Holly Jolly Apartment, Thanksgiving, and Birthday!

Hello! It's been a great week, full of food and celebration...

Happy birthday to me!
Emily made me this awesome garland! 
Birthday/Thanksgiving Bingo!
My birthday cake of Dixie Salad -- the best pomegranates in the world with apples and fresh whipped cream.

It was such a fun, happy day! Feasting and presents. Doesn't get any better than that. Sean and I spent the rest of the break with my family, Emily, Taylor, and Daphne, mostly. It was HARD to leave.

I came home and decorated my apartment...

Winter-y wreath!
Garland (thanks, Em!) and shimmering star lights.
A little cheer for my bedroom!
My mom got me knew flannel sheets and a super cozy blanket for my bed.
Sean's and my stockings!
My tiny tree! Click to make it big...
All lit up!
It's the most wonderful time of the year! I have Pandora playing my favorite Christmas mix (based on the Christmas Waltz by the Carpenters) and have already started Christmas shopping. So happy it's almost December!


Autumn, Food, and Protest

Hello from Davis, California!

I am currently in my office hours, missing out on a huge protest outside. It's crazy what has been going on. On Friday, I walked by pepper sprayed students being helped by firefighters with their burns. It's nothing like what happened at Berkeley, but it is still out of control. Here are a couple of great articles if you need to get caught up on the situation...

From NPR
Militarization of Campus Police (written by a UCD faculty member)
And one that puts all of this in perspective

These events have created lots of opportunities for conversations. Thinking about what we can do as a community and what I can do as a teaching assistant. I know the economic pressure is affecting my students. It's been thought-provoking.

And, on a completely different note, autumn is in full blast here...

I love seeing the trees turn their wild colors, especially when they are coupled with palm trees. Perfection.

I've been eating a lot of delicious food lately too. I can't help but share...

NOM. I am hungry for lunch. Additionally, this weekend, Sean, his brother, Scott, and I went to Chico to have a Jiffy burger. A peanut butter burger. Twas quite delicious.

The quarter is coming to an end. I have oodles of papers to grade and a presentation to put together about my thesis. Eep! It will get done. Mostly I am just pumped to go home on Wednesday for Thanksgiving and my birthday! Get to hang out with the family, enjoy the cool Rocky air, and Sean is traveling too! I couldn't be happier. Ah, life is GOOD.

It will be interesting to see what happens this week at UCD. Times have to change.


Eleven Wishes

My sisters posted eleven wishes for 11/11/11 at 11:11. I am doing it a little late but... here are my eleven!

I wish that...

1. Daphne grows up healthy and strong, ready to take on and change the world.
2. Sarah and her love have a wonderful marriage and happiness forever.
3. Ali keeps on rocking at the U, has oodles more fun dates, and ends up where she wishes to be (with Pulitzer and/or Nobel in hand!)
4. Emily and Taylor enjoy their new jobs, get lots of rest and relaxation as parents, and move to Salt Lake!
5. Scott does well on his math teaching exam.
6. My mom's law office continues to be successful and Ben will continue to charm her clients.
7. Wes enjoys his job this winter and finds one that he loves!
8. My dad and Caroline are happy in their new home and have safe travels for the holidays.
9. My students do well on their projects! I hope I've taught them well and that they have at least a little love for research methods (or at least the ability to critique what they read in newspapers and magazines).
10. Sean keeps on kicking butt at his job and in school and that he will continue to enjoy spending time with me. I love all our adventures, I want more and more of them!
11. Everyone is happy and healthy, are able to find time to enjoy autumn before winter sets in, and have great holidays with loved ones!

Happy 11/(13)/11!

A Very Good Week

Greetings from Nat Flat #2!

This week has been pretty much amazing. Last Tuesday, I received an email containing this...

THANK GOODNESS. I really didn't think I passed. And I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to go through it again. But all is well! HOORAH! I am so glad I didn't chicken out! (Read all about the exam here.)

On Friday, we had a grad group rock climbing activity. It was very fun (and my arms are very sore)! I almost got to the top...

Kickin' it with the grad group!
Then last night, Sean surprised me with birthday presents! So far, we have had a terrible time actually waiting for the special occasion, but I was too excited to say no to the opportunity of opening them early! He got me the perfect gifts...

TOMS! Olive TOMS! Aren't they darling? 
A new necklace. It's just perfect -- I love it so much.
I'll be wearing it every day!
So excited about my new gifts!
Sean takes a great portrait!
Happy be-earlied birthday to me!


A Birthday and a Beautiful Wedding

Hello! I apologize for the lack of blogging recently. Things have been so crazy busy (in a good way!) that I haven't had time to sit down and write.

Last week was Sean's birthday and Sarah's, Sean's sister's, wedding! Both were a blast. I gave Sean his birthday present a little early. He's become quite the photographer and I knew he needed a tripod. I think he likes it! We celebrated his birthday in Santa Cruz, complete with cheesecake (his favorite).

Happy birthday, love!

Sarah's wedding was on Saturday and I was so lucky to play a big role in the wedding -- as officiant! It was incredible to witness "two people, madly in love" commit to spending the rest of their lives together, regardless of what comes their way. Basically, it was purely romantic.

I love the venue. It's part of UC Santa Cruz's campus, on the coast, called the Seymour Center.

(All photos by Sean, except the one of us!)

Gorgeous floral arrangements.
Fancy manzanita trees.
The cookie bar.
The beautiful cake!

Even the officiant received a beautiful corsage.
Very fun photo wall.
The trees had a beautiful flower/vegetable arrangement too!
I loved the use of artichokes.
Me with the blushing (haha) bride and Scott, Sean's brother.
My favorite.
Both mornings we were there, Sean and I went down to the beach to watch the surfers at sunrise.
So calming.
It was such a wonderful weekend. A happy birthday and wedding!