Thursday, December 13, 2012


So, it's only been a couple months since I last posted. A few things have changed.

First, I got a new job! I've been hired as a business analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield (the insurance company). I start on January 7 and I'll be working with an actuary statistician, which is a step in the direction that I'm pretty sure I want to go. With that in mind, I've quit my 2 teaching jobs. I had several students at UNM who make me want to keep teaching. There's something special about changing someone's life for the better. I had several students tell me they wish I weren't quitting because they wanted their friends to take my class. Several of them said it was the first time that math had made sense to them. I guess I'm kind of a good teacher. :) My future children are so lucky!

I got a couple of letters and gifts from my students. One wrote, "To a smart, strong and 'silly' young lady whom I admire so much. May good winds blow you where ever you go. May your creator and the world be kind to you. It was a pleasure knowing you!"
Another student had come to me after missing an exam and asked to talk to me. We had a conversation about how to be a good student (like, come to class!) and how to make it through the few years of college. Here's his response: "Jessica, Thank you for an awesome year in statistics, but more than that thank you for the little talk you gave me about actually trying in school. I have been underachieving (or 'slack-assing' as some might say) for my entire scholastic career and you are the very first teacher to actually have a candid conversation about why and how I should get through school. Plus you're super cool and easy on the eyes (if only I knew how to do a winky face in cursive!) So, thanks again, you're a total badass. All the best, Alex"
...I can't help it if I'm so awesome that my students fall in love with me. Hahaha.

In other news, I have a diagnosis for our infertility issues. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I've just started treatment using Metformin, which is commonly used to treat diabetes. From here we'll be using a combination of different fertility treatments to see if we can get the magic combination.

We're loving life and having a great time! We've had lots of visitors here, and we're so glad that you've come. Lots of love!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Catching Fire

I suppose it's time to catch up on all of the happenings. It's been kind of crazy around here, but it's been fun!

So, I left off with the backpacking trip. A couple of days after we got home Mark's mom, Kathy, arrived! We had such fun lounging and playing games and going for walks. We just love having her come to visit. She even rock climbed with us! She made it up a 5.6 (a good beginner level) while we were in Socorro. Good job!

The following week, I started a new quarter at ITT. Remember the schedule I was talking about? I ended up with 3 night classes. It was quite tough that first week, and so I found someone who was willing to replace me. That brought my total down to 6 classes (which is still quite a lot). Thing were crazy at first, but have gotten better in time. We're now halfway through the quarter! Crazy... That same week, Mark took off to Arizona for a few days on a recruiting trip for work. Not much else happened to note.

Then we bought a new bed! It's a king-size bed, and it's beautiful. See?

Just lovely.

Not long after it's arrival, Mark took off for over a week and a half to Puerto Rico and Utah, both recruiting jobs for work. He had a blast! He would text me and tell me to have fun teaching my classes while he was lounging on the beach or surfing in the ocean. I was only a little bitter :)

The first weekend he was gone, I had a girls night with a few of my friends from my new ward. We had a great time giving each other spa treatments and enjoying Oreo truffles and homemade lemonade. Yes, I'm that amazing.
The second weekend I took off on a road trip to meet my mothers in St. George, Utah. They surprised me by bringing my 6-month-old nephew! We had a great time lounging, eating, watching movies, painting pumpkins, doing other crafts, and just being together. I love my mothers! Thanks for meeting me there. It was fabulous.

Mark got home, and a few days later our good friends Jeremy and Nayana showed up. They currently live in Boston, but we met at USU. We spent most of our time together playing games or doing the typical Albuquerque stuff (like ride the tram, visit the nuclear museum, and rock climb). We also went camping and saw the most beautiful fall colors on the drive. The trees looked like they were catching on fire!

Anyway, they left yesterday, but we hope to vacation together in New Zealand within the next year.

That brings us to the present! Tomorrow we'll be participating in a climbing competition at the climbing gym we attend. Most likely we won't win anything, but it's the same competition that got us climbing last year. It should be good! The next few weeks should be pretty low-key, until we have more visitors for Thanksgiving. We're looking forward to it!

Enjoy the fall season, and I hope I remember to write again soon.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Backpacking in Bandelier

This was a first for me. Sure, I've been camping, and I've even hiked in a mile or two to my camping spot. But backpacking in the wilderness for 3 days? Nope. Hadn't done that before. I had a great time, and I plan on doing it again, but I wouldn't recommend northern New Mexico as a starter point for new backpackers. I'd probably suggest somewhere pretty, with green and shade. However, if you're heart is set on New Mexico, Bandelier is a pretty cool place. It's famous for the ancient cliff dwellings where Native Americans lived once.

Day 1: We hiked along the trail until we came to a sweet cave with a reconstructed ceremonial house.

Then we hiked along this "river" until we realized we were on the wrong trail. At that point, we were several miles into the canyon. No biggie - we can just climb up the side of the mountain to get on the correct path! So, that's what we did. And nobody died (which was somewhat surprising).

 Day 2: We hiked about 7 miles, with 5.5 of it being a loop. The first half of the loop looked like this:

 barren desert with no shade. It was a little bit miserable until we got to a different canyon with a little stream. We took off our shoes and walked in the water a while. It felt so nice! Then we headed back toward camp to stop for the day.

Day 3: We hiked the 5 miles back to the visitor center. The weather was lovely and the walk was much less treacherous than the previous two days. No major mishaps (thankfully), so the trip left an overall good taste in my mouth.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Project and Some Pictures

Today was a very productive day. I did 3 loads of laundry worth of ironing. But that's not even the most productive part of the day. Mark and our friend, Abe, built hanging shelves in the garages of both homes. They did a fantastic job (besides the part where Abe drilled a hole in Mark's finger). Here's a picture of our very clean garage:

Or 3 pictures. Whatever. Also, I recently realized that I hadn't really posted any pictures of the decorated and cute version of our house, so here's a couple:

And, finally, during our trip to Europe last summer we bought 5 postcards from each city. Each set had to include only places we'd visited in that city, and had to be the same style, so we could do this:

Yes, I made those. Yes, I'm awesome. I glued wood together (in custom shapes!), painted it black, then glued the postcards to their corresponding piece of wood. Go ahead and pin that for later, ladies. :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Laptop!

Now that I have a laptop that works, I feel obligated to finally blog.

Why did I buy a new laptop? For my new job! A few weeks ago I was hired by UNM (University of New Mexico) as a part-time instructor in the Math/Stat department. School started this week, and it's been crazy! I decided when I got hired that I would continue my job at ITT Technical Institute, and my ordinance worker shift at the LDS temple. I'm now one busy lady! But I love it. At UNM I'm teaching 2 sections of intermediate algebra and 2 sections of introduction to statistics. Each section has about 60 student, so I've got about 240 students at UNM. It's crazy! Luckily, most of the grading is done by online programs that they're required to use. I still have to grade the in-class quizzes and tests, but I think I can handle that :)

In other news, I am becoming domesticated. I gave up facebook (in an effort to turn my internet time to blogging instead of reading lame facebook posts). I learned how to can peaches and green chiles. When you come to visit in the middle of winter, we'll have plenty of great food to eat!

Life is genuinely good :)

Monday, July 09, 2012

To Appease My Mother

I got a text the other day that said "I'm still waiting for your blog to update" from my mom. I responded "So am I." That was a couple of weeks ago, and seeing as how the blog hasn't written itself, I suppose it's my responsibility to appease my mother.

We have moved into our house! Here's a little virtual tour:
Kitchen & Dining Area
 Great Room
 Game Room
 Game Shelves
 Master Bedroom
 Master Bedroom Art
 Master Bathroom
 Master Closet
 Craft Room
 Pool Table Room

We love our house, and are thrilled to be here. I also need to thank everyone who helped us move. There were a lot of you and we're so grateful! These pictures weren't taken at the final stage of being completely moved in, so you'll have to come visit to see the fully decorated version of our house. :)

Even though we've just moved in, we still find time to do fun things. For 4th of July weekend, we met up with  my parents in Moab. They rode motorcycles every day, and we went climbing, hiking, and biking. Here are a couple of pictures from that trip.
Climbing Looking Glass. The climb was a joke, but the rappel was awesome!

 Hiking with the parentals in Arches National Park.

 We climbed to the top of Fiery Furnace. It was awesome!!

 Mark biked Slick Rock Trail.

That's about all we've been up to for the last couple of months. Rock on!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

As a gift to all of the mother's who read my blog, I've decided to update. Also, we just barely got all of our recent pictures onto the computer.

Bullet-point updates:
  • Jess went to Utah to meet her adorable nephew, Tavin.
  • Mark went camping in Moab with friends.
  • Ty (our friend) moved in to stay with us for a short while.
  • Jess, Mark, Ty and Harrison (other friend) went camping and climbing in El Rito.
  • House hit two major marks: Drywall/paint and cabinets/countertops installed!!!
My trip to Utah was fantastic - it was just the thing I needed. I got to spend a ton of time with family, spend countless hours playing with 2-week-old Tavin, and see many of my most treasured friends. Check out my facebook page for pictures of the beautiful little babe.

Here are some pictures of us climbing in El Rito.

These are the rocks we were climbing on.

While I was in Utah and Mark in Moab our house was filled with drywall and the outside got primed for bricks and stucco!

Finally, most recently, the inside was painted and countertops and cabinets installed. This is the point where they tell us the house will be finished in 45 days. Crazy!!!

Happy Mother's Day, Mother!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pre-Drywall Update

This house is changing so fast! Here are the latest and greatest.

It's crazy to think that the next picture was taken only 3 days after the first two!

Party on! Until next time...