Sierra's View: December 2012

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: What a Year!

This is my recap of a whirlwind of a year: some of my most memorable posts. 
As I was reading back throughout the whole year, I noticed that each month had a theme, interestingly enough. 
This year was full of stress, laughter, and some tears. 
Yet, as I look back, I have realized how much I have learned and grown. I am grateful for the life lessons that I have learned through the gospel, my teaching career, and the many extremely fulfilling relationships. 

You ready for this jelly?

Theme: Dealing with Trials 

January was a really hard month for me. January is usually a hard month for me. I was still grieving and the weather always kills me in this freezing month, so I had a lot of deep posts. Ha. 

Wrote a very honest, open post about dealing with depression. 
Why I Write... in general. 
Learned about my obsession with buns. With my hair. Not the other kind. 

Theme: Attitude 

Wrote a few notes to my future husband. 
Learned about another obsession of mine: Pinterest. 
Wrote a post about how Circumstances should not affect your attitude. 
My Very First Oscar Post. I TALKED ABOUT FASHION, PEOPLE. It's a miracle. 

Theme: Sunshine & Social Media 

My thoughts & opinions on some of my favorite television shows. 
A very very controversial post about equality. 
Went to San Diego for Spring Break.

Theme: Happiness

April was a really good month for me. I had found out that I was going to have my very own classroom in August. I finally felt like my life was moving along in a successful way. Plus, the sun starting shining (which always helps!) I wrote a show that my choir performed and was enjoying my very last month in choir ever. 

My very first Spring Nature photo shoot. 
A weekend at City Creek with friends. And lots of food. 
My Choir made a music video with Alex Boye!
Easter Sunday Thoughts. 
Some Spring Fun! 
Thoughts on my last semester in choir and a successful Book of Mormon show.
I, finally, after months of frustration, learned how to let go. 
I realized that unrequited love was the most painful feeling in the world.

Theme: A lot of endings & beginnings

May was a big transition time for me. Finished three years of singing in the most amazing choir ever, started my last semester of college ever, started decorating and planning my classroom. 

My very first Dear Me Letter and link up.
I learned that the one thing I crave in life is Consistency. 
A pretty hilarious Dear Me Letter (if I do say so myself).
Reminisced: my one year anniversary of going to Kenya. 
My friends and I make puh-retty crazy videos. 
I learned that full time school in the summertime sucks.
Dreamed of taking really artsy, romantic pictures like these. 
A LOT of thoughts. 
Reminded myself of everything I learned from LDC. 
Third year in LDC: picture style. 

Theme: Feeling Intensely

peed my pants over the funniest youtube video ever.  And these. 
An incredible quote about learning to be alone.
Fell pretty hard for a guy. Aw, summer loves. 
Thoughts on classroom environment. 
More thoughts on life.
Some more hilarious Dear Me letters.
One of the most powerful speeches on vulnerability EVER.
A break up post that had way too many views. (I guess people like reading about sad things?)
An ode to my long hair! haha

Theme: A lot of Deep Writing.

Learning not to react to life. 
A poem about me. 
Funny things that made me laugh. 
A quote that I'm pretty sure was written about me.
Colorado Shooting Thoughts. 
Saw Wicked on Broadway!
Watched a lot of Olympics
How to be Alone.


August was a transitional month for me. I started my very first year teaching and was finishing up all of my schoolwork as well. A lot of new things were happening and I was feeling a lot of stress (positive and negative). So much for a hot, enjoyable, summer month eh? Haha. I didn't have much of a summer, unfortunately. 

Venting Session 
Drooling over the hot men in Olympics. 
Rodeo time. 
A lot of feelings about starting school. 

Theme: a 4th grade classroom. 

Thoughts on Trust. 
4th grade sense of humor
One of the sweetest things written about me ever. 
You all wrote birthday notes to me on my 22nd birthday!! 
Celebrated my 22nd birthday with an awesome birthday party.
Some hilarious quotes from my students.
A look at my classroom and how I decorated it.
My kitty, Simba, died. 

Theme: A whole lot of everything

I was very busy in October: writing my senior thesis and adjusting to my first year teaching. It was the one year anniversary of my niece's death and I had a rough time with that. But I did, however, have some fun!

Threw a blogging party at awful waffle.
Took my very first family portraits. 
Went to Disneyland for Fall Break.
Took photos of the beautiful colors of Fall here in Utah.
Reunited with some lifelong Oregon friends.
Epic Halloween Costume and picture. 
Adjusting to teaching and the difficulties of it all.
Dealing with Holland's death. 

Theme: MIA

I didn't blog much in November.
That's all. haha.

Cried over the presidential election. 
A very emotional post about why my blog exists and the unwanted competition in the blogging world.
Spent Thanksgiving in Palm Springs with the family. (yep, didn't post about it though. It's fine. ha)

Theme: Christmas. duh.

I have felt a huge sense of relief when December came. I finished my senior thesis (75 pages!!), finished all of my observations, survived my first few months of teaching, finished college, and learned a lot about myself. 

Thoughts on the Sandy Hook Shooting from a Teacher's perspective.
Holiday fun!!
Pictures of Christmas with the Family

As you can tell this year was a mixture of stress, sadness, immense happiness, laughter, and lots of memories. 
Here's to a new year!
So ready for it.
2013 is gonna be my year. I can feel it. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas 2012 with the Fam.

"It's a funny thing about comin' home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You'll realize what's changed is you."
For me, being home in Oregon with all of my family is wonderful.
For about a week.
I have loved coming home to Oregon and being with some of my nieces and nephews and it's been a wonderful escape from reality.
I have really needed the sleep. Ha.
 But its funny, because I am ready to head back to Utah.
My life is there. My home is there.
I love coming home and seeing people that I love.
But I have developed a life elsewhere.
Does that make sense?
I won't go into a long, emotional post. So that's all I'll say for now.

Christmas was wonderful with the family.
I am so happy that my sister, Bri, had decided to spend Christmas at my parents otherwise Christmas morning would have been very boring. Ha. There is something so magical and wonderful about seeing a child's excitement on Christmas morning.
I loved watching my 7 year old nephew, Palmer, be more excited about receiving an Oregon hat and Diary of a Wimpy Kid book more than anything else.
I loved seeing 5 year old Portia's face when she received a signed Justin Bieber poster.
Teya, my 2 1/2 year old niece just liked ripping the paper more than the actual gift.
Kids just bring so much excitement and pure joy to the season and I needed that reminder.
I have learned that I need to be around kids.
Which would, probably, explain why I decided to be around 4th graders all day as my career.
I think I subconsciously knew that I needed the reminder of pure happiness that emanates from children because often times I forget that. 
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Break. 

Me with all of my nieces and nephews (minus Dane! And Holland, of course.)
Watching Holland's video. 
Making cookies with Nona. 
My beautiful niece, Portia. 
Beating up Papa. 
Workout Session with Uncle Landon. 

The girls in their Sunday Christmas dresses. 

Love all of the Christmas Decorations in my home.
Now I need to make New Years Resolutions.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tis the Season!

I have been very bad at posting since the Holidays have started.
But, alas, I am here, posting some fun Christmas activities that have happened. 
I love the Christmas Season. I love the joy that emerges from people, even amidst the store chaos and negative worldly happenings.
I have been planning classroom Christmas parties, classroom holiday writings, and many other things that happened in my class that posting on this blog has been left behind a wee bit during December.
Through the many activities in my classroom, I finished my Senior Teacher Sample (basically a senior thesis--75 pages later) and all of my observations. IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.
It feels amazing to be done and just focus on my students and becoming a better teacher.
I am, currently, sitting on my couch at home in Oregon. It feels so amazing to do whatever I want for a couple of days. My niece, Portia, is my little partner in crime and I am totally okay with it.
No better feeling than curling up by my fire at home, book in hand, the Christmas decorations all around and feeling the joy that, in a lot of ways, has been absent from my life the past few months. I have been so insanely busy since the summer, that I don't think I have stopped and breathed for awhile. I love that I am able to have the time to stop, think and process my life in a safe, comfortable, beautiful home. I am so grateful that I have a "home" to come to--where I feel love and comfort, even if it is a little loud and dysfunctional. :)
I am so grateful for the Birth of my Savior. It is because of him that I have become the person I am. His birth is a reminder that He wants to show us that he understand us completely and that He loves us perfectly. May we remember Him and the true meaning of Christmas through this cold, rainy weather. :)
Merry Christmas!
Hopefully you are all enjoying wonderful time with family and friends.
May each of us remember our blessings and the happiness we can obtain through Him this Christmas season.

{Temple Square lights in Salt Lake}

 {such a hilarious picture ha}

{Avoiding people at an Ugly Sweater party...
Look at that face. Typical}

{Sing a long at Energy Solutions Arena} 


(more pictures of the break coming soon!)
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

From a 4th Grade Teacher...

I had to run to the post office at lunch on Friday. I got into my car and was listening to the radio when I heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting. Words cannot describe how I was feeling as I walked into the faculty lounge and we, as teachers, were reading about this heinous crime. I found myself getting teary eyed and as we continued talking about this awful incident. 

As I walked back into my classroom after lunch, I looked at each of my 4th graders individually. I noticed them. For their strengths, for their unique personalities, for their innocence--for everything they were. As I watched my students and their innocent oblivion to the awful incident in CT in class today, I teared up a little bit. I cannot fathom anyone hurting those children. Those students of mine are like my babies. I spend every single day with them. For some of them, I spend more time with them in a day than their parents. Yes, they frustrate me at times, but I would do ANYTHING to protect them.  

On Friday, I hugged my students a little tighter than usual. They were all a little confused. Haha. 

I am sort of at a loss for words when it comes to this whole thing. 
I don't have the perfect elegant phrases. 
I don't know how I feel about the whole gun control issue. 
I am torn between constantly wanting to stop listening to the news, but cannot turn away at the same time. 
I feel so much frustration and agony towards the gunman and his mother. (What did she do to help him through his personality disorder and his episodes?)
I don't know what would help keep our schools safe. (Would a security system at every school even help? What about a security guard?) 
I feel for those parents of those little children.
I feel for those students who now, have to live through PTSD when it comes to school. 

I am a simple human being. And I don't have the right words right now. I wish I did, but I do not. 
I just know this: 
I am a 4th grade teacher and I love my students more than anything, even on the more difficult days. Teachers, throughout this country, are heroes. And those teachers, specifically, at Sandy Hook are heroes in our day. 
Those children are in a much better place. 

Unfortunately, because of this tragedy, it has, at least, made me realize how grateful I am for my students. My thoughts and prayers go out to those parents, students, and teachers who will be FOREVER affected by this. 

THIS was a good read. 
I appreciate Obama's sincerity in this video. No matter who you are, this is how each of us have responded to this tragedy; as humans. 

And this picture, somehow, brings comfort to me. 

"The Lord takes many away even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again."

Friday, December 7, 2012

And Then I Realized I Hadn't Blogged in a Really Long Time...

....and you all still loved me.


And then I showed this picture.
As an angel.
Fitting, right? NOT. 

And then I left.
Cause that's all I really have time for right now. 
Hakuna Mutata.