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