I have a few friends who just barely started their first year of teaching. As I have talked with them about decorations, lesson plans, and discipline I kept thinking of how hard it must be. When you graduate from college you don't realize how much you wouldn't know if you hadn't gone to school.
For example, Sarah Jane and I were discussing the bulletin board where she wanted to have a calendar.
I said, "Well what else are you going to put up here?... like the schedule for each day?... lesson plans?"
She said, "No Becca, I need them to see the numbers so they can learn how to tell what day it is." I forgot that someone had to teach me that. It wasn't just innate. And the more I keep thinking about all those little things I did in elementary school, I am really grateful for all my teachers.

Sarah Jane is teaching 2nd grade. Here she is in her new classroom: 

little owls have each kids name

a natural touch. 

 posing with the owl I made for her bulletin board. 

That is a photo of Sarah when she was in 2nd grade! 

bouquet of newly sharpened pencils

the classroom library all organized and categorized!

While I am feeling all schoolish nostalgia (probably because it is the first week of BYU and I am not there) I am going to commentate my graduation excitement. I also want to pass on some wisdom to my friends who will be future graduates.

#1 Don't buy the robe. You can't rent them anymore, which I think is a little odd. They didn't measure me or ask my height or anything so I'm pretty sure I own the one and only size. Borrow it from me, don't buy it.

#2 As cheesy as it might look, bobby pin your cap to your hair. Maybe I have an unusually small head, but I was battling that cap all the day. It always slid off and at some point I just had to embrace it and pretend like I was going for the "side-cap" look.

#3 Figure out which friends are graduating the same semester as you. Find them to sit by, it will make everything so much better!
Exhibit A: I sat with my darling friends Lauren (left) and Paige (right). I was lucky enough to be in Paige's ward for a year and then she ended up living in my room when I moved out. And I worked with the lovely Lauren for the past year on campus.

Lauren, me, Paige... and the Y!

Dad and I

Freshman reunion in our caps and gowns! Lauren, me, Madeline

asking my mom for my diploma back, oh wait. they only gave us the holding case. 

graduation day in the HFAC 

Giving up on the cap

I spent so so many hours in this wing of the HFAC.
I thought I should have one final stroll, while sporting the cap and gown. 

Pretending to look like a scholar. Oops, I don't think scholars wear robes or flowers these days. 

I wanted a picture with the JKB, I worked there for over a year!
note: this picture was not taken with a holga, but the sky looks sweet.
Melis, me, Lizbert. Loyal supporters. 
These girls patiently sat through my graduation while doodling in their sketchbooks. Lizzy actually took lots of notes. Why? Because one of the speakers kept comparing knowledge to food and saying how delicious it had been to be at BYU...

Grandma Johnson & I with sprinkled Y flags

I am so happy I graduated.

This morning I listened to NPR reporters talk about the low graduation rates for women in Utah. It finally sunk in that I had finished. I graduated from a university. I know that everyone has different circumstances and not everyone is able to have a chance to go to college. I know just how lucky I have been. I tried to thank those who have helped me along the way, but if I missed you- just know that I so glad to have met so many fabulous people and been taught by so many during my BYU experience.
I am so happy that I get to have a bachelor's degree.
Go Cougs!


Summer Songs

It feels like every season I have a few songs that I just can't get out of my head. I went to the Weepies concert on Friday and was reminded once again just how amazing they are. I have had this song stuck in my head ever since:

Painting by Chagall:

Hazy by Rosi Golan with William Fitzsimmons:

And my new pump-up favorite, Stay by Mozella:



I have Alaska on the mind so I keep seeing things that have to do with Alaska. For example, tonight on TV I was choosing between Food Network, DIY, and HGTV. But then on the National Geographic channel they had a show called Alaska State Troopers. They film random arrests all through the state of Alaska. On tonight's episode they were in Fairbanks during the moose hunt. The state trooper patrolling the area had something called an airboat, exhibit a:

Get this, the airboat works on both water and land, making it the perfect vehicle for swampy areas. The bottom is lined with a slick plastic surface and as long as it has recognizes moisture, it will move using the propeller on the back. Sounds pretty neat. 



I just got back from the great state of Alaska. I am a pretty lucky girl. I got to go on a cruise with my sister Emily and her boss's family. It was awesome! We met up in Seattle and got to see the McCombs, our friends from California.

Pike Place Market is the best. So many flowers at the right price. I want to move there just for the flowers. Ok and the fish. 

love this packaging. all of their products had letter pressed labels. 

I never had heard about this, but apparently it is pretty famous: the gum wall. At first I thought it would be gross, but I actually think it is beautiful. It is like an edible Pollock painting.

On Sunday, we got on board the ship and headed to Alaska! Our first stop was Juneau: 

We got to ride on a float plane! You know the planes that land on water? It was such a cool feeling to be boating, but yet flying.

We flew to a lodge right across from the Mendenhall Glacier for a bit of Wild Alaskan salmon. 

Emily looking good on the flight

2 thumbs up for salmon!

We took lots of pictures of the thick moss on the trees. 

Next, we headed to Skagway for a little horse back riding tour of the area. 

The whole clan (about 50 of us on the reunion) rode the White Pass Railway train. The track looked uber scary. Here is one of the bridges we went over. Don't tell my mom. 

Our last Alaska stop was the beautiful Ketchikan. 

We went to the lumberjack show. Emily got pretty cozy with the lumberjacks. Just FYI. 

Luckily the stadium for the show was covered and had heaters because it was raining cats and dogs:

In fact, the cold got to me and I was very sick the last 3 days. Luckily the cruise had room service for no extra charge. Best place to be ill! 

Thanks Em for letting me be your roommate! 


Sarah Jane flies East

One of the best parts about being in Boston was greeting my visitor: Miss Sarah Jane.
Emily and I saved some of our touristy outings until Sarah Jane came the last weekend I was there.

I haven't read the book "Make Way For Ducklings" but this sculpture is a little homage to it.

note: it is super odd to pose with a small duck, no pose seemed right. 

We wandered our way to Beacon Street area and found some great things. This tree for example. 

lovely cobblestone paths (they say Boston is America's cobblestone capitol)

We saw a group of tourists taking a picture in front of this house and we offered to take the photo. When they were done, we said, "Hey could you take a picture of us too?" We figured the house must have some historical prominence. Turns out they just wanted the hydrangeas for a nice back-drop. But hey good excuse to get a picture of our group. 

Our guide book said that Louisa May Alcott lived in this apartment after she published Little Women. 

America's first public school! I had to have my two favorite school teachers strike a pose. 

On the duck tour. The bus turns into a boat! 

Sundays in Boston were great. This particular one Sarah and I stopped at a Unitarian church. I guess during their summer service they have guest speakers/ pastors. But on this Sunday, they didn't have anyone scheduled so the music committee took over and performed a bunch of popular songs that had meaning to them and then gave little talks about how music has influenced their spirituality. It was really great. We got to hear a few songs from Wicked, a couple Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, and they finished with "Lean on Me." 

Later that day we packed a picnic to Walden Pond. It was delicious. Chicken salad, hummus, carrots, apples, peanut m&m's, all the Snyder staples. 
We ended up fighting the bugs at Concord River instead, but it was still lovely. 

(entirely coincidental that I happen to be licking my lips. Ha, Sarah caught me mid-bite) 

I have always wanted to read "Walden" at Walden Pond, but I couldn't get my hands on a copy before we walked out the door. Emily's friend Brian did have a copy of "A Work on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers" so I took it anyway. How perfect that we actually ended up on the Concord River! So I performed a dramatic reading of a few pages and we discussed. 

Then we took turns with the reading hat: 

Emily, Brian, and I on the bridge. 

Background info on these next shots, Sarah and I can never seem to take a normal picture together. There is always something weird with our hands. 

We still didn't get a normal one, but Brian sure looks good. 

People talk a lot about Trader Joe's when they go on vacations. I had been there a few times, but was able to truly embrace the store in Boston. There are so many and it is so healthy but not ridiculously expensive and so gourmet. It is fabulous for small group cooking. I probably went twice a week. 
When Sarah was there, we explored every shelf and found delectable delights in the freezer aisle: mango mochi! These are little balls of mango ice cream covered in gummy-like mochi. It is wonderful, cold, refreshing, and somewhat chewy. 

Newport Day. 

We wanted to go see cute towns and have a coastal adventure. Brian told us that Newport was the place to go. So we headed there on a Monday morning, sure that we would be the only ones there; we were wrong. 

We headed to the Cliffwalk first. This is a path that goes around the island at the top of the cliffs. On one side you have a drop off and then the ocean, on the other side you have the most fabulous mansions in the United States. They have mansion tours here for people to browse. There are so many! 

(We're not just talkin' oh yeah that's a pretty big house, we're talkin' Elizabeth Bennet wandering through Pemberley with her aunt and uncle. )

So here are the cliffs. That little path is what we walked on. 

We didn't realize how hot it would be and we ended up stopping in the shade all the time. See, in the shade- grabbing my sunscreen, again. Don't worry, I am not posting the sweaty pictures. 

Here we are at the "Breakers" (the Cornelius Vanderbilt mansion- this is his summer home!). This may be old news to most, but Gloria Vanderbilt is part of this family line. And her son is Anderson Cooper. Fun fact. 

Lookin' good SJ. 

We decided to take our own mansion tour. I have seen enough movies to know what mansions look like on the inside, so we drove around through Newport and went to a bunch of parking lots. As we drove past this street, Sarah said, "did you see those hydrangeas?!" So we went around the block in our quest to find the these flowers. So fabulous.

Sarah Jane knows how to pose with flowers, I clearly do not. 

Thanks Sarah Jane for a great trip, and Emily for being our excellent host and tour-guide!