Tuesday, September 18


Every Tuesday I ask my students what they did for the weekend. Today, one student said they had planned on going to a concert in Las Vegas, but couldn't go because a friend had died in a car accident. She said the friend was from Dominican Republic.

Last Saturday Nate told me about a man who was killed in a motorcycle accident. Two men were on the motorcycle and they were hit by a drunk driver, the passenger flew off the motorcycle and into oncoming traffic and was killed immediately. The man's name was Juan Ernesto Salazar Conce. Here is an article in the deseret news about this.

A few months after I started teaching I had a student named Juan Ernesto Salazar. He was in my class for about 4 months and moved through the system at our school, coming some months, not coming others, but moved to level 3 or 4. He was from Domincan Republic.

I looked up a picture of the man "Juan Ernesto Salazar Conce". He was my student. He was a man that I knew. I hadn't seen him in a few months, but now he is dead.

He had so many dreams. To get married. To get his masters degree. To get a better job. Now he can't.

It has almost been two years since Robi died. A great friend from middle school died a few months ago.

I will never see these 3 men again.

Life is so fleeting.

Grab your loved ones by the neck and hug them with all your might. Hug them and don't let go. I know I'm going to hug Nate really tight when he gets home.

Do what you love. Don't waste your time just being. Go out, find something you really love, and do it. Do it now. Whether that means finding a new job, spending less time on facebook and more time with friends, learning a new hobby, I don't care. Just do it, do whatever you have to do, to be happy now.

I hope my family knows how much I love them. With all my heart.

Wednesday, September 12

Utah State Fair

I've lived in Utah for 18 of my 24 years. That's 75 percent of my life. That's a lot. Well, the point of this is, I've lived in Utah for 18 years and I have NEVER, not ONCE, not EVER gone to the Utah State Fair. Until this year. 

That's right, sweet 24.

Nate and I went to the fair last Friday after work. 

Well let me just say, it is pretty dang expensive. 10 if you buy tickets at the door, 7.75 online. Plus then of course at the fair you have to partake in the delicious fair food, and that's at least 6 bus a person, and then the cheapest ride is 4 bucks a person. And then we had to get a funnel cake to end the night.

Anyway, we had fun, but we probably won't be going back for another 12 years. 

So while we were there we ate some food, saw lots of stinky animals, rode on the ferris wheel, ate a funnel cake, and looked at the photography exhibit.

We first looked at an art exhibit. Then for dinner I got a bacon cheeseburger, Nate got a philly cheese steak and we shared some fries. We saw lots of animals, cows, pigs, goats, and sheep. My favorite were the babies of each of them. We rode the ferris wheel and tried kissing each time we got to the top. Nate tried making 1 basket in a game, but unfortunately didn't make it do I didn't get a giant stuffed animal. We got a DELICIOUS funnel cake with bavarian cream and strawberry sauce on top. Then we went to see the photography exhibit, and got inspired by some cool pictures.

Also, they didn't have ANY drinking fountains in the whole place, at least where we went. Actually in the photography area there were fountains, but 2 of the 4 were missing the buttons to push and the other 2 had the lowest amount of water pressure I've ever seen.

I hope to go to Oktoberfest soon, and I got a new job that I'll tell you more about once I actually start. Life is so so good!

Friday, September 7

Yellowstone/Tetons/Jackson Trip

I seem to always start posts with "we were lucky enough", well, we are lucky. Or blessed. And Nate's family was able to come out for 2 weeks. Unfortunately I still had to work a mostly normal schedule, but Nate got to work half days. And we had two of his younger brothers stay at our house the whole time they were here. Let me just say, LOTS of gaming took place. Anyway, it was so fun to have the whole family out here. We mostly just had fun spending time together, of course lots of halo, the boys played basketball a few times, bbqs, shopping, and more fun.

The last part of their trip I was able to get a couple days off of work, so Thursday evening after work we drove up to Lava (where Nate's grandparents have a cabin). We all hung out that evening and the next day Nate and I tried fishing at the pond, to no avail, but it was a gorgeous day. And that afternoon we all got tubes (Nate and I used our 2 person raft) and floated down the river. It was my first time, and it was A BLAST! It really made me want to float the Provo River too!

We headed off late in the evening and made it to our campsite late Friday evening. Our campsite was kind of like a KOA, with reserved spots and a bathroom close by. But it was pretty nice. Only a few trees would have made it better. But it was still nice and plenty of space for all of us.

We decided to have 4 tents, with Nate and I in our own. Nate's parents, Sandi and Matt in another. The brothers, Dain, Taylor and Ethan in another. And Dain and Taylor's girlfriends in the last. It worked out great.

We decided we would spend Saturday at Yellowstone. I've grown up going to Yellowstone. I don't know how many times I have been there, but I would guess 10-15 times because we went almost every summer that we went to grandma B's and we went to her house almost every summer when I was younger too. I don't know if I'd ever seen the east side of Yellowstone though, with Yellowstone lake. We always went to West Yellowstone, and went to Old Faithful, some colorful hotsprings and the falls. We of course saw Old Faithful and the falls too. It was fun to go, and remember seeing the same sights with my family as well.

Sunday we went to Jenny Lake in Teton National Park. It was seriously gorgeous. We decided to rent some canoes. Three of us fit in one canoe, so Nate and I went in a canoe with his dad. We paddled around a little point of land and then we got to a little area with a small beach and a rock to jump off. The water was absolutely freezing! But I still had to get in, a couple times, just to feel it and be with everyone else. I didn't take our camera because I was worried about it getting wet. After the lake we drove around a bit, with a stop at Teton Village, and then to Jackson Hole where we went into a couple art studios, went into an old fashioned candy store and took some pictures next to the antlers. We headed back towards our campground just into Teton National Park and found a spot so the boys could fish. I enjoyed lounging, reading a book and taking lots of pictures.

We had gorgeous weather the whole time we were there, except Monday morning it decided to rain. The morning we needed to pack up and put everything away, it decided to rain. So, it made packing up our tents a little difficult, we decided to find a pavilion and make some pancake for breakfast in the meantime. We finally got all packed up, with a few stops in between and made it home in the early evening.

It was a perfect end to having Nate's family here to visit us. We loved having them visit and wish we lived closer or were rich so we could travel to see each other more. Here's to hoping for Christmas.