I am the worst...

Blogging this week has been the last thing on my mind.
My week has been crazy with the following:
accomplishing some new work-out goals
ordering/setting up banners for my summer tutoring program
(big thanks to Dad Gilbert for walking around the neighborhood with me and setting them up...he's the best, I tell ya!)
TWO sisters are graduating from high school this week and I've been preparing a few secrets.
I can't attend either graduation, but we won't talk about that because it makes me cry.
the end of school--which = a final exam in each class that has to be made, keyed, and prepared for.

This is the lamest blog post ever.
I still have so much to  blog about.
Like our awesome memorial day weekend.

Just a quick hi post...more to come! 


Some thoughts?

We're off to Vegas, then Arizona, and then St. George for this memorial day weekend.
Betta get some real heat.

P.S. Blog post about the cool story behind this not-so-cool picture to come.

P.P.S In my classes today, we did the coolest Cold War object lesson.
I'm pretty proud. Can I say that?
I'll blog about that later, too.
Also. This was the last full week of school.
I am getting strangely sentimental and really depressed.
I truly love my students and the chemistry we have.

P.P.P.S. Ready to judge me?
I totally gave a student my debit card today to go get me a McFlurry at lunch. Ha!
Don't worry. I trusted him.
Plus, who cares if a student empties your bank account if you get a McFlurry in the end? That makes it all worth it. Right? mmhmm.

Right now I'm really obsessed over all of my students.
I think it's finally hit me that it's almost over, and we won't be together anymore!
My students are seriously my favorite things in the world.

Time to hurry home so we can drive all night.
Good thing it's with my bestest friend ;)

I'm in a weird mood.

peace out, utah.


spring beauty

Sometimes when I leave for work in the morning, I'm hating my life for having to be up so dang early.
Then I walk out the door and see this

and all is right in the world again.
I love walking out to sunshine...so much better than when it was dark, snowy, and cold. ugh

Spring, you are killing me with your beauty.
But can I tell you that I am so excited to be reunited with my lover?
aka summer.
It's right around the corner!



A student told me today: "Your class is the first history class that I really enjoy taking notes in.  And I even like the tests because I actually do good!"
I can't tell you how good that feels as a teacher.
The past few weeks I've been reflecting on my first year, and I sometimes wonder if I was really the teacher I had hoped to be.
Some days I feel like I am still so far from that teacher.
But days like this make my little heart swell with gratitude and pride.
I did it.
I survived my first year, and at least one student likes tests! Because she does well on them!
That was my whole goal!
To make kids feel like they can succeed.

But let me tell you--there are really hard days.
And they are plenty.

Funny moment of the day:
I was talking about Princess Diana and when I first said her name I said, "Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales"
A student looked up with a sincerely confused face and said, "Wait, are we talking about mermaids?"
I think all of us were confused, until another student said, 
"A princess of whales? What does that even mean? Does she swim with them or something?"
And then it clicked.

Needless to say, we all started laughing after that.
Oh my. I just love their innocent minds.
This job...seriously so rewarding!

it's called strawberry drink, folks.

one of mine and my siblings favorite treats growing up was "strawberry drink."
It has a real name--but that's what us kids called it.
And it's stuck.
We all know it just as strawberry drink.
And it is YUM.
And so dang easy to make.

You ready?
This is all you need!

1 pint fresh strawberries cleaned and hulled
1/4 C lemon juice
1 can sweetened, condensed milk
2 C crushed ice
In blender container, combine all ingredients in order listed.  Blend until smooth.  (Mixture stays thick and creamy in the refrigerator.)

And bam! You just made the yummiest drink of all time.

p.s. it tastes even better through a straw.


Happy first date anniversary, babe.

I have been so bad at blogging the past few two weeks.
The end of the school year is kicking my trash.
I feel like I have SO much to do, so much to teach--and it's stressing me out big time.
I have felt like a chicken with its head cut off for the last two weeks.
Someone please help me find that chicken head...

Today is a special day.

Two years ago, on May 21st 2011, Taylor and I went on our very first date.
Which was more of an accidental date than a real date. ;)
See story here.

So I decided to try to be creative and set up a little something special for Taylor Gilbert to wake up to.

Yes, I cut the back of the racquetball open all by myself.
It might have been the hardest thing I've ever done.
Way harder than I thought it would be.

Inside the racquetball were slips of paper that said:
You + Me = racquetball tonight

I cannot wait to recreate our date night!
Happy first date anniversary, TaylorRay!
I sure am glad we "accidentally" went on a date two years ago. :)


maybe I'm an immature teacher?

When I pull down my projector screen, it swings back and forth a few times.
The last few days, the chains holding up the projector have been squeaking while they swing.
It sounds exactly like bed springs.
And with hormonal immature teenagers in the room, you can imagine what their mind immediately jumps too.
I didn't notice "the connection" until I saw the muffled giggles of the students.
And then...I couldn't help but die of laughter.
Which made the students laugh even harder.
It is dead-on.
I almost want to record it and put it on here.
But I won't be that immature.

And with each new class (that has yet to hear the new squeaking of the projector screen), I tell myself that I won't laugh when I pull it down and it starts to squeak (there's no preventing it).
Instead, I tell myself that I will scold them for being immature.
But every time...as I try to put on my "I'm really mad at you because you guys are so immature" face, I just start laughing.
Oh geez...help us.
We need summer.

because we like to be spontaneous

Last weekend, we had dinner with a couple of couples ;)
(thanks for the picture, Maddie! ;))

After dinner, while walking out to our cars, Taylor invited the Mckees to go camping with us the following weekend.
With which Maddie responded, "Let's just go right now!"
And so...we did.
By the time we got everything thrown in the car, it was 10pm.
our eagle scout husbands can set up a tent in the dark, right? ;)

We drove all of the way up the canyon to a popular camping site, only to find out that they haven't opened it for camping season yet.
Off to attempt #2.
This one had a $15 camping fee.
And there were signs posted everywhere warning campers to find the camp host before setting up camp.
But we couldn't find that dang camp host anywhere!
(he was probably sleeping...ha)
Maddie and I wanted to set up the tent anyway and find him in the morning.
But our husbands are too good--they didn't want to stay without paying.

By this point, it was near 11pm.
So...we may or may not have ended up camped out in Maddie's parents' backyard.
I guess that's what happens when you try to be spontaneous.

But for the sake of the story--let's pretend we successfully made it to the woods.

We were full of sugar, laughs, and good times.
Seriously--we were all laughing the entire night.
For more pictures, see Maddie's post.

Here's to a real campout real soon! ;)


Little hands

Last night, Tay and I went to a Deaf film festival for a k-8 school.
It was possibly the cutest thing in the world.
Little kids signing with little fingers--oh my goodness, melt my heart!
Taylor and I are determined to teach our kids ASL.
I already know that I'm going to be the biggest push-over when our littles ask me for something with their tiny signing hands.
Case in point: a little boy asked us last night (in sign, of course) if we wanted to buy any popcorn.
We had literally just eaten 5 minutes before, but I could NOT say no.
Then he struck up a conversation about zombies with me.
I was dying. Cutest kid in the world!

This is the only picture I have of the night...but what's a blog post without a picture, right? ;)
We just enjoyed every minute.
I love that we share the love of this language.


on being a wife

Brace yourself...this post reads like a pity party with lots of lame self-advice.
You've been warned.

I've been a Mrs. for 19 months now.
And I'll tell you what.
I love everything about it.
But I often sit and wonder how good I actually am at it.
Because when I think of the poster wife, I feel like I am so far off.

Don't believe me? Let's take a look:
Poster wife: she is perfectly dressed 24/7. cute accessories, high heels, and always the perfect smile.
Me: I look forward to braless Saturday mornings, I get giddy when I think about changing into my sweats (or even just jeans!) after work, and my hair is in a ponytail 85% of the time.

Poster wife: she cooks an extravagant dinner every night--prime ribs, mashed potatoes, and steaming vegetables. topped off with a warm upside-down cake...oh, and don't forget that homemade bread cooking in the oven.  She does this with a smile too, and even has a sing-song voice that says, "Honey, dinner is ready!"
Me: If I "cook" grilled cheese or quesadillas without burning them, I call it a successful dinner made and I praise myself for the next week for making a home-cooked meal. And then when Taylor asks what we're having for dinner, I say, "Did you forget? Babe, I cooked dinner two Wednesdays ago! I'm still reveling in that joy--I don't have to cook again for at least another week!" Because let's face it...most of my dinners are too salty, burnt, or non-existant (aka we eat cereal or go out to eat)

Dear Mom, just skip over this next example...okay, thanks.
Poster wife: Her house is sparkling clean--there are never dishes in the sink.  And clothes thrown on the floor? oh, never! 
Me: I've always considered myself somewhat of a neat person (my mom may disagree).  But I was always the clean roommate--I didn't want to be the cause of a dirty apartment.  But now that I have no Mom and no roommate pressuring me to stay clean, I have found a secret dirty joy in throwing my clothes on the floor because I can. Because Mom won't tell me to come clean it up.  There are even times when I'm reaching to put my cereal bowl in the dishwasher, and then I pause and think, "I don't even have to do this!" and I skip away with a smile on my face.  Oh, and the dish? It never made it to the dishwasher. (disclaimer: our bathroom is usually always clean, except for the occasional make-up I'll leave out...dirty bathrooms give me the weebie jeebies).  And here is where I throw disclaimer #2: I definitely think messy is different than dirty.  And we are definitely not dirty.  

Poster wife: the laundry is always neatly folded and put away. She would never run out of clean towels, when her husband needs them the most.
Me: I feel like laundry is the thing I always forget to do.  I don't realize it needs to be done until I'm down to my last pair of underwear. uh-oh.  And then I forget about loads sitting in the dryer.  It's not until I think, "where the heck is that polka dot dress with green stripes and flowers?" And then I realize there's a whole load of clothes in the dryer! whoops... Mind you, searching for this specific piece of clothing means that all of my clothes in the drawers, closet, and hampers are being thrown everywhere...because I'm a girl, and once I get my mind on an outfit I want to wear, I will do anything and everything to make sure that outfit happens.  And then of course, I'll put it on, and it doesn't look as good as I imagined, and so the process will start all over again. 

Poster wife:  She is a saint.  She does absolutely everything for her husband and never asks for a thing in return.
Me: Uh...I'll ask Taylor to go get me a glass of water or my computer charger when we're both lying in bed. Yeah...I'll leave it at that.

I guess I just always assumed that when you became a Mrs, you also become super-wife.
It didn't matter if you hated cooking and cleaning when you were single, because when you get married you will become a gourmet chef and a magical maid.
It's all part of the territory, right?
Yeah...that theory didn't work so well. Clearly.
For even more proof, see these posts: here here and here

This isn't supposed to be a pity post.
I definitely know that there are things I am good at.
But I really tend to beat myself up over the things I'm not good at--the things that I feel like I'm supposed to be good at.
But I've decided to make a new goal every week to work on just one "wifely" trait.
And maybe the farthest I'll get is actually putting on a bra on Saturday morning.
But hey, at the end of the day, what you did is enough.
There's no rewinding time, so you might as well accept the small things you did achieve that day, instead of the things you didn't quite get to.
Right? Right.

All of you perfect housewives who are juggling everything perfectly and are totally judging me for this post--I give you my deepest apologies and the biggest high five I can muster.
I will be like you one day!

In the end, thank goodness that I have a husband that makes me feel like I'm the best wife in the world
(even if he's starving, wearing dirty underwear, and has a bedroom that looks like the closet threw up.
And I'm kidding about the dirty underwear...I hope.)
Taylor Gilbert, you are my happy!


Admitting it?

Taylor has been telling me since we dated that he's positive I'm lactose intolerant.
I always have stomach pains and issues.
But I blame it on some health issues I had my senior year of high school.
Every time Taylor brings up the lactose solution, I vehemently deny it.
I can't begin to tell you how much I love milk.
I go through two gallons (on my own) a week!

The other night, I had an in-n-out milkshake...one of my very favorites.
About an hour after the milkshake, the stomach crampings hit.
And for the first time, I secretly started to admit (to myself, of course) that maybe, just maybe, I really am lactose intolerant.
I cried for a few hours...
kidding--but I felt like crying.

As we were lying in bed that night, I said to Taylor, "I'm going to tell you something.  But I don't want any "I told you so's."  In fact, I want you to pretend that you've never ever heard this."
Taylor looked at me skeptical (p.s. I first typed that word as spectical, and couldn't figure out why it was spelled wrong. uh...hi dislexic brain), and hesitantly agreed.
After a long pause (have I mentioned that I hate being wrong?), I slowly said, "I think...maybe I'm lactose intolerant..."
I waited for the "A-HA!" or the "So you're finally admitting it?"
But instead he said, "Really? Lactose? I wouldn't have guessed that.  Are you sure?  How do you know? Let's not jump to conclusions."

And then, we both sat there and laughed...even while I complained about my stomach cramps.

Okay..see why Taylor is my favorite person ever?

Well I'm off to have a glass of milk!
...no, seriously.
I have a problem!

p.s. found this blog today. I laughed out loud a few times. She's funny!
p.p.s. found this article today--too too funny, folks.


Getting a little religious here...

At 10:45 last night, I woke up to my phone ringing.
It was Taylor calling me on his way home from playing basketball.
He told me that he needed my help pulling his truck.
His truck has been sitting in the parking lot of his work for the last week.
It broke down...again.
A couple of nights ago, the two of us pushed that dang truck so that Tay could try to get the clutch to catch.
It must have been a pretty funny scene to watch.
We gave up after a few tries--my weak body couldn't take too much more.

Taylor got a call from the police yesterday warning him that they would tow his truck if he didn't move it.  Ha!
When he told me he needed my help, I wasn't the most enthusiastic volunteer.
I grumbled about having to get out of bed, and that it was too late, and that I had to get up early in the morning.
Even though I knew I would get up to help him, I wasn't making it easy.
And I made the poor boy feel guilty--he apologized over and over again, and told me he could figure it out on his own if I was too tired.
But we both knew that he needed another person. 
So that wasn't really an option.
I very unwillingly crawled out of bed, pulled a sweatshirt over my head, and grumbled the entire time.
When Taylor walked through the door, I asked him about the call from the police.
As soon as he said that the police had called him earlier that afternoon, I became upset all over again.
"You've known since this afternoon that you needed help with your truck, and you waited until 10:45pm to tell me!?"
But after seeing his reaction, I immediately regretted my sour attitude.
I could tell how bad he felt about waking me up--why did I have to keep pushing it and make it worse?
So I quickly apologized and blamed my grumpiness on being so tired.

As we walked out to the car, Taylor promised me I would be back in bed in 10 minutes tops.
It was 10:51.
I laughed at him, and told him there was no possible way.
We pulled up to the dark parking lot where the lone truck sat.
And, what do you know?
Without having to do a thing, the truck started right up.
I swear, the heavens part for that boy whenever he has a deal to live up to.

When we pulled back up to our house (it was 10:59), Taylor ran over to my car door, opened it, and said (with his cute little half smile), "Just wanna say...eight minutes."
Oh...that boy.

On the drive home, I realized something that made my little heart fill with guilty feelings:
Earlier that evening, I went to a blog roundtable in Provo.
I have been having issues with the wifi on my macbook, and of course, my wifi would NOT connect to the internet there.
I texted Taylor and complained about my dumb wifi.
And he immediately offered to drive the 15 minutes to bring me his own mac.
And that selfless man dropped everything he was doing (he arrived in record speed), and brought me his laptop so that I could enjoy my night.

And just hours later, when he asked for help, I was a complete grump about it.
When he had willingly offered me help earlier that night.
Needless to say, I felt pretty worthless after coming to that realization.
And you know what else I realized?
He didn't throw it in my face.
He didn't remind me that he had come to my rescue that same night, when I was so unwilling to come to his.

While realizing all of this, I instantly thought of the comparison to our Heavenly Father.
Who is constantly offering help.
Who is constantly blessing my life.
Without me even asking.
Without me even noticing. 

And when He asks something of me (to go visiting teaching, to serve someone in need, to pray more, to read my scriptures more, to share my testimony with others), how quick am I to willingly volunteer?
Or do I slowly crawl "out of bed" grumbling the entire time?
How often do I complain that it's too late, that I didn't get enough "warning time," or that I'm too tired?
And even as I grumble and complain about how doing these things is making my life too hard, He continues to bless me.
He doesn't throw everything he did for me back in my face.
He doesn't ask me why I'm so unwilling to do the things He asks but then expect Him to help me whenever I need it.
He continues to bless me. 
Because He loves me.

And thank goodness He loves me enough to send me a wonderful husband who also loves me.
I think it's safe to say that I'm feeling pretty humbled today.


I'm 22...and I'm taking piano lessons.

About three months ago, I started taking piano lessons.
it's always been a dream of mine to learn the piano.
Before taking the lessons, I could plunker out a few hymns and songs--but I was self taught and had bad habits.
So I finally put my foot down.
I was going to take some lessons! 
And who the heck cared if I was 21 years old!?
And now, here I am, three months later, and I'm playing the same songs as a six year old!
It is hard--and sometimes I get frustrated.
How come I suck at this? This is little kid music!
But then I keep practicing, and I get just a little better each time.
I see my piano teacher every week.
(p.s. she is 15! and she is a prodigy child!)
 I walk nervously across the street to see her, afraid that I'll mess up, or she'll laugh at me and compare me to the six year olds that are playing the song perfectly: probably with their eyes closed with no mistakes.
Every week, with butterflies in my stomach, I play for her. 
I yearn for my fingers to play it perfectly and to prove how hard I've practiced.
But I seem to always mess up in front of her.
I guess that's how it goes.
But she encourages me every time, and tells me I did such a good job.
And I smile, and feel proud and accomplished--just like a six year old would.
And then I run home to tell Taylor how good (or bad) I did at piano practice that day, and I tell him everything I learned.
Like scales! I had no idea that each scale was played so differently!
As each new week comes, I feel the same frustration.
Frustrated that my dang fingers can't seem to get this new music right.
But every week, my piano teacher tells me "Wow! You did such a great job!"
I smile that six year old smile and feel that six year old pride,
and then skip home to tell Taylor about practice all over again.


a 10 year plan

Taylor wrote a pretty detailed 10 year plan yesterday.
It included personal plans for him, plans for him+me, and plans for our future family.
While I was reading it I had so many emotions:
I was excited
I wanted time to just speed up so we could experience everything!
But at the same time...
I was scared
I was anxious
I wanted time to stop and slow-down...we're going to be PARENTS in 10 years??
(...well duh, I've always known that.  But for some reason, seeing it written down, with a date next to it, and hopeful names next to it...it seemed so much more REAL)
But mostly, mostly I was just filled with immense happiness and love for the life that this man and I have. And for the life that we will have.
The life before us that I know will be filled with trials, misfortunes, and heartache.
But I also know that it will be filled with strength, faith, love, happiness, and laughter.

I would share the full 10-year plan.
But there's some things on there I should keep a secret until they actually happen.
So, if I'm still blogging in 10 years, and you're still reading in 10 years, I guess we'll find it all out together!

Life...you're so awesome!

I love you, Sunday. And I love you too, SPRING!

Taylor went to a scout campout on Friday night, and didn't return until late Saturday.
I used the time alone to work on some videos waiting to be finished (aka the cruise video I just posted) and to deep clean the house.
But I was sooo ready for my Mr. to come home.

I made him take a picture with me in his rush to leave.

When he finally did come home, we made a late night trip to get some ice cream, milk, and cereal (our food staples...ha) and then cuddled up to 500 days of Summer. 
That movie was seriously depressing. But we still enjoyed it immensely.

So our weekend together mostly consisted of Sunday.
And boy, did we take advantage of the Spring weather!
SO exciting! Especially since last week it SNOWED!

I had to document the fact that for the first time (in probably our whole marriage) I was ready for church FIRST on Sunday morning!

Since there are now three wards meeting in our building, our bishop has asked us to walk to church to conserve parking.
It's never a far walk when you live in Utah. haha
But we gladly took advantage of the warm air and walked to church.
We actually left a little late (since Tay took so long getting ready ;)), and so Taylor briskly walked while I literally ran beside him.  His legs are so long!
But our walk home was much more relaxing!

Tay and I spent the evening laying in twin hammocks and reading good books.
Ah--spring. I just am in love with you!
 Look at those tulips!

This was my view as I laid on the hammock.  It was so beautiful!

I love relaxing Sundays.
Summer...I can smell you.
Boating...I can feel you.
I am dying for the season Tay and I LIVE for!
It's within reach!


I thought I taught high school...

Today I have had
1. to clean up boogers on a desk (no, seriously)
2. A student throwing up in class
3. A student throwing a fit (like a SERIOUS fit) over having homework (uh...you've had 11 years of homework...is this really anything new?)
4. to clean up gum smeared on a desk
(see here for another time I had to do this)

I don't teach elementary school for a reason:
I don't do tears, or boogers, or messes, or whining.
And plus, I'm far from being crafty enough to teach littles.
Ask me to cut a paper snowflake?
I'll end up with scraps of paper and a bloody finger from cutting my hand instead of the paper.

Oh, but hey.
I'm learning more and more everyday, that my high school students are nothing but taller, bigger, and whinier elementary school kids.


Where is the weekend?

what our kids will know.

Taylor and I talk about our future children all of the time.
Thanks to his English major and my history & political science major, I've recently realized that our children will probably have a smatter of odd knowledge.
Taylor and I both talk about things we want our children to know.

Taylor wants to:
-have them memorize classic poems if they want something special (extra money, new clothes, etc)
-read classic novels with him (I think he wants his own little discussion group and book club...ha)
-have them write an essay a month about their thoughts and ideas on a particular topic
-make them answer daily trivia 

I want to:
-tell them bedtime stories--about Napoleon, Louis XVI, Andrew Jackson, the Vietnam war Nixon, world wars, etc.
-make them memorize U.S. presidents
-have them watch the history channel with me
-have them memorize parts of the Declaration of Independence or Constitution
-quiz them on geography if they want an extra scoop of ice cream or a candy bar at the grocery store

And on top of all of that, we hope to have their first language be ASL.
So...it looks like our kids will have to do lots of memorizing...ha.
I'll probably be a softie and give them the extra scoop of ice cream anyways.
But knowing Taylor--he'll sit with those littles until they memorize all of Dickens.

Oh geesh--these poor kids.
Who knows if it will actually all end up happening, but it still makes me laugh when I think about it.
Look out future littles: you're going to be memorizing machines!



Have you heard?

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This time I won.

Today in my Government classes, my students took a test on the presidents of the United States.
They only had to know the first 10 (so far).
I noticed one particular student acting extremely "guilty" during the test.
So I kept my eye on him.
Was he cheating?
As they passed the tests forward, he was very careful to keep his arm covered.
Well, that is sure suspicious, dear student.
We met eye contact.
And it was an "I know exactly what you did, and we will talk soon" kind of eye-contact.

But then I made a mistake.
The incident briefly left my mind as I reminded my students of upcoming assignments.
I allowed my students to take a quick bathroom break--and then realized I had yet to talk to this particular student.
He took an unusually long time returning from the bathroom.
When he did return, I talked to him out in the hall.
And sure enough, he had writing on his arm.
But...it had nothing to do with the test. 
Just three huge letters, colored in with ink.

After school, when I checked my email, I saw an email from another teacher asking if I was giving a tests on U.S. presidents today.
When I responded that I was, she told me that she saw a student writing the answers on his arm.
Original, right?
And whatdyaknow.
It was the same student.
I'm betting he colored in his arm when he "went to the bathroom."

These little suckers.
They must be so smug to think they outwitted the teacher.
And, I must admit, there are plenty of times they successfully get away with it, and there's not a darn thing I can do about it.
But this time--this time I won. 
I have a strange satisfaction with that knowledge.

C'mon...why you gotta cheat!?

A golfing video.

See the golfing blog post here.
Thanks dear friends for the marvelous time!


lately: things that make me smile

Editing with our new dual screens.

 Becoming best friends with this darling little.

Finding this note on a sweet student's paper to remind himself that my birthday was coming up.
He even brought me a 2 liter coke!

 Editing "together" late at night.

Silly conversations.
I clearly meant to say, "call me asap."
But I was cooking and had flour all over my hands when I texted that.
So true to Taylor's personality, he called me Wsap all last night.
(because I "asked" him to. get it? ;)

Last night

Taylor and I were like 12 year olds at a sleepover last night.
For some reason, everything was funny.
Super funny.
We laid in bed for almost an hour just laughing about the stupidest things.
And I literally almost peed my pants when we saw this:

It's times like these when I am so very grateful to be married to my best friend--who will laugh uncontrollably with me until midnight on a Tuesday.

And some random Wednesday thoughts:
1. It's MAY!
2. It's snowing today...and it's May...
It is so depressing.
3. Check out this amazing blog post to learn more about the Mormon church. Bonnie explains it in the most simple and easy way.  Plus, she's just awesome.
4. Happy Wednesday!