Tuesday, October 11, 2011

True Colors 2.0

When people in your life let you down, especially those who you believed were some of your most trusted and greatest friends, sometimes it's best to remember others in your life who NEVER let you down:

we always got each other's backs. no matter what. 

blood runs thicker than water.

and listen to a song like this:


life is a journey...and there will always be bad situations, let downs and mistakes so you can learn from them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Engaged to Virginia Tech

There are certain moments in your life that you will never, as long as you live, ever forget: The day you got accepted into the college of your dreams. Your first kiss. Your wedding day. The day you graduate from said dream College. The day you become a parent. These are all defining moments in our lives, things that are special to us that we hold most dear in our hearts. Not only are they important, but they help define who we are.

I may not have accomplished quite a few things on that list above (particularly the parent and wedding part) but I know that there is one moment that needs to be added, a moment that I will always, always remember for the rest of my life.

The day I got engaged.

Whoah, wait what? Engaged? No, it's not what you think. I wasn't engaged to a particular person, that's not what I mean. I became engaged to something much more meaningful, much bigger than any one guy.

I became engaged to Virginia Tech.

October 4th, 2011. 7pm. It's the evening myself and my Leadership Team have been planning, preparing and anticipating for one year since we worked at 2012's Ring Premiere the previous October. We have been marketing like crazy, biting our nails about the speeches we had to make and counting down the hours until we would finally, finally get to unveil all our hard work to our fellow classmates and receive that amazing token of our accomplishment- our class ring. The months, days and weeks seem to slip by and before we know it- the big evening has finally arrived! We assembled at 5:45 in front of Burruss Hall in the most beautiful spot on campus in beautiful Blacksburg fall weather. The beginning of the happiest night of my life:
our fearless leader! Clayton, you did an incredible job and there are just no words that I can use to accurately describe how much I admire you and your amazing leadership skills. You are truly wonderful and you deserved every minute in the spotlight! I know I speak for the entire Ring Design team as well as LTEAM when I say we LOVE YOU!

the boys- don't their white tuxes look super fly?

Kappa Delta does Leadership. Kappa delta does Tradition. Kappa Delta does Virginia Tech.

Leaders since freshman year, Leaders for life. 

I can't believe it is finally time to pass the torch...our amazing "littles" we expect nothing but great things from 2014 Ring Design! 

It felt a little odd to be here on the steps of one of my favorite buildings in the world, one year later...but this time in the place of honor, and not those in charge of cleaning up all the confetti after the show. (we love you 2014) I couldn't really believe 365 days had gone by, and yet here we were- celebrating one whole year of Leadership Team love:
Happy One Year Anniversary! To great friends, and amazing memories we will never forget! Oh how the time really does fly!

It felt like Prom as we posed for picture after picture, and eventually we were ushered inside to begin the ceremony. I was jittery, nervous, happy and nostalgic all at the same time- talk about emotional sensory overload! I couldn't wait for the moment when I would slip that ring on my finger, and yet I didn't want it to end. But it is the funny way of the world that just when you want to freeze time and savor every second- it seems to speed up and fly by...
the big moment...did we say yes?
WE DID! :)
I will never forget the surge of emotions I felt when I opened that little black box and saw my class ring sparkling up at me, nestled in the folds of black velvet. I knew a piece of me had fallen into place right then- and I felt more complete and sure of myself than I ever have in my entire life. I finally knew what it felt like to become engaged- to commit yourself completely and wholly to something that truly means the world to you. 

Of course I said yes to Virginia Tech's proposal. 
The rest of the night passed in a haze of pride, happiness and honor. There are truly no words to describe it. But they say that pictures are worth 1,000 words...so maybe these can fill in the blank spots that words simply can't fill:

And to my fellow Leadership Team members...Ring Premiere is over, but Ring Dance is just around the corner! And in the words of Dr. Seuss:

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened

you all have changed my life forever. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Defying Gravity

Sometimes in life, we really have to stop and think- wow, what am I doing? Am I where I need to be? Where I should be? And is this who I want to be? After all, we are only given one life, one chance... shouldn't we make the best of it, live it to the absolute fullest and soak up every moment, every breath of fresh air while we have the chance? And before it's just too late? 

Of course, along the way there are bumps in the road, mistakes made, and choices we sometimes wish we hadn't acted on. This is the inevitable truth of living that is sometimes just so hard to grasp. Life is hard, from time to time. If it wasn't, what fun would that be? There would be no challenges, no hurtles to overcome and no satisfaction to feel at the end of a tough day when you just sit back and think...wow, I made it. It would be downright boring. 

There will be hard days and easy days. Sad days and happy days. Funny days and infuriating days. Exciting days and boring days. If every day was the same, life would just be like one grey, monotonous silent film- with no plot, no sound, no laughter, no climax, nothing. Just a blur of pictures flashing past us. Where's the fun in that?

And yet, there are some things in life that we can't change. Like the past. Or a bad grade you just got on your super hard accounting exam. If we could change it, we would obviously go back and change all the bad things that have happened in our lives- but when we finally finished, what kind of people would we be? With no trials or struggles, no challenges to overcome or mountains to climb, we wouldn't be the people we are today. I believe it is true what the say: Mistakes are part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way

I feel as though sometimes the combination of regret, all the bad choices and mistakes we have made over the years, and gravity threaten to drag us down, until we are feeling quite awful about ourselves. But if that above quotation is true, that mistakes really are precious life lessons, perhaps we can find the strength within ourselves to close our eyes, let go of all that regret, take a giant leap of faith and just...

defy gravity.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

somewhere only we know

and if you have a minute, why don't we talk about it somewhere only we know...

Reconnecting with old friends from your past is perhaps one of the most unique experiences we can encounter in our lives. There are memories that only the two of you share that seem millions of years away from where you are today, but when you recall them together it feels as though those times had only happened yesterday. It's amazing how we can recall the details of times past with incredible and startling detail. I love catching up with someone you used to spend so much time with, and realize you can still laugh with them about the "good old days" and appreciate how much the two of you have changed at the same time. It's an interesting type of experience. 

This was a very busy weekend! My weekend started on Thursday evening, with our "Around the World" themed social with PIKE. Needless to say, my sisters and I took the theme to the extreme (obviously)
around the world with Kappa Delta! Can you guess which countries we are from??

my favorite picture of the evening.
Kate Middleton was there! I was SO EXCITED to meet her! :) 

Friday was a hectic day- I helped Christine and Kelly with the marketing for RING PREMIERE (OCT 4TH!! EEK) I helped with the lamination of posters and painted the banners we are going to hang in Squires. The closer we get to Premiere, the more excited I become. I can hardly believe all of our hard work is about to be showcased to our class. I am so honored and overcome with hokie pride I can hardly contain it! 
getting my banner painting on! 

Saturday was GAME DAY! It was the white out game (a little chilly, but still so fun as usual) and we tailgated with a few girls I lived with in PY Freshman year, so that was great to spend time with old fellow RLC Leaders! Here are some of a few good shots from the game:
we love virginia tech!
good friends, good tailgates, good food, the BEST time!

schmollz and i helped michael win the prize as the most programs sales for the day! you're welcome :) 

All in all, time is flying by for me. Sometimes I feel like I blink and a weekend has already ended and I'm staring at studying for three exams I have this week. Oh well. Let the crunch time begin!

Here's a classic little line I just love to start your week out in the right mentality: 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Role Model

My inspiration for tonight: (and just for life in general)

Live like Kate.

Green Eggs & Ham

"I do not like Green Eggs and Ham, I do not like them Sam I am!" 

One of the greatest lines from my childhood. I remember my mom reading that book to my siblings and I often when we were much younger, it was one of my favorites. So needless to say, I was thrilled when I went into my classroom today and my teacher told me I was doing Dr. Seuss with the kids today. After I would read two books of my choice, and discuss them we would read Green Eggs and Ham and then I would get to help the children make scrambled eggs with a bit of parsley- to make them green! I knew it was going to be an exciting day in Ms. Stone's kindergarten class! 

The two Dr. Seuss books I chose to read to my kindergarteners were "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", and "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?" First I read "The Grinch", which is another one of my favorite childhood stories (I love the original cartoon movie, classic!) After I finished, I asked the students what did they think was the meaning, or message that Dr. Seuss was trying to send. Leighton, one of my little buddies (although I'm not technically supposed to have favorites, but if I did...he would definitely be one of them) raised his hand and promptly piped up: "That we can have a Merry Christmas, even without all the presents!" 

Something tugged at my heartstrings and for a moment I was at a loss for words. I gulped a little, still wrestling with this sudden upswelling of emotion, and replied that yes, Leighton that was exactly what Dr. Seuss wanted us to know...but I knew why I was suddenly overcome with all that emotion. I knew this was the reason I wanted to be a teacher, to experience moments like this, when my students would speak far beyond their years and grasp a mature and meaningful message like the one I was trying to convey to them. I felt proud inside.

Making scrambled green eggs was so much fun with the kiddies! The kids all got to crack an egg each and were so enthralled with the way they turned from a sunshine yellow liquid to scrambled eggs- just like magic! We added parsley to make them "green" and I dished out the plates to my students and they happily gobbled them up. It was such a good Dr. Seuss Day!

"Say! I like green eggs and ham, I do! I like them, Sam I am!" 

Here's a funny little video version if you want to relive your childhood (I know I loved doing it today with my kindergarteners!)

Happy Thursday, Ya'll! :) 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Choose Your Attitude

This particular post goes out to my inspiration for blogging, smiling, and always trying to uphold a positive outlook on life: Christine Terminello. Running into you today really put a spring in my step and lifted my stressful spirits substantially! 

The title of this post is not only the words of Miss Terminello herself, but they also got me thinking as I trekked along to my 2:30 psychology of learning class. The attitude that you have every day can obviously be influenced by outside events and things that may be out of your control, but ultimately how you react to the things that happen to you is your choice, and nobody else's. You are in control of how you react to the not-so-great or stressful situations that go along with leading a busy life. In short, you have the power to choose your attitude

So why do we feel like sometimes our attitudes and our reactions to certain things that happen to us are beyond our control? Are we naturally just passive creatures? I would like to think, no we definitely are not. Part of the challenge of undertaking stressful endeavors is the end result- the satisfaction and pride that can only be felt when you step back and look at what you have accomplished and see the people you have inspired, influenced and helped. And maybe, just maybe, if you choose the right outlook to have and the right attitude, the journey will be that much more enjoyable, no matter how bumpy the ride may get. 

some happy things to make you smile:
we're off to see the wizard...
honk honk!
it really is.
half the fun is discovering what your "bliss" is! #adventurous 
and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Wednesday!
and remember...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Miss Independence

Every now and then, I just need to look at a few pick-me-up sayings and quotes. Here are just a few of my favorites:

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourselves in any direction you choose. You're on your own. You know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go." -Dr. Seuss

"Sometimes, you have to stand alone to prove you can still stand."

"You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly crucial and central in life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose." -Jo Courdert 

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." -Albert Einstein 

"I am somebody. I am me. I like being me. And I don't need anybody to make me somebody." - Louis L'Amore

It's amazing how silly quotes, funny quotes and serious quotes and all types of quotes can lift your spirits, even if it's only slight.

& Thankgoodness for the Disney Pandora Radio Station. xoxo.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Faith is a Bluebird...

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." 
~Nelson Mandela 

Blacksburg, Virginia. This place is my home in so many ways, and every time I go away, I am always happy to see that it has not changed one bit. It's so reassuring to think that some things, well they just never change... No matter how much you do. 

How comforting to see this building standing strong and sturdy, resilient as ever- even when I feel like everything else about my life is changing.

Months have passed since my last post, and I have to say I have missed blogging...but I've just been so busy! What with moving in the Kappa Delta house, getting settled into all my fall semester classes, interviewing for jobs and summer study abroad programs, interning with a kindergarten class, preparing for Recruitment and Ring Premiere in less than a month (!!), there just hasn't been much free time. Life as a Hokie is always this way- there is never a dull moment! However, for all those avid blog readers out there, and Christine Terminello as my inspiration (love the new blog design girlfriend!) I'll try to keep ya'll updated on the goings on of my junior year! 

I have done some true soul searching in the months between leaving Savannah and returning to school. I have had my rough days, my easy days, my almost-ok days and just my normal days. I remind myself every day when I wake up that God has a plan for me- a great one- and I have to put all my faith and trust in Him. 

"I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices"
Psalms 16:8-9 

This past weekend I ran my first ever Recruitment Workshop with my entire sorority- it was extremely nerve wracking! I have always been nervous speaking in front of large crowds, but my teacher-mode came out and although I tried not to treat my sisters like my little elementary students, I made the best of the situation! I'm hoping I'll get better and better and more comfortable with every workshop I have to host. 

Welcome home, Kaydees! 

Living in the Kappa Delta house has been...well, an adventure (to say the least). I'm so happy to always have amazing girls around whenever I need something, the support system is incredible! I feel blessed to have so many great roommates in my life....especially my little peanut roommate Kate Gillies! I just LOVE YOU rooms, thanks for always putting up with my various breakdowns, hysterics and stressful freak outs. You da best I ever had. 

"Sometimes in life there really are bonds that are formed that can't be broken"

It seems amazing to be sitting here in a place I have known all my life, but surrounded by new experiences, opportunities, people and memories. All i can say is I guess it's

The start of something new.


...and i really couldn't be happier.

until next time, remember to be nice to someone. It always makes me feel better, no matter how small the gesture! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Fond Farewell.

"Letting go is, simply put, not anything close to moving on."

Goodbyes are always difficult. This is for the simple reason that they are usually the beginning of the end of something that maybe was once wonderful, special and important to us. Goodbyes can be just for a day, or a week or month, but they can also be more permanent... like forever. No one likes to say goodbye. But sometimes we have to, just like sometimes we have to do things in life that maybe we don't necessarily want to do, like take a math test or eat turnips or have our heart broken. 

My time in Savannah is finally drawing to a close, and although I have only been here for little over a month, it feels like years since I packed up my car, got kissed goodbye and made the trip down here, brimming with confidence and excitement at the prospect of new opportunities in a new place. So much has changed in the short time I have been here, and as I sit here and reflect on it all, I have to admit it is a bit overwhelming. So I decided to put my words into pictures, and pick a few of my favorite memories from my time here to look back on.
sunset on river street, with the beautiful Savannah Bridge in the background! priceless 
laughter, happiness, being silly...on the beach. loved bloody point on Dafuskie Island!
being a part of an amazing fashion shoot and incredible experience in stepping out of my comfort zone!
eating ice cream at the salty dog cafe...and enjoying it to the fullest of course
visits from people who mattered the most...
& visits from people who will always matter.
there's a first time for everything.
reminding myself that the biggest joys in life can also be the simplest ones- like baking cupcakes on a rainy day.
trying new things...and falling in love. 

So, my trip in a nutshell. There were so many more memories, some happy, some sad...but that's just part of life. And there really is nothing I can do to change it. Acceptance and bowing to the inevitable- two of the hardest things to do sometimes. But if I've learned anything at all-

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

When I go home, my "new beginning" will start right away. I'll move out of maple ridge, and I'll be helping out with Orientation 2011, prepping the incoming class of 2015 for the next, BEST four years of their lives as HOKIES! (And giving them the low down on Ring Tradition and being a Leader for their class!)
Are you ready to join this family? 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Just a Feeling.

" Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up. If a guy punches you he likes you. Never try to trim your own bangs and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending. Every movie we see, Every story we're told implores us to wait for it, the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. But sometimes we're so focused on finding our happy ending we don't learn how to read the signs. How to tell from the ones who want us and the ones who don't, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. And maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe... it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is... just... moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope. "

Well, I'm back. It hasn't even been a week- but the days seem to move by so slowly, like homemade maple syrup on a hot summer day. It feels like a month has passed, and in that space of time- maybe it was 5 days,  weeks or months (it's hard to tell) my life has changed tremendously. And of course I avoided blogging for the simple fear that I would let my emotions get the best of me. I'm not sure what led me to believe today was the day I would pick up my blog where I last left off, but here I am anyway.

I have been forced to reevaluate a number of things in my life in the past few days- what is truly important to me, where I stand when it comes to my beliefs and values, and where exactly is my life headed. What do I want from this life God has been so kind to bless me with? After all- I only have one to live. He implores me to make the best of what He has given me.

So here I sit, trying to sift through all the emotions and feelings that crash down on me like a giant tidal wave. And for some bizarre reason, my mind flashes to the words of the infamous Carrie Bradshaw. Sure she is a fictional character on a scandalous show filmed in the 90's- but her words she wrote concerning love and relationships was far from fiction. For example-

"When you're young- your whole life is about pursuit of fun. Then, you grow up and learn to be cautious. You could break a bone or a heart. You look before you leap, and sometimes you don't leap at all because there's not always someone there to catch you. And in life, there's no safety net." 

or my personal favorite, which incidentally defines my life perfectly:

"So many roads. So many detours. So many choices. So many mistakes." 

After all, our lives ARE full of mistakes- that's how we learn right from wrong, what's best for us and what's not so great. And Carrie said it best when she proclaimed: "Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate."

But it's so hard to be optimistic and see the big picture when your heart is shattered. This, I have had plenty of experience with...trust me on that. Picking yourself back up is always a challenging task, but the important thing to remember is that things really are going to turn out okay in the end. And if it's not okay- well... then it's not the end. The best thing you can do for yourself is lean on the ones that have always been there for you: your friends, your family...all those people in your life that make it so wonderful and blessed. After all, you aren't alone (even in the dead of the night when you can't see anything through your desperate tears). We've all been there- some more than others its true (ie, me), but everyone knows how it feels. You deserve the best...no one deserves to be lonely and sad. So don't do it to yourself! Pick your head up, and keep on...keeping on. And in the words of Carrie:

"As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. And when that happens, I guess she just has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, buckle up...and just keep going."

No matter how hard it gets, you're never alone.

and just in case you're still listening...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Modern Family

Wow, what a great weekend I had! It feels like it has lasted forever since I have ended up with a bit of down time with my work schedule. (Which is actually a blessing in disguise considering the hectic and busy previous week). 

On friday I woke up early (barely) for my friday morning babysitting job with Steve and Julie Pence and their two boys, Austin and Braedan. The boys are 9 and 11 and suffer from a mitochondrial disease similar to cerebral palsy. They can't walk or talk or function very much independently so I have to change them and feed them, and it is like taking care of infants but in a much more satisfying way. At first I was nervous at the prospect of babysitting children who had "special needs", after all- what would I do if something went wrong? How would I react? Would I be able to handle it? My doubts and insecurities vanished in an instant the moment Ms. Julie threw open the door with a huge, encouraging smile on her face and offered me a cup of coffee and all the direction and advice I could possibly ask for. She is one of the sweetest and friendliest ladies I have ever had the pleasure of meeting- I felt instantly comfortable and welcome in her home...and she was a kappa delta! (AOT!) She showed me the "ropes" so to speak with looking after the boys. I jumped right in and fed them breakfast- oatmeal and strawberry yogurt, and i sat between them in their chairs and played with their chocolate lab puppy, named deuce. I can tell the boys enjoy having her around, until she jumps on them! Silly pup. 

baby deuce! what a cutie!
After I left the Pence's it was straight on the road to pick up my little sister, her friend Anita and my little brother from my dad- we were meeting at a halfway (sort of ) spot, and switching cars since he had my green honda all fixed up since the accident. Luke actually was waiting for me at the cracker barrel with my family when I pulled in, and I threw my arms around his neck so happy to see him!

The weekend began with traveling to Hilton Head Island, a short trip north of Savannah to watch my cousins Kylie and McKenzie compete in a tennis tournament. The tournament was held at Wexford Plantation, a lavish and gated community on the island with a private marina for homeowners that kept the water level constant using the same type of gate system as the Panama Canal. They let my Uncle dock his boat there for free, which was very generous! 
we THOUGHT this was Michael Jordan's house..it was rumored he has one here in Wexford, but apparently not this hotel style home right on the water! Still, it's pretty.
Kylie getting ready to return a serve. She ended up losing this match in a tiebreak after splitting the sets- but went on to win the consolation finals in singles! so proud of her! (not to mention she also plays 3 years up...she's 8 and her opponents are 11). McKenzie ended up winning her singles and doubles age group! These girls really are incredibly talented and I couldn't be more proud of them !
look at that form!
kate & i cheering on our cousins! I am so blessed to have such a beautiful, loving and wonderful family.

Luke and I spent time wandering around downtown Savannah, spent a day at Tybee Island on the beach and ate out way too much (hitting the gym more than ever this week). I was so grateful and happy he came to visit and spent time with my family with me! It really means the world. 

All in all, the weekend left me feeling very blessed to have such a great family and a supportive and caring boyfriend. It got me thinking about how each and every one of us has our own unique "modern family"-with their individual quirks and values, problems and inside jokes. I really couldn't be happier with the one God blessed me with! 
My Modern Family.