Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Now-Nov. 27th (1st Anniversary!)

This has been such a fun week!  I had my Happy Now 10 for last week all written out in my journal, but time got away from me before I could make the post.  I am excited to pick up with this week, however, and share some of the very happy moments we've had over the past seven days.

1. The Wiz--On Monday, Darren and I had the opportunity to see a production of The Wiz at Highland High School in Salt Lake.  Katie, who started teaching choir at Highland this year, was the musical director of the show.  She got us front row seats next to her parents, sister, and Krista.  They were such great seats and we had a lot of fun watching this creative adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.  The students were wonderful, and Katie had obviously used a lot of her time and talent to put on such a fantastic show.  Here is a picture of me with Krista and Katie:

2.  1st Anniversary Part I--After I finished teaching on Tuesday, Darren and I drove up to Park City (where we had spent our honeymoon the year before).  Thanks to the generous anniversary gifts we received from both sets of parents, we were able to have dinner and spend the night there before heading up to Idaho for Thanksgiving.  I had started having a lot of wedding deja-vu the week before, and spending time in a wintery Park City just added to those wonderful wedding memories.

On Main Street in Park City--November 2011
3.  Tree Hunt--When we arrived in Idaho on Wednesday, Darren and I were invited to go find a Christmas tree with Angie, Scott, and their two beautiful girls, Annalyse and Natalie.  This was unlike any tree-buying experience I had had, though.  Scott and Angie bought a tree-cutting permit and went into the woods near their home to cut down their own tree.  We joked about feeling like the Griswalds from "Christmas Vacation", but in reality it was so beautiful and easy!  If Darren and I ever live by a wooded area we will definitely need to copy this tradition!

The whole crew (minus Angie who was taking the picture) before heading out to look for a tree: Annalyse, Darren, Me, Scott, Natalie

The tree has been found and is (apparently) about to be conquered.

4.  Thanksgiving Holiday--I am so grateful for an entire holiday dedicated to remembering the things for which we are grateful.  We even get an amazing feast to eat while we reflect on our blessings.  Angie and Scott made a wonderful turkey dinner complete with mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, salad, corn, rolls, and jello pudding.

5.  Black Friday--I had my first Black Friday shopping experience this year.  While I'm not sure that I'll be going out again at midnight next year, it was pretty exciting to see the deals that were available.

6.  Cute Nieces--I have really enjoyed becoming "Aunt Kate" over the past year.  I was sorry that Cindy and Brent's family couldn't join us for the holiday, but I had a lot of fun spending time with Annalyse and Natalie this week.  They are such polite, talented girls.  Coming home from dinner last night, Darren and I were riding in the back seat with Natalie.  I decided to play a game with Natalie that we have played before: I take out my iPhone camera, give her an emotion, and then snap her interpretation of that emotion.  I thought that I would share a few photos of this cutie:

The "stare down" look 
"It's Christmas morning and you just got the present you've always wanted."

"You've just seen Uncle Darren after not seeing him for a really long time."


"I'm hungry!"
7.  Anniversary Breakfast--Mr. and Mrs. Myler were kind enough to fix the family a pancake, eggs, and bacon breakfast yesterday morning and today.  When we arrived for breakfast this morning, we were greeted by an anniversary sign and handmade anniversary purse from Natalie.

Breakfast table with sign

Close-up of sign

Anniversary purse :)
8.  Craft time--I don't consider myself a crafty person.  I remember taking a sewing class in Jr. High, but I haven't touched a sewing machine since then.  This weekend, however, Angie helped me start a quilt for which I measured and tore fabric squares and sewed four squares together.  Four whole squares!  Thanks for the opportunity to be crafty, Angie!

9.  Christmas Music and Decorations--Fortunately, Darren and I agree on not listening to Christmas music nor decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  Helping the Cornelison's start decorating their home for Christmas, however, really made me excited to bring out the few decorations Darren and I have.  We listened to Christmas music the entire way home from Idaho and, as soon as we had unpacked, we got out our decorations and got to work.  Here's what we did:

The spoons on the far left and the table runner below came from  the Quarinos (ma famille francaise) last year for our wedding.

10.  1st ANNIVERSARY-Part II--It is hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I became Mrs. Kate Myler.  When I look back on this past year, all I can feel is gratitude for the man I have married and the life that we have.  It is not perfect, but it is one that we are making together and in which I trust and have faith.  Darren and I have looked at the clock several times today and have tried to remember exactly what we were doing at that specific time a year ago.  Our wedding day was the most happy and perfect day I can remember, and I have loved remembering the details of that day.

I consider myself a romantic, but when it came time to discuss the gifts that we wanted to give each other it was Darren who told me that the 1st Anniversary is the Paper Anniversary.  So, we went to a beautiful stationary store we recently discovered in Salt Lake, Tabula Rasa, and got some handmade paper and a wax seal.  For our gift exchange today, Darren and I wrote letters to each other on the paper we had bought, shared the letters with each other, and then sealed them to open again next year on our second anniversary.  Here's to a great second year of marriage!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Now-Nov. 13

Here are my Happy Now 10 from last week:

1.  History's mysteries--This month in my reading class we are focusing on biographies.  I was talking to my parents a few weeks ago about choosing a biography that all of the students in my class could read together.  Based on their input, I ended up choosing a biography on Amelia Earhart.  I remember being fascinated by her life and disappearance when I was in elementary school, and I have loved sharing her story with my students.  Whether we are discussing Roanoke Island in Social Studies or Earhart in Reading, discussing historical "mysteries" with my students is so fun.  Their eyes become wide and their minds start racing and for a few moments keeping their attention requires absolutely no effort on my part.

2.  Law school letters--On Wednesday morning during my math class I looked through my classroom door window to see Darren standing in the hallway.  He had a big smile on his face.  I stepped out into the hall to discover that he had received his first law school acceptance letter.  What a happy moment that was!  I am so proud of the work he has put into applying to law school and am looking forward to the changes these next few months may bring us.

3.  Student for a day--I took another professional day on Friday to cram a month's worth of studying into one day for the Praxis II teaching exam, which I took Saturday morning.  While the test itself caused me some anxiety, I have to admit I LOVED being a "student" again for a day.  I loved waking up, fixing myself breakfast, and reviewing educational theories all day.  Dorky, I know.  I enjoy being the teacher, but I realized I also really miss being the student.

4.  College campuses--The above mentioned teaching test was given on the BYU campus.  Again, I loved walking around this familiar campus and feeling collegiate all over again.  It really is a beautiful campus, especially this time of year, and I am a proud cougar alumna.

5.  Love story--I read this love story on Sara's blog this week.  It's so beautifully written.  Thanks for sharing, Sara!

6.  Cleaning day--Cleaning is typically not one of my favorite things, but this past weekend I got the cleaning bug and just couldn't stop.  It felt so good to scrub and clean and throw away and light candles.  I turned up the music and just got to work.  Now if it can just stay this way for a little while until I get the cleaning urge again ...

7.  First year flashbacks--On Friday night Reagan Academy hosted a fund-raiser Art and Basket Auction at the school.  I took a couple-hour break from studying and went down to distribute my raffle tickets.  While I didn't win a thing, seeing students from my first year of teaching (who are now in 7th grade and were back visiting their old elementary school) definitely made me happy.  Seeing them and hearing them call me "Miss Sonne" brought back so many happy memories from my first year.

8.  Tickling the ivories (kind of :)--Our neighbors were out of town for a few days and asked us to take care of their bird.  They own a piano and, knowing I used to take lessons, told me that I was welcome to play a few tunes while I was over feeding "Jerry".  I have known some amazing pianists and my musical talent is mediocre at best, but it was so fun to play!  I miss having instruments around and I wanted to immediately sign up for lessons again.  What was my favorite part about playing?  A rousing duet of "Heart and Soul" with Darren!

9.  Wedding pics--As our 1st Anniversary quickly approaches, Darren and I have been looking at wedding pictures again and deciding on some prints we want to order.  I love re-living that day.  I am so grateful for the friends and family who made such an effort to be there and helped make it the day that it was.  Thank you!

10.  Girls' Night Out--Speaking of amazing friends, I was SO excited for a girls' night dinner over the weekend.  Brie was back in town for a few days with her darling daughter, Emmaline.  I met up with Katie, Celeste, and the two Weir girls at Buca di Beppo on Saturday night.  We talked and ate and talked some more.  Oh, how I wish that we were all neighbors and could have evenings like this much more often!

Brie and Celeste

Miss Emmaline--just one of the girls!

Me and Katie

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Now-Nov. 6

Here are 10 things that made me happy last week:

1. Halloween--elementary students + costumes + candy = A very festive (if not a bit chaotic) holiday!

2.  Making Halloween cupcakes for some neighbors--What is it about this time of year that makes baking so much more fun than usual?

3.  Teaching conference--Last Thursday I got a substitute for my class and went to a "Motivating Unmotivated Students" conference in Salt Lake City with some other teachers at my school.  While the conference wasn't everything for which I had hoped, it was so nice to have a change of pace and get a chance to bond with some lovely fellow educators.

4.  Mornings in bed--On both Saturday and Sunday I woke up around 6:30 a.m. feeling rested and unable to fall back asleep.  So ... I fluffed up my pillow, grabbed a book and my computer, and read and wrote e-mails for the first couple hours of my day.  I have to admit, there are definitely worst ways to spend quiet weekend mornings.

5.  Fall Daylight Savings Time--I remember telling Darren not too long ago that I just need a few more hours in my day.  Well, yesterday we got one. :)

6.  Snowy weather--I know what some of you are thinking: being grateful for snow is not typical behavior for Mrs. Kate Myler.  Maybe it was the mornings I spent in bed, waiting for the sun to rise, and knowing that there was a THIN layer of snow outside while I was safe and warm under my comforter that actually made me smile at the thought of there being snow on my doorstep.

7.  Finishing a book--There are few things as sweet as finishing a good book.  There is a feeling of accomplishment and time to relish the purpose behind the author's writing.  Love it!

8.  Starting a new book--The excitement I find in starting a new book rivals the satisfaction I feel in finishing a great one.  I'm always intrigued by what an author chooses to write as the first and last lines of a book.  I read the first sentence, especially of a book that comes recommended from those I know and love, with all the anticipation of meeting a potential life-long friend.

9.  Beautiful writing--My dad has taught me the beauty that can come from clear, simple writing.  Occasionally, however, I come across some very flowery writing that is nothing short of delicious.  This was the case in the new Book Club book I started reading Saturday morning: The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman.  I LOVE her detail!  Her first paragraph completely drew me in:

"At dawn in an outlying district of Warsaw, sunlight swarmed around the trunks of blooming linden trees and crept up the white walls of a 1930s stucco and glass villa where the zoo director and his wife slept ... Oriental rugs warmed the parquet floor, where strips of wood slanted together as repeating feathers, and a birch armchair squared one corner of the room.  When a breeze lifted the voile curtain enough for grainy light to spill in without casting shadows, barely visible objects began anchoring Antonina to the sensible world."


10.  Friends having babies--A few weeks ago, I found out that a good friend is pregnant with her first baby due this May.  Yesterday morning, I received a text from another great friend announcing the birth of her first--a precious baby boy.  I am so excited for my friends and their new little families.  I can't help thinking how lucky these little kids are to have such amazing parents.  Congratulations, Tessa (and Paul) and Shelley (and Nick)!!
Design by Deluxe Designs