August 16, 2017

Teacher AKA Chaos Coordinator

Look ma! It's my first day of first grade! 
our motto + the enlarged student drawings I so lovingly refer to as "my ugly kids"
This tree! Bringing dreams to life since '17. My mom and I spent a whole day crafting it
and it's definitely my favorite part of the room.
 (When the AC is on, the branches sway in the wind.. *teacher heart eyes*)
*note to self: NEVER MAKE A SET OF TASSELS AGAIN. IT TAKES FOREVER. 

// If you can read this, thank your first grade teacher //
p.s. really hoping that's true for my students after this year!


Guess who just finished her first day of teaching first grade? PAISLEY WARREN. That's right! After many months of planning & getting ready, the big day finally came. Tuesday morning I met the faces of 60 sweet & eager first graders who will be in my class for the next year. You may be thinking 60??? Must be a typo!

A THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL. 

I have 60 kids FOR REALS and I'm still trying to take it all in. 

Ya see, my school is a Spanish Dual Immersion school, which means I teach two groups of first grade. The kids do a half day in english and a half day in spanish.  In the morning, I have a group of 30 kids that I teach Language Arts & Math to, and in the afternoon I do the same thing with another group of 30 kids. I KNOW. SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE HUH? 

The first day went off without a hitch  and even though I was exhausted from such a whirlwind of a day, I chalk it up as a success. We only had 10 kids lose their lunchbox, 4 kids cry, and 1 get sent clear out to kanarraville (a 30 minute drive) because we put her on the wrong bus. (still crying myself over the trauma I caused that sweet innocent first grader.) 

In all seriousness though, I love the school I am teaching at, I have THE MOST AMAZING TEAM, and I'm so excited to be able to do what I love everyday and get paid for it. Score! 

And now, this tired teacher is going to attempt to turn off her teacher brain & spend some time with her cute husband... who has probably forgotten who I even am ;) 
Can't believe I'm in the career / teacher stage of my life! 
XOXO
Love P

August 8, 2017

OUR FIRST YEAR


Places We've Gone:

Honeymooning in Cancun Mexico
Picnicking on Cedar Mountain
Visiting family in Las Vegas NV
Riding four wheelers, caning, and fishing on Kolob
Celebrating the fourth in Salt Lake City
Watching the AVP tour in Huntington Beach CA
Kayaking in the Harbor of Long Beach CA
Camping at Duck Creek Campground
Hiking at Navajo Lake
Boating at Lake Powell AZ
Boogie Boarding + beaching at Oceanside CA
Celebrating our 1st anniversary in Las Vegas NV

New & Memorable:

My first flight & trip out of the country
Moving into our first apartment
Splitting time between our three families + loving every second of it
Getting a job as a first grade teacher before I even graduated!!
Graduating from Southern Utah University w/ my bachelors
Getting lost on a sketchy road + having our very own Robin Williams / RV moment
Colten learning how to slalom ski + me learning how to wake board
Getting called as Wolf leaders in our ward

Things We Found a Love For: 

Playing Pinochle with our families
Old clips of "Whose Line is it Anyways" 
Ovens that work
Fresh green beans
Harmonizing to songs on the radio
Playing darts with Ron + Julie
Kiwi Strawberry Juice
Snuggling up on the couch to keep from freezing to death
Late night frosty runs + long talks in the parking lot


Favorite Meals "We" Made:

Toasted Italian Subs
Pizza Chicken 
Dutch Oven Potato Soup + homemade rolls
Roasted Broccoli
SO MANY CHICKEN NUGGETS
Stirfry + copycat PE orange chicken
Chicken Parmesan + Linguine


Favorite Shows We Watched:

Greys Anatomy
Friends
How I Met Your Mother
New Girl
Rules of Engagement
Prison Break
NCIS
Quantico


Hardest Part About Being Married:

Him - Trying to read a girl's mind and figure out why your wife is mad! 
Her - Getting used to living with a boy! ;)


Favorite Part About Being Married:

Him - ....... couldn't list his favorite BUT the second was all the daily laughs & memories you get to make together. 
Her - Spending everyday with someone who has the same heart as you... and always having someone to kiss! 

Colten + I both talk about how fast this year has gone for us. It seems like its gone by in the blink of an eye, but at the same time we feel like we've always been like this - happily married + loving + learning from from each other.
XOXO
Love P






July 27, 2017

Where We Went: Oceanside,CA




//  HAPPY AS A CLAM // 

We just returned from the most heavenly family trip to Oceanside, California and it has made coming back to reality the hardest thing EVER. Our family started going to Oceanside about five years ago + we come back as much as we can. (this trip with the cousins was an all time favorite!) It's a smaller beach town located near carlsbad + about 45 minutes from San Diego. It has all the charm of the California Coast + makes you fall in love with it the minute you arrive. 

 This time around, We spent nine days at Oceanside Harbor + did as much swimming, eating, napping, and boogie boarding as we could cram into every moment. It was so fun to have most of my family there (poor dyl had to work!) and spend so much time with them. As much as I love recording our trips + experiences through photography, I tried to keep a balance between keeping family fun just between us, yet capturing some moments that we will want to remember... It was refreshing to keep the camera in the bag a little more than usual + just focus on spending time with Colt + my family. 

I'm more of a list girl than a writer, so as always - here's a list of some of the best memories from our time in Oceanside. 


starting off the trip by celebrating keagen's two year old birthday.... (p.s. remember this? oh how time flies!) 
exploring the beach at sunset
sacrament meeting @ oceanside ward
boogie boarding + high tide
playing pinochle nonstop
getting our butts whooped at tennis
sunburns sunburns sunburns
sandcastles with caleb
late night talks + strawberry cheesecake ice cream with colten
early morning walks through the harbor village
fish + chips
sunset market + live music
watching surfers from the pier
exploring downtown oceanside
all nine of us piling into the old white van
dad driving with no shirt + mexican music blasting
waking up early with mom + visiting on the balcony
clean white sheets #bestpartofvacation
shopping trips with mom + the kids
spending hours by the pool
swimming with stingrays (not intentionally... but they were everywhere in the water. #sketch)
last hurrah ice cream + live music at the harbor


I'm constantly wishing that this trip wasn't over, because it means summer is over for me as I transition into life as Mrs. Warren, first grade teacher!
 More on how that is all going in a future post ;) 
XOXO 
Love P





June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites


In an attempt to keep up with journaling + life, I've decided to start a new series called "Friday Favorites" where I can record + share my favorite parts or new discovering that I'm loving lately.

Take a look at my first post! 


FAVORITE PARTS OF THE WEEK: 

Las Vegas

On Friday we zipped down to Las Vegas to visit Colten's Dad & Stepmom for the weekend. It was hotter than Hades, but we had such a great time. We basically spent the whole time poolside, because it was too dang hot to do much else! Colten's dad used his new smoker + made the best smoked burgers EVAH. Then we swam, swam, swam, some more + finished out the night with smores around the firepit. 

Fathers Day

On our way home from Vegas, we stopped in Hurricane for a Father's Day dinner with my dad + family. It was fun to be with everybody + spend time with my second favorite guy. We played guitar + had strawberry shortcake for dessert. So grateful for a father who does so much for me + has taught me so much. 

Temple Trip 

Tuesday morning I was able to go to the temple with my sister, mom, and dad and do baptisms for the dead. Chantell made the goal to go ten times this summer, so it was fun to be able to go and help her! Of course, the mandatory Iceberg trip afterwards wasn't too bad either! ;) 


FAVORITE FIRSTS:  

Tracking My Steps

So I know I'm behind on the times, but I finally got a Fitbit AND I DON'T KNOW HOW I SURVIVED WITHOUT ONE. Before, I struggled to accurately track my workouts/runs and it was basically all left up to guesswork. But now I've got all the info I need right on my wrist. Talk about motivation to move! It has been so great to finally get a feel for my fitness level + be able to track my steps/distance/active minutes/ etc. Plus, nothing beats the feeling of having accomplished your fitness goals! Definitely a believer in them now. 

FAVORITE THINGS I'M LISTENING TO:

Music: 

Supermarket Flowers - Ed Sheeran (grab some tissues!)
I Could Use A Love Song - Maren Morris
Boom Clap - Lennon + Maisy
 

Podcasts + Talks:

Serial - Sarah Koenig
    One story - a true story - that is told over a season. FREAKING ADDICTING.The first season follows investigative reporter Sarah Koenig as she tries to dig deeper in a homicide case.  My investigative skills are on the fritz trying to figure out where the story is going.

Limetown - Two Up Productions
   Another podcast that is a little eery but UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. The episodes are only 30ish minutes long, and tell the story of Limetown, Tennessee where ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared, never to be heard from again. At first I thought it was a true story, and I was out on my run going crazy because it was so intense. Now that I know it's just a fictional story, I've calmed down a little bit... but still. You'll be hooked. I went an extra two miles just so I could listen to another episode.

Want to be Happy? Be Grateful - David Steindl-Rast
    This TedTalk will totally change the way you think about the blessings you already have + make you view your life in a whole new light.

The Power of Introverts - Susan Cain  
     Our world is designed for extroverts, but introverts have made some of the great contributions to society. As a introvert myself, I loved Susan's talk about empowering ourselves + our children to feel comfortable using our strengths (and weaknesses) to influence others.

My Year of Saying Yes to Everything - Shonda Rhimes 
    Shonda Rhimes is responsible for a lot of happiness, tears, + late nights in my life, and hearing about her fearless + remarkable journey to becoming one of the most popular screenwriters + producers in the Television industry will make you wanna have a "Year of Yes" too. {Still not forgiving her for killing Derek Shephard though.}

FAVORITE THINGS I'M READING: 

Articles:

14 Ways to Stimulate Personal Growth {link here}

 Books:

 The Girl You Left Behind - JoJo Moyes
  I'm only about half way through this book, but already I'm really a big fan. It's by the same author who wrote "Me Before You" (did you realize it was a book before it was a movie?).  It's set in both the World War I era + present day London, and interweaves the story of two women trying to do what is right in difficult situations.  
    
 All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
     THIS BOOK. Please Please go read it as fast as you can. I'm realizing most of what I read is historical fiction set in either World War I or World War II, but when you find what ya love you just gotta go with it. This book won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015 and is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.    For reals the best book I've read this year. 


<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>


Do you have any favorites you'd like to share? 
I wanna hear about them!
XOXO
Love P



June 4, 2017

The Danger of Perfectionism + Comparison

above: a picture I've hesitated posting for awhile because it made me feel insecure about myself  + didn't seem to fit my standard of perfect. I figure it's about time to get over the fear of what other people think + show you the face of a girl who is happiest when she isn't comparing herself to others. 




// "Be ye therefore perfect" //

All my life I've wanted to use this scripture as a checklist or a measuring tape for my success. I grew up with an ultra talented mom who was the epitome of a "perfect" homemaker, wife, and mother. She taught me how to cook, clean, sew, paint, play the piano, mow lawns, read the scriptures, pray, plan family home evening lessons, (etc. etc. etc. etc.) all while teaching these same things to my four siblings, fulfilling her church callings, serving in the community, making it to all of our dad's games, and keeping a spotless house. I remember at age 7 sitting on the edge of the tub and watching my mom putting on makeup and doing her hair. I looked at her and thought "She is the most beautiful person in the whole wide world. My mom is perfect." I knew that if I could become exactly like my mom when I got older, I could be "perfect" too. 

Throw in the fact that I have grandma's, aunts, and cousins who when combined can do everything and anything, and you have the complete circle of "perfect" women. Growing up around this culture of talented, organized, and driven women made me want to grow up and be exactly like them. It was decided. Let the record show that when I grew up I would be dressed to the nines everyday, with a sparkling clean house that was decorated just like the shows I watched on HGTV. I would marry a handsome returned missionary, and I would find pure joy in cooking us gourmet dinners. I would find time to balance my church callings, job (just let me be a stay at home mom!), and home life all while finding time to travel, exercise daily, and be in short, "perfect'.

..... Well....

Now I'm grown up. 

Let's take a tally of how my plan is going so far.

 - I make the effort to get ready everyday, but by about 6:30 I'm already out of my nice clothes and into the biggest oversized shirt I can find and a pair of yoga pants. (if I have pants on at all.)
 - My house is pretty tidy, but heaven knows that if you open my closet you'll find last week's laundry still not put away, and most the things I've worn in the past few days on the floor. 
 - I did marry a handsome returned missionary (check!), but pure joy and cooking dinner are never in the same sentence. Poor Colten can't count on his fingers and toes how many times I've said, "Hey, I don't feel like cooking tonight. again. Alberto's?"
 - Right now I have two church callings which make our already busy lives a little chaotic. (not gonna lie, I've about had it with overbearing cub scout mom's)
 - I'm starting my first "real" job in two months and I'm terrified. And kid's won't be in the picture for a while. 
 - I've only been on an airplane once, and don't even know where half of the places in the world are. 
 - I exercise a few times a week, but honestly its the thing that gets pushed to the bottom of my "to do" list on busy days. 

Obviously, I'm way off track of my Plan for Perfection. And even though I'm able to make it seem light hearted now, I beat myself up over the fact that I haven't achieved this "mormon woman perfection" yet. Throw in the fact that I've always had low self esteem + that our actions & thoughts are so guided by standards set on social media, it's created this awful voice saying I'm never going to be enough. 

I feel like I have a lot of strengths and talents, but heaven knows I was born a perfectionist and that "doing my best" will never be enough unless its literally THE BEST OUT THERE. I work hard to not compare myself to others, but it's so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to the highlight reels we see everyday on instagram, facebook, or other blogs. I constantly see examples of women (some known and unknown) who have skinny + toned bodies, carrying a baby on each hip, dressed in the newest style, with perfect hair + makeup, telling the social media world about the new business they just started successfully on a whim. They show perfection in little squares with perfect aesthetic in their feed. They live in perfect homes with beautiful natural light, can create perfect candid moments using photography skills they just "picked up over the weekend". 

Am I the only one who starts to feel inadequate? 

This post came as the result of a really hard day yesterday, and the most beautiful answer to prayers given today. 

Yesterday, I cried because these feelings of inadequacy, low self esteem, and failure crept up out of their dark place and right into the center of my heart. I started to really believe that these feelings I was having were true and that I was of not worth. I'm sad to say that this is not the first day where I've had this kind of experience. So, I did the one thing that brings me comfort every time. I prayed to my Heavenly Father, asking for some relief from the bad feelings I was having about myself. I asked for comfort and assurance that I was enough, and that I would be able to have my heart lifted. I fasted this morning for the ability to start loving myself again. Then I got dressed and went to church. 

If ever there was a moment where I felt love from my Heavenly Father, this was it. 
The lesson for today? Getting over Perfectionism. 

I sat stunned that such a perfect lesson was being given on a day when I had specifically prayed and fasted to be able to look past my perfectionism + feel like my best was worth something. As I listened to the sisters in my ward share their own experiences + feelings about perfectionism and the insecurities it brings, I started to realize a couple things. 

1) Men are that they might have joy - not guilt trips. 
If I didn't exercise every day, it was probably because I was busy doing things that made me happier - like spending time with my husband, or reading a good book out in the sun. No need to guilt trip myself!
If I didn't make a cute treat + handout to take to my visiting teaching sister this month, it was probably because I was doing things that made me happier - like eating the treat with colten while watching netflix. No guilt trip needed! 
If I didn't post a mushy picture of me + my husband on instagram this weekend, it was probably because I was doing things that made me happier - like keeping some things to ourselves + focusing on doing fun things like fishing + canoeing at the lake. Why feel guilty?

2) Everything does not require your best. 
We get wrapped up in the idea that we need to excel at everything. HELLO?! Why?! Honestly it's exhausting to put 100% into everything we do. I am really good at some things, so I should be happy with myself over those accomplishments instead of beating myself because I didn't do perfectly at things that don't matter as much. Do you need to be perfect at washing the dishes? No, and in the end it doesn't matter if they sit there overnight... or until monday. I would rather put my whole heart into the important things like loving my spouse + family, or strengthening my testimony, or making it to the temple regularly than trying to have a perfectly decorated house, or trying to win the instagram game. 

3) Comparison is the thief of joy. 
We've heard it and pinned it a billion times on pinterest, but it's got some truth to it. You will never have someone else's life. You might not be able to run a marathon like them, or travel like them, or have the things they have. BUT GUESS WHAT? They will never get to have your life either. Once we remind ourselves that we were all here with different talents, opportunities, and struggles, we can be grateful and happy with our own lives. 

4) Perfection isn't possible
Remember how I told you about my mom + aunts + other women I know being perfect? Though they are wonderful women who work hard + have talents, their lives aren't perfect and neither are they. ( I say this so lovingly!) It only appeared that way. Now that I'm older I realize that their perfect lives were marked with heartaches, challenges, and some of the same struggles I find myself facing today. Perfection isn't attainable and I think we were designed that way. 

So - to finish up this huge blog post. 
I know that even if my life isn't "perfect", no one's actually is, so I'm going to be happy. 
I am going to be happy because I have a wonderful life. 
I am going to be happy because I still have new things to learn + things to focus on. 
I am going to be happy, because I no longer want to be perfect. I just wanna be Paisley, who is good at being a peacemaker, can cook a mean stirfry, and can rock a messy bun + worn out jeans like nobody's business. 

So grateful for answered prayers + the ability to see myself in a new light. 
XOXO
Love P





May 19, 2017

Baby Brown Birth Story

 

 

Last Sunday I had the incredible opportunity to be the birth photographer for a friend here in Cedar City. Sweet little Theo Brown was born on Mothers Day, and came into the world as beautiful and perfect as could be! I still can't get over all that hair! Such a sweet, heavenly moment to be apart of as these two became parents. Thank you, Aubryelle + Riley for trusting me to capture such a tender birth story. 

XOXO
Love P

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