Tag Archives: learning

Why I Love Motherhood

Motherhood is the best thing to have ever happened to me. I can't imagine life any other way.

I always knew I would enjoy being a mother. But, it just happens that I love motherhood more than I ever could! I fall more in love with my son every day. Sometimes I wonder how in the world will I ever love another child as much as I love Rhys. I mean, I know I will, but it’s very hard to imagine.

Motherhood is the best thing to have ever happened to me. I can't imagine life any other way.

Cuddles | Rhys is at the age that he intentionally will give me cuddles. He obliges me all the time when I ask him for a hug or a kiss. But, the best is when he will just randomly come up to me and give a hug or a kiss. Every morning, we cuddle in bed as he drinks a wake-up bottle and I read the scriptures. His favorite thing to do after a shower is cuddle in the blankets with me. Nothing is better than the feeling of my son’s arms wrapped around my neck or his head resting on my bosom.

Having a Buddy | Rhys is my best buddy–I tell him that all the time. I love taking him with me everywhere. I enjoy spending time with Rhys, going shopping with Rhys, eating out with Rhys, going on walks with Rhys.

Watching him grow | It’s so fun to watch children grow and develop right in front of my eyes. Every milestone excited me–I scared Rhys with my joyous outburst when he rolled over for the first time. I just love watching him make connections and discover new things. It’s so much more fulfilling than it was to see my students finally understand a concept (and that was definitely thrilling)!

It helps my patience | I’m not the most patient person ever. But, I feel that my patience has grown since being a mother. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I’m doing better every day. I don’t get as angry with him anymore–I still get frustrated, but I breathe in, close my eyes, and breathe out before talking.

Silly times | Toddlers are the funniest! I am so excited that Rhys is now at that stage. He makes the funniest faces and does the silliest things at times. I always laugh every day. Rhys can also tell if I’m feeling down. When that happens, he’ll try to cheer me up with being silly.

Sharing memories | It has been so fun to share in memories with Rhys: his first Christmas, his first trip to the zoo, sledding for the first time, meeting cousins, etc. I love being able to rediscover the world along with Rhys, as well as make memories with my child.

He is my heart | Justin and I were given Rhys from Heavenly Father. He is our flesh and blood. He is our heart. He is our happiness. He is the apple of our eyes. He is our pride and joy. We are complete with him.

Why do you love motherhood?

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Teaching’s #1 Virtue: Patience

Although I’m not teaching anymore, I still think about it periodically. I mean, you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the teacher out of the soul. And, it doesn’t help that I’ve been subbing on and off this month.

I’ve mentioned before that my favorite time during the school year has been the first term. For the most part, students are just as excited and enthusiastic as the teachers. Teachers are happy, have creative new lesson plans prepared, and students willingly participate and do homework. But, around this time–late October and early November, the first term ends…and, metaphorically, so does the “honeymoon stage” of the new school year.

And patience becomes hard. Like, sometimes impossibly hard. But it is needed. And, it’s always something that I’ve felt I was weak at.

I do thoroughly and whole-heartedly believe that teaching (no matter what kind of setting) was my God-given calling. But, not only does God use your talents for His good, he also uses those situations to teach you as well. And, boy did I learn a lot about His grace and patience while teaching.

This is the biggest lesson I learned during my 3 years of teaching:

Teaching is learning, using, forgetting, losing, repenting for patience every day and always finding it again.

Just as I told my students that each day was a new day, a day to be better behaved, a day to earn a better grade, a day to be more humble, a day to be more responsible, a day to be happier, it was a new day each day for me as well. If I had lost my patience (and sometimes, my cool) with my students, the next day was a new day, a new beginning, and always started with a smile on my face, and love for my students emanating from me. I spent numerous evenings and mornings on my knees asking Heavenly Father for more patience and forgiveness for my impatient behavior.

Being patient with students not only helps my attitude, but it also helps their attitude. The classroom becomes a safe environment, and one of willingness to work together. It harbors a better learning mentality and allows us all to make good memories.

I guess I still haven’t learned as much about patience as He would have liked me to, because He loves to use Rhys to help teach me patience still. It has always been one of my weaknesses, and I will always try to live up to His expectations on patience.

When or how do you use patience in your career?
 
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

On Being a Utility Player

I have played soccer for 13 years now. At age 10, I started out as a goalie. My coaches experimented with where to put me on field–defender, sweeper, forward, striker, wing, midfield. I have played every single position there is to play on a soccer team. While my two favorites (and two best) are goalie and center-mid, I am what you would call a “utility player.” This means, I know what is expected of each position and I can do what is expected of each position. Not to toot my own horn, but this makes me an extremely valuable player.
However, being a utility player, though valuable in sports, isn’t that grand or desirable in talents/hobbies/skills. The reason being is that you don’t master anything!
But, that is what I am–a utility player of life.
A Utility Player of Life–Sports
I haven’t always played soccer. My parents thought it was important for me to try all different kinds of sports: ballet, jazz dance, t-ball, softball, basketball, field hockey. 
I found soccer when I was 10, and fell in love with it. It also helped that our county had a very strong rec league for soccer. Thus, I played two seasons every year and stayed with the same team until it was time to move to an older league. 
However, as I got into the high school age, our church really liked to play volleyball. So, I got into it. I tried out as a freshman–definitely didn’t make it. I kept practicing. I kept playing. I also tried out for soccer, but I was very sick during try-outs (sadly, this was to be a dark coincidence every year for soccer). My sophomore year, I transferred schools and wasn’t allowed to try out for any sport. But, I volunteered to be manager for volleyball. I learned the rules of the game, strategies, and technique. I tried out junior year, and the coaches said I could make JV, but the school’s policy didn’t allow Juniors on JV. So, I was head manager that year, practiced with the team, and even went to camps with the team. So, senior year, I was basically a walk-on to the Varsity team. I still played soccer at the same time.
Now, as a post-college kid, I still play soccer and volleyball all the time. I also run. I found running the summer after I graduated. I learned that I loved it. Although I have no desire to be a marathon runner like my dad, I do love running.
So, I still have 3 sports–volleyball, soccer, and running. I can’t ever choose between the three of them. And I will never play on a collegiate team or be a hard-core runner.
A Utility Player of Life–Hobbies and Talents
I have had too many hobbies to count! Reading and writing has always been there and will always be there. Although that past few years (due to my extraordinary work load in 3 jobs and getting a college degree with a 3.8 GPA) I have had very little time to do pleasure reading (fantasy and historical fiction) and writing. I do write besides my blog–poetry and fantasy. I can’t wait for the day I have more time for it. I see a lot of my other friends spend hours on end just writing and almost publishing books. Well, even though I won’t have to be doing homework or studying, my full-time job as an English teacher is not the type I can leave at work. Teaching is much more than just full-time. It takes up a lot of personal time at home as well–time I could be using to hone my writing skills or other hobbies and talents. And, I because of that, my writing talent (at least fiction and poetic) has diminished a bit.
When I was young, my sister and I were really into collecting rocks. So much that our mom even bought us a rock book. But, although I still like looking at rocks, I don’t care other than that.
I play video games. But, I will never be able to beat my hardcore gamer of a husband.
I cook. But I won’t be like professional cooking bloggers and I haven’t gone to culinary school.
I blog. (Even my blog is a utility blog–it’s definitely not a fashion blog, it’s not just a cooking blog, not a teaching blog, not a family blog, not a “hard issue” blog…it’s a “little-bit-of-everything” blog). I see advice on having 1 set of audience and a niche in your blog–a trend you typically write towards. I’m a utility blogger.
I watch TV. Hahaha. As if that helps me with anything. But then again, I know of the Bachelor bloggers and  I have a friend who is an Office addict and another who knows anything and everything on Star Wars. Nope. Can’t do that.
I organize and reorganize. But I don’t do DIY and I couldn’t base my blog around it.
I’ve attempted stitching, sewing (made half a doll’s dress), crocheting, and knitting. I just can’t get the hang of any of them (unlike my 13 year old sister).
I used to play violin and piano. One of my biggest regrets is that I quit. I can still tinker tunes out of them.
I speak Welsh–I can carry on a basic conversation, but I have a goal to be fluent. I just need to work towards that goal.
A Utility Player of Life–Religion
I am Mormon and that will never change. I love my church, and I love the Gospel. But, there are even niches in the Church I don’t belong too. I am definitely not the ideal Relief Society type woman–the perfect homemaker, crafter, cooker who will always create cute things for activities or being at your door the instant you are sick or pregnant. I am not a family history guru. I don’t have scriptures memorized. I am a not a constant temple goer (although I do go and I love every time I do). I am not a church history guru. I don’t play instruments or sing. But, I do love service, I love Relief Society, I love being in nursery, I love family history and reading the scriptures. I also love learning about other religions–not that I would ever convert–but I am curious to see how well they relate to Mormonism and how everything fits together!

A Utility Player of Life–Schooling
I consider myself a life-long learner. I love learning new things, I love discovering new places, reading new stories, exploring new cultures. Favorite subjects of mine have been: History (any and all), English/literature (any and all), Creative Writing, Journalism, Anthropology, World Music, Drama, Sociology, Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology, Geography, Spanish, and Welsh. As you can see, it was a tough decision to do a History Teaching major and English Teaching minor. I would’ve done a Social Sciences composite, allowing me to teach any and all social sciences, but having to take government/political science and economy classes wasn’t worth it at all. So, I am content for now. But, I do plan on going back and getting a Geography endorsement. I also want to go to Grad school, but I don’t know what for yet. These are some of my ideas: medieval history, Welsh history, Tudor history, Arthurian lore, European myth and legend, creative writing…too many options!

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As you can see, I am not a master in any one thing. Sometimes I wish I had a niche for myself: be the Etsy crafter creating jewelry or cute crochet items or printables, be the fashion blogger who works with Shabby Apple and Apricot Lane, be the writer who already has sent out inquiries, be the die-hard teacher who has sold lesson plans and planning binders, be the homemaker guru with organization tips and a couponing master, be the nomadic traveler who can photograph the world, be the star of a college sport team with a shot at the majors, be a performance-worthy instrumentalist who loves to give concerts. But, I am none of these because I want to be all of these.

That is one thing I wish for my children. I do want them to explore numerous options, yes, but I do want them to find their niche and prosper and grow in it. As for me, I guess my niche is the life-long learner, willing to try anything at least once, learn a bit of everything–a utility player.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?

Raise your hand if you remember that show and game? I do! I would play the computer game all the time at my elementary school. Well, that and Oregon Trail.
Recently, I have come across a game online that is very fun! This game, if it doesn’t make me seem like my Daddy’s daughter, I don’t know what will!
It is called geoguessr.com and it is super fun and addicting. 
The point is to look at different pictures and sceneries from Google Earth and guess where in the world you are.
You can rotate the panoramic view, and scroll through it, just as you can on Google Earth. Then, on the map right above “Make Guess,” you click on where you think it is. You can scroll in further to make a more specific guess. Then, it will show your guess as compared to the correct place. It will tell you how many kilometers away you were and give you points based on that. There are 5 rounds, then it will show you a map comparing all 5 guesses to all 5 correct locations. My first round looked a little something like this:
The red is your guess and the green is the correct answer…not so great. 
Now, how does this make me my father’s daughter? Well, my dad is a huge geocacher. He is a GPS-using treasure hunter, basically. He loves messing with GPS’s and Google Earth. One of his favorite gifts is his Garmin Watch so he can track his runs on Google Earth as well.
I took World Geography in 8th grade…that is about 10/11 years ago for me. But, it is still one of the best grade school classes I ever took. I learned about weather and earth formations. I learned the names of countries. I learned a little about the history and culture of all the people there. Honestly, I think that 8th grade World Geography was the beginning of my path to become a cultural historian–I won my school’s National Geography Bee that year, for crying out loud! But, I also learned to read physical maps, recognize physical characteristics of places, and use context clues in primary sources (news articles, pictures, etc) to determine where something was. 
I started using those tools again with this game. Taking my time, going up and down roads, looking at the vegetation, the horizon, the sky, seeing the people in the pictures, looking at billboards, street signs, etc (all license plates are blocked out, but not highway signs for some odd reason). I kept getting better and better. 
Here is my best score so far (keep in mind that they never repeat a scene and I do not use any maps or other websites to help me…this is all intuition based on what knowledge I have–I promise!):
Pretty good, huh? In a previous round, I had a city in South Korea. My guess was 3.5 km away! But this round, look at C. It was in Chicago. It was the shiny, Cloud Gate statue in Millennium Park. Now, I have never been to Chicago, but I have blogger friends who have. So, I immediately knew where it was. I zoomed and zoomed and zoomed in on Chicago till I saw parks (I didn’t which park it was in at the time). What euphoria to know I knew exactly where on Google Earth I was and to see my score saying I was only 2km from the Cloud Gate! What fun!
But more than showing off geography skills, I like this game because it allows you to explore the world. You can see different towns and hamlets, different wide open roads, beaches, cities, highways, nature from all over. It is beautiful and fun.
I definitely recommend playing geoguessr.com at least once! Give it a shot! And blogging teacher friends: if you ever teach geography, what a fun idea! Have a challenge in your class! Offer extra credit if they get a better score than you!
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Still Just a Novice

I have always considered myself to be a writer. A daydreamer. A believer. Connected with quintessence…to a degree.

That is why I created this blog in the first place–to allow my thoughts to become words, and to allow those words to decorate some space in the world wide web.

Then I thought to myself, “I’m a writer. I write poetry. I hope to have my novel published one day. This blog will be great to get a reading audience!” That thought was even lectured to me at a Life, the Universe, and Everything Conference (a huge fantasy writing conference in Utah). They said if you ever hope to be published as a writer, you have to have a reading base first.

Thus, I tried to commercialize my blog–write to the reader.

Well, teachers know what happens when you teach to the test…you start losing yourself. Losing the goal in mind, losing the personal aspect of it all, losing your creativity, your style, your imagination, your soul. The same goes for blog writing.

I’ve realized that, especially thanks to Danica’s post on the whole “Competition” aspect of blogging. I lost track of why I really wanted to blog in the first place. All for more page views and more followers. I guess it was mainly because my friends like Danica, or Sierra who are my age, just starting to teach like me, relatively newlywed, etc. But they have waaaaaaaaay more followers than me. It’s true, the green monster has decided to occupy my mind.

Why can’t I have as many followers or as awesome blog posts as them? Is it because I am a teaching intern? No, they both teach too, and one of them is an English teacher and has to read a lot more than I do. Is it because I am married? Well, they were both married long before I was.Is it because they have instagram and probably Macs and Iphones? Possibly. Is it because they are just better writers than me? ………………..maybe……… Is it because they know a lot more about fashion than I do? Probably. Is it because I am still a novice in the blogging world even though I have had my blog for 3 years and 2 weeks? Yes.

So, I have a few things to work on:

  • Learn more about Mormon fashion (or use what I have and become more creative) as well as break out of my bubble of self-consciousness and post maybe a few teaching outfits?
  • Write more often (I can start by doing creative history writing assignments along with my students). No, write every day. Become dedicated with this!
  • Carry my iPod around with me more and finally figure out how to set up Instagram.
  • Find a niche. I like that I am very widespread with my posts, but I want to find a series of something that is consistent and that I enjoy. 
  • Research. History or English is fine. But technology? Blech. I’m going to have to swallow that fear and resistance. 
If you have any suggestions, please, please, please comment and let me know!
I want to keep my personality intact, but I still do want more followers. I want to grow and expand, else I will die! (I’m a historian…it’s a quote.)
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.