Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Visitors :)

I came home from practice yesterday to some visitors! Sooo glad they stopped by on their trek across the country!

They even brought me a delivery from my cool mom! :) Every bad thing I've ever said about you never sending a care package I take back! :)

We had a lovely little dinner and were able to watch the Giants win game one!!! It was too short of a visit but we had a great time!

Here is the pumpkin in all of it's glory! Thanks Mom!!! And thank you Harris' for hand-delivering the thoughtful present! :)

It was my facebook status this week, and I'll transfer it over here: I have some of the best friends and family in the whole world! :) No... but really I do! Love them!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Random Thoughts on Winning and Losing

Get ready for some quotes and stories! I'm mostly writing this down for journal purposes! But just a warning, it's going to be long! :)

This volleyball season has probably been one of the most difficult to coach. Don't get me wrong there's been plenty of good times and lots of really good memories, but I feel like I've had to deal with a lot more than I normally have in past years. I think part of that might be a full time job on top of coaching but that's beside the point. :)

I am not a good loser and it's something I wish I could have a better attitude about. :) I'm trying. It's been kind of a blah week. The change of weather must have been getting to me or something! Anyways! Whatever it was, I was definitely in a funk! I get these weekly emails (quotes of the day) and I had got this one awhile back.
"It is important to know, when you feel down, that many others do also and that their circumstances are generally much worse than yours. And it's important to know that when one of us is down, it becomes the obligation of his friends to give him a lift." - Gordon B. Hinckley

How grateful I am for good friends who lift me up when I'm down. During this blah week I got a couple of random texts from people. These texts were just what I needed to help me get out of my little funk. They went something along these lines:

"Hey Jillian. I just wanted to let you know I love ya and thanks for everything you do for us."

"Just know that there are girls on that team who look up to you as a role model, even though you may not see it, there are girls who love you and follow your example. Your effort as a coach is making a difference in some girl's life. I know that cause I was one of those girls three years ago! Don't ever forget that."

Simple texts that changed my whole week! Little did these people know that their simple words at random times made me feel a million times better! So the next time you think you should thank some one or tell them how much you love them, DO IT, you never know how much of a difference you can make in their day, week, or life!

Towards the middle of this season, the varsity team kind of went into a little slump, and we were having a hard time finishing games. We would start out great but then we couldn't finish and it was really discouraging. We spent countless hours as a coaching staff figuring out how to solve this problem. During this time I found this quote:

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Loved the message that it portrayed! On Friday after practice Suzette (volleyball coach) gave me this book to read called, "The Race" by Dee Groberg. She said that it would help me feel better and might give me a different perspective on things. It's actually a poem that they turned into a book. I immediately ordered myself a copy as soon as I finished reading! Here is the poem:

The Race
By: Dee Groberg

"Quit, give up, you're beaten!"
They shout at me and plead.
"There's just too much against you now.
This time you can't succeed."

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure's face,
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene,
For just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being.

A child's race, young boys, young men
How I remember well,
Excitement sure! But also fear.
It wasn't hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win the race,
Or tie for 1st or if not that
At least take 2nd place.

And fathers watched from off the sides
Each cheering for his son,
And each boy hoped to show his Dad
That he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win to be the hero there
Was each young boys desire.

And one boy in particular
Whose Dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought,
"My Dad will be so proud!"

But as he speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself
His hands flew out to brace
And mid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face.

So down he fell and with him hope
He couldn't win it now...
Embarrassed, sad he only wished
To disappear somehow.

But as he fell his Dad stood up
And showed his anxious face
Which to the boy so clearly said:
"Get up and win the race!"

He quickly rose, no damage done,
Behind a bit, that's all
And ran with all his mind and might
To make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself
To catch up and to win.
His mind went faster than his legs
He slipped and fell again.

He wished that he had quit before
With only one disgrace,
"I'm hopeless as a runner now.
I shouldn't try to race."

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his Father's face,
That steady look that said again,
"Get up and win the race!"

So up he jumped to try again
Ten yards behind the last,
"If I'm going to gain those yards," he thought
"I've got to move real fast!"

Exerting everything he had
He regained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again!

Defeat! He lay there silently
A tear dropped from his eye.
"There's no sense running anymore
Three strikes; I'm out; why try!"

The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away;
So far behind, so error-prone:
A loser all the way.

"I've lost so what's the use?" He thought
"I'll live with my disgrace."
But then he thought about his Dad
Who soon he'd have to face.

"Get up" an echo sounded low
"Get up and take your place,
You were not meant for failure here,
Get up and win the race!"

"With borrowed will, Get up" It said,
"You haven't lost at all,
For winning is no more than this
To rise each time you fall."

So up he rose to run once more
And with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose
At least he wouldn't quit.

So far behind the others now
The most he'd ever been,
Still he gave it all he had
And ran as though to win.

Three times he'd fallen stumbling
Three times he rose again,
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line 1st place,
Head high, and proud and happy
No falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race.

And even though he came in last
With head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he'd won the race
To listen to the crowd.

And to his Dad he sadly said,
"I didn't do so well,"
"To me you won!" his Father said
"You rose each time you fell."

And now when things seem dark and hard
And difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy
Helps me in my race.

For all of life is like that race
With ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win
Is rise each time you fall.

"Quit, Give up, You're beaten."
They still shout in my face,
But another voice within me says,
"Get up and win the race."


I'll be the first to admit that I'm WAY too competitive, and often times focus entirely on winning and not necessarily the process that it takes to win. This story gave me such a different perspective on winning; one that I had never even considered before. The simple fact of the matter is that even if you do not "win" the race, or the game, you can still be a winner as long as you rise each time you fall! Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean you accept losing. BUT, it does mean that the measure of your success doesn't always hinge upon wins and losses.

Regardless of what happens the rest of this volleyball season, I know that it will have been a successful year based on what some of these girls have overcome and the lessons they have learned. They've been knocked down a few times, and each time they have risen with renewed determination to be better and it has definitely shown!

What a week it's been! I'm grateful for the trials and the lessons that I learned throughout the week! I'm grateful for the ability to gain different perspectives on things as simple and unimportant as winning. I'm also grateful for nice people who send me random text messages and for good friends who are always looking out for me.

Remember... the next time you're feeling like a loser :) All you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.

Monday, October 18, 2010


My love of Texas began here... Don't judge!

And then some of my favorite people moved there. So naturally, I had to take a trip out to visit them! :) It was Fall Break this past weekend and so we had Thursday and Friday off of school. I took Wednesday off and headed to Texas to visit Mike, Katelyn, and Daylin. It was SOOOOOOOOOO nice to relax and hang out with them! Here's some things we did:

Went to the park. Daylin loved the park! Here's a little montage of her :)

I experienced the MOST DELICIOUS snow cone I have ever had in my entire life from Bahama Bucks. Of course the flavors were Red Raspberry and Pink Lemon Sour (only the best combination!). But seriously, it didn't even taste like ice. I can't even really explain it.
We played some games! Surprisingly, NO Phase 10 was played. Shocker I know. We did get in a round of 5 Crowns, but for Katelyn's sake we won't talk about it! She calls it luck... I call it skill with a little luck involved! :) Other new fun games: Pandemic and Kingsbury! Seriously, I wonder who comes up with games sometimes!

We had a little Halloween night. This included homemade root beer (Daylin wasn't so sure about it at first).

Carved Pumpkins.

The finished products (Frank-en-Pumpkin, an Owl, a Haunted House, and a face on the back of the Haunted House... because well... I didn't think you could tell it was a Haunted House!).

We visited the temple.

Katelyn and Mike's friends threw Katelyn a baby shower! It was fun to meet some of their friends and to see the cute presents she got. I'm not a fan of "shower" games! But there were some fun ones played! (We didn't take any pictures!)

We did lots of shopping! Lots of relaxing! Overall, it was a great trip! Thank you guys for letting me come! It was AWESOME and definitely a much needed break! Oh... and I read 2 books in 2 days! It was nice to read for fun again! :)

The one bad thing... MY COMPUTER CRASHED! Blue Screen of Death! UGH! Of course not all of my files are backed up! Mike did his best to help me out! But it's not looking good! Hopefully I can recover those files! Everyone cross your fingers! One positive thing is, the company I work for in Arizona sent me a computer to use until I can get mine fixed. Seriously, they are the best! I feel so lucky to be able to work for them! They treat me way too good!

Anyways! NOW back to the grind! And I think I'm pretty much caught up! Volleyball is coming to an end! Only a couple more weeks! Crazy how time flies! But it's been quite the experience this year! Good and bad! :) I love coaching though! So, so, so grateful I am able to do it!

In the words of Rosemary, "Life is Good!" And that it is! Love it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Job

Well here's the nitty gritty details on the job! :)

Two days after school had started, the principal came to volleyball practice and asked if he could talk to me? I thought I was in trouble. :) Not really... but I didn't know what he could possibly want? He explained that a teacher had taken disability and they were looking for a Special Ed English teacher. He explained I would have to go back to school to get my Special Education endorsement. He asked me if that was something I would be interested in? I, obviously said, YES! He said they were interviewing the next day and to come and talk to him and the assistant principal.

I was super excited, but was NOT going to get my hopes up, but because they approached me, I was feeling pretty good about it!

I went and interviewed the next day, and it went really really well. They explained what the job entailed, and they were also very appreciative of everything I had done with coaching so that was nice. After, I felt like either way, job or no job, I would be happy. They said they would let me know as soon as they were done interviewing everyone.

I went home. Went about my day. About 1:30 the school's phone number pops up on the caller ID. It was the assistant principal and he asked if I would come talk to him. I had no idea what to expect. It was the longest drive to school EVER!

We talked! He said that I was their choice and that they were sending it to the District Office for approval! :) He said he would call me later in the day after he had heard if it was official! Ah!!! So excited. It didn't really sink in! But I was way excited!

In the middle of volleyball, practice, he called, told me it was official, said that I could have Thursday as my prep day, and that my first official day would be Friday! I told Jodi and Suzette (the other volleyball coaches) and they started screaming and yelling. All the girls were like what is going on? Someone jokingly stated, "Jill's pregnant." UH.... NO! But thanks for starting the rumor, BROOKE, KINSLEY, AND HEATHER!

So... that's how it all began! It's been AWESOME! Extremely overwhelming, stressful, and busy! But I've loved every minute of it! I am teaching 2 Reading classes, 3 English classes, and 1 Study Skills class. They are all Resource classes and have students with mild-moderate learning disabilities. My class sizes are really small (I think my biggest is 14, smallest is 9). It has been awesome!

I even have my own nameplate now outside my classroom! (Fancy... I know!)

Does this look familiar Staci, Christa, and Jaclyn? :) Finally putting it to use!

I feel extremely blessed! And even though it took two years, it's been a whirlwind and totally worth the wait!

Oh... and here's my school picture for the year! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

General Conference & Fairview

Conference weekend is always ONE OF MY FAVORITE times of the year! This one did not disappoint! :)

I went with the Brown's to their property in Fairview. This is what we encountered on our way there! :) (Sheep scattered all across the road. A perfect day for a little sheep herding).

It was a blast! It's so pretty up there! And even though fall is coming WAY too quickly (goodbye summer, it was fun while you lasted!) the leaves were changing colors and it was so beautiful!

Conference was also amazing! I love it because no matter where you are watching you can feel the spirit that is at the Conference Center because of the power of the words that are being spoken! I just love all the feelings that come along with it! I love the feeling of hope and renewed commitment to do better and try harder. I feel like conference gives me hope that I can do better! And makes me actually want to try! :)

Some favorite speakers and quotes:

I LOVED Elder David M. McConkie's talk on teachers. Some favorite points:
- A teacher's attitude is not taught it's caught.
- Don't focus on your performance but how they are learning.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson-
- The two most precious gifts in life are freedom of choice and time.
- The happiness that we are striving for is the kind that does not fade with the lights and the sounds of the crowd.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf- I absolutely loved this talk. And I really needed to hear some things especially with teaching, coaching, and everything that is going on. There were so many good things from this talk!
- What does this have to do with the airplane? He is so funny!
- It's easy to be busy. Don't over schedule. We have to forgo some good things because there are others that are BETTER!
- Slow down a little and see the importance of the things that matter most!
- What matters most? Our relationships with 1) God 2) Family 3) Fellow Man 4) Ourselves
- REFOCUS: What matters most?!

President Thomas S. Monson- loved his entire talk on gratitude. I was just thinking the other day how awful it feels when people don't appreciate the hard work that you put into things. It's nice to be appreciated. I need to remember to keep an attitude of gratitude!
- Do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive?
- Prayerful life is the key to possessing gratitude.
- EXPRESS OUR LOVE AND GRATITUDE- we will never know if it will be too late to tell someone thank you or that you love them! (I've been trying to do better at expressing this to those I love!)
- How often do others spend hours working on something so hard to have us be ungrateful for everything that they have done. I was very touched by the story of the mom preparing the jack rabbit for Thanksgiving dinner and the kids being ungrateful and saying it looked disgusting. It broke my heart to think of how hard she worked and how ungrateful they were. I'm sure we have all done it a time or two, but I hope to not be so insensitive in the future.

Other things I really liked:
- Are we practicing selective obedience?
- President Eyring prayed what he should speak about. He prayed to know each of our needs and what we needed to hear. I thought that was very touching.
- Loved Boyd K. Packer's analogy of the voting on the gender of the kitten. I know it has caused quite the stir in the media.
- We must show the youth how to strengthen their testimony by strengthening our own.
- "To become what you want to be, be what you want to become."
- "The Lord is voting for you. Lucifer is voting against you, but it is your vote that counts."

Conference is the best! I'm so grateful for everything I was taught and for getting to spend some time in Fairview! Love that place!