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?

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! =)

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 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!

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''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....


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 =)