We Are Fami-Lee

We Are Fami-Lee

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I find myself struggling to write this post. Not because I don't have anything to be thankful for; just the opposite actually. I am overwhelmed with the many blessings that I have in my life. The one that I want to focus this post on is my miracle baby girl.

In a month and a half, our sweet little girl will be born. I cannot believe how long the 9 months has felt nor how fast it has seemed to go. But words cannot express how grateful I feel that she has entered our lives.

I think back to a year ago, to two years ago and the pain and heartache I felt as Derek and I were in the midst of our infertility battle. It was so difficult to keep such pain inside and I thanked God every day that I had Derek to help me through. To listen to me, to hold me when I cried, and to cry right along side me. He helped me through it all.

I remember especially, a year ago today, I was in Hawaii and wanted so badly to feel grateful for the things that I had. The fact that I was even there, in a tropical paradise should have been enough to feel grateful for. But, that Thanksgiving day, we found out that the previous month of trying to become pregnant, just like all the months before, had failed, and I felt a bit hopeless. I told Derek that I would fake being thankful that day, because I just couldn't bring myself to be thankful for anything when all I wanted was to be a mom.

Now, a year later, my gratitude is overflowing. I didn't know I could feel such love and gratitude towards God for sending such a precious miracle into our lives. I feel grateful for our struggles to get pregnant. More grateful than I think even I remember sometimes. There is opposition in all things. For all the pain and heartache, for all the tears that I shed, my gratitude for our precious gift is ten times greater. I wouldn't have known such joy if I hadn't experienced such sorrow. I'm grateful for my experience because every time I feel her kick inside me, I smile, knowing that I have been given the most precious of all gifts. Not only were we given our daughter, but we were given the memory of how hard it was and therefore how truly wonderful she is.

I can't wait to meet our little girl. I know that I won't be the perfect parent; in fact, I know that I will most likely make all of the mistakes I told myself I wouldn't make, and then some. But I do know that our daughter will be loved with all the love in my heart. She will always know that her parents love her, that they prayed for her, that they cried for her, and that they thank God every day of their lives that she entered theirs.

She is our Miracle Baby!

We love you Samantha!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What I've Been Up To Lately

Recently, I have finished several projects and though they may seem small, it feels good to get things done so I thought I'd share with you all.

I FINALLY finished this cross-stitch project. It took me a couple of years (on and off time) but now it is finished. It was the hardest project I've done by far!

Our wall before...

...And after. We've created our own "mail system" to try and stay ahead of all the paper!

A "To Do/To File" magazine holder that I covered with scrapbook paper.

"To Shred."

Judi and I have been spending some time in her sewing room. This is the first thing I have ever done. Ever. I think it turned out great! I'm sure the baby will think so too!

There are still TONS of things on my "to do" list but it all takes time. We are still painting (sigh) and we still don't have furniture (we are waiting on getting a credit card in Canada and it's taking a long time) so I can't do all of the things I want to right now. I'll keep you updated.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I'm feeling very accomplished today. And that is saying something because usually I feel like a lazy bum with NOTHING to do and NO motivation to do it even if I do have things to do!

All I did to make this day successful was take a trip to Wal*Mart and the Dollar Store. I've been wanting to get some organizing done in this house of mine for awhile now and I've been searching Pinterest for good ideas on how to make life more livable and organized. I have also been wanting to start making a 72-hour emergency kit. So at Wal*Mart I bought huge storage bins (only 10 bucks each, whoohoo!), pantry organizers, and other odd's-n-ends. At the Dollar Store I spent $50 on emergency preparedness things.

Now all I need to do is start organizing with all my fun things.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday School

For several years, I haven't really enjoyed Sunday School as much as I thought I should. It was definitely the most boring of the 3 hours of church and at first I never really thought much of it. But recently, I've wanted to get a better overall experience at church so I decided that I would start reading the lesson before hand (what a concept, right?). In college, when I was prepared, classes seemed to be so much better, I was able to participate and I got more out of each class. I figured it would be the same way. But I think I've figured out what bugs me about Sunday School. Sorry if this offends anyone.

When I think of Sunday School, I think of studying the scriptures. That's what we are there to do right? Every year it's a new book and we go through that book chapter by chapter every week. The way that our manuals are written, we usually don't talk about the scriptures all that much; instead we focus on the principles and doctrines that are being taught. I have often heard Derek say that this is the reason he has a hard time with Sunday School, but mine goes a bit further.

I feel like when I have spent time reading and studying before Sunday School to be prepared for a lesson, and then we talk about things that aren't even (in my opinion) in the assigned reading, I have nothing to prepare for. How am I supposed to know that we are going to be talking about some principle just because one word in the scripture reading that week was mentioned? I kind of feel cheated when I get to Sunday School and all we talk about are the principles that the instructor (or maybe it's the manual) thinks are important for us to learn. It feels like the instructor gets all of this time to study and learn things and this is what I got from it, so enjoy. Instead, I want us to read the scriptures together, study together, and discuss together. Instead of having an instructor tell me what I should get out of it. Does this make sense? I don't mind if we end up talking about the principles and doctrines contained in the verses, but I want to do it together. Again, I don't want someone to tell me what to get out of it. We are all different, and we may all get something different out of certain scripture passages so we should be able to share those things. Instead, we just sit there and don't even read any scriptures, so no one has a chance to share what they have gotten out of it. I think yesterday, we read a total of 3 scripture passages (usually just one verse) and 2 of them weren't even in our assigned reading. I don't know, I just get a little frustrated sometimes.

Does anyone else feel this way, or (as Matt would say) am I a total nut bag?

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I had a great birthday yesterday. I went out to lunch downtown with Gary, Judi, Jen and Derek. Then Judi took me shopping to buy some maternity clothes. We also got a new stroller and car seat. When we got home, Derek took me out to dinner to a place called Joey's and then we spent the rest of the night watching 30 Rock (what Derek got me for my birthday:)

I just wanted to share a little bit about my mater
nity c
lothes shopping experience yesterday. IT WAS AWESOME!!! After spending a lifetime trying to buy clothes that would hide my tummy and never having very much success from store to store because of my little "problem area," this was the fi
rst time that I looked good in almost everything I tried on because I was trying to accentuate said "problem area." It was amazing! I practically tried on the whole store and it was tons of fun.

I made Derek take pictures as I did a little "Fashion Show" this afternoon. What am I? 12?

I really like these sweaters that hang down. I'm pretty sure I will wear all of these after baby is born!

In other related news: I'm feeling like I'm getting larger by the day, and the fact that I still have 17 weeks left scares me a little. At this rate, I really will be the size of a boat! At least it'll make me warm in my first Canadian winter!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


In my dream last night, Derek died in a car accident. I was told (by who? I don't know) that I could choose one time, ONE TIME, that I could call him in heaven and talk to him.

Life kind of went on, I went to school (I'm not sure why I didn't picture a baby in my future life, maybe because I don't actually have one right now), I started dating this guy and I kept comparing him to Derek. He just wasn't good enough. Nice, sure. But not good enough.

I was sitting in a class and just starting crying hysterically. I ran to the bathroom and decided to use my one phone call. I called and Derek answered and I told him how much I missed him and how I was dating this guy but I couldn't get over the fact that it wasn't HIM! He tried to tell me everything was going to be OK, that he wanted me to date other guys and that he LOVED heaven (that was the funniest part of the dream).

I woke up and just started bawling. Even now as I write this, tears are welling up in my eyes. I'm trying to think that the meaning of the dream was to be more grateful for Derek and not for me to get ready for his death...

Truly, I am so completely lucky and blessed. To have someone like Derek in my life is the biggest blessing I could have ever imagined. He is EVERYTHING!!! How in the world did I get so lucky?

Love you, doll!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's the Simple Things

  • starting and finishing a book in one day
  • Haagen-Daz chocolate peanut butter ice cream mini cups
  • painting the baby's room PINK
  • staying up late talking, then...
  • making Derek go downstairs to get me Oreos and milk at midnight and eating them together
  • feeling the baby kick constantly!

Yeah, I'm pretty happy right now!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meet Our Little Girl

Here is a picture of her little face. She's looking right at the camera, smiling and saying "cheese!"

And her little profile! Crunched up in a little ball! What a sweetheart!

IT'S A....


It's a girl, it's a girl, it's a girl!

So much for "mother's intuition" because I thought it was a boy the WHOLE time! I mean, we've been calling her "Eggbert" for the last several weeks! I guess we'll just have to call her Eggbertha from now on and I'll have to apologize profusely when she's born!

There's something about knowing the gender that makes it so much more real! I can picture January so much easier now. I can finally start thinking about what to do with her little nursery! I can buy things with a little baby girl in mind. And we can start thinking of some names!

I'm excited! Can you tell?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Little Baby

Apparently, my body has decided to start giving me morning sickness in my second trimester. I was perfectly fine all 18 weeks up until this week. Now, every morning, off I go to the bathroom! Now, this isn't that big of a problem because I craved for morning sickness the 2 years we were trying to have this little baby and I promised God that I wouldn't complain when I did get pregnant. The only issue is that today we were supposed to find out what gender our baby is. And because of the nature of my morning sickness...uh hum...I couldn't have a full bladder and therefore they weren't able to get any good pictures of little baby. In fact, baby was really hard to see. We were able to get some pictures of the spine, feet, legs, arms and a cute profile, but no gender shot.

We go back in tomorrow at 10:45. Hopefully I'll have gotten it out of my system so I can get all bladdered up to see this little rascal properly!


Monday, July 25, 2011


We get the keys THIS FRIDAY!!! Woohoo! We get to spend the weekend cleaning, painting? and measuring for furniture and things!

I'm getting super excited. I now feel like I can start looking at paint colors, furniture, etc. and actually know what I can get and where it will go and when it can be there!

One thing that's been really nice about this move is that we really don't have to do ANYTHING!!! Our stuff arrives on Monday and the movers are doing everything. People keep asking what they can do to help us with the move and we really can't think of anything right now, except maybe letting us use some cleaning supplies and giving advice on how to decorate! It's really nice. I must say to anyone who may move in the near future: movers are the way to go!

In other news, I'm 16 weeks along, my belly is starting to show, we find out the gender in 2 weeks, and we are pretty sure we are naming the baby...


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Life in Canada...Thus Far

Now fess up women. How come no one told me how large my chest would become this early on in pregnancy? Now don't all go looking at once, but I have grown 2 sizes since little baby has made itself at home in my belly. 2 sizes! (Sorry to all my male family who may not want to read this right now, but seriously? 2 sizes?) Anyway, I just had to go buy a new bra and the lady practically laughed at how small my previous bra was. I practically laughed at the sizes she brought me to try on...until they fit...then I stopped laughing! Anyway, I'm only 15 weeks in and I thought this would happen much, much later on. Who knew?

In other news, we did in fact purchase the house shown in the previous post! We are super excited. We only have 9 days until it's ours. It's weird thinking that I will be living in a house and not an apartment. We are going to have some serious upgrading to do to make this house look furnished. A two bedroom apartment to a 3 story house will require some serious purchases! Plus, with a baby coming, we are going to have to get a lot of new things. Why did we buy a house again? Sounds expensive!

I've been walking 3 miles everyday. I'm still not sure what types of exercise I can be doing right now, but I wanted to make sure I was doing SOMETHING, and now that I'm not so freakishly tired, I thought I'd wake up and take a walk every morning. Quite a good idea, if I do say so myself!

Derek is really enjoying his job; well as much as anyone can enjoy a new job. He's having to learn a lot which means a lot of reading and not a whole lot of doing. He seems to enjoy the people and he comes home speaking in an Irish accent most of the time. (I don't really want to explain this one because it's so much cooler if I just leave it at that, but it's just because he works next to an Irish guy. Told you, not that cool at all!)

He's enjoying working downtown. His dad works 2 buildings down on one end and his sister works 2 buildings down on the other so they get together for lunch when they can. Sometimes, I'm a little jealous! :)

Other than that, I really don't have much else to say. I try to keep busy. I've been reading my book and cross-stitching, but that gets old when you do it EVERYDAY. I don't have a car, but even if I did, I'm not sure where I'd go. Once we move in, I'll have some unpacking to do and some purchasing to do (Awesome!). I'm also going to try and learn to sew one of these days. I might be able to get my hands on a sewing machine soon! Question: how does one learn how to sew without someone showing them how? I could find a class, I'm sure, or I could just look it up on youtube? I don't know, but it's something I'm interested in. Maybe I just feel like I need to be all domestic or something.

Anyway, that's life!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

We're Big Kids Now!

Um, so, we put an offer down on a house last night. I know, pretty grown up of us. We are REALLY excited about it. We'll be negotiating prices in the next couple of days or so and once we can decide on the deal, it's just all that normal house buying stuff that we have to do before it's ours!!! Yay! We are hoping to get into the house by the beginning of August, if possible. This will mean I will have something to do with my life again: unpack!

Isn't it CUTE?!?!

In other news, I'm seriously considering getting a masters. Yes, I know little baby is coming soon, but I thought it would be a good idea to do before baby comes, take a break once baby comes, and continue again. I could do one of those online programs from up here and it wouldn't affect my Canadian "visitors" status. I thought about doing an education masters, but that doesn't actually sound all that appealing to me right now. I feel like I would want to do an administration specialization to become a principal but there are some things that wouldn't make sense about that: 1) No one would let me be a principal with only 2 years of teaching experience so I would have to teach another 5-10 years before they'd let me. 2) It would make sense to get a masters in education while I was teaching so I would have a place to implement what I'm learning. 3) I don't know when I will go back to teaching so my knowledge might just sit on the shelf for a LONG time.

So instead I was thinking a masters in psychology. Just a general degree, so I wouldn't get licensed to be a counselor or anything but it would be things that I want to learn about. I think it would be knowledge used in many areas of my life, including teaching if/when I go back to that.

I don't know. What do you think? I'm a little worried it might be too much to take on right now, but I'm also afraid that if I don't start now, I never will and it is something that really interests me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Don't Want to Give Anything Away in the Title...

It feels really strange writing other posts before this one because I’ve been dying to let everyone know.


That’s right, I’m pregnant! I can barely believe it, still! I’m 13 weeks along, just about done with my first trimester and I’m still in shock. I just can’t believe that it happened.

No one will ever convince me that this wasn’t a miracle. It definitely was NOT supposed to be able to happen when it did. With only one working ovary, and them supposedly having to alternate each month, it just wasn’t supposed to work. In fact, even when I felt some symptoms creeping up on me, I didn’t even think to take a pregnancy test because it was literally impossible for it to be true. But, it is. It’s true. And in January, we’ll have a precious little baby of our own. It’s a miracle.

It’s been hard for me to understand how we’ve been so blessed. As long and as hard as it was for us, in the scheme of things, 2 years is not that long when it comes to dealing with infertility. Many others wait years and years and years before being blessed with a child of their own. And, I just don’t understand why some of them had to wait longer and how I am so blessed so quickly. I’m certainly not complaining :), but I wonder sometimes.

I know my story is quite a bit different because I pretty much knew from the time I was a teenager that I would have difficulty getting pregnant. So we didn’t wait very long (only about 4 months) before seeing our first doctor about it. I mean, I was seeing an infertility specialist a little over a year after we first started trying. Many couples wait a lot longer than that. I was very proactive, and that was extremely hard because being proactive doesn’t mean you have control over anything, but luckily, doctors were able to find out what was wrong fairly quickly. We truly are blessed. I only hope I can be the best mother I can in order to show my gratitude to the Lord.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hello from Canada

Okay, it’s high time that I updated this thing. I’ve actually have a lot to say, which is quite unusual for my blogging history so I thought I’d split them all up and post one a day so I didn’t overwhelm myself. Make sure you keep coming back!

First, I moved. I’m quite excited about it now that it has happened, but I’m also extremely scared. Obviously, it’s very new to me and it really doesn’t help that I can’t do anything until I’m a permanent resident. Right now, I’m just a long-term visitor which means I can’t work or go to school (meaning I can’t take any classes that would help me get a bachelors or masters).

So I need some help. I NEED to have something to do on a regular basis or I am going to spiral down into depression (especially as the winter months creep up). I have a few ideas, but I don’t think it’s enough.

  1. figure out what I need to do to keep my licensure up to date and usable in Canada, which might mean taking a class or two.
  2. taking up the violin again and take private or university lessons.
  3. once we get a house, unpacking and getting that all in order.
  4. learning to sew.
  5. and then the regular stuff that doesn’t take up much time like reading, cross-stitching, going on walks, etc.

I need some other ideas as to what I can do! I mean, this is my time to have some time to myself, time to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. Again, I’m excited I have this opportunity but also very nervous that it won’t be enough. HELP!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


So, we are moving. Yep. Moving. To Canada.

I'm actually really excited about it but there are a lot of things to do and to worry about before we can up and move to another country.

For Derek, it's quite easy since he's a citizen there still. For me, not so much. I have to do all that fun immigration stuff that we had to do with Derek when we first got married. Another thousand bucks just to submit an application. AWESOME!!! Luckily, it's a bit easier to immigrate to Canada than it is to the U.S. I'm actually quite surprised that not more people go straight to Canada instead of the U.S.

Oh yeah, that's right. It's because it's FREEZING up there! I am not looking forward to winters in Calgary!

But, overall, I really am excited. It's going to be quite an adventure for us. We are probably going to buy our first home which we couldn't have done for awhile. But, mainly, I'm really just excited for the idea of settling down. We don't know how long we will stay there, but Derek's scored a really great job up there and so it is our plan to stay there until or if something better comes up.

We've never really had that mentality anywhere else before. We always knew we would stay in Provo until I graduated. Then we moved to Pleasant Grove and knew we would only stay there until Derek went back to school (which is most likely not going to happen now that he has this job...at least not for awhile) or we found another way to get out of Utah (nothing against Utah, we just knew we didn't want to end up here). This is the first time that we are moving somewhere without an escape plan. And, I like that. I'm excited about that.

So, now you all know. We better be getting lots of visitors up there! It really is one of the most beautiful places ever. Come in the summer so you'll want to come back!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Thank Goodness It's Spring Break.

With the plate of stress I'm carrying around right now, I'm in desperate need of a week cruising the Caribbean!

1) No IUI this month. I started my own "cycle" without medication for the first time since I was 17 so I'll be on the cruise when it would have worked.

2) My 4th grade team pretty much hates me because I didn't get moved to 6th grade and a teacher that has been there for 8 years is. I was told to my face several times this week that it should have been me, they wished it was me, and the other teacher should have stayed over me. Yeah, pretty awesome.

3) We are facing a potential move that could be a lot more radical than we had originally thought.

4) My students start testing about 2 weeks after I get back so I've been trying to cram information down their throats.

5) I just got called to be 1st Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency.

Stressful much?

Here's to a week cruising the Caribbean!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


To spare you all the details, I'll just give you a quick update:

If everything is working as it should this month, we are a "go" for an IUI in mid-April.

That's all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ode to Mom

My mom is the best.

I could leave it at that because it truly sums it up completely, but somehow, it just doesn't seem like enough.

My mom is the strongest person I know. She inspires me to be a better person and when I look at her, at her life, at all of the things that she has gone through in this life, I can't help but be in awe that I was chosen to be her daughter. That I was lucky enough to be born to a woman that no one else compares to.

What did I do to deserve and be blessed with such an amazing woman to be my mother.

Sometimes, I don't think that I appreciate my mom like I should. We are very different; quite opposite in some ways, actually, and at times, I can become impatient and insensitive. I wish I could take back all of those times and replace them with how I truly feel about her! She amazes me.

Mom, you truly are the best. I never could have become the woman I am today without your help and guidance. Without your example and unconditional love. You lifted me up in the hardest of times, cried with me, hugged me, and talked with me. You showed me what it means to be a righteous woman, what it means to rely on the Lord, what it means to have strength and courage, and most importantly FAITH.

I appreciate all that you have done for me. All that you wanted to do for me. Everything that you are.

If I can be half the mother that you are to me, my children will be blessed beyond measure. And, luckily, they will have you for a grandmother!

Thank you!

Your Grateful Daughter

Sunday, March 20, 2011


We went to a special sacrament meeting with 3 other wards today because they are creating 2 new wards using people from each of the 4 wards present.

Derek and I are now members of the Grove 8th ward, and I'm not going to lie, I'm a little upset about it. In our old ward, there were two complexes that made up the membership: an apartment complex and a condo/town home complex. Pretty much all of our friends live in the condo/town home complex because if you can imagine, they are much more stable than the apartment complex tenants. We've been here for almost 2 years, so the people we have gotten close to have been there that long which means that they are established in the ward and therefore own a town home.

We literally know NO ONE in our new ward. We tried talking to people and thinking who would be coming with us to the new ward and we could name people, but none of them are friends. None of them are in the same point of life as we are. We just don't connect with any of them.

It's going to be hard. But, I guess change is always hard.

In some ways, I think God might be preparing me for some other change that may come in the near future. Derek and I knew we were going to be moving in August and I knew that I would have a really hard time leaving this ward. Maybe God knew that it would be difficult so he forced it a little earlier so when we actually do move, we will have had some time to get over it and get ready for a new ward.

Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, we will definitely have to adjust to the new change.

One good thing from all of this: we are no longer Sunbeam teachers!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


A blessing and a curse.

A blessing? When you care enough about something, you want to change to be better. For example, if I care about being a good wife, I want to change myself so I can be a good wife. If I care about being a good teacher, I will do what I can to make myself better, to change and mold myself to be the best I can be.

The curse? Maybe perfectionism is my curse, but caring becomes a curse because I can care too much. Care so much that it gets overwhelming and discouraging because I know I can't ever be that perfect someone that I so desperately care to be.

Regardless of the fact that caring is both a blessing and a curse, I would much rather care than not care. I feel like I am going through one of those times in life when you really learn a lot about yourself in a short amount of time. I've learned that depression comes quickly for me when I don't care about things that I once cared about.

Take teaching for example. This year, I have not cared nearly as much as I did in other years. I blamed this on the fact that I just want to be a stay-at-home mom and my plans aren't working like they should. I blamed it on the fact that my students are so much more capable this year than last, so I don't need to stress about being the best, because they'll do just fine even if I'm not my best. I blamed it on the fact that my team was this, that and the other and I couldn't change them so I might as well join in their negativity.


I knew I wasn't happy, but how do you just tell yourself to just start caring. It's easier said than done.

I don't know what changed for me, and that's an honest reflection, but I'm starting to care. I've gotten off of the pity horse and I'm ready to be the best I can be again. Who knows when we will have a baby? Who knows? Who knows how long I will be teaching? I don't know, but I might as well make the most of this experience. Right?

I feel a little overwhelmed and discouraged knowing that I can't be what I want to be RIGHT NOW, but I've got some ideas of how I can change little by little. I understand that I can't be perfect now. I have learned that many times, and will continue to learn that many times throughout my life, I am sure. But, I can try. That's my goal right now: to try. To care enough to try.

The following is a thought that I might not have fully formed into words yet, but it does have something to do with "caring." I'm also not sure where I would put this in this post, so I am writing it as a side-note, I guess you can say.

I care a lot about having a baby, about starting a family. I guess you could say that I care too much. Overwhelmingly and discouragingly too much. Because of this caring, I tried (have been trying) to do whatever I can do to make what I care so much about a reality. You all know I saw an OBGYN for a year, that I'm currently seeing a fertility specialist. I care, so I am proactive. That's just who I am.

The difference? I can't control what happens when it comes to having a baby and starting a family. Only God controls that. The only thing I can control is doing what I'm doing and having faith that it will happen for us. That's it.

With all the other things I care about, I can make these changes, be proactive about changing and I can see those changes become realities. Maybe small realities, slow-step realities, but realities nonetheless. Not so with starting a family. I have no control over what happens with my proactive caring. It's hard. It's trying. It's faith-testing.

But at least I care.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Have you ever failed to see what others see in you?

I do that all the time.

Sometimes, it's when Derek tells me I'm beautiful (sorry, sometimes I just have those days when I really don't believe him) or that I'm skinny (I usually never believe him on this one; sad, I know)

But usually it comes from teaching.

It's not that I think I'm a bad teacher. I do think I'm a good teacher. Compared to some other teachers I know, I might even say I'm a really good teacher. But great? I can't see that. I have been to a lot of different classrooms and have observed some teachers do amazing things. I have always thought that I am nowhere near their level of expertise. I figured that someday I might get there, but it wasn't going to be this year, and probably not for many years to come.

But some people at the district have their sights on me. I have somehow made a name for myself that I'm one of THOSE teachers, the really good ones. Even one of the "greats." I'm not really sure I get it.

I have been asked to do something really cool over the next 2 1/2 years. This summer I will go to a week-long training (and get paid $500 by the way :)) on the new common core that Utah (and most states) will be adopting. Over the course of this next year (2011-2012), I will be meeting with the other teachers who were trained with me and we will be planning how to teach the teachers about the new core. We will be gathering material, writing lesson plans and really delving into the core. And, I'll get another $500! The following year (if I'm still teaching that is, which in some ways I hope I am and in others, heck no, but that's another post for another time) we will actually teach the teachers in district meetings. That's right, another fat paycheck to go along with it...

The funny part? My name was one of 7 that were asked to go to represent the 4th grade teachers in the whole district. 7. And 2 of those names? You guessed it. They were two of the teachers that I observed and thought I could never be as good as. What's happening?

I promise this post is not some sneaky way for me to get you to give me compliments about my teaching. I truly am shocked. Utterly shocked. Excited. Flattered. Proud. And Shocked.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Adoption has been on my mind a lot lately. I'm torn by the way that I feel about it. In most ways, I think it would be wonderful and I know I would love an adopted baby just as much as one I had given birth to.

In some small ways, I don't think that I am yet ready for it. Don't ask me why; I haven't quite figured out the logic of that one. It just seems like it would bring more responsibility. Many adoptions nowadays are "open adoptions" where the birth family are apart of the child's life. I don't think I would like that very much. I don't know, it just seems like it would take some real thinking and pondering before I could adopt a child.

Since Derek and I have been married, we often have conversations about raising kids, what we would do in certain situations, who we want to parent like, who we don't want to parent like, and so on. We've never talked about adoption. We never talked about when or how you tell your adopted child that they were adopted. How you handle those moments where they hurt because "their birth mom didn't want them." I just think it would be harder. And, that makes me feel like I'm not ready to start that process and look into adoption just yet.

But, then I think about how Derek and I waited to try and have kids because we weren't ready. If we had gotten pregnant that first month of marriage, it would have been scary! So, we waited, just in case it would happen really easily. Well, I know now that it wouldn't have happened easily and if we had started right away, maybe we would have a child now, we would have gone through this process earlier. But we knew we weren't ready, so we made the right choice.

I'm feeling that way about adoption. I know that if our other options don't work and we aren't able to conceive our own child, adoption will be a blessing and a welcome opportunity. I also know that it can take a LONG time to be chosen for adoption. If we wait until all the other options have run out, and then we start the process, it could be a couple of years before we were chosen. If we start now, it still might take a couple of years so we could try our other options while waiting to hear, but then again, what happens if we are chosen quickly? (As Derek put it, "We're pretty awesome, so maybe we'll be in high demand!") Would we be ready to adopt this soon? That, I don't know.

So, we are in the same dilemma. Do we start now, or do we wait?

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I have this really great idea, or at least I think it's really great, to get a book club thing going with my students.

I've been in a book club for the last several months and because of that, I have been using goodreads.com a lot more. I love putting books that I've read, am currently reading, or want to read. I love writing reviews for the books I have read but most importantly, I love reading other people's recommendations and reviews. That's what helps me know what I want to read next.

I would love to find a website just like goodreads so students can join our class "group" and review and recommend books to their peers. The problem is, the website has to be kid-friendly. Goodreads requires an email which my students don't have, and there is an age limit of 13. I agree with this because I don't want my 4th graders to be able to find certain books and reviews. Too adult for them!

The only website I have found that gives me what I want is spaghettibookclub.com. The only thing is, there's a fee. I've asked how much, but no one has emailed me back yet.

Does anyone know of a website like this? One without a fee? Or, is there anyone who wants to create a website for me? :) I know everyone who reads this blog has SO much time on their hands!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's to Me!

Dear Mrs. Lee,
Happy Valentine's Day!
Thank you for being
such a good teacher!
You were my 2nd
favorite teacher, and
now your my 1st.
do you beleive that!

(Insert student's name here)

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm a Lame Wife

Derek's birthday was yesterday, and I was so tired, I fell asleep at 8:30.

Yep, that's right. 8:30. I'm lame.

At least I was the first person to wish him a Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Have I ever said how much I need and love friends?

I have learned in my married life that as much as I love Derek, I need girl friends. Need. Like Desperately.

All of my best friends, save one (love you Sarah), have moved away from Utah. Talk about lonely! But recently, I have become more involved in my ward relief society and I'm starting to make some really good friends. It started with volleyball and that's all it took. These people want to keep doing things with me so they invited me to be a part of their book club (I feel like one of those super insecure kids in high school who gets all excited when the "cool kids" invite her to a party or something:).

But, I love being around girls. I love our conversations and how they can switch from one subject to another so fluidly and yet we can never remember how we got there.

I remember moving around a bit during my childhood and always being worried about making friends. It was so important to have friends as a child, so obviously it was worrisome that I would never make them. I never should have worried because as a child, it was so easy to make friends.

As an adult, I still think it is crucially important for me to have friends. And, I still worry that I won't make any as I move from one apartment complex to another. Unfortunately, it's a little harder to make friends as an adult. It's not like, "Hi, I'm Courtney" and then we proceed to play dolls and by the end of five minutes, we're best friends! It's definitely harder. That is why it was so devastating to have my friends move away.

I've been in this ward for over a year and a half and I'm just now starting to feel apart of this relief society, this woman's society. It feels good! I am learning a lot about myself and I know that the next time I move, I'm not going to be so shy when I get to a new ward (easier said than done, I know). I know that the only way for me to have friends is to just put myself out there. If I had just done volleyball last year, this past year would have been a lot more rewarding!

As an ending note, I just want to say how grateful I am for the church, even if just for the social aspect of it. Anywhere I move, I will have a relief society and I can learn to put myself out there more and make friends easier and quicker than if I moved and didn't have the church. I'm really not sure how regular people do it. How do they meet people? Make friends? I know going to work does a lot of it, but what if you are a stay-at-home mom? How do you do it then? I know they must somehow, but I'm just grateful I don't have to figure that one out. I will always have a relief society that can provide automatic friends, if I'll just let it!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If You Haven't Heard

I have thought and thought about how I would write this post. I honestly never thought I would have to, but alas, here I am bearing it all in front of whoever chooses to read this blog. The only way I can think to say it is just to say it:

Derek and I have been trying to have a baby.

I have been seeing a standard OB/GYN for a year, and he put me on medication and did several tests to try and figure out why we were having a difficult time getting pregnant. The tests weren't fun to go through, but one of them revealed one of the reasons we couldn't get pregnant. I only have one working fallopian tube. The other one is blocked in some way. My doctor told me the only way to find out what was blocking it was to have surgery, but discouraged that idea because it can sometimes do more harm than good (scar tissue as the main reason). And then he left it at that. He didn't tell me anything else he could do, just do exactly what we had been doing for a year, which obviously wasn't working. Plus, I realized that I was having twice the difficulty of getting pregnant because of the one working tube. So, I figured it was high time I went and saw a specialist to see if anything else could be done.

We saw a specialist January 3rd. We talked to him for about an hour and he spent a lot of time explaining things, informing us of potential reasons for our difficulty, and gave several options as to what we can do for all of those reasons. He spent a lot of time talking to us about our medical history and there were things that he asked that seemed really out there (like Derek's lack of smell can have something to do with reproductive issues so we should test him to figure that out...). I mean, this guy knew what he was talking about. He was up on the latest research, and I was grateful that we had found someone with such expertise in the field (he was the director of the infertility program at University of Utah for 15 years).

What does this mean for us?

More tests, that's for sure, and then there might be the need for insemination, in vitro, or adoption. I am not opposed to any of those options; in fact, it excites me that something can be done so that we can have a baby. There are many options for us. It might take longer for us than we might have liked (that dang tube again...3 rounds of insemination would take one couple 3 months to complete, for us it's 6...) but I am certainly learning from this experience.

It is definitely the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with, but I am learning what it takes to have faith that everything will work out. I am learning to accept God's timetable (emphasize "learning" because there are many more days that I get angry that it's not happening when I want it to!) and I am doing my best to live every day to the fullest. I love being married to Derek and the fact that we have had 3+ years to spend together, without children, is truly a blessing to me. He brings so much happiness to my life, even when I'm the saddest. And, I'm grateful that we get to do a lot of things that we wouldn't otherwise get to do with kids. We go on spontaneous dates in the middle of the week, we sleep in on Saturdays, and we travel a lot! Sometimes, I get embarrassed when I tell people how much traveling we've done because I'm afraid they'll think we're irresponsible, or spoiled. But, I love traveling and I know we won't be able to do much of that when kids start showing up. So, we're doing it now. Plus (and maybe this isn't a good thing to admit), it helps me to escape life when I just don't want to deal with it all anymore. It's a great therapy, traveling!

Anyway, that's really my life right now. I wanted to share it with people because I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of. I want people to know what my life is really about right now, what I'm really thinking and feeling. Please feel free to talk openly with me about it. I don't want anyone to be timid about the situation. I'm not, and it actually helps me to talk about it.