Wednesday, November 20, 2013

classroom pictures

It's a jungle out there.

Or maybe just in room 124.

Either way, we are wild about learning!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

C H A N G E //

Every year I look forward to the changing of the leaves. When the air becomes crisp, the leaves crunch under your feet and every tree's leaves offer new color. I look forward to the first snowfall (I repeat: the FIRST snowfall). When those white fluffy flakes begin to cover the ground and when our shoes soles collect the snow as we walk. Why do I look forward to these times each year? One word: Change.

Change is something the general population avoid at all cost. It's where we lose our power and comfort in a situation or circumstance and become vulnerable in those moments of uneasiness. 

Not this girl.

Ever since I was little, I generally enjoyed change. Rearranging my room was something I did on the regular. I had new ideas and a new mind set when I did. I was the kid that wanted to move. What kid wants to move?? This kid did. Weird, I know. I enjoy a fresh start and clean slate.

Change is something that I've had a lot of these last few years. Normally I feel like I initiate the change, however it has not been in my hands. The big guy upstairs ran me through a ropes course to get me where I am. And let me tell you-I'm ready for a timeout!

A year and a half ago I had the weirdest impression. I had an impression that Nordstrom (my place of employment) would lead me back to teaching. Now, at this time I had no plan to teach. EVER. My major was something that came easy to me, yet kicked my butt. And after student teaching I was E X H A U S T E D. Then I moved home and got a job in retail, something that I had never tired before. And guess what? I loved that change and new pace of life.

Fast forward 2 years and I had that impression. In my head I thought, "No way." But as the days went on I kept thinking "Look into teaching." So I looked and looked, applied and applied and NOTHING. Umm? Okay?

Weeks went on and I was tired if commuting to Salt Lake. Forty minutes in stop and go traffic day after day was not something I enjoyed. I hated living so far away from work. Since I had a lot of driving time, usually that "go back to teaching" impression would surface during those moments of being lost in my own thoughts.

I finally decided that looking into teaching was exactly what I needed to do. However, in order to do that I needed to almost be "forced" into doing it. So I quit my job. Yeah, kind of scary.

Long story short, I LUCKED OUT. I interviewed for a 3rd grade teaching position for a teacher who was moving to Kansas. I was freaked out during my interview. It had been 2 years since I was in that "teaching" mindset. The next week I was called back for an in class lesson. When I walked in, I left all my emotions at the door. I thought "Stephanie, you know you can do this. This IS your comfort zone." And it was. I felt like I connected with the kids and guess what? I GOT THE JOB.

Going from clothes to kids? Talk about the biggest change of my life.

This last year I have learned so much. And that is an understatement. The quote "Forget yourself and go to work" crosses my mind daily. The minute I walk into my classroom, it's not about me (well, except when I need a diet coke...), it's about them. I am responsible for their learning. Which is actually scary. There is a lot to be learned!

On October 31st I hit my one year mark at my school. It has made me think of all the change I have been through in the last year. Do I make less money? Of course. Am I stressed out a lot of the time? Hahah, umm yeah.  Have I gained weight? Unfortunately. But do I regret my career decision? Not in the least. It is the most rewarding and fulfilling job there is. HANDS DOWN. 

Change is all around us, whether or not we like it. Change is what shapes and molds us. Sometimes we need to be pruned to make us better. And that is where I am in my life right now.

Looking back, during the those moments of being between jobs was scary. The unknown freaked me out. However, the Lord knew what was around the corner. He knew what job I needed.

Whatever it may be, the Lord is aware of us. He knows our desires, but more importantly, he knows our needs. He knows what we need, where we need to be and what job is right for us. Sometimes it's hard to have faith, because we can't see the outcome. But as we trust in the big guy, he will pull through.

This video was something that I needed to hear this last week.
It reminded me who is really in control and how I need to follow those sweet, small whisperings.
Change is a beautiful thing because as they say "Life is to enjoyed, not endured."

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


You guys. I thought the first week of school was tiring.
WRONG. Halloween week definitely tops it.

Anyway, here's a few things I've been up to:

1. Witches Night Out at Gardner Village with my two Stacie's. Witch, please.

2. Definitely was rocking fifty shades of nerd for Halloween. However, I am pretty sure everyone (and then some) was a zombie of some sort. What is with everyones obsession with zombies? #overit

3. My FAVORITE costume at school was the most simple of them all.

3. A little girl who was in my class last year and is also in my class this year, remembered that November 1st I was officially their teacher. She brought me an anniversary gift. 
It was the SWEETEST thing. I was shocked she remembered! Love kids.

4. Halloween night I was pooped! School for sure wore me out. 
However, a few of us went to Slab Pizza in Provo to celebrate. 

5. Last but not least, in class we were also celebrating Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico for November 1st. Our kiddos earned an extra field trip, so we were stoked it was the day after Halloween. I love Tammy, she is definitely one of my favorite teachers to teach with! #butreally 
I've learned so much from her and we know how to keep it real and have a good time! 

{how we were feeling the day after Halloween}

Halloween was fun, but I am so glad it is over! 
I am ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. 
But I am not ready for it to fly by. Boo.

Anyway, tis the season to be Merry! 
"Hey that's my name!"
"No, sh*%!"

Ten bucks if you name that movie. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

5K Run for Courtney

Today was such a special day for the Simon family. A race was held in honor of Courtney and her battle with childhood cancer. Skills Fitness (Lindsey's gym) and The HERO (Helping Everyone Reach Out) Foundation teamed up, along with many others, to create a fun and successful run!

{my parents always going above and beyond}

{what 7am on a Saturday looks like hashtag sleepy eyes}

{before sunrise and honoring the Simon family at the beginning of the race }

{Court's hero, Rapunzel, came to the race}

{these sisters are three peas in a pod} 

{face painting from the Davis Darts v-ball team and the BEST silent auction basket name. ever.}

{rocking our Courtney shirts}
{and Alli rocking the Johnson staple: leopard} 

There was a GREAT turnout for the run and the silent auction was a HUGE success. 
Today I am a little more grateful for families. The HERO foundation has sponsored other children fighting the same battle. One little boy, Cameron, fought a hard fight, however didn't have a fairytale ending. His family was there to support the Simon's, making today even more special.

{July 2013 and October 2013}

Courtney has changed so much in the last 3 months. She's the most mature three year old I've ever met. She is extra kind and patient. She has the "it's going to be okay" attitude. And she's always wanting to make other happy, it's the sweetest thing.

That girl is truly my hero.

Two must see's: this and this.
I've been meaning to post the second one forever, but today during the 5k I heard it again and was reminded how much I love it. A friend from high school's little girl and husband are at minute 2:50 of that one.

Grab a tissue.
❤️ ❤️ ❤️ 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A cause for celebration

This weekend was definitely a cause for celebration. 
My niece Alli was baptized. The thought of her being 8 terrifies me.
That means she will be 16 before I know it. Which really means... I'm getting older! Not cool.

That moment when you realize your family drove every possible car to one location.
I guess we forgot the meaning of "car pooling."

ORRRRRR that moment when you're driving and find your other nieces Fun Run sign. Love it!

Because let's get serious. She really is the cutest cancer patient ever. 
Plus she is inspiring with her endurance and spirit of courage. 
She's truly a fighter. 

When I was laying in Courtney's new princess bed, I found this monkey and thought it was cute.
Now what kid puts bandaid pieces on a stuffed animals stomach?
A child with that cancer. That's who. 

Also inspiring? The love and patience Kylie, the oldest sister shows to Courtney. 
They have the cutest relationship. 

Another cause for celebration?
Your class being selected as Cougar Class of the Month.
(Don't worry, I've heard every joke possible)

The best worst part about this? Having an 8 x 10 portrait of yourself hanging up in front of the school.
Cracks me up every time I walk in and out of school. My kiddos are the best though, seriously. 
I am LOVING this school year and I am so proud of my class! 

Last but not least, best Snapchats of the week:

Yes, I joined LDS singles for a month. And I'm pretty sure I will not be extending that....
Stacie did the dirty work for me while I corrected papers. It's like have a personal dating assistant! 

Two girls, one shopping trip to Salt Lake and 4 diet cokes later.....

Any cause for celebration deserves a Diet Coke.
Even if it's just a simple shopping trip. 

Glad Cheryl captured the moment :)

Friday, October 11, 2013


Sometimes life is confusing.

Especially for my Kardashians.
They are pretty konfused lately.
I kan't keep up, kall me krazy.

No but really, life can be confusing.

Sometimes life has you wondering. And sometimes you need a change. Nothing crazy, usually something small. That's where I'm at. I need a change. Or maybe I am used to constant change and THINK I need one, but don't.
Or maybe I just need a shopping spree and a diet coke. Maybe that's all I need. 

Speaking of change, fall is by far my favorite season. I love all the colors in fall.
The other week my kiddos made leaf monsters. I loved this one. Ninja turtle?

Oh, and partying with these peeps?
Nothing makes me happier.

NBA preseason has begun. 
And I am pretty stoked about it.
Plus, that new jumbotron is pretty rad.

If you need me, I'll be relaxing.
Watching a lot of Eric and Jessie in bed.
Reading. Getting a massage. Or just painting my nails.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


The last few weeks have been B U S Y.
I am still trying to catch my breath.

Life has been good, but a little stressful. Between school and balancing the rest of my life, it can get kind of exhausting. I have learned over the years that I am more of an introvert, rather than an extrovert. I read this study that in order for introverts to "rejuvenate" they need to have time just to themselves. And same with extroverts. In order for extroverts to "rejuvenate" they have to be with people and doing things. So why am I saying this? To illustrate the point that I haven't had that "down time" and I am going crazy! My kind of down time is watching a movie, taking a nap, not doing anything for a night, going shopping or doing a craft. Sounds silly, but I am ready for that down time! Is it fall break yet?!

Anyywaayy, here is what's been going down recently.

Brother + his friends and Me + Jane went to the Luke Bryan concert. It was A M A Z I N G. Really. Luke Bryan brought it! His openers were Florida Georgia Line and Thompson Square. LOVED IT.

However, most of this night we watching lesbians dance on lesbians or THIS:

{Lady in black was REAL impressed}

The parents came to town and we went to the BYU vs Utah game. Talk about heartbreaker. For the first time, I am seriously considering switching sides and becoming a Utah fan. BYU has done nothing but break my heart these past few years. It's like they get the fans so pumped and excited and continually let us down. Lame. 

 {This view though >>>}

{Don't mind my black eye?}

The coolest part of this game? That four University of Utah Football players wore "Team Courtney Elise" bracelets during the game to support Courtney and Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Shout out to Honeycutt (#25), Murphy (#82), Chappuis (#19) and Freeman (#23). That was the real win right there❤️

{Grandpa J and Courtney}

We celebrated Lisa's birthday. She is 29! Holy cow, our family is getting old. 

I am obsessed with this picture of me and the girls. 
Oh and the one on the left? Always says "I am just like you, huh Stephanie!?"
Ut-oh :) Apologies to my sister and brother in law.....

{Remember how I am thinking about converting to being a Utah fan?}

Last, I had to take these pictures. One morning I am driving to work and it the prettiest sunrise you've ever seen. The next day driving to work? We changed seasons! Umm what?! I wasn't ready for winter-like weather overnight. I love fall and want it to stay as long as possible! 

But that's Utah for you! You never know what the weather is gonna be like.
I will say, both pictures are pretty. I am just not mentally prepared for snow :) 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

10 things

My friend and I said that this fall we were going to be better about blogging so we can print our blogs at the end of the year. It's crazy how social media is the new way of life (insta, facebook, vine, tinder...we'll get to the later). And how it represents our life and way of journaling.

So 10 Things, here we go:

1. Since my class is studying Utah state history this year, we will be walking the perimeter of the entire state (about 1,226 miles). This is great because part of the state history of the Mormon Pioneers that walked and settled here. So here's to our year long journey. 

2.  Celebrate my good friends birthday! LOVE HER. I am so grateful for her, she is such a good friend. And when you're with her, it's always a good time. Not a great picture of everyone but hey, who doesn't love The Cheesecake Factory? And shopping? The best. 

3. What's September without a fair?? Hit the fair with some friends. SIDE NOTE: I rode the ferris wheel for the first time in years. Wasn't as magical as I remember it in The Notebook, it was more like The Sandlot. Lame. 

4. Someone got Tinder! Months and months of trying to convince this girl to get Tinder, then she gets it, and lines up a date within a week. ChaChing! Okay, so maybe he wasn't prince charming for her but hey, it's a great start :) #ProudRoommateRightHere

5. Wednesday has become my favorite day because of this commercial. Plus, I'm a Geico member so I feel like it is my responsibility to love Wednesday's that much more. HUMMMP DAYYY! 

6. So using the commercial above, naturally we were thrilled when it was Swiss Days. Solely so we could say in the camel's voice, "SWISS DAYYYSSS!" Cute shops and yummy food.

7. Utah has had some crazy weather recently. People keep complaining, but I am OBSESSED. Thick cloud, rain and thunderstorms? My kind of weather and feels like home. This picture was taken right before BYU's first home football game. We literally got stuck under a pavilion at our tailgate for at least an hour while the rain was out of control and lightning was striking just seconds away. We were soaked! 

8. Ain't nobody fresher than my clique...

9. And last BUT NOT LEAST. Did you know that Cancer is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month? Well, now you do. My life has been forever changed by Cancer. I will give back until I am old and wrinkly. How do people get through these heartbreaking trials? Other people. Amazing and selfless people. People who are constantly asking "what can I do to help" or even those who are donating money or spreading the word. We need each other in this life. And we need people in our lives who have our best interest at heart. 
So how can you help? 

Wear GOLD! This is the color representing childhood cancer. Wear as much gold and yellow as you can. Wear it out, people. Those kids NEED you. 

Is anyone ever expecting Cancer to happen in their family? NO. Donate money. Even just $10. Those bills add up FAST. Here is where you can donate for Courtney

Volunteer. At the hospital. For a family in need. At a bake sale. Fund run. Whatever. 


Why? Because as cute as she is, not every day is smiles and rainbows. Cancer is hard. It's no fun. But people carry people through trails. There is a child or family that needs YOU. 

10. Oh, and if you want your own Team Courtney (glow in the dark) bracelet, it is a $5 donation.
Hit me up if you want one! I rep mine errr day. So join the club :)