Saturday, September 1, 2012

I'm tired

....and it's only been one week of getting back into my routine of teaching, grad school, homework, etc.  I don't remember EVER feeling this tired.  Is this a sign that I'm getting old?

Friday, August 17, 2012

In a quick nutshell..

The last several weeks have been a blur as my summer has been wrapping up.  Celebrating Bryce's birthday 3 weekends in a row with Neal Diamond, dinners and a comedy club, and a weekend trip to Jackson Hole last weekend.  Since then, I have lived and breathed school, getting my classroom ready.  I love this time of year where I prepare for another year of teaching, ready for new changes, new students, and am always wanting to change things around in my classroom.  This year is no exception-I rearranged my whole room, causing me to have to organize and dejunk quite a bit, which is a good thing but has kept me extremely busy!  I'm LOVING how my room is turning out, though!   Here are a few pictures taken from this past week.  I didn't take a picture of my small group area or tables yet, they aren't ready!

My math manipulatives, organized and labeled for my students to use!
My whole group area/SMART board
My new reference "wall"
One view of my classroom library.  Love my new red rug from IKEA, bean bag chairs and pillows!
Another view of my classroom library.  Notice the cute tissue pom-poms.  Two of Bryce's nieces came and helped me in my classroom and helped me make these.  Darling huh?!
The two things that get me through most things in life:  Chili's chips and salsa, and Sonic's blue coconut diet coke!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

30 Reasons Why I'm Proud To Be Me-#8

I haven't done one of these for a while, and I have to get 30 in before February 18th!  So reason number 8 of why I think being me is so fantastic- How much fun I love to have.  I'm all about trying new things and experiences and they always turn out to be so fun!  My fun for tonight?  Watching Neal Diamond in concert.  Yeah, buddy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I've had a busy few weeks with getting some new things in my life that I absolutely love!  My MacBook that I have had for over 3 years had an issue with the video card.  I took it in to the Apple store and decided that I should just get a new MacBook Air because who knows if putting the money into fixing it will benefit if something else would happen.  I use my laptop for EVERYTHING!  It goes with me pretty much anywhere:  school, campus, Salt Lake.  I do so much work on my computer that I felt like I definitely got my money worth with all the school activities I created, with how many papers I typed, etc.  I am in LOVE with my MacBook Air.  It is thin and weighs like two pounds. 

I have also been looking for a cute cruiser bike to stroll around Logan in, but haven't been able to find one for cheap.  My good friend told me about one sold at a yard sale for cheap...and it's purple, the best color ever!  I picked it up today and I LOVE it!!  It's so cute!

And last, but by far not least, I got a brand spankin' new car!  I've been researching cars for the last month or so, and knew I wanted a Mazda 3 because it's a very cute car and fits my needs.  I was planning on buying one in October because that's when my credit card would be paid off, so I could afford car payments, something I haven't had in about 4 years!  Bryce suggested going to a dealer to research new and used cars, get my questions answered and get a feel for the car, so I agreed.  I wasn't expecting to walk out with a new car yet!  But the deal was too good to pass off.  I had to say goodbye to my Cord, the car that I have had over the past 8 years of my life.  We got through a lot together-starting my teaching career and taking me back and forth from Logan to Tremonton for my job, moving to Denver and driving back and forth from Colorado to Utah a few times, road trips to San Diego, Spokane, Las Vegas, and all over Utah.  I basically live in Salt Lake on weekends now and it got me through lots of weekend trips back and forth from Salt Lake to Logan.  I put over 150,000 miles on that car and it worked like a charm.  But it was time for an upgrade.  They let me trade in my car for a good deal as a down payment, and they were also doing a deal that I could wait 90 days to make my first payment, which fit perfectly into October being the time to first pay. It had 8 miles on it, has power locks and windows (something I have never had!), and key less entry.  It's black, shiny and SOO cute!  I will post an actual picture of it when I quit being lazy and send it from my phone to my computer.  I'm excited to see what adventures I have in my new car!  I'm also on the hunt for a good name for my car.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

To Portland, St. George, and Back!

This past weekend, I took a quick trip to Portland, a city I have never been to before.  I'm always a huge fan of going to new places and seeing and experiencing new things, especially food!  My dear friend Ellen recently received her Master's Degree from the University of Oregon (Yay Ellen!) and asked me to come up and drive back to St. George with her.  I've always wanted to see Portland, and summer is the perfect time to travel, so I agreed.  We spent a few hours in Portland-beautiful and green!  We ate at Old Town Pizza-yummy, but super creepy bathroom; walked on the river walk and saw some interesting people, and Ellen drove me by the Portland temple-stunning.  Then we headed to Eugene, where she lived.  She took me up to the University of Oregon, I instantly fell in love with the education building.  If I were to ever be crazy enough to get my PhD, I would want to get it there just for the sheer fact that the building is adorable!  The Olympic track and field tryouts were going on in the stadium, how awesome is that?!  I then helped her clean and pack her car, ate some VooDoo doughnuts (LOVED IT!) and we headed out the next morning at 6:30 AM.  We drove for about 17 hours-eating, sleeping, talking, laughing, eating and finally made it to St. George.  The next day, let's just say I slept for most of the day, and it felt fantastic!

On Monday, we drove from St. George to Salt Lake, where I stayed for a fun fourth of July celebration with my favorite person.  So in 3 days time I went from Portland, to Eugene, to St. George to Salt Lake.  Not too shabby!  I loved catching up with Ellen and seeing a part of the world I haven't seen before.  I look forward to going back to Portland someday and spending lots of time exploring the city even more!

Monday, June 25, 2012

All the Time in the World

Now that my research class is over (I survived, with an A on top of survival!), I have lots more free time on my hands.  I know, jealous, right?  It can be both good and bad.  I'm loving sleeping in, reading more non-textbook books, catching up on teaching blogs and making a HUGE list of ideas that I want to add/change in my classroom (I've got teaching on the brain 24/7, so sadly, even in summer, I can't shut my mind off from it, and sometimes stay up 'til the wee hours of the morning looking up teaching ideas.  Obsessed much?), watching several episodes of Downton Abbey (LOVE IT!), and making a few extra dollars by ChaCha, and a new one that I just signed up for called Text Broker.  If you don't know what either of these are, I suggest Google!  I would like a bit more fun money in my life.  As you all know, I am in love with my job as a first grade teacher, but I sadly spend a lot of my own money on my classroom and supplies, and don't make a lot of money as it is.  It's all good in the hood because I'm single and don't have a family to support (yet?) but sometime in the future I hope for that to happen, and want to save as much money as possible, while still having some money left over for fun.  Who's with me?!

I don't post as many pictures as I would like, because let's face it, I'm not a photographer and don't have to be one when everyone else in my life is, and I can just borrow/steal their photos!  I finally got around to getting these pictures from Bryce from our trip to Disneyland back in February when I celebrated turning 30.  Aren't we presh!?  I just love spending time with this guy, he sure knows how to make me laugh and how to make me happy.  Friends like that are the greatest in the world!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Research Proposal=DONE!

I just completed on Sunday the hardest assignment I have been given yet in Grad School.  I had to write a research proposal, as if I was going to present to a board my proposal for my thesis.  You see, at USU, for my major, you can choose 3 plans to get your Masters.  Plan A, a thesis.  Plan B, a project.  Plan C, taking a few extra courses and writing an exit paper and have an exit interview.  This girl right here is NOT about big projects, big papers, etc. etc. so I of course went with Plan C. I had no idea that one of the classes in Plan C would be to write a proposal, as in getting my thesis.  My proposal is done!  And on Monday, my professor told the class, "I knew this class was exceptional, but I've never had a student get their proposal done two weeks before the due date."  He then proceeds to show my work, have me talk about what I liked, what was the hardest part, etc. and then had everyone clap for me!  It was a proud but embarrassing moment for me.

I really am proud of the hard work I put into this proposal.  It came out to be 27 pages and might actually be something I do in my teaching.  I wanted to research more how parents could teach fluency strategies at home because I feel like what I'm doing in school isn't enough for a small group of students who have isolated skills down (phonics patterns, high frequency words, multisllyabic words) but still can't read too fast.  I'm super curious how the results would be.

Anyway, that's what I have been working on since my teaching job got out for the summer.  The class ends next week, so I am looking forward to having a little time off to check things off my teaching goal list, get more reading in, and even some exercise!  Please Bless!

Friday, June 1, 2012

30 Reasons Why I'm Proud to be Me-#7

I find the beauty in others and in things so easily, and I am always open to seeing that beauty.  It's around me on a daily basis, and I take the time to seek for it in everyone and in everything! 

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Today has been an emotional day for me.  Not emotional in the sense of tears, but it's hard for me to explain how I have felt.  It was the last day of the school year with an amazing group of kids that I will miss dearly!  When you spend so much time with little people, working so hard together to achieve goals and seeing them accomplish those goals, you come to love them in a way that is so different from other people in your life.  And then after spending 180 school days together, for 6 plus hours each day, you have to say goodbye to those special little friends who bring you so much joy in seeing their growth?  It pulls my heart out a little bit.  I spend more time with my first graders than anyone else in my life and it's like they become my 21 little best friends for the year.  I'm excited for the summer, I'm excited for them to go on and learn more with new teachers but it's always hard for me to change things.

This year seems more different in terms of being more emotional for me than usual, and after talking to a very good friend about it, it's probably a reflection of where I'm at in my life right now in terms of not having many friends left in Logan that I spend time with consistently.  Many people in my life have moved on.  Don't get me wrong, I love that they have and I love seeing my friends get married, having children, etc. etc. But at times I feel that I'm still at the same place I was, and I have really thrown myself into my job.  So having my little first graders move on too? Oh man!  My emotions are all over the place.  Is this even making sense?!

Anyway, here's to having a wonderful year, here's to having an awesome summer of learning and growth for myself, and hope for my new group of first graders in the fall!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who Does That?!

I am blogging tonight to confess something...I get emotionally attached to television characters and I am currently in the grieving process after watching my all time favorite TV show, Grey's Anatomy.  Tonight was a very difficult and emotional episode, and I am going to say it.   I feel like it changed me!  Typing this, I feel a little obsessed and on the crazy side!  Do I invest so much of my time watching these shows only to get hurt?  Does this compare to real life and my I get emotionally attached to people as well, or just made up people?!  Something to think about.  I have now gone through the denial stage, I went through a stint of anger, and now I'm just experiencing sadness, all within the last few hours.  I'll let you know when I have reached acceptance!

Monday, May 7, 2012

And So Are The Days of My LIfe...

Oh.My.Word.  I don't think I have felt this exhausted since....I don't know!  Today I really felt the effects of 21 first graders ready for summer.  It took every ounce of my energy to keep them learning, focused, and able to finish their work.  If the next 17 days are going to be as tiring as they were today, I might drop dead of exhaustion by May 31.  How do you mothers do it nonstop?!  Kudos to you!  I absolutely love my job, but not on days like today!

Immediately after school, I had to hurry back over to Logan to start my new summer class.  It's a research class, one that I have been dreading because the word research makes me want to go into hibernation mode and not come out of my cave.  But I need the learning and I'm grateful that I am able to continue to go to school and become better in all areas of my life. (And it helps me to keep going by reminding myself I will be done in December!)

The best thing happened this past weekend that made me so happy.  My brother Mick and his wife Jen had their fourth baby girl!  Since they had 3 girls already, they decided to keep this one a surprise.  I had a dream last week it was going to be a boy, but I dreamed wrong!  She is beautiful and the second I saw her I fell in love.  I'm a proud aunt for the 11th time, and I love every single one of them!   Yay for life!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Hold up..this new blog set up is super confusing!  It might make me want to post even less than I already do.  Who has time to learn a new format?  I HATE change..every time Facebook changes their set up, I have a minor meltdown because it's a sign of change.  What does that say about bigger changes in my life?  Aahh!

Update:  I'm set to graduate from USU in December with my Masters!  I just finished spring semester, and start summer semester next Monday so I get a few days off with no homework!  I have four classes left-2 in the summer, 2 in the fall.  Can I make it?  I hope so!

Only 20 days of teaching left for this school year.  I can't believe how fast this year has gone.  I have really really loved this group of first graders, and I am so proud for how hard they have worked.  I get sad thinking of moving them on to second grade, but I think they are ready!

I weighed in today, and have now lost a total of 24.6 close to my next goal of 25 pounds gone!  Yay!  I can't believe how much I have lost.  I don't really see it a lot in myself because I still have a ways to go but it's such a great start and I love that I'm keeping with it.

Speaking of goals..I'm slowly working on my thirty while thirty goals.  I've been flossing more often (I went to the dentist last week and the hygienist commented on it!), I'm almost done with all 8 seasons of 24, I've been writing on my blog more often, etc. etc.

My life is pretty boring but I am happy and busy and loving life at the current moment!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

30 Reasons Why I'm Proud To Be Me-#6

If my most basic needs are met, I am the happiest person to be around. I need to have sleep, food, and to not be cold in order to be happy. If any of these are lacking, than the bratty Tawna comes out. But how simple it is to fix that brattiness by feeding me, giving me time to sleep, or giving me a blanket. I guess in that way I am very childlike. So simple, yet so important! So next time you see me, if I'm not my usual chipper self, provide me with a blanket, a Jimmy Johns sandwich (and blue coconut diet coke), and a place to sleep and just like that, I will be back to normal! ;)

Monday, April 16, 2012

5 things I'm grateful for today

1. Diet coke. Got me through a long teaching day with very little sleep, as well as a presentation (which I ROCKED!) in my advanced comprehension class tonight
2. A good roommate-she brought me dinner while I worked on said presentation before class. She's so good to me!
3. Funny people-love it when people make me laugh, regardless of how tired and stress I am. It fixes it for the time being!
4. Technology-the ability to get so much accomplished and communicated so quickly!
5. Jack Bauer on 24. I watch him every morning as I get ready for the day, and most nights as I work on falling asleep. There have been many a night that I dream about him. He is so real to me, and I secretly want to write his name in to vote for him as President! I wonder if anyone else has done that...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Don't Want To..

Do you ever have those moments when you just really, really, really don't want to do certain things but you know you have to just do them? You hold it off until the last possible second and then just force yourself to? Tonight I'm feeling that way...about homework, about doing more laundry, and most of all, cleaning my pet fish, Eatee's, bowl. I dread doing this more than I dread just about anything else in my life. It's up there with ironing and sewing, two of the worst things that were ever invented. I love my fish with all my heart, that girl is a survivor. She's been through a lot in her long year and a half fish life. A few moves, me almost having her go down the disposal (TRAUMATIZED ME!) and so on. But she has continued to fight through it all so she can make me happy. I love feeding her and talking to her in the morning as I make my breakfast, when I get home from work/school, and right before I go to bed. Just ask my roommates, I even talk baby to her and have several nicknames. Pretty much she means a lot to me! So my dread of cleaning her bowl is my deep fear that I will kill her because I can't imagine not having her in my daily life! Wish me luck that I can make it through another fish bowl cleaning....

Eatee girl looks so little here! This was taken just right after I got her.
I swear she has tripled in size!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

30 Reasons Why I'm Proud To Be Me-#5

I have a contagious laugh that makes others happy! I love when I notice it out of the corner of my eye..something will make me laugh hard, and people around me will instantly smile or start laughing because of my laugh. So grateful I have that gift! There are quite a few people in my extended family who had laughs like that and I like to think I inherited that from them. So grateful for my heritage!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Proudly Present....

My list of 30 goals to accomplish while I am 30 years old! Any other suggestions you think I should add to this awesome list? I'm going to work hard!!

Tawna’s 30 in 30

Exercise at least 3 days per week
Run more and possibly train for another half marathon
Weight watchers meeting until I get to a healthy weight
Drink more water!
Read at least 5 books that are not textbooks/teacher books
get my Master’s degree
Write weekly in journal/blog
Finish the book of mormon
Write to 30 people in my life and tell them why I love them
meditate weekly
cook a healthy meal at least twice a month
Pay off credit card
Start a roth IRA
build up savings
gratitude letter, card, email at least once a month
Finish memorizing We Didn’t Start the Fire
Eat in a restaurant alone
Attend a concert
Finish Les Miserables
Christmas gifts for child in need
Fun Vacation-DONE! Birthday in Disneyland!
pay tithing every month
Go somewhere new in Utah that I’ve never been before.
Watch a trilogy all in one day
Watch all the seasons of 24
See a new Broadway show
Go zip lining
Floss every day
go fast on an alpine slide
I will list 30 reasons why I am proud of the last 30 years of my life.
Become a True Aggie.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good Day!

I reached my first big milestone in my weight loss journey. I have lost 20 pounds!! On to my next goal on the journey, 25 pounds. I'm feeling great!

Monday, March 19, 2012

30 Reasons why I'm Proud to Be Me-#4

I don't have much to write about with new things in my life..same old, same old! So here's another quick post about me being reflective of the last 30 years of my life and what I have learned about myself. Maybe my posterity will read this someday, right?! If not, it's still a reminder for me to look back at, as my journal.

I am proud of the fact that I am a dependable person, sometimes to a fault. People know they can depend on me. When they ask me to do something, I do it. If it's not asked of me, but I know it needs to be done, I do it. As much as this can stress me out, it is also a blessing because it's required of me often in my job, so I'm grateful that I'm aware of what needs to be done and I do it.

Quick and easy! As a fun side note, I got to go to another Jazz game with Bryce on Saturday. He has awesome season tickets, so I love when I get to go. It was a great game that went into overtime. My boyfriend, Millsap, didn't play too well during the regular game, but in overtime he stepped it up and helped the Jazz get another victory! Go Jazz! Go Millsap (love your face!)