Thursday, December 27, 2012

So, Here's to the Future!

I just love the holiday season...Thanksgiving...Christmas...there's just nothing like it. But I've always been one of those people who loves New Years too. Not for the hype or the kisses...that part is usually non-existent or a let down. Rather, I'm the type of person who looks upon this whole ending/beginning time with a renewed sense of possibility. There is such a beauty in that feeling of a fresh start. And so, as you can guess, I'm a big fan of New Year's resolutions! =) There's stuff all over Pinterest these days...ways to lose weight, how to save more and spend less...what can I say?! I love it. It's all about becoming the best versions of ourselves. Constantly striving for greatness. And so, I'm making my own resolutions...setting my own goals...looking forward to a new year....what about you?


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art behind quote by Georgia O'Keeffe - a Kappa Delta =) 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Memphis in December

For the end of the semester, all fourteen consultants headed back to Memphis for wrap up! We hadn't all been together since JUNE so it was so great to be with everyone! We all had time to catch up on reports, touch base with different staff members, enjoy the incredible beds at Kappa Delta Headquarters, and of course hit the town! Here are some of my favorite photos from the week....


We all get to enjoy about two weeks of rest and relaxation over the holidays, and then it's back on the road! I'm so excited to see where another semester brings each and every one of us! =)
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

101 in 1001 Update!

As you likely know, I'm in the process of working through my 101 in 1001 Challenge, and I wanted to give you some updates! You can check out my progress on the 100 Book Countdown or 50 State Scratch off by clicking the buttons to the right of this post --->

Otherwise, keep reading:

21. Stop biting my nails - success! Although some stressful occasions do arise, I have kicked this habit! Shellac has been quite instrumental in this goal's successful completion =)

26. Run in the Color Run.....this was attempted, but has yet to be completed....Hillary and I signed up for the Color Run in Des Moines in October and we were STOKED to run it! However, it was the same day as our Sigma Sigma Sisterhood Retreat, and the race was running an hour behind, so we had to leave without running =( We did still throw some color though =) Needless to say, I'll attempt this again.


48. Save every $5 bill I get - this one has slowed down quite a bit, and gotten a lot more tricky, because I use cash less and less on the road. I've also been "forced" to spend quite a few $5 bills over the past couple months because of cash-only situations, like cabs and stuff. All that aside, however, I've saved $400 since I started in April, and still going strong! 

57. Step out of my comfort zone - this whole semester has been a huge practice in this. Until this job, I'd only ever flown alone twice. Now I can pack and operate airport security like a pro! Outside of the actual travelling, this job constantly pushes me to be a better version of myself by forcing me to put myself out there in ways I've never had to before! Kappa Delta caused me to grow so much in my four college years, but it is continuing to develop me personally and professionally through this job! 

64. Be a regular at a restaurant - Yep. It happened. In Ames, Iowa no less. You can find me and Hillary sitting in the Texas Roadhouse on Duff in Josh's section any given week. Josh knows exactly what I order 6 oz. sirloin, medium rare, with the house salad, no cheese or croutons, light ranch on the side, and a loaded baked potato and that my special beverage, should I order one, Razzlesnake, always a Razzlesnake. needs to be on a separate check. He's the best.

78. Be a part of colonizing a Kappa Delta chapter - I still cannot believe I get to mark this off my list. Not only did Hillary and I rebuild the foundation of the Sigma Sigma chapter you can check out posts about that here, but I was also able to help out at the Zeta Rho colony which you can check out here! Such blessings and such great learning experiences! 

91. Take a Zumba Class - oh. my. fun. I LOVE ZUMBA! Hillary and I started going in Iowa at the ISU gyms, and I am officially hooked. You seriously cannot ask for a better workout! With constant cardio and intentional muscle strengthening moves, you burn calories like nobody's business. And the best part? It is SO MUCH FUN! We have our favorite teachers, of course, but I have yet to meet a Zumba class I didn't like....unfortunately, I feel the same way about pizza....and margaritas....so it's a good thing that I enjoy Zumba!

SO! I'm knocking a few things off the list here and there, hoping to accomplish some more soon!
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Playing Catch-Up: October & November

Now that it's "Christmas Break" and I finally have some time to do some blogging, let's play catch-up. Laura Ketola said to me the other night, "Remember when you had a blog!?"....yes, Laura, I haven't forgotten. So let's get to it: First, I mentioned way back in October how my schedule got flipped upside down, and I was headed out to sunny California...


I was in San Diego assisting our Zeta Rho colony (now an established and successful chapter!) with recruitment. I spent the majority of my time meeting with university administrators, increasing PR on campus, seeking out potential members, tabling, and hosting events - like a pancake dinner - and creating more Kappa Delta "buzz" on campus! And experiencing the GORGEOUS campus and beautiful weather didn't hurt =)


Another awesome perk of being in San Diego was having the time to see my "cousin" my daddy's fraternity little brother married my momma's high school best friend after they met at my parents' wedding....it's a pretty fantastic story actually Katie! We explored the beach, shopped around town, and went to this super fun restaurant called "Stacked" which I loved! You order on iPads with hundreds of options and "stack" your food right there on the screen!


After fifteen days in sunny San Diego, it was time to head back to chilly Iowa. The minute I landed, I was greeted with Hillary's beautiful face and a whole pile of happiness! From the airport, we sped off to a Romney Rally to hear Ann Romney speak! She was phenomenal - such an engaging speaker and an inspiration woman.


The next few days were jam-packed with work as we prepared for Sigma Sigma's big initiation celebration following our successful rebuild. National representation was coming to Ames, and Hillary and I were just so excited! Thankfully, everything went smoothly, and of course, it was incredibly emotional. Watching the National President, Beth Langford, and National VP-Membership, Alison Argersinger, lead ritual was an experience we won't soon forget.

86 initiates of the Sigma Sigma Chapter! Pictured below with Alison, Beth, Hillary, and myself.

After initiation, we had a reception for friends and family which including presenting the new initiates, the previous members, hearing from the Greek Advisor, our chapter advisor, Alison, and Beth. Needless to say, many happy tears were shed and hugs shared - especially with the presentation of the gifts the chapter gave to Hillary and me, and Alison's sweet words about the two of us!


After speeches, it was off to the chapter house for desserts and photos. Everyone wanted their pictures taken with Alison and Beth - even me and Hill! Despite our close relationships and many inside jokes, I will never stop thinking of them as celebrities!


After all the work was over, the last plates were cleared, and Beth and Alison were off to Des Moines for the night, Hillary and I headed off to the local Texas Roadhouse (where we are regulars, with our favorite waiter, Josh, who knows our orders by heart) for our own celebratory dinner! We ran into a bunch of the initiates there, and had them attempt to take a good photo of us...attempt being the key word....oh well! We had plenty of good laughs regardless =)


Our next great adventure was our night in Des Moines the following weekend. We'd been invited to represent Kappa Delta at a Prevent Child Abuse Iowa event and decided to make a day/night of it. We booked a hotel room, headed out to Jordan Creek mall, went to the event, then spent a night out on the town...aka we hung out in the hotel bar catching up on life, avoiding the cold of Iowa, and enjoying every minute of it!


Before I knew it, it was time to leave Iowa again! I was headed back to Alpha Omicron at Queens University of Charlotte, but had a very difficult time packing while trying to not to focus on how sad I was to leave Hillary and not see her for like a month! Hence, in the Detroit airport, during my layover, I had to repack my bag after the gate attendant lady yelled at me for having a bag "too large to carry on"....aka it was super expanded....which I fixed, and then I was rewarded with a whole row to myself on the way to Charlotte!! It truly is the small victories that make me oh so happy....


After a great visit in Charlotte, I was blessed to come home a few days before Thanksgiving and make a trip up to Knoxville to see some friends and family! I made it to see all my favorite Ambassador friends at the End of the Year party, spent some quality time with my seestur, met up with Will for lunch and bings at OCI, and of course hung out with Katie! We met up with my good friend Richard and hit up one of the new bars on the strip - "Whiskey Dix" and stayed out way too late reminiscing and enjoying some high quality people watching. Katie and I seemed to also have struggles getting a good photo...but again, we enjoyed some good laughs while trying.


And before we left, I was serenaded by the pair of them....classic...


After Knoxville, it was home for a week with family over the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, both of my brothers are overseas for the holidays, so it was a very quiet Thanksgiving, but we made the best of it! Kevin's amazing girlfriend Karly Beth made us a pork chop dinner one night, and came to our Thanksgiving feast. Kevin's friend Tim came up for a weekend, and we all had a ton of fun hanging out. And, of course, we got the house all decked out for Christmas!!!


It has been such a whirlwind these past couple months, but as I look back on this past semester, I am still so thrilled and thankful for the blessings of family, friends, and such an amazing job that I love! I hope you are all equally blessed and thankful this holiday season. May your loved ones be held near and dear as we pray for those who are far from us....miss you, brufurs!!! Until next time....

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Today, I can scratch off #12 on my 101 in 1001 List because at 12:12pm on 12/12/12, I made a wish! Of course, I cannot tell you what it is because then it won't come true, but I can tell you with certainty that I do wish I had more time to update this baby. I promise yall will be overwhelmed by blog posts in the next couple weeks =)


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Friday, November 9, 2012

I was reminiscing the other day...and Lord, it took me away.

Taylor Swift

photo courtesy of taylorswift.com

Whether you love her, hate her, or love to hate her, she's out there, and has cast an undeniable spell on the vast majority of this generation's females. And, I must say, try as I may to roll my eyes at her tricky love triangles, tabloid attention, and genuinely comical performances think CMA fest 2009 "What Goes Around" hair spinning or opening for Rascal Flatts and beating on trash cans mid-song I always, always, always break down and buy her albums. Why?! You may be thinking. And as always, I will tell you: Listen closely....Taylor Swift's songs have a sick poetic way of connecting to my life. 

I know. I know. I am slightly ashamed to say it, but I can't help it. Every single album just reeks of lyrics that are reminiscent of my life. Allow me to give you some examples:
  • Her song "Fifteen" is an incredibly adequate depiction of my own time as a fifteen year old, when I was "in love" with someone who sent me flowers on my sixteenth birthday accompanied by a card with the lyrics of her single "Our Song" which was, indeed, our song. And "The Way I Loved You" perfectly outlined the emotions of the relationship that followed.
  • "Fifteen" was also re-written by myself and some of my dearest friends when we were eighteen to reflect our lives and membership in Kappa Delta. It's lyrics are printed in one of my graduation gifts =)
  • "Love Story" is every female's dream fairytale. But for me, it also represents hours upon hours in the Phi Sig house at the University of Tennessee - where I pomped till my fingers were numb listening to fraternity boys and sorority girls alike sing this song at the top of their lungs day after day. It's where I watched Phillip Fulmer announce his decision to step down at the completion of the 2008 football season, and there was not a dry eye in the house. That same week, we saw Barack Obama give his first Presidential acceptance speech....to choruses of choice words rather than "Love Story," I might add. 
  • "Speak Now" was the literal soundtrack of my most special collegiate romance, if you will. Every song on that album brings back feelings of nostalgia, heartbreak, and the "you live and you learn" feeling of finally moving on...it's all there. 
  • Her most recent album, Red, has a similar effect. Each song has a different way of as Hillary and I like to say in almost-jest "speaking to my soul." The song "22" is the theme song of my life right now, as a twenty-two year old who is "happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way." Whenever Hillary and I get the chance to go out and grab dinner and drinks, we always call it "being 22," and this song captures that perfectly!
Like I said...love her, hate her, or love to hate her, she's out there and she has cast her spell, and like it or not....I've been affected...TSwift, you've done it again.

Until next time...

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blog titile courtesy of Taylor Swift's "Holy Ground"

Friday, October 12, 2012

CALIFORNIA - Here We Come!

Well...here I come at least! It's has been a literal whirlwind of a jet-setting week! I received a call this week that I will be heading to San Diego for the remainder of the month to assist with recruitment at our Zeta Rho colony with Erin and Rachel

This job comes with many unexpected twists, turns, and schedule changes, and being flexible is simply mandatory. So within a short twelve hours, I'd packed my bags and was on a 7am flight for a quick vacation at home then I'm off to San Diego on Monday for the rest of October!

I'm obviously going to miss my Sigma Sigma girls and Hillary, but I'm so excited to hit the sunny seas of San Diego and experience a whole new Kappa Delta colony! It's a good thing I bought a winter coat on Tuesday....oh well! San Diego, here I come! You can click on the photo below to check out Zeta Rho's website and see all the great things that Kappa Delta is doing in San Diego! 


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Yall...This is My Life.

Hillary and I were attempting to pack for our trip to Memphis at the beginning of this month, but we almost didn't make it due to some stow aways...


We did actually make it out the door though...and in matching outfits, of course!


But we sure are happy and thankful that our members love us so much! They were sad for us to leave...


...and happy for us to come 'home!!"


They even warned us about the not-so-awesome weather...though no warnings could have prepared us for the frigid Iowa temperatures after a week in Tennessee!


And the most obvious thing? We missed and love them too =)
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Serenades

So, here at ISU, serenades are a big deal - fraternities and sororities change the words to songs for all types of occasions. Below you will find the video of our Kappa Delta women with some Alpha Delta Pi women serenading the gentlemen of Alpha Gamma Rho to ask them to pair with our groups for Varieties - a skit competition between organizations here at ISU! I was so proud of them! They made such a cute song, pulled it together well, AGR accepted their pairing, and we will be joined by Beta Sigma Psi and Phi Delta Theta!!! We are all so excited for the seasons ahead!


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Recruitment Weekend!

Almost four weeks later, I finally have an opportunity read: three hour layover to blog about our Recruitment Weekend!!! Honestly, it still seems so surreal to me, which I'm sure you've noticed is becoming a theme in my life - I just cannot seem to grasp the fact that I'm an adult with an amazing job that I love, but somehow, that's my life! I am one lucky lady to get to work with so many of my Kappa Delta heros! Below is our "Team Sigma Sigma" who together facilitated the whole weekend - thanks again, yall!!!!

Left to Right: Me, Megan Ogar - former consultant and current new chapter specialist, Marissa Nye - former consultant and current NLT Division 3,
Alison Argersinger - mom of a former consultant and current National VP Membership, Meghan P - former consultant and current CMD Division 7, 
Kirstin Barry - former consultant and current Extension and New Chapter Development Manager on KDHQ Staff - aka our boss,
and last but certainly not least Hillary Yetter - my LDC partner at ISU! 

I don't really even know where to start, so I guess I'll just explain how our Recruitment Weekend was structured: we did an Open House Round, Information Session (group interview) Round, and a Preference Round. Essentially, it was a structured process similar to Formal Sorority Recruitment, but as Hillary and I liked to say a lot more laid back, with a lot less chanting, and no heels required.

Our fabulous boss, Kirstin, flew in on Thursday to lend an extra hand during the weekend, and I genuinely don't know what we would have done without her! She was a perfect resource and always knew the right thing to say or do, whether we needed a laugh, a break, a hug, or one of our go-to one-liners "Dagger to the Face." Alison, Marissa, and Meghan all flew it at various times on Friday, and Megan Ogar drove in from Missouri, tailing a 50 passenger bus filled with Kappa Deltas from the University of Missouri (aka Mizzou). We needed collegians to come in and facilitate the ceremonies and conversations, and these incredible women volunteered to give up their weekend and endure two 5-hour long bus rides to help us out - now that is sisterhood!! AND Megan brought Hillary and I SONIC all the way from Missouri because we've been talking/tweeting about how much we miss it. And I'm sure it is no surprise to anyone that we were so touched by her sweet gesture that we cried! Megan just laughed and said, "It's just a Cherry Limeade! We've got bigger things to cry over!" And she was right - we had work to do!

Hillary and I felt so ready for the weekend, we had planned for this for weeks and weeks, and we'd gotten to know some incredible women that we were ecstatic for the team to meet, but as always, life happens this is my current motto and we had plenty of minor glitches...like fraternity men blasting gangsta rap from the house across the street....at 8am, or our tent literally getting blown away in the first rounds of Iowa windchill while Hillary and I were bundled in blankets underneath - luckily some of our now-new-members grabbed onto the tent before it blew all over Sorority Circle *phew!*, or having to ask previously mentioned fraternity for an extension cord because our's just simply was not long enough! None of the above issues were anything that I would have expected to be in my job description, but like I said - life happens! But no worries - we were so excited to finally be in the midst of our huge Recruitment event, with such a great team, and as always, me and Hillary's coordinating outfits...which, let's be honest, are now a staple. =) Nothing could get us down!


Open House and Information Sessions seemed to fly right by, and before we knew it, it was time for preference! If you haven't checked it out already, you simply must watched this video of the Mizzou girls singing Phillip Phillip's Home. It is one of my all time favorite songs and has become Hillary and I's theme song of Iowa, so it was just the most perfect choice for preference! Everything was just so beautiful, from the red velvet cupcakes with edible pearls, to everyone in black dresses, and the very simple decor - just white roses - it was the perfect end to an awesome weekend!


After our ceremonies were over, Alison called Beth Martin Langford - Kappa Delta National President - and put her on speakerphone to speak with all of the girls, and it was such an incredible moment for her to speak to all the collegians and our team about sisterhood and how thankful she was for everyone's hard work in Iowa - needless to say, there wasn't a single dry eye in the room! And of course, we took LOTS of pictures!

Left to right: The Mizzou collegians, Me and Hillary unable to hold back tears of joy, and our initiated members at Sigma Sigma

Our preference ceremonies were Sunday morning, and we hosted our Bid Day celebration that evening, welcoming a huge group of beautiful young women into our Kappa Delta sisterhood! 

thank you to Jack McKinney for building our amazing letters and to the Mizzou women for painting them!

There was so much joy surrounding the house that day, I just cannot even describe it! I had the most ridiculous smile on my face all night long, and I kept saying I was so excited, SO EXCITED! One of the girls asked if I was excited enough to do a cartwheel, and I just couldn't turn her down....

pardon my bad form....there is a reason I'm a consultant, not a gymnast

And of course we had to teach them how to "throw what they know!"


All in all, it was an incredible weekend filled with so many memories, I would be blogging for days if I covered them all, so instead, I'll just show you some of my favorite moments.....


Until next time...
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just Know You're Not Alone

So, I am desperately lacking in the "Time to Blog" region of my life, but TRUST ME....a full run down of Recruitment weekend will hit this blog next week. I'm headed to Memphis for some training and R&R at KDHQ, and I couldn't be more excited to reunite with some of my fellow consultants that I haven't seen for weeks (Kelsey) or months (KSU and QU girls)! 

All this being said, I just had to post this video of the Epsilon Iota girls from the University of Missouri (also known as Mizzou) singing the song Hillary and I selected for our Preference Ceremony - Phillip Phillip's Home. This song has literally been mine and Hillary's theme song of Iowa, and it just made us both sob like babies to hear it in the context of recruitment ...I know...me crying...no one is surprised. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 

EI girls - we love and miss you so much and hope to see yall again very soon!!!



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Friday, September 14, 2012

And Lord, I've Been a Long Time Gone

So little did I know, people are legitimately stalking my blog which I appreciate. It does help to have readers when you're a "writer" of sorts. I have heard the question, "When are you updating your blog!?" more than I've heard "So are you from Nationals?" this week. And trust me, that's impressive. So here we go - Bev, Mom, Sam Stonehocker, and everyone else out there - this one is for yall ;-)

Since I've blogged last, I've aged a year, been on four different planes, set foot in four states, and made too many memories to count! First, we'll cover my fabulous Golden Birthday =)

Unfortunately, Hillary was traveling the week of my big birthday, but she shares my huge love for and obsession with birthdays. So, being the incredible partner that she is, she left me a note to read each day that she was gone, and an extra birthday card to open as well =) I'll be honest, this was my first big-girl-real-world birthday when I was genuinely alone, and I woke up and just started sobbing. It was a pretty intense low point. I called my sees, and she made me feel tons better, so off to work I went. You, of course, saw the birthday blog post from Katie, which immediately made my day better, and of course I had plenty of presents to open! My momma had sent a big box of presents, and throughout the day, I would call her, and over the phone, I would open another present. I got everything I'd asked for, running gear, perfume, bare minerals and even a little suitcase charm for my Pandora bracelet, and a coffee cup with the Franklin skyline - just like my favorite one at home!


I also got two wonderful packages from Katie and Julia - monogrammed earrings from Katie, and a monogrammed scarf from Julia - they know me so well =) The members here at Sigma Sigma even gave me a gorgeous candle with Kappa Delta themed etchings in the glass! So many thoughtful gifts from people all over the country. That evening, Jenni - a graduate student here at ISU - took me out for dessert and girl time, which was just what the doctor ordered. Even so far away from the vast majority of my loved ones, I still felt so loved on my birthday!



Two short days later, my suitcases were packed, and it was off to Charlotte to visit our Alpha Omicron chapter at Queens University of Charlotte. After Hillary was 5 lbs overweight with her luggage, I went out and bought a scale to ensure that I was under the 50 lb limit, and I ended up coming in right at 43 on the dot at the airport. Can I get a WHOOP! WHOOP!? Yep...pictorial proof below. ANYWHO...I cannot even describe to you how excited I was to be headed south again! Literally the minute we landed, I could hardly maintain my composure! I may or may not have been bouncing up and down in my seat and clapping....probably not....but it's completely possible... Welcome to Charlotte, NC, folks - another state to cross off my list!


Victoria and Holly - two sweethearts from Alpha Omicron - picked me up from the airport, and helped me navigate my massive amount of luggage through the large airport and straight to you guessed it CHICKFILA!!! I emailed ahead of time asking for fresh fruit, Chickfila, and sushi (all the things I'd been severely lacking in Iowa up until this point) at some point in my visit, and these ladies delivered in spades! I had Chickfila and Sushi twice, and had a whole bowl filled with delicious fruit in my room to devour at my leisure. It was quite fabulous. I got to spend five days with the lovely ladies of Alpha Omicron preparing for Recruitment, and I also got an extra special treat of seeing my Daddy while I was there!! My Daddy works for a company based out of North Carolina, and was luckily there on business the week I was in Charlotte! He made the trip down and we got to have dinner and Daddy/Daughter time which was much needed and appreciated after a month on the road.


I also got to see my favorite PIKE consultant friend, Brandon, in Charlotte! Brandon and I met in Memphis during our separate consultant trainings, and we've been in touch ever since, so it was awesome to overlap in our travels. He went to Iowa State for undergrad which is where I am now for KD in case you've been under a rock and he now has UT in his travel region which is where I went to undergrad in case you're new here so it appears we did a little switch-a-roo! We headed over to an awesome little pub after all our meetings the last night we were in town, and had a great time catching up. It was the week of reunions, and I was not upset about it! =) Thanks again to Alpha Omicron for being so outstanding with my schedule, and for being so incredibly welcoming and accommodating! I have the pleasure of returning to Charlotte in October, and I can't wait to see all the lovely ladies of Alpha Omicron - as well as their new members!


From Charlotte, it was off to Memphis for a bit of training and some quality R&R with some of the other consultants. Except for four of our fabulous ladies, we were all in Memphis over Labor Day weekend, and it was an absolute BLAST! We hadn't been together since June, and we all had so many stories to share! Almost immediately upon arrival, a big group of us went out for pedicures, but with reports to catch up on, we were still working girls! I could barely stand the scrubbing on my feet as per usual and Sarah Forsyth captured this oh-so-attractive candid shot....


While in Memphis, the whole Kappa Delta Headquarters Staff made sure to catch a Memphis Redbirds Game! I happen to love baseball, so I was all for it! But by the 6th inning, we were all exhausted. I even fell asleep on the way home... oops....


The rest of the time in Memphis, we did some training, lots of shopping and relaxing, and of course hit the town. 


On Labor Day, we even got to lay out at the pool!  I couldn't have asked for a better weekend with the girls! I'll be headed back to KDHQ for the first week in October, and I am so excited to catch up with staff and see some of my LDC sisters again! =) 


After Memphis, it was back to Ames, by way of Chicago, and Hillary and I have been working hard ever since! Our Recruitment Weekend is just days away, and it's so hard to believe that all this hard work is truly going to pay off, and oh-so-quickly!! Today, we celebrated International Women's Friendship Month click here for more info by tabling for Recruitment and passing out free Coldstone! It was an absolute hit, and we had a blast! Thanks to all who came out to support!


With our big Recruitment Weekend coming up fast, I probably won't be posting very soon, but I promise you'll get a full run-down after Bid Day!!! Until then...
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blog title courtesy of "Long Time Gone" by The Dixie Chicks