Well, I've decided that since I am getting married next weekend, that I would end this blog and move my posts to a blog for Jeff and I--the new Pond Family. Please continue to follow me at http://jkpondfamily.blogspot.com/
Here I sit, just one short week away from what I'm sure will be the happiest day of my life. How could it not be? That day I will be sealed for time and all eternity to the man who I have grown to love with all my heart over the past 5 months. In fact, it was five months ago today that we decided that we wanted to see where things would go with us. And in those five months, I have fallen madly in love with and decided that there is no one other than Jeff that I want to spend eternity with.
Sure, things have gone quickly with us--I mean, we were engaged just 6 weeks after our first date. How could you not say that things moved fast? But it has all felt so right. We are perfect for each other. We make each other happier than we've ever been before. I can't speak for Jeff, but having him come into my life couldn't be better.
It's been a crazy 5 months. I met an amazing man who has inspired me to be so much better. I fell in love with him. I got engaged. I completed my student teaching--and survived! I graduated from BYU-Idaho. I pretty much planned a wedding in a week. I got an internship at a charter school, where I have now been hired full-time to teach 3rd grade (meaning I was hired for my first real job). I've made lots of trips to IF for dress fittings and other wedding-related activities. I moved into my first home--a teeny, tiny apartment in Taylorsville (and don't yet have internet, hence the lack of posts lately). It's been a crazy, whirlwind year for me. But it's been good.
And now, here I am. Back home in Idaho Falls, just one week away from my wedding day. We're busily getting everything finished up for the wedding. And missing Jeff like no other because he is still in Utah for work and class. I saw him for a couple minutes on Wednesday before I left to come home, but the last time I really spent with him was Tuesday--an entire week before I'll see him again. (Since we started dating, this is the longest we've been apart).
There isn't a ton of stuff left to do, mostly just putting the finishing touches on the details for the wedding. It is nice being able to spend some time with my family before I get married though. And tomorrow is my birthday--I'll be 24. Granted, the one thing I want most is the one thing I'm not going to get. That's because I want to spend it with Jeff, and he's down in Utah because he's got class, and I told him it was ridiculous to drive up here for a day, just to turn around and go back home and come back 2 days later. And being a teacher I sure as heck won't suggest that he skip class. But, just one more week and I'll have the rest of eternity to be able to spend with him.
Well, now I'm off to work on more wedding-related stuff, but keep an eye out for a new blog coming in the near future, highlighting Our Happily Ever After. :)
Well, lots of things have been happening in the past month. I know that I've got a job working at the charter school I'm currently at for summer school, and I'll be signing a contract with them for fall this week. I have moved into the apartment Jeff and I will be living in and pretty much have things unpacked. I love my little home (pictures to come after I take some). I have one month until I get married. Until then, I am just anxiously waiting for that day to get here. I'll probably be starting a blog for Jeff and I sometime after we get an internet connection at the apartment, which won't be until after the wedding, we've decided. But until then, know that I'm alive and well and happy :)
No, I haven't dropped off the face of the planet. I've just been enjoying the super nice weather we've been having and spending every spare minute with my wonderful fiance.
General Conference--we went to the Sunday Afternoon session
One of my mission trainers came up to Utah for Conference, and was sitting in the same section we were! It was fun to be able to see her again :)
I finished my student teaching and graduated from BYU-Idaho. 8 wonderful semesters on campus, and one student teaching. I was ready to be done. I felt very much like it was time. I'm ready for the next step. I started my new job at American Preparatory Academy, a charter school in West Valley, as a Teacher in Training. I was assigned to a 3rd grade homeroom, but also have a small group class of 2nd graders that my teacher teaches, and also a small group of 1st graders for math that I teach on my own. I totally love this job! Right now, it's basically an internship to see if I can catch onto the teaching method (they use Direct Instruction for anyone who knows what that is. For those who don't, it's basically scripted of what I have to do and say.) When I interviewed for this job and they were explaining it to me, I didn't think I'd like it. It is way different from anything I've been used to doing on campus. But my first day in the classroom as I saw it working, I could see benefits. I started teaching lessons on my second day in the classroom, I it felt super natural. Plus, I don't have lesson plans to write, because everything is scripted. All I have to do is review the script and I'm ready to go for the lessons. I mean, as an actual teacher at the school, I'd have more to do in terms of preparation, but it is a nice break from what I was doing during student teaching. I'm a lot more relaxed and not stressed out at all. (Just ask my neck. The muscles haven't been this loose in months!) I find myself hoping and praying that it will work out and that they'll hire me on full-time for the fall. I really think they will, but I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch. I do know that I would be happy teaching at that school. And the commute isn't too bad, only about 20 minutes when there's traffic. And it will be less after I get into our apartment.
Coloring Easter Eggs
We've also been taking advantage of the beautiful weather. This last Saturday it was over 80*, so we took a picnic to the park. Then we walked around the park. And went downtown and looked around the Capital, then barbecued hot dogs at Jeff's house before we curled up to watch a movie. We've been taking a lot of walks together, taking advantage of that time to continue to get to know each other better. He is truly the most amazing man I know and I am so grateful that I will be able to spend all Eternity with him. The longer I know him, the more I see that he will do everything in his power to take care of me and treat me like a Queen.
As for the wedding plans, because everyone is asking, we've got most of the big stuff taken care of. Dress purchased. Tux reserved. Temple reserved. Church reserved for the reception. Photographer booked. Engagements taken. Videographer booked. Decorator booked. Cake ordered. Flowers ordered. Refreshments figured out (I think.) We're counting down until the day when we will be able to start our eternal family. But until that time, we're working at preparing for that time. And spending every possible minute together, even if he's working on homework and I'm sitting here doing such things as blogging, reading, or sleeping. Yes, I've done all 3. Poor guy. But his semester ends next week and he'll have a few days off before he jumps back into school for the summer semester. He's so great and working hard to get done. I'm proud of him :)
Today was another day full of wedding-related activities. We got a lot done, but my favorite part was finding my dress. Oh my goodness it made me so happy to find it!! It was the first one I tried on today, and as soon as I put it on, i knew that would be the one I would get. I tried on several others, but none made me feel as beautiful or smile as much as this one did. It is simple, yet so elegant. There is beautiful beadwork on the bodice, and the skirt has a beautiful beaded design on the sheer overlay as well. It flatters my shape more perfectly than I could have hoped. But I think my favorite part is the train. It is SO beautiful! I don't know that I've ever felt more beautiful than I felt while I was wearing that dress. Lose about 5 pounds and it will be even more perfect! I can't wait for Jeff to be able to see me in it on our wedding day!!
Since I'm done with my student teaching and have a week before starting my job, I'm home in Idaho Falls. I came back up with my family after Conference yesterday. The whole way up I felt sad because I was leaving Jeff in Utah until Thursday. We haven't gone more than a day, maybe 2 since we started dating that we haven't seen each other. Today, we've just talked on the phone. Which, I suppose is better than nothing. But it is so not the same as sitting with him and talking to him.
Today we started looking for wedding dresses. That was fun. I found a couple dresses that I liked. We're going to another place tomorrow to look at others. I have waited for what has felt like an eternity to be able to put on a wedding dress. It made me so happy to be able to see myself in those dresses. I can't wait for Jeff to see me in my wedding dress. That will be a wonderful day :) We've got a million more things to do this week. And we really only have this week because I start my job on Monday. Yikes!
I graduate on Friday. It is hard to believe that it is really here! Finally. After 9 long semesters! I'm done! I can't wait. And even better, the man I love will be here for graduation. We're also having our engagements done this weekend. Oh goody!! Time with Jeff...what could be better than that?
Well, to start off, I'm going to do a little celebrating... I SURVIVED STUDENT TEACHING!!! With my class, that was no small feat :P But really, I did enjoy it. I learned a lot. And I made a life-long friend in my co-operating teacher (who just so happened to go through the temple for the first time last weekend, so Jeff and I were able to join her and her husband for that.) Student teaching was the cause of a lot of stress and tears for me, but the second I finished my portfolio review, it felt as though a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Seriously. All I really had to go through after that was parent-teacher conferences (also a headache, but that's another story for another day.)
But, because of parent teacher conferences there was no school on Friday. Which was a good thing because I was so utterly and completely exhausted. I came home from Jeff's Thursday night and basically collapsed into bed. I told him I'd text him in the morning to let him know i was up. Well, 8:30 rolls around and he still hadn't heard from me, but just knew that I was already up. Not so. He woke me up. He felt bad, but I say it was okay. I had things that I could get done while still sitting in bed and didn't get out of bed until 10:00.
I got my kitchen and bathroom completely clean. (All I have left to do this week is clean my bedroom, do another load of laundry, and vacuum the floor). I washed and vacuumed my car. And I went with Jeff's sisters Amy and Alison to look for wedding flowers. I found EXACTLY what I want. I just have to head back down to get a sample tomorrow so I can take them up to Idaho this weekend to show the florist and lady who's making my cake what I found so we know what we need to get. I had a blast with them! I love having big sisters! And I'll be getting some pretty cute nieces and nephews to boot!
That night, Jeff and I drove down to Provo to go to the temple there. We also went to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. It was pretty yummy.
Saturday morning I was up bright and early. Jeff and I had a full day planned: We were going to go apartment hunting!! Yep. We went searching for OUR first home. That was pretty exciting. We knocked out 9 of the 15 places on our list, and by mid-afternoon, we had narrowed it down to 2 places. We looked up the ratings of the complexes online, as well as the crime-rates in both areas and have decided where we want to live. Now we just have to pray that they'll have the apartment we want available for us when we need it. Which will be sometime the first part of June so I don't have to live in a cardboard box. (Not that the people I live with would kick me out, because they wouldn't. But their daughter is getting home from her mission and I don't want to intrude on their family time, because I know how it is. So I plan to move out before she gets home.)
After the search for apartments, Jeff introduced me to his favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Moochies, where i had the BEST Philly Cheesesteak sandwich I've ever tasted. Oh, it was mouth-watering good! Then we hit up the new City Creek Center downtown. It was crazy packed. Like worse-than-Disneyland packed. (Okay...probably not...but it was packed!) We wandered a bit. Then headed over to the Gateway. You see, I'm on the hunt for a graduation/Easter/wedding luncheon dress. And still haven't found one I like. *sigh* I guess I have one I can wear if I can't find one I like in the next little bit...but honestly! I'm not THAT picky! I'm also on the hunt for a bridesmaid dress for Kesha for the wedding.
So basically...that's what's up with me. I've got a week left here in Utah, then I'll be home for a week working on wedding plans and such getting ready for graduation. Then it will be back down here to start my temporary job and continue hunting for a job for the fall. Wish me luck in my endeavors!!
No one needs to read this post. In fact, it's probably better that you don't, because it's strictly me venting, and at this time of night with this level of stress, that's never a good thing.
For starters, I am SO fed up with my class right now. I can't take it any more. I've all but given up even trying to teach. The students don't listen to me. They don't respect me. And I"m at the end of my rope trying to be patient and not blow my top at them. I only have 10 more days in the classroom. Hallelujah! It will be nice to be done. Very nice. But before those 10 days are up, I have my huge portfolio review by professors from campus who are coming down. I just finished teaching the unit I have to use to put that portfolio together yesterday. Which basically means that I have the weekend to put this huge portfolio together and make it look super professional and well thought out. And my motivation level is at ZERO right now. And my stress level, on a scale of 1-10, is at about a 20. Those two numbers are not a good sign for the amount of sleep I'm going to be getting in the next week.
Next, I give a ride to one of the other student teachers. Every morning, I text her when I'm leaving my house. It takes me 10 minutes to get to hers. I call her when I'm rounding the corner to let her know I'm there. And I still end up waiting for a good 10 minutes EVERY morning. Today it was 20. I should have just left. And I might tomorrow if she's not ready. My BIGGEST pet peeve is being late/ having others be late. Not to mention, it's just common courtesy to be on time when someone else is going out of their way to pick you up.
Also, my engagement ring had to be resized. Which it shouldn't have had to be in the first place, because we very clearly told them what size it needed to be when we ordered it. And they clarified it back to us 2 or 3 times. But no. They gave us a 6.5, not a 6 like I needed. And, when Jeff went to pick it up on the day they told us it would be ready, it wasn't ready yet. Not having it didn't ruin his plan of proposing, but it did frustrate him. But, we took it in on Monday after school to be resized. They told us we'd have it back today. That was 3 days...should have been plenty of time to take the size down, right? No. I still don't have it. When Jeff showed up tonight, I could see that he was upset...and I instantly knew why. I don't blame him at all, and didn't get mad. I was so disappointed though. It's such a small thing, but it means so much to me. And, if it's not done tomorrow, the soonest I'll have it back is Monday. I have now been without my ring longer than I've had it. I am just so frustrated with everything I have going on now. Needless to say, they're going to be getting a VERY upset phone call from me tomorrow. And should consider themselves lucky that Jeff is the one going in to pick it up, and not me.
I've been expecting it...and was trying to wait patiently. But my patience was starting to run thin waiting. I thought for sure that something would happen last night. It was, after all, our 2-month anniversary of our initial contact online and our 6-week anniversary of our first date. Seriously...when he rang the doorbell last night and I wasn't quite ready I was so flippin' nervous that I couldn't even bring myself to open my door right away to go out and see him. I was more nervous than I was for our first date! But eventually I did. And as the night dragged on, I realized that he wasn't going to be doing anything. So last night I stood in front of my closet and tried to think of what I would want to wear when, and if, I got engaged this weekend up here in Idaho.
I got up bright and early this morning so I could curl my hair and look cute "just in case," though I wasn't going to let myself hope for anything to happen. I got a text from Jeff this morning asking how I'd slept. And unfortunately it wasn't as good as I would have liked. But I'd slept some. He got an "I hate you right now" text from me. And I may or may not have called him a punk on more than one occasion. I headed off to school, bracing myself for yet another long day of dealing with 6th graders.
I got to school and walked into my classroom, totally not looking forward to the day with a sub...one who I really don't like but who keeps the kids under control. I got to my classroom and walked through the door to find a special surprise at my desk. Jeff was sitting in my chair with a camera set up on a tripod on my desk. Needless to say, I was speechless. Well...not quite speechless. But shocked. VERY shocked! The first words out of my mouth were "What are you doing here?" (Um...Kira...that's a rhetorical question. Why else would your boyfriend be sitting in your desk, when you know he has your engagement ring? DUH!!)
I gave him a big hug (looking all nerdy with my backpack and lunch box hanging off of it). He told me that on January 29 (our 3rd date, and day we decided we wanted to see where things would go) he asked me a question, and asked if I remembered what it was. Apparently, the question was if I had a middle name. The answer to that question was no, I don't. And he turned my attention to the board where he had written "Miss Good, will you marry me?" I was so happy! I wanted to cry, but there were no tears to cry. Well, of course I said yes!
I was on cloud 9 all day long. And my class was incredibly well-behaved...mostly because they really wanted to hear the story of how it happened and I held it over their heads that I wouldn't tell them if they weren't perfectly behaved.
So yes. Good news of the month. Kira's engaged. July 6 is the big day. Rexburg temple is the place.
For anyone who checks my blog on a regular basis...the last thing you heard from me is that I have a boyfriend. Which is still 100% true. And things are going very well. Basically all my time is spent with him. We do lots of homework dates...which gives us the best of both worlds: productivity and time together. I took him home to meet my family this past weekend. They love him. And, because it's late and I'm tired, that's all you're gonna get for now. But know that I'm alive and well :)
Well, I've now been in Utah for 4 weeks. I am enjoying my student teaching. And I have a boyfriend. Wow...that's weird to say. But it sure does make me happy. Jeff is an amazing guy. I actually met him online...something I never pictured myself doing, but it is so worth it! I don't have much time to update...and y'all probably don't want to read the details anyway, but I have to share!! I'm so happy:)
Well, the day started out by judging the Elementary School Science Fair. That was...interesting, to say the least. Never thought I'd be doing that on my year mark of being home.
But the part that really freaks me out...I started applying for jobs online. Real jobs. Big-girl jobs. That will also have big-girl pay checks (that's a nice thought). Yep. All of my preparations for teaching are underway. Now all I have to do is keep filling out applications, and wait.
At this moment, exactly one year ago, I was finishing my first meal with my family in over 18 months. I was sitting in mom's new kitchen with my family, missionary nametag in place, but knowing it wouldn't be there for much longer.
Last night, it really hit me that today is my year-mark of being home. And I totally broke down in tears. I reached over and picked up that black nametag, which I always keep nearby. It's something so trivial, yet something that means so much to me, because the months that I wore that nametag were the months that most shaped me into the woman I am today. And as I sat there, holding my nametag I started to sob. My heart ached for the mission. I longed to be back with the people I grew so to love. I yearned to have a full-on conversation in Spanish. I wished that I had all of my missionary journals here with me, so I could read them, and, in a sense, go back to that time.
I turned out my light, and tears rolled down my face and onto my pillow. How I wished I had, at the very least, a teddy bear to cuddle with. But I didn't have even that. Eventually, I fell asleep, still longing for the mission.
Now, overall, it has been a good year. Of course there were ups and downs, but I do believe that there were more ups than downs. I've met many more wonderful people who I have grown to love. I've had conversations in Spanish. Honestly, I wouldn't trade the past year for anything...except to go back.
Every day, for the past 365 days, I have thought about being a missionary, and the many wonderful experiences I had as such. And for the past 365 days, I've wondered how it would feel to hit my year mark being home. Now I know. And I dread the day, in just 6 short months, when I will have been home for more days than I was a missionary. I don't even want to think about that.
And so today, on this anniversary, I want to joyfully remember all of the people who touched my life while I was a missionary. I want to remember the experiences I had. I want to remember the joy I felt on oh so many occasions. Don't get me wrong, it's been great being with my family, but, as to this point in my life, nothing compares to being a missionary.
Well, I've got 2 weeks of my student teaching done already. It's been a busy couple of weeks. I moved here to Utah on New Year's Eve. Since that time, I've gotten settled into my apartment. I'm really enjoying living alone for the time being. Of course, if I do end up getting a job somewhere in this area, I'll likely move in with roommates, but for right now, it's nice to have "me time." I kind of have a cat. Actually, the people I live with have a cat, but she won't leave me alone, so I call her my cat. I really like my ward. I feel more welcome here than I have in any other ward I've been in--at least with the sisters. I don't know that I can say as much for the guys. But I've only gone 3 Sundays. Something is bound to change sooner or later.
I'm also completely loving life in the Salt Lake area. This past weekend, I hopped in the car and made the short drive to Provo. It was very much like all of my driving from Rexburg to IF and back...just with more traffic. I was able to see a bunch of friends--family, friends from high school, old roommates, mission friends. And I met some new people as well. It was fantastic! I love living this close to Provo!
Anyway, I'm really enjoying my student teaching. So far, I've only had 4-day weeks...and this week is no different. Next week when I have all 5 days is going to be a real shocker...but then again, I have a training all day on Monday so I'll still only be in the classroom for 4 days. In my class, there are 31 students, but we switch back and forth with the other 6th grade class, so I have the wonderful opportunity to get to know all 61 6th graders at Fremont Elementary. Yes, that is a lot. And it makes it even more of a challenge that about 2/3 of the students are English Language Learners. But...the whole reason I'm not already done with student teaching and graduated is because I wanted to be certified to work as an ESL instructor...so it's totally worth it. It's going to give me a lot of experience.
There are many different nationalities and languages represented in my classes. I don't even know them all. They include: Burma (Chinese), Thailand (Khmer), Somalia (Somali), India (Indian), Vietnam (Vietnamese), Japan (Japanese), Latin America (Spanish)--I lumped them all into the same category, because I have no clue which countries are represented. As as you can see, we have a very diverse class. It can make instruction difficult at times, but it is so rewarding to be able to see the students succeeding and to be able to help them realize that they really can speak English and perform well if they put their mind to it. And I love the challenge that each new day brings!
We found our Happily Ever After in July 2012 when we married, just 6 months after we met and will use this blog to document our many wonderful adventures in our lives together with our new son, born June 2013