Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Today I decided to make bread to take to the girl I visit teach. I made a loaf of banana bread that looked and smelled perfect when I took it out of the oven. I didn't want it to burn or get over-done so I thought I should take it out of the pan and put it on a cooling rack pretty quickly. BAD IDEA. I tipped it upside down and gently shook it, hoping the bread would slide right out. It didn't. (I DID remember to spray it with Pam, but apparently I wasn't generous enough.) No worries. I took a knife around the edges of the bread to release it from the pan, tipped it upside down again and shook some more. Still the loaf didn't come out... instead a bunch of banana goop came out the top/middle of the bread. Great, not only messy, but that means the inside is undercooked. When the loaf finally released, half of the bottom crust stuck to the pan instead of coming out with the bread. WHY?! I guess on the positive side Bret and I get to eat a yummy but akward looking loaf of bread since it wasn't good enought to give away.

To make myself feel better I decided to make a second loaf, this time using a recipe from our bread-maker recipe book for Cinnamon Bread. I don't know if I didn't measure something correctly or if it didn't rise the right way in the bread machine, but after following the directions I was given (I read them three times... I hope I followed them!) the dough came out extremely sticky and it hadn't really risen. I assumed this was how it was supposed to be and decided to be extra generous in sprinkling the counter with flour. However, the dough stuck to EVERYTHING! My hands, the rolling pin, the counter, my hands, the spatula, my hands, the bag of flour (as I tried to pour out more), and my hands. Seriously, there was more dough stuck to my hands than there was on the counter and I honestly could not get it off. After adding about 2 cups of flour, making a phenomenal mess, contemplating throwing the dough at the wall, and crying, I ended up throwing it away. I was grumpy for the next hour. I considered trying a third loaf of bread but I was out of flour (probably a good thing).

However, in attempt to end on a more positive note, the rice-a-roni, chicken, and frozen green beans I made for dinner were a hit. Maybe I should stick to making things from a box or that only require heating up.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I've got the button... and a diploma!

After my frustrating search for buttons I decided to head north, stopping at two quilting stores in Draper and finally finding the "perfect buttons" for my pillows at the quilting store a block away from my parents' house. Wahoo!

Slightly more important that buttons, however, is the fact that Bret and I graduated from Brigham Young University today. Yesterday was commencement in the Marriott Center. We "marched" together and enjoyed a bunch of great talks including one by Elder Christofferson. I loved the way he started his remarks: He took a drink of water on his way up and then said, "I had to take a quick drink because this talk is really dry." It wasn't dry at all, but we all got a kick out of that introduction.

Today we spent 5 hrs on campus for our convocation ceremonies. We didn't realize we could walk together, so we each went to the one for our respective college. We both agreed that although there were things we really liked about the Life Sciences ceremony (one of the speakers, the man reading off the names, and the fact that they announced special awards and relationships to graduates they were walking with), we liked the Fine Arts and Communications ceremony better (MUCH MUCH MUCH smaller group, awesome speakers, great musical numbers, and a more comfortable venue - the deJong). I think my favorite part of my ceremony was when the first student speaker got up and started saying exactly what has been on my mind for the past few weeks. "We are the group of students who people ofent ask, 'So what do you expect to DO with you major? Will you be able to support your family with that? Will you be able to get a job with that?' We are the group of students whose major is considered impractical and "fun" but we have continued on, determined that what we were doing was important. And now we are about to graduate and most of us are thinking, 'Uh-oh. What was I thinking!?!'" (That was extremely paraphrased and put in my own words, but you get the point.) He went on to describe how we read through the wanted ads ad suddenly feel very unwanted. That's exactly what I've been thinking! But as he went on to remind us why we made the decision we did I was comforted in remembering that I dance and teach dance because for me dance is a conduit of light and truth. I feel joy and ofent feel the spirit when I am dancing and when I am sharing that love for dance. Although my decision to major in dance education might lead me to a job flipping burgers, I know it was exactly what I was supposed to be doing for the past four years. It meant a lot to me to be able to sit there with the dancers and faculty that have become my family and be recognized together.

I think that graduating has helped Bret and I realize not only what a fabulous opportunity we have had to attend BYU but also what great parents we have. They both came to support us in graduating, but really they've been supporting us all along. We love them so much. It was a fun time to have Bret's parents play games and sleep over at our (one-bedroom) apartment and to go out to eat with my parents and have a great conversation. We are truly blessed.

Armed with our buttons and diplomas, we are excited for all the adventures that lie ahead for us.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Button, button, who's got the button?

Today is the first school-day that I am NOT student teaching. I am bored. I read, did the dishes (for an hour), did some laundry, and ran errands for a few hours. Included in those errands was going to 6+ stores looking for the "perfect" buttons for the pillowcases I'm sewing. I've never even seen the buttons I'm searching for. My mom described them as the "new, trendy thing" for crafters, but aparently Provo is not very trendy because I can't find theme ANYWHERE. Hence the title, "Button, button, who's got the button." I'm dying to know who's got the buttons.
Well, now I'm back at home. It's 5:00 and I've already made and eaten dinner (by myself because Bret has chained himself to a desk somewhere in the dungeon of the SWKT studying for his history final) and I am now trying to decide which option sounds better... job searching (which I try every day in vain), doing more dishes, folding more laundry, cleaning the blinds, or sitting here doing nothing. Sigh. I almost wish I had lessons to plan!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Perfection: a process

I just wanted to share a quick thought that was given in our Sacrament Meeting today. First of all, I so appreciate all the effort that is put into church meetings by leaders and members alike. Our Sacrament Meeting was especially inspiring today, with 2 songs by the choir, one beautiful duet by husband and wife, and three well-prepapred talks. I was especially impressed by our last speaker, Joe Hill, who spoke with such sincerity and humility that I was truly touched by his thoughts. He began his talk with this quote by Elder Eyring: "We share a desire to become better than we are." I think this was something that Heavenly Father wanted me to hear today. Recently I have been frustrted by my flaws... I have so many. I set goals to improve certain habits or to gain a new skill and I fail. I start over. I fail again. Even with simple things like job searching I feel like I am constantly reminded of what I am NOT qualified to do, what I DON'T know, and what I HAVEN'T experienced. At the same time I look around and see all my friends and family having great success in all aspects of their life. The accounting major friend is suddenly an extremely eloquent and witty writer, quoting conference talks, starting an exercise program, getting internships with big companies. The mom of a one-year-old is sewing cute baby clothes and saving major money with an intense couponing routine while staying in perfect shape and learning how to make delicious bread for her husband. I am surrounded by women who can do it all and I feel like I can do so little. BUT... "We share a desire to become better than we are." No matter where I am or where you are we both want to improve ourselves. None of us will ever be truly satisfied where we are because we will never be perfect yet we are commanded to "be ye therefore perfect." I am grateful for the reminder that we are all in the process of perfection together and that none of us is alone. We have eachother as motivators and mentors, as helping hands, as comfortors. We also have a Perfect Savior whose example we can follow and whose hands are always outstretched toward us.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Feeling Inspired

Yesterday was my last day of school... EVER. My final day of student teaching went out with a bang and for the first time in my college experience I have NO FINALS, so life is good! Bret and I will be moving to San Angelo, Texas in a month and I keep wondering what in the world I'm going to do for the next few weeks before the move. Well today my friend Lauren convinced me to start a blog. It would give me something to do and provide away for us to keep in touch when we move away. So right now I'm feeling inspired. We'll see how long it lasts.

The question is... what are you supposed to blog about? I should have been blogging during my student teaching because I would have had a whole bucket-load of entertaining stories to tell. It was a fantastic experience. As a fellow student teacher said, "It was everything I expected and nothing I expected." An oxymoron that truly fits. Well its too late to share all those stories, but I can share the funny story that is being created right before my eyes.

I am sitting on the couch doing one of the most entertaining things ever: watching Bret watch basketball. For those of you who think he is calm and quiet... come join me. Currently he's singing "Na na na na... Hey hey hey... Goodbye" to the Nuggets player going to sit on the bench. A few seconds ago he was giving Korriver (sp?) pointers on how to guard his opponent. Let me quote some of the ongoing narrative for you, "I can play defense better than that! Korriver... what are you DOING? Why am I watching this? Why am I watching this? I already knew we were going to loose. Korriever, you've GOT to do better than that. If someone's shooting the lights out you've gotta get in their FACE. This is so frustrating." Now he's got his hands up in the air, head thrown back, moaning about how many of our head players are out of the game. If you think watching the Jazz is entertaining I can assure you that it is not quite as entertaining as watching Bret watch the Jazz.