Sierra's View

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

On Dealing with January...

January is hard. 
I always start the month with a large amount of pizzazz. I love the snow and coziness and the changes of season. Yay! January! It's so cozy and fun! By the end of January, I'm over it. I am craving some warmth. I do love winter. I love the change in the seasons. I think the snow is beautiful. I try not to let the snow stop me from being up the mountains and being outside. But something about January just makes me want to not teach or work, lay in bed and watch Netflix. Which is great...except, I, like, can't do that, and have to be an adult. Ugh. 

This January I have tried to change my outlook. I love the beautiful scenery. I have tried to embrace the snow and allow myself to slow down and just enjoy life. Let's ignore the fact that I have had about seven migraines since the beginning of January, and I am about ready to chop my head off due to these stupid things. My headaches are always worse in the winter. I think that it's correlated with the weather and the pressure. But I know my migraines are connected to my hormones, so it's maybe just a combination of it all. My seasonal affective disorder may be affecting this hormones and then the compilation of the pressure and cold...I bet it's all of it. That's my science talk. Either way, these migraines are going to be the death of me. 

Even with all of that, I am learning to deal with January. I am learning to love it, or, well, accept it for it's beauty. Here is my January via Instagram and past posts. 

A winter walk with my favorite humans and animals. 
Talked about my why I Braintype everyone, especially my students. 

I think #saylorthepup likes the snow... 

When you've had a rough week....and your husband brings you a note and flowers. Yes.  Sometimes marriage is hard and sometimes things like this make it okay. 

Can you tell I am dreaming of summer? I want this swimsuit so bad. But it's $100 and I just can't justify that. Someone give me sunshine and this swimsuit. 

I wrote a book review on this amazing book. It has, as dramatic as it sounds, altered my view of eating and my body. 

Sometimes January makes all of your crap come out. And this quote is so perfectly true it's insane. 

I am still (trying) to do my health plan. It has been difficult. But I am down 14 pounds. So yay! And my outfit choices are even better in January. 

I love my fellow teachers and faculty. I have spent a lot of January at my school. Shocking. My students have about did me in this month and I am ready for Spring Break. Hahaha. 

A lot of snuggles with Saylor happened....

I fell in love with the Utah mountains. Again. 


Again. Sigh. 

More snow. It sure is pretty, i'll give it that. 

Joined a book club and read this book. I fell in love with it. Oh, and my Sodalicious. Of course. 

This is what heaven feels like. 

Literally my every day outfit after school in January.... killing it with birkenstocks, wool socks, leggings, sweaters, scarfs, and messy buns. 

Typical face in January. 

Talked about how being a grown up sucks. Ha. 

Craft night with friends and fellow teachers. Or, more, me coloring and the other ladies doing crafts. I hate crafts. 

Reconnected with old friends from Oregon!! 

Trying to wear decent outfits at school...

And spending even more time in my classroom...

A lot of hilarious Bachelor girls nights... 

And a LOT of girl chats after school. 

I took this photo with my PHONE and updated you all on life with snow. 

I didn't make New Years Resolutions. but i did make some of my own things to work on. My mantra for the year. 

I don't know why this picture kills me so much, but it does.  hahahaha. 

Yep. Talked about how blogging in the winter time is so different. 

I recapped Lessons I learned in 2015. 

Drank a lot of tea to help with my migraines. Continued in Be Better Movement. 

Tried to compliment others and write sticky notes to my students.

Well, it's February. Here comes nothing, guys. 
Do you like January? What do you like about it? 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

These Is My Words (Book Club!!) // Sierra's Book Reviews

I am on a reading roll! I don't know if I am hit with the "bug", you know, the bug where you just keep finding amazing books and all you want to do is read? Yea, that kind of bug. It might be a case of the winter blues, but, really, all I want to do is hibernate and read these days. I love that I can just escape to another world and enjoy peace while reading. I have been wanting to join a book club for so long! I have been reading with my friend, Bon, online for awhile, but I finally convinced her to finally meet in real life...and I am so glad that we finally did! It was such a fun night of chatting, laughing and connecting over books. The Bachelor may have been thrown in there as well ;) 

Come join in on Bon's Book Club! If you live in the area, we meet the last Tuesday of every month. I will be co-hosting next month, so let me know if you want to come. The online book club posting will be the last Thursday of every month. Here is the schedule for the year. I have already read a couple of these books, but I will definitely be re-reading some of them. 

February: A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
March:  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
April:  Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
May:  Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
June:  Why Not Me?  by Mindy Kaling
July:  Room by Emma Donoghue
August:  The Martian by Andy Weir
September: So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
October:  Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
November: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Our January book was These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner. 

For me, what I loved about Sarah, the main character of this story, was her innate strength and humility. This novel was, essentially, a diary of a girl's life from 1881-1901. She struggles through so much agony and her strength is truly immeasurable. I loved that Sarah was humble in her strength. In my eyes, I feel like she, in a way, was the woman that we all strive to be. She could shoot a gun, raise a family, attack people who invaded her land, and protect her family. She valued education, which to me, I loved (hello, teacher!). She didn't even understand her strength, and that, to me, is what was so endearing about her. 

What heaven feels like. 

Sarah spends much of her time wanting to be like Savannah.  Savannah is her sister-in-law and is awesome. But, Savannah, has a different kind of strength than Sarah. Savannah is a little more "Christ-like and sweet." At least, that's how I pictured her. Sarah had a little bit more sass and pizzaz. Because of this character difference, Sarah always compared herself to Savannah. She wanted to be softer, in a way. I understand that feeling. For me, I love it when I can connect to the main character. And I think that's what made Sarah so likable. I saw a lot of myself in her: she was feisty and emotional and stubborn. I feel like I need to be "softer" sometimes, as well. But, they were both so strong, in such different ways. I felt like I wanted to keep saying to Sarah, "No! You are both wonderful, in different ways!" That's the beauty of women: we each have our own strength, but they are all in different ways. That, to me, is what makes it wonderful! 

I loved this!!! It is a perfect preface to set up the book. 

Often times I think people assume that feminist are man-haters, but as I have continued to study feminism and what it means to ME, I am learning that it is about strengthening and empowering women. It does not mean that I am better or more superior than a man, but to, rather, love my woman-ness, if you will. I think Sarah epitomizes this idea. She was strong. She was a fighter. She was a real woman raising children, getting an education, falling in love, and working her butt of. That's bad ass. 

What heaven feels like round 2. 
Like Danica said, I hate pioneer stories. I don't hate them because I am a heartless millennial (or amI I?), but, simply because I feel like, in a lot of ways I cannot connect. I cannot even fathom living in those times and sometimes that is hard for me to understand. I am inspired by so many of those men and womens' strength, but I can't seem to fall in love with pioneer stories. But, truly, I fell in love with this story. I found strength from Sarah's character and her tenacity while facing the death of a child, husband, and siblings. I bawled my eyes out when she lost her baby *spoiler alert* and yet, her character's strength was unlike anything I've ever read, to be honest. That made this particular story so enjoyable. 

We forgot to take a picture, so this is missing some people. Also, I really enjoy taking pictures after yoga and I'm all sweaty. Thats fun. 

Overall, I give this book 5/5 stars. See more of my review on Goodreads. 

My favorite quotes from the book: 

"We are a noisy and blessed family."

"Sometimes I feel like a tree on a hill, at the place where all the wind blows and the hail hits the tree the hardest. All the people I love are down the side aways, sheltered under a great rock, and I am out of the fold, standing alone in the sun and the snow. I feel like I am not part of the rest somehow, although they welcome me and are kind. I see my family as they sit together and it is like theyh ave a certain way between them that is beyond me. I wonder if other folks ever feel included yet alone.” 

“Taking up marriage is a good excuse for taking up cursing, I think.”  (Ha! Ain't this the truth!)

"It seems there is always a road with bends and forks to choose, and taking one path means you can never take another one. There's no starting over nor undoing the steps I've taken. It isn't like I'd want to not have my little ones and Jack and that ranch, it is part of life to have to support yourself. It's just that I want everything, my insides are not just hungry, but greedy. I want to find out all the things in the world and still have a family and a ranch. Maybe part of passing that test was a marker for where I've been, but it feels more like a pointer for something I'll never reach."

"But my life is not like that, it is a tree, and I can stay in one place and spread out in all directions, and I can do more learning shading this brood of mine than if I was all alone.” 

Have you read this book? 
What was your favorite part? 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why I Braintype In My Classroom (and everyone else...)

Half of you (or 100% of you) are rolling your eyes at me at this current moment because you are sick of hearing about brain types. I know T Money is. His favorite response, "I'm a P-I-M-P." He thinks he's hilarious. After a student found out her brain type last year, she comes up and hands this paper to me. Typical ENTP response ;) 

Some of you may have heard of brain typing, or something similar. Niednagel, the man who originated this, developed brain typing through applying elements of neuroscience, physiology, and psychology to estimate athletic ability and has now expanded it to other aspects of life (career, family, etc.) It is based on psychological typology of Carl Jung and Myers Briggs. Neidnagel uses the same letters as Myers Briggs (he has currently updated to his own letters, but I'm too lazy to learn the new letters!) and there are definitely some similarities except that brain typing, essentially, is focused more on the BRAIN more-so than the personality. People wonder if one's brain type can change, and the answer is no. Your background, family, birth order, and environment definitely affects your brain and personality, so you will see some discrepancies between brain types (especially differences through male/female and religion). It is the whole argument of nature v. nurture. Your brain type is your nature, but your nurture definitely affects it. 

My family started using brain typing when my uncle Danny started brain typing his players when he was coaching the Phoenix Suns to see their athletic strengths: are they more offensive minded, defensive minded, etc. It then trickled down to my family. I like to think I'm okay at it, but my sister likes to tell me that I am not as good as I think ;). Mostly, I am fascinated by the idea of it and just continue to do research on it. 

I started brain typing my family and friends to better understand them. I tend to get frustrated at people (ha), so I wanted to figure out what makes them tick and this has truly helped. You can take a test to help figure it out on or come find me and I have all of the books/info :) 

I started using this in my teaching to better understand my students. For my teaching, understanding my sixth graders' brain types allows me to help them because certain brain types tend to excel/struggle at particular aspects. For example, an INFJ is usually going to be a great writer, while an ESTP is not going to be as strong of a writer. Certain brain types get along better with others and work well with one another, so it helps me seat students. And if I am struggling with a particular student, it allows me to step back and analyze why they may be reacting or acting in that particular way. Obviously knowing their brain type doesn't solve everything, but for me, it has helped enormously. I have done lots of research on this, and I continuously text my sister regarding more information all of the time! It's funny to see people start doing research on their brain types once they figure out. Even my sixth graders find it fascinating and want to hear about themselves. The benefits of knowing one's brain type is to help know your own strengths/weaknesses. It also allows helpful benefits in parenting, romantic relationships, friendships, coaches/players, etc. 

I am an INFP. Knowing your Myers Briggs definitely helps narrow down what you may be, if you already know that. However, your Myers Briggs and your brain type could be different (they are usually quite similar though). 

Essentially, the first grade version of how this brain typing works is like this---There are four possible combination of letters: Introvert/Extrovert (how you gain energy), Intuitive/Sensing (how you view the world), Feeling/Thinking (how you make decisions), Judging/Perceiving(what you show the outside world). Every combination (example: INFP) has different tendencies based on the whole. You start to notice patterns in behaviors based on brain types. 

People make fun of me for this all of the time, but I love how it affects my teaching, relationships and understanding people tremendously. Plus, I can talk about it for hours (much to my husband's dismay). 

....and there's my explanation. Okay. Bye. 

Do you know your brain type? 
I am always intrigued 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Intuitive Eating // Sierra's Book Reviews

I am sitting here with a horrible migraine. I have been sick so much this month, so reading has become a past time for me. These migraines have taken over my life, but sometimes writing and keeping my mind occupied while I sit here helps. Stupid hormones. 

YOU GUYS. Have you read this? If not, you need to...right now. As many of you know, I have been doing a Health Plan since the beginning of October. And although it has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, it has been such a good learning experience for me. I will, probably, be finishing up this health plan at the beginning of March. With that being said, I will continue the habits that I have learned. Although the growth (or lack thereof!) has not been exactly what I was hoping, I have seen a difference in how I feel. I am down 14 pounds total, which isn't horrible. I have slipped up and made mistakes, but that's okay. 

My counselor recommended that I read this book. I tend to be a perfectionist, especially when it comes to my body. I tend to feel "less than" because of my weight gain, and a lot of that stems from childhood. With that being said, this book, for me was a life changing book. It allowed me to analyze what I was eating, when I was full, WHY I was eating, and just being "in touch" with food and my body. I came to realization that eating when I am emotional or bored is something that I need to be aware of. I also learned that choosing to eat something (or to not eat something!) does not define who you are as a person. You can see my review (and reviews from other books) on my Goodreads. (Best app ever!)

Some of my favorite quotes/parts of the book: 
(see more of my favorite quotes while I was reading this book on Twitter.

If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savor it.

Having a healthy relationship with food means you are not morally superior or inferior based on your eating choices.

Screen away the voice that says "I'm good" for eating minimal calories and "I'm bad" for eating a piece of chocolate.

Monitor your hunger before/during/after you eat. Monitor it every 3 hours. Stick to that monitor. Listen to your body!

No one can or should tell you what you should or shouldn't eat at ANY time.

Never be embarrassed to be hungry!!! It's your body telling you that you need more fuel

The food you choose to eat or not eat does not make you good or bad.

Respect your fullness. If you are full, STOP EATING. It's that simple.

Honor your feelings without using food. If you are hungry, go take a kickboxing class. If you are depressed, go for a walk or talk to a therapist. Do not turn to food to heal you.

After reading this book, I really want to listen/read to Mindless Eating. 

Other Book Reviews: 

Have you read this book? 
What was your favorite part or quote from the book? 
Are there any other books similar to this that you have loved? 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

In Which I Fell In Love with the Mountains. Again.

I love the beach. I love the Oregon Coast and Hawaii beaches and the feeling of sand on my toes. But, since living in Utah the past six years, I have completely fallen in love with the mountains. I love the look of them throughout all of the seasons. One of my favorite things to do is drive through the mountains and go on walks on a lazy Sunday. I grab #saylorthepup, we get in the car, put on our jams and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

I love the sunshine, but I really have taken a liking to these snow-filled mountains. Now, if I just had the money to get on some ski's!! 

I mean, how can you not love these views? 
(and these photos aren't even edited!)