Friday, December 6, 2013

Apple Pie and a Second Thanksgiving Dinner

Apple pie is one of my favorite treats. Luckily Brett likes it too so I was actually able to make a couple this Thanksgiving season. The second time, I needed a helper since we decided to make Thanksgiving food for just the two of us, just to see if we could. Brett worked on the inside while I did the crusts, mainly because he loves the contraption we use to peel the apples. It peels, cores, and slices all at the same time.

I love this Betty Crocker Cookbook. It used to be my grandma's, but when I left for college she gave me this extra one. I use it all the time when I need a refresher classic comfort food, like apple pie.

Brett was proud of all his hard work, and while our oven appears to heat unevenly, leaving that one edge a little more charred than the rest, it tasted wonderful!

As promised, we did have second thanksgiving dinner. We roasted a chicken (from The Pioneer Woman here) with crazy amounts of herbs, made some mashed potatoes, fresh steamed green beans, rolls, gravy, and of course this pie. Growing up I always had Black Cherry KoolAid mixed with Sprite on holidays, so naturally we had that too. Now we have a bunch of KoolAid and Sprite that we can't drink fast enough. Dinner was lovely and it was a wonderful way to end a day full of Christmas shopping. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving in Grace

Just like last year Brett, my sister, and I were able to meet my family at my grandma's house for Thanksgiving. All my extended family was able to make it there so it was nice and crowded, just as Thanksgivings with family should be.

Once again, with Grandma's house too small to keep everyone inside for too long, we made it outside with the shotguns. The older my younger siblings get, the less I think I am such a good shot. I am still all right, but man, they are good too!

This years pictures were a little bit fuzzy, but so many of us participated this year that it is impossible not to include.

Brett dominated, sadly nobody can beat my 19-yr-old sister, but still. Brett got me out in clay pigeon horse a couple times.

My dad has always been great helping the younger cousins and kids learn how to shoot the right way and not be scared. That is the biggest thing I can stress. Sometimes when people hear that I grew up with so many guns around they think my parents are crazy. We were raised to respect and understand how the gun works, what can go wrong, and not to be afraid, but confident in where our abilities and safety skills are. If that means you still need someone to help you load it, there is no shame, or if you are older and experienced you can help others. Whichever side of the scale you are on, it is open communication, honesty, and teamwork.

These are my two sisters that are so amazing. I do not even want to talk about how many times the one in the back won horse. Lets just let it rest with her winning more than anyone else.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Satisfied with a Book-to-Movie Adaptation

We saw the Ender's Game movie. A few months ago I expressed some hesitation about this story becoming a movie, but I have no large complaints! Of course there are parts of the story that get left behind, but I honestly think they did about as good as they could in about 2 hours. I missed the character development, I missed how young Ender is really supposed to be at the beginning and how long he trains, and I missed how involved his brother and sister really are with the entire plot. These points that I miss so much were not necessary in the version of the story the movie told, and therefore I am not upset.

If anything, watching the movie just made me want to read the book again, but not in frustration, but rather in renewed excitement.

And of course I loved the date night!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sister Road Trip

Last weekend my sister and I decided to take a little road trip to Grandma's house. I don't know if it still counts as a road trip if Grandma's house is only 3 hours away and we were only gone for 30 hours total, but we are still going to call it one. Since we went ahead with the road trip label, we prepared.

Two of our younger cousins were baptized and confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and prompted local extended family to get together to show our love and support to these two beautiful girls. It was such an amazing day seeing everyone, but sadly I decided not to take any pictures once we actually got to Grandma's. Weird, I know. Let's just blame it on the fact that I was pretty sick so I just did a lot of sitting and chatting.

During the drive up we went through Brigham City, Utah, which has a new temple that my sister and I hadn't seen since it was completed, so we stopped for a few minutes to walk around the grounds. It is a beautifully tall and white building. I also loved its beautiful simplicity. My love of history also comes out when I go to places like temples. In these older Utah towns the temples are often built near something historical to The Church, so naturally I had to look across the street to the old Tabernacle building that I also love.

Right before we left to come back to Provo we stopped at the community cemetery to see our Grandpa's gravestone. When he passed away from pneumonia 3 years ago, I spent a lot of time with my family at the hospital and the following weekend, and it was good for me to take a second to remember and be grateful for him, and the rest of my family.

Overall, it was a wonderful little get-a-way with my sister and family. Having a cold doesn't ruin the ability to enjoy the change in routine that I was so grateful for.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Our Halloween Night

We don't have too many traditions yet, but we have hit the point of the year when the few that we have begin to happen. First is that for Halloween we often wait until the literally the last day to carve pumpkins while we watch a silly Halloween movie. This year was no different. It only works because we never get trick-r-treaters due to living in a college town near a single's housing complex.

This years pumpkins, not too much of a success. We both tried to do the thing were you just take off layers, but not go all the way through, but got impatient and gave up. So my Jack-o-Lantern is supposed to have hair, and Brett's is just supposed to glow in general, but to his benefit, he had an unusually thick pumpkin.

What silly movie was this year? Oh Labyrinth where David Bowie gets to be the Goblin King. Classic 80's movie with Muppets as the special effects.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Couple Halloween Costume

This falls under the category of "I Spent Way Too Much Time On This" but I think it is worth it. For as long as I can remember I have been trying to get a friend to do a partner costume of Batman and Robin with me, because seriously, my name is Robyn and its perfect. Well that finally happened this year when Brett said we could go for it! So that is when he sewing began.

The shirt was definitely the hardest part. I have made lots of skirts with an elastic waistbands, but this was my first shirt, and it had legitimate sleeves. It actually turned out really well considering it was my first time and I sorta made up a pattern based off one of my t-shirts. The only thing I would changed is not be as cheap on the fabric, at least for the shirt. It was a little difficult to get on and off because I bought the inexpensive cotton that has no stretch to it. So next time, I will get fabric with some give.

The day after our Halloween party, Brook borrowed it to wear to her party, so I feel like since the costume got some good use, it was worth all the effort, right?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Confessing Two Levels of Nerd

So if you know us at all, you know that we have a huge soft spot for nerdy things that we think are awesome, but yet play off as a joke. Similar to how in "The Other Guys" Marky Mark knows ballet, but then says the only reason he learned was to be able to make fun of the kid he grew up with.

The problem is that we have a hard time remembering that we are supposed to play it off like a joke. Examples? Oh okay. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy (okay, lets be real, any of Christopher Nolan's movies), Brett's love and expansive knowledge of obscure 80's music, my crochet ability, and that conversation we had once about 1) how to determine levels of mutants according to X-Men, 2) what powers we and our friends would have, and 3) who would be the highest level, and therefore most powerful.

I know, its pretty sad.

But then I made a connection between two separate spheres of my nerdiness last night.

During half-time of the Jazz/Blazers preseason game (Confession 0.5-who watches preseason? We do.) we took the time to watch Bill and Jalen's 2013 NBA Preview (Confession 1.0). Bill Simmons is an NBA writer for Grantland, and Jalen Rose is a retired NBA player, and they are buds. After shutting themselves up to record their talks about how this NBA season will go, they are releasing their thoughts one team at a time. And they are hilarious! Check them out if you want.

Here is where the connection came it...It clicked in my head that Bill is a writer for Grantland and that one of my favorite articles written about a movie was on Grantland by someone who normally wrote about the NBA. Turns out it was him!

Back in February, as all my coworkers at the time know, Bill wrote an article detailing the extended trailer for Fast and Furious 6 (Confession 2.0-I love the Fast and Furious movies.). It is one of my favorite pieces of written work. There are F&F references everywhere (obviously), mentions of Ben Affleck, and basketball analogies. It is wonderful! If you like those things together, go read it right here! If you do, consider this a fair warning that you will not necessarily learn anything new, simply see everything that any fan of F&F has ever wanted to say.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm Not a Criminal

This little badge means that I get to start taking my education courses that include an introduction into classrooms. Don't worry parents of Utah high school students: I will not be setting an example of delinquency to your children, I promise. I am really excited to get to start working towards getting my own classroom, and to do so, I have to practice and gain experience, and now I can!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Last Concert of the Year

Guys, I went to a rock concert, and it was great. I have been to several concerts before, but they were always fairly family friendly country concerts either in big arenas or county fairs. This was my first concert that was in a small, dark building with nearly no kids in sight.

A few years ago, 30 Seconds to Mars came to Salt Lake and neither Brett or I went, and we have regretted it ever since. When they came back this year in a small and relatively inexpensive venue, we knew we had to go. I love 30 Seconds to Mars. They are extremely talented and the lead singer, Jared Leto, is the triple threat of modeling, acting, and band member. And the crazy thing is that he is excellent at all of them! He turns down movies in order to tour with his band which includes his brother.

Sadly, they wouldn't let me into the concert with my actual camera, only the camera that is on my old phone, so the pictures aren't the greatest, but I had to have some proof!

All of the band was sick, just like the rest of the world lately, so the middle third was more calm and acoustic versions of their songs. It was really great and was the perfect opportunity for Leto to show off the amazing pipes he has. If you don't believe me, check out this song

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sisters Dessert

The Lee family has some recent news that was worth celebrating. The beautiful girl in the middle was just engaged to the youngest Lee! We are so excited for Matt and Hannah and cannot wait to see them be married in December.

Naturally, this meant that we, as girls, had to go out for dessert to celebrate! When Brett and I were engaged, his sisters did the same thing for me, and it meant a lot to me to know that they were excited to have me join their family. I was so happy and honored to be able to help do the same for Hannah. It was a fun night full of laughs and wedding giggles. I am so happy to have all these new sisters of mine as such friends. We all missed Megan, who was too sick to join us, but there will be more opportunities in the future.

Check out these beautiful pictures of the engagement. I am so lucky that Brett didn't have anyone take pictures of ours, I had tears and makeup all over my face. It was bad...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Brett!

Today this handsome guy gets to turn 25! He has accomplished so much in the four years that I have known him, and am happy that I get to be married to him and therefore get to help celebrate all his birthdays with him. I know that I am excited for all of today's activities, and maybe even more so than he is. :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

100th Post!

I just was looking through all my drafts and scheduled posts and realized that I was coming up on 100 and though that it deserved its own post. Who cares that it took almost two years to get to 100 posts right? When I started this blog it was really only for two reasons, that my brand new sisters-in-law had them and I wanted to fit in, and that my mom back home in Idaho had one too and wanted to see what I was up to. I thought it would take me a decade to reach 100 posts, but now here I am.

Some of my favorite posts of the first 100 are below! Check them out if you feel like it :)

Some Sugary Goodness
Successful Sewing
When We Vacationed in Park City
Hiking and Camping with Friends
Midnight Movies
Why Parades aren't My Thing
One Year of Marriage
My Family Visited Utah
Christmas Family Pictures
Where We Eat in Portland
An Outdoor Country Concert
Why I Love What I Study
I Spent Too Much Time Making a Cake
Spending Time in Seattle
My Thoughts on Potential

Monday, September 30, 2013

How We Celebrated

Being college students helps us stick to a budget out of necessity. This means that celebrations for birthdays and anniversaries involve dinner at home more often than dinner out. Luckily for us, we planned and saved since last year and we were able to do both for our anniversary last week!

Last weekend we went to Park City, stayed in a nice resort, went out to eat, and got a couple things from the outlets. We did a similar thing about a year and a half ago, so we knew this would be exactly what we needed.

Our hotel room was kickin'! It was so much bigger than our apartment it was insane, not to mention that it had two bathrooms. Seriously, it was sweet. My favorite parts though were the balcony and fireplace. Brett was just getting over a nasty cold, so we spent a lot of time just hanging out and snacking on candy. This meant that I got to pull the armchair over to the fireplace to read a book. I'm telling you, I was in heaven!

Then Tuesday was our real anniversary and it was just in time for me to have caught whatever Brett had the week before. This means that my exhaustion led to bad communication and planning on many levels. One in particular being who would drive the car home from school. (Yes we live, like, 4 blocks from campus, but now that Brett has graduate student parking right by the building, we drive most of the time. We acknowledge the laziness.) My last class of the day didn't end until 6:30 and is in a building on campus that could not be any closer to our house, so I just walked and thought Brett was driving from the other side of campus. Then I get home, Brett is already there, he sees me hot from walking and just says "Oh. You didn't bring the car home." It turns out that since I wasn't feeling well, he also walked and left me the car so I could drive, but neither of us communicated our plans. Brett was a champ and went back to campus to get the car so we wouldn't get towed during the night.

After the car escapade, we made some steaks, twice baked potatoes, and steamed green beans covered in butter, salt, and Parmesan cheese. This is one of my favorite meals, even if you replace the steak with a breaded chicken breast. Oh my gosh. So delicious.

With full bellies and runny noses, I took some NyQuil and we settled down to watch a few episodes of Seinfeld until the medicine knocked me out. Overall, a great few days of celebrating these amazing last two years.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Jungle

The Jungle-Upton Sinclair

I recently finished reading this book as part of my US History class, and I am really glad it was assigned. Written in the early 1900's, The Jungle follows the lives of a Lithuanian immigrant family that moves to Chicago in order to find the American Dream. The book changed the history of the nation due to its descriptions of the meat packing facilities, extreme poverty, criminal underworld, and political corruption of the city.

Some in my class didn't like the book due to its heavy political tone, especially at the end, but political beliefs aside, this book is a success for the author. Sinclair had certain things he wanted to point out to the world about America in the 1900's and he reached this goal. Written as as emotional propaganda piece, this book would have pushed the buttons of nearly every reform group of the time.

I highly recommend it for those of you who want. It is not a feel good book, but I do feel more cultured and educated since reading it. And if you have, or when you do read it, let me know! This book would be great for a book club setting of discussion!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Two Years Later

Two years ago, Brett and I were married in Spokane, Washington, LDS Temple. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful moment, and the best day of my life.

A year later, we were still as in love as always and celebrate with a quite night at home eating the top of our wedding cake.

Today, Brett and I celebrate two years together. On one hand, it seems like just yesterday we were meeting, dating, and getting married (more on that here). On the other, it seems like we have been living this life together as long as we can remember.

Whichever way I choose to look at it, I realize that I am happy to the very center. I have loved sharing my life for the past two years and can't wait to see what the future holds for us. One thing I can count on is that we will grow even closer as we continue together.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lee Family Pictures 2013

Its that time of year that people start to take family pictures for the year. This location was beautiful. Who would have thought that the Salem Pond would be so pretty! From this one grassy hill there were multiple directions and background you go be involved in, and yet it was so simple to just be in a city park. 

My favorite pictures of us are always the ones where we are really laughing. Even though my eyes and nose get all squint-y, I just love the happiness so evident in these candid pictures.

DeAnn with all the daughters.

All the adult children.

Dave with all the sons.

Probably the most adorable nieces and nephews ever! Maybe my opinion will change when I start to have nieces and nephews on my side. For now though, I am the only one of my siblings married, so for the next couple years I can spoil these adorable kids!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Texas Sheet Cake

Yesterday afternoon Brett emailed me and said he wanted brownies or some other sort of sweet treat to eat after dinner. Of course I had to comply. What happened was interested though. We didn't have brownie mix, and I didn't want to get one, so naturally my next step would be to jump to making a Texas Sheet Cake. Obviously that would be the simpler option. Lucky for me, it was easy with the directions I found.

I found an easy recipe on Pioneer Woman and it was so wonderful! I love using recipes from the Pioneer Woman and do so pretty frequently. The only change I made was that I didn't put nuts in the frosting.


This was so delicious and fairly quick to make! Although this time I had way to much cake and ended up taking some to the neighbors, this might have to become a stable dessert in the Lee house. Or maybe not because I will do nothing but eat it.

The best part of the evening is that we got to eat our cake while watching The Incredibles with Brett's brother (Don't worry, all of us are above the age of 22). What is better than eating dessert and watching a Disney/Pixar movie? Just about nothing in my book.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Update

Sorry for the silence. Trust me, I have been making a list as things happen of what to catch up on when the time comes, but sadly it hasn't yet. School has been clipping right along with no hesitation, while we have been working to get ready for all the events of this fall.

I have some book reviews, some recipes, and some pictures to share. And even better than that, some thoughts on our upcoming anniversary. (Two years! I can't even believe it!) If all goes well, I should have my new clothes I ordered online here in time to wear out to dinner when we celebrate!

So stay in tune and I promise not to forget you all! :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thoughts on School and Potential

School started again this week and I was so excited. You would think that after taking classes full time through the summer I would be burnt out, but these last two weeks have been just enough for me. I am really lucky that I love my classes so much that I am always ready and willing to go back. (You can read about what I study and why I love it here.) It also helps that I am one of those people that likes to be busy. The stark difference between the stress of finals week and the immediate absence of school is a little weird for me.

I am feeling a little over my head however. I have a ton of pages of research to write, and I am a little at the bottom of the totem pole in my classes. Since my major is so comprehensive and varied, I am not as specialized as some of my classmates. I skipped from a 100 level political science class right into a 300 level one, and although it doesn't have any prerequisites, I am with lots of political science majors who have taken several classes and had internships in Washington D.C.. I would be lying if I didn't say I was intimidated.

I am determined to be awesome though! I have learned through my educational experiences of the last few years, that for me school is all in my head. I know that sounds silly, but its true. If I tell myself the result that I want, and make the appropriate to do list to accomplish it, I can live up to my potential. My potential may not be to go work on Capital Hill, but that is perfectly okay with me. I want to fulfill my teaching potential. If I can have a positive effect on one of my students that inspires them to go on to Capital Hill, then I will have succeeded. This whole idea of comparison and recognizing my personal potential has been on my mind a lot lately and after reading my friend Elisabeth's thoughts, I decided to just write about it! So thanks for reading the rambles.

This school year holds big things for both Brett and me. He is beginning his graduate degree and I am finally able to start mixing in some education classes with my content classes. This will help bring us even closer to our future career goals through internships and some more real world experience. I am really excited to see what the year brings and to learn more about politics and history!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday Social

What was your favorite trip/vacation/activity this summer?
Going to Seattle for the afternoon with Brett! It is where we went for our honeymoon, so Seattle is one of my favorite places :)

What was your favorite out fit look/clothing item of the summer?
Nude heels, grey pencil skirt, white v-neck and burnt orange cardi. Seriously, every Sunday I have to convince myself not to wear it. Luckily I haven't for the last couple weeks so I can today!

What is one thing you wish you'd gotten to do this summer?
Hike Mt. Timpanogos. Luckily there is still time left in the fall. We might have a Saturday free of homework, but we will see since it takes the whole day to make the hike.

What was your favorite song of the summer?
Since I went to that Tim McGraw concert at the beginning of summer, I seriously can't get enough of Tim. I keep going back to Felt Good on My Lips, and then going into all sorts of country.

What was your favorite movie/TV show of the summer?
Star Trek: Into Darkness. Sooooo good! My favorite sequel movie, as well as favorite movie of the summer.

Linking up here