Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

What a great Sabbath day this has been! The sun was shining, birds were singing, and flowers were in bloom. Wait - no they weren't (but I have a good imagination and can picture them there.) :)

This year I made a personal commitment to make Easter more meaningful for me. In years past, it's always the holiday that sneaks up on me, and I tend to focus more on the jelly beans and cadbury eggs than on the REAL meaning of Easter.

The Savior's last week before his crucifiction has been in my mind all week and today my thoughts have been focused on what impact his resurrection from the dead has on my life. A friend commented to me today that she wished our church did something more extravagant than having an Easter program for sacrament meeting and the choir singing some extra songs. For me, that's perfect. It's nice to have the special emphasis on Easter Sunday without having extra things to attend, etc. Not that those aren't nice or uplifting, but the simplicity of the schedule allowed me to take personal reflection and study time.

I was also able to watch the old seminary version of the "Lamb of God" with a good group of friends and share thoughts on it. Different things stick out to me each time I see it, but as always, I am truly humbled by the life, example and willing sacrifice of my elder brother and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I also loved reading and reflecting on this proclamation issued by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth."

What a wonderful Easter sabbath day!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Speaking of "shoulds", (see post from earlier today) meaning what should be instead of what reality is, today SHOULD have been a day catching up on my coursework and other responsibilities. But, REALITY took over and I needed to deal with it! I was Burned out, with a capital B, from the daily routine of life and being responsible :) So, I took the day off and BOY did I have fun!

Today was cold in Boston, but sunny. It felt like a fall day. It was beautiful!! This morning I went over to a friends house. She had some family in town, so we spent the morning outside playing mini-golf in the backyard, raking leaves, and enjoying the sunshine. Then we went inside to dye Easter eggs with her kids and that was incredible. The stuff they have in stores these days to decorate eggs with is amazing. Tattoos, stickers, etc., and to see the excitement on the kids faces was priceless. Then we had a "practice" Easter egg hunt so the kids could work on their "looking skills". It was so funny to watch them look everywhere, but still miss eggs that were right in front of their faces. And, just to watch the excitement in their eyes. I wish I could still get excited over the little things like finding an Easter egg!

Then it was nap time. Not too warmly received by anyone under the age of ten, but for me it was essential. But, after nap was yet another treat. Here's a hint: "In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies." Ha!! Love that quote. Here's another one: There's a tiny person on that speck that needs my help! or... Sweetheart, you need to go to bed. Daddies having a breakdown.Even though you can't hear or see them at all. A person is a person, that is my code."

Yes, we went to see "Horton Hears a Who" and it was very good! Funny and some good, thought-provoking lines as well. Overall, my day was fabulous, but I think that 90% of it was because I spent it surrounded by children who are so filled with excitement and joy that it's hard not to catch the "bug" as well.

"High Performing Person"

I am taking a class with some co-workers on how I can be a "High Performing Teacher"! The discussion this week was on the powers of belief and choice. It's incredible to me to think and reflect on how much our thoughts really do control our actions and affect our feelings. I don't think about this everyday, but as I've thought about it a lot this week, I am slowly starting to realize how true it is for me.

Running, for example. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am not a runner. I run, but not because of the pure enjoyment and love of it. Maybe the first mile is fun... on a good day... but after that I keep on going because I know my body will feel better at the end, I'll feel better about myself for having exercised, and I'll be proud of myself for continuing past one mile! However, I've noticed that my runs are better when I am telling myself that "I am doing well" rather than counting down the minutes I have left or telling myself how much I stink at running!

Or, with my job. I feel like I am a much better counselor, and more in tune with my students needs, when I truly believe I am competent and capable of having a positive influence on their lives. But, on days when I feel inadequate, it reflects on my ability to really focus in on the student. I could go on and on about this... but negative beliefs give you permission to not even try.

I liked this statement by the instructor: "Your positive beliefs will thus energize and motivate you ---encourage you to persevere.... And at the end of the day you are going to feel satisfied/successful." That's how I want to feel at the end of every day. I am ready to get rid of my negative beliefs!

The next is the power of choice. As a guidance counselor I've been dealt challenges with some of my students. The choices I make about the challenges I face will ultimately shape my destiny as a guidance counselor. The instructor pointed out that I can hang onto the challenges and be frustrated, or I can deal with reality and seek solutions for them. I've decided to apply this thinking in my own life as well... If I believe others have to change in order for me to fulfill my mission and goals, I will completely disempower myself.

Sad to say that I have lived my life in that way in many areas. It's time for me to be not only a "High Performing Teacher", but also a "High Performing Person!"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

This is what I miss...

Tonight I realized just how much I miss sitting down to watch BYU play sports... even when they suffer a terrible loss. There's nothing like being with good friends and watching Cosmo, the blue and white jersey's, or the BYU cheerleaders and wishing more than anything I was in the arena or stadium. I LOVE BYU!!!!

There's also nothing like college sports. Yes, I can sit down and enjoy watching a professional sports team play, but I am not as into it as a college game. To me, it seems like the college players have more "heart" in what they're doing and it's just more exciting to watch. There's also too much commercialism in professional sports games. They loose the passion of the sport or the team they're playing for... or something.

When I was at BYU I loved going to games. Not only were some of the players good to look at :) but my heart was with them no matter what. And, now that I've left "Happy Valley", I've realized that part of my heart is truly still dedicated to them. I don't even know who the players or the coaches are, or how we did in the regular season, but I'll cheer for anyone that plays for them.

That got me to thinking... what does it take for part of our heart to be dedicated to a cause or a school, etc.? I don't know if I have the answer yet... but, I got my masters from Boston University, but I could care less about their sports teams. I worked for Harvard for three years and the feeling is the same. But, BYU, nobody had better criticize them! I'll cheer for them till I die. I'm "True Blue" through and through. GO COUGS!!!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What would you wait an hour in line for...?

There aren't many things I would wait in line an hour for. I've never understood why someone would camp out for sports tickets(although I did sleep on the Marriott Center walkway one year at BYU for foortball tickets, but that's only because I was a crazy freshman and didn't know better. I quickly learned.), or wait outside a store for some major after-holiday sales. In my opinion, there's much better ways to spend my time.

But, tonight I did wait outside in line and had so much fun doing it! And, for what you may ask.... A FREE BURRITO. Yes, you read it right. A free (regularly $6) burrito from the new Chipotle restaurant that opened in Harvard Square. And, it was so worth it. They actually have a pretty cool website. Check it out :

A few people came by and asked us what the long line was for. When we told them they were like: "You're waiting in this line for a free burrito?!!" But, they just didn't understand what they were missing out on. Some people these days just have their priorities out of wack :) For me, it was time well spent. There is nothing like a good burrito filled with all the good stuff.

P.S. - Okay, so maybe it also helped that I was standing in line with my visiting teaching companion and one of the sisters we visit teach. Multi-tasking made it all that much sweeter!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sun, Sun - Here I come!

I don't plan on writing about things that happened in the past on this blog, but I can't let this one slide by.

One of my favorite things about working for a public school in MA is that they have these week long "winter breaks" and "spring breaks". That means we get a week off in February and again in April (don't forget the nice vacation days we get during November and December!!)

For the past three of four years I have been promising one of my best friends from college that I would come and visit her in Phoenix. Well, the perfect time to visit Phoenix for someone who's not a huge fan of winter in Boston, is February! I was so excited to go, I packed my bag about five days in advance (and, yes, it included flip-flops and t-shirts!).

The trip was one thousand times better than I could have expected. Here's a re-cap:

1. My flights to and from Phoenix were direct, landed 30 min early (when does that EVER happen? and I didn't have anyone sitting next to me BOTH ways! Love Southwest. Love them.)

2. Maylene and Mark live in a very cute house and seeing them again was like nothing had changed in the four years since we've been together... except for the fact they have the two cutest girls! I had so MUCH FUN I going to the park and playing all sorts of things with these Sophie and Sydney. Sydney is a very good conversationalist and both girls have two amazing parents.

3. We got to eat Maylene's famous fajitas and I was in heaven. I am still craving them. When Maylene and I lived together at BYU, would would make these about twice a week usually after a night of "studying" at the Library. We would leave the library around 11:50 at night when "The Saints go Marching in" would start playing, head to Food 4 Less for the ingredients, and usually sit down to eat around 1 AM. Discussion during the meal would somehow always turn to boys! This time around, we ate it a lot earlier and the dinner table discussion was a bit different, but the experience was just as memorable. She made the salsa from scratch and I learned how to fry a real tortilla! One thing I really miss here in Boston is more Mexican places... but nothing can compare with Maylene's!

4. We were able to drive to Mesa to visit another friend, and Maylene's sister-in-law, Jillin.
I also got to see the Mesa Temple and some beautiful scenery along the drive.

5. The weather was perfect each day. I was able to take some morning runs and explore some of the area.

6. I haven't laughed so often in such a short amount of time or felt so welcomed as a visitor in a home in such a long time. I can't wait to go back!

Dinner on Monday at the BEST pizza place ever in downtown Phoenix.

Sydney was quite the photographer as she did a photo shoot for Maylene and I!
My new little buddy...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My new FAVORITE quote!

I ran across this quote today in a talk called "Terror, Triumph and the Wedding Feast" by Elder Holland: "God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe."

I've forgotten how to dream...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cross that one off of the list!

Gym Teacher. Never, ever, ever going to be one. No, wait. I stand corrected. I was firmly told today that the position is a P.E. Teacher and NOT a gym teacher. (All the same to me). But, anyway, today I had the unfortunate opportunity to sub for one at our school (Eric was desperate). I spent 3.5 hours playing steal the bacon.

Now, no, we didn't play with real bacon (although the kids might have preferred that and it definitely would have made the stinky gym smell better). We played what should have been a simple game with four different classes. Well, after feeling like I had yelled for the entire time in order for everyone to hear me, sending 7 kids to the nurse for everything from bumps on the head to cuts on their skin, resolving a gazillion arguments and fights, calming a student who was crying hysterically because he thought the game was unfair, and explaining the rules more times than I can count (to the same class), I have come to a firm conclusion I am NOT cut out for a gym teacher (P.E. Teacher, sorry). I'll stick to counseling and eating the bacon rather than stealing it. :)

Todays experience confirms for me that people should try out a profession before getting a job in it!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A new adventure?!

Why not? Why not start a blog? This is something I have asked myself many times... but quickly answered it with "My life is not that interesting and I am not a good writer (as all my english teachers will confirm)." In a moment of craziness in Arizona a few weeks ago, I let my friend, Maylene, convince me to at least set one up. It sat untouched for a couple of weeks but something inspired me today. I don't keep a faithful journal (okay, I'll be honest, I don't keep any journal) so maybe this can be a start. Let's hope my posterity still uses computers or else they'll know nothing about my life! I've convinced myself to give it a shot and see what happens... if anything it will amuse me and that's all that really matters, right?!!! :)

"I believe in fairies. I do. I do!"

I think it would be very fitting to start my new blog with a recap on one of the best plays I have seen in a long time. (Okay, so I don't go to plays all that often, but this one was REALLY good!) And, since I think all adults would secretly much rather be more child-like, this play reminded me to do that more often.

Last night I went to see "Peter Pan" at the Wheelock Family Theater in Boston and I was blown away with how good the production was. The actors/actresses enthusiasm was very catching. The best part of all was that Peter and the Darcy children REALLY flew... more than once!

I just wanted to join right in with all the dancing and singing as the Pirates and the Indians walked down the isles and brought the "play" into the audience. The music, singing and acting was fabulous. I could go on and on about it. Going to that play last night made me realize how much I miss doing things like that. I get stuck in my usual weekend night stuff... and don't take advantage of all that there is to do that's unique, fun and uplifting! So, I guess I can add that as a new resolution.

I also went with two of the best "dates" last night and they were on the edge of their seats the whole time (and they got to wear their pjs)! To see this play from their eyes and their perspective would have made it even better. Leo had to keep reminding himself that it wasn't really real or else he would have joined one of the Lost Boys right there. (Maybe I shouldn't have kept telling him that OF COURSE this is real :) And, I guess I should mention that these are not my kids... but they're a huge part of my life! more on them later...)

So, what's new and exciting to do next weekend.... "I will not grow up. You can't make me!"