Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Israel, Israel, God is Calling

I had the opportunity the other day to apply the counsel in this quote. I came across a situation where I could have easily justified "self-righteous" action, and ended up checking my religion at the door, but I decided not to. You know, it felt really good. I had the Spirit with me, and felt an assurance that I had acted well. That kind of feeling is irreplaceable. And I was so grateful for a friend who thanked me afterward for my example, and told me that it had helped them make the right decision too.

That Elder Holland: he sure knows what he's talking about.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thoughtful mothers

So I have an awesome job where I get to work with awesome people. I teach kids how to play the piano, read music, etc., and their moms or their dads come with them to class every week. I love it because I get to work with kids, see parenting in action, and get to know some incredible parents.

Lots of the moms have been super excited for me and this pregnancy, and get this: two (count 'em... two!) of them have just given me a bag full of cute maternity clothes. How sweet is that? Just out of the goodness of their hearts they thought, "hey, she's a young, probably newly married gal. Maybe she'd like these maternity clothes that I'm not using anymore." Thanks to these two moms, my own mother, and my sister-in-law, I now probably have more maternity clothes than I'll even need. And on top of that, they are cute maternity clothes, so I'm better dressed as a pregnant woman than I was before my belly got big!

Thanks for looking out for me, girls. God bless you and your giving hearts.

P.S. Felt the baby have hiccups two days ago. Holy cuteness, Batman!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I'm officially an aunt twice! My first little nephew was born last week. Mom and baby are doing really well. His name is Theodore, but they're calling him Teddy. Isn't he adorable?

Can't wait to meet him at Christmas!
And I love the look on his face in this photo. It's like he's saying, "What. is. going. on?"
Congrats to my wonderful brother and sister-in-law!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

And the results...

(sung to the tune of, "I'm the map!" from Dora the Exporer)

It's a boy, it's a boy,
It's a boy, it's a boy,
It's a BOY!!!!!

We had the ultrasound yesterday and got to see our beautiful little boy. He was dancing and squirming the whole time. The ultrasound person nurse lady was really great and told us all about what she was documenting as she went through. It was sooo cool to see things like his heartbeat (you could actually see the valves pumping!), or his legs move, or his spine curve as he ducked his head. Wow. What a feeling! She also got some really good profile shots that have me in raptures every time I look at them.

Profile shot. Look at those cheeks!

Profile with his arm and hand.
His (left?) leg and foot. See his perfect toes?

Mommy and Daddy are just in heaven. Yay! Yay! Yay!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This year we had a whole family of Trick-or-Treaters. There were three whole kids! That's three more trick-or-treaters than we had last year. At this rate, maybe next year our doorbell will ring twice!

Also, here's my costume that I wore to work. Homemade.

Chris made the ears. Aren't they cute?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Thoughts for the Sisters...


If you hear the world telling you that as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are second class, or oppressed or any thing along those lines, don't you believe it. The Adversary would love nothing more than to drive the holy daughters of God away from truth and away from their divine destiny.

The Holy Ghost teaches of things as they really are, and if you are ever struggling with understanding your place in Christ's church, or the role of women in his church, ask God. I testify that God loves his daughters. Each and every one. You are cherished and beloved, and He wants the very best for you.

Also, here's one of my favorite quotes about doubts. It certainly applies to this subject:
  • "If you should have doubting thoughts, remember the counsel given by President Stephen L. Richards, a former counselor in the First Presidency, who declared: “Just say to those skeptical, disturbing, rebellious thoughts, ‘I propose to stay with my faith, with the faith of my people. I know that happiness and contentment are there and I forbid you, agnostic, doubting thoughts, to destroy the house of my faith. I acknowledge that I do not understand the processes of creation, but I accept the fact of it. I grant that I cannot explain the miracles of the Bible, and I do not attempt to do so, but I accept God’s word. I wasn’t with Joseph, but I believe him. My faith did not come to me through science and I will not permit science to destroy it.’”
Much love to you all.


Monday, October 15, 2012

The baby moves!!!

On Friday, I felt the baby move for the first time! I was only half awake when I realized what was happening and my eyes flew right open. Of course after telling Chris, I had to call my mom and talk excitedly about it and other baby stuff for like an hour. :)

Go, Baby! Go! Keep growing, keep moving, and Daddy and I... we'll keep loving you!

As a bonus, here's what my "baby bump" looks like as of today.

17 weeks

P.S. Does anyone have recommendations on baby/pregnancy/labor/parenting books? I've read some of the standards, "What to expect when your expecting," "Your pregnancy week by week," etc. but I'd love to read more of what's out there (memoirs, labor methods, nursing guides, you name it). Let me know if you have any favorites.

Monday, October 1, 2012

On math and heartbeats and love

Some simple math:

nausea + throwing up + tiredness = sick

But for about 10 weeks...

nausea + throwing up + tiredness = baby

Yep. That's right. Many of you have already heard the news, but incase you haven't, Chris and I are expecting.  At first, I was just so happy to be nauseous and going to the bathroom constantly because every time it reminded me, "I'm pregnant! Woohoo!" But after awhile, that excitement faded. (because, well... I was tired, and going to the bathroom is only so fun, you know?) and even though I knew that the pregnancy thing was still there, it just seemed unreal. Sure, I didn't feel great, but always in the past that meant I was coming down with something. Now I had to rewire my brain to remember that, "nausea + throwing up + tiredness = baby". 

Enter my doctor's appointment a week and a half a go.

Never have I ever encountered this equation before:

nausea + throwing up + tiredness + heartbeat coming from my abdomen! = baby

Okay, here was something my brain could handle. Never have I had a heartbeat coming from my abdomen!!! And never have I ever been pregnant before!!!! So much easier for my brain to connect those two things!

On top of that, it was soooo good to hear that little one's heartbeat. I think as an expectant mother, you can't help but fear the worst. "What if the doctor can't find a heartbeat? what if the heartbeat is irregular? or too slow? or too fast? etc. etc. etc." But from all we can tell so far, baby is doing great. Baby's heartbeat was normal, not too fast or too slow. Baby is moving around in there and we heard lots of squirming. Oh, it does a momma's heart good to hear her baby!

It has been surprising to me how deeply my love for this little one will occasionally wash over me. It has hit me when I'm playing primary songs on our piano. I've felt it at church. It's hit me when I'm just sitting on the couch at home. I can't really explain why. It's just happened. And it feels so good.

Little One? We haven't met yet, but Momma sure does love you!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cooking Failures Feel So Personal

As stated a while back, my cooking skills are... let's just say, "not great". Recently I've been trying to cook more often and try new things. Usually pasta is somehow involved  because Chris and I both love pasta, and it's really hard to mess up the noodle-cooking part. But I've learned that whatever else I'm making with the pasta can turn out really "dross".

For some reason, whenever it does go wrong, it feels so personal. Like the world is out to get me... or at least the food and the cooking appliances are. Shouldn't that chicken know that I was looking forward to eating something my taste buds would enjoy? Shouldn't that crock pot understand that when you turn it on low for 6 hours, you're not supposed to come home to charbroiled burnt-ness? Doesn't the food know that I have hopes and dreams of cooking grandeur, and by-gum, when the dinner I made turns out yucky it's just demoralizing?

I've heard lots of stories of women who made horrible food when they were first married, but I still feel defeated. You see, the joy I feel anticipating the yumminess I'll soon be eating is like a little girl who is dreaming of going to Disneyland, and then the sadness I experience when the food comes out gross is like finding out that you are never going to Disneyland. Ever.

Hopes? Dashed.
Dreams? Crushed.
Dinner? Blech.

Someday, I'm going to conquer this. Someday...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A reflection from today.

It's easy for me to waste time. But, when I get moving and working again, it's like I can feel my soul saying, "Ahhh, that's what I needed. Thank you."

Something I need to remember more often.

"Work is always a spiritual necessity even if, for some, work is not an economic necessity." - Neal A. Maxwell

Monday, July 9, 2012

Epic FHE activity

Living up to the "-epic" part of our blog name... look what we made during family night!

Ice Cream!!!

Chris had never made home made ice cream before and decided that making some would be an awesome family night activity. He found a recipe online, bought some half & half and some rock salt, and we were set. Here's what it looked like when it was finished (minus the stuff we had already eaten...):

We just used a washed out jar of Adam's peanut butter to make it in, put it inside a big family canning can (about the size of a coffee can), and lined the inside space with ice and rock salt. then we put a towel down on the floor and rolled it back and forth between us to churn it.

While we were churn-rolling, Chris suddenly said, "Books of the Old Testament. Go!" And we traded off saying each book in order as we passed it back and forth. We had to churn the ice cream so much that we had named all the books in the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Pearl of Great Price (we skipped the Doctrine and Covenants), and then did the first 5 scripture mastery scriptures in the Book of Mormon. 

What with all the food and fun, happiness abounded in the Machado home.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On locking my keys in the car...

Today I locked my keys in the car. At the gas station. Right in front of the pump. Great.

Well, blessing of all blessings, I had my phone in my pocket. Thank heavens for a brother who lives right next to Chris's work who could run over and grab Chris's keys from him when I asked. Thank heavens that Chris had a free moment so that he could run outside to give his keys to Stephen. Thank heavens for Stephen's sister-in-law who had a car and was available to drive him over to the gas station to deliver the keys. Thank heavens to the sweet woman who offered to give me a ride somewhere if I needed it (couldn't leave the car unattended at the pump, but such a thoughtful thing to offer). Thank heavens for the kindly older gentleman who tried to see if there was a way to roll the windows down from the outside (didn't work, but what a thoughtful thing to try). Thank heavens for the gas station attendant who recommended calling the police to have them unlock it (turned out it was faster to have Stephen bring the keys). Thank heavens for the visiting teacher who was willing to drive all the way over to where Stephen lives in case his sister-in-law wasn't available (she was available, but how nice to know that I can count on her in a pinch). Thank heavens for the two different women who smiled and sweetly told me stories of when they'd locked their keys in the car and told me not to worry because things like this just happen.  And yes, thank heavens for the thoughtful woman who sympathetically smiled and mouthed, "Good luck," as she drove off.

Who knew that locking my keys in the car at the gas station would brighten my faith in the goodness of humanity? Thank you, everyone. Thanks for going out of your way to help me today. I feel truly blessed.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Graduation. A photo essay.

So, what's it like to graduate at BYU? Let me show you:
First, it's always fun to shop for a cute graduation outfit.

Minnie Mouse? Yes, please!
(I didn't actually wear these to Graduation, I'm too chicken)

Then you put on the cap and gown, and you graduate. With a lot of other people:

Pointing out "Y" I went to school here.

6,000 of us. whoa.

Where's Waldo?
(I'm somewhere in this shot...)

Handsome couple, no?

Me and Daddy

Me and Momma Machado

And celebrate by eating at Tucanos :)

Kiss of Fire!

yum. yum. yum.

Then the next day you have to graduate even more. (6,000 undergrads would have made for a really long Pomp & Circumstance)

Leading the opening hymn. No pressure...

Walk across the stage.

Hug your sister.

Take a nice photo with Chris's side of the family

Take a nice, normal photo with my side of the family.

And a not-so-normal photo with my side of the family.

Pose like Brigham Young.

And that's it. That's how you Graduate from BYU. Pretty fun, no?

Friday, April 20, 2012


Here are some thoughts from a small sampling of people who have known and loved Sarah during her five years at BYU.

     Sarah, you have been the brightest, most cheerful and unfailingly helpful TA I’ve ever had.  (Or at least you did a great job in keeping up that fa├žade if you weren’t actually feeling bright and cheerful all the time!)  I was always knew that when I asked you to do something, from running a review session to perusing my exams for mistakes to grading papers or dealing with whining students, you took it on board with a smile on your face.  And I knew it would get done promptly and professionally.

And you were a delight to have as a student in my classes, as well. That enthusiasm and commitment you demonstrated as an assistant flowed over into the work you did for me as a student.  You were perpetually eager to learn.  And I don’t believe you ever fell asleep in my class (which automatically distinguishes you from the majority.)  Well done.

Good luck with everything, Sarah.  Come back and visit.

Dr. H.

     Sarah! If I had a few lines to say something about your influence on me, here is what I would say: you have inspired me. That sounds hokey and cliche, but let me explain. You are such a unique person, with a sense of purpose and strong positiveness. Lots of people in the world are naturally positive people, but not all of them have that resolve behind it. You may have "only" been my section leader in Concert Choir, but that tenacious happiness has reached me through your teaching, through your attitude as a member of the choir, and even as a distant acquaintance back in Women's Chorus. I knew who you were ;) And you played "Belle" marvelously. I don't think anyone else could exemplify a smart, courageous Disney princess any better! Even then, you had a unique zest and energy that makes you an incredible woman. Congrats on graduation, and I know you have great things in store! 

Love, A.


Thank you for being so wonderful! I wanted to let you know that sitting next to you in Concert Choir and having you as a section leader was such a blessing.  Not only do you have a beautiful voice, but you have a beautiful spirit.  I know you will bless the lives of so many people no matter where you go.  You have blessed mine.  :)

Love, J.

     Sarah Machado, you are a very special young lady who has a very special Lyric Coloratura Soprano voice!!!

The  first time I met Sarah, she greeted me with a big smile and warm "Hello!". As we began to work together, I could feel Sarah's passion and desire for music and love of singing.  She really wanted to learn how to sing well!  She would listen attentively, then try and create the sounds freely, and then would practice them until she got it into the muscle memory correctly.  She would come back well prepared and ready to learn and absorb more.

Sarah took time out in her busy schedule to assist with the super-titles for our Fall Opera (Tales of Hoffmann).  She found it very helpful in hearing and watching other singers rehearse and perform, and came back to the studio singing even better, just from this experience. I appreciated her willingness to help and serve others with such kindness and thoughtfulness.

Sarah and I worked together for only a short time (about three semesters), but she made great progress!

At her last vocal jury, she sang so well that one of the professors thought she should go into Vocal Performance, AND personally invited her to audition for a lead in the Fall Opera!

But Sarah had other things in mind.  She had been dating a very fine, young man by the name of Chris Machado, and that was her first priority - him!  She also wanted to complete her Music Education Degree, and went full speed ahead.

I was delighted to learn that she had married this special man, Chris Machado, and that he was also at BYU working on his Music Education/Choral Conducting Degree AND that he had a beautiful tenor voice!

It has been terrific working this year with Sarah's husband, Chris Machado, who I think will - in not too distant of future -be the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Director.  Mark my words, Chris has what it takes! And I am delighted that he is working so diligently at training his beautiful tenor voice to really learn how to sing freely and effortlessly!  Chris will be singing his whole life, AND teaching others to sing.  Now is HIS window to really get his voice singing well, as Sarah has done with her voice.

Sarah, congratulations on all of your successes here at BYU and on your upcoming graduation!!! I'm so happy for you, and am thrilled for you and Chris, and wish you all the best!  The Lord will surely continue to bestow His love and blessings on you as you continue your journey together!!!

My hope it that both of you will keep in touch, and let me know how you both are doing!

I am grateful that the Lord has given me the opportunity to work with such an incredible and talented young lady!!!

Bravissimo and congratulations, Sarah Machado!

All the best,

Professor C.


You will be one of those students that I will always remember with fondness. Your wonderful work ethic and determination made you progress in a very special way. I have no doubt that you will be successful in whatever you do - as a wife, mother and teacher. Thanks for your bright and happy attitude. 

Wishing you the greatest blessings.

D. B.

     Sarah, you have alway impressed me as being a strong, but humble student and teacher. You simply consider yourself capable of succeeding despite any set of challenges you given. This is the right attitude, and it is true! You CAN succeed. You've been a model student and you will be a great teacher. Best wishes! 

Dr. B

     Dear Sarah,
You're finally graduating and moving on. How exciting that must feel. I wouldn't actually know, cause I can't seem to get the hang of the moving on part...haha. As you leave, I am reminded of some of the great adventures we went on. 

It all started in 235. What a time we had. I still look back with fondness at our greenroom escapade getting ready for our final and taking turns pretending to be Sister Hall. What a fun fun time we had. 

Then the next year as you and Isaac tirelessly tried to help prep me for my grad interview with Dr. S and Sis H. Making me sing, asking me uncomfortable questions, having me sight read hymns at the piano, and then of course your absolute unwavering support and confidence in me. I can't begin to say how much that has meant to me. 

Most recently there was the adventure of Spring Chorale, Easter Choir and Concert Choir. I enjoyed watching you work with the choirs, hearing your input and suggestions, and of course your willingness and passion at helping out. I was so happy that you participated with us in the Easter Program. It was such a joy to have you there and have your voiced added to the others.

This college life is such an adventure. You, my dear Sarah, have gone through it with such grace, confidence, charity, humility, kindness and happiness. It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to know you, work with you, learn with you, and be counted as one of your friends. I'm so thankful for the influence for good that you've had in my life, and in the lives of countless others here at BYU. 

Don't ever forget the great times you had here. Remember them with fondness. Remember them with joy. For, we will remember you with fondness and joy.

I wish you the absolute best in the coming adventures of your life!

L. S.

     Sarah Hunsaker Machado! Here are a few words that immediately come to mind when I think of you: Sunshine. Smile. Kindness. Diligence. Love. Integrity. Friend. You brightly exhibit each and have since the day I met you. Your love for the gospel, for others, and for life shines in everything you do. You are the type of person who makes others feel loved and uplifted just by being around them. And what's more, you are able to be awesome without being intimidating...I feel so comfortable around you and never inferior, though your accomplishments are great. Congratulations on making it through our beloved music program! I can't wait to hear where life takes you and Chris...I am certain that marvelous adventures await you both. 

Thank you for being such a constant friend and example. I will always cherish (and laugh about) the day when you helped me register for the Praxis before (and during) University Chorale! Oh, good times 

Again, congratulations! Yay life, and yay you! Good luck with all that lays ahead. I love you so much. May you always be the wonderful person you are!


K. C.

     Congratulations Sarah! What a terrific achievement. You can't say enough for a college degree. No matter what you do with it, you have nonetheless learned valuable life lessons that will bless you and your family for years to come. My New Testament professor once said, "Children will rarely exceed the ignorance of their mothers." If thats true, then I would say that your children are lucky to have you, being as bright and accomplished as you are. 

D. J.

     Congratulations Sarah! It's been such a privilege to have been roommates and friends with you. I know you're going to be a fabulous teacher because you make everyone around you want to be just like you when they grow up! I know that's the case for me, anyway. Your goodness is contagious and I can't help but be happy when you're around. Thanks for all the fun times, and best of luck as you sally forth into the great unknown! Oh, and remember what I said about being the voice actress for a future Disney princess. I still think it's in your future somewhere.  

M. M.

Congratulations on graduating! Celebrate-you deserve it! I am so glad that we were able to serve together and become friends! You probably don't know how much you taught me. I am so grateful for the spirit that you bring and your strong testimony of the Gospel. You have a happiness about you, and a way of making people feel loved and important. I know that you are going to accomplish great things and be a blessing to all who are fortunate enough to meet you! Good luck and lots of love!


Sarah, you're one of those people who I know I'll never forget. You taught me how to love life, to never give up, and to always live my faith everyday. I'll never forget all of our late night discussions about where our lives were going to end up and all of our silly times as well. I still think of ya every time I watch the movie Elf or hear something in Hebrew. You're an amazing girl Sarah and you're going to change the world!! I love ya and miss ya like crazy! 

K. B.

Sarah, you first came into my life as a pragmatic, diligent, focused, organ 115 student. I was, and still am, impressed, that whether or not you were required to take my class, you took personal interest in it - your focus was to play the organ, not just to jump through another set of hoops. I have since had the distinct pleasure of becoming friends with you as a peer and colleage, through your leadership in Concert Choir, early morning rehearsals in Schola Cantorum Occidentalis, talks about books, ideas, computer programs, faith, and so on. I particularly appreciated a couple of talks we had about reaching out to those we love, and acting in faith - you may not remember them, but I certainly do. You are a true friend, a vibrant personality, and someone I hope to maintain contact with, musically, professionally, and personally for a long time to come.

Love, R.

     During our mortal lives we meet many different people, but only some of them leave a deep impression in our soul and heart. That happens because someone decided to love and serve us. I have already said that a hundred times, but I will say it again. Sarah, you are an angel in my life and in the lives of so many other people.
You have always been supportive, a wonderful friend and loving woman.
When I was a foreign in a strange land you gave me love and care. I could trully feel how God loves me when I had the chance to meet you and be your roommate. You are always here to help me. As an angel you gave me comfort and love when I had no family. Always giving me good counsel, trying to cheer me up, making me laugh with you great sense of humor. What huge blessing was this one to meet you and learn from you.
You are super special not only because of your love and friendship to me. I could learn more about what it means to be a true disciple of Christ by your example. I saw you serving hard in your calling at Church, always trying to improve, showing love and being so thoughtful with your fellowman and family, helping otgers around you, always reading excellent books and dressing the best clothes with modesty. And last, but surely not least, I miss you studying music in our apartment, making funny voices and playing songs in your cell phone. How I miss that. It made me so happy to live in a place full of good music. I am so grateful I had the chance to meet you and be blessed by your example.
You love music and that only makes your light shine brither. I love you very very much. I hope you have a great time now you graduating from college. You are truly the best! 

With much love,

B. M.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Growth and Gratitude

written a couple weeks ago:
Growth can be painful. It is so good, but it can be painful. Especially when you are trying to overcome challenges of your own making. Student teaching is causing me to grow in rather painful ways. I am being smelted. I believe that somewhere inside me is a pure noble teacher, but I've got all this carbon and sulfur that needs to be roasted out. Trouble is, I thought that I'd get roasted once, and then all the impurities would be gone. No, not everything was burned out the first time.  I require multiple treatments. Perhaps one day I'll be all de-impurified.

written today:
I'm almost done with student teaching. I have one week left. I'm so glad I've had this experience. It has been really hard, but I think I'm better for it. I don't understand all the reasons why it's been so difficult. I think I'll need more distance and then I'll be able to look back and see more purpose in the challenges. But I am very grateful for it all.

The thing I'll miss the most is being with the kids. I never realized just how much I would grow to love these kids. So often I hear teachers and others only talking about how challenging middle schoolers are. Why didn't anyone tell me how loving they are? Or how eager they are to please? Or how excited they get when your husband comes to visit and hand after hand shoots up in the air asking him about his favorite teams and colors, and how we met, and is he on Team Peeta or Team Gale, and on and on and on. No one told me that on days when I thought I was just the most boring teacher alive, that one of the kids would say, while running out the door, "Thanks for being the best teacher ever!" Or on the days when the kids were rowdy and nothing I did seemed to calm them down, they would come up to me after class and say, "Mrs. Machado, I'm sorry we were so rough on you today."

I certainly will miss Cathy Jolley. She has been the best cooperating teacher a girl could ever ask for. Sometime I'll have to devote a post to her and all she's done for me. But for today, I'm just so grateful for the kids. The kids who love to see you and hear your stories and come to you when they have questions; them I will miss the most. Those kids will likely have lots of student teachers in the coming years who are better at teaching than I am, but they'll be hard pressed to find one who loves them more than I do.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In case of emergency...

When Chris and I got married, we received a lot of wedding presents (And let me just say "Thank you" again for those wonderful gifts). One gift in particular caught our attention. On the card it said something like "We like to keep one of these in our car in case of emergency. We thought you could use one too."
First Aid kit was the first thing that came to my mind, but when we opened the gift we found, not medical supplies, but a kite. A brightly colored, completely collapsible kite.

Well yesterday, I guess an "emergency" finally happened. The day was very windy. Chris decided that it called for kite flying. He and I went on a half hour date to an open field, just us and the kite. It was the perfect remedy for our "emergency".

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Birfday! Birfday!

Today Sarah turns 23, and in honor of her birthday, here are 23 reasons why she is the best wife ever:

1. She is a wonderful teacher.
2. She is constantly seeking to be a better person.
3. She eats foods that she doesn't like, sometimes until she does like them. Crab, for instance. (Or rather, krab. We aren't rich, you know).
4. She's retaught me how much I love reading. We are reading The Lord of the Rings together right now.
5. She supports all of my crazy plans to start choirs or organize the house.
6. She loves good music, and has great taste and natural musicianship.
7. Sometimes I'm weird. Or annoying. Or both. Nut she'll put up with me day after day.
8. She loves and lives by the words of the prophets.
9. She loves her family dearly. And who can blame her? They're awesome.
10. All children, even shy cling-to-mom children, are attracted to her like magnets. She can make friends with any child in under two minutes.
11. Sometimes she buys me peanut butter eggs and hides them places.
12. She knows all of the things about computer software, which comes in handy often.
13. People can light up and be real around her.
14. She's already a good parent. Already.
15. I get a greater sense of joy and hope about life when I remember that I get to do it with her.
16. She cares very much about everything that she undertakes to do.
17. She's got a super cute face.
18. She speaks and loves Hebrew.
19. She's a fantastic listener, and is ever empathetic.
20. She has very soft cheeks. If you've never noticed, give 'em a feel sometime. But you might want to ask first.
21. She laughs at the ridiculous things that I say.
22. She can do anything. When she starts at something, her attitude says, humbly but truthfully, I can do this.
23. She makes the whole world more wonderful and magical.

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A day at school... together

On Friday, Chris came with me to school. We got there at 7:45, checked in at the front office (because Chris is technically a visitor) and then went to class. Mrs. Jolley got there a couple of minutes after us because of a ridiculous snow storm that had not been plowed off the roads. She gave us a stack of posters to hang up around the school, so that was a great excuse for me to show Chris the coolest parts of the school. We ran into a bunch of students that I know, and most of them excitedly asked me "Is that Mr. Machado?" (They've been asking to meet him for weeks).

By the time we finished hanging up posters, it was just about time for school to start, so we went back to the choir room and started class. Chris was a real trooper when all of the kids started asking him questions ("What's your favorite football team?" "Will you sing for us?" "Have you read the Hunger Games?" "Would you be on team Peeta or team Gale?" etc.), and I even recounted our engagement story which got many sighs and "Aaaawww!'s" from the girls. Later in the class Chris even jumped in and helped the kids by passing them off on their note-naming flash cards (the kids loved him). The following period was SSR (sustained silent reading, where students go to their 4th period class to read or work on homework) and so Boy's chorus got to meet him too. They sang for him (they just love doing that), and asked him a bunch of questions as well. Chris also stayed for 2nd period, and got to hear the chamber group preparing for the concert they had that night.

Pretty much, the kids thought he was great. He was a big hit.

Then he had to go back to BYU so as not to miss choir, but then he came back that afternoon to pick me up. We went out to dinner (Pizza Pie Cafe) and then went back to school for the concert.

My favorite part of the whole thing, was just getting to be with him so much in one day. What with school and work, most mornings, I drop him off at 7:00 and then we don't meet back up until 8:30 at night. To have a day where we spent so much time together was just a joy. The whole day I would realize that I was just bubbly with happiness, then wonder, "why am I so happy?" and then think "Oh yeah! It's because I got to spend the whole morning with Chris!" or "Oh, yeah! It's because I get to see Chris again in an hour, and then spend the whole evening with him!"

It was a wonderful day.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

St. George

This weekend, Chris and I went to St. George for a Music Ed conference. The weather was fantastic, and St. George is beautiful. It was a lot of fun just to get away and enjoy spending time together learning about what we both love: music.

Some highlights:
  • Learning about how choir formations affect the overall sound (standing closer together apparently does not equal a more blended sound. Who knew?)
  • Learning about the importance of trust between a conductor and his students in a presentation from Cory Mendenhall (Maple Mountain High School)
  • Laughing together. Really hard.
  • Eating the free chocolate samples at the exhibits
  • Singing new and old songs at the Choral reading session
  • Getting frozen custard from Nielsen's (not as good as Fritz's, but still very tasty)
  • Reading "The Last Battle" on the drive home
  • Spending so much time together

Too bad we can't go back every weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Student Teaching

I'm student teaching at a middle school in Alpine which happens to be pretty much the most affluent area in all of Utah county (and is completely opposite of the demographics I had at the school where I did my pre-student teaching). The school is awesome, the administration is warm and caring, the other teachers treat me like an adult, the students are.... well, let's face it... teenagers, and my cooperating teacher is out of this world.

Cathy Jolley has been teaching middle school kids for 23 years. And she is a master. I love watching her teach, and just soaking it all in. Those 12-15-year-olds are doing things musically that I didn't learn how to do in high school or even college. Seriously, this woman is amazing. And she's funny, and she's spunky, and I love her so much.

I'm learning more about teaching, and more about myself, and more about teenagers every single day. And by gum, those little darlings are working their way into my heart. They are such. good. kids. Are they perfect? No. C'mon. They're teenagers. But they seem to me to be the product of high expectations. The adults in their lives,(not the least of which is Mrs. Jolley) expect a lot of them, and they do it with a lot of love. And it seems to me, that when a teacher has high expectations for their students, and a lot of love on top of that, magic happens.

And I get to be a part of that magic every day. Boy am I lucky.