119. Meet all the Littles I Haven’t Met Yet

I write about my sorority occasionally every single chance I get. Clearly I enjoyed my experience. A lot of people that aren’t involved in Greek Life question how a fraternity or sorority differs from any group of friends. There are a lot of ways that the Greek experience is different, but few of them are tangible. There’s really no way to explain exactly what is brotherhood or sisterhood. One thing that’s NOT standard in most friend groups is the idea of Bigs and Littles. And like plenty of sorority women, I think that my big is the smartest human being on the face of the planet and that my little is perfect.

Look at that perfection right there!

Look at that perfection right there!

Thanks to the ever-continuing tradition of Bigs and Littles, I now have a sizable family tree. My aging, post-grad brain can’t handle learning the name of every single new member, but I always get excited for a new addition to the family line. I would love to be able to meet all of them as they are welcomed to the family, but, you know, post-grad problems, I have a job and stuff. The next thing I knew, I had multiple generations of littles down the chain that I hadn’t met yet!

Big Little Night with the fam in 2011

Big Little Night with the fam in 2011

In March, I made it back to Rochester for the first time in ages and was able to meet all of the littles during multiple events throughout the weekend. I felt crazy old…I’m a big to the 5th! (And yes, I just had to count down the chain on my fingers.)

My L4 Jenna, me, my L5 Amanda, and the original little Heather

My L4 Jenna, me, my L5 Amanda, and the original little Heather

RML!

RML!

I hope to see more of my littles (all the littles) throughout this project and include them on some of my goals!

Advertisements

102. Print out pictures that I’ve taken and display them.

I might be dating myself here, but some of my favorite days in middle school were the days after a field trip. Why the day after? Because everybody would have taken their rolls of film to get developed and a good portion of the day would be spent passing around those little envelopes filled with pictures. I remember spending HOURS organizing my photo album so my favorite pictures were all in there.

Unfortunately with the invention of Facebook, my favorite one hour photo place took a major hit. Instead of passing around a pile of pictures, now you could click through them while not paying attention during an Art History lecture. Now there are even MORE ways to share pictures. I swear, I have like eight different accounts just to see people’s pictures.

And then came Shutterfly. For those of you not familiar with Shutterfly, it’s a company that lets you upload and print pictures and photo gifts like mugs and calendars and cell phone cases. I’ve used them to print photos for YEARS, but I’ve also made photo books and Christmas cards. My two favorite things about the company is the frequency that they send me coupons and the ability to print to Target. I’ve gotten some AWESOME coupons since I’ve signed up as a Shutterfly member. I printed a photo book for last year’s Joplin trip and shortly after Christmas, they sent me a coupon for 101 free prints…hence this entry.

So with that coupon, I was able to print some pictures from the past few years. The next step was figuring out how to display them. I have quite a few pictures in frames in my living room, but with all the effort I spent hanging them, they’re not coming down until I move out. I wanted something cute, but also easy so I could change the pictures frequently…maybe that will encourage me to print more!

I wound up creating a display above my bed, as my bedroom didn’t have very much decoration. I’ve got some colored twine taped up with hair bows clipped at the end to disguise the tape. The pictures are clipped to the twine with clothes pins. Very Pinterest!

My newest picture display!!

My newest picture display!!

In other decorating news, I did attempt to fix the gallery wall in my living room, and the frame that holds my concert tickets promptly fell down. Again. I also thing I can do more with my bedroom. With as much as I’ve moved around, I always feel like once I have “finished” decorating, it’s time to packet it all up and move again!

Snow Day!

We’ve had two snow days and a delayed opening this week! The last time I missed this much school because of snow, it was 2001!

RIT was notorious for NEVER CLOSING. My freshman year, the first day of fall quarter was Labor Day and the last day of the quarter was Veteran’s Day. You know, days that my high-school-self was used to having off. After awhile, I accepted never having holidays off. But you know what I really missed? Snow days. There was something special about a snow day. A snow day was always such a nice, unexpected surprise.

But RIT was in Western New York. On average, the city gets over 90 inches of snow each winter. Plus the area around campus was pretty flat, so it was much easier to drive around than my neighborhood in Connecticut. I quickly got used to walking to school in all sorts of weather. I also became a pro at layering! Pro tip? Wear sweatpants OVER your jeans/leggings/normal pants so that if you want to take a layer off, it’s the outer one.

Bye Pam, don’t get lost in a blizzard!

One Martin Luther King Day, I woke up to my roommate Tiffany crouched next to the side of my bed. “School’s closed!” she said. “No it’s not,” I said as I rolled away from her. She explained that there was an ice storm and Monroe County made us close down. I still didn’t believe her, but I reached for my laptop, checked my email, and sure enough, RIT was closed. The next thing I checked was Facebook, which of course was filled with…wait I’m not even sure statuses were a thing. But you know what I mean! I remembered that I set an away message about my day off, to which my non-RIT friends replied, “Of course you have today off, it’s Martin Luther King Day.” Sigh.

 

Found this bad boy on Facebook. Oh the glory days!

Since it was technically an ICE day and not a SNOW day, we didn’t get to do any of the fun things like go sledding, have snowball fights, or build inappropriate snow sculptures. I remember being able to enjoy the day with my roommates. The other thing I remember about that day was meeting our weird neighbors. They set the fire alarm off, so our whole row had to wait outside in the ice storm. Lovely. Luckily one of us was parked nearby, so we waited inside a car.

This is probably the only reason I have pictures of our ice day.

During the rest of my time at RIT, I remember there being a few times that afternoon/evening classes were cancelled, but no whole day events. I’ve been enjoying these past few days, but I’m hoping the weather stops being so crazy in time for recruitment and my upcoming trip to Rochester!

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

This time last month, I was eagerly counting down the days until I had a whole, glorious, twelve days off from work. I decided that I was going to take an ACTUAL break during the holidays…but didn’t tell anybody. Oops. Sorry for going off the radar! To be fair, I was supposed to be back “on” the radar three days ago, but as of typing this post, I have not had a healthy day in 2014 (more on that later). I was hoping that MAYBE I’d be able to accomplish #15 (go a day without internet), but the closest I got to that was that I brought my laptop to Connecticut but didn’t once turn it on. Baby steps.

The Good

You may have noticed that #54 on my list was to get my parents a big Christmas gift and that for the longest time it’s had (December 2013) next to it. Well, I actually bought the gift months ago, but obviously couldn’t write about until after Christmas. So what was their big gift? A new TV!! The last time my parents bought a TV, I don’t think flat screens even existed. They had been mentioning getting a new TV for quite some time, but something else always seemed to come up. Unfortunately there was no easy way to smuggle the giant box into the house, so my parents received their present two days early.

My parents BIG Christmas present!

My parents BIG Christmas present!

I got to hang out with my older cousins for a bit on Christmas Eve. I’m smack dab in the middle of my family – there are thirteen years between me and my next oldest cousin and thirteen years between me and the cousin younger than me. Clearly there’s not much in common when we’ve got this thirteen year spread, but now that we’re getting older, it’s easier to bridge that gap.

Anytime I go back to Connecticut, I try to see all of my home friends. I did a decent job – one night at Biscotti’s, one night out to dinner with Lexie (great food, crappy service), and WHERE THE HELL WAS RENO?! Earlier in the holiday season, I texted my usual group of girls and suggested something new – doing a group gift exchange instead of individual gifts. We wound up doing a bottle exchange – one bottle of wine, one bottle of nail polish. We were talking about other types of gift exchanges and I think next year we are going to do a “My Favorite Things” exchange!

Gift Exchange 2013

Gift Exchange 2013

The one home friend that I got to see more than anyone else was Elissa. I was glad to have time to catch up with her and we celebrated another New Year’s Eve with one another. It was tame by twenty-something standards, but it reminded us of our “glory days” of middle school…including the winter break that Elissa slept over my house for four or five nights in a row!

We let Lilly hang out with us too.

We let Lilly hang out with us too.

The Better

On Christmas Eve, I went to take the dog out only to find out that it was snowing! That’s two years in a row with a nice Christmas dusting!

The view from the top of my driveway.

The view from the top of my driveway.

Since I was all too eager to go off the radar this break, I spent a good portion of it curled up on the couch in front of my parents’ new TV streaming Netflix from my Wii. I think my mom was pretty bummed when I took the Wii back to Reading with me, but my dad is looking into getting a Roku or some other sort of streaming device so my mom can watch Netflix on the TV.

The Bad

Unfortunately break wasn’t all sunshine and roses. It started on a pretty sour note – my car failed its inspection (and the inspection itself took nearly two hours longer than it was supposed to). Now I get to research tires and brakes and all those other fun things.

Spending time with my older cousins came with a price – a MAJOR hangover. It’s true what they say – you really can’t keep track of how much you drink when your drink keeps getting topped off.

My student loan payments were due at the end of my little vacation. That was expected, but the change in my minimum payment was not!! It was my hope to fully pay off one of my student loans in the near future, but with the minimum payment change, it’s not possible. This just solidifies that I need to find a financial advisor (#118!).

The BLECHHH

I mentioned earlier that I haven’t had a healthy day since we switched calendars. 2014 started fine. Since Elissa and I had the tamest NYE celebration this side of high school, there was no pesky hangover to worry about. One per vacation is enough, thank you. But by that afternoon, I wasn’t feeling so hot…I was at a party with TONS of food and I wanted NONE of it. Anybody that knows me can confirm that’s not normal. I shrugged it off and went to sleep early, only to wake up at 11:30 feeling incredibly sick. I’ll spare the nasty details, but let’s just say I did not leave the bathroom until 7:30 the next morning. The next (same?) day, I couldn’t get off the couch for anything. All I wanted to do was sleep, but all I could do was lightly doze. Luckily, the day after that was MUCH better. I could get up and move around, but it left me exhausted, so after I drove back to Reading, I crashed HARD. I woke up at 9:30 to find my apartment freezing. Broken heater. Great. I woke up at 12:15 to let the facilities worker in that graciously brought me a space heater. Woke up later in the night because my neck was itchy. Removed a necklace and went back to sleep. Woke up at 7:30 itchy all over and discovered I had some terrible rash. Benadryl is taking care of that, but I still have no energy. I’ve been trying to unpack, but I keep having to sit down and rest. I cannot wait to get better!!

Oh and BLECH that it’s 2014…I was just writing something down and wrote 2012. I’m not one year behind like a normal person…I’m TWO years behind. To quote Blink 182 – “Well I guess this is growing up.”

I hope you all had a wonderful 2013!! I'm looking ahead to a fantastic 2014 - once this plague is behind me!

I hope you all had a wonderful 2013!! I’m looking ahead to a fantastic 2014 – once this plague is behind me!

Looking at the List #4

31. Get the balance of my student loans under their original amount.

Like most twenty-somethings out there, I had to take out student loans in order to fund my four five seven years of higher education. I pay a lot towards them each much so I can pay them off as soon as possible, but I swear it seems like I haven’t made a dent. I currently owe more than I took out in the first place thanks to interest. It’s hard because at this point, my payment isn’t much more than the loans accrue in interest each month. Every month I look to see if my loans have gotten below that magic number and I plan on celebrating once this happens…maybe a $12 bottle of wine instead of a $6 bottle!!

37. Buy the rest of my bedroom furniture.

Many entry-level student affairs positions require that you live on campus. Mine is one of them. Most schools provide furniture for your apartment. Mine is only sort of one of them…when I moved in, the only furniture was the same type of furniture that you find in a dorm room – desk, dresser, and a twin XL. My boss told me that I could have this furniture removed and bring in my own, which I promptly did. I spent a wonderful day at Ikea picking out everything I wanted for my apartment, but only left with a few things. Currently, I have the bed and the vanity from my bedroom set. I still have the school-provided dresser in my apartment and probably will until I leave (which will hopefully be sometime before I’m 30!). I can’t wait to have the matching dresser and nightstand!

I already have the vanity on the left…can’t wait to have a matching set!

42. Be a bridesmaid. (October 2014!)

While I’ve had plenty of friends get married, I’ve never been a bridesmaid. The closest I’ve come is being a flower girl when I was seven (no I don’t have pictures). Next year, I will get the chance to be a bridesmaid! Ashley, my friend that I met the first day of kindergarten, asked me to be in her wedding! I’m super excited for her and super excited for the wedding!! We’ve already picked out our dresses and shoes – now comes the fun part…planning the shower and bachelorette party. The other bridesmaids are Ashley’s sisters and some of our other friends, so there won’t be any crazy Bridesmaids-style drama.

Trying on bridesmaids dresses for next year!

Trying on bridesmaids dresses for next year!

44. Visit a farmer’s market.

When I lived in Rochester, I was lucky enough to have the Public Market a short drive away. On Saturday mornings, I could head out and pick up food for the week for a fraction of what it would cost me in the grocery store. There would be farmers selling fresh fruits and veggies, Mennonite families selling baked goods, and plenty of stands on the side where you could get crepes or empanadas so you didn’t hungry-shop. Apparently there’s something similar in Reading, but I have yet to check it out. Maybe this weekend…

26. Get Five Friends to Read My Blog

Yay! The first thing I can cross off!

Confession: I’m not new to blogging at all. In 2001 I TOTALLY had a LiveJournal. Except the only people that read it were a handful of people from high school. I didn’t go out of my way to tell people about it. I remember there was a ton of LiveJournal drama in ninth grade…someone found a girl’s LJ and printed entries in which she expressed her true opinion of some of the kids at school and brought them in to show other students AND administrators. I did not feel the need to get involved with that.

Of course, nowadays I’m not chronicling my trip to see Zoolander in theaters and what stupid thing the class clown said. I’m also smart enough to not post stupid stuff on the internet. But still, I feel really vulnerable sharing my blog with people. I know blogging means that I’m putting my life on the internet, but I don’t want to share EVERYTHING. At the same time, the only way to get people to read this is to tell them I’m doing it!

My Home Friends! (4)

My Home Friends!

My Home Friends!

I find myself writing about “my home friends” a lot. I have quite a few friends from home, but this is a special group – Ashley, Kristy, Elissa, and Julie. I met them each separately – Ashley in Kindergarten, Julie in Girl Scouts when we were six, Kristy in chorus at MHHS, and Elissa in theater camp when I was eleven. Eventually everybody became one big, happy family. We’ve had a group text going ever since the last holdout came to the light side (read: bought an iPhone) and I sent them the link to my blog. I feel like they’ll have some good (and possibly illegal) additions to The List.

My Big and My Little (2)

Little Little, Little, Me, Big

Little Little, Little, Me, Big

While we may boast that our favorite activities are drinking wine and judging people, my big and my little are two of the most supportive people I know! Biggle even has her own blog AND said she was considering starting her own list! I’m sure they will have some wonderful additions to The List…even if they are bit crunchy for my taste! (Wink, wink!)

Who Else?

Well, I emailed Mackenzie Horan since one of her goals was to inspire someone else to start a list (although there are hundreds now!). As for actual, real life friends that I plan on specifically reaching out to? It’s hard to make a solid list, but telling the first six wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be…hopefully the next six and every six after that will be just as easy!