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Goodbye 2012!

2012 was quite a year! It was a year full of surprise (good and bad) and also a lot of growth. I can easily say I have learned a lot and I’m grateful for that.

Now, this is kind of a long post so I won’t be offended if you don’t make it through the whole thing. It’s really just a nice, easy way for me to keep a record of my life.

So, here’s just a quick overview of my year:

Number of places I lived: 2

Number of visits to the doctor: 4

Broadway musicals I saw: Wicked (for the third time!), Phantom of the Opera

Places I visited: New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland

Jobs I had: Assistant Preschool teacher at Morningside School, Manager at Jamba Juice, Receptionist at Valhalla Salon and Spa, Counselor at Retreat for Girls

Books I read (besides educational/scriptural texts): The Hunger Games Trilogy, Tuesdays with Morrie, Les Misérables, The Uglies

Movies I loved: The Vow (I know…but I just really love Channing Tatum), The Hunger Games, Brave, Here Comes the Boom, Les Misérables

Bonus highlights of 2012:

I’m the only sibling who made it onto Richard’s Christmas card this year! (Anyone who knows Richard will know this is a HUGE deal.)

I had my blood drawn for the first time EVER.

I decided to go on a mission!

Many of my high school guy friends came home from their missions!

Pictures of 2012:

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I celebrated my 20th birthday and wore this pin on my backpack all day. 🙂

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Proudly displaying my bandage after having my blood drawn

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Directing the Spring Program at preschool. Love those kids.

Last day with Teacher Amber

Me and Teacher Amber

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My sweet parents. My mom was diagnosed with Colon Cancer, had a tumor removed, and started chemotherapy and my dad had his gall bladder removed all within just a couple of months in the summer.

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Mom’s surgery

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Retreat for Girls!

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Wicked! Happy birthday to us!

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Brigham City Temple Open House

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Performing at the annual neighborhood party

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Proud of my Aggie basketball star!

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Aggie football!!!

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Girl’s Night Out at the Bluebird during Priesthood session of General Conference

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“I’m going on a mission!”

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Polyga-date with Branden!

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My mom made both mine and my sister’s temple dresses from her vintage prom dress patterns. And she made mine under the influence of what we like to call “Chemo-brain”, which was quite an adventure.

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My first time through the temple.

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“Otter hands!” We are so hilarious.

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Love my kiddies. Okay, well they’re my sister’s kiddies but I still love them like my own.

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I could squish this little one all day long. So sweet.

Temple Square!

Temple Square trip with some friends

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Phantom of the Opera

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Times Square!

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Time to Be Grateful

President Joseph F. Smith said, “I believe that one of the greatest sins of which the inhabitants of the earth are guilty today is the sin of ingratitude.”

Let’s just say I find myself guilty of this sin more often than I would like to admit.

So on this beautiful autumn day, here are some things I am grateful for…

  • My sweet mom
  • Nice smelling perfume
  • Raspberries
  • General Conference!
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • USU Football
  • My cute little preschool friends
  • Tissues
  • Afternoon naps
  • Making new friends
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • My warm down comforter (even if it does shed a crazy amount of feathers)
  • The temple
  • Hot chocolate
  • My straightener

Welp, it’s time for me to eat some lunch and do some homework before I head off to spend the evening making smoothies.

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So, I don’t even know how to start this post so I’m just going to dive right in!

At the beginning of the summer my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. She had surgery in June to get a tumor removed and since then has spent most of her time at home recovering. She’s still not feeling quite back to normal but she is improving a little bit every day, which is really all we could ask for.

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Next week she is having a port put into her chest and then starts chemotherapy treatments in a couple of weeks. She’ll be having these treatments for six months so she should be done right around Valentine’s Day.

Also, my dad had his gall bladder removed at the beginning of July and so for a while I had two parents who were incapable of doing pretty much anything. Nice, huh? So I was the caregiver for a few days. The ward was also really wonderful and took great care of my parents and Richard. Since I was around I even got a few free dinners out of it! 😉

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A couple of posts ago, I wrote about how strange it was for me to only have one job. Well, that didn’t last long. I got a summer job working as a receptionist at Valhalla Salon and Spa. I spend my time at the front desk taking calls, making appointments, helping people check in and out, and doing laundry. Because I work at the salon, I am able to get a good deal on services and I have to tell you…I talked myself into getting an underarm wax. OH MY WORD. So painful. And the crazy thing is, I have done it twice now! And I also got my legs done. As much as it hurts, I really love the results so I keep going back!

And like last summer, I spent some time working as a counselor at Retreat for Girls and I was in charge of these cute girls!

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I also had the opportunity to see Wicked with my mom and sister! We got the tickets for each of our birthdays so it was like a big birthday celebration for us. This was my third time seeing the show and I can honestly say that it doesn’t get old! I just love it more and more every time! We had rockin’ seats (Thank you, HSF!) and the three of us squealed and giggled throughout the whole show.

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So that’s my summer in a nutshell. The rest of it consists of many hours of work, a few days relaxing with the fam at my uncle’s cabin, and emptying my entire savings account to pay the lovely registrar’s office at Utah State.

There are a few other things that are still in the workings and I’m sure I will post about them sometime in the future. Good things to come… 🙂

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It has been brought to my attention several times this past week that I look really young for my age.

Let me share the conversation between me and the cute, black, college-aged salesman who knocked on my door today.

Me: Hi…?
Salesman: Hi, is your mother here?
Me: Ummm…*awkward laugh*…I’m actually a college student and I live here with my roommates.
Salesman: Oh! I’m sorry. You just look so young, I thought you were like, 16 or something. *awkward laugh*
Me: No worries, it happens all the time.
Salesman: So…you are over 18, right?
Me: Yes. I’m actually 20.

I love that even after I told him I was in college, he asked if I was over 18 years old.

I had three other conversations just this week where I was telling someone about what I’m doing with life and I’d mention that I have 3 semesters of college left and they would ask, “Wait, how old are you??”, and every time they were genuinely shocked to find out that I’m 20 years old. Most thought I was 15 or 16 and one lady thought I was 12. I know I look young, but really? 12 or 13??? Again, it’s not the first time.

I’ve always known that I look young for my age and these conversations aren’t anything new to me, but it has been happening a lot lately. When the person finds out that I’m actually 20 and not 14 they usually say something like, “Oh, you’re going to love that when you’re 40!”, but I think they just say it because they feel dumb and want to make sure I’m not offended or something.

Sigh. I’m a 20 year old stuck in a 12 year old’s body. Nice.

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I work. I really wish I could say that my summer is going to be filled with traveling to far away places. I wish I could spend three months touring Europe or volunteering in Africa. But alas, I’m spending my summer working so I can pay for life.

As much as I wish I didn’t have to work all summer, do you want to know what has been a really hard adjustment for me? Working only one job.

Seriously. All of a sudden I don’t have school or preschool and I feel a little lost. I’ve gotten so used to having a fairly strict schedule and it works really well for me. I like knowing exactly when I’m going to do something and how long it will take me.

Now that I only have one job, I have so much free time that I’m not used to. It would be very easy to be lazy but I feel like with some conscious effort, I’ve been able to use my time to do worthwhile and productive things.

This summer I will be working at Jamba (2 years and counting…), reading a lot of neglected books (starting with Les Miserables!), preparing for and working at Retreat for Girls in July, going to see Wicked with my mom and sister, and hopefully taking a little trip to San Diego or somewhere equally exciting.

Even though I don’t have any huge plans, I think this will be a good summer.

I’ve already eaten my fair share of watermelon, popsicles, and banana ice cream. I also already (unintentionally) have a good head start on my summer tan. Well…that is, I already have a pretty good sunburn that will eventually fade into a tan.

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Chaco lines as of June 1, 2012.

The sad, sad news is that it hurts too much to shave my poor, sunburned legs so I’m turning into a hairy beast. Gross. Here’s to hoping they’ll be shave-able by church on Sunday. 🙂

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Morningside School

For the past year, I have worked as an assistant preschool teacher at Morningside School. Yesterday was the last day of school and I was so sad! I love all those kids and I’m sad that I won’t be seeing them every day anymore.

I love Morningside for several reasons. First of all, I started attending Morningside as a student when I was 2. My mom had just graduated from college and got a job teaching preschool there and they let me start preschool a year early. I was in preschool for two years and then in kindergarten for one. Throughout elementary and middle school, I still spent quite a bit of time at the school helping my mom prepare for her upcoming lessons. I would cut, color, copy, and do anything else that she needed help with. I knew all of the teachers well and felt very comfortable walking around there.

Last summer my friend, Amber, graduated from Utah State and was looking for a preschool teaching job. It just so happened that Morningside was looking for a new head preschool teacher and she was hired! Later in the summer, the school decided to hire an assistant teacher and I was hired!

Last day with Teacher Amber

Me and Teacher Amber

I didn’t fully know what I was getting myself into. Working with 3 and 4 year olds is no easy thing! They ask lots of questions, have selective hearing, let you know when you look funny because you’re not wearing make-up or have a big zit on your forehead, won’t clean up their toys, and occasionally throw tantrums.

BUT, they are also incredibly caring and sweet. They give plenty of hugs, compliment you on your coloring, bring you a neatly colored drawing from home made especially for you, and have the cutest little personalities and quirks. They make me feel so loved.

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Halloween!

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Playing sick while they play doctor

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Mine and Freddie’s matching Toms 🙂

My favorite thing about preschool is being able to watch the kids grow throughout the year. Most came in not knowing how to write their name and now almost every child can. At the beginning of the year I taught one little girl how to hula-hoop. She practiced all year long and now she can keep it up and going for a long time. Those are just a couple of examples but I’m amazed at their growth and how much they have learned.

I have also loved working in the same place as my mom. I’ll tell you what, she is a PRO! I have been very impressed with her abilities and I’ve realized that she has such a talent for working with these young people. She knows how to handle every situation and teach effectively. I have learned a lot of very useful tips, tricks, and techniques from her. It’s also been so fun to be able to see her every day, even though I don’t live with her anymore.

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I love this job. I love that I can act goofy and silly, sing songs, eat snacks, color, and be creative. I’m grateful that I have been able to work with such intelligent, strong, amazing women.

I am sad that the school year is over. I have learned so many things that I think will be very helpful to my personal life as well as future jobs and careers. I’ll really miss all of my young friends but I’m also so excited to start back up in the fall with a new group! 🙂

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I Moved Again!

I finished up spring semester and it was so good! I loved my classes and was able to do really well! I’ll tell you what, hard work+divine help=countless blessings! Seriously, I had a wonderful semester full of learning and fun. I think Heavenly Father knew that it was just what I needed to keep me motivated and excited about school.

After my last final on Friday at 7:30am (who thought that was a good idea??), I spent the rest of my day packing and cleaning my apartment. We checked out of our apartment the next day at noon and Jordan and I moved all of our crap stuff into our new apartment! We moved into a cute little townhouse with our friend, Liz.

Oh, you want to see pictures? Well okay…Here you go!

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Living room

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Kitchen table

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Kitchen

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Back patio (also has a little firepit)

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Bathroom

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Mine and Jordan’s bedroom

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Closet

I’m excited to be living here! It’s a HUGE upgrade from our old apartment. We have flowers in the front yard, pumpkins in the back yard, a lot of cute, young families as neighbors, a fancy washer and dryer IN our very house, and last but certainly not least—a lot of storage space. I’m lovin’ it. 🙂

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