Thursday, December 17, 2009


1. World's Strictest Parents on CMT

2. Oprah interviewing Nie Nie (and I don't even read her blog)

3. My roommate bringing me a book to read because she knew I would be home sick all day and probably bored (which I am extremely bored)

4. How cute my medicine bottle lid is - its pink with a breast cancer ribbon on it

5. My grammie calling to check on me

6. My nephew Bennett (who doesn't usually care about me) talking to me on the phone and willing to say more than 2 words

7. Target commercial

8. Utter boredom and lack of seeing other human beings

9. Thinking about my friend Maria Law

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Growing up as the youngest child is a blessing and a curse. I had so many different parents to care for me that I never really had to do anything for myself. Three examples:

1. My mom tucked me into bed every night when I was growing up and when I came home on weekends in college she would always do the same. If mom was gone, dad would do it. If mom and dad were both gone, one of my siblings would do it. None of the other kids got tucked in, just me.

2. I never walked to the bathroom in a public place by myself. Someone would always escort me to the restroom and wait for me to be done because I definitely couldn't walk there and back by myself.

3. I was carried by my parents and siblings for quite a while past toddler-hood. Case in point: I was carried out of my baptism.

Yesterday I truly realized how much I can do all by my lonesome. I got really sick and had to drive myself to the ER at 2 a.m. I was sitting all alone clutching that pink puke bucket thinking about the fact that my parents were not there, my siblings were not there, nobody was there. I wanted somebody to be there with me but it was okay. The doctors got me all fixed up in a few hours and I drove myself home. Yes, I know that I can do life alone, but I don't want to do it alone. I like my parents, a lot. I love that all my siblings live in the same state. I have really good friends. I like it this way. So while I may being doing things physically alone, I'm in no way mentally or spiritually alone. Just to spite the fact that I have grown up and have to actually BE a grown up, I am going to make my momma sleep in my bed when I visit her for Christmas. Suck it life because even though you are making me do everything on my own, I still have the best family and friends that will always be there for me. I guess that's all I need right now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Over Thanksgiving we played dress-up with some of my dad's extended family. Each group was given a box of random costumes and had to figure out a costume for a turkey, pilgrim, or an Indian. When I opened my box I saw this dress and knew that it would make me the best Pilgrim in the contest. Well the dress isn't just from a costume store! When the compound kids were much younger, my grandparents bought these dresses for all the granddaughters. This little Swiss beauty was worn by one of the girls when they were about 5 or 6. Holla because I got it (half way) buttoned up in the back baby! Yep, I felt slightly great and slightly sad that I could squeeze myself into this dress. But the best part of the whole day was just seeing this thing again after so many years because I loved playing dress up in it when I was a little kid. Thanks Aunt Lou for the dress up game and the stroll down memory lane. And just so you know, I did win the award for best pilgrim costume!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Its that time of year. No, not Christmas, its my mother's birthday. Way to go Aunt Liz! I love ya. I wrote about you last year and I was really nice. I don't think I can say any better. Click HERE if you want to remember all the great things I said about my mother because they still apply. And the best part of her birthday this year is that this is momma's last birthday on the mission.


You know how there are phrases that are common in cultures? Like, "its in the bag" referring to consider it done. When you hear phrases all the time you don't always stop and pay attention to what they really are. Well I am not perfect when it comes to understanding all of these correctly as you can tell by my post about some traumatizing Christmas lyrics. Well this is right along the same lines - but NOT ME this time. I was just grading a student's essay about culture and he referred to his religion and that sometimes "pure pressure" can make it hard to do what he thinks is right. I burst out laughing at my desk, stopped grading his test, and started blogging. This little mistake is so funny to me. Pure Pressure instead of Peer Pressure???!!! This is why I teach junior high ladies and gentlemen, for nuggets of laughter like this. Thanks.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


The BYU is playing that school north of us today. I am starting to get nervous sick. I love BYU so much, its insane. I am not attending the game today because it just means too much to me. I am recording it and watching it later so I can stay calm and collected. When I watch the cougars play in LaVell Edwards Stadium I totally feel the spirit.

I love BYU so much and hate the color red enough, I get physically ill when I see it. A previous boyfriend loved that other school. I remember walking home with him one night and we got into it over the rivalry. He just couldn't see why I wouldn't hold his hand walking up 9th East while he was wearing that awful sweatshirt in that awful color and that awful logo. I ended up walking home by myself - willingly. I wasn't about to compromise my morals and judgment or he would have won the argument. Obviously we broke up and as I was walking away, sobbing and lonely after the break up, the first thought that came into my head was, "well at least I don't have to marry a Ute fan now." Aren't I horrible? I mean the sadness was there big time but that glimmer of hope about marrying a BYU fan actually did help.

I just need to say how much I LOVE my BYU! I love everything about it. Not just the football team but everything. I love that I was able to go to school there. I love that I am from a cougar family. I love that my nephews know more about BYU football than most grown-ups. I just love it, okay?!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I work pretty hard. Not really hard, but pretty hard. I like my job and I make a bit of money doing it. I just had this revelation that I was raised in a household that worked really hard and played really hard but how am I ever going to be able to do this for myself? I have had some good playing in the last year but I want to go up it - a lot. I want to go to Israel and Egypt this summer. So in order to play that hard I have to work that much harder. But its not like the harder I work at Orem Junior the more they pay me. Nope, that's not how teacher salary works. If it did however, I think the social studies department would be the highest paid people at the school! So in essence I suppose I am just whining about being poor, missing when momma and daddy were home and spoiled the crap out of us, and wishing I knew how to get an extra $3000 so I could do my Holy Land trip. Any suggestions? Don't even try telling me to sell plasma, not gonna happen. And if your suggestion is to not shop for expensive things I don't really need and save money I will be the first to tell I have tried this and I am not very good at it (hence why I am typing on a brand new Mac I just bought). It's a skill set I was not naturally born with.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Its my birthday today. I turn 24 years old in just 47 minutes (because I was born at 1:07am). I just feel kind of weird about this. I don't like birthdays because there is too much attention on me. I am the personality that likes to sit back and watch things, NOT be watched. So for this reason I kind of dread November 20. But there is one major upside to birthdays. No, not presents. They don't hurt but that's not what I am talking about. I am talking about the "guilted-into-dinner dinner." I love my people, a lot. But there is only 1 day a year where I can make them do what I want and they have to hang out with me. That my friends, is why I love November 20.

Thank you to mother for wanting me enough to not get your tubes tied. Really appreciate it. Thank you dad for not leaving mother when you found out she was pregnant with me when you believed she had gotten her tubes tied. Love to all on this November 20.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I have my moments of ditsy-ness but I think today may have been a real low point. I like to think we can all hear songs and sing along with them and not really pay attention to what we're saying. Well this happened today, obviously. Here in the great state of Utah we have two radio stations playing non-stop Christmas music already. I was listening to "I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus" by the Jackson Five which is a band I love but a song I hate. It always disturbed me that the little boy had to see his mom kissing another guy - and not just any guy, SANTA. Then the little boy decides he is going to find his dad and tell him the scandal he saw and just then in the song it hit me: SANTA IS DAD!!! She is not two-timing with dear old Santie. She is kissing her husband because really over zealous dads dress up as Santa!!! Wow!

Sadly, this is not the only misunderstanding of a song for me. I was 21 years old when I realized that "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" was referring to the beautiful springtime blossoms. My childish mind literally believed I was singing about real popcorn growing on trees. Must have been the fat kid in me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Wednesdays are always kind of bad. They are right in the middle of what is an awful work week. This last Wednesday was no exception to the rule. Right before my B3 class was about to start I wasn't in the most chipper mood and not very excited to stand in front of 38 kids and chit chat about western trails (and usually I am happy about this type of scenario). My mood quickly changed when one of my male students - in 7th grade - came up to me with a pained look on his face. While exerting himself to get the words out he says, "Uh, Miss Belnap. Um, a girl just hit my...privates. I think I am going to throw up." Bursting at the seems I quickly tell him he can go to the office. As soon as he is out of hearing distance I burst out laughing. Best mood turn around ever. Thanks student, you made my Wednesday a not-so-crappy one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I think I spend too much time worrying, planning, grading, stressing, teaching, and thinking about school. Why do I think this? Let me tell you:

Today I was working and I felt my brain aching and falling asleep. Literally, I could feel it but I needed to get this grading done. I wanted to be home already but I was still at school, the last teacher there. I was stapling some packets together when after a few seconds I realized I was in pain. Then it took me even longer to realize where the throbbing was coming from. Then even longer to see blood. Then EVEN LONGER to mentally understand that I had just stapled my finger to some papers. Awesome.

This is something that somebody should be able to figure out the second it happened. Or they shouldn't be so brain dead and could prevent an incident like this. All in all, I am finally home with my bandaged up finger and I am very brain dead. I am watching "Friends" right now to try and give my brain a break from having to do anything.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Cures, love, donation, support, and awareness are back in swing in this year's breast cancer month. I feel like this year is going to be different. I don't know why, I just feel it in my bones that this October is going to special. Maybe its because I got to take grammie to one of her treatments recently so I feel even more connected to the disease.

Grandma is still sick. Her cancer is far worse than it was last year. I am not letting that discourage me because she isn't letting it discourage her. She is still fighting. She is still smiling. She is still here. I talked to her two days ago about her cancer marker. It was up about 200 points from the last test. I started to cry without letting her know I was getting emotional. She explained to me that when the doctors told her about the test results she didn't cry at all and she felt okay about how the appointment had gone. I had to (in the words of my father) cut the tears. Why can she be so brave and I cannot?

For the last two years I have put up statistics about breast cancer. I don't need to do that again. If you are not aware that it effects 1 in 7 women then get aware. Research. Learn. Support. But don't just support breast cancer. Yes, it is BC awareness month so take a little extra time to give a donation or purchase items with the pink ribbon on. But pick your passion. I gave a lesson to my 9th graders about having something in life that you support. Mine is breast cancer. It doesn't have to be every body's. They can borrow mine for now until they figure out what is important and personal to them if they want. I will fight for this disease everyday. I just ask that you at least stay aware of it this month. Wear a ribbon. Visit a hospital. Purchase some pink ribbon items. I still have a list on the right side of my blog of breast cancer websites so visit them. Do something and then go out there and pick your passion and support the crap out of it.

Monday, September 28, 2009


In an attempt to go see Boyz II Men at the state fair (which was sold out!!!) we ended up at Liberty Land. For those of you who do not live in Utah County or frequent I-15 in Lehi, let me fill you in. Liberty Land is a creepy carnival looking place directly on the side of the freeway. All you can see from the freeway is their version of Mount Rushmore, Washington Monument, and a carousel. Seeing these items while driving at 70mph causes a bit of confusion and curiosity. Curiosity and boredom got the best of Josh, Holly, Allison, Kyle, Jessica, and myself. We ventured to the unknown side-of-the-road-carnival.

I can't explain what we saw. Pictures can't do it justice. And the event can never be repeated. Go if you wish to see an awkward display of patriotism mixed in with old carnival equipment. The rides are run by 16 yr olds who don't care that you are waiting in line, they will open the ride when they feel like it.

But something truly amazing did come of LL and I will be calling it in many posts from here on out: Cheese Fest 2009-2010. Look forward to the information and details of this. It will blow your minds. Until then, enjoy these photos of what we all experienced one amazing Friday evening.

13th Hole @ LL's mini-golf paying homage to Abe

Showing our reverence for the US flag placed right next to the rock climbing wall

The carousel that had nothing to do with liberty/USA/pride

Scared that we might fall off due to maximum weight capacity on the Mount Rushmore roller coaster. Which, if you fall off you land on the freeway.

Where do you buy dirty, old, carnival toys anyway?

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I am getting sick of giving that response because people assume I am a student - a junior high school student to be exact. I Can't even begin to tell you how many times this happens. I don't live at home. I don't thrive off of drama. I can drive. I am 23. This is my second year teaching. I AM NOT A TEENAGER.

Whew, just had to get that off my chest. This unexplainable event happened again last night when I went to the Timp vs. Mountain View football game to support my former students. Showing up in my OJH t-shirt I was presumed to be a student and of course, like always, my response was, "NO, I AM A TEACHER!"

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I love BYU. I love BYU football. I love when BYU football wins. Because of these, I love the last two weekends. The whole world knows about the amazing win over Oklahoma. We were the major underdogs ranked 20 playing the number 3 team in the nation. We rose to the challenge and fought a great fight. I watched the game at the Petersen's and Josh was there as well. Screaming, cheering, and crying were a common occurrence throughout the game. But the key to the evening's fun filled chaos was after the game. Right as it ended it was as though Heaven opened every door in Provo and fans came flooding out. Cheering, raising triumphant fists, everyone seemed to know what to do: head to the stadium. We all climbed in Josh's car with the fight song blaring loudly and made our way to the field. As we drove through Provo to get there, we were greeted by fans in the street coming up to the car to high five the car with the fight song playing proudly. Provo was alive. Provo was united. BYU football was unstoppable! This was the single greatest evening I have ever had and I have lived in Provo for 5 years.

The fun didn't just happen once. Yesterday the crew met back up at the Petersen's to witness the slaughtering of Tulane. We beat them and we beat them hard. I started feeling bad towards the end of the game (that seamed more like a scrimmage for the Cougs) because the poor team just kept getting further behind. But it was a great win at 54-3. We rose in the poles yet again and are currently ranked No. 7!

Later that evening Josh and I, with Heidi in tow, headed for the Provo airport where our dear Cougars would be returning home after the intense victory. As the plane came in and the door started to open I was trapped between tears and cheering. I was so excited but yet feeling the spirit of BYU at full blast. Bronco gave a speech to us. The team took a victory lap, greeting every fan. Take a gander at the photos from the last two glorious weekends and the fun had by all.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Some might say I have a skill, some might say I don't. I claim that I'm just really in tune with my Jewish history and thats how I got Kyle and Allison together. I understand how matchmaking works and with this couple, boy did it work! After a few weeks of extremely awkward interactions between Kyle and Allison at my house they finally got together, then dated, then fell in tender love, then wedded. I don't know if I will ever get to have the experience again of knowing and loving both the bride and groom so much. What a fun way to watch a couple come together when you know them both.
I knew I was meant to work at OJH for many reasons but one of the most significant has been Allison. She has helped me so much and I like to think that I have helped her too (in more ways than just finding her a husband). Now that she has married Kyle I think we are forever linked. I can be aunt Ashley, Josh can be an uncle if he wishes, and we can all just be great friends "for like ever." It was a little special being a bridesmaid and Josh a groomsman.
Their wedding was great day. One of best parts was watching shy Kyle talk, dance, kiss, etc. in public. Most people don't think Kyle has much of a vocal side to him but I, however, know that he does. The wedding was gorgeous, the bride beautiful, and the groom so happy. Best wishes to the couple. And since I caught the bouquet I expect the favor to be returned.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Alisha flew in for Kyle and Allison's wedding and so we got to spend all day Saturday together. I begged her to tell me what she really wanted to do and not just, "I will do whatever you like dear." She finally said she would like to stand in the Great Salt Lake. I looked at her puzzled but agreed to chaperone the event. Josh came down to help do Grammy's yard so we took a break and started our journey to the lake. Neither Josh nor myself have been out there in 5-10 years so after a minor "lost" detour we finally arrived on the island. I forgot that its actually quite beautiful. Well no, I didn't forget because everywhere in Utah is beautiful but it was nice to be reminded. I made the car listen to "Fur Traders and Trappers" while enjoying the history and scenery around us. And by enjoy I mean forcing the passengers to hear the great song about early mountain men finding the GSL and thinking it was the Pacific Ocean. It was kind of hard to find a spot in the lake that didn't look disgusting to stand in. Once we located a place, took a picture, and got the heck out of that water, our feet became salt ridden and white. It was gross yet so great at the same time. All in all it was a great experience that I, as a Utah history teacher and lover, should do more often. Next on my quest at the GSL is to see Spiral Jetty.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I took my grammie to her chemo infusion last week and I had the best day I have ever had! I know that sounds kind of inappropriate to say but it was a ton of fun. My grandma is going through breast cancer for the third time so none of this is new to her but I had never experienced this part of her illness before. I was excited and nervous as the same time because I am obsessed with breast cancer and I didn't want this to get my spirits down for finding a cure.

I picked grammy up in Kaysville and we headed to the Huntsman Cancer Institute for her treatment. She checked in and we went to wait in the lobby where grandma of course found somebody she knew. This gentleman had incidentally just read an article about my dad in the newspaper. My grandma and I had no idea why he would be in the paper and he said it was about the award. Puzzled we looked at each other. My dad is on a mission and has been for the last two years so what kind of award would he have gotten. Well it turns out he got the 2009 Mountain States Insurance attorney of the year. He really is the best lawyer even if he isn't handling cases. Nobody can compete with daddy. Way to go. Anyway, back to cancer. Grammie got her blood work done without even wincing. I believe anytime I have an IV or blood drawn I cry. 82 year old grandmother: nope. We had lunch in the hospital and it was delicious. No, believe me, it was delicious! Then we settled in upstairs in the chemo room. This was a depressing site to see. But all the patients no matter how sick they looked were so nice and in great spirits. Grandma and I sat there and played Reader's Digest games for 2 hours. She loves the jokes and word power. I might have just turned into a RD junkie myself. Then I pulled out the iPod touch to show grammie some pictures. That turned into a 40 minute session trying to get her to understand how it worked and what it could do.

After her infusion treatment I took her to visit her brother Michael and then we went to Cousin's salon to have her head shaved for her new wig. This is when it all sunk in as real. Yes, I had just spent the day with her in the hospital having a chemical drug pumped into her body but seeing her lose her hair without a wince showed me how brave she really is. She has done this before and she continues to fight through it because of her courage and faith. Grammie is the biggest example for goodness and strength. I am so grateful I was able to spend the day with her. She is my hero and I will continue fighting for a cure because I could never give up on her.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I am SO good at summer. Seriously, anyone who chooses a career path outside of education is silly because I have been playing all summer and getting a pay check. Suckers! My first two trips of the summer to DC and the mission home were great and frankly, my journeys just kept getting better and better. Here are some highlights of my summer adventures:

Lani, Alisha, Heather, Lindsay, and I did the Raft for the Cure on the Colorado River. This is the trip I was most excited for of course and it definitely lived up to my hopes and dreams. We hiked in Arches for a few hours until we got trapped in a flash flood while at Delicate Arch. High winds + rain = wet, cold, sad, dirty, wet, cold people. We got back to the car as fast as we could but there was really no use because I might as well have just jumped in a pool of red sandy water with all my clothes on. The best part is we were camping that night so none of us ever really got warm because we slept under the stars in wet, nasty crap. We stayed up Slick Rock Canyon in Moab and although I didn't sleep a wink, the scenery was enough to keep me energized for the next morning of rafting. We had the greatest time going down the river in the most beautiful country out there. After our day on the river we met back up with the group of 300 BC rafting supporters for dinner and an amazing blue grass concert. We were the only sober ones I feel but yet, we were the best dancers. I mapped out a route back to Provo that wasn't really the fastest way but I wanted to show the ladies the real Utah. We took a 12 hour drive home going through Hanksville, Capitol Reef, Dixie Forest, Grand Staircase, Escalante, Bryce Canyon, and then back to Provo. Not too bad for jamming it into one day. What better vacation for me combining Breast Cancer and Utah adventures?!?!

Bryce Canyon

Raft for the Cure cake in the shape of a life jacket!

Double Arch as seen while laying on my back underneath it

The rafting crew (Heather didn't do the rafting, just the trip)

I went down to St. George twice. The first time I took 33 students to a leadership conference at Dixie State. The food was bad, the company energized, the trip short. We did see a show at Tuachan and that was definitely my favorite part.
The second trip to SG was much better. All the Belnap orphans went down for the Pioneer holiday. We talked. We ate. We swam. We laughed. We wrangled children. Yep, good trip. I made my family all settle down on Pioneer Day so I could tell them a story about the holiday like my dad would if he were around. I don't think they dug it that much but that just goes to show nobody can replace my daddy - not even a Utah history teacher on Pioneer Day! I did stop and see Jacob Hamblin's home, Brigham Young's home, and in Filmore the original State Capitol building.
Territorial Statehouse

Sitting with the babies outside of the Chuck because they couldn't be
inside a public place anymore

I went to Denver to visit Leslie. Her very gracious family let me stay with them for a few days so I could get my Nessle fix before she heads off to DC for a few months. She took me to a fancy - yes fancy - baseball game and I actually enjoyed myself at said sporting event. We saw the temple and the Platte River! I played school with her little sister Lauren. And the best part: we watched a late night movie on the couch, with glasses on, eating chocolate chips!

Just hanging out on the front row next to the dug out at the Rockies game

Monday, June 29, 2009


I used to be a HUGE Michael fan. The very first item I remember buying with my own money was a VHS of his music videos - I was probably 13 at the time. I learned the thriller dance and constantly listened to "HIStory," the greatest album out there. When I got the same call that we all got saying he was dead I was shocked, I laughed, I was stunned, I cried. A lot of emotions over a creepy, thin, translucent black man. I never really liked the newer stuff Michael put out but the Jackson 5 and his stuff through the 90's will forever live as some of the greatest music. I mean come on, an adorable little 10 year old singing about love like he really means it!

I do feel like I need to draw attention to something that nobody ever cares about. I talk about it all the time but everyone just kind of brushes it off: just because Michael Jackson "turned" white doesn't mean he is not genetically black so how in the world would he ever have white/toe headed biological offspring??? ITS EFFING IMPOSSIBLE! Wow, okay. I feel better. May he rest in whatever peace he may find. Tatta MJ!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

GREAT ANNIVERSARIES - a little too deep

These last few days have culminated the 2 year mark for my mother and father on their ultra long mission. Okay well its only three years but I promise, as their child, its ULTRA long. I was in Washington visiting them when they hit their two year mark. It didn't even phase them because they are so into (and in love with) the work. I had a great visit with them. Momma and daddy took me to Pallouse Falls, Vancouver, bike riding, exploring, and basically let me do whatever I told them I wanted to. I have amazing parents and I love them lots. I have a bad feeling about their last year though: that it is going to draaaaaaaaaagggggggggg on. I am glad they will be home one day but part of them wants to stay where they are forever. Oh well, I am selfish and I win. June 2010 or bust!

The title of this post implies multiple anniversaries so lets get to the second one. It was the 5th anniversary of BYU. This mostly marks meeting Ashton and Jessica, my roommates Freshman year. We have stayed close the last five years and they mean so much to me. My favorite memories in Provo are with them.

I blogged about all of this last year and as I looked back on it I feel like I have done a lot of growing up. It made me reflect on the things I have done in the last year, not just with teaching but with life in general. Last year I thought I had it all figured out. I was graduating with a job that I knew was perfect for me, a boyfriend that I thought was perfect for me, a lot of friends and family very close by that I saw all the time. I was happy. I thought my life was pretty much planned and on my way to easily enjoying the rest of it.

Things don't work out as planned. Orem Junior did change my life, Corey did too just not in the way I thought he would. I grew up through both of those experiences. I grew up by Josh get married. I grew up having to do most things by myself now. I grew up when Leslie moved out of Provo. I grew up when I started acting financially independent. I grew up with Grammies cancer battle again. I grew up by going through the temple. I grew up by watching Jen get married. I grew up finishing my first year teaching. I grew up by moving to the "older" part of Provo. Basically I have done a lot of things that I wouldn't have thought I was capable of. I am still a kid learning how to cope with life everyday but I am actually good at it. I can tackle what comes at me. I can overcome it. I can wait one more stinkin' year for those parents of mine to come home and take me to Lake Powell. I can do it. I can be single and graduated from college in Provo. I can teach those darn teenagers again. I can do it all but I have to give credit to how I think I do it all: Heavenly Father. Yep, He has helped me "grow up" in every way.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Life as a chaperone is not as easy as you would think. The trip to DC would have been much easier if I had been the 15 year old escorted, fed, and well taken care of rather than doing the taking care of. But the trip was hands down AMAZING. Cameo and I kept saying, "14 kids outside of the classroom is a lot harder than 14 kids inside the classroom." That was basically our motto. Lucky for us we had some pretty amazing kids with us who really appreciated what they were seeing. I am so glad I got to go on this trip with Cameo. We had a jolly time and didn't lose a single student. There was a minor problem at the end when Cam had to stay behind in DC with a sick student while I carted the remaining students home. We got through, we survived, and it was great. Our kids got to see all of DC in 4 jam packed days but this was something that many of them will only see and experience once. Everywhere we went Cameo and I were quizzing them on their history. They did pretty well with remembering everything from the last two years of junior high. It was pretty sad saying goodbye to them at the airport because that was my first bunch of kids. I will never again have a first year teaching, first group of students, first trip. I will always remember this year and a trip to DC with these people was a great way to end it. It was a great experience and I am so happy I did it. Next up on the blog list: photos of the amazing trip.

Friday, May 29, 2009


What a strange few days. Lets recapitulate on the events of this last week.

Tuesday: 9th Grade 7 Peaks Day - I was one of the chaperones for this trip. I haven't been on a school bus since I was in 9th grade and it was a strange feeling! Allison, Cameo, and I sat in the sun for 4 hours chatting and having a great time together. Intermingled with visits from our students, Glen in black socks with shorts and sandals, Ron and Curtis (teachers) sharing a tube for the water slides, Asa (student) in a speedo, and an insane sunburn - literally scorched skin!

Wednesday: A/B day - We had all 8 classes today which basically just turned into letting the kids talk amongst themselves all day.

Thursday: Yearbook Day - I made a goodbye video for my students with the help of Lani, Heather, and Jessica. I played Green Day "Time of your life" on my guitar with Heather singing and Jessica playing the violin. The kids loved it. I showed the video to each class and then they signed yearbooks for 20 minutes in each class period. I certainly was not this popular when I was in junior high but I thought my hand was going to fall off signing everyones yearbooks. It was a great day though. I am going to miss so many of those lovely kids. I got a few gifts - most of them breast cancer themed - which I love. After a very long day of school I met up with the fam for Jamesee Bear's birthday party. Went to bed very tired and not ready to face the next day.

Friday: Last Day of School - Today was hard. I had to say goodbye to some amazing kids. I have the strangest job in the world. The people I love and see everyday are ripped away from me at the end of every year. Mean. But the upside of today was longboarding. No, not outside after school. It was inside during school. The administration didn't want the students just roaming the halls so it was the teachers' job to contain them insdie the classrooms. Well there was 10 minutes left of school and two students walked into my class with longboards and I decided I wanted to stand on it. This was a bad idea because I was terrified to get off without falling. I was trapped. The boys pulled me into hallway where Mr. Johanson pushed me down the hall at a very high speed. I was obviously screaming so soon every student came out to watch. We had all the students and all the teachers out watching me attempt to not die on this longboard in the hallway. Then Allison jumped on the board with me for a double dose of fun. Cameo and I even had a race. I won but only because she took a little spill. It was honestly the funnest thing I have done all year. The energy was high, I was terrified, and the kids thought it was the greatest thing ever. After school was full of tears as I said goodbye to some teachers who won't be returning next year.

I love my job. I love Allison for loving me enough to help me stay at Orem Junior. I have the most amazing co-workers in the world. They are my best friends and we have something so magical. I LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching with them. Goodbye to OJH for now but come August I know I will find a new group of kids that I will probably love just as much as the last crew.
A1 Class on Yearbook Day

Longboarding down the hallway on the last day of school!

Walking down the "red carpet" entrance to the 9th grade dance on the arm of one of my students per his request

Monday, May 25, 2009


Momma here are some pictures for you. I only got pictures at Stephen's grave and G&G Moss' grave. All of our loved ones were taken care of though. After Heidi and I visited all the graves we decided to go on a scenic drive. Well not so scenic because western Woods Cross is anything but that. We drove to see G&G Moss' old house. The only thing I remember about that house is the well in the front yard. Then of course we saw the house you and daddy built next door. Boy am I glad you guys moved to Kaysville so I could grow up there. I love our house and farm even more now. Well Momma, here are the picures of your old houses. I love you. Next Memorial Day you and daddy will only have 1 month left of the mission!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I haven't looked at my sister Jen's blog in probably 2 months because she never posts anything. Never ever. I thought today, "well hey, I might just check. I am bored so it will give me something to do." Was it worth my finger strain to navigate the mouse to her page? No. Absolutely not. Then all of a sudden this revelation hit me: people who have blogs but don't actually blog are like Mormons who don't go to church.
Stay with me, you will see where I am going with this. The longer you are "inactive" the harder it is to come back. You feel like you owe everyone an explanation for your absence. You try to explain why and we all know its coming when we see you again. We don't really care what the excuse was, we are just excited to see you back in action. But you know whats worse than coming back after a long time of MIA? Only coming back once. Just stick to it people. Don't give it a lame a** try. Put forth some effort and get it done.

Monday, May 18, 2009


12 - the number of hours I was at Orem Junior today

2 - the number of days I will do that in a row

7 - the number of school days left until my paid summer vacation begins

27- the day in June when I will be rafting for the cure

150 - the number of questions on the test I just wrote

3 - years with the same stupid calling

14 - the number of days before I take my 9th graders to DC with Cameo

78 - the amount of water I drank today in ounces

11 - the number of days I will be in Washington with the parents

2 - the hours I spent watching the Bachelorette

7 - the number of months since I kissed a boy

14 - my age when I knew I wanted to be a teacher

0 - the percentage of regret I have about actually becoming a teacher

13 - months until my parents come home

Monday, May 4, 2009


Dear Blog Followers,

I think you are all well aware now that I love breast cancer. That is definitely not in question. What is in question is your attendance at the SLC Race for the Cure on May 9. If you live in Utah and you are a decent human, I should see you at the race. If you live in Utah and I do not see you at the race then you might suck at life. Yeah yeah, plans come up. Blah blah. This will help cure breast cancer people! Help cure my grammie. Online registration ends tomorrow but you can register the day of the race but its more $. For those of you who do not live in Utah you can go to the Komen website to find when a race for the cure will be going on in your neck of the woods. It is honestly one of the most empowering things you can do. Walking with thousands of people to better the world will help you believe in a cure, in humanity, and in yourselves. Please participate in a race somewhere this year. If you cannot I don't hate you. I Promise. But you can still contribute by donating to the cause at the website above.

Love, Ashley Ann

p.s. for anybody who is interested I will be doing the Raft for the Cure this summer. Look at the info HERE. Seems like fun!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This is what Josh accomplished in my kitchen the other night. Let me be the first and probably the last to tell you that we carve pumpkins for a reason: ease. Watermelons are easy to actually cut out but the juice is continually spilling out all over. It gets quite messy. But then again you do get to eat the pieces you carve out. I am not sure whats up with the "Sloth" mouth but thats Joshy for you - just straight up strange.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I need to share my thoughts and feelings on many things right now so I am going to have to turn this post into a list. Thank you for your cooperation.

1. Band: I am in a band. It consists of me on the lap harp, Leslie on the flute, and Allison on the Piano. We had our first concert last night in my living room to an audience of 6. We were really amazing.

2. Goodbye: I met Leslie last year when she and I were forced to live under the same roof. One day I asked her if she wanted to come with me to pull a prank on this real douchie girl and she did. We have been in love ever since. The point of this is that she is leaving me next week for greener pastures (graduation). Good riddance Nessle. I didn't want you to stay over the summer anyway. I am not sad you are leaving. Did I convince anybody? Probably not. On this note, Alisha is leaving me also. You guys really suck. Good thing Heather came back and Jessica got into grad school or I might be suicidal.

3. Prize table: At the Jensen family Easter there was a prize table just for being there. I got some pretty great swag so thanks to the Jensens for letting me take your stuff and hang out with your daughter.

4. Race for the Cure: The 2009 Race for the Cure is on May 9. I am thinking about forming a walking team with shirts for grammie. Who is interested? FYI: there were 20,000 people at the last one and it was so much fun/sad/fun.

5. Countdown update: Just so you know my parents only have 13 fast Sundays until they come home from the mish. June 2010 or bust!

6. Spring Break: Its spring break right now in Alpine School District and its an entire week! I have never had a whole week off before but I am really loving this. When I was in school we had 3 days. And in college we had 0. If this is what Summer is like I am going to be really good at it (except the massive snow storm of course).

7. Nephew: I have a new nephew born to Mark and Lindsay on April 5. Henry Manning Horne is his name. I think he likes me but that is in comparison to how Bennett was treating me yesterday and lets just say he wasn't my #1 fan. But Henry is healthy and handsome. Now Jaimee needs to have her kid so we can have one more boy.

8. With the help of my peers I rightfully reclaimed previous property. Thank you.

9. Calling: With the end of the semester rapidly approaching I hope to get released from my calling. Is that bad to say? Probably but I have had it for two years and I want to be done. Ward hymnbook specialist please.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I don't know how we came to be but we did. And it all seemed to start on day 1, my interview at Orem Junior. I can tell you what Allison and Cameo were wearing, where Kathe was standing when I first met her, how excited I got, and the conversations we had that day. Well that was just the first of many great days with these ladies. If you would have told me a year ago that I would become best friends with social studies department at OJH I probably would have laughed at you. But these ladies have become my life line. It is normal that you can do the following with your colleagues: cry, laugh, vent, share, plan every lesson together, hang out with, work out with, visit their homes, take a Fun Bus adventure with, join their fam for Easter, receive far too generous of gifts, go to the temple with, find one an amazingly well fit spouse, prank people, go on dates with, willing to give up a full time contract so I can stay at OJH, go get ice cream, and still have a professional life with? I don't think so. We have found something amazing in our department and I don't want to give it up or change it. I hate that next year has to come. I literally could not teach without them and I will not teach without them.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


My Grandma Belnap had one of these at her house when I was a little kid. I loved this thing. It was usually a battle for who got to play it. Well I was roaming Wal-Mart yesterday and saw this beauty for only $15. Can you believe it? If you are one of my Belnap cousins reading this you are probably already on your way out to pick one up because you are so jealous. I have enjoyed serenading folks with musical masterpieces like "On Top of Old Smokey," "Ode to Joy," and "Camptown Races." In addition to receiving 10 sheets of musical classics, I wrote some of my own music yesterday. I have now created more music for this awesome instrument like "For the Beauty of the Earth." Leslie and I are going to perform a duet in Sacrament Meeting with me on the lap harp and her on the flute.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I don't like tags. I don't believe in them. I think they are a hassle. But Heidi tagged me in one of her blog posts and I obeyed because I am a little afraid of her. She has a lot of power. For this tag I was supposed to go to the "Pictures" on my computer, pick the 6th folder, and the 6th picture. I was to then post the picture on my blog, tell about it, and tag 6 people to do the same.
I will not however, be tagging 6 people but I do recommend that you go find what picture this would be. I was intrigued at least. I did cheat somewhat because the picture below is not technically the 6th picture. The real picture 6 was of me and Corey and I just absolutely was not going to let that fly so I got around cheating by deleting it. So the following is now picture 6 in my 6th folder in which hold all the great photographic memories of my 3rd year at BYU. And may I just say this was very hard for me not because I had to look at a picture of that horrible excuse for a man but because it was the 6th folder, 6th picture and I HATE even numbers.

This very random photo was taken at Shane Johnson's 26th birthday party. Shane is one of "the brothers" meaning he was my FHE brother when I lived at Liberty square plus he lived with 2 of his real brothers - hence we called them "the brothers." These men have changed my life. I love them all so here is a shout out to all of them: Shane, Daniel, and Jason Johnson, Justin, Michael, Ransom, and Billy kind of too. They would do anything for anybody, building you anything out of wood that they personally chopped down from a tree, take you camping, fix your bike, sing you clever songs, or talk to you on the phone for hours. I love them all very much.

Monday, March 16, 2009


When I had the Bells I wouldn't let my mom see what I looked like because I didn't want her to see her perfect - and favorite - daughter looking like Nancy the sewing lady on KUED. Well now that the Bells is gone I decided I could show a picture. This was taken at the junior high 9th grade dance during my second week with the Palsy. It was quite mild by this time. I am seen here with Kathe (assistant principal, mentor, mom #2, hero, angel) and Miss Allison Jensen. I feel it is necessary and okay to document at this time what I looked like. Good thing for me the only side effect today from Bells is an extremely droopy eye when I am tired. I can't always control the right eye but I don't care because by the time it closes on its own, I usually want to be asleep anyway.

WARNING: the photograph you are about to see is disturbing.
No, not really. Its not bad at all.

p.s. I had a great surprise visit from Meagan this evening. It was just neat. The end.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


In the last two weeks I have literally been rejected by two cities: Wendover and Provo. How is this possible? Wendover is utter trash and will take any specimen still breathing and Provo is supposed to be the place where all feel welcome. Let me start with Wendover okay.

Two weeks ago a slew of people (Josh, Holly, Allison, Kyle, Lani, Hillary, Alisha, Heather, Nessle, and my lovely self) went on the Fun Bus to Wendover. It was a great idea but like always, not well planned out. The Fun Bus was unforgettable. We played Bingo, ate great treats, chatted with great people, and had an all around great time. That was until Mary Lou (our hostess) announced that the economy was bad. How this was relevant we weren't sure. She continued on that because of this whole bad economy thing the free buffet (the entire reason we went to Wendover) closed at 10pm. We didn't arrive in Wendover until 9:30. We hustled our buns to the buffet and grabbed plate after plate of food. Just loading our tables up with crap. There was no time to enjoy the food because all of our time was spent collecting it.

I did however manage to really enjoy this (look up). After eating we quickly realized there is not much do in Wendover for a group of Mormons. After our very high stress and high calorie meal we traveled to the Nugget to enjoy some dancing. This is where we spent most of our evening until we got kicked out. After dancing we sat in the hallway under some stairs telling secrets and quietly chatting in a circle of very calm, sober, Mormons. This apparently looked threatening so 5 Wendover cops and 1 cook escorted us out the back of the casino. Wow. We quickly realized we had no where to go when we tried to re-enter through the front doors and they were waiting for us there to keep us out. Seriously? We just got rejected by Wendover for being quiet? What?? Well it really happened. The bus ride home didn't get much better when we tried to sleep at the same time drunk Linda was laughing for 4 hours straight. NOTHING is funny that long! A fight broke out on the Fun Bus around 4:30am. Things got interesting really fast. All I wanted in the world was to sleep but that just wasn't going to happen. After the most amazing night of my life I finally arrived back at the doorstep to my apartment at 6:05 am and slept until noon. I still haven't really recovered from the smell of nasty Wendover and a sleepless evening. It was however, worth it.

Now onto Provo rejecting me. I am 23. Graduated. Working full time. Single. Thats about all it takes to feel rejected by Provo and its residents. But thats not just it. We (Jessica, Heather, and I) were rejected by the dollar theatre two weekends in a row. Every movie we try to go see there is sold out. Since when does the dollar theatre sell out? I didn't think it even knew how. Each weekend we just ended up in my basement with a rental instead of the dollar. You see we try to get out in public and do social-ish things but Provo just won't let it happen. I try people, I really try. Its hard to be rejected on this level. Really hard.

On a completely random side note I need to shout out to Heather for finally acquiring a blog and Jessica for finally blogging again. Way to be good humans finally.

Monday, March 2, 2009


We are studying the Holocaust right now with the 9th graders. Last week we watched a documentary on Gerda Weissman Klein, a Holocaust and death march survivor. After watching her story, I had my kids write an essay. The prompt was a) what does "faith in humanity" mean, b) how did Gerda have "faith in humanity," c) and do you have "faith in humanity." These are some excerpts from what my kids had to say:

"I personally do not have faith in humanity. I don't believe in relying on the thought that some one will be there to catch you when you fall. its more safe to catch yourself because there won't always be someone there."

"Faith in humanity isn't something that i can comprehend because it is putting so much trust in humans and our society. To me its only a dream where we can put our full faith into humanity and trust in what we know."

"I think faith in humanity means that we believe in each other. It means that trust is strong and we are willing to help."

"Gerda never ran away or gave up. She had faith that someday, humanity would change they would stop the senseless killing and stop violence. Humanity is not meant to kill or be killed."

"After what happened in the Holocaust, I don't really have that much faith. The NAZIs hurt soooo many people from their own country. I'd rather have faith in myself because I know that if you're strong you can get through anything."

"Gerda was terrified, hungry, and sick while in the concentration camp. She never gave up hope. She even found goodness and kindness in one of the German guards."

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Yesterday was Lucy's 3rd birthday! I cannot believe how old she is getting. I can remember every detail of the day she came into my life. It was an incredibly warm February day (Feb. 27) in Provo so obviously, school was NOT an option. My old roommate and I decided to take a fun day instead. We went bowling, went on a walk, and then fate stepped in and we decided to go to Bingham Cyclery to ride beach cruisers and tandem bikes. I walked into the store and there she was up on a pedestal, calling my name. I chose her to ride for the day.

Just so you guys know, you can ride any bike you want at Bingham Cyclery
just by giving them your drivers licence while you are out joy riding. This
is how Lucy came into my life so I think all of you should go try it. Any bike
in the store to ride for free! Its great. And it was an easy way to try out a
tandem bike.
We rode all over Provo. Best day ever. When we got back to Bingham Cyclery I called my mom and informed/asked her if I could buy a bike. Well she agreed to help out a little with the purchase and I threw in some of my money and viola, Lucy was mine. I rode her home and I was as happy as clam. Happier than any other human being on earth has ever been. Ever since that fateful day Lucy has been my center of gravity, the love of my life. She has always been an inside bike, never spending time outside unless we are on a ride. I could never leave her out there all alone. This might be to the detriment of my roommate relationships because I insist my bike lives inside, preferably in the living room so I can see her often. Here are some pictures chronicling her birthdays past. I love ya Luc!

The greatest day of my life is when Lucy came to me. This picture was taken a few hours after I brought her home. Long live P2.

Lucy's 1st Birthday. I was so proud. Unfortunately the weather was not awesome like the day she came to me. It was actually a nasty blizzard outside. It also didn't help that my lame boyfriend at the time wouldn't let me throw a party for her because he thought that was too strange. He did not appreciate being her surrogate dad at all.

Lucy's 2nd Birthday and first duel party with Josh Groban who shares the same birthday. Leslie and I went to town on their combined birthday parities last year!

Lucy's 3rd birthday and of course another combined celebration for Josh Groban - hence our matching JoGro t-shirts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Life seems to be raining on my parade - a lot. From the bells to today's car accident. Yes, I got in a car accident on my way to work this morning. Great stuff. Good thing for me, I am pretty positive about life. It was about 7:30 am and I was slowly making my way to work in the raging winter wonderland. Cameo can testify I am a pretty safe and confident driver in the snow, it does not scare me. Well this morning it didn't scare me either until I hit a patch of black ice, spun around twice without hitting any other cars but did manage to crash my car into the cement median. Fun times. Lets play the Pollyanna "glad game." I am glad I am okay. I am glad it wasn't worse. I am glad my car is strong and kept me safe. I am glad I have a nice family to help me out. I am glad I got to sit in the cop car for almost an hour learning about cop stuff while waiting for the creepy tow truck driver. I am glad the cop that helped me didn't seem to care that there were other places/people he could be helping but stayed with me so I didn't have to hang out alone with the creepy tow truck driver. I am glad that a teacher covered my classes for me. I am glad that I have something to blog about so that you in turn have something to read.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I bought this at the grocery story after an advertisement convinced me it would be fun. I don't particularly love pancakes but I really wanted to see how this whole "shake 'n pour" thing would work. Well I am here to testify that a) it was fun and b) it makes delicious, fluffy pancakes. Seriously, they were the prettiest, fluffiest pancakes ever. I am known for lacking skill in pancake flipping. I would always get nervous trying to make them because I could never flip a good pancake without ruining it. Not with the Shake 'n Pour. I flipped that freaking pancake into a beautiful piece of art (see photograph for how great my pancakes were). I strongly encourage all of you to try this product. It was $1.30 and it made 5 large pancakes. They make a larger contiainer as well that makes about 10 large pancakes. You will love the act of shaking and pouring but especially that you didn't have to dirty a bowl to mix your batter! Go out and try it today.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I am doing so much better now. My taste buds are about 80% accurate now, my smile looks normal, and I no longer have to tape my eye shut at night. I am extremely lucky my little bout with Bells Palsy has been so easy and short. The only visible sign occurs when I am laughing really hard and its noticeable that the right side of my face does not find it as funny as the left.

I got to talk to mom and dad on the webcam a few days ago and they were curious to see what the Palsy looked like but there wasn't much to see. I refused to let them see me when I still looked pretty funny. The only thing they could notice was my delayed reaction blinking. Dad did ask me if I was winking at him.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Its not my birthday (it is however Heather's) but I was showered with gifts and love today. A student came into Allison's classroom this morning to inform me that I had to follow her to my room immediately. I figured some sort of youth disaster had occurred in her life and she wanted to talk about it as usual. Well not quite but there was a gorgeous bouquet of flowers waiting for me on my desk. She got me flowers because of the palsy. That was pretty darn sweet. I think my kids have actually been feeling bad for me and this student went so far as to give me some get well flowers. So sweet! Then later today during A4 one of my students came up to me and said, "close your eyes." I thought it was just a mean joke because I can't close my right eye so I said no. So she told me to look away and hold out my hand. I felt her drop something in it and looked to find a beautiful breast cancer charm bracelet. How freaking nice are my students? Well they are really, really nice. Cameo came in and was pretty jealous but I must stress its just because my students are 9th graders. There is a weird abyss of evil in the 8th grade at Orem Junior. Anyway, I just felt the love from my students today (and also from my ladies Heather and Jessica - I just love you guys).

ps - its now Wednesday but I thought I should add on here that I got flowers from another student today! Apparently I don't need a man to shower me with gifts, I just need to keep teaching the greatest kids on earth.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


One of the more unique stories in my life is that of my friendship with a certain Baptist. I found possibly the only Baptist in Utah and dated him. If you ever need to hear a good story and you have some time, ask me to tell you my Baptist story. Its quite the saga actually. Well obviously that didn't work out but somehow we remained pretty good friends. Anyway, Baptist (that's what I usually refer to him as) informed me he was getting married a while ago and its coming up soon so I thought he deserved a good shout out as well. I guess its just the season for weddings. Now Chase, even though you are getting married before me, I am still better and more grown up than you. Always remember that. I know you will :)