Saturday, December 31, 2011
Happy New Year!!Live | View Comments | permalink
Instead of staying in Miami to party with the cool kids, or head to a different town and see much missed friends, Wayne and I are spending the New Year relaxing at home and accomplishing some fantastic things before the semester starts up again. As I sit here typing there are collard greens and black eyed peas on the stove for our midnight meal, Wayne is sanding a free dining room table that has been sitting around for months waiting for our attention, the bathroom is stripped of it's wallpaper (and mold... UGH!), and I'm taking a break from cleaning out our "dining room", which has been utilized as a "storage room" up to now.
We are trying to enjoy every single moment of our break together, and to reflect on the past year - which fills me with wonder whenever I think about it. This year I've been able to live with my best friend in the entire world, I bought my first house, I got into a top ranked graduate program, I was offered and accepted my top choice graduate assistantship, I finished the most challenging semester of my life with fantastic grades and new friends. Every time I look around me I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.
I'm not super great with resolutions but I do LOVE to check things off of a list - which is why I created for myself a Day Zero List last year. I'm slightly behind on my list right now - so I've got some catching up to do in 2012. Things I'm looking forward to : Skydiving, Spending the day picking fresh fruit, trying to spend all of January not eating out (that will be hard!), Going to a vineyard, Feeding a giraffe, and attending an event in an evening gown (Cheryl and Rachel, you guys are in right?).
I'm also looking forward to enjoying the organic food from our garden, cooking more, continuing to make our house a home, and trying new things within my profession.
Check out the flourishing garden!!
These beautiful flowers are growing on a previously unloved tree in our yard now. While all of the other trees are bare, this one is becoming beautiful. Guess it's staying. :)
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
New ProjectsLive | View Comments | permalink
Earlier in the year I participated in The Happiness Project's #oneword project. I chose one word to guide my year and have been trying to keep that one word in mind. It's been difficult, especially with the busiest and hardest semester that I've ever encountered. I'd like to reflect on that a little later but first I'd like to show you a few final projects that certainly resonate with that #oneword.
The moment my finals were over I was able to finish a few projects that have been on the back burner. First, a photo wall. A cohort mate and I went thrifting first chance we got and I was able to pick up some fabulous frames in pretty colors and finishes. Here's the result so far.
I also took just a few minutes to hang a string for our incoming holiday cards.
And then Wayne and I finished painting this beautiful solid wood coffee table that my father built for his home and then gave to us when he wasn't planning on using it anymore.
Just a few small things... but creating is making me SO happy.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Cohort ♥Live | View Comments | permalink
I'm loving my whole cohort right now. I had an amazing group project team, we had a fabulous SPHE-Giving dinner, we karaoked, we had our program holiday party, and we celebrated being done with the semester last night with a Rage Fest.
The second years are pretty alright too. :)
Lindsay raps. And she's awesome at it.
I just wish we had bonded like this earlier in the semester. I can't wait for the new first years to get here so that we can facilitate an even faster bonding process for them. It makes grad school so much easier and more fun to have these beautiful people around.
P.S. Please consider entering our December Relay for Life Giveaway or joining our team. For every $10 you donate to the American Cancer Society, you will receive an entry to win one of these sweet angry birds hats. You can also get an entry by sharing our post on facebook or twitter and leaving a comment that you did.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Wish Upon a StarLive | View Comments | permalink
I'm pretty proud of myself and of my community of colleagues, students, and friends at Santa Fe College for this. Wish Upon a Star is a program that Partnership for Strong Families does every year. Basically, for every child that they have an open case file on, they create a star with 3 holiday wishes. These children are aged 0 to 17 and are either foster children or are from homes of abuse or neglect. Someone sponsors the star and purchases holiday presents for the child. When I saw this project on the list of programming from last year I was immediately excited to up the ante and get to work. I met with a representative of PSF over the summer, I was that excited to get started.
We kicked off the project with a Wish Upon a Star Party in OCTOBER. Yes October. Without the two beautiful ladies on the outsides of this picture the party would not have been nearly successful. They planned every little detail down to the food, the decorations, and finding a Santa to come take pictures with everyone. We decorated a beautiful tree with stars and students came to grab their star and become sponsors. At this one party we got 57 stars sponsored, with 95% of those sponsorships being from students! That's 7 more than Santa Fe sponsored the previous year, in one 5 hour party!
Then I took the project to the student organizations, and to Student Government. Queer Straight Alliance fundraised over $140 and persuaded WalMart to donate a bike, helmet, and pads. Soul Sisters raised $100. ONE student from Phi Theta Kappa sponsored 9 stars through fundraising and Phi Theta Kappa sponsored even more. Many of the students stepped up in big ways. Faculty and staff stepped up and facilities even helped deliver!
All in all I coordinated Santa Fe's sponsorship of 103 stars!
That's more than double what we sponsored last year! It was not easy. And I learned a lot.
- 1. Get phone numbers AND email addresses for all sponsors.
- 2. Get more sponsors than you need, just in case. (I ended up scrambling for faculty and staff sponsors last minute to make up for people who didn't show)
- 3. Have everyone wrap the gifts they turn in. (I ended up wrapping many gifts)
- 4. Have sponsors put a note on every box with the name, ID#, and description of gift
- 5. As I get gifts place all gifts for one child in a box or garbage bag to keep them together.
As successful as this project was, it never would have been successful without the last minute help of faculty and staff at Santa Fe College. Approximately 20 gifts were still missing on the due date. Three gifts are still missing that I hope will be turned in this week. People came through with cash so that I could shop for the children, with gift cards, and with last minute gifts. The generosity of my colleagues is so heartwarming and I am so grateful.
I'm also proud of myself as a Student Affairs Professional. I gave students the chance to sponsor stars, even at risk of it being extra work. I empowered students to take leadership roles with the project, and they reacted well. This was a massively successful event, and I just wanted to share/document.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Relay for Life - December Give Away!Live | View Comments | permalink
As part of our efforts to raise money for our Relay for Life team, Jessa and I are doing monthly giveaways. If you donate a minimum of $10 from now until the end of December we will enter you in to our Giveaway. For every $10 over the minimum you will be given an extra entry in our giveaway. Also if you share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter you will get an entry in to the giveaway, no donation nessecary. (only one entry for sharing)
This month, two lucky people will be receiving one of these awesome Angry Bird plush hats. Perfect for those cold months. In your donation or in your share post, please specify if you prefer the Red (Bird) or Green (Pig) hat we have one of each to giveaway.
Awesome Angry Bird Hats.
So for your chance to win and to help everyone affected by cancer, please donate!. Or use the options at the end of this post to share for an entry!