Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Whole 30 Week 1 - Still Enthusiastic

So, I'm 1 week into Whole 30.

Seven days. 

An eternity.

Actually, it's not that bad. Truthfully, I am really enjoying it. And I'm not just saying that to trick myself. I've been feeling very strong, and my six-pack is already starting to come in, so that's fast enough results for me to be a believer. 

Here's my basic life:

Sunday, plan the menu. Prep meals for the week that I can prep. Create a grocery list. Look through ads so I can ad match at Walmart. 

Monday - Friday. Err morning, drink a green smoothie. I pre-packaged frozen fruit, flax seeds, and spinach in ziploc baggies in the freezer, and I just throw one of those and some almond coconut milk in the blender. It is so loud and wakes up probably the whole neighborhood and most likely makes our renters hate me. I hope they wear ear plugs or have a loud fan roaring at them all night and they miss it. For lunch, I have leftovers and an apple and lil cutie. I go home after school, we work out at UVU, and then for dinner, we have whatever I planned :) It's a great life.  Here are the challenges I have faced (and overcome!) so far:

- a donut for Coleman's birthday
- crepes for Danielle's wedding reception uhhhhhh they looked so good!
- also the wedding cake but I don't really like wedding cake and this one was green so that wasn't too hard
- lemon cake for dessert on Sunday - that I made, people.
- candy at Alex's house
- all the candy all the time in my drawers at school
- also all the granola bars!!
- soup, bread, chocolate-covered strawberry, and roll at Zupa's when I went with friends on Saturday. I literally picked off the chocolate and ate the strawberry plain'ol
- all the candy at Stephanie's dessert party for her graduation
- also the Nutter Butters there which for some reason looked so freaking good
- also the chocolate fountain. I just ate strawberries and bananas because that was all I could eat!
- the jelly beans we gave our kids on Sunday
- the Reeses peanut butter cups we gave Aleya (one of our girls at church) for her birthday
- the free popcorn at Ace Hardware where we got fertilizer

It was so hard!!! But also, not that hard at the same time. I don't really miss those foods. If I was hungry I think it would be harder, but I've so far been really good at planning meals and prepping them ahead of time, and so I feel full after meals and enjoy what I'm eating, so it's good. It is also easier because Stephen is doing it with me. We follow some rules but not all. 

- white potatoes are technically allowed, but we don't eat them.
- they limit fruit and I'm like I will never limit fruit, thankyouverymuch
- if you want mayonnaise or almond coconut milk, you have to make your own. .........we do not. 
- they say no beans and I'm like that's stupid, and we eat beans. 
- they also don't allow you to make fries / chips out of sweetotatoes or other vegetables, or like pancakes out of bananas and eggs, because that's tricking yourself and psychologically you still feel like you need those foods. But I'm like whatever, if I'm just slicing my sweetotato and putting salt on it and baking it, then I can have these fake chips. 
- apparently peanut butter is also not allowed, and neither are peanuts. But other nuts are so I don't participate in that discrimination. 
- fruit juice isn't allowed but we welcome it into our smoothies.

Full disclosure, I did have a mini-meltdown this week. Natalie had a play on Thursday, so we got a salad at Wendy's, went to the play, and then didn't get home until 10, and then Stephanie graduated on Friday, so we didn't eat either dinner I had planned for that night, either. So I was starving for basically two days in a row, and on Friday, after Stephanie's graduation party, this conversation went down:

me: I'm soooo hungry. 
Stephen: I'm not even that hungry. I just want to go to bed!
me: Can we please go home? I need food. 
Stephen: Let's just stay here, they have food and it's free!
me: I can't eat any of that! I've literally had nothing but strawberries and bananas and I'm starving!
Stephen: I can make you some eggs?
me: I'm just so hungry. 
Stephen: Well, what do you want? 
me: Okay Stephen I am not a rational person right now! Stop talking to me like you're expecting a logical response! I just want food to be in me! Like this isn't good! I'm supposed to eat! I'M STARVING!
Stephen: Okay, so you want me to make you some eggs, or do you want to go home.....?
Me: What did I just say? I WANT FOOD
Stephen: Well I'm just trying to figure out what you want - 
*Me throwing myself dramatically on the bed*
Stephen: Okay! Okay sorry! I'll make you some eggs.

So he made me eggs and bacon and I stopped being a monster. 

Conclusion? If you're going to do Whole 30, get good at saying no. Also, convince your Stephen to do it with you. He is a fantastic support. 

Monday, April 27, 2015


When you first get married, there's a period of adjustment. It's a very cozy adjustment. You live in a little cocoon of love and Netflix, and as long as you don't have to work over the weekend, you usually spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday holed up in your apartment.

At least, that's how it was for Stephen and I. I had just started a new teaching job, and he was taking all kinds of rigorous science classes, so we loved having our weekends blank. It was lovely to have a whole two days of mundaneness and only caring about one other person's happiness. 

Eventually, though, we started to get restless. Should we maybe try to be social? You will ask. Are we missing out? You will worry. 

The answer is yes. 

So we dove back into the dating world, this time operating as one unit in search of other restless couples that we could date. And that, too has been lovely. 

A whole world of dinner groups, murder mystery parties, free concerts, potluck picnics, rock-climbing trips, and game nights exists out there! And as long as you don't lock your keys in the car, you, too can be apart of it. 

Except, even when you lock your keys in the car, some good couples still let you be apart of this world. 

A few weeks ago, we went on a date with our friends Sara and Russ. We met up with them at Rita's, and as Stephen was getting out of the car and pressing the lock button on the door, he failed to notice the keys sitting on the seat behind him. 

Thus began a night of adventure involving the following cast:

the wife: who kindly doesn't get upset about the keys
the husband: who also kindly doesn't get upset about it

*It's easier to not get upset when you're meeting up with someone and how embarrassing would that be if you just sat there huffily, annoyed about some uncontrollable circumstances.

the date wife: who immediately starts calling people to help, even before they arrive at Rita's 

the date wife's grandpa: who agrees to let us borrow his break-into-cars kit that he has because of his questionable past - except not really because he's actually darling and has probably never done anything as bad as breaking into a car that's not his own 

the date wife's grandma: who is SO CUTE and who tells us her conversion story while we sit in her living room, waiting for the grandpa to real the manual and pick the right tool for Sabie's make and model

the date husband: who eventually just takes the whole kit and promises to bring it back when we're done

Back at Rita's, we met.....

the first or second date couple: who sat and watched with a mixture of pity and excitement, while they ate their Italian ice. They had had no idea their night was going to be this exciting.

the ex-cop: who left his gelato on the table and asked if he can try when he noticed us fiddling around with all the tools, and then when he didn't get it to open, called his friends and told them to come save us! He is aka the Good Prov-aritan. 

We tried everything. And when I say we, I mostly just mean Stephen. He tried everything.

Eventually, just as our new friend was telling us not to worry about it and that someone would be getting there soon to help, it happened. Stephen managed to hook one of the tools on the key ring, and lift the keys up from the seat. Slowly, we used the keys onto another hook, and slid them out of the window, and the day was saved!

This could have turned into a much longer saga. In our excitement at getting the keys out, we accidentally left one of the pryer-opener tools on the windshield, clamped down under the windshield wiper. I didn't realize it until 45 minutes into my drive to school the next morning, so thank goodness it didn't go flying off. 

The moral of the story is: always date other couples. You never know when you might accidentally lock your keys in the car. 

And the other moral is, always date Stephen and I. We know how to make a night exciting. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Our Diet Starts Tomorrow

Two things you need to know about me:

1. I don't like the word diet.
2. I'm not interested in losing weight.

But for some reason, I have decided that Stephen and I need to do Whole 30 - starting tomorrow. Monday, April 20th. (Maybe it would be best for everyone to just stay away from us during the first few days so we can grump in peace.)

Here are the reasons:

1. I want a 6-pack. Not all the time, and I don't want to be a bodybuilder. Just when I flex, I want some lines.
2. I have heard really good things about it. Like that you feel more energetic, sleep better, get rid of unhealthy cravings....and yes people also lose weight and most of the time that's why they do Whole 30, but if you're just trying for a 6-pack, it will help you with that too.
3. We are going to Hawaii and need to LGmN (look good mostly naked).

4. I think I have a dependence on carbs. I could literally eat nothing but carbs for about a week and be perfectly content. I love macaroni and cheese, nothing is better than fresh bread, and when I'm feeling salty, I reach for chips and guac. I literally have rice, bread, tortillas, chips, or pasta with every single meal. And I'm curious to see how I feel without any of those things.

5. While in Hawaii, we are going to be doing lots of active things! Tons of hikes, swimming, and exploring in mountains, jungles, and the ocean. I don't want to miss out on things because I don't have the energy or the strength, or because I'm sore from the activities of the day before.

I think those are really good goals. They're like, good things to strive for. But here's the most common reaction I've gotten: "Why? You really don't need to."

Although I guess that's nice, it isn't very supportive. It's kind of like saying, "You already look fine so the one reason a person might have for wanting to eat healthy is irrelevant to you."

But come on! Shouldn't we all be interested in living a healthy lifestyle, whether we weigh 300 lbs or 100? And shouldn't your lifestyle be driven by more than just looks? (Although, I actually think looks are a fine motivation for eating healthy and working out....but please don't misunderstand that. I'm not encouraging extreme dieting or self-torture or eating disorders.)

To be honest, we aren't going to follow the program perfectly. Whole 30 says no to beans and legumes, but beans are good for you - they've got a lot of protein and fiber - and since we're not all that concerned about losing weight, we're going to eat the beans. Also, Whole 30 says no to honey - but occasionally, I'm going to add it to my breakfast smoothies.

Mood this weekend: I had a little panic attack and ate all the things. I acted like the world was about to be over! Stephen and I went to Pizza Pie Cafe to enjoy our last few carbs.

Stephen didn't seem nervous or excited. He was being very nonchalant.

Current mood: I feel fine. I'm actually really excited! I've never done anything like this.

Stephen, on the other hand, is wandering around the kitchen moaning about how I'm trying to kill him. He just ate about 10 sausages and an apple, and tried to eat a very expired granola bar before he decided he didn't need to stoop that low. I don't know what's got him so upset. We haven't even started yet....but maybe it's the fact that he just barely looked up Whole 30 and now he knows what it is.

Wish us luck!! We've all got goals, and it's nice to know that there are people out there who are cheering for you and hoping you'll succeed at your goals. What goals do you have?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Perks of Puppies

I'm probably going to get shot for saying this, but I don't really like pets.

Snakes are pretty much my ideal pet - quiet, cool to watch, hold-able, low maintenance, and unique. But they are also expensive and sometimes you have to feed them real live mice.

Birds are too screechy. Or too messy. Or too singy. Or too pecky. Also, I strongly react to their deaths. When Blueberry died, I went to kindergarten and didn't get off the bus. The busdriver dropped everyone off and then had to walk all the way back to find me still in my seat, staring out the window, when my friend told the teacher I was still on the bus and didn't want to come out. Then when Mandy got a tumor in her butt and keeled over one day, it was even more depressing! I don't think I could handle another bird death.

Hamsters are too stinky and too messy, and one time Stephen's family had a hamster who chewed off it's own feet, so no thanks.

Frogs are cute! But they don't live very long and one time I watched a documentary in third grade about how a lot of frogs are being born with mutations because of pollution?? And it traumatized me for life.

I literally dreamed of having a horse when I was little. Or at least horseback riding lessons! I would have even settled for my stuffed animal horse that I slept with and played with until middle school kinda liked coming to life every once in a while, but it was not to be. Anyway, horses are big animals, and as we all know, the bigger the animal, the bigger the poop. Plus, they are butt-expensive and can step on you.

Cats - oh my gosh, where do I begin. Too stinky. Too offensive to my family's allergies. Too selfish. Too hairy. Too cuddly when you want to be left alone and too un-cuddly when you want to cuddle. Too temperamental. Too demanding. Too scratchy and snotty. I never like cats.

Except this baby kitten was okay. I loved it, while at the same time realizing I probably wouldn't like it when it grew up. 
Dinosaurs are extinct.

Babies are cute, but they will be cuter later. When Stephen has graduated.

Camels - watch out, they spit.

And dogs. They may be man's best friend, but they also require a lot of attention and are very expensive. I don't like picking up someone else's poop (hence, why I haven't had a baby yet), and I don't like getting licked.

But this weekend, we got to babysit a dog who was just the most perfect dog ever, and now....{I kind of want one.}

The dog in question belongs to our couple friends, Jenn and Justin. And here are 10 things you need to know about this weekend with her:

1. She was a little bit of a cone-head. But she didn't seem to notice! And pretty soon, I didn't really notice either.

And also, the cone fit on sleeping humans, so I actually really enjoyed that about her.
2. She barely ever barked. This is a big deal because as you may recall, I like quiet animals.

3. She didn't like riding a scooter. Actually, she didn't try. She got off as soon as we put her on it. But I'm assuming that means she wouldn't have liked it.

4. She never once peed on the carpet. She did poop on someone's yard. And I didn't pick it up. #baddogmom

5. She pranced. Some dogs are boring and they just walk around, but Claire is like a princess / dog / gazelle and there is no better word for what she did. She is a prancer!

6. She ran pranced up to me after every single three - or more - minute separation! She was so happy to see me all the time! Plus, she was always there to cuddle with me. Which was perfect since she weighs, like, 10 lbs. I sat her on my lap and facebooked and she didn't mind one bit. I have never been so appreciated in my life!

7. My dad snored very loudly. Claire started growling every time he snored and it was so hilarious.

8. We took her on a few walks and it was the best. The best! She wasn't needy about it, just happy about it. And since it was pretty nice weather, I was also happy about it.

9. She didn't hate Stephen. One time we met this dog who hates all the men and boys, and she snarled and barked at Stephen every time she re-noticed his presence. While it was kind of hilarious, I would never want a dog who hates my husband.

10. She isn't the best jumper. I thought she was, so I tried to get her to jump out of the car, and she fell on her face! I felt terrible and kept trying to hug her and make up for it, but she forgot about it immediately. And she still loved me. I'm telling you, this dog was all WWJD e'er day. She is such an inspiration.

So yeah if anyone could clone this dog and give her to me, I would greatly appreciate it. And if you want to also pay for all the expenses and just let me play with her and love her, then she would really be a perfect pet. Thanks Jenn and Justin! You guys and Claire have changed my life.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Connors Come to Conference

I love Conference weekend! And this one was one of my favorites ever.

My parents flew into town on Thursday morning and came straight to my school to meet their grandstudents. My dad has never come to my class, and my mom hasn't come this year. It was so fun to have them!

True confession: we spent the entire morning on Spring Cleaning. When my parents came, they gave me flowers, handed out ring pops to my kids, and got a special sneak peek performance of one of the songs from our end-of-the-year program.

We were supposed to be at the Salt Lake temple for a 5:00 session, but we didn't make it. Instead, we spent 3:00 - 5:30

- driving to the FrontRunner station to drop off Cassidy Jane
- driving from there to SLC
- driving all around Salt Lake, looking for a quick-food (but not fast-food) place to eat
- driving past the Blue Lemon, then spending 10 minutes trying to turn around and get back to a parking space close to it
- ordering and eating at the Blue Lemon
- running back to our car, finishing the meal as we ran
- choking
- recovering
- finding a new place to park so we could go to the temple
- realizing we were not going to make it to the 5:00 session, so then my dad started
- feeling woeful and insisting that my mom park at a hotel because they apparently have "nice dressing room areas" in hotels
- parking in the hotel parking garage, where my parents took turns changing in the car while I took turns eating lemon squares
- going into the temple, after asking only five people for directions

5:30 is about when we walked through the doors and conveniently ran into my dad's mission president. So, obviously we didn't make it to the 6:00 session either, because then there was too much catching up to do.

Even though things didn't go exactly as planned, it was a nice night.

Friday was Fun Day! We went rock-climbing and played soccer  at UVU, Shimps vs. Connors.

They were acting all nervous about climbing! But they actually conquered their fears and did a good job! I was very proud.

After that, we went to my dad's mission reunion. It was delicious and someone famous came! Not President Obama. Although, he was in town this weekend, because I guess he didn't hear that it was only the biggest weekend of the year for Utah.....but yeah it wasn't him.

This famous person was on the Hispanic version of You've Got Talent and got to the finals. He sang two songs in Spanish and looked deeply into everyone's eyes and I promptly got a crush on him forgot his name. Alejandro or Alex something. Then the pres and his wife gave talks in Spanish and I got an appreciation for how hard it would be to learn another language! I was trying so hard to understand and I couldn't keep up! Stephen translated most of it for me.

The reunion ended whenever everyone wanted it to end and headed home. So naturally, we were just about the last ones to leave.

We had breakfast on Saturday morning with the Shimps! I love having both of my families together.

I don't know why I thought this would be a good picture as half of the food is not even here....but we had waffles, eggs, sausage, and these toppings and orange juice. Use your imaginations :)

We had tickets to the Saturday afternoon session of conference so we left pretty much right after the morning session. I can't get over how beautiful Temple Square is at conference time!

I've done it so many times before, but it was still nice to be in the conference center to sustain our cute leaders. I love them so much and love feeling the love they have for us.

While the boys went back to Lehi for the priesthood session, the girls met up with Aunt Lila (my mom's sister) and her friend Sue. We went to Texas Roadhouse and happened to get the same waiter I just had last week when I came in! So that was a little embarrassing. But fun!

My parents left on Sunday. We watched the morning session at the Shimps and then said goodbyyyye. Thanks for coming padres!! Next step: buy a house and move out here.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Fools - Kids vs. Teachers

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I love holidays. All of them. Well.....99% of them.

April Fools Day is the one holiday I actually don't like. Mostly it's just because I can never think of good pranks to pull on other people, so I just choose to be a bad sport about it and call the whole holiday stupid rather than participate.

But this year, I kind of did start to like it! All thanks to the fact that I have the cutest class ever. And I'm not even April Foolsing you.

My favorite moments, in no particular order:

1. When C bounced into class, eyes huge, and walked straight up to me.

"Mrs. Shimp," she said, "Today is April Fools Day. Did you know?"

"Yes!" I told her. In fact, I had remembered five minutes before school started, which just barely gave me time to take Lunch / Recess out of our daily schedule.

"I have an April Fools for you," she announced. "Knock knock."

"Who's there?"

"Interrupting cow."

Oooh! My favorite knock knock joke! I paused. Then - "Interruptingcowwho?"

She stared at me. "Wait. Wait, do it again."


".....Moo! Wait. Do it again."


"Moo! Ugh. Mrs. Shimp. Again."



2. When C came over to me again, and ruined my April Fools spirit with this sentence: "Mrs. Shimp? Lunch isn't on the daily schedule....are you trying to April Fools us?"

Whelp. There goes that. "No," I said. "I just forgot to put it up." And I put it up and silently vowed to never try to April Fools anyone ever again.

3. When M, my super-shy, super-quiet kid, walked up to me with the "I" card. "Mrs. Shimp, how do you spell is?" he asked. Then, immediately after, "April Fools." A sly, sneaky smile crept up on his face and I burst out laughing. So then, for the rest of the day, other kids were coming up to me with their own versions of the joke: "How do you spell a? April Fools!" "How do you spell he? April Fools!!"

4. When A suggested that I go get the most yappy, annoying puppy I could find, and tell Stephen that I bought a dog. This is actually such a good idea and I wish I had thought of it earlier because I totally would have done it!

5. When M, whose mom is quite pregnant, had this suggestion:

M: Does Stephen know my mom is pregnant?
Me: Mmmm, maybe? I think so. I've probably mentioned it.
M: Well, maybe you can April Fools him, and tell him that my mom had her baby. And then he'll be all excited and be like oh my gosh and then you just be like April Fools!

6. When, with 15 minutes until lunch, I suddenly got back in the April Fools mood. And when J came over to ask if I was going to read with her guided reading group, I said: "I think I'm actually going to get to all the groups, because we aren't going to lunch today."

Confusion. "Huh? We're not going to lunch?"

It was already hard to keep a straight face. I nodded sadly. "Yeah, the cafeteria ran out of food, so we won't be able to go to lunch. So we're just going to keep doing guided reading."

Now she was starting to look a little panicky, and B had heard and was staring at me with his mouth open. "What!?" he cried. "But I'm so hungry!"

"Me too!" J murmured. "So we really don't get lunch? They don't have anything left?"

"Yeah, I'm sorry," I said. "I better tell the whole class."

I thought for sure someone would remember that it was April Fools....but miraculously, no one did! Every single jaw dropped when I made my announcement.

"But I brought my lunch," H said. "Can I eat it in here?"

I shook my head. "That wouldn't be fair to the kids who were going to buy lunch."

"So no recess either??" asked IC.

"No, we'll have Recess still, just a little bit later," I assured them. "But it's okay you guys! I'm hungry, too. But just one day we'll be okay going without lunch."

M asked if she could call her mom to bring her food, and even offered to have her mom bring enough for everyone to have lunch. I told her that would be really nice and that she could call her at Recess. It made me smile to hear some of my kids who had brought a lunch offer to share with their friends who hadn't. They were all teaming up together so no one would starve and it was the cutest thing!

When I finally told them 15 minutes later, "Everyone line up.....we are going to lunch, April Fools!!!" they all ran up to me and wanted to give me high fives.

"Mrs. Shimp, you got us so good!" they screamed, happy as can be.

K shouted that that was the best thing I'd ever done, and L wanted to hug me, she was so proud of me.

If I had only known earlier that the best way to get popular with your students was to tell them lunch was cancelled....I would have done this a long time ago :)