Monday, July 28, 2014

the first day

I love the first day of school.  It is a day bursting with hope and optimism.  If I am perfectly honest then I would admit that many days can have a negative tone to them in public education.  This is why the first is so incredibly wonderful.  I love that everyone has a clean slate.  Students give their teachers a chance.  Teachers look forward to helping a new cohort of students.  Administrators push towards the accomplishment of school goals.  

Today as I walked the two buildings I work in, I could not help but feel joy and pride for my workplace.  You know, I really love my job.  I love my community.  I love being part of the big school picture.  Last year I learned what it means to be part of a solution.  I learned that school change takes place with teeny tiny steps in the right direction.  Most importantly I learned that I still want to be a school leader. 

Last week I learned that my final capstone project was accepted.  I am now working on securing the paperwork for principal certification.  I cannot believe it.  A dream I have talked about for many years is coming to fruition before my eyes.  

Callum got dropped off at his new babysitter this morning.  He did not cry, but I did.  As I left the room he reached his hands towards me and watched me walk out of the room with the biggest eyes ever.  It broke my heart.  Of course he had a great day.  His babysitter said he is one of the happiest babies she has seen.  The whole working mom thing is a constant challenge.  Do I regret working? Heck no.  Does it make me sad soemtimes?  Heck yes.  

I am a goal oriented person.  Because of this and because goals are always set on the first day of school, here are my goals for the first quarter of school. 

1.  read 1 chapter from the Book of Mormon daily
2.  go to the temple at least one time
3.  successfully help the new teachers make it
4.  be more forthright in my individual support of ELA teachers

Cheers to another great year.  I freaking love my job.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

the temple and family names

Yesterday on our five year anniversary we attended the temple with family names in hand.  These were not far off ancestors either.  Jason and I completed the initiatory work for my grandparents and both sets of great grandparents on my father's side.  The neat thing is that my siblings all contributed something.  First, my brother's children completed the baptizing and confirming back in January.  Seven months later Jason and I went to the temple and completed the next step.  My sister and her husband completed the endowment portion for one set of my great grandparents while my brother and sister in law completed the endowment portion for my grandparents.  With the help of technology the ordinances were recorded at once which made it possible for my brother to complete his portion in Alabama.  

I have always felt tied to my family history.  I am grateful for my heritage.  For some reason I have always had a firm testimony in the importance of temple work.   It must be rooted in my early experiences doing baptisms as a teenager.  Without sharing an enormous amount of detail, I would also say that my patriarchal blessing is very prompting to do my family history work.  

Often times we hear of the importance of family history work and it seems so apparent how true and sure the testimony bearer is of his/her words.  I can now stand on that side of the testimony and say that it is a real and worthwhile cause.  I found myself rallying with my siblings to complete the work.  Not only that, I found myself wanting to be better for my ancestors.  

Visiting the temple is already awesome.  When adding the reverence and importance of your own family names, it is beyond words.  

You can count on me being back to the temple again soon.  


Friday, July 4, 2014

the patriotic run of color

BEFORE COLOR
Well, I did it.  I signed up for a color run.  As a rule of thumb, I am opposed to these kind of things.  It is hard to comprehend the idea of throwing around powder while walking and paying for it.  What is the point?  When the element of racing and beating a personal best is thrown in the mix, then I can understand the point.  

When my very small and precious community has events of any kind I try to sign up.  It is a good thing for rural communities.  With some hesitation, I signed up but secretly knew I would make it my kind of fun.  

Amma pushed Callum-she can really zip around with Callum in tow.  I forged ahead to lead the race.  Wait, not a race...I forged ahead to the front of the walker joggers.  

I was a little shy about the color.  I am not one to make a mess or make a fool out of myself in public.   I had a few red and blue areas on my white tank top.  No problem. 

The course was not marked because it was not a race.  Fine.  I had my watch.  I zipped through the course and got to the end and was confused because there were literally no people to be seen.  I beat the workers to the finish line.  I stopped my watch and ran the course backwards until I saw Motorcycle and Amma.  

All in all, it was a very good time.  This is a perfect event for 4th of July.  The red and blue powder looked neat.  Plus, I'm always a sucker for patriotic anything.  

Next year I'll do it again and get supper messy in the beginning.  

My time was solid-though unofficial since I doubt the course was an actual 5k.  Somewhere close to it...but there was not finish line so I ran longer than I needed to.  I ran about a 21:50.  Not too shabby of a pace. 









Sunday, June 29, 2014

the twenty eighth

28 on June 28th

fulfilled in motherhood {{ disappointed in my capstone {{ qualified for Boston {{ coached high school track {{ turned down a principal job {{ improved the work I put into my marriage {{ learned how hard being an adult can be {{ wanted to read and run much more {{ traveled to Auckland {{ realized that my needs and wants are suddenly not important {{ blessed with a perfectly handsome and happy baby boy {{ comprehended the magnitude of raising a family just a little more {{ completed my M. Ed. in Educational Leadership and Supervision {{ put a flag outside the home that I own {{ stopped caring so much about what others think {{ 

We went on a real date last night to celebrate my birthday.  It was a sushi, ice cream, and bookstore date.  




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

the attempt at a decent photo

 On a whim, I badgered Jason to go to the La Posada gardens for a photo shoot.  It was Father's Day, and I had reason to celebrate and document our little family.  












Monday, June 16, 2014

the eric carle favorite

Thank you my baby for loving books.  You make my teacher heart swell.  












Sunday, June 8, 2014

the healthy kiwi

I printed this vintage public service poster from New Zealand and placed it in our kitchen.  It was my humble attempt to decorate our house.  And a small part of me hopes that it inspires some sort of healthy eating simultaneously.

I have more Kiwi ideas about decorating our home.  One of which is a series of frames lining the hallways with pictures that Jason and I have taken of the motherland.  
Callum's room already has New Zealand galore.  We also added a print that says "It all began in New Zealand." to our living room.

Cheers

Saturday, May 31, 2014

the thirteenth month

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a walker.  
Last week Callum started braving the space between table and couch.  
He can also be coerced into walking from a trusted mom or dad to another trusted person or object several steps away. 
In the last few days he has proven that he can accomplish this feat on his own accord.  He can bring himself to a stand and take up to ten steps or so.  

I guess that means he can walk, right?  

Some things that stand out to me in this thirteenth month--
-s sounds.  S is is his go to letter sound.  When he wants us to notice something, he turns to this trusty letter.  
-the fascination with the fan and lights has returned.  He hasn't cared since he was a newborn, but now that fans are constantly on wherever we go, he excitedly points them out to us.  When we enter his room to pick him up from his crib, it is the first thing he does.  Points to the fan and says a word that sounds a lot like "see."  
-other kids.  His ability to actively play with other kids has really taken off.  Before now he didn't care that much.
-humidifier.  He loves his humidifier.  He inspects it constantly.  It cracks me up. 
-toilets.  At least once a day I have to chase him out of the bathroom so that he doesn't put his hands in the toilet.  It's probably time to babyproof. 
-I don't think he's going to be a pasty white kid.  He seems to already have a tan going even though we are only 2 days into summer break.  His tan skin with his blonde semi-curly hair is more than I can handle.  

His words
Banana
Bye Bye
Hi
Dog
Mom
Dad
Milk
Tree
Cheese
Bappy
Toby
Juice
Many S sounds
Many other words that he mimics















Friday, May 30, 2014

the summer break declaration

The first day of summer has arrived.  
There are some requirements that I must fulfill in order to thrive. 

1.  RUN.  5 days per week.
2. Lift.  3-5 days per week.  depending on training
3. Read a fun book daily.
4. Read Motorcycle a book daily.
5. pull at least 10 weeds daily. 
6. daydream of our new zealand getaway
7. revise portfolio essay and submit by June 30
8. Travel to at least one place we have not visited in Arizona.
9. Cook at home. 


Monday, May 26, 2014

the flashback

I had this flashback.  Or maybe it was nostalgia.  Either way, I got to thinking about my days as a Brigham Young University student.  What an epic journey and chapter in my life it was. 

I had hoped and dreamed of going to BYU someday as a high school student.  When the opportunity presented itself to run track, I did that prior to entering BYU.  An unplanned step along the way that was extremely worthwhile.  Starting at a junior college gave me a leg up.  I learned the ups and downs of being a college student and learned how to get good grades.  

I entered BYU as a transfer student with a nearly perfect GPA.  This helped build my confidence and assurance that I could handle the big dogs.  My first impression of BYU was through staying in Heritage Halls.  I hated that place.  I had six roommates that I never really got to know.  It was a very diverse crowd.  In our little apartment we came from Arizona, Utah, Mexico, Japan, China, and Mexico.  Truthfully I spent hardly any time in my dorm.  I did not have a car at this point and did not know of any Winslow kids at BYU for the summer terms.  I was the lone ranger paving my way.  It was good because I learned how to walk all over campus.  I learned the bus system, and I had plenty of study time.  

I remember thinking BYU was so clean and perfect.  Every piece of space was manicured with flowers and landmarks.  Truth be told, I still could not believe I was there.  Being on campus confirmed the high level of education that I would be receiving.  


I moved home after the summer term and quickly got ready to return for the fall term.  This time around I reached out to a Winslow friend.  I wanted to live with someone I knew.  This worked out well.  By October I started to figure out that winter was no joke in Provo.  That was exciting.  
I really really loved going to football games.  The hype and sensation was high charged.  

By the end of that first semester I did start to notice something weird about Provo.  Why was everyone the same?  Blonde hair, blue eyed, conservative, happy, productive, and skinny people everywhere.  Yes, I check many of those boxes myself.  In many ways it is hypocritical for me to even think this, but I couldn't help but notice.   Something about all the sameness makes you want to be different.  Everywhere else in the world you have to be good to be different.  However, in Provo you have to be bad to be different.  This reversing of universal principles annoyed me.  I feel like I did not fit that profile.  

I certainly never walked on the wild side.  I am as conservative as they come.  However, I did try to separate myself from some of the comparing to others and fakeness.  

I did love my elementary education program.  The amazing people I met in that program are life long friends and people I admire.  As a matter of fact, I imagine that some of those special peeps are reading this right now.  From day one I knew I was in the right place.  We rallied together, studied together, cried together, and had fun together.  It was this program and these people that made BYU my BYU.  This program also led me to NEW ZEALAND.  It was a flier posted in the McKay Building that sparked my interest to look into the New Zealand cohort program.  It was a typical cold and gray day in Utah, and the prospect of getting the heck out of Provo to student teach somewhere other than Utah was a dream come true.  I knew I was going.  I knew I had to go.  

No need to talk about the New Zealand experience.  That was all documented in previous blog posts back to 2008.  

When I returned from New Zealand, I had one last BYU hurrah.  My official student teaching began in the schools of Utah.  Again, the sameness really got to me.  Growing up in a diverse and economically challenged area, I wanted to teach in a similar setting.  I got through student teaching and actually accepted my first teaching job at my very own high school the week after I was done.  

I did not walk for graduation, and I honestly never thought twice about leaving.  However, these days I find myself wanting to go back to visit.  I look through different eyes.  I have my career.  I have my man.  I have my life.  It was a standing joke that I must have been the only girl to make it through BYU without finding a guy.  Whatever.  Like I said, I did not quite fit the profile of popular blonde girl or pioneer girl.  I was somewhere in the middle doing my thing.  

Bottom line is that I freaking loved it.  That place is ridiculously impressive.  I still feel lucky I got the chance to go there.  It helped shaped who I am.  It confirmed to me the kind of life I wanted for myself and family.  One of these days I'll have a reason or excuse to get back up there.  

Cheers BYU.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

the year of milestones

What a year. Somehow we are going to make it to summer break. 
In looking at the big picture, it is almost impossible to realize what we accomplished this school year. We checked quite a few life change boxes on our taxes this year.  

Larissa
-raised a newborn
-exclusively breastfed despite working full time
-trained and ran a marathon and qualified for Boston 2015 in the process
-bought a house
-finished the Master's program
-started a new job
-coached high school track
-went to New Zealand

Jason
-raised a newborn
-bought a house
-lost 25 pounds
-started working out at club gym
-accepted to the nursing program
-cna certification
-went back to the motherland

Callum
-smiled in May
-ate solid food in August
-slept through the night in October
-crawled in December
-clapped and talked in December
-first tooth in March
-crawled around the track during the season
-stand unassisted in May
-not walking yet
-took an international trip

I do not know how we can top this year.  It was fantastic and crazy and joyful all at the same time. 
Cheers

the state track meet

Our excellent vantage point from the team camp
When I say that Motorcycle is a happy-go-lucky kinda guy, I do not even scratch the surface.  Because of Jason's commitment to be out of town for a three week intensive course, Callum had no choice but to attend the state track meet with me.  
Three days of coaching, intense heat, and well, babysitting.  Considering that he had been to practice with me many times, it was no far stretch to see him happily crawling around the team camp.  However, the ridiculous May heat of Mesa added a new level of worry for me.  Can babies even be outside in heat like that?  Is that a reason for CPS to take away your child?  I was a little freaked out.  

As it turns out, Callum loved life.  He played in the dirt, hung onto the chain-link fence surrounding the track, tampered with the belongings of the runners, and was generally awesome.  
completely exhausted in his stroller-it was about 95 degrees at this point
one of his mini naps in death heat
When I say the kid is awesome I mean it.  On Day 1 of Preliminary heats we arrived at 11am.  10 hours later we left the track.  It was still in the low 90s even at 9pm.  He never cried.  I promise.  Day 2 Final heats he was a bit more antsy.  We arrived at the track around 1pm.  5 hours later when we left at the peak of the heat, he was fussy and ready to go.  Not too shabby.  



tampering with the runners' belongings

it's the simple things that make him happy

back at the hotel-completely exhausted

Mother's Day in our hotel room with the track team

riding in the team van-new kicks