Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

I LOVE Christmas time! It's exhausting and tiring...yet at the same time so fulfilling!

I enjoyed a very blessed and Christmas-filled weekend. This weekend's blessings included:

~Going to the Singing Christmas Tree on Friday night. This is the start of Christmas to me. Layton and I enjoyed a candy cane while we watched the tree. This is our little tradition.


~Decorating our house for Christmas. I am so blessed to own a beautiful house that I can decorate and put a big tree in for Christmas. We spent the majority of the day decorating the house, picking out our tree and staying up pretty late decorating it and reading by the fire.

I am blessed beyond measure with what God has given me!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I had a GREAT day today! I slept in, got up and made us pumpkin pancakes, we went on a walk, and then we headed over to my parent's house for a VERY loud and fun Thanksgiving. Every year we go around and share what we're thankful for. This year Layton was thankful for his job! In a time where many people are unemployed and are struggling to make a living, we truly are blessed that he has remained busy! We are blessed that he continues to get work!!

I was thankful for, and today's blessing is...GROWTH! I truly am thankful for the growth that I know God has been allowing me to go through during the past year. I am thankful for the growth that I've seen in the relationships in my life. I am thankful for the growth that I am starting to see in who God truly wants me to be as a person. I am also thankful for the physical growth that God has brought into my life.

I am also thankful and truly blessed to call these wonderful people my FAMILY!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My passion...

Today's blessing is the passion that God has given me for photography.

About 2 years ago I started realizing that I had a love for taking photos. It's grown over the last 2 years and I'm trying to make a business out of it. Slowly but surely I'm getting experience under my belt.

I LOVE getting to capture life. I love helping
people freeze their memories. Here is one reason why I love photography life SO MUCH...

Thursday, November 12, 2009


It seems like the idea of forgiveness is all around me lately. It seems like myself, or almost everyone I know is having to deal with issues of forgiveness, or lack thereof, towards a friend, former friend, or family member. I've heard many a sermon on forgiveness in the last few months. It wasn't until today, when I was listening to another pastor talk about forgiveness in middle school chapel that I thought, "Uh, God must really be trying to teach me something." I'm hoping that as I go through this learning process that maybe God will use my experiences to help those around me.

I'm writing this blog not caring who may read it or make fun of me for it. That's part of the forgiving process. You may make fun, tease, or mock me...but I'm choosing to forgive you anyway, even if you don't ask for it!

Did you know that the word "unforgiveness" isn't in the dictionary? Spell check flags this word because it ISN'T A WORD!! That's mind boggling to me. Forget about the fact that as Christians we are supposed to follow Jesus' example and forgive others. Why should we harbor "unforgiveness" towards others if there isn't even a definition for the word?!?!

Mark 11:25 gives us a specific word about forgiveness. It says, "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." This is a staggering scripture to me! If we want God to forgive us of the myriad of sins that we've committed, we HAVE TO forgive those who have sinned against us. It is commanded of us. If we want to come before our heavenly father with pure, clean hearts...we have to forgive!! This scripture DOES NOT say that we can forgive those people who wronged us WHEN they apologize. I think we often get caught up on this. We say to ourselves, when they apologize...I'll forgive them. GET OVER IT!!! Don't give the devil another moment of satisfaction by thinking about what that person did to you last week, 6 months ago, or 10 years ago. Yes, they may have spoken horrible things about you, they may have used you, they may have "kicked you to the curb." OH WELL!! That person most likely does not even want to apologize to you, so forgive them and move one! Don't get me wrong...when I'm pointing a finger at you there are 4 fingers pointing back at me! I needed to write this tonight so that I could take a dose of my own medicine.

I need to let myself out of the prison of "unforgiveness." To forgive is to set a prisoner free and to discover that prisoner was you. By not forgiving someone you end up locking yourself up in an emotional prison that makes it hard for the other people in your life to even be around you. It creates so much drama that people often start dreading having a conversation with you because they're afraid you're going to bring up that "unforgiveness." It also forms a bond between you and that person that you're not forgiving. When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free!!

Ghandi said, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong." I ask you, do you want to be considered weak or strong? Do you want to harbor feelings of "unforgiveness" towards another person, hindering yourself from growing closer to your heavenly father and stunting the other relationships in your life. Or do you want to be STRONG? Living an amazing life and having fulfilling and meaningful relationships with those who truly want to be around you.

This picture is a good example of how I want my soul and heart to feel and of how I want others to see me..clean, free, pure, happy and reflective of God's amazing beauty!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What a beautiful day...

I was so excited to have today off. I've been getting so burnt out lately at work, that it was such a nice treat to have a day off in the middle of the week. Today was very busy, yet very relaxing at the same time

I slept in until 9:30. I guess I needed to catch up on my sleep. I started my morning off by enjoying my coffee w/ pumpkin spice creamer and my home made banana bread on the couch while I caught up on all of my recorded tv shows. Layton went and got me LaBou for lunch and then I lay in bed and read for awhile. I decided to get up and go for a little photo walk around my neighborhood. I've been admiring the GORGEOUS trees lately, so I just had to capture a few. After my walk I went to yoga w/ my sis-in-law and then I stopped by the chiropractor and picked up dinner at I Love Teriyaki on my way home. Now I'm just relaxing on the couch and gearing up for my last 2 days of work this week.

Today's highlight of the day and DEFINITELY today's blessing is that I got an email from a book publisher!! They're going to use one of my photos from when we were
in Chicago in a book about Chicago landmarks. They're going to juxtapose it against a photo of the same area in the 1940's! This is actually going to be my 2nd photo that is in a published book. I took a headshot for a friend awhile back that is going to be on the back of his book! I feel so blessed that God is allowing me to successful in my dream that I'm pursuing.

I had a great day and I'm looking forward to the two photo shoots that I'm doing this weekend.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I <3 YOGA!

I was just laying on the couch thinking..."I feel great!" I couldn't say that 3 years ago. 3 years ago this coming Thanksgiving I could barely walk. I was diagnosed with a bulging disc and my body felt like an 80 year olds. Layton had to help me into & out of bed, he had to help me put my pants on and he tied my shoes for me. I was wearing a back brace and pretty much the only thing that helped me get through the day was Vicodin and physical theraphy. Chronic pain SUCKS!! I got depressed and couldn't enjoy life very much.

About 2 years ago I realized that I could not live my life that way forever. I needed to do something to change the way I was feeling. I slowly got back into exercising again. Then I started working with a personal trainer at my gym. I started walking/running almost everyday. Now I've been doing yoga for almost 8 months and I feel fantastic. Yes...I have days where I have some pain in my back, but nothing like the searing and burning pain that used to radiate down my right leg, making my entire foot numb.

I am feeling fabulous today because I got off of my rear and I did something about it!!

Today's blessing: NO PAIN & YOGA!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Carving with Hannah

I used to have a tradition with a friend for the last few years of carving pumpkins around Halloween time. Well...for obvious reasons, that tradition is no longer in existence.

However, I was blessed this year to carve pumpkins with my beautiful friend Hannah. We spent a relaxing and great evening together. I was able to see her new apartment and she baked a cake while we sat around chatting. Then we carved our pumpkins while we waited for her husband to come home and make us dinner. It was a refreshing and fulfilling time spent with a woman that I am so grateful to call my friend.

Hannah and I met a few years ago through a website and have quite a lot in common. I'm so blessed that we're "Internet friends."

Love you Hannah!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Exploring with Layton

I can't tell you how proud I am of my husband and a new hobby that he's recently taken up. He came to me a few months ago and said that he wanted to start backpacking. At first I was really unsure about him doing this. I let me worry get the best of me and I started picturing him getting lost or really hurt and never coming home. I didn't want to let me worry stop him from doing something that he really wanted to do. He did what he always does...he took extra measures to make sure that I felt good about what he was doing. He started reading books about hiking and backpacking, he took a GPS class at REI so he'd know how to properly use his GPS. Before he left the first time with his brother he provided me with the GPS coordinates that they'd be using. He prepared himself and made it so that I really couldn't be worried about him while he was out in the middle of nowhere.

All that to say...he talked me into going on a day hike with him yesterday. Right now my back can't physically handle carrying a pack and sleeping on the ground, otherwise I would have loved to have done an overnight trip with him. However, it is strong enough for me to do Tree Pose on top of a very high rock :)

We went up into Tahoe National Forest, where he'd previously gone backpacking with his brother. We packed the backpack with lunch, snacks, TONS of water, toilet paper, and a few other essentials. I wore quite a few layers of clothes because it has snowed up there just a few days ago.

This was such a FUN experience for me. I had never done anything like it. I had never walked out into the middle of nowhere...completely surrounded my God's wonderful creation...leaving the civilized world behind. About 5 minutes into the trail and the noise of the traffic on I80 totally disappered. All I could hear was the wind blowing through the trees, songs of beautiful birds all around me, and the occasional conversation between Layton and myself. We hiked up to the top of "the hill," which was actually about 8,000 ft elevation. It was gorgeous and freezing up on top of that mountain. Overall, we hiked about 6 miles. We stopped at a hut called "The Peter Grubb Hut." This hut is a place where hikers and skiers can stop if they are stranded. It provides shelter and a warm place to sleep. It was kinda creepy. It reminded me of something that would be in The Blair Witch Project. We ate lunch sitting outside the hut and I had to use the DISGUSTING out house. At least I got to wash my hands with biodegradable soap that Layton brought along! It was all part of the experience. We then turned around and went back on the trail the way we came.

I am so glad that Layton asked me to do something with him that is outside of my comfort zone. Like I said before, I am so proud of my husband for venturing out of his comfort zone too and finding a hobby that isn't "the usual" for him. I really enjoy seeing him enjoy something so much, and he's spent some quality time with his brother and a close friend in the process.

Yesterday was truly a day that I will not forget. At one point we stopped because the wind was blowing so much through the trees. I looked up at trees that were SO TALL and I couldn't help but close my eyes and think how amazing my God is that he created such beauty. I sat there with my eyes closed, listening to the trees blow, and I was grateful for such an amazing day spent with my husband.

We've already started looking at hiking boots for me :) I'm hoping that in a few years my back will be strong enough to carry a backpack and to sleep on the ground. That way I can enjoy an overnight backpacking trip with Layton!

Until then...yesterday's blessing was spending 4 quality hours with Layton out in the middle of nowhere, enjoying God's amazing and breathtaking creation!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


This may be a jumble of words and thoughts, but I just had to get it out.

I was thinking tonight while I was soaking in my tub about life's blessings. I was thinking about a children's book that I used to read about a character named Ramona and she would always have a pity party for herself. Right in the middle of my tub I was starting to have a pity party, just like Ramona. I was starting to feel kind of bad for myself, wondering why...when I heard God say to me, "YOU ARE BLESSED! Yeah, you may have people that choose to not be in your life. Yeah, you may have pain in your back A LOT! Yeah, may be SO EXTREMELY tired doing your job everyday...


You have people that truly care about you. People that call you, text you, set up dinner/lunch dates with you, an amazing and devoted husband that truly has your best interests at heart, and at least you can get out of bed everyday and at least you have a paying job!"

I felt a check in my spirit. Why do I complain to myself in my head, and to others out loud? Why can I not see the TREMENDOUS amounts of blessing that surround me everyday? Why can I not see past the hurt and the rejection?

I CAN! And I WILL see past all of that! If not now, when? I choose to see past the pity party and to look God's blessing head on in the face. I choose to see that I am an amazing person and deserve to be treated that why by all who are in my life. I will embrace those blessings that God has placed in my life and I will allow them to make me prosper. I will no longer allow the enemy to place obstacles in my way, be it through people or things. Those things no longer have control over my life!

I invite you to follow me in this journey and maybe you'll learn a little about yourself too!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Surviving the storm of bitterness and resentment

I'm going to stray from my blessings blog for one day. I'm not going to rant and rave though about things that bug me. I'm going to write about something that I've really been learning over the last few months and I hope that maybe others can benefit from what I've learned.
I heard a pastor speak about this so I'm going to use a lot of his words and interject some of my own too.

Life isn't fair. People that you are the closest too are often the ones that hurt you the most. I was recently hurt deeply by someone that I called my best friend. I realized today that I've been holding on to bitterness and resentment towards her for nearly 5 months. Having feelings of bitterness and resentment are not herfault. They are my own. Yes, I was mistreated and talked about, but I have chosen to have feelings of bitterness and resentment.

There can be many causes to the bitterness and resentment that we hold towards other people. Some of which are: 1) What people say about us and 2) What people do to us. Job is the PERFECT example!

There are many consequences to harboring bitterness and resentment towards another person. Some of which are: 1) Resentment is UNREASONABLE. Job 5:2 says "resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple." 2) Resentment is UNHELPFUL. Job 18:4 says, "YOU tear YOURSELF to pieces in your anger." Nowhere does that verse talk about the other person. I've realized that my resentment has caused issues in my life while this other person has gone on with hers. I am only causing myself harm by harboring resentment and bitterness. And 3) Resentment is UNHEALTHY. Job 21:23-25 says "One man dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease, his body well nourished, his bones rich with marrow. Another man dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good." WOW! I want to be the first of those two people. The one that lives to a ripe old age and has a happy and fulfilled life. I DO NOT want to be the 2nd of those two people. The one that has hatred and bitterness in their soul that ends up never being able to enjoy the good things in life. You only hurt yourself by being bitter towards another person. Studies have shown that a bitter spirit can create many health, emotional, and mental issue within a person's body.

THE GOOD NEWS IS...there are quite a few cures for bitterness and resentment also!! Some of which are: 1) Reveal your feelings. Talking to a trusted friend or even God is a good way to get your feelings out. 2) Release the offender. You'll never stop hurting until you learn to forgive. Forgiveness isn't saying that what the other person did was okay. The way that I was treated was not okay. However, there is still room for forgiveness. I need to let go of my desire to get justice or to make her person pay. I've come to realize that even though I may think that what I'm doing to get back at her is RIGHT, it isn't if it's causing pain, stress, or anxiety in my life. I need to let go of the strong hold that is in my life of unforgiveness towards her. I need to pray for her! Job's misery ended when he started to pray for his enemy. And 3) Refocus your heart. Changing your focus can do wonders. You can't always resist a feeling, but you can always replace that feeling.

I don't want to retire from life due to my bitterness and resentment. I don't want to miss out. I don't want my entire life consumed by getting back at her. Life is way too precious and way too short to worry about other people that have harmed you in some way. Forgive that person and let go of it! Trust God to help you give it up. Listen to Jesus' words in Luke 6:27-28, "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I've found that a lot of my daily blessings are my friends, my husband, or my family! Today's blessing is a friends...AGAIN!

It seems that I've had a really rough start to this school year. I've found myself often overwhelmed with the amount of classes that I have this year. More classes means more grading. I don't know how many teachers can say that they have friends that volunteer to come over and help with grading. I DO!!! I am so blessed by numerous friends that have helped me grade over the last few years. I had one friend that was supposed to come over tonight and help me grade but she couldn't make it, so I called Diane and she was more than willing to come over and help me! It's so amazing to have people in my life that are willing to shoulder some of my load.

Thank you Diane!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

How did I get so lucky?

Today's blessing is my AMAZING husband...YET AGAIN!!
When I got home from work today he informed me that he had bought me a little present. A few weeks ago my wallet was stolen and in it was a Starbucks gift card with about $50 left on it. So today he went and bought me a whole bunch of $5 Starbucks gift cards and he hid them all over the house for me find. I already have found 5 and he informs me that there are quite a few more to find. He said that every time I find one over the next few weeks that I should think of how much he loves me!

I decided that since he's been working SO HARD and SO MUCH this last week that I'd take him out on a date tonight. So I found a place in Placerville called Brick Oven Pub that has over 25 beers on tap. That equates to PURE BLISS for Layton :) We drove up the hill for a very yummy dinner!

After dinner we decided to read in bed and my AMAZING husband let me put a mud mask on his face. I promised no pictures, but I'm sure we looked cute laying next to each other in bed with mud masks on :)

I truly am blessed that I get to spend the rest of my life with someone that enjoys being with me. I know I lucky I am that I married someone that ENJOYS making me happy and in turn it makes me want to make him happy!

Monday, September 7, 2009

What a fabulous 3 day weekend we had!

We planned a little last minute trip up the coast to our favorite vacation spot, The Sea Ranch. Not many people know about this little hidden gem. If I could pick anywhere that's fairly inexpensive and close I would pick Sea Ranch. There is absolutely nothing to do and that's why we love it!
We took off Friday right after I got off of work and ended up getting to the house we rented at about 9:30. Of course we had to get in the hot tub and enjoy the sound of the crashing waves and the HUGE full moon that night.

Saturday morning we accidentally slept in until 11!! I guess we both needed to catch up on some sleep. Saturday's agenda consisted of drinking coffee on the front patio and reading. Going for a walk along the trails down to the beach where we had a little picnic lunch. We got in the hot tub and then showered before heading into the little town of Gualala to pick up our FAVORITE pizza. We ate pizza while we played Mexican Train and then hopped back in the hot tub before going to bed.

Sunday morning we got up and ate breakfast and read some more, played Mexican Train some more and went on a 5 mile walk on the trails that run along the coast. After our walk we ate lunch and then hopped in the hot tub before showering and heading back into Gualala to hit up one of the few dinner spots. After dinner I finished kicking Layton's butt at Mexican Train and then it was back into the hot tub and more reading before bed.

As you can see, we don't do all that much while vacationing in Sea Ranch. That's the reason why we go. We go to enjoy each other's company, to catch up on sleep and reading and relaxation. I love getting away from life, phones, computers, the Internet, etc and just spending one on one time laughing and dreaming with my husband. I always come back feeling refreshed and ready to go right back. Someday we'll own a house in Sea Ranch.

Last weekend's blessing: Spending one on one time with Layton enjoying each other's company.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's been awhile...

and I only have a few minutes. Life has been crazy the last few weeks with school starting, getting my wallet stolen and having to deal with that, LIFE, getting ready to go out of town this weekend, etc. I am enjoying being busy again and having a schedule.
I don't have much to write about today except that I talked to my best friend on the phone today for about an hour. It's probably been over a month since we've talked because she just moved to from Denver to Dallas and she started a new job. Plus I started back up at work today. I was just thinking yesterday that I needed a good 2 hour conversation with her just t
o vent about LIFE and she called me today. Our plan is to talk tomorrow again for about another hour. I just love how talking to her, even though I know she's thousands of miles away, cheers me up...lifts my spirits...helps clear my head...just makes for a better day all-around. I am so blessed to have had such an amazing woman in my life for the last 17 years. We've had our ups and downs, but she is a true friend that I know will always be in my life.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I was robbed!! pretty much sucked! My wallet and checkbook were stolen out of my purse. My purse wasn't left out in the open. On the contrary, it was LOCKED in the cupboard behind my desk in my LOCKED classroom!! I come and go out of my classroom all go to the bathroom, eat lunch, plus I have 2 other classes in another room. Apparently, whoever stole from me knew this and decided to use a key to get into my classroom and cupboard.

They were able to charge up some stuff at about 6 different places before I realized that it was gone around 3:45. I talked with security at the church and I will be filing a police report within the next few days. I also have to get a new drivers license, change my direct deposit at work, change my account at the yoga studio, and that doesn't count all of the phone calls that Layton has made and will make over the next few days.

I've never been stolen from before. It really is an AWFUL feeling being violated like that, especially in a place that you work in and feel so comfortable and safe at. While I was on the phone with my mom telling her what happened, she asked me this question, "What is the silver lining in this situation?" She's really good at asking me questions like that that make me think :)

Today's blessing/silver lining: Getting to replace my HORRID drivers license picture where I look about 15 years old...Getting a new wallet...Seeing how much my sweet husband cares for me. He ran around all evening canceling our account and cards while I got a much needed massage. He truly does love me!!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Be Content and Be Blessed...

I started this blog awhile ago to count my blessings. I decided to do this because I had started reading other people's blogs and I noticed that a lot of people use blogs to rant, to talk about what they don't like about the world or complain about what sucks in their lives. I've learned over the last few years that life isn't fair. Life often sucks. It often doesn't go the way that you want or plan.

Over the few years many people in my life, including myself, have had absolutely horrible things happen to them. Life hasn't happened just how they'd planned. My life hasn't unfolded just how I planned. About 2 years ago I was thrown for a loop in my marriage. I've also had very close friend leave my life. Those of you that know me well know the stories...I don't need to go into them. All of that to say that I've come to a realization in the last few months. LIFE IS NOT FAIR, especially when you compare your life to a life that someone else leads. Someone else's life is always going to look better. God does not want us comparing our lives to those around us. He wants us to be content with the trails that he has chosen for us. He wants us to learn from the decision and mistakes that we've made and to become a better person because of those decision and mistakes.

Today's blessing is my yoga class. I didn't know 5 months ago when I joined a yoga studio just how much it would change my life. It has helped me become a more spiritual and introspective person. It is helping me learn how to take care of MYSELF!! It has helped me pay attention to what's going on in my life and it is helping me learn how to be happy with ME! It's helped me not to compare myself to those around me, but to find MY EDGE.

I leave with today's very long quote. It's all about being content with yourself and with who GOD MADE YOU TO BE!!

"Someone will always be prettier. They will always be smarter. Their house will be bigger. They will drive a better car. Their children will do better in school, and their husband will fix more things around the house.

So let it go, and love you and your circumstances. Think about it: The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart. And the most highly favored woman on your job may be unable to have children. And the richest woman you know -- she's got the car, the house, the clothes might be lonely. And the word says if I have not Love, I am nothing.

So, again, love you. Love who you are right now and let God be your barometer.

Mirror Him. Look in the mirror in the morning and see how much of God you see. He's the only standard and even when you come up short; He will not leave you or forsake you.

You are too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.

The one who kneels to God can stand up to anything.

Winners make things happen. Losers let things happen.

To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world."

Be Blessed!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

5 years...

Today I started my 5th year of teaching. It is always a bitter-sweet moment to see summer go; knowing the blood, sweat, and tears that are going to come in the next 9 months of work. I usually get a little depressed at the beginning of the school year because I have so enjoyed the relaxing nature of summer.

I've decided this year to have a different outlook on my job starting this
year. I've decided to have joy in everything I do. I've decided to look at the bright side of things. I've decided to enjoy the talent and the gift that God has given me in being a teacher. I've decided to enjoy the little rug rats that He's placed in my care every single day. I've decided to look at my students as a gift from God, young adults that I can actually learned from.

I had a fabulous day today and it was so great to get texts messages/emails/messages from family and friends that care about how my first day of school went, that care about what goes on in my life each day. God has shown me so much over that the last few months that people care about me!

Today's blessing: Getting a huge hug from a former student and seeing a big smile and her face when she saw me. Those are the moments that really remind me why I'm a teacher.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Today's blessing is my wonderful mother! As usual, the first week back to work is quite an adjustment for me. It's difficult going from sleeping in and not doing much to getting up extremely early and using my brain non-stop all day!! Yesterday was also a really stressful day for both Layton and myself. I didn't sleep great last night either, so I am really exhausted today.

I had been in a meeting all morning and I got into my classroom around 11:00 and there was a card on my desk for me. I immediately recognized my mom's handwriting. She'd left me a cute card and a Startbucks gift card. She also wrote on my white board that my classroom looked great!
It was a nice little reminder right in the middle of my VERY LONG week that I am extremely loved by my mom and that I am thought about.


Monday, August 10, 2009

School starts again!!

Today was my first day back at work. Being a teacher is definitely an interesting job. It almost feels like you quit on the last day of school and then start a totally new job again 10 weeks later. New students....and after 5 years I'm still not teaching the same subjects!! I'm making lesson plans and creating assignments for 2 new classes this year! Sometimes I wonder why I was crazy enough to take on Advanced English for 8th grade and digital photography...PLUS helping out with Student Council. I need to be challenged though!!

I got up at 6AM and read my Bible as I ate my breakfast. I'm hoping to do this all school year! I sat through some meetings today and worked in my classroom a little bit. I got some interesting news from my boss, and I participated in a 3 hour student council meeting. By the time I got home I had been gone for more than 13 hours. I still had laundry to fold and my blog to write. All of that is definitely an adjustment after doing hardly anything for the last 10 weeks besides hanging out with my dogs and talking with Layton; however, my WONDERFULLY AMAZING husband surprised me with a Hoops and YoYo FAV...and a nice bottle of bubble on the counter when I got home. We sat for about and hour and discussed our day and played with the puppy. He sure knows how to take care of me :)

I have vowed to myself this school year to NOT complain and to take on the challenges that God has placed in my life. I DO NOT want to become a complacent Christian, friend, or person. I want to grow in my spiritual walk, in my career, and in the relationships that God has placed in my life. I want to make a difference in the people around me and in my student's lives. I want to MATTER!!

Today's blessing: Having an amazing job and working with amazing Christian people. Being blessed with people in my life that challenge me to grow and make me want to be more like Christ!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eight is great!

Yesterday Layton and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. As the saying goes "Time flies when you're having fun!" 
Looking back on the last 8 years of our marriage, I realize just
how much time has flownby.  We've bought 2 houses, traveled A TON, I graduated from college and started a new job, Layton started his own business, etc. Life has been fun with Layton by my side. I thank God every day for the incredible, intelligent, handsome, caring, ethical, giving, funny, sweet, generous, quirky man that I married.  I truly have been blessed to grow up with him over the last 8 years.  We were babies when we got married.  We really didn't know what we were getting into.  But we have made it work and we are committed to making it work for the next 50+ years.  

I was laying in the tub last night after our fabulous day of picnicking at a winery in Placerville and then having dinner at our usual anniversary spot, The Slocum House, when a little analogy popped into my head.  I can kind of relate our marriage to the tandem bike that Layton and I rode on our recent trip to Cape Cod.  That tandem bike was not easy to maneuver together. Sometimes we were quite wobbly, sometimes one person gave a little more than the other, sometimes the effort was equal, sometimes we had to get off of the bike and walk it for a ways because it was just too difficult, sometimes to road was VERY bumpy and sometimes is was smooth sailing; however, I look back on that bike ride and I remember the utter JOY that I felt when we were cruising along TOGETHER with the wind blowing through our hair and laughing. There have been many times over the last 8 years that have not been easy, but looking back I am grateful for EVERY SINGLE moment of my life with Layton.  I am grateful for the moments that have caused me to grow and I am grateful for the amazing man that God chose for me as my life partner.  

Here's to another 50+ years with Layton by my side.  

Obviously yesterday's blessing was celebrating 8 years of marriage to the man that I am 
SO VERY PROUD to call my husband.  He makes me feel special every day and I am SO BLESSED!!

Enjoy the 8 pictures from each year of our marriage.  

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Wedgie family trip

The Wedgeworth family took a little day trip to Lake Tahoe today.  For Father's Day we bought my father-in-law an hour kayaking trip on Lake Tahoe and most of the family went with him. Margaret and I saw the rest of the family off-Layton, Colby, David, Bridget, Magen and Josiah-and then we sat at a great restaurant on the lake called Captain Jon's.  We enjoyed some french fries while the rest of the fam enjoyed an hour out on the lake.  It was great getting to talk with my soon to be sis-in-law about life, love, and marriage.  After everyone went kayaking we hit up a yummy pizza place for lunch and then we hiked up to the AMAZING look-out point that gave us great views of the entire lake.  

When Layton and I first got married, we used to take a lot of vacations and trips with the Wedgeworth side of the family.  Over the last few years we haven't gone on a lot of trips or vacations with them.  Today made me realize how much I miss that.  It also made me realize how much I am TRULY blessed with an amazing in-law side of my family.  They love me deeply and accept me for who I am.  I am able to have fun and laugh with them and I REALLY enjoy being with them.  We had an AMAZING day together.  

After we got back from Tahoe, Layton and I bbq-ued and then sat and talked at the table together for awhile.  I love that I have a man in my life that challenges me to think, to questions, and to attempt to understand and not just to accept blindly.  

Today's blessing:  THE WEDGEWORTHS!!! I love them so much! 
Everyday's blessing:  The man that God blessed me with...
Layton Jaret Wedgeworth!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

God sure knows what He's doing...

...and sometimes I have to be reminded of that!

I've been feeling kinda ICK the last few days thanks to "girl stuff."  Today I was in a real funk because Layton left for Berkley around 12:30 and wasn't going to be home until midnight or later. I knew I was going to be home by myself ALL day and ALL night.  I was feeling kinda lonely and I've been bored since we got back from Boston.  I knew that lonely and bored meant that I would probably sit on the couch all day and that's not really good for me.  Thankfully, God did a few things to change my outlook on my day.   

I decided to go into work to get a few books to plan for the coming school year.  Unfortunately, I grabbed the wrong book but then some emergency reunion stuff came up to keep me busy for a few hours.  My wonderful friend Hannah, who is a great woman that I am so enjoying getting to know, also offered to come over and keep me company in the evening.  We watched "Bride Wars," ate some cake, and talked about her upcoming wedding and marriage.  I also read a another friend's blog about rejection and it REALLY spoke to me. All of that to say...

I'm glad that God takes care of me.  I'm glad that God KNEW that I didn't want to be lonely and bored today.  I'm glad that God put activities and people in my life to help make my day a little less lonely.  I'm glad that God provides, even in the little areas in my life.  And I'm GLAD that God is so FAITHFUL!  

Today's quote: Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.
Today's blessing: Knowing that God wants to take care of even the little things in my life.

Friday, July 17, 2009

He gives and takes away...

Job 1:21 says, "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the 

name of the LORD." 

In the last seven months the Lord has really been doing some work in my life, particularly in my friendships. I won't go into great detail, since those of you that know me well know the story.  God chose to remove a friendship from my life and that process was extremely painful. It has been quite an amazing learning process and know that God chose for me to go through this situation to only make me a better person. At first I really didn't understand why God was allowing me to go through this situation.  Feeling hurt and rejected by a person that you never though would treat you that way is extremely difficult. I am still dealing with the hurt months later...


About 7 months ago the Lord decided to place back in my life a very special person.  Because of 

various circumstances we had not spoken in a couple of years, but in December God allowed a healing in our friendship and I am so thankful that this wonderful girl is back in my life.  God knew that I was going to need her.  

I have really been learning over the past few months what friendship is.  I lost a friendship, but I gained another one back and I have seen so much support by the amazing women that God has placed in my life.  I have also learned that it's not the amount of friends that matters.  It's those deep meaningful friendships that really matter, not the trivial ones.

Samuel Johnston said: "True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and choice."

I am striving to surround myself with intelligent, integrous, honest, uplifting, and godly women.  God has given me quite a few gems and I am so proud that I can call these amazing women my friends.  Thank you so much girls for always being there, for the great moments and memories shared, and for the laughter and tears.  

Ludwig Van Beethoven said: "Never shall I forget the days I spent with you. Continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours." 

Today's blessing:  Obviously it's the five wonderful women that I am proud to call my closest and dearest friends.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our last day here...

Today has been a great day! We finished off the Freedom Trail today and threw in a few other fun activities.

The 15th stop on the Freedom Trail is the U.S.S. Constitution. We got there pretty much when the shipyard opened that way we wouldn't have to wait in too long
of a line. We waited for about an hour and then we took a really cool 30 minute long tour aboard the ship below her decks. It was amazing to see this ship that was built in the late 1700's. It is the oldest commissioned war ship still afloat! After touring the ship we hopped back on the Freedom Trail and made our way up to the Bunker Hill Monument. This granite monument is 221 feet tall and has 294 steps up to the top. We climbed all of them! The view was gorgeous from up that high.

After finishing up the Freedom Trail we stopped at an Irish pub for on the way back to our place. We walked back into Little Italy to grab some cannolis from a place called Mike's Pastry. I had heard from a few people that their cannolis were a "must have." After lunch we walked up to the Boston Public Garden and took a ride on the famous Swan Boats. It was kind silly, but something that I had wanted to do since we got here. There is a small duck pond in the middle of the gardens and there are these boats on them that are powered by a person in the back that sits in a large white swan. The person peddles you around the small pond for about 15 minutes. It was VERY fun and I'm glad we got to do it. After that we went back to our place and hung out on our patio for awhile and then we took a picnic dinner up to the Boston
Common to enjoy our last evening here in this beautiful and inspiring city. We watched some dogs play for awhile and enjoyed our picnic and our cannolis for dessert :)

Now we're just packing and cleaning up our place, making sure that we have everything to take home with us tomorrow. I remember this feeling when we were leaving Chicago...glad to be going back to my own bed & home, so glad that I get to see my kids again, glad to see and hug my family and friends...but VERY sad to leave such a great experience. I absolutely LOVE sharing these types of memories with Layton and experiencing these types of cities that just have a different type of "feel" and energy than back home. I have learned that I come away from these trips with a new inspiration and desire for my life.

I'm looking forward to finishing up my last few weeks of summer and preparing for yet ANOTHER new and challenging year of teaching. Just because we're leaving Boston does not mean that I'm done blogging our counting my blessings. I'll still be around :)

Today's total mileage: 5 miles
Today's bum quote: hmmm...fakdjfalksjkarf...allllslofiosl....hmmrph - Said by a crazy man walking by us on the street
Today's blessing: Sharing a picnic in the Common with Layton and saying goodbye to this beautiful and inspiring city.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bored with witches...

We took the commuter train into Salem today. We were both kinda bummed out by Salem. It seemed to be pretty hyped up on every website that we checked. It was actually a little boring, and the WAY over-played the whole witch thing. It was gorgeous day though, and the clouds were beautiful! We toured a really old house that is pretty much the only building left in Salem that has any connections to the witch trials. After that we walked up the pier a little bit in the harbor. We also took a tour of "The House of the Seven Gables." This is supposedly the house that Nathaniel Hawthorne's book is based off of. We also toured the little house that Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in.

We took the train back into Boston and I took a nap AGAIN! This has kind of become my afternoon tradition :) After my nap we walked into Little Italy to eat dinner. Layton read about this place online called Giacoma's. You usually have to wait in a really long line since they don't take reservations and it's a really tiny place. We decided to wait it out tonight. It was definitely worth it!! It was like the place we ate at last week with lots of Italian "Godfather" type people yelling and stuff!! It was so fun though. We laughed a lot and had a great dinner.

I'm ready for our last official day here of exploring this great and historical city!

Today's total mileage: 5 miles
Today's blessing: Enjoying yet another fabulous evening with Layton, laughing the night away!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Learning a little about history...

After thinking back on today, I've decided that I need to learn more about the history of our country when I get back home. I didn't much care for history when I was in high school. I thought it was pretty boring. I've learned so much while we've been here in Boston about the history of our country, and I've also learned how little I know about the men and women that gave their blood, sweat, and tears so that I could have my freedoms. Today we took the train into Quincy, Massachusetts, named after the grandfather of Abigail Adams. We took a 2 hour tour of the house where the 2nd President, John Adams was born. We also took a tour of where the 6th President, John Quincy Adams was born. AND we took a tour of the mansion and the library that the Adams family owned. I saw the chair that John Adams had a stroke in and a few
days later died in. We toured the church where John, Abigail, John Quincy, and his wife Louisa Catherine Adams where all buried. They are buried in a granite crypt that sits underneath the church. I touched the flag that flew above the White House when John Adams was President in 1791-1801!! It was all so amazing and fascinating to see!

After we got back from Quincy, we walked around so I could get more pictures of the doors of Beacon Hill and then I took a little nap. After my nap, we walked up to the Boston Common, which is kind of like Central Park. We walked around the Common for awhile and did a little people watching. I got some roasted nuts that I'd been wanting since we got here. Then we stopped off at a little pub that's up the street from our place called 21st Amendment. We shared a BIG plate of nachos.

We had a fabulous day today and are thoroughly enjoying our last few days here.

Today's total mileage: 4 miles
Today's blessing: Seeing the birth place and burial place of one of America's greatest leader!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Today we needed to sleep in after our long and tiring day to Cape Cod yesterday. After a little breakfast we made our way over to Fenway to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum. I was very bummed that they did not allow any photography. This museum was amazingly beautiful! It was a very different museum experience than I've ever had. The lady who designed the museum became wealthy after her father died and she started becoming a collector of art. She bought a piece of land in Fenway and built and designed the museum herself. Most museums that I've been to have different galleries set up for different periods of time. The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum was VERY different. She put together whatever pieces of art that she thought would look good together. There was also furniture, tapestries, little trinkets, books, etc. everywhere in this museum. In the center of the 3 story museum was a beautiful indoor courtyard with all different types of flowers, plants and sculptures. I think this was my favorite museum that I've ever been too. The way that Isabella Stewart Gardener set up each room was fabulous. I thought it was really cool that in her will she said that no one could change anything in the different rooms of the museum. I also thought it was cool, but sad, that in 1990 someone stole over 300 million dollars worth of paintings and other items from the museum. There were some empty frames left on the walls still today where the paintings had been stolen. This place is really hard to describe in words, and since I couldn't take any's a link:

After we spent about 3 hours doing the audio tour in the museum we hopped back on the train and went to a place called the Sunset Tap & Grill that Layton really wanted to go to. We spent a few hours there enjoying a VERY late lunch!!

We've kind of just been lounging around the house tonight. I went back out and took some more pictures of the GREAT doors that are all over Beacon Hill. We also planned out our last few days here. It's sad to be going home, but I'm pooped and I miss my kids!!

Today's mileage: 3 miles
Today's blessing: Having an enjoyable lunch with Layton laughing and enjoying each others company!

Friday, July 10, 2009

I did it...

I rode a bike!!! We decided that we really wanted to see some of Cape Cod while we were here. Layton found a high speed ferry that goes from Boston to Cape Cod in about an hour and a half. I was totally fine with that, even though I knew I may get a little sea sick. Then he brought up that he'd like to rent bikes and take the trail out to a gorgeous beach called Race Point. After much convincing, he finally got me to agree even though I was utterly and entirely FREAKED OUT!!

I have not been on a bike in over 10 years and before that I probably only rode a bike about 3 or 4 times. Getting back on a bike is actually on my list of 30 things that I'd like to do before I turn 30...well, today I got to cross that off of my list. It was sooo scary! We rented a tandem back in Provincetown and proceeded to find the bike trail. We had to ride on street for awhile and even a small highway, so every time a car wizzed by us I let out a little scream. I also thought that we were going to tip over a few times. Let me tell was not an easy task! I am so pooped out right now! We had a fabulous time learning to work together as a team to go up and down the huge hills. I made Layton promise to be very patient with me and he did an amazing job. I think I only had to remind him once or twice not to get frustrated with me.
We made it to the beach and walked around for a little bit and I got some GREAT photos! We ended up grabbing a late dinner at a small pizza place right up the street from our place. I had a fabulous day. One that I will never forget. I am so thankful that my wonderful husband encouraged me to do something today that I was much to afraid to do on my own!

Today's total mileage: Walked: 3.5 Ridden on a bike: 6+
Today's blessing: Being encouraged by Layton to conquer something that I was afraid to do...and actually enjoying it!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A lot of history...

We were out of breakfast again this morning so we stopped at Au Bon Pain, which is Boston's La Bou. We took the train out to Cambridge to check out Harvard. It was really amazing standing in Harvard Yard knowing just how OLD it is and knowing that it is the BEST University in the world. They were doing a little archeological dig in one of the grass areas in the Yard. They said that they'd found stuff dating back to the late 1600s. We walked around Harvard for a little while and checked out a few really cool old churches.

After we saw Harvard we went up to the Longfellow Historical Site. On the way there, we stopped at a little coffee shop and had a Thai iced tea. The coffee shop was in a really important old house. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem called "The Village Blacksmith." (I actually teach this poem to my 7h grade class.) The man that this poem was written about lived in the house where the coffee shop that we stopped at currently is located! Anyway, we took a 45 minute tour of the Longfellow Historical
Site. I was so overwhelmed during the ENTIRE tour not only because a GREAT American writer once lived in, wrote in, and walked the halls of this house...but also because America's first President George Washington lived in the house for 9 months while he was forming the Continental Army. We got to see the parlor where amazing people where once entertained, the dining room where both Washington and Longfellow's family used to share their meals, the library where Longfellow used to play the piano, the bedroom that Longfellow and his wife Fannie slept in...Fannie also died in their bedroom from severe burns...the room that George Washington used as his war council room and Longfellow used the same room as his study. I stood in the same room where Longfellow's writing desk was...where he wrote most of his beautiful poetry. I stood in the same room where George Washington once slept! I walked the same hallway and staircase as George Washington, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Adams, and even Benedict Arnold! Everything in the house is stuff that the Longfellow family once used. The entire house was donated to the National Park Services by the Longfellow family estate.

We also checked out MIT while we were in Cambridge and then we went to the Christian Science Complex. The building is so amazingly beautiful. It had a very long pool in front of it that creates some amazingly beautiful reflections!

Now we're just sitting at home relaxing and planning our day out for tomorrow!

Today's mileage: 5 miles
Today's blessing: Feeling inspired to be great...Almost being brought to tears by walking around Harvard and the Longfellow Historical Site where so many amazing, intelligent and GREAT people once walked.