A Year in Review

By the time Christmas rolled around, we hadn’t even gotten 10 thank you cards for our wedding mailed, so an actual Christmas letter was implausible this year. But we felt like we should give you an update nonetheless.
As you probably know (I mean, we were in the Blackfoot AM News), we met back in January, and dated through the Spring. We wrote a few blog posts about our experience meeting (included at the bottom of this post).
Per usual, the both of us are always way too busy. As the youngbloods in our ward, we headed the Ward Christmas Party, each accepted one or more callings, and were the speakers for the Ward Christmas Program.

It’s also been a good year of growing closer together. Shalene learned I don’t like cottage cheese in lasagna, just as I have learned not to jump out and scare her…often.

Work has been good. Last year, she helped with the Future City competition (where we met), and also kickstarted a new government competition class, We the People, where they break down the branches of the government. The legislative branch is their competition, and for judicial, they have to act as the prosecuting and defense attorneys for controversial historical court cases that could have gone either way (i.e. the Nurnberg Trials where the Nazis were dubbed war criminals).
Back in May, Shalene went on a week-long Carnival cruise with some girlfriends from her singles ward. Belize, Honduras, and Mexico were all on the travel plans. She was able to pick up a lot of cool trinkets and cultural knick-knacks to show off in her classroom, as well as visiting Mayan ruins and returning home with a great tan.

A majority of her summer was spent planning a wedding, so not a whole lot to report there.

Church-wise, Shalene is a District Supervisor for visiting teaching, as well as the Relief Society Night Leader (monthly activities). She’s pretty stressed out with all that she’s got going on, especially as we approach competition time with both Future City and We the People. She’s got her work cut out for her. 
She has also thoroughly enjoyed decorating our house. Luckily, her mom is just a short drive a way, so we’ve been able to borrow a few little things here and there as we’ve also started building our fair share of decorations. On that note, we reorganize the storage shed we share with the downstairs neighbors on a monthly basis, just to stay on top of everything!

Break has been good. She’s been able to catch up on sleep and read a lot. She starts back up with a new semester on Monday.

I’ve worked a bunch of jobs this year. To name just three of my eight:
  • Following a dream I’ve had for a long time, I joined my roommates, Corden and Myles, along with a friend, Chad, at Sound Wave Music and Lighting Design as an assistant DJ. Basically, I got paid to play dope jams and eat expensive wedding food every weekend. It kept me traveling back to Boise every weekend, which made for a healthier transition to Pocatello, where I didn’t know anyone.
  • Ever the entrepreneur (I was selling my homework door-to-door throughout elementary school), I decided to follow my passion for business and social media and registered Prism Social with the state, starting as a social media consultant. Show us some love on social media. Our handle for everything is @TheSocialPrism.
  • I’ve also finally landed a job that’s actually relevant to my field of study. I’m an outreach assistant for the College of Science and Engineering. Basically, we travel to elementary and middle schools and play Bill Nye the Science Guy to get the lil munchkins high on science to consider going into a STEM major. I even got to present at Shalene’s school a few months ago.
School is kicking my butt. Because of who I am, I can’t settle for simple. I’m double-majoring in Mechanical Engineering and German for Business and Professions, with a double-minor in Marketing and Military Science (aka ROTC). I just recently flunked Calculus II, entering my final with a C+ and leaving with a D-. I’m not discouraged (although I worked super hard), and I’d say it would be an easy A next semester, except I’m taking 21 credits on top of my two jobs.
Speaking of ROTC, I contracted with ISU’s Army ROTC program. They own me, but they also pay for my school. It’s a good opportunity, because as soon as I graduate school, I’ll be an officer in the Army, so I won’t be looking for a job. I’m not sure what I want to do yet, but I’m thinking of going Aviation and flying Apache helicopters.
In my singles Ward, I taught Gospel Doctrine. In our new ward, I’m an Elders Quorum teacher, which, in my opinion, is more difficult because of the manual we use.
Overall, I’m doing well. Between being a newlywed, operating a business, and going to school full-time (21 credits will be a little more than full-time…), I’m treading water until graduation!
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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