history. Does your nose come from your mother or father’s side? What about your eyes? Your hair? Your body type?

Where some of my traits come from that I know of:

  • my eyes: I think these come from my mom's side
  • my body type: definitely my mom's side. I am not always happy with this because my dad's side has a type of body that I sometimes wish I had, but this week I am learning to love my body so I am trying to embrace my shape anyways! 
  • my hair: definitely from my dad's side. I have thinner hair which I am pretty sure is from his side, whereas my mom's side tends to have thicker, more unmanageable hair?
I guess I need to find some pictures of my ancestors to finish this challenge :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Recapturing Beauty Challenge: Day 3

Reflect on why you wear makeup. What does makeup do for you? Is it part of getting ready or taking care of yourself? Is it a mask you hide behind? Do you feel enslaved by it? Would you like to change how you feel about it? Depending on your answers, choose to either go without makeup today or continue to reflect on makeup’s place in your life.

I wear make-up for two main reasons: 

1. My sisters or friends encourage me to try new make-up.
2. I feel prettier when I wear it. 

However, I am in no way enslaved by make-up. I spend about 2 minutes putting it on in the morning and I have even stopped wearing mascara during the week. (I still put it on on weekends). I take almost any excuse to not wear make-up. When I go home, I don't really put on make-up unless we are going somewhere nice. Hiking? no make-up. Camping? no make-up. Saturday? no make-up. Showered? I don't want to get ready twice... no make-up. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Recapturing Beauty Challenge: Day 1

I am taking the Recapturing Beauty challenge this week through BYU.

Today is day one of the challenge:

Using sticky notes or other small pieces of paper, write positive and encouraging words and messages to yourself. Tape these inspiring words and phrases all around the outside of your mirror and leave them up through the entire 10 Day Challenge. Too often, we use the mirror as a way to analyze and criticize ourselves or our bodies. Instead of using the mirror as a weapon against yourself, start to see it as a means of highlighting your positive characteristics and attributes.

Questions for the day: What positive words or phrases would your friends, family, or Heavenly Father add to your mirror?

-You can work hard and achieve your goals.
-You can accomplish great things.
-You are so blessed to have a body that allows you to exercise and do the things you love most.
-I love you so much.
-You have infinite worth because you are a daughter of God.
-You are so kind and caring.

Which of the words or phrases from your mirror do you most want to believe? That is your mantra for the day.
           My one phrase from the mirror that I chose was that "I can achieve something today." I feel like many of my days I do not apply myself as much as I should. This positive saying reminded me that I can accomplish small things and improve every day and that I have control over myself and my choices.

At the opening activity, they encouraged us to reach out to our friends and family and encourage them to be more loving and accepting of their bodies. So, remember, your beauty comes from so much more than what you look like. You are a beautiful girl/woman no matter your size, height, hair color, etc... and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Don't obsess about your appearance because your beauty is so much more than that and when you try to focus on the positive in your life, you will be so much happier!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

a week in the life of a high school teacher

All these things have happened this week:

  •  student tried to give me his phone number and told me he loved me. 
  • a girl fainted during her test in second period because she did not eat anything after she gave blood. 
  • a girl cheated on her test by looking up the answers to multiple test questions on Google and I had to awkwardly talk to her after class. 
  • I had at least 10 students in my room after school on Friday afternoon all trying to ask me questions at the same time. 
  • One kid asked me to not mark him tardy because he was barely late and he couldn't make it up since it was the end of the term. I reluctantly agreed and then another kid in the room was there and asked me if I could do the same for him. I said no because his tardy was awhile ago. Whoops! Teacher mistakes... sometimes it is the only way to learn what not to do. and I make a lot of mistakes every day! 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Journal Entry 9/29/13

Well, the sad news for today is that I have lost my journal. I cannot find it anywhere. I really hope I find it because I wrote about my entire study abroad in there and I worked really hard to try and write every day so I will be pretty upset if I cannot find that.

This week...

My high school students took their midterm test. Not sure how they did, but I will just say the students who worked to study did well, and the ones who didn't really do anything extra did not do really well. We did a light lab on Wednesday and Thursday, and the students (hopefully) had fun playing with glow in the dark stars, tonic water and UV light, solar bugs, and glow sticks. I was super nervous for the lesson I taught on Friday because I didn't know how to teach electron energy levels and excitation in a way the students would understand. Luckily for me, my mentor teacher has lots of good toys to help explain electrons and light. We started off the class with looking at atomic spectra with her lamp and of course the students loved it. I walked the students through taking notes in their book during the lecture to help them get a sense of what they should know and where to look to study for their next test. I then taught them about the atom being quantized by pretending to be an electron. My mentor teacher has a ladder and I climbed up and down the steps (that represented the energy levels) and then threw off "photons" (colored ping pong balls) to help show them that different transitions back to the ground state have different wavelengths and different colors. This also helps them understand that electrons can only reside in certain energy levels because it is impossible to stand between two steps on a ladder. and who doesn't love having ping pong balls randomly thrown at them? At the end of the lesson, I tied in some of the different types of light they observed in the light lab to help them make a connection between the lab and electrons getting excited. Even though I was super nervous about it, my mentor teacher said I did well and she liked some of the things I did. (Sorry if none of that made any sense... it's a lot of chemistry vocabulary!)

Student teaching has made me more sure that I want to be a teacher. I know even now more than ever that it will be a lot of work and the part I am most nervous for is being able to create a good classroom environment where students follow the rules and respect each other. I know this is the hardest part because usually teachers with an established reputation and practice are much better at this. But I know that once I establish this, I will love teaching. It's a perfect mix of organization and planning and also working with students. I was worried about enjoying working with high school students, but it really is not that different than working with younger ones. They are just as fun and they are way more well-behaved and easy to manage. They still say hilarious things that make me laugh (which will definitely be shared in a later blog post). I think the other part I will not like about teaching is the negative reputation it gets and all the dumb government stuff. Like how they are always trying to cut the salaries of teachers and imposing new standards on education that teachers don't have much say in. but that's a whole different thing.

I went to a meeting on Thursday with all the other students doing their physical science student teaching right now. Our teacher, Duane, was supposed to give us directions on our Teacher Work Sample, but he pretty much just bought us all pizza and left so I am not really sure what we are supposed to do with that. but anyways... free pizza pie cafe. I am not complaining!

I started working this week and I am excited to make some money! Saturday at the testing center was crazy and I ended up being there from about noon to 5:15 pm. woohoo more money! I am also working like 10 hours this next week. yay more money! haha I have not been making anything and it has been pretty bad. I need to start saving up for graduation since I will be on my own and will have no income (well, hopefully I find a good job... substitute teaching most likely). Plus, I love working at the testing center. I always forget that until I go to work because lots of awesome people work there.

Fun things I did this week...

Bradford had a poetry party on Tuesday. We went to his house in Lindon and sat around a campfire reading poetry. It was a great little London reunion (Emily, Lisa, Katie, Kaylee, Jared, and Heather all came. I think that was it). The poet was Matthew Arnold, who was from London and wrote some pretty depressing poetry. But it reminded me of all the good times we had randomly reciting poetry everywhere we went in England. I am so excited for the big London reunion we are having in November!  I got super London and Scotland homesick again this week, probably because I was dreaming about it. I really really really want to go back.

I went to the International Cinema Friday night for the first time. and watched the most depressing movie ever. It was about a kid whose parents were resisting the government in Argentina and his uncle and his dad died and he could never do anything fun because he was in hiding most the time. and then his mom died and he was taken away by the police and left at his grandma's. and never got to see his baby sister again. basically, it was so depressing. Then, I went to bed at 10:30 because I am lame. actually, I did that because I mess up my sleep schedule too much on the weekends and I am trying to fix that.

Saturday after work, I went to Keith's for a crepe party and only stayed for like 20 minutes so I could watch the RS broadcast. which was super good. Then, my roommates and I went to Walmart for some groceries and I just bought stuff I wanted to eat that looked yummy. Like Honey O's, the best cereal ever that you can only get at Walmart or Target and not at regular grocery stores.

One week until General Conference and less than 2 weeks til I go to Vegas to visit my family. I am pretty excited!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Relief Society Broadcast

Favorite quote... and very timely for the things I have been thinking about! 

"There may be times when you feel detached -- even isolated -- from the Giver of every good gift. You worry that you walk alone. Fear replaces faith."

"When you find yourself in such circumstances, I plead with you to remember prayer."

-Thomas S. Monson. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

student teaching

aka, the thing I was most scared for... Would I like it? Would I do well as a teacher? Will I come home every day overwhelmed and exhausted? Will the students like me?

Well, I have to report so far that it has been one of my favorite parts of college. I do miss learning and being on campus and in classes with my friends, but I love being at high school even more.

I am learning so much. Some days, I don't know how to explain things and I struggle. Luckily, I have patient students and a mentor teacher to step in and help me when things get tough.

I am amazed at how similar to working with 7 year olds at a summer camp being a teacher is. I do a lot of the same tricks to get students to pay attention and to get them engaged. I still have to repeat things a lot. I thought that high schoolers would be less likely to relate to me and look up to me, but I have seen that same thing in many of them. Students who ask me questions and want to know about college and what it is like. Students who say hi to me in the hallways and make me laugh.

I still have two months to go, but I know they will be a wonderful two months!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

where has the time gone?

I have spent weeks partying and making London feel like home...

tonight I am packing up my flat and doing some last minute cramming for finals. after our finals tomorrow, we are off on one more trip around England. and then it's time to go home.

A lot of the girls here are ready to leave. I am sad to leave. There are a lot of things about England that I won't miss, but I love the time I have spent here. and since I don't know when I will be coming back, it's really hard to pack up my stuff and get ready to head back to the United States.

but seriously, this semester has been amazing and I am so grateful for it all, even if I am sad to leave!

Friday, July 19, 2013

what being in London is like during the summer

you think it would be all fun and shopping and gelato and nice summer days. it was.

but then it turned waking up drenched in sweat and being so hot every day all day. with no swimming pools and no air conditioning anywhere. and the very first day of this unbearable wave of heat we had no water in our flat for five hours! :(

I may have wished to go back to the U.S. with air conditioning this week. it's that miserable. I didn't feel as guilty for wishing this after reading this article:

well, that's it for today!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

highlights from week 2 in London

How has it been two weeks already? but what a wonderful two weeks they have been! I am so grateful for the friends that I have made while I am here and how kind they are!

On July 2nd, we went to Hampton Court Palace. We only toured a small part of it because we had to leave and go do homework, but it was amazing. I can’t believe people actually lived in such a huge place. The gardens were huge and so gorgeous and I would have loved to live there just for them. The funniest part is that one of the main exhibits was called “secrets of the royal bedchamber” and the film they showed listed all the things they used the royal bedchamber for and it was a little awkward if you get my drift. But Henry VIII really had some lavish beds and rooms… complete with silk bedspreads and silver basins. It was cool to look at. Once again I have no pictures inside for the most part since pictures weren’t really allowed. I also really liked the chapel inside the palace, and it was cool to see Henry VIII’s crown which had tons of jewels. Some of our friends also did the maze in the gardens and Michela and I tried to lock them in, but we ended up locking someone else in which was super embarrassing and we ran away. So mature.

gardens at Hampton Court Palaca

can you tell I love the gardens at Hampton Court?
Here’s a good story… we don’t get as much sleep here because we have so much going on. After I sent in my history paper, my teacher sent me an email titled ‘blank email’ and instead of reading it, I thought “oh, it’s a blank email so I can just delete this because there is nothing in it.” But really it said that the email I sent her was blank and didn’t have the attachments. It was just silly when I thought about it later that I did it because I was just so tired then. actually it's not too great of a story, but it seemed really funny to me.

The next day we went to the Tower of London. We got to see the crown jewels which was super cool, but the rest wasn’t that cool and it was super crowded. The creepiest part was going in the torture chamber and seeing all the things they used on the prisoners. It kinda grossed me out. my camera was also dead so I didn't get any pictures!

I didn’t get to do anything too American on the 4th of July, but all my friends painted their faces with red, white, and blue and we did go out to lunch for cheeseburgers. But I did go see Phantom of the Opera. It was AMAZING. I LOVED the music and the sets were so cool. And the costumes as well. Everything about it was so phenomenal and I almost wanted to go see it again. I know now that I definitely have to go see Les Miserables and Wicked because I am just loving the musicals.

the beginning of Portabello Road market
On our second free day, a group of us went shopping at Portabello Road. It is full of blocks and blocks of awesome stalls selling jewelry, antique books, clothes, souvenirs, food, and more! I bought some cool things for my family and a cute tanktop to wear and we had a lot of fun. I tried on this bracelet I really loved but the guy operating the stall told me it was 69 pounds (about 105 dollars) and I was like “no way, dude.” But it was so cute. 

Anne Hathaway's cottage garden

Our day trip yesterday was to Anne Hathaway’s (Shakespeare's wife, not the actress) cottage and Stratford-upon-Avon. I loved the Hathaway cottage because the gardens were so cute and it was fun to see how they lived. Can you tell I really love all the gardens these houses have? I guess I am going to need to have a house with a garden. We then went to this other place associated with William Shakespeare’s life, but it was dumb because the guy that owned it tore the down the house because they were tired of showing it to tourists. He also chopped down the tree Shakespeare owned and made things out of it and sold them. Ingenious man. I think I might have done the same thing. But I don’t see the draw in going there is there is not even an actual house. Then we went to go see Hamlet at the theatre there. It was the WORST play ever. At least in my opinion. Some people in our play liked it. But it had one too many sexual innuendoes (our professor was a little embarrassed about that) and Hamlet was not at all like I imagined he would be. He seemed crazy from the beginning of the play and not like the introspective, self-motivated Hamlet I imagined. So I may have taken a little nap during the play. but nonetheless it was a good day trip.

 Well, that’s pretty much it. Look for more exciting installments in a couple weeks hopefully!

highlights from week one in London.

Our first couple days were just spent getting to know the city and getting over jet lag. Though we did make a trip to Speedy’s and I was able to indulge my wildest dreams about Sherlock Holmes of walking where Benedict Cumberbatch once did. And we did make a trip to Harrod’s to tour the biggest department store I have seen and get some delicious food. We barely even saw anyone of it it was so huge and I want to go back.

in front of Westminster abbey
Our first big trip was to Westminster Abbey. And it was fabulous. You can’t take pictures inside, so I hope the description will do it justice. First off, the ceiling is huge. And covered in lovely arches. There are lots of old English kings and queens, but it is just gorgeous. The walls and everything. Especially the stained glass. I am sad as I am writing this because I realize I have already forgotten a lot of what it looks like. I am seeing so many new things that it is hard to remember them all. Anyways… they also have a huge courtyard that looked so green and inviting. The coolest part was that we were there during a prayer service and we got to go up in the shrine of Edward the Confessor. The priest said a couple recited prayers and then offered a very eloquent prayer. I definitely felt the Spirit while I was there, which was cool because it reminded me that other religions are still admirable because they help people come to know God. I love the gospel, but I love all religious people and I feel the Spirit in many churches. 

the view from the top of the Tor. so gorgeous.

The next exciting thing that happened was our first day trip. We left at 7:15 am and headed first to Stonehenge. Not as cool as I was expecting at all. It’s roped off so you can’t get near it and the rocks aren’t nearly as big as I thought. But now I can say that I have seen it.
We then drove to Glastonbury Abbey, which was awesome. Our tour guide treated us as though we actually lived in the 15th century and taught us all about what it would have looked like if it was not in ruins. The best part was hiking up Glastonbury Tor, which was rumored to be the Isle of Avalon in Arthur’s time. The view up there was gorgeous and you could see miles and miles of green countryside and cute little towns. I never wanted to leave.

After Glastonbury, we headed to Bath to see the Roman baths. They were really cool and we even got to try the bath water, which a lot of people drank because they believed in would heal them. It just tasted too warm and salt. But hey! Maybe it healed me of some strange malady. We then explored the city of Bath but we only had an hour to do it which was not enough time because there were so many cute shops and such! It took forever to get home from the day trip, so Lisa and I ended the night by watching Les Mis while I worked on homework.

me at the Roman baths

On my first free day, I woke up early to go to Borough market with Krista and Jared. It is entirely good, so we got some peaches (which weren’t even good) and some sourdough bread to take home for lunches and snacks. I was shocked because a lot of the stands were selling sandwiches with just sausage and bacon on them and so many people were eating these sandwiches at like 9 in the morning and it made me sick. I guess that’s just what the British do! I did get some fresh squeezed orange pineapple juice which was delicious. I then got to do more homework… yay! I went to the British museum to get some info for the report I did for my history class on the Roman army. They have so many cool artifacts at the British museum and I really enjoyed learning about it. Though the paper I wrote wasn’t that good I think. After we came back we were starving and so we went to get good Italian pizza at this place by our apartment. Later that night, we took a trip to Snog ice cream with the boys. What a wonderful name for an ice cream place. The funny part is that the place was in the middle of Soho, where a gay pride festival was going on. So we were enjoying some good Snogs while many people were around us snogging. And it was a little gross. And there was lots of smoking and drinking and general grossness. We then went back to play Crowns with the boys from our study abroad for awhile. I lost badly every round, but it was a great day.

what life is like in London, or at least my perception of it

Our apartments: Our apartments are disgusting. They were so filthy when we moved in. The couches are so old and fraying. The bathroom smells like mold. They get really hot because there is no air conditioning. Luckily we are not home a lot except when we are doing homework because we spend most days in class or exploring London and we go out to eat pretty frequently. We also have limited internet access which is sort of annoying. No youtube for me, but it is nice to have a break from TV and video.

What they don’t tell you about London: everyone smokes. You can’t walk anywhere without someone smoking right in your face. So if I get cancer, it’s from all the secondhand smoke here. There’s no ice water in the drinks. You don’t have to tip at restaurants. Dinner is eaten later around here, usually starting at 7:30. And 9:00 is like prime dinner hour. It doesn’t get dark til 10:30 and it is so weird. I always think it is 6:00 when it is 9:00 because of how dark it is. Drinking is also quite popular. The tube is expensive. I spend about 20-30 pounds a week on the tube. Which is about 30 to 45 dollars. 

Church: church is the weirdest thing. I counted today and there were about 35 members in our ward not including us. I love working in the primary though. The two girls that I taught in the Valiant class today (Rachel and Katherine) were telling me all about the trips they go on in school and teaching me British vocabulary. They don’t get out of school until July 24th for summer vacation, which is crazy. I also had a hard time believing they were Bennett’s age because they are really mature. Not that my brother isn’t, but they just seem so much more grown up and I was shocked. Our bishop is from Zimbabwe and most of our ward members are from Africa somewhere. We have church in a little Catholic primary school and it always cracks me up in primary because we are teaching the children about the Savior while they are looking at emblems of him on the cross and Catholic paintings of him.

My roommates: I think I got mega lucky with them because they are pretty darn great. There’s Olivia, she is super clean, dresses really cute, and we don’t see her a lot. Lisa, the other girl I share a room with who always speaks her mind and is bomb at navigating the tube. Thanks to her and her GPS on her iPhone, we have avoided getting lost many a time. Then there’s Brooke and Jessica and yes they are pretty much a package deal so you have to say it like that! It is Brooke and Olivia’s first time living away from home and they are doing pretty great. Brooke is sweet, fashionable, and oh so innocent and charming. And she loves to have fun. And is kind to everyone. Jessica is a party animal, dresses cute, and her and Brooke are always making me laugh. 

The people that I hang out with (besides my roommates): Heather, the girl I met at the Colony who is really sweet and lets me use her adapter to charge my laptop. Then there’s Michela, the pretty girl who always looks classy and yet is a lover of all the nerdy things I enjoy. So I don’t look at her weird when she starts singing “secret tunnel, secret tunnel…” anytime we walk into a tunnel. It’s great. And there’s Krista, the girl who loves birds. It’s so great because she can identify almost any bird and bird call. She also takes really good photos. That about sums it up. Oh and the boys that come along quite frequently… Preston, who is Brooke's brother, Jake, I don’t really know anything about him except he likes to eat, Jared, who is also our English TA… I hang out with my TA… it’s a little weird, and Bradford, who I also don’t know anything about except he it always making up ridiculous stories… like how he goes clubbing all the time. Anyways we have a good time. 

Getting around London: yes mom, I really do have no sense of direction. I can look at a map and have no idea where to go because I have no idea which way I am facing. But I am slowly learning my way around after many wrong turns and extra miles of walking and I am really good at remembering landmarks and which way we got somewhere, which helps a lot.  

Class: Class is four hours twice a week. It’s a little bit of a long stretch and most the time it is straight lecturing for four hours. I die a little inside during class. We just all bring a lot of snacks to survive! Our English class is also super demanding. I just turned in my rough draft of my essay and my teacher told me that I didn’t write about the right prompt and that I had to rewrite the whole thing. I got the rough draft back Saturday and she wants it Monday. And since I don’t do homework Sundays, that’s kinda a problem. Basically everyone wanted to cry (it's really true, I asked some people) after they got their essays back because we all got ours ripped to shreds. And I thought mine was really well done and I thought they would be a little lenient on us since we are in London. I think I am just a little stressed right now because our English teacher is giving us so much to do when we have no time since we are leaving on a huge 5 day trip this coming Tuesday. My history class is great though. I love learning about it and it’s not too demanding.

The food: We don’t really cook at all. I eat cereal for breakfast, quesadillas or sandwiches for one meal, and I usually go out with people on our study abroad about once a day. But it’s totally possible because they gave us 190 pounds to feed us for two weeks, telling us that food in London is expensive. I have gotten enough groceries and eaten out once a day on that. 190 pounds is about 300 dollars, which is what I spend on about 2 months of groceries in Provo. That is crazy. But I am not complaining, I don’t mind being able to eat out more and buy chocolate every time I go to the store, since it is so delicious anyways. I feel like I am hungry all the time. But we also walk around all the time and I feel tired all the time, so I hope it equals out. Did I mention I eat dessert at least once a day? It's wonderful.

well, now you know what life is like here. regardless of all the crazy things about life in London, I LOVE IT! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

thoughts about London

1. the perfume girls wear here is gross. I hate the smell. One girl sitting next to me on the tube had on so much and I almost suffocated.

2. I am starting to understand why going on a study abroad is so valuable. Even though I am in England and everyone still speaks English, I understand more what it is like to be the odd person out in a place you have never been. I don't know all the different amounts of money and how they add up. I don't really know how to get around. I don't know all the words that they use. I don't like some of the food here.

3. I think I am going to end up eating chocolate every day. so far I have had one candy bar a day and it is so delicious. I have also eaten out one meal every day (but cheap meals... less than 5 pounds)! I am a bit sad because I have not gotten anything from a single pastry shop, but I have seen some delicious looking sweets and I can't wait to eat them.

4. The parks are gorgeous. and way too big. I went on one of our required walks for class today and it took me an hour to get around half the park. but there was a big pond, and a restaurant, and a beautiful garden of flowers. I am sad that we don't have awesome huge parks like London in the United States (at least not where I live), but it's nice to not need to find a map to know where to get out of the park. oh, and I am still loving the weather and how green it is.

5. class starts tomorrow. that's not really a thought. the thought is... I am not ready to start taking classes! I have been trying to get all the reading done and I feel so behind! but I guess it's good because I am still getting in done and I am taking time to go out and enjoy London. I hope the classes don't get too demanding because there is so much that I want to do!

Monday, June 24, 2013

I'm in London? for real?

The best thing about London is that I just want to explore everywhere and see all the cool buildings. I love all the parks and how green they are. I loved seeing all the British people walk by our flat. I love that everyone walks around to get places. I love the big red buses. I love riding the tube. And my favourite part of all has to be the weather. It is excellent. I am all for 60 degree weather and it is so great to be escaping the hot part of the year here! (everyone thinks I am crazy because I have not yet worn a jacket). The part of London where we live is definitely confusing to get to, but I will learn my way around. More adventures will follow, I just wanted to document my initial thoughts. I had tons of fun wandering around the city yesterday, but I was so tired by about 3:00 that I was just ready for bed. Luckily, I managed to stay up until about 9:30. However, this made even the simplest tasks difficult… I really struggled grocery shopping and I don’t think much of what I bought will be helpful. Though the chocolate certainly is delicious! Can’t wait for day 2 of exploring and starting my homework! (yuck)

Monday, May 13, 2013

some things that it would be really hard for me to live without

board games
sweet chili sauce
my family
hot showers
cute clothes
Cafe Rio

This list could probably go on forever....

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

nerd moment of the day.

I was the only one in my Humanities class to answer the question "What is the uncertainty principle?"

Sunday, April 7, 2013

3 things emphasized in conference that are probably important

1. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." 

We can receive revelation today to the questions that we have if we are obedient. 

2. "And now my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." Helaman 5:12

This has been quoted frequently in the past couple conferences. Thus, it is very important to make sure we have a foundation on Christ. 

3. Use digital devices with discipline. Devote the time you would spend doing other things you do on your phones and devices to studying and memorizing scriptures. Don't let digital devices get in the way of family time. 

There are so many great teachings that I want to apply, but these are just three repeated themes that stood out to me! 

Friday, March 29, 2013


so many reasons to be happy right now, even if school is crazy stressful.

I got to hang out with Keith and Spencer and this is embarrassing... but actually hang out with my roommates and it was wonderful.

tonight I am going to volunteer at my friend's work and we are taking some of the residents to the park. I love them and it will be gorgeous.

then we are having a study abroad get together and so I will get to know some of the people going to London with me better. and speaking of London... they told us that we are going to the Harry Potter studio tour. pretty much the biggest thing I wanted to do while we were there so I am beyond stoked. they also told us to expect to spend about $200 a week. yikes. I know some weeks I will spend that much money. I might spend that much money alone in the gift shop at the HP studio tour. but some weeks I will definitely have to hold back!

then I am going to a bonfire up the canyon. man how fun!

anyways... since I have been failing at my Friday Favorites... here is one today. I LOVE to read. The first three years of college I stopped reading for fun all together because I just did not have the time. but I have been trying to make it a priority again and I am remembering how awesome it is. books are ten million times better. You get to know the characters better and really experience the story. Because it takes longer, you get to make predictions and hypothesize. I also love the symbolism in books and analyzing the stories and characters. so basically I am obsessed with reading again and I can't wait to read a ton of books spring semester when I have way more time.

here's my goodreads... if you are wondering what I am currently reading or want to read! :)

another reason I am happy... I am more in shape and healthier than I have been in a long time! the last couple weeks were not so healthy, but I truly love my body, I love to exercise, and I am working to be healthier. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Friday favorites

I decided that I am going to post at least every Friday. and these specific Friday blog posts are going to be about my favorite things in life right now. because life has been feeling pretty normal lately, but there are still some things I really love about my life right now.

oh, and starting today, I am working to overcome not only my school senioritis by learning about something new and fascinating, but also my social senioritis. I have become apathetic about my social life too. How does that even happen? so, I am ready to party and hopefully will actually do something with my ward by the end of the semester!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Are you smarter than an 11th grader?

For me, the answer in this case is no. I volunteered at the Provo School District Science Fair and had a great time talking to 5th and 6th graders about science and the projects they did. and then my friend Alicia and I decided to go take a peek at the high school projects... and we found this...

This kid is in 11th grade. I am pretty sure that he knows way more about science than me. and he obviously has some sweet connections. but seriously? 4 binders full of scientific analysis? and did I mention that the poster seen above costs more than $100 to print? It's not a cheap thing. So for his sake, I hope he wins grand prize for all the time and money he spent! 

but seriously, this high school genius is pretty awesome. He will go on to do great things. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

recommitting. and having faith.

Relief society was so wonderful today! Every week in church I feel like I am always taught something that I need to hear to help me become better or to strengthen my testimony.

this week it was on revelation. I have really been struggling with the topic of revelation because I feel like I never receive revelation in my life. I never really felt guided toward a particular major, or a particular place to live, or even for guidance in serving others. and it is frustrating to me.

Today in Relief Society, we talked about how revelation is most often gradual and it can be difficult to notice in the moment. Often times, it is easy to think that it is just us and that we are not really guided by the Lord. I think this is one of Satan's techniques... to make us think that we are not being guided by the Lord, leaving us feeling alone and confused. However, I learned to day that I need to have faith and trust in the Lord and recognize that if I continue praying and try my best to do what is right, I will be following revelation of the Lord and I will be guided. I also realized that it's okay if I feel I am lacking spiritual guidance. The Lord loves all of us enough and trusts us to make righteous decisions, and I need to learn to trust in my own decision making skills as well. It is definitely hard for me to develop more faith in my ability to receive revelation and to wait for answers and more revelation than I want, but I know that the Lord wants us to develop patience and I need to have faith in Him and myself that I am doing the best I can and that the revelation I seek will come in time.

I also decided today that from now on, I am COMMITTED to eating healthy. I have eaten so much junk in the past couple days and I feel gross. I want to lose about 15 more pounds and I want to feel healthy. Thus, I am cutting out sweets completely (one small treat a week is okay, if it is in my calorie range) and I am exercising 5 days a week. When I go to restaurants, I will watch the calories I eat. most importantly, I am not going to pig out on the weekends!

Friday, February 8, 2013


I have this problem where I get invited to do way too many fun things on the weekends! I mean it is so great to feel like I have lots of friends and fun things to do, but it's so hard turning everyone down! 

Tonight, I have been invited to:

go to my roommate's fondue party for her birthday (that's happening)
go to a Black and White themed party planned by some people in my ward
go to a game night
go see Wreck it Ralph at the dollar theatre
...and so on and so forth! I just hate saying no to people! 

...and there's also that Humanities test I have to take tomorrow morning that I haven't studied for. but it's my senior year so I gotta live it up! 

but, good news... I'M GOING TO LONDON! holy cow it's so exciting and crazy! I applied for a passport today and can't believe I will be studying abroad there in June! 

Monday, January 21, 2013


Colorado is a beautiful place! I have so many wonderful memories of visiting there and hanging out with my aunts and uncles. I haven't been back for a couple of years and my mom is there right now for my cousin's baptism. I am a little bit jealous! I am hoping to go back this summer and possibly run the Bolder Boulder!

the best parts of Colorado:

they have cliff diver shows. 

and a haunted house that scared me a lot as a kid.

St. Vrain river. It's so pretty and gorgeous there!
and my awesome extended family.

Monday, January 14, 2013

the challenges of this winter semester

1. the surreal feeling of starting my last semester of classes.

one last cheesy, blurry back to classes picture
2. the even more surreal feeling that I am going to be a student teacher in the fall.

3. waiting to hear back to see if I will get to go to Europe in the summer

4. having to go to class in -1 degree weather.

5. trying to find a new place to live but not knowing who to live with or where to look.

gratitude day 4

1. I am grateful that my Hamlet book I am reading for Humanities pretty much translates everything they say into English I can understand.

2. I am grateful that I have a religion class where I get to read so many wonderful talks from the Quorum of the 12 and the prophet.

3. I am grateful that my family taught me how to eat healthy and to love healthy food (and junk food too?)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

gratitude day 3

1. I am grateful that I have a wonderful family that has taught me to love and helped me to grow in many aspects of my life.

2. I am grateful that I have friends. Not only that, I am grateful that I have many friends that share my different interests and that I can turn to when I am in need of a particular thing. I have friends that are a lot of fun to be around, friends that help me grow spiritually, friends that I can study chemistry with, and friends that I can trust and talk to about anything.

3. I have a loving Heavenly Father. Despite feeling inadequate spiritually this week, I was reminded that my Heavenly Father loves me so much no matter what and with Him, I will be able to do it.

Friday, January 11, 2013


One of my New Year goals was to think of three things I am grateful for every day. What better place to keep track of that on my blog?

3 special things from today that I am grateful for:

1. my warm winter boots
2. having a car
3. my roommates

Monday, January 7, 2013

Receiving by the Spirit

I read a talk a couple days ago by A. Roger Merrill from the October 2006 General Conference. In it, he highlighted a series of steps to receive the impressions of the Spirit more in our lives:

1. seek. focus on the spirit.
2. feel. pay attention to spiritual feelings.
3. intend to act. spirit teaches us when we honestly intend to do something about what we learn.

I think I need to work on taking the time every day to feel the Spirit and acting on it sooner, rather than later.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

new year, new me.

Just to keep myself accountable... a list of how I want to improve over this new year.

1. go to at least one social event a week where I will have people to talk to.

2. find at least one family name to take to the temple

3. strength train at least once a week

4. take more pictures

5. don't go on facebook or pinterest on sundays

6. live in the present. enjoy every moment and not be looking ahead.

7. turn my faith into action. especially by working to be a better visiting teacher.

8. keep a gratitude journal. find at least 3 ways I have been blessed every day.

9. work on my mission statement.

10. memorize at least 10 scriptures.