Coming Attractions: SUMMER

The weird thing about working in education is that I still view the year starting at the end of August and ending at the end of May, just like I did when I was a student. Unfortunately, I’m no longer a student and I don’t get that nice summer vacation that my students do. Some professors and administrators (and other people who have no idea what we do in my office) think that we either don’t work during the summer or that the summer is incredibly slow. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! The summer is actually one of our busiest times of year – with fewer students on campus, there’s finally some time to do all the things we couldn’t finish during the school year. The first thing on that list for me is cleaning my office – I don’t even want to talk about what it looks like right now.

But enough about work…what am I doing with my summer?? Check it out below! (Okay, fine, some of these things will involve work…sorry.)

May

Classes just ended, so I’m listing all the fun stuff starting with this coming weekend…which is when I am going to see The Killers in concert again!! After that, I get to attend the annual Junior League dinner and chaperone a trip to Atlantic City. I get to bring a bus buddy, so my friend Kristy will be coming to AC with me. At the end of the month, I’ll be moving into my new apartment.

I saw The Killers last summer in concert. So excited to see them again!!

June

June kicks off with the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse sale. I went last year with both my little and another sorority sister, Jackie. Jackie is coming back down again this year and I’m crossing my fingers that my favorite Lilly Pulitzer dress will be there and in my size.  I don’t think I have any other social plans for June, but I will be working on housing assignments for the incoming students which should take up quite a chunk of time.

This is what happens when sorority girls go to a Lilly Pulitzer sale AND outlet shopping in the same weekend.

July

July starts with a nice long weekend thanks to how the 4th of July holiday falls. I was on duty the last two 4th of July weekends, so I’m going to make sure I don’t have to take duty that weekend this year! I’m not sure what I’m going to do during 4th of July, but I’ve been discussing some ideas with my friends. Later that month is my family reunion in Upstate New York.

Lilly loves getting to go out on the boat.

August

Unfortunately I don’t get to do too much in August…we have RA training. We are changing up RA training so I’m actually looking forward to it. My birthday is in August, so I’ll have to celebrate it before training and after classes start.

Reno celebrating my birthday last year with some random Berks County hipsters.

…just noticed that I didn’t include cleaning my office on here…whoops. I’m hoping to cross a bunch of things off my list and hopefully add some new ones!

Advertisements

It’s Complicated: Moving

I started writing this when I first found out I was moving a month and a half ago…I should probably stop writing about packing and start ACTUALLY packing.

When I first found out I was moving, I was excited for two reasons. One, a new apartment sounded awesome! Two, it meant I was going to be able to cross a LOT of things off my list. I decided to see how many things could be crossed off by this move and came up with FIFTEEN!! Considering my list just passed the 150 mark, that’s a pretty big chunk! While I still plan on writing posts for each thing as I accomplish them, here’s a sneak peak of what I hope to do in the coming weeks!

Before the big move…

17. Get rid of all the shoes I never wear. I try to keep all of my shoes in one of three places in my current apartment: in the shoe organizer hanging in my closet, in an old wicker basket in my closet, and on a shelf in my closet. There are a lot of shoes there and I’m pretty sure I wear MAYBE 1/3 of them on a regular basis. While my new apartment is larger, it has less closet space, so I need to get rid of things I’m not using!

41. Make my t-shirt pile smaller. See above. T-shirts are currently one whole shelf in my closet. I do have “make a t-shirt quilt” on my list as well so maybe I can kill two birds with one stone!

87. Properly recycle my old laptop. My college laptop finally kicked the bucket a few months after I moved into my current apartment. It’s been sitting in a closet ever since. I don’t want to just throw it out so I’m going to have to find out where I can bring it.

92. Sell the stuff I say I’m going to sell. I’ve got a Coach bag, some old J. Crew and Lilly Pulitzer stuff, plus some old stuff for the dog that I’m not using anymore. The school has a “Community” email that people use to advertise items for sale, so I’m going to try that first!

After the big move…

22. Organize my giant bookshelf. In order to move the shelf, I’m going to have to unload it first. As I’m putting things back on it, I can try to make it look nice and organized. (And it will finally serve it’s purpose of room divider!)

36. Buy a couch. My current couch came with the apartment and it’s a bit broken. There’s no point in moving it to the new apartment, so I’m on the hunt for a new couch!

37. Buy the rest of my bedroom furniture. This is the one that I’m not 100% sure if it’s happening yet. I guess I’ll see how things work out in the new apartment!

56. Fix/finish the gallery wall in my living room. For some reason, there’s one picture frame that always falls off the wall. In my new apartment, I think I’ll be able to hang things with nails.

57. Decorate my bedroom. No point in starting this before I move!

58. Hang my flag. Same as #57! Plus, it will be easier to do with nails.

59. Plant something and have it grow. I’ll have a little patio at my new apartment, so I want to try a small container garden this summer.

95. Live somewhere with in-unit laundry. It’s been a long and bumpy road to get to the point of all of the ADs moving into new apartments, but one of the things that happened during that time is some of the campus administrators did a tour of our current apartments. One of the things they noticed is that not only were the apartments very different in terms of size and condition, but they also had different amenities. While our new apartments will all be different sizes again, they will all have washers and dryers!

96. Live somewhere with a dishwasher. I’m 99% sure that the apartment I’m going to move into has a dishwasher.

134. Organize my closets. This goes along with organizing my shelf. I have to empty my current (and somewhat organized) closets in order to move the contents to the new apartment. As I put things away, I’m hoping to make them a little more organized. That, and I don’t have too much of a choice since I’ll have less room for storage.

135. Organize the entry way. Right now, my entry way is a narrow, dark hallway with a small shelf and a bunch of closets. The stuff I use most often SHOULD be on the shelf, but it’s currently home to…I’m not even sure what. In my new apartment, there really isn’t a dedicated entry – the door opens right into my living room. But there are certain things that need to live by the door like Lilly’s leash and my umbrella. I’ll have to create some sort of entry nook in the new place.

 

While I’m really excited to move, I’m not the biggest fan of the actual moving process. I really wish I could just go to sleep tonight and wake up and be all settled in my new apartment. If you have any moving tips, please feel free to share them!

117. Visit My Sisters in Boston

When I first graduated, most of my friends still lived in the Rochester area. Now that it’s been a few years, my friends have scattered themselves all over the country. A few of my sorority sisters, including my best friend Ariel, are currently living in Boston. I love the city of Boston and I hadn’t seen Ariel in nearly two years, so I was really excited when Jackie, Ariel, and I started planning this trip in December!

Ariel and I five years ago.

Ariel and I five years ago.

The Good?

Fajitas and ‘Ritas! Fajitas and ‘Ritas is a Tex-Mex restaurant in Boston that specializes in fajitas and margaritas. Ariel, Jackie, and I met my friend Sam there and had a very filling lunch that started in typical us-fashion by spilling half a pitcher of margarita all over our table. Next time I go to Boston, I’m definitely parking my butt there for a few hours.

This is why we can't have nice things.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Going Out I don’t really go out much in Reading. I like staying home and hanging out with my best friend aka my free-loader roommate aka my dog. Ariel and Jackie are on the same page as me, but we planned one staying in night and one going out night. We had so much fun on our going out night AND Ariel had an Uber coupon so we basically got home for free. I really liked the place we went (I unfortunately cannot remember the name), mostly because I was with my friends, it wasn’t too crowded, and they were playing good music.

Freezing our butts off at the bus stop!

Freezing our butts off at the bus stop!

Sunday Brunch On Sunday morning, we found ourselves sitting in the living room debating between going to a diner or driving a little further to this farm with a restaurant on it. We chose the farm-restaurant. The restaurant itself was tiny and there was a long wait, but it was SO worth it! I was going to get my usual (eggs benedict) but then saw that they had lobster eggs benedict. When in Rome Boston!

Breakfast of champions.

Breakfast of champions.

Reunited and it feels so goooodJust being in the same place at the same time was enough for me! I’ve noticed that whenever I’m on adventures with my sorority sisters, we manage to turn wherever we’re staying into a mini-version of our sorority house. Ariel’s apartment was no different. With our arrival, there was suddenly an abundance of monogrammed shirts, purple everything, Disney princess cups, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and clothes everywhere. Some of my favorite moments of the trip were just sitting around talking.

IMG_3813

The Not-So-Good?

Craft Show Ariel purchased tickets to this major craft show for us to go to over the weekend. It was actually a lot smaller than we expected it to be and everything that was there was SUPER expensive – furniture, glass sculptures, other stuff we could never dream of affording or creating ourselves. Probably the only reason we somewhat enjoyed it was that we went straight there from Fajitas and ‘Ritas.

We didn’t see our other sisters. Plans fell through with the two other sisters we were supposed to see that weekend. I actually haven’t seen Laurel and Kadley since I graduated, so that was kind of crummy. It didn’t help that our “plans” consisted of “let’s text each other later” which is literally my least favorite way to make plans. Luckily our sorority’s big twenty year celebration is next year, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing them (and everybody else) next spring.

Sebbie’s “special treat”. Ariel has a GIANT dog named Sebastian. He is unaware that he is giant and will try to sit in your lap. He is especially a fan of looking you in the eye, meaning he puts his paws on your shoulders and gives you a good stare down. The first night we were there, Ariel, Jackie, and I went to the store to get some things to make dinner. Jackie and I both are dog owners, so we took the normal precautions – zip everything or put it where the dog can’t get it. Apparently Sebbie knows how to use a zipper and we came home to find tampons EVERYWHERE. Hope those tasted good, Seb!

I can't imagine that they tasted very good.

I can’t imagine that they tasted very good.

 

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and MUCH too short! Jackie is coming down for the Lilly Pulitzer warehouse sale in June and I think both Ariel and Jackie are going to come down once I’m in my new apartment. Here’s hoping my sisters and friends continue moving cool places so I can do some more traveling!

Looking at the List #11

137. Go on a New York Times “36 Hour” trip.

The New York times has been publishing 36 hour trip itineraries since 2002. Recently, they’ve compiled the columns into books by region. I bought the USA version as a graduation gift for someone and I bought myself the Northeast edition. I do want to travel more and I like that these trips can be done with limited vacation time. Maybe I’ll use my copy of the book to explore a city right here in Pennsylvania!

 

140. Donate to RIT.

This picture is from 007. It was on RIT’s website until very, very recently.

About once a week, I get a phone call from RIT’s Telefund Office asking me to donate money. Well, at least that’s what I assume they are asking, I’ve personally never picked up. I know, I know, it makes me kind of sound like a jerk, but I really hate talking on the phone. I really did enjoy my time at RIT and at some point I do want to give back. I’ve helped in the past with different volunteer events, but hopefully in the next few years I’ll be at the place where I can support the school financially. My plan is to donate to a specific department or organization…maybe I can get together with some of my sisters to do something really great for the house!

142. Do the whole tropical vacation thing.

There was a period of two or three weeks this winter where EVERYBODY I knew was on some awesome tropical vacation. The only thing that kept me sane during that time was that I got to go on vacation as well…to Missouri. I’m not the biggest fan of tropical vacations, but in the middle of this crazy, snowy winter, the idea of laying on a beach doing nothing for a week sounded FABULOUS. I added this to the list during that time and since then I found out that one of my cousins might be planning a destination wedding…so this goal might be a bit easier to accomplish than I imagined!

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!

Just Another Manic Monday…

I’m back from Joplin, but unfortunately I’m sick AND it’s a very busy week at work, so I’m not sure when I’m going to be write my Joplin post. For now, I’ll just leave you with my newest Joplin video!

In other exciting news, I found out that I’m going to be moving at the end of May! The building that my apartment is in is going to be renovated over the summer, so I needed to go somewhere. At first there was talk of just moving me for the summer, but the idea of having to move twice (during check out and RA training) made me incredibly anxious. There was a period of time that I knew I was moving but just didn’t know where I was going at that was pretty nerve wracking too. Right before I left for my trip, I found out where my new apartment was going to be and now that there’s only eight weeks to go, it’s time to start packing!

Going through my list, I noticed that a lot of items had to do with where I live. It looks like a lot of things are going to be crossed off during the moving process…I REALLY want to get rid of stuff before I move. Another exciting thing about this move – my new apartment will have a dishwasher AND a washer and dryer. Now that I’m back in Pennsylvania, I kind of just want to skip ahead to the point where I actually move!

Junior League

I leave for my big Joplin trip tomorrow, so I figure I’ll just keep going with this week’s theme of volunteering!

Before I joined the Junior League, I had several different “pictures” of it in my mind. The first image that came to mind was a bunch of rich old ladies that wanted to do something good with all of their time and money. Next, I imagined a bunch of bored, rich, housewives…that view may have had something to do with “The Help“. So when somebody recommended that I join Junior League as a way to make friends, I was completely baffled! I didn’t think that I was old enough to join Junior League. But I decided to give it a try – at the very least, I thought I could maybe get some babysitting jobs out of it.

At my first meeting, I quickly learned that Junior League was NOTHING like I imagined. Yes, there were some rather well-off older women and some stay-at-home moms, but there were also working moms and single moms and unmarried professional women and recent college grads. Even though everybody had joined Junior League for different reasons, everybody supported our Junior League’s mission of helping kids in the Reading school district.

Similar to a sorority, my first year in Junior League I was considered a new member. We were welcome at the general meetings but also had our own new member meetings and planned a new member project. The ultimate goal of your new member year is to become familiar with ALL aspects of Junior League so that you can easily serve on a committee your next year.

I’m currently in my first active year and I am on the New Member Committee, so I am still attending all of the new member meetings and teaching the new members about Junior League. Each year you get “placed” with a different committee and while we don’t find out our placements until May, I’ve had a few people ask if I would be interested in a certain position, so I have a feeling where I’ll be heading next year!

Unfortunately with my work schedule, I haven’t been able to GO to every volunteer opportunity, but I try to help out behind the scenes. Last month I was able to spend most of my Saturday volunteering at Junior League’s Young Women’s Summit. Each year, the Junior League invites teenage girls from the Reading school district to come together for a weekend to learn leadership skills and discuss how they can improve their community. It was really fun to go an interact with the girls, but my favorite part was chatting with a former attendee that is now going to college and doing all sorts of awesome things. She came back to speak to the girls about her experiences prior to and during the summit. It was really emotional but at the end of her presentation, all of the current attendees told her how brave she was and that they looked up to her and admired her because she had worked hard, despite everything else going on in her life.

Joining Junior League has not only allowed me to meet people, but it has been an awesome way to get to know Reading and the surrounding areas. I’m excited to see what comes next!