Sunday, April 1, 2012

What to do when Spring is Broken

This year I got two weeks for spring break.  Chandler is on a modified year round schedule so we get two weeks for all of our breaks.  It was a lot of fun, and I was busy those two weeks.  I started off vacation with a trip to the dentist, yipee! I hadn't been in years and I was so glad to finally be able to go and have my teeth cleaned.  The dentist I have gone to my whole life wasn't on the insurance for the two previous districts I worked for, and I was hesitant of going to a different one, and luckily they are one the insurance chandler uses, so I was a happy girl, and I'm a nerd and enjoyed getting my teeth cleaned. 

We then took an impromptu trip to the train park with my cousins, siblings and their kids.  We had so much, especially because my nephews love trains.  They were so excited to ride the train and then go to the museum and see the trains.  Another day we also went down to the Mesa Arts Center for their festival of creativity, the kids had so much fun, and it's always fun to watch their excitement.

I then spent most of the rest of the week baking.  I made some zucchini bread, a three tiered wedding cake and experimented some cupcake recipes for my cousins wedding.  I went through like 6 dozen eggs in two days.  It was crazy how many eggs I went through.  The cupcakes were very tasty!   The wedding cake turned out very cute, and I got to use my cricut cake to make shamrocks for the St. Patricks themed cake.

St. Patrick's Day was a fun adventure! I got to spend it with 8 of my students and a bunch of other orchestra kiddos at the Elementary and Jr. High Allstate Orchestra Festival.  It was way out in Surprise, so we got a bus to take all the kids so their parents didn't have to drive out there and stay all day.  We were supposed to leave at 6:45 am (yuck) but got off a little late.  After about five minutes on the freeway the bus driver decided to get off because the steering wheel was sticking, not good! We found a parking lot to hangout in and she used my phone to call the maintenance people to see what to do.  She was finally able to get a hold of someone and they brought us a new bus.  We were supposed to arrive in Surprise around 8 am, and didn't get there until 9.  We quickly got the kids into rehearsal.  I was kind of excited for my assignment, I got to do the Jr. High Viola chair test, and a friend of mine from EAC was my counterpart for this assignment and we had a lot of fun catching up and listening to the violas.  There were some kids with amazing talent that you could tell practiced a lot to get ready.  My students had a great time and did an amazing job.

The second week of Spring Break was busy, I was going to Atlanta for the American String Teacher's Association Conference.  I left Tuesday morning, and it kind of took all day to get there with the time difference.  I also got a little turned around when I got off the MARTA train (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) and it took me a bit to find the hotel, good thing I have a gps on my phone. Later that night I went out to dinner with a friend that I had met while working for Disney, Matthew and I had a great time catching up and he took me to a delicious and interesting restaurant called the Vortex.  We had Sweet Potato fries that came with Marshmallow cream as one of the sauces, so good! The three hour time difference was starting to get to me at this point. I was waiting up for one of the ladies I was sharing a room with and she was coming from Quebec.  The other lady came the next day.  It was a little interesting sharing with strangers, but it was nice to have someone I kind of knew to go to the evening events with.

I spent Wednesday just being lazy since I was still on vacation.  I had wanted to get a pedicure before I left, but ran out of time, so I found a little salon to go to in this small mall that was connected to the hotel.  It was the most interesting pedi I have ever gotten.  A friend of mine would to refer to such things as a nail rape.  So they take me back into this back room and I sit in this normal kind of padded chair and put my feet in one of those home foot spa things, and they didn't even plug it in.  The chick then started working on my nails and I had to put my feet up at a weird angle.  After sitting like that for a while my muscles started to shake because it was so awkward and she asked me to stop moving, um I can't crazy lady.  It took forever for her to finish and then after she finished with me another client came in and she started working with her while my nails were drying.  I waited like 30 minutes for them to dry and then I paid and left that awful place.  It was like the worst and most expensive pedicure ever, cost me $35, I barely left her a tip I was so frustrated.  I should have just gone to the spa at the hotel and paid like $20 more for a MUCH better experience! Oh well, there are always those learning moments!

Later that evening they had a opening reception for the conference and gave everyone a raffle ticket.  Each state brought a gift bag and they were giving them away.  I happened to win the gift bag from Utah, with a song for my students, a Motab Christmas CD and some delicious Utah Truffles, yum yum! There was a dessert reception and I had some yummy treats, their blonde brownies were so good.  The next day all of the workshops began, and I was excited.  The only downfall to this was getting up in the morning, with having a smart phone it didn't automatically change time and I didn't want to change the time in case it would mess up my calendar.  So I set my alarm for 3:30 AZ time so I could get up at 6:30 Atlanta time.  I had an amazing time at the conference and learned so much.  One of the neatest things was meeting people who have written the different method books I have used.  It helped me to understand how the wrote the book and reasonings to their method.

On Friday night it was the National High School Honor Orchestra Concert.  The ladies I was rooming with decided not to go so I went down to the lobby to try and find a group of people to walk down to the concert with. Luckily I did and had fun meeting people and seeing a bit of downtown Atlanta.  It was busy with the hustle and bustle of NCAA March Madness Basketball.  The concert was amazing, and I am so glad I made myself go.

Saturday was the last day, and I was ready to go home the next morning.  After the last class I ran off with one of my roommates to the World of Coke.  I figured I needed to do something touristy while I was in Atlanta.  It was a fun adventure, even though I'm not a big fan of coke, the brand is still pretty cool.  I loved all the artifacts they have.  They even have a tasting station where you can sample about 60 different flavors of soda from around the world.  There are some very tasty ones, and very interesting ones.  Then when you leave they give you a bottle of coke that was bottled there on site.  That night for the closing of the conference that had Barrage perform.  They are a group of 5 violinists that play a wide variety of music.  I want to see them whenever they come to visit AZ, which they do kind of often since one of the guys is from Mesa!

The next morning I got up bright and early to catch my flight at 10:30.  I gave myself plenty of time to make it to the airport so I wouldn't feel rushed, and good thing I did.  Getting to the airport that  morning was an adventure! First I started the trek to the Marta station, walking up a big hill with my heavy suitcase.  Next as I was getting ready to go down the escalator some guy started talking to me, and so I got to talk with him down one of the longest escalators in the world.  He was talking so softly I could hardly understand what he was saying at times.  He then went into his sob story about being a veteran and now he's homeless and then asked for food any money.  I was able to give him a granola bar as we got to the bottom of the escalator.  Since I wouldn't give him anymore when we got to the bottom he went right back up to find another person to beg.  I had wanted to get a picture of the super long escalator and I was going to time it to see how long it took, but he ruined my plans on that.  I did take my camera out to get a picture, and I'm sure he thought I was taking a picture of him, but I wasn't.  I needed to document the super long escalator.  Luckily you have to have a card to go through the gates to the train so he couldn't bother me anymore.  I made it down to wait for the train and it took forever to come.  Finally when it did, it had problems and instead of taking 20 minutes to get to the airport, it took 40 minutes.  It kept stopping, which was kind of annoying but I was able to see the sights a bit, and even saw an LDS church building along the way which made me happy.

The plane ride home was fun.  I sat next to a guy and his son from Alabama who were on their way to AZ for the first time and they were going to the Grand Canyon.  He was so excited and it was so much fun to watch his excitement.  When we were getting ready to land I switched seats with him so he could sit by the window and see the somewhat beautiful landscape Arizona has to offer.  I got to hear about the fun things they had planned for the week.  I then was kicking myself for not having any Easter Pageant cards with me so I could share with them a little about the church and the amazing experience of attending the pageant.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Will she find love in 2012?

For my birthday this year I am trying a fun experiment.  A friend of mine told me something that her friend did a couple of years ago, she turned 30 and so went on 30 dates with 30 guys.  I am going to try it and see how it goes, however I am going to need everyone's help with this.  Since I am turning 27, I am going to try and go on dates with 27 different guys this year.  So think of the people you know, is there someone you could set me up with? If you do, leave a comment, email me ( or if you have my number call or text me.  It will be interesting to see how this goes, I know it will be fun.  Hopefully I can meet some cool new guys or even the "one."  So start spreading the word and lets see what we can do! Thanks for your help!

Another Wedding!

At the beginning of the year the Riding family was planning a trip to Disneyland. It soon panned out that my friend Tiauna would be getting married the same week of the trip. After I bought my plane ticket to Utah from California, I decided to go on a cruise, so a 3 day trip turned into a 15 day trip! It was so much fun! Not to mention I had been offered a teaching position three weeks before I left on my trip, that I would be starting as soon as I came home. Tiauna was my sister Tiffany’s roommate the last time we were in Florida. She became an adopted sister.
It was very fun to have the opportunity to attend a sealing in the Logan Temple. I love being able to attend sealings.

I have always wanted to go to the Salt Lake Temple, and finally had the opportunity to do a session there.  I told Tiff that she would have to take me to Salt Lake while I was there so that we could.  It was such a neat experience and I'm glad I could share that with my sister.

On the way home she took me to see the Up house. A contractor up there made a replica of the house from the movie.  It was so much fun to see all the detail that they put into the house. 

Then sadly the 15 day adventure was over and I had to return to real life.  Boy was it a hard adjustment going from partying to a brand new full time job.  I'm loving my new job, my students are amazing.

October Adventures

In October I had the amazing opportunity to go on a two week vacation of a lifetime.  I started out on a Disney Cruise down to the Mexican Riviera with my friend Erin that I met the first time I did the Disney College Program back in fall of 05.  She has been able to stay full time for Disney since then.  Her friend Maribel also came along to celebrate Erin’s birthday.  Erin’s roommate Patrice has been a scheduler on the Disney Wonder for a few months and really hooked us up on this trip.  First off since the ship was pretty empty that week we were unexpectedly upgraded to a Verandah room.  We were living the dream for the week, especially when Patrice’s friend, the Concierge manager had treats delivered to our room every afternoon. 

We went to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas with three gloriously relaxed days at sea.  In Puerto Vallarta we did a Disney Excursion to Las Caletas, a private beach area.  We had a delicious lunch and then a beach all to ourselves to snorkel, paddleboard and kayak.  Usually they take 160 people on this excursion, but only 30 signed up that day, so we were again spoiled!

In Cabo the first day we walked around a bit and then went on a water taxi out to the arch and chill on the beach for a bit.  On the second day Erin and I decided to be adventurous and we went parasailing.  It was so much fun! I would definitely do it again.   

Erin does photopass at Disneyworld, so she loves photography.  We took a lot of pictures on the cruise and even splurged and bought the photos from the ship photographers.  It is so worth it, many great memories were made on this trip!

After we got of the ship we said farewell to Patrice and Maribel, and then Erin and I headed from the port in LA to Anaheim to meet up with the Riding family for a few days at Disneyland.  We had a ton of fun, especially since it was Erin's first ever trip to Disneyland.  She enjoyed it, but it was quite crowded.  I can't wait until the construction at California Adventure is done, it won't feel as crowded, there were walls up everywhere. After a few days in the parks I flew up to Utah for a Wedding.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Standing on Corner

Marilee's husband Mikell is from the thriving Metropolis of Winslow. It is a very windy place. This particular weekend we were there the wind was blowing extra hard and it blew so hard that the power went out for a couple of hours. It is really hard to set up for a reception with no light. We were able to set up ok and then the power came back on.

We stayed at the Quality Inn, and there wasn't anything too quality about it. The guy who was in charge of the breakfast was very stingy and wouldn't bring out too much food and you had to ask for some things, lame. We did have some fun swimming in the pool with my nieces and nephews. It was an interesting get away and I don't think I will be returning to Winslow anytime soon, there was nothing making me want to go back.

We had to have Mikell take us to "the corner". You can't go to Winslow and not go visit it. It is really kind of funny, because there really isn't a building in the picture, it is just a wall.

Here is my beautiful cake again. It lasted all week! Since it was fake, it was stored in my parents room so that it could make the journey to Winslow, and it survived! The people of Winslow were impressed with my cake decorating skills.

And then there was one

On May 19 my Baby Sister got married. It was a busy weekend of festivities. They got married on a Thursday, and had their reception of Friday. Since this school year I have been working part-time three days a week, Thursday was one of the days I taught. It was very interesting finding a sub, I was very nervous about it, but I found a great lady to cover my classes. I felt bad getting a sub that day just because I only see those kids once a week and the next Thursday was the last day of school and not all of them would come to music again. Oh well, such is life and it all worked out great.

The cake turned out great, and I think they said it tasted good as well.

Surprise, Surprise, I caught the bouquet.  Now lets see if its powers will work.  I am the next to get married in my family, since I am the last one standing. 

Spring Break

For spring break this year I went with my cousin Emilie, her two daughters and friend Kelle to Oceanside California. We had a blast. I also got a little taste of motherhood, because Annie, the youngest was about 6 months old and so I would sometimes wake up when she would in the middle of the night.

Here are some of the pictures I took, and my attempt of being an artsy photographer. I love the beach and just sitting there listening to the water, so relaxing.

Brisa is a hilarious two year old. Here she is playing with my sunglasses. We became good friends on this trip, and sometimes she still likes to play with me.

We took a stroll down the beach one morning and saw all sorts of things. We had to pose in front of the beach, its kind of obligatory. There were tons of moms out taking their kids for a job by the beach in their jogging stroller. I decided that maybe I should move to the beach and start my own mom and me jogging group. We also saw some very attractive military guys out for jogs. I wouldn't mind taking one of them home with me!

We drove up the coast to see the sights, and it was so beautiful. Too bad I don't have a million dollars to buy a gorgeous house on the beach, that would be living the high life.

We wanted to find some more beaches to explore, so someone recommended the childrens beach to us. We were kind of confused as to why it was just for children, I'm sure adults would like it too! Well when we got there we find out why it was the childrens beach. Each year that beach is where sea lions return to have their babies, and a treat for us, it was baby season. The beach was roped off a little so that we couldn't go and disturb the bonding time with the little ones. It was really neat to see. Kelle and I made up our interpretation of the conversations some of the baby sea lions were having with their parents as they were just sitting on the beach soaking up the sun.

I really enjoyed our time in Oceanside. Each Thursday they have a farmers market in the morning and a Sunset Market at night. It is a really cool atmosphere. We didn't make it to the farmers market since we were sight seeing, but the sunset market was fun. They had a stage for local bands to perform and tons of vendors. We couldn't stay too long because the little girls were getting tires. I can't wait to go to California again, visit the market again and go to the San Diego temple. I have wanted to go there for so long, and now that I can I really need to go. Hopefully at the end of summer I can find a time to go.