Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pleasant Surprises...Let there be SNOW!

Christmas eve is always a busy day for the Wilbanks family. For lunch we go to my great-grandmother's (Gran Gran's). This year we had 28 people come (we had all of the cousins there plus 2 husbands and 2 boyfriends) and it was an interesting time as usual.
After lunch we played dirty Santa (which takes a while with that many people) and then took the party out back for a little skeet shooting. We quickly ran out of skeets after everyone had taken several turns, and moved on to shooting jugs off the fence post. This activity took up a good hour or so, and was good to get us all out of that tiny house. Bridgett impressed us all with her aim when she knocked the jug off the post on the first try! I think she even surprised herself, because she chose to quit while ahead and refused to try again.

After our target practice, great-aunt Leonel wanted us all to get back to the house for the traditional family photo. When we piled back into the house,
great-uncle Hugh had his karaoke machine fired up and was taking requests! I signed Bridgett up to grace us with a thrilling rendition of "Achy Breaky Heart" by none other than our favorite mullet sporting country singer Billy Ray Cyrus! Entertaining is an understatement. Next up was Chelsey's husband, Jake. His song of choice was Conway Twitty's "I'd Love to Lay you Down". He even threw in a few line dancing moves, and hit every note! After his brilliant show, Bridgett and I dazzled the crowd with our Shania-like skills and performed "Man! I Feel Like a Woman"! I don't know that I've seen Gran Gran laugh that much since we explained to her what a shart was, and I can guarantee that the whole family enjoyed the show. As much fun as that was, I regret to inform you that my grandmother took video footage of all performances, and will most certainly blackmail us with this evidence in the future. However, I don't fear for myself so much as I pity whoever has the misfortune to someday view this tragic display of sober karaoke. We all made great attempts to postpone the family picture time, but as usual we lost the battle. Leonel shut down th
e karaoke fest and told us all to line up. After 25 years, I've learned the best thing to do is line up fast, keep smiling, and maybe everyone else will do the same so it won't take half an hour. Once the family picture was taken, the party moved to Pucky's (my dad's mom).

Several years ago we decided that we always eat way too much when we get together for holidays, so instead of the traditional Christmas feast (AGAIN) we started making snack foods and dips to eat at Pucky's. Of course, that just means that I will still eat more snacks, but it's a nice change up from the same ole same ole. We played more dirty santa, drank a little wine, ate our snacks, and played cards. My family plays a card game called Shanghai that I can never seem to win, and the game takes 40 years to play. It's always a good time hangin with that side of the family!

On Christmas morning, we woke up to SNOW!!! I can't remember the last time we actually had a white Christmas (where the snow actually stuck to the ground). Once I had a chance to wake up and realize that it was still snowing, I made Stephanie get out of
bed so we could go play in the snow!!! After we suited up in our "winter" gear, we hit the snow running (or falling in my case). We made 2 snowmen, had a snowball fight, sled down the hill, and played with Steph's new puppy. Dad came out to play with us, and we had a great time. After working up a good appetite, we went inside and mom had Christmas breakfast on the table! The final Christmas stop was my mom's parents for the weekend. They were very excited when we gave them 2 new recliners for their present this year!!! After church this morning, we loaded up and made our way back home.

The past couple of days have been packed full of activity. Tomorrow I will probably go crazy around the house with nothing to do, but then again, I only have 3 days before I have to pack up and hit the road again. Wednesday I will be heading to Birmingham to meet up with Jordan so we can go to New Orleans for New Years Eve, and I will leave from there to get back to work. 2010 has been a blast so far, can't wait to see what the last week has in store!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thought for today....

So this is really more of a thought for me to remember, but what's meant to be will be. However, it's up to you to create you're own happiness, so don't wait around for life to come to you. Face life head on. Have a plan, but don't be afraid to live in the moment.

Life is scary, but that's what makes it interesting. Value and cherish the friendships you have because that's what makes life worth living. Even on my worst day there are so many things to be thankful for, and I realize how truly blessed I am!

I miss my ELC loves and hate having to have so many long-distance relationships, but just having those relationships is enough to be happy about. This Christmas, I will enjoy the short (but seems like forever) time I have with my family, and then I will be on the road for my final semester as an ELC. That moment will be very bittersweet, and I look forward to what comes next!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Santa's Little Helper

Yesterday afternoon, some of the sisters at ECU went to help wrap presents at a local elementary school. They kindly invited me to join so we grabbed Santa hats and headed on our way. The school had set up a "store" in the auditorium for the kids to shop for presents to give their parents and siblings for Christmas. All of the volunteers were divided among several classrooms to get started on wrapping the gifts for the kiddos. Morgan and I took on the challenge of the pre-k class, and I must say that it was quite the experience. We met up with the class as they were making their "purchases". Immediately all of the little girls swarmed us and wanted to show us what was in their bags. They all made comments about my nail polish and couldn't understand why my fingers were purple. Lining up to go back to the classroom was a challenge, but everyone eventually made it all the way back. The teacher had the kids sit on the rug while she explained that we would be wrapping their presents for their families. The chaos that soon ensued was something that I haven't experienced on that level...ever! She kept telling them to turn on their listening ears, and I hate to break it to her, but I'm pretty sure their listening ears were all broken. Morgan and I each took a table, the teacher took one as well, and we all began wrapping the gifts. Of course EVERYONE wanted to help. They were running, and screaming, and grabbing my scissors and tape. While wrapping presents, I was hugged about 22 times, stabbed with a permanent marker, put kids down for a nap, some how managed to get glue on my hand, and found something sticky in my hair. We were there for an hour and a half...tops!

After we literally wrapped up the pre-school, Morgan and I went to help the 2nd grade class. All I can say is NIGHT and DAY! The children were quite, and sitting in their desks working in their books. The teacher spoke and they responded, one at a time. The bags were organized and labeled with names of who was to receive which gift. We simply had to call the name of the
student over so they could assist, and they were done and on their way. The difference in the stress level was remarkable. The best way I can think to describe the situation is to make a reference to Toy Story 3. When Andy's toys are placed in the room at the daycare with the younger kids who run, scream, make messes, and are out of control; that is how I would describe the pre-k class. Then the room where the kids are older and play nicely with their toys would be comparable to the 2nd grade classroom. Naturally, I had a great time with the kids all afternoon, and it was definitely an afternoon to remember!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

So as I walked downstairs this afternoon I was pleasantly surprised by the decorated Christmas tree in the living room. You know the feeling you get as this time of year approaches, where no matter what happens you can't help but be happy! The Christmas lights are on and the music is turned up. There seems to be an endless supply of cookies plus red and green m&ms. Then of course, there's the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family!!!

I can sense the holiday season is here! I've already done most of my Christmas shopping (all online this year), and only have a few gifts to go. The anticipation of spending time with my family is at an all time high, because traveling this year has made me really miss them. There's something weird about being so far away from home that I never thought would really get to me. I've spent the past 6 years living in Auburn, and went home just as often this semester as I did then; however, I guess being within driving distance last year made things seem a lot closer than it is now. Sunday, I will be packing up to go to Indianapolis where I will be reunited with all of my lovely ELCs, and this time next week I will be on my way back to Auburn! After a few days catching up with one of my favorites there, I will head back to the ville to have a very Merry Christmas with the fam, and then a Happy New Year with the crew in New Orleans. CAN'T WAIT!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

ALL IN!

Can't express how pumped I am for the SEC Championship game this afternoon. In two short hours, the (#1)Auburn Tigers will compete against the (#19)South Carolina Gamecocks for the 2010 SEC Title. The result of a win for my alma mater would be a trip to the BCS National Championship Game in Arizona this year.

Unfortunately, I am working today and will be interviewing sorority members for officer positions next year. However, I have internet and you can be sure that I will be watching every play possible. My last few interviews (the ones after kickoff) are aware of my infatuation with Auburn, and one of the girls I will be interviewing is even an Auburn fan! Her mom is an alumnae of my chapter, so I'm sure she wouldn't mind watching a few plays before her interview if the game is getting intense (which I anticipate it will)!

WAR EAGLE!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I will SURVIVE!

Well, time to conquer the fear of ice and embarrassment. Last night Delta Sig had their Annual Holiday Skate event at East Carolina University, so a few of the Alpha Xi's decided to attend and take me along for the experience. Information of my previous experience on ice was relayed to the group, and I found comfort in the fact that one of the girls going, Stewart, had never been ice skating before. None of us were fully confident in our balancing on blades skills, but Maryellen convinced us all that we could do it! Sure she said that, because as it turns out Maryellen CAN ACTUALLY SKATE! Thank goodness for her talent, because we took turns having her hold our hands as we made it so gracefully around the rink. For starters we stuck to the wall as a comfort and backup plan when our legs and feet failed us. To my surprise there were only 3 wipe-outs among the five of us, and Stewart was safe every time! =) (LOVE you Stewart, and that last one was amazing!)

Despite the slow start, we all eventually made it around several times on our own, without
the wall OR Maryellen! I experienced a moment of weakness when the three year old who was using the walker to skate decided it was time to go home. After the family left, I wobbled over to the walker and debated seriously if it was necessary for me to use such an aide to make my way across the frozen playground. As fun as it would be for me to attempt skating with the walker, my pride decided it was better to fall in embarrassment than to skate with a walker in shame. While I am not the most athletic person alive, I feel confident that I should be able to skate around a rink at least once solo! There were 2 mini pro skaters at the rink last night. They basically skated circles around me and I was throughly impressed with their ability to glide across the ice with such finesse and lack of fear. I should tell you that by "mini" pro I mean that they were around 8 years old, and totally dominated me on the ice. I guess that is to be expected, and I hope they feel I was a worthy opponent. This skate challenge I'm alluding to was only present in my mind, so they had no clue I was competing with them in any way. Had they known about said competition, I would surely have to face their tiny gloating and snickers at my attempt to "go fast". Fortunately they were too busy enjoying themselves to even notice that I was fighting to remain upright on my skates, and furiously making my way back to the exit! We all had such a great time, and I was very impressed with my ability to stay on my feet and not look like a total fool (and if I did look like a total fool, oh well. What's new?)


Here's a picture of the fabulous women who went on this scary/exciting adventure!
Bethany, Stewart, Maryellen, and Abby (Love yall!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Adventure on ICE! =/

The first time I went ice skating was my last. I was in 5th grade and it was a HUGE deal, because shockingly ice skating isn't a real popular past time in Alabama. Once I first stepped onto the ice, I knew immediately this would NOT be a talent of mine. Balance on dry land has never really been a strong suit of mine, then you add slippery ice combined with sharp blades, basically I was just asking for disaster. My coordination (uh hem lack there of) doesn't exactly set me up for success on escapades such as ice skating, so I was that girl clinging to the wall for dear life the entire time (and still managed to fall at least 5 times on the way around). This "fun" outing soon turned to blood and gore (and my fear escalating to an entirely new level) when a guy fell on the ice and had his neck punctured by someone else's skate!!!! Everyone was evacuated from the ice and the gentleman was taken out on a stretcher. In order to clean up from the accident, the Zamboni came out and quickly had the ice back in working order; however, my legs were not in working order due to shock and fear momentarily paralyzing me all over! After a while I was convinced to return to the ice where I made my way around the rink like a baby giraffe learning how to walk. Despite the pain I was in for the days after this icy adventure, I did actually survive (which I was not expecting at all, and I'm an optimist).

This evening I am again faced with the opportunity to test my Nancy Kerrigan-like moves (although I'm sure that Nancy could still skate circles around me even when her knee was all busted up way back in the day...showing my age that I actually remember that). When this option was first mentioned to me on Monday, my first reaction was HELL NO...yall have fun though! After considering my options a little more, I decided it was time to face my fear and get back on the ice after 15 years (said like I've actually ever been "on the ice" before). Later tonight after a Leadership program, the girls at ECU will be taking me ice skating, and I am excited and TERRIFIED at the same time. I'm sure that I will be following up this blog post with many pictures, and if you're all lucky videos of me workin' it triple lutz style! I will not be taking the pictures because my hands will have a FIRM grip on the wall, and chances of me breaking a camera when I fall (not if, but WHEN) are pretty much as close as you can get to 100%. In my mind I want to consider this hazing, but I enter this danger on my own accord, so let the "FUN" begin!

p.s. This means that you all should start praying for my speedy recovery asap. Thanks!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's GREAT to be an AUBURN TIGER!

Boda Getta
Boda Getta
Boda Getta Bah
Rah Rah Rah
Sis Boom Bah
Wegl Wegl
WAR DAMN EAGLE
Kick em in the
Butt Big Blue
HEY!

It truly is GREAT to be an Auburn Tiger! Yesterday I spent the day surrounded by thousands of football fans in an amazing atmosphere with best friends. Despite the freezing cold and wet weather, tailgating carried on as it does each week, but this time we were in Tuscaloosa for the greatest rivalry game (in my opinion), the IRON BOWL. If you don't live under a rock, then you are aware that yesterday my #2 ranked Auburn Tigers defeated a #11 ranked Crimson Tide Alabama team in the 75th match up of these teams. The game was what I would call intense and at times very disappointing (for both sides). Auburn managed to come back from a 24-0 deficit to beat the Tide 28-27. I can honestly say that I have never been stressed out over anything more than I was yesterday (and over a college football game). ha!

This rivalry, like most, has a long history and support of fans with a deep passion for each respective team. Not just the team, but the fans have a special dedication to the game and contribute to the atmosphere and love of the sport of football. Even people not from Alabama can respect the rivalry between these two teams, and I look forward to this week every year. At times it seems that the fans of these teams are more scared of the losing outcome than looking forward to the celebration of the win. Fans on both teams, like any good Southern team, display acts of common southern hospitality; however, both teams also have those obnoxious rude fans that don't know where to draw the line between common decency and their competitive nature. I like to think of rivalries as a friendly competitive encounter in which someone will be extremely happy at the end of the day, and the other will be extremely pissed off. My sister, Bridgett, went to the University of Alabama (and was a cheerleader). My mom, both of her parents, my dad, my youngest sis, and I all attended Auburn University. When it comes to football games involving Auburn or Alabama, we have always supported both teams, but this week everyone took their sides. There were a few fun text exchanges between Bridgett and I during the game:

Me (pre-game tailgating) - "War Eagle from a Crimson Tide tailgate."
Bridge - "ROOOOOOLLLLLL TIDE ROLL!!!"
Me (during 1st quarter) - "-10 yrds...that's a first!"
Bridge (before half time) - "You enjoying this game?"
Me - "Ummmmm" "No."
Bridge (AFTER the game) - "So I guess you liked the outcome of the game!"
Me - "Haha. yea, it was def better than the first quarter!"

And that's about how the day went. I rode to the game with my bestie, Jordan, and Lcook. We left with Ms. Cindy at 4am so that we could hit up a little Black Friday shopping before heading
to the tailgate. Luckily because we're so crazy, we missed ALL of the traffic. Between 5:30am and 7:30am we managed to make it to 4 stores before deciding it was time for some football. While shopping in ttown, we were all in our Auburn game day attire (including AU face tattoos). We encountered many "Roll Tide"s and the occasional comments. My favorite comment was from the dude at Best Buy who told us that it would only cost $200,000 to walk through the door. Funny. Once we arrived to the tailgate spot, we began setting up shop (since we arrived 30 minutes before all the bama fans). The Hackberry High Tiders welcomed us to their tailgate to hang out and watch the game, and the fun comments began immediately.


Auburn wasn't allowed to have our traditional Tiger Walk, so instead of letting that hold us back, we crowded the gates cheering for our team anyway. It was nice to see the fans who came out despite the weather. While waiting for the team, we ran into an older Auburn couple, and the gentleman was wearing an old "Beat Bama" button. I asked him how old it was, and he responded, "Old". He then informed us that this was his 52nd consecutive Iron Bowl to attend!!! THAT my friends is dedication! After cheering the team into the stadium, it was time to make our way back to the tailgate to catch the pre-game shows and find our chair for the game (ohhh and to get about 2 blankets each and bundle up because it was freezing...but I think I've mentioned that). =)

As the game was about to begin, one lady told us that as long as Bama was winning we could stay and watch the game, but when they were losing we would have to go. I jokingly commented, "Oh. Should we just leave now then?" Everyone laughed, and the Auburn fans loved it; however, maybe I shouldn't have opened my mouth so soon (especially now knowing how the first half played out). Of course, since Auburn did trail for the majority of the game, that meant that we were welcome at the tailgate, according to the opening remarks stated before the game. After the game was over, my friends and I were extremely happy. We may or may not have ran down the street jumping up and down high fiving other Auburn fans (tactfully of course). The people at our tailgate were less than thrilled at the outcome of the match-up, and were furiously packing their dishes and chairs into their cars (as I'm positive I would be doing had things ended differently). So we decided it was probably time for us to do the same, and get on the road to beat the traffic. While loading our coolers and chairs, a kind gentleman wearing crimson and white approached us and simply said, "Congratulations on the win. Your team definitely wanted it more tonight, and I will gladly support your team in the SEC Championship and hopefully the National Championship as well." We all thanked him for his kind words and all agreed that he was a true example of a fan with class, unlike the people throwing chairs at our tailgate.

The thing about rivalries and football is that every team is going to have those fans who don't show that class (Auburn and Alabama both), but it's so great when you run into the fans that do. Hopefully more people will learn to be the later of the two, and learn how to enjoy the game while also having that competitive team spirit. I hope that had we lost the game, my friends and I could have shown the same class of that gentleman to the Alabama fans around us. I am so proud of the guys for getting focused and fighting hard for that win, and I wish them all kinds of luck next week in the SEC Championship game! It really is GREAT to be an Auburn Tiger, and I believe in Auburn and LOVE IT!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Callin' Baton Rouge

Operator won't you put me on through? Gotta send my love down to Baton Rouge!

Last weekend I got to visit my sissy, Bridgett, and her bf Mat!!! They picked me up at the airport in New Orleans, and as soon as my plane landed I couldn't wait to get off to see them! As a part of my visit, I got a tour of Hammond, LA. The conclusion of the tour included a riveting experience at the Buzz. This place had a special kind of class gracing it's dance floor, and we made it our mission to observe such tragic behavior. At times I felt as though I was not yet old enough to enter such an establishment; however, we made our way to the center of the dance floor and had a great time closing down the Buzz.

Saturday, we went to Baton Rouge to tailgate for the Alabama/LSU game. I was definitely not prepared for all the walking we would be doing that Saturday, but I'm pretty sure we got a good 5 miles in (at an absolute minimum)! We got to BR, found a sketchy place to park, loaded the purse down with some "snacks", and walked off to meet up with our crew. After walking around for a while, we managed to meet up with everyone else, and decided to go to the bar to watch the game. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea. We packed in as best as we could, and managed to find a tv. At Walk On's I ran into Justin, who I haven't seen in 2 years! It was good to stop and say hey, but there were just too many people where we were, so Mat, Bridge and I decided to walk to another tailgate. The game wasn't exactly going well for Bama once we decided to make our way to the tailgate, so soon after our arrival we decided it was best to start our journey to the truck to avoid traffic. As we were walking up to the house where we had decided to park, the kind Mexican man who had taken our money in exchange for a place to park walked out and asked if we needed our car. We had been his first customers to park behind the house, and had been told that there would be a clear path for us to leave whenever we were ready. As we looked at the house, there were cars packed into the driveway, and there was NO conceivable way we would be getting out in the next 4 hours! When we noticed this, immediately we all became very upset and had some unfortunate choice words to share with this gentleman who had given us his word that we could leave when ready. The gentleman grinned as he shook his hand in our face and said, "Do not let the outcome of the game determine your anger." (haha, I had to giggle a little at this) Soon after the dispute was underway, we realized that our truck was parked in the yard next door, which conveniently had a path cleared for an easy exit. Needless to say we all felt TERRIBLE, and apologized profusely! The man and his son were very nice about it, and told us that they were glad that everything worked out the way it should. As we drove off, I am fairly sure they more than likely ripped on us the way we so rudely did to them, and we totally deserved it. We all couldn't get over how we had acted simply because we were tired and wanted to leave, and even Sunday morning we were still talking about how horrible we were.

Sunday we woke up, went to breakfast, church, and to school for Bridgett to do some work. I got to grade some papers, and write the bell work on the board while Mat studied and Bridge made Sub plans for the next day. =) The three of us did some quality bonding that weekend, and I sure do miss them now that I'm gone. Monday morning Bridgett took me to the airport and I flew off to Iowa for the next 2 weeks!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween (Chapel Hill style)

Friday morning I woke up, and I became very excited because not only was it Friday, but it was the day I was going to see ALLISON! It was so convenient that our schedules had us both in North Carolina for Halloween, so we decided to meet up in Chapel Hill to hang with one of her brother's friends for the weekend. I spent all day Friday on campus at East Carolina with the Alpha Xis and Fijis supporting their Jail 'N Bail philanthropy event. God blessed us with amazingly beautiful weather and a good turnout! The girls worked hard all week passing out fliers to get people to eat at Jersey Mikes and Chico's, because they agreed to donate a portion of the profit to Autism Speaks! The jail was positioned outside the student union and had games of corn hole, bucket pong, and cake walks for entertainment. Those that were arrested enjoyed an amazing bbq meal with baked beans, mac and cheese, and cupcakes! People were stopping by all day to "post bail" for their friends and everyone had a fun time.

Once 3:00pm rolled around I was ready to go! Allison was on her way to meet me in Raleigh, so Maryellen and I headed to the house to get our bags together. Maryellen was so sweet to drive me to Raleigh on Friday, and then back to Greenville on Sunday! I got so lucky that she was going home for the weekend! ME if you're reading this....you're the BEST! Traffic got the better of us on our journey to Southpoint to meet Allison! There was a car that caught on fire about 8 miles from the exit to the mall, and Maryellen and I were in this backup for 45 minutes! We eventually made it, and I was SOOOO happy to see Allison. After a little shopping and girl talk catch up time we headed to Chapel Hill.

When we got to Chapel Hill I was a major navigator FAIL, and got us a little lost (but we did get a lovely tour of the campus and town). We eventually made it to Jordan's where the costume party had already begun. After a quick bite to eat and a wardrobe change we were ready to go. Parties are always a little awkward when everyone there knows each other, and you're the random guest. I'm pretty sure I was the most random person there! When people asked me how I knew Jordan this was my response, "Well, I "work with" Allison. We met this summer, and travel to different colleges because we're sorority consultants. Allison's brother was roommates with Jordan in college, and that's how she met him. So when we both knew we were in NC for the same weekend we wanted to meet up, Allison contacted Jordan and he said to come on over! And that's why I'm here." I love my random life!

Saturday we went to the UNC vs. William and Mary football game (UNC's homecoming game). The tailgating wasn't exactly what I'm used to, but the campus is beautiful. We walked around and then went to eat at Top of the Hill. After eating a fabulous lunch we all walked to the stadium. Jordan hooked us up with some tickets, and we sat with everyone in the student section. Compared to an Auburn game, I would say the spirit is very mild. But then again, not many things can compare to an Auburn game in my opinion. UNC was losing most of the game, and things weren't very exciting, so around 5:00pm the general consensus was that we should head back to the house. I was perfectly fine with this decision because Auburn kickoff was at 6pm! We watched most all of the Auburn game and I was that obnoxious fan! =) After the game, it was time for the night's festivities to begin!!! We went to a place called Deep End and everyone danced and had a GREAT time! Allison and I totally left our mark on Chapel Hill. Before going home, we went to Time Out Restaurant from Man vs. Food! The biscuits were AMAZING, and the place was packed out the door. I absolutely LOVE Halloween, and seeing all of the interesting costumes that people come up with each year. Allison and I were tagging along with a group of lifeguards and Brett Michaels. We saw a few Avitars, and of course all the classics. The cheetah lady at the Time-Out was by far the most disturbing outfit of the night, and all I could think was I bet she's cold! Ohhh good times! I had a great time while I was there, but I couldn't help but miss all of my besties who were at Mary's wedding for the weekend. I texted Shug a few times and it seemed like they were having a great time. The last few texts I received consisted of something about Harry who was pushing 50yrs old, can't get too close, and POKEYS NOW!!!!! To which my response was huh? =) LOVE IT! This was the first year that I missed my bestie's b-day, but I'm glad to see that she had a good time!

To complete our magical weekend away from work, Allison and I drove by Duke to take some pictures and see the campus. I didn't want the ride back to Raleigh to end, but unfortunately we both had to get back to work. Allison flew off to WPI and I made my way back to Greenville! We had a great weekend and I miss her so much already! Now I get to prepare myself for another weekend off in BATON ROUGE with my sissy for the Alabama/LSU game! I know I say this a lot, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY LIFE!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On the Rolling Plains of Dixie......


Last weekend was officially the best weekend ever! After you leave a place like Auburn, you always miss it, but you never truly realize how much you miss it until you go back to visit. Last weekend was my homecoming, not because that was the weekend set aside by the university, but because every football weekend is homecoming in Auburn. The energy in the atmosphere is contagious and inspiring. The people are welcoming and know how to have a great time. The fans truly BELIEVE in Auburn, and LOVE it!

My journey home was an interesting one (I expect nothing less for my life). I was preparing to leave the University of Illinois around 3:30pm to catch my flight at the Champaign Airport departing at 5pm! Getting to the airport was my first challenge, because none of the girls at the house had a car. Around 3:45pm I was lucky enough to get a ride and head on my way! As I was checking in my bag, I was told that it was 5lbs overweight (shocker) and that the flight had been overbooked. They were asking for volunteers to ride a cab to Bloomington, IN to catch a flight from there to Chicago, where I would then be able to catch my connecting flight to Atlanta. Seeing as how this wouldn't delay my arrival to Atlanta, and I would be receiving a $300 travel voucher, I figured I might as well volunteer. The flight was leaving in about 45 minutes, so I had to go through security and wait at the gate to see if everyone showed up for the flight. Turns out everyone wanted to make their flight that day, so I received my travel voucher and a voucher for the cab, and then I headed off to meet my yellow mini-van chariot.

The cab ride to Bloomington was a slightly awkward experience. Good thing this job sort of prepares you for awkward. My cab driver was Chatty Charlie, and felt the need to share his life story with me. I guess I did prompt him by asking why he chose to drive a cab for a living, but I was not expecting the response I got. He even said, "Well, since we have an hour I can give you the full story!" Luckyyyyyy me! Here's my condensed version of his life.....He's from Boston, went to a small college, fell in love, moved to another school for her, got his heart broken, moved to Illinois with one of his buddies, drove cabs, likes to go on trips, works half the year to make money, spends it on trips the rest of the year....Winner! But he's happy and enjoys his life so more power to him; however, after this story he came across as a little creepy and I began to fear for my life. This is where my over dramatic nature kicked into gear and I began to envision Charlie driving off into an Indiana cornfield to murder me. I could not force these thoughts out of my mind, no matter how hard I tried. While my heart raced as I feared for my life, I texted my friends and told them that I love them, and that no matter what may happen to me that they should keep on partying. Where these thoughts of being murdered in a cornfield came from, I will never know. Maybe it was the result of too many scary movies, and the fact that I was sleep deprived at the moment which made it easier to fabricate a false sense of danger in my mind. Whatever the cause, when the cab drive glared in the rear view mirror and said, "Almost there! If I can remember this shortcut correctly," the panic became too much for me to handle. I quickly took a survey of my surroundings and google mapped my exact location. Turns out that we were in fact close to the airport, so I had convinced myself that in the event that Charlie took off into an unexpected field I was fully capable of running away (despite the heels I was wearing). My luggage would unfortunately have to remain behind, but since my phone charger was in my purse I felt it would be smart to at least bring that along with me. In the end, the hyped up sense of danger was unnecessary. I arrived with plenty of time to the airport, and managed to catch my flight to Chicago! I eventually made it to Atlanta at 11:30pm, and headed off to AUBURN!!!!!

The two hour ride from the airport to Auburn seemed to last for DAYYYYS! But soon enough I arrived just in time to greet the BOTE boys (and Robbie, Cory, Ryan, Megan, and Kelly) and walk over to OBaG! I sure have missed all of those people and the fun times we always had together. On Friday, I got up and went to see the old office and eat lunch with Gwen and Elizabeth. I've only been gone a short 4 months, and it feels like I've missed so much. I spent the rest of the day running errands and preparing myself for the great game the following day. Friday night we had dinner at Mikata (because it means FUN) and a girls night out to celebrate Katie and Matt's engagement. We surprised her with a candlelight (orchestrated by the fabulous Jordan Jones) and then headed downtown to cause some trouble.

Saturday morning came very quickly, but it was gameday, so we woke up ready to go as if we were kids ready to open our presents on Christmas morning (or at least that's how I felt)! At first when I was getting ready I was a little stressed out that my face tattoo was in my purse in Jordan's car, but she came to the rescue by dragging my purse to the tailgate for me. As soon as I arrived, my first order of business was to put on the face tattoo and grab a cold snack. I never realized how much exercise you really get on a game day, until I was walking around in my boots attempting to meet up with everyone I needed to see while in town. I feel terrible because I didn't get a chance to see everyone I wanted to, but there's always next time!

For anyone who didn't get a chance to see the Auburn/LSU game, it was AMAZING! The Auburn Tigers totally DOMINATED, and Toomer's corner definitely got rolled! I don't think I could have picked a more perfect game to attend! As sad as I was to leave on Monday morning, I know that soon I will get to go back and see all of my favorites! But for now things couldn't be better. I have great friends, an amazing family, a wonderful job, and the rest of this year is going to pass so quickly.

This weekend I will be in Chapel Hill with Allison, the next weekend I get to head down to Baton Rouge for a weekend with my sissys, then I spend two weeks in Iowa before heading back to Auburn for the weekend before Thanksgiving! After a week break for Thanksgiving (and of course a little Iron Bowl action) I will be traveling back to my girlies at East Carolina to finish out work for the year. Closing out 2010 will consist of my 25th birthday in Indy (BRipple here we come) and two weeks at home with the fam for Christmas. The new year plans are still up in the air, but I'm sure it will be a time to remember! I can't believe that 2010 is almost over, but I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store for me!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Auburn Bound!

I can't believe this day is finally here! In a few short hours, I will be picked up from the Atlanta Airport by my sissy, and taken to Auburn for a much awaited vacation. This summer when I was debating how to use my vacation days, the first resource I checked was the Auburn football schedule. Homecoming was an option, but when it comes down to only having 7 vacation days this semester(and weekends count as vaca days) I knew I wanted to spend my time with good friends and watching a great game! LSU weekend was the obvious choice, because no matter what I know I will have a great time (friends with me last year in Baton Rouge remember those all you can eat hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches? BecauseI do!). I have waited for this day to come since the last week of June and that seems like FOREVER ago!

I woke up this morning to 3 texts from friends telling me how excited they are that I'm coming back in town. Then I talked to more people online about it between my meetings today, and since then have received another 8 messages from people telling me I had better come see them. THAT is why I miss Auburn. The people I met during my short time (6 years haha) there are some of the best friends I could have ever made. Growing up is such a strange and exciting experience. Most of my conversations these days involve, so where are you now? And that isn't always them asking me. Most of my friends from Auburn are slowly graduating and starting their lives. I'm glad that we are able to keep in touch, and hope that this communication last past this year. The wonderful thing about a place like Auburn is that everyone loves to go back to visit! Everyone who attends school there considers Auburn to be their "home away from home", and although some of the buildings and the students change every year, the town and the spirit and the people never change! I'm proud to be an Auburn Tiger because Auburn has given me so much in life, and it's the kind of place you want to give back to!

This is why I can't wait to get back to Auburn in the next 10 hours! I believe in Auburn, AND LOVE IT!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ode to Club Ryan

To continue my posts dedicated to Auburn, I would like to take this moment to share with you what is quite possibly my FAVORITE place in Auburn. There is no way that this Ode could possibly come close to expressing the experiences I have shared with my closest friend on Ryan Street, but here is my attempt. I would like to credit Emily Doucette with her contributions of phrases and memories to incorporate into the Ode. I now present you the Ode to Club Ryan!

Ode to Club Ryan


Although I’ve never lived here,
It sure feels like home,
Each evening I visit,
So I won’t be alone.

Since 2007,
Or maybe before,
I’ve been here a lot,
Because the residents I adore!

I should thank Amy Lee,
For bringing us together,
Watching Glee and some Greys,
Even eating Family Dinner!

You’re split level layout,
And yard in the back,
Make it perfect for parties,
With our favorite cold snacks.

Be careful to remember,
That bottom step is tricky,
You may slip and fall,
Into something that’s sticky.

During bonfire weekends,
Our favorite pregame,
Be careful with “Shug”,
like a moth to the flame!

Oh! The comments “Shug” makes,
Someone toss her a rope,
Because I can honestly say,
She’s slick (like a wet bar of soap)!

Party starts in the kitchen,
Turn the 80’s music up,
Move it into the living room,
For “anything but cups”!

Where’s Sally you ask,
It’s been over an hour,
Oh, wait, yea that’s right,
She’s still taking a shower!

We’re pranksters some times,
And we won’t say a word,
About the time we got Sally,
With the Tootsie Roll Terd!

I should mention myself,
Feelings won’t be too hurt,
Because at parties we throw,
I’m usually the flirt.

The times that we’ve had,
Are not all that bad,
And now that I’m gone,
I’m really quite sad!

The pre-parties and tailgates,
And all jello shots,
All the Momma G’s nachos,
And girls looking so hott!

To my favorites still there,
And others who’ve gone,
I miss you so much,
But I’m coming back home!

This time on Thursday,
I will be on a plane,
Heading back to the
Loveliest Village on the Plains!

GOD BLESS good friends, good times, good bbq, and AUBURN! WAR EAGLE! See ya tomorrow night!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Ode to the BOTE

The second Ode I have in honor of my visit to Auburn this weekend is to the BOTE! Many of you may not know what that is and that's ok. The BOTE is one of my best memories of Auburn, and the people I met there are my FAVORITES!!!! This one's for you boys!

Ode to the BOTE
B.O.T.E.
This one's for you,
Billy, Sean, Mike,
and Sir Webster, too!

Fun times we've had,
And the good times keep rollin',
The memories we've made,
Were certainly ballin'!

The girls all show up,
At around 10:30,
And if Sean isn't home,
the place is probably dirty.

Pre-parties and beer pong,
and the fun games we play,
Beach volleyball and hoops,
Beating Mike "Spike" Ramsay!

So close to the OBaG,
We go there a lot,
With the guys from upstairs,
And we love to take shots.

We'll make it downtown,
A weekend or two,
But Webb takes forever,
Trying to perfect his hair-do.

We're all growing up,
And things aren't the same,
With Billy now gone,
Things got really lame.

A reunion is coming soon,
in a short weeks time,
And I look forward to the trouble,
That I'm sure to find.

THe tailgate will be mind-blowing,
And practically illegal,
Hangin with the B.O.T.E,
Hell yea, WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ode to Club Genelda...things were GREAT in 08!

Being on the road gives me time to think back on the good ole days, and today was no different. In preparation to return to Auburn next week, I've been thinking about my favorite memories from my 6 years there! This morning I woke up and for some reason Club Genelda has been on my mind all day. My second senior year was the best year ever. 2008 honestly was GREAT! So many memories were made that year that I will NEVER forget. My roomies were the best ever, and the parties we had were amazing. I sure will miss that tiny apartment behind Arbys and India. In honor of my return to the loveliest village on the plains, I've decided to dedicate my posts this week to my Auburn memories. So in honor of Club Genelda, I dedicate this post.


Ode to Club Genelda
On the corner (of Thomas and Genelda),
With a front yard hammock,
There you sit,
In dark red brick.

So close to campus,
You were such a find.
For 4 college girls,
Those girls of mine.

We moved right in,
Unloaded Buddy,
Gave Corey a desk,
because we had no money.

We enjoy a good time,
Theme parties we had.
First came the Worst Dressed,
And our potluck dinner wasn't too bad.

With our green couches,
Cute tables,
Big mirror, and flowers,
We decorated so cute and we sure loved our cable!

DVR was our friend,
As we watched Biggest Loser before working out,
OTH and Gossip Girl,
And of course Wipeout!

Roomie dinners and pictures,
And all the birthday parties,
FUN tailgates with the BOTE,
And headin' downtown with our hotties!

We walked every weekend,
Because your location was the best.
Sometimes made friendships along the way,
And got subway....EAT FRESH!

Fall semester came and went,
And spring semester was next.
An addition to our family was made,
And he was of the opposite sex!

No, no, it's not what you think,
Our new roommate was tiny.
His name was Bruno,
And at times he was whiny!

He chewed up the carpet,
And he sure liked to bark,
But I loved that little weenie dog,
When we took him to the park.

Fond memories we have,
Especially of Jeffie,
Cinco de Mayo and Spring Break,
Then it all ended in a jiffy!

Graduation soon came,
And we said our goodbyes,
Moving on in our lives,
We sure miss those good times!

THANK YOU CLUB GENELDA!
You never cease to amaze.
The best times we've now had,
We will remember you always!

Here's a video slide show of the times I enjoyed at Club Genelda with my Favorites!

video

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Sorority Consultant

To say that this is an average day in my life would be a lie, because there is no such thing as an average day in the life of a consultant. Some days you're on your feet from 7am until 11pm, and other days you sit and wonder what you should be doing because you're so used to going non-stop! My formal recruitment visits have ended for the semester, so now I'm working on chapter development and officer training. There is a lot more time that I have to decide how it's spent and exactly how productive I'm going to be that day. So today, I'm going to keep track of my activities to see exactly what goes down on this Monday.

9:30am - Wake up! I slept through my 8:00am alarm and woke up at 8:30am, only to realize that I didn't have anything pressing to do, so I might as well sleep a little longer.

10am - Showered and ready...time for Facebook. I check status updates, and chat with Justin (Phi Sig consultant at VCU). I send several messages back and forth with my Grand Big, who has recently been appointed an AF in New Orleans!

11am - I've now made a To Do List for the day, and am still on FB. I have now sent messages to my sorority family telling them how much I miss them, because it's been FAR too long since I've seen them! Maybe now would be a good time to get off of FB and start that To Do List......

Facebook...exit.

Water bottle...filled.

E-mails....checked.

Item #1 on To Do List....DONE! E-mailed Chapter President of my next chapter to coordinate my travel arrangements to their chapter tomorrow. Now time to work on the Psi Recruitment Report.

G-Chatting with Shug....my favorite past time!

Another item on the To Do List Complete! E-mails fly off the to do list pretty quickly!

11:15am - All emails from my to do list have been sent. Now the reports are the only items hanging over my head. Still g-chatting....maybe I should check twitter...my internet here is less than reliable....gotta restart my computer....

11:28am - still haven't started those reports....now I'm skyping with my sissy, Stephanie. Still g-chatting...and now group bbm-ing Holla at the ELCs.

My thoughts:
Oh yea, we have a conference call at 12:30pm....should I eat lunch now or after?

Oh no, oh no....I'm back on Facebook....exit NOW!

Weather.com says that it's 76 degrees, and the high is 89! WHY did I mail my summer clothes home last week?!?!?!? Ohhhh that's right, because I've been in Wisconsin, and then it was even in the 60's in Ohio for the past 2 weeks. How was I supposed to know there would be a heat wave in INDIANA!

What should I be for Halloween? Maybe I can research those options before my conference call in an hour. I've been working for at least 30 minutes, so it's ok to take a break now...right?

Maybe I should go eat lunch...I'm not really hungry, but it's something to do....

11:34am - LUNCH time!

Well lunch was interesting. I had some mashed potatoes and salad. The beef wasn't great so I just had two bites and stopped eating, but at least I got to eat.

11:57am - Time to look for a Halloween Costume! This year I will be in Chapel Hill with Allison for Halloween!!! I can't wait to see her face! =)

Still chatting on BBM and G-Chat...

I have a starbucks gift card...I don't drink coffee.....hot chocolate would be nice if it wasn't so hott....I guess I can save it for a few weeks.

I think I'm gonna whiten my teeth....maybe after the CC? No...I'll just do it now!

I wonder when I will get a chance to run today? Maybe after dinner tonight...that would be good, yea that's what I will do!

12:14pm - Back on FB! I have a problem! Ohhh already FB chatting ppl. Still on G-Chat, BBM, and now Skype again.

I just switched the way I part my hair because I wanted to change my look.

Re-filled water bottle.

My teeth are now whiter! :)

12:31pm - Conference call time!

Just spilled water on my skirt...perfect! Oh well!

Can't focus....closing out of FB and G-Chat

1:42pm - WAY too much running through my head. Conference Call ended, skype chatted with Allison, talked to Meg on the phone, and back on FB. I need to get my life together! That conference call added several items to my To Do list, but it's nice outside, so I may go take a break.....and maybe write a report that's due tomorrow.

Re-filled water bottle.

24-Hour Report....Sent. This time it's more like a 70 hour report....cross off To Do List.

Changed my hair part back to the usual side....that just felt too weird.

2:10pm - I've moved my office outside.

It's a BEAUTIFUL day, and don't want it to go to waste. Now I'm turning up slacker radio and finalizing the Psi Recruitment Report.

Wow! It's windy! And I could TOTALLY use my sunglasses!

Sure do wish that girl would e-mail me back about my travel arrangements for tomorrow....maybe I will text her before dinner and call her before bed if she hasn't responded. Yes, Definitely. That's gonna happen.

3:32pm - Emails have been steadily flowing in on this lovely Monday. I'm still in my outdoor office, and LOVING my job because of my ability to do this. Psi report is almost complete, radio is crankin some great country tunes, I've been skyping Allison (I MISS HER), and I'm about to check out FB, AGAIN! hahaha

Some how my to do list has doubled, and I've been steadily crossing off items all day...hmmmmm!

Wait, what was I about to do?

Oh that's right! Finish my report!

I've seen a total of 7 people all day, and that was at lunch. There are 100 women who live here, I hope they're all actually in class.

4:30pm- Still working on Reports....Just skyped with Justin and took a break. Back to work!

Ahhhhh today has gotten so busy. About to skype with one of my bosses about a chapter I will visit on Friday, emailing another boss about a chapter I am currently visiting, and still have not heard from the chapter I will be visiting tomorrow about my travel arrangements. Texting her now!

OMG...wow! Today is DEFINITELY MONDAY! WHAT...it's already 5pm!!!! ahhhh!

I just tried a sample of Emergen-C Health and Energy Booster...Tangerine flavored...it's not too bad! 1000mg of Vitamin C...that seems a bit excessive!

5:35pm - I'm attempting to wrap up everything for now so I can go eat some dinner.

7:50pm - Finally back from dinner, and some fun chats with the ladies. I believe I'm going to take a short break and catch up on some TV! Bring on some 90210!

Oh yea, still haven't heard back from the chapter I'm traveling to tomorrow....Perfect!

8pm - I've reached the point in my day where I would like to go to sleep so that tomorrow can start. Too bad that's not really an option.

Maybe I should take a long hot shower.

So much for that run today.

Talking to Allison on Skype about this eposide of 90210! INTENSE!

9pm - I think I'm calling it a night. Gossip Girl and bed time. Tomorrow I have to pack up and head to my next chapter! GOOD NIGHT(after a few more checked emails)!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Exercising Flexibility

Last night, I saw my life flash before my eyes during a recruitment party. We were having a quesadilla night and had a crockpot of cheese dip and two quesadilla makers on a table. While I was sitting in a chair by the table, I noticed that the power cord of the crockpot was about to be caught in the quesadilla maker in the back. As I reached for the cord, the girl lifted the quesadilla maker to use it, and the cord was pinched just before shooting sparks and a cloud of smoke in my lap. I won't lie....I panicked and I'm pretty sure I screamed. There was no major damage done, other than my extremely elevated heart rate, and the fact that the power cord to the crockpot was burned completely in half! This alone made it my favorite night of recruitment thus far!

My stay in Columbus, OH is coming to an end. I've been here since September 25th, and this has come to feel like home. I live in the house with all the women, eat lunch and dinner here, shop around town, walk around campus on nice days, and have even started tanning at a place down the street. They've even introduced me to parents and boyfriends!!! Being here for two full weeks has made me forget how to pack! I've managed to stuff everything back into my suitcase, and thanks to mom's gift I was able to weigh my suitcase (49lbs....NICE!). However, I have a box of clothes/shoes that will be going to the post office (3rd trip this year), and shipped to Auburn (Steph's gonna be getting more mail from me).

The next stop on my schedule was Purdue; however, my visit was supposed to be October 8-15th, and I learned this week that they have Fall Break October 8-12th. My visit would be slightly unproductive without the women there to meet with, not to mention the fact that the house is closed during the break so I would be homeless (a shopping buggy and trash bag full of cans is not a good look for me). So this week has been spent not knowing exactly where I will be next week. This is where the "flexibility" my boss is always talking about comes into practice. Normally, before this job, I would have been stressed out that I was flying out in 5 days and had no clue where I was going from the airport. Since this job began, I've become way more relaxed about traveling. There's no need to stress about the unknown, just go with the flow. My boss contacted me 2 nights ago and informed me that I would be traveling to Indiana University from October 8th to October 12th, and then I will be visiting Purdue from the 12th to October 15th. Then I'm back on track. No biggie!

I'm actually excited about this slight change of plans, because now I will have the opportunity to meet another group of women and see their campus. I get to go to Big Man on Campus tomorrow night, and hang out during homecoming week. This should be exciting! It is also important to mention that the Beta Pi women at IU have a separate room for guests with a private bath (and a tv) in the house, so basically this next few days will be like staying at the Hilton of sorority houses.

While I am sad to leave OSU, I also look forward to being in Auburn 2 short weeks from now! In 14 days I will be driving from the Atlanta Airport to the Loveliest Village on the Plains to be reunited with my FAVORITES! In the time between now and then, I will have flown 500 miles from Columbus to Indianapolis(including connecting flights), driven 250 miles from Indy to Bloomington,IN to Lafayette,IN to Champaign, IL, and finally flown 850 miles from Illinois to Atlanta! All of which makes the 100 mile drive to Auburn seem short, and will make my time in the next 2 weeks pass by very quickly! (1700 miles in two weeks...not too bad!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama....and Sweet Tea!



Just a few things I'm missing these days......


Going downtown with my favorites!

SWEET TEA!

Spring Break!

AUBURN (Football!) - - - WAR EAGLE!

Theme Parties at Club Ryan!

Seeing my lover in his band (Miss Used)
Crazy Hat Bowling League Night
Fishbowls and Corn nuggets!
Momma's NACHOS on Sundays!

There are so many more things (and people) I'm missing these days, more blog posts to follow!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Most Likely to Succeed?

What exactly is the definition of success?

suc·cess   
[suhk-ses]
–noun
1.
the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.
2.
the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3.
a successful performance or achievement: The play was an instant success.
4.
a person or thing that is successful: She was a great success on the talk show.
5.
Obsolete . outcome.

So then what exactly does it mean to succeed? In high school, I was voted "Most Likely to Succeed". Lame, I know. All things considered, I consider my life a success so far, but how exactly is that measured?

Is it measured by your education?
It took me 5 1/2 years to graduate from Auburn. Not so much because it was hard, and more so because I can't figure out what I want to do with my life. There are so many options that I want to try them all! I changed my major 3 times, and took countless classes that didn't apply to my major at all. Eventually, I decided on Building Science and was able to graduate last December. My grades were good, and I got involved on campus. I joined a sorority and held several offices before becoming President. Then I held a VP role on Panhellenic Exec and planned recruitment for 1200 potential new members. I was a hostess for the swim and dive team, and participated on several campaigns while in school. I was asked to participate in the Greek Congressional Visits in D.C. to lobby Congress to pass the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act as a representative for Alpha Xi Delta and Auburn University. I was a member of Auburn's Design Build competition team and won an award for best presenter. Yes, I realize how lame I am at times. But does that mean I am "succeeding"? It's easy to say this much about your college involvement when you're there forever (I'm the female Van Wilder).

By the time I finally managed to graduate, most of my high school graduating class was married, and several even had children. They were out working, buying houses, starting families, and settling down in their lives. Is that success? Because if so, I am definitely not "succeeding".

Is it measured by having a significant other?
If success is based on having that significant other in your life that you love and rely on every day, then I am doing the opposite of success. I did date a guy for 6 years through high school, and most of college. Me constantly changing my mind about what I want in life didn't make that relationship very successful, and unfortunately couldn't go any farther than it did. Since then, I haven't dated a guy for longer than 3 months before they move along to the next girl. At times that kind of sucks, but really I enjoy the independence I have to live my life for me right now. I won't lie that I've gotten to the point where it would be nice to have that guy to eat dinner with and curl up on the couch to watch a movie. When the time is right, I know that the guy I need will walk into my life, and until then I will keep living my life how I want to. Some of you reading this probably know exactly what I mean by this.

As far as children and starting a family.....yea, eventually I would like that, but I'm young and am able to take this time in my life to worry about me and not a tiny human, so I'm ok with not having that yet. Honestly I'm only 24, so I have some time to make that decision. When I do decide to have kids, I do know I want a BIG family, so eventually that will be on my agenda.

Is it defined by having lots of friends?
If this is the case, I am a total success! This is the one area of my life I feel so blessed and I have an abundance of close relationships. My friends are the kind of people you can rely on to be there for you no matter what. As we've grown together in college, we are now moving on our separate ways for work; however, we maintain our close ties and communication. I would drop anything I am doing if my friends needed me, and I know that they would do the same for me. Since graduating, I have made another group of amazing friends, the other ELCs I work with. Not just the other Alpha Xi consultants, but some of the fraternity consultants as well. Friends are what keep you sane in life, and they make each day worth living. My best friends are my sisters, Bridgett and Stephanie. I talk to them as much as I can, which is never enough for me. Being on the road is tough and lonely sometimes, but having friends that email you funny stories, post fun videos on your FB wall, and who skype you when you're not busy makes life so much sweeter. I love my wonderful friends, and keep making more every day!

Is it defined by your job?
My job is definitely an interesting decision on my part. I am a traveling sorority consultant. This is by no means a career move, but the decision was the best one I could have made for myself this year. I have the opportunity to travel to other college campuses where we have a chapter, and I help train the women on recruitment conversation, confidence, and leadership skills. This year gives me the opportunity to reach out and make a difference in these young women's lives, but at the same time I've grown as a person as well. Some people look at my decision to be a "professional sorority girl" as a way of avoiding the real world; however, those people don't realize how smart I really am by taking this job. The economy isn't at the greatest point, so any job I get would have a lower salary potential, and I get to be paid to help an organization that has done so much for me personally. Those people also don't realize how challenging it is to live out of a suitcase for a year, moving from state to state every 7 days, dealing with different issues at each chapter, and constantly having to be on your toes thinking and representing the organization. There is no such thing as "off the clock" on this job, but the experience I am gaining this year will apply to ANY job I may take in the future. So while this job isn't going to lead me to being VP of a large corporation, it will provide me the opportunity to develop my skills that will land me a job with that corporation to begin my upward climb.

So with that said, am I "succeeding"?

For what my opinion is worth, here are my thoughts on the definition of what it means to "succeed".

Everyone has different plans for their life and different opportunities. I feel that knowing your limitations and setting goals for yourself just beyond those limits, and working toward those goals each day is how you are "succeeding". Once you reach those goals and expand your personal limits, then you begin to grow as a person, and can continuously set higher goals while developing necessary skills to succeed. Therefore success is measured by the person, and their individual abilities to realize they can push themselves to accomplish more for themselves and others. This is one reason why I love the vision of Alpha Xi Delta, "Inspiring Women to Realize their Potential". This belief continues to push me each day, and that is why I believe that I am "succeeding" in my life.

I don't have all the answers, and still am not 100% sure what I want to do with my life; however, I am LIVING my life and experiencing new adventures each day. The quote on my blog by Ralph Waldo Emerson says, "Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood", and I totally agree! No one is certain of what will happen each day, but I'm taking each lesson life throws my way and living it! I believe this is how we all "succeed"!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WARRRR EAGLE! HEY!

Well, I've made it to the end of September! I'm sitting here in the living room of the Alpha Xi Delta house at The Ohio State University working on reports and following up with emails. I got here early Saturday morning just in time to see the Ohio State football game. The game wasn't that great, but the stadium and atmosphere of college football was amazing!



Being on this campus makes me really miss Auburn! All day Saturday I was receiving texts from friends in AU about the game and how I should be there. I miss the tailgates, Jordan-Hare, Body-getta, and toomer's corner! The house here doesn't have cable, so I was receiving text updates about the game from my sissy Steph, and I must say that it completely stressed me out in a good kind of way! WAR EAGLE!

I'm still looking forward to my visit to Auburn which is coming up in 23 days, 11 hours, and 48 minutes (but who's counting). I miss the atmosphere and people in Auburn. It is such a special place to be, and I think that everyone should witness at least one game weekend in Auburn at some point in their life. Here's a link to an article written by a South Carolina Gamecock, and it makes me very proud to be an Auburn Tiger! Check it out, and you will want to be there, too!

http://www.dailygamecock.com/mobile/viewpoints/auburn-hospitality-sets-standards-1.1648337

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My New Life Plan

So today was a day of hypotheticals compared to my reality. Hypothetically speaking, if it were 75 degrees outside today I could go for a jog and enjoy this beautiful city. Reality, it's 61 degrees with the wind blowing 10 miles per hour and overcast. Weather.com says that it feels like 61 outside, and I would seriously debate that with someone right now. It's COLD! I have sandals as shoes, 2 pairs of pants, and countless dresses and sleeveless shirts. My only pair of longsleeves is a t-shirt I purchased last week at the University of Illinois. Fact: I should have prepared my suitcase better when I was at home 2 weeks ago, and will now be going shopping this weekend. As a result of the previous stated fact, I will also be hitting up the post office (AGAIN) to ship home all of my shoes and dresses that are better suited for Alabama Septembers.

I miss my favorites in Auburn, which lead me to Hypothetical #2: If I were to walk from Milwaukee, WI to Auburn, AL how long would it take(since I don't have a car)? According to Google Maps, the journey from Milwaukee to Auburn should take a short 11 days and 3 hours. However, I highly doubt google takes into consideration that I will be dragging my overweight suitcase across the country with me, and will most certainly need food and sleep. There is a chance that I could lose a wheel on my suitcase, which could extend my time indefinitely. The upside to this journey is that I expect to lose some weight, which should increase my chances of being selected to be on the next Bachelor (since I applied last week). If the Bachelor doesn't work out for me, I expect the Discovery Channel to give me my own show if I miraculously complete the journey. A downside to this plan is that I only have 7 vacation days. I've used one already, and I'm pretty sure my bosses would be wondering why I wasn't at my next chapter. Other than that I see no major reason why this couldn't be a feasible task. Another downside is that while google does take me along roads, these roads don't travel through the most populated regions of the states I would be crossing. I would be going through the sketchy towns of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. I'm most concerned about Kentucky and Tennessee. After watching the Hills Have Eyes, I can only imagine the interesting situations I would encounter. Also, back to the fact that it's cold outside, the weather could really put a halt to my travel plans daily. So basically what I'm trying to say is that I plan to stick to flying for my travel plans, and avoid walking cross country for my vacations.

Another hypothetical that arose this afternoon was grad school. This thought wasn't so much a hypothetical as it was a debate with myself over the possibility of this being my plan for next year. Should I go to grad school? Can I afford it? Where do I want to attend grad school/live next year? Is it too late to study for the GRE? What kind of job will I get to afford this? Who will live with me? Is it really this cold outside right now? (Oh wait, that's not hypothetical, it actually is cold.)

The conclusion I came to was that I'm moving to Texas. This really has little to do with grad school, and more to do with the fact that I think I could have fun living in Austin. I can apply to the University of Texas for grad school, and get my MBA while enjoying a warmer climate and some good football. Bonus: the fact that Allison said she would move there, and I know other people in the area already. I will certainly go into debt for the 2 years I'm back in school, and receive tons of criticism from certain people about my life decisions and the fact that I "need to grow up". I'm working on the "growing up" part, but I refuse to do that in a boring manner because let's face it, that's just not my style! You only live once, so as long as I can make it by, I choose to live a little and see what I can make of my choices.

Now I just have to be realistic and figure out how to financially support all of my choices! :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week #?.....What day is it again?

So I must admit that the only reason I can tell you that today is Saturday is because I am doing sorority recruitment instead of watching College Football. I do have the chance to get internet access, occasionally, to check the scores and feel like I'm staying in the loop with the "real world".

Work is going well. All of the chapters I've had the opportunity to work with so far have been extremely successful this year, and they all make me so proud. This opportunity to work with so many college women has been an experience I will never forget, and it's only week 5!

The fabulous women of the Gamma Phi chapter at ECU made quota last week!!!!!!! I am ecstatic about the energy and enthusiasm these women have about being Alpha Xi Deltas, and welcoming the new ladies into their sisterhood. I totally miss hanging at the house, and listening to all of their fun stories. The text messages I get from them bring a smile to my face every day, and I can't wait to go back for another visit. Football season is in full swing now, and the ECU Pirates are doing a great job! I'm sending my love to all of those amazing women!!!!! Heart Sunshine!

I feel like all of my chapters are my childern. I don't have favorites and I love them all in different ways. My visit to University of Iowa was my first time at a midwest chapter. I must say I am not fond of Cedar Rapids; however, the reason is more for the lack of pleasant service at the airport at 5am, and not due to the actual city (the humidity in Iowa was amazing for my hair). Recruitment was a total success for our Sigma chapter this year, and the women worked so hard and implemented everything I tought them during the week. I can tell they are going to have an amazing year ahead, and I look forward to checking in with them!

After my cousin's wedding last week, I hit up the Alpha Eta chapter at Purdue! I was SOOOOO pummped to get to see Allison (for an entire week!!!!!). I missed all of recruitment, but got to see my first bid day! They had a band at this cool old mansion in town! It seems that I always miss the fun part of the job, so I'm loving the fact that I got to enjoy the benefits of the hard work and long hours.

Currently I am sitting at the Kappa house at the University of Illinois. We are in the middle of recruitment, and have preference tomorrow with bid day on Monday!!! Each chapter I have visited has been a new experience with different processes. So far I've met so many cool people, and I'm working overtime to remember all of these names.

Earlier this evening I told the ladies we were going to do an activity (fyi: for those of you that know me, you know that I have an endless supply of energy that is NOT matched by everyone...keep this in mind, because I have learned to not expect the same enthusiasm from the women that I have at 12:30am). I caught a little 'tude from the ladies who thought they were too cool for my fun activities, and told them to lock it up, and buckle up. Several of them asked if they could study, and by that I knew they meant facebook stalking. So I said, "Ok, raise your hand if you have a test tomorrow." One girl raised her hand, and I stared back at her and dramatically said, "LIARRRRR, tomorrow's Sunday!" What they don't realize is that this isn't my first rodeo! =) I love their spirit! For those of you who care, the activity went well, and the ladies ended up getting their much needed "study" time. Love you girls!

The current highlight of my life is the fact that Allison and I are sitting here texting as we sit side by side. :) LOVES it(except that her phone just died...lame)! We've had a week long sleepover, and I'm sad that we only have 2 more nights to go. :(

Next stop...Marquette in Milwaukee, WI!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

These are the moments...

As I sit here in the Cedar Rapids Airport at 5:30am on a Sunday, I think about the past few days here at the University of Iowa. The women here have come so far in the past few weeks, and just completed a very successful first round of formal recruitment. Yesterday was quite an eventful day in my life, and honestly I am just proud to say I survived it; however, the personal high at the end of the day made every busy moment worthwhile. We completed the first day of round 1 Friday evening around 10pm, and got in bed around 3am. Saturday came extremely early, but it was almost like waking up for Christmas morning, in that no matter how little sleep you've actually had you can function fully and with ENERGY! Parties started at 10am and lasted until around 5pm. During party #11 there was an unfortunate occurrence that now as I look back is extremely comical. Below is a description of the event, which I've decided to include in the book I'm going to write someday.


"During Party 11 here at the lovely University of Iowa’s Recruitment, we had someone (I hope to GOD a PNM and not a sister) drop an epic deuce in the downstairs bathroom at the BEGINNING OF THE PARTY! I will throw mind daggers at the fool that created such a stench if it turns out to be a sister.

The smell infiltrated the house starting with the main hallway, and I almost passed out as I walked past the scene of the crime. It took every ounce of my professional experience to hold in a loud, “WHEW, What is that”. If you’ve ever experienced the smell of sulfur in chemistry lab, then you know what our house smelled like for this party.

Immediately I sprung into action and acquired a can of air freshener, and attempted to ever so subtly mask the odor. After several attempts, I felt as though I could walk through the area without vomiting. Needless to say we will probably be cut by all of Party 11.

I love my life! I’m now going to regain my composure and rock out party 12, because this is real life, and it’s GAME TIME. You should know that now it smells like an abundance of fresh linen here! God Bless the person that was in that tiny room, creating such a disaster."

Ahhh Recruitment! =)I have realized that I am now beginning week 4 of this job, and the past week has been a complete out of body experience. I've loved every minute so far, and I can't wait for the rest of the year.