Saturday, January 29, 2011

(2)7 Dresses

I am now just 20 dresses short of being able to star in my own movie!

In the meantime, may I present to you "7 Dresses."

Dana and Jason, June 2004

Lisa and Chase, March 2005

Jenni and Vaughn, June 2008

Briana and Nate, December 2008

Christina and Jeremy, July 2010

Kate and Darren, November 2010

Tessa and Paul, January 2011

Wah, Wah, Wah!

I'm having blogger's remorse for posting such a self-focused and WHINY entry yesterday.

Seriously. That was not one of my finer moments, everyone. It goes against everything I decided I was going to stand for this year.

I would like to quote Mary Englebreit who quoted Carlos Castaneda who said, "We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same."

And there you have it, folks.

Friday, January 28, 2011


As a teacher, I think in terms of school years (September-May) instead of calendar years.

This year has been a hard one for me.

There hasn't been any one big trial that I've had to work through; rather, it has been little challenges that have caused me to struggle a little.

I think my third year teaching has been harder than my first. Maybe it's like when you go on a mission. You're more spiritual then than at any other time in your life. You feel, however, like you're the dust of the earth because you can see your weaknesses more clearly.

Many days this year I have felt hopeless as a teacher. But I hope it's because I'm so immersed in it that my weaknesses are much more evident to me. Hopefully I'm a better teacher now than I was before. Regardless, this year hasn't been easy. In fact, it has been very, very hard.

I've been remembering today what my mentor teacher told me when I student taught. She made me promise I'd give it at least three years. I never thought I'd get to three years, but I'm almost there. Probably not a good year to decide whether or not to continue teaching as my career! But in the spirit of what she said, I'm not giving up.

The health problems I've been experiencing have been frustrating, only because there is no clear cut answer as to what is causing a lot of the pain I've been having in my abdomen. It's hard not to have control over when you feel well and when you don't! They know there is something going on based on results of tests they've run, but they can't pinpoint the cause. I have been getting every x-ray on the planet (including an felt so weird to get one with no baby inside!) but with no answers.

I've had my fair share of heart breaks this year. I'd like to have no more, thank you.

I started out this year so optimistic, but it has been a little harder than I thought to keep my chin up! It'll be okay, I know it will. It just takes a minute :-).

Writing helps clear my mind. So thanks for listening!

Monday, January 24, 2011

So we all know Mondays aren't the greatest, but this is getting ridiculous...

This morning, I woke up at 6:30 a.m. I tried to do some reading, but couldn't keep my eyes open so I set my alarm for 6:50 and went back to sleep. I got up, got ready, and went to school like any normal Monday.

Mondays are late start for the students and we have teacher meetings in the morning. At 7:45 a.m., I was sitting in our general meeting before we split into departments and I got a sudden, sharp pain in my left side. It got worse and so I slipped out of the meeting. I started sweating and went pale and I could no longer stay upright because the pain was so intense. I hobbled to the financial office and talked to our secretary to find out where the appendix is, thinking it was bursting at that very moment. I laid down in the office and they went and got my co-worker, Christy. She's the band teacher, so we work together a lot and we're good friends.

Christy was going to drive me to the Springville Instacare since the Provo one wasn't open, but the pain was so intense that I told her just to take me to the emergency room down the street, even though it was going to cost me a lot more. We ran a yield sign and almost hit another car, which made me feel like I was going in to labor and rushing to the hospital. Maybe the pain would be worth it if I got a baby out of it.

When I got in to the ER waiting room, they started asking me questions about my address, phone number, etc. and I was thinking to myself, "Why are you talking to me? Is this really necessary? I don't want you to ask me questions like everything is normal." The pain was so intense at this point that I was breathing really fast and shallow and alternately crying and moaning. They sent me to another room where the lady started asking me more questions about where the pain was, how bad it hurt, etc. She asked if I could walk to hospital bed in a room in the ER and I said meekly, "How far?" I had to repeat myself three times before she could understand me because I was trying to answer in the midst of really bad pain. I remember thinking to myself, "Don't they have to learn in the ER how to decipher what people in pain are saying?" Sort of like how I have to learn how to read handwriting that is impossible to decipher from middle school boys. Later I realized that she was probably actually a volunteer and not a nurse.

She got me a wheelchair even though I said I could walk and as soon as I laid down on the bed, the pain started to ease gradually. My hands went numb, which kind of freaked me out, but a medical assistant assured me that happens when you breathe fast and shallow for a long period of time.

They started an IV and the doc came to see me. During this time, Christina came and switched posts with Christy so the latter could get back to work to teach her classes. It was a surreal experience for Christy to be there, as she had been in the ER one month earlier after passing out after a band concert. I was so grateful for her help. She arranged lesson plans for me and helped my sub out with difficult students. I work with great people!

The doctor ordered blood and urine tests. After studying the results of the tests, he determined that I needed to get a CAT scan of my kidneys. His first guess was that I had a kidney stone. The weirdest part about the day was they had to wheel me in to the x-ray room on the hospital bed, even though at that point, I felt perfectly capable of walking. I think it's a legal thing, but it felt very strange. They ran some tests and ran some more. I went back to my room and waited. My sister had some school matters to attend to, and since the doc seemed pretty confident as to the diagnosis, I convinced her to go to back to school and I would chill until she could come back to pick me up.

I ended up having to wait a lot longer than normal because for some reason, the ER was totally hoppin' on this particular Monday. The doctor told me I was lucky enough to come on a Monday morning that was acting like a Friday night. A very nice/cute hospital volunteer came in to chat with me and see if I needed anything. I wouldn't have minded a longer visit, but he had lots of places to go and people to see I'm sure.

The doctor came back and told me there was no stone, but there was a kidney infection and started me on an antibiotic drip and then sent me home with a bunch of prescriptions. He said it was possible there was a stone and I passed it in the morning when I was in so much pain. Often, infections are caused by stones. He said there was nothing I could do to prevent it and that they consider first time stones/infections flukes unless they begin recurring more frequently. He told me to take it easy today and tomorrow and wrote me a doctor's note for work.

And that was how I spent Monday.

Thanks everyone for checking up on me, bringing me food, and sending me texts of Ella to cheer me up! What an adventure.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My friend Allan Mount from Santa Barbara recently started a business called, "Yousicals." He and his wife put on an amazing party in honor of the launching of the website. They make an incredible team! The decorations and refreshments were fabulous and the entertainment was hilarious.

They had a (non-alcoholic) bartender. So fun!

These cream cheese cookies were about the best thing on planet earth.

Kels and Daniel came to support the performers. Daniel's name was picked in a drawing for a free Yousical of his own.

Two fellow Yousical performers, Tyler and Jefferson. Tyler won "BYU Idol" last year.

"I wanna be a Jedi Knight so friggin' bad."

I got to play Galinda opposite Erin singing Elphaba in a parody of "Defying Gravity."

"What are you doing eating that hamburger? Are you kidding me?!"

"Change with me. Think of what we could eat...together!"

"Just you and I consuming animals!"

Let me tell you what...Erin has PIPES! She brought the house. It was so cool! I was lucky to get to sing with her.

These little grab bags for the guests contained a CD of all the songs featured during the evening's performance.

Visit for clips from a variety of parodies, bios of the singers, and information about how to get your own "yousical"!




The amount of days Ella spent in the NICU?


But that number is not getting any bigger. Because today, little Ella came home!

Let's take a look at her journey from October 12, 2010, until now. I don't have her most recent pictures since coming home, but don't worry...there will be MUCH more where this came from!

We all love this happy, beautiful baby girl so much. She's a fighter! She overcame huge obstacles to get strong enough to come home. Her parents are heroes, as well. I will never forget the sacrifice, love and dedication they showed over the past 3 months and ten days. They are quite the amazing little family.

As per tradition in the Houston family, Ella already has lots of nicknames like Ella Bella and Ellapalooza.

April 11th can't come soon enough! I can't wait to finally hold this baby girl!