Saturday, August 27, 2011

Carolina Girls

"If I had it my way, I'd have every girl sent to North Carolina to learn to smile and to talk with that accent that drives me wild." - Hank Williams Jr.

Who doesn't love Southern Belles?

American Eagle - More than Just a Brand

While Hurricane Irene is taking it's toll on North Carolina and I am stranded inside, I thought of no better way to celebrate the weather than to bundle up in a sweatshirt and catch up on blogging!  Don't tell my boyfriend - he thinks I'm doing "homework" right now!  

Y'all I am about 2 hours from the coast and even we are experiencing the damage of Irene.
 That's my front yard!  And yes, that is a TREE.  I have absolutely no idea what to do about this situation ... I hope my roommates know what they're doing.  From the looks above, it looks like we're all pretty helpless.

Last weekend I had a really neat opportunity.  One of my sorority sisters is a Campus Enthusiast for American Eagle and invited us to participate in their Freshmen Move-In.  We had about 40 girls from our sorority and about 20-30 people from other organizations come out.

We spent the afternoon passing out American Eagle products (water bottles, pens, coupons, etc.), as well as helping families move their freshmen children in.  It was an awesome experience and was so great to be able to help make the transition to college a little bit easier for these families.  The New York Times was there and interviewed incoming freshmen, as well as the move-in crew.  Yours truly was an interviewee :) The article will be in the newspaper tomorrow, August 28th, so check it out!

This week also marked the FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL!  I am taking 5 different classes - two economics classes, a psychology class and a personal health class.  I like my classes ... for the most part ... but it's going to be so much work!  I don't know how I will survive.  Here are some first day of school pictures :)

The roommates and I (minus one) on our first day!

Well y'all, I've got to get to work!  Stay safe and try to stay dry!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home :)

After what seems like a lifetime, Phi Beta Chi has finally gotten a house!!!  And an absolutely gorgeous one at that :)
The house is over 10,000 square feet, has 10 large bedrooms and 2 porches extending the entire length of the house!  Getting this house has been no easy feat - it's taken a lot of prayer, a lot of planning and a whole lot of faith.  We've signed a four year lease and are using it as an event space the first year and are living in it the remaining three years.  

Being a young (and when I say young, I mean YOUNG) sorority we've found it difficult to find a house and a space to fit the needs of our group.  However, because God is so good, he's opened up an amazing opportunity for us!

Saturday was the first "work day" at the house and we spent the day hanging composites and cleaning the kitchen.  The sorority that had the house before us went bankrupt while trying to stock and build the house and completely abandoned ship.  As great as that is for us, it means a lot of work trying to organize and get things together!  We had 7 or 8 alums and their parents stop by throughout the day to bring tools, help clean or come and visit!  We made A LOT of progress too!   Here's a look at the house!

 the amazing porch!

of course I made my sister help out :)

I will continue to keep you updated on what happens with our house!  The girls are starting to come back to school and I can't wait to see what happens in the coming months!  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

There's Nowhere Like the Carolina Coast

With school just around the corner and work becoming somewhat overwhelming, I knew I needed a change of scenery.  Friday after work I packed my bags, picked up my best friend and headed east as far as the road would take me.

For those of you who "aren't from around here," the North Carolina coast is a little bit different than most other coasts.  As you can see in the picture above, there is a small little sliver of land (The Outer Banks) that runs the length of the state and that separates the ocean from a body of freshwater called the Sound.  Whether created from storms or from God's magic touch, the Outer Banks is a place like no other.  

Mary and I arrived just outside of Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills around 11:45 pm (we were a little delayed in time due to a need for a candy stop) and headed straight for the water.  No, we didn't get in the water, but we sat on the dock and watched the stars light up the sky and the fish illuminate the water as they swam.  According to my friend's mom, during the summer the water glows with any sort movement.  I didn't believe this until I ran my hand through the water creating a fluorescent trail.  We sat and talked for about an hour or two before finally calling it a night.

The next morning, friends from Chapel Hill who also live in the OBX came over and we packed a cooler and made our way to the boat.  Oh, my friend and his family own a business - OBX Wakeboard and Waterski - and so we're really fortunate that every time we visit, we spend our time on the boat and in the water, learning something!  We spent the day wake skimming/surfing and tubing until the weather forced us inside.

Once inside we attempted to play card games.  That lasted for all of 5 minutes.  We then spent the remainder of the afternoon watching movies and drinking wine.  I guess I should clarify on the "we" - it wasn't long into the movie before I was out, as in sound asleep.  I woke up in time for dinner with one of my best friends and old roommates at the Bad Bean.  We caught up over mahi mahi (her) and chicken/steak (me) tacos and had the absolute best time together.  You can tell when someone is a true friend - you can go months without talking, but once you're around each other it's like you haven't spent a day apart.  That's how Liz and I are and that's why this dinner was so great.  Not long after dinner, we met up with the rest of the crowd from earlier for sushi and martinis at Aqua S - a restaurant and day spa.  Following that, we headed back to Southern Shores for round 2 of cards and movies.  

We spent the following morning on the boat again and I learned how to WAKEBOARD!  And by wakeboard, I mean in a relative way.

I made it up momentarily ...
And then ended up right back down.    
Though I was absolutely terrible, I had the most amazing time and enjoyed soaking up the sun (a little too much ... I'm now as red as a lobster) and spending time with good friends.  
After a little more wakeboarding (by the pros) and a little more tubing, we called in an afternoon and headed to the beach for an annual Float Away Party.  The only requirement: get ready to float.  Everyone brings their floats, surfboards, skim boards and beach chairs and spends an afternoon on the ocean.  Since the ocean was approximately 5 degrees, I didn't make it very far out on my shark floatie. 
Yes, that is me - brown hair, shark floatie, loner.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in and out of the water, playing cornhole and filling our tummies with the best food imaginable.  After that, Mary and I stocked up on sodas and snacks and made our way home.   

It was a low-key weekend, but exactly what I needed before classes start and I'm cooped up in the library day in and day out!  Have y'all taken any relaxing summer vacations?  Do any of y'all do something along the lines of a float away?


Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Texas Two Step

I really am going to try and be more consistent about this - you'd think I wouldn't have such a hard time considering it's summer.  But on to more important things!

Every sorority and fraternity has a National Convention where members from every chapter meet in one location to exchange ideas, get to know each other and vote on matters of business for their association.  The past weekend, my sorority held its national convention in nowhere else than San Antionio!  (In case you didn't know, I'm in Phi Beta Chi - a social sorority with Christian ideals.  If you're interested in learning more, please message me!!)

The trip begins Wednesday evening, the night before I left.  Being practical and intelligent (stop laughing) I asked my mom to spend the night with me in Chapel Hill.  That way, we would have a shorter drive in the morning and would be able to sleep in a little (6 am ... we were at the airport at 8:45 ... for a 10:30 am flight.)  My mom thought it was a great idea and invited my younger sister as well!  You may be wondering - where did everyone sleep - and the answer is: in my queen size bed.  We learned a lot about each other that night - that my sister likes to "rock herself to sleep" and that you should always put your phone on silent because my dad may call at 12:30 am asking what we're doing (resulting in my mom trampling both my sister and I, jumping off the bed into my suitcase and finally lunging for the phone).

Thursday morning, we finally made it to the airport where I met my future roommate, Macy.  Macy and I boarded our first plane which took us to Atlanta.  Can you guess which famous pilot Macy and I met?
Ring any bells?  For those of you who don't know who this is (like myself until Macy told me), his name is Jake and he was on the Bachelorette and then hosted the Bachelor.  Apparently he made some pretty terrible decisions by choosing Vienna, but that is neither here nor there.  After getting off of our plane and walking to the food court (you will find me anywhere that there is food), Macy stopped me and asked, "IS THAT JAKE?!"  And I replied, "Jake who?  Jake from school?"  With a look of shock/horror she yelled, "No!  Jake from the Bachelor.  We have to go take a picture with him!" With a dumbfounded look on my face, we began to chase after Jake (yes, everyone was pointing/staring/laughing).  After finally catching him, I (yes, I) asked him if he was in fact Jake and if we could take a picture with him.  His response was: Yes.  I am sorry.  I just ate tuna, but yes I will get a picture with you.  And the rest is history!

We arrived in San Antonio around 5:30 or 6 and were taken to our hotel.  We spent the night getting to know the other girls and enjoying a delicious meal catered by room service.  Trying to get a "taste" for the area, I ordered a quesadilla (obviously).  If you know me, you're laughing because that is all I eat considering it is one of the 3 things I know how to make.  We stayed up late making friends (aww) and talking about absolutely everything!

The following morning was busy: breakfast in the hotel restaurant, critical trip to Wal Mart for the staples (the Help, cake/cupcakes and decorations for a birthday) and a little bit of laying out by the pool.  At 1:00 the weekend's festivities began.  Most of the girls had arrived and we celebrated their arrival with lunch (tacos, nachos, etc.), a lesson in line dancing and a t-shirt and gift swap.  We spent the afternoon in meetings and around 7:00 left for the Riverwalk! 
Pretty!  There were shops, restaurants, boats, live music and so many different types of people!  Boys, if you're ever in the area and want to impress a girl, take her on a couple's dinner cruise - so romantic!  Hint, hint Jack ;) It took us forever to find somewhere to eat, but we finally settled on Texas Lonestar.  We were seated by live music (Scott Hammock) - my first realish example of Texas Country.  Keeping in the Texas mood, I ate Texas' version of pulled pork which I must admit I actually did enjoy.
Following dinner, we toured the ALAMO!  Unfortunately, we missed it's closing by approximately 7 minutes and had to settle for taking pictures from the outside. 
The Alamo concluded the night's festivities and we all went home and crashed - I am not kidding y'all, I feel like an old lady sometimes with how early I go to sleep.  The next morning was our National Business Meeting, brainstorming for Recruitment, followed by another delicious lunch (potatoes and salads) and a few more meetings.  We got ready for the Award Banquet where awards were distributed to all of the chapters for their accomplishments.  Kappa Chapter got Alumni of the Year :) Way to go!  
After the banquet, we celebrated one of our National Executive Council's birthday with Princess cupcakes and a crown ... and a delicious chocolate mousse piece of heaven.
Does that not look AMAZING?  Following a wonderful dinner, a delicious dessert and a little bit of quality bonding time with the girls, a group of us got ready and headed down to the local honkytonk - Midnight Rodeo.  Our Texas chapters demanded that they show us the true Texas and what better way than at a honkytonk!  Y'all will not believe what I am about to tell you!  The dance floor was in the shape of a track with a bar/tables on the inside and a bar and tables on the outside!  When you two step - you are always moving forward and this allowed you to move freely ... and around the track!  A much older man (60's/70's) came up to Macy and I and asked if he could teach us how to two step!  Of course we said yes.  Below Macy is seen dancing with the man.  

We also learned how to "Wobble," something involving a grapevine, the Cotton-Eyed-Joe and got to perform our Copperhead Road line dance live!  Before leaving, Macy and I asked if we could buy souvenir shirts because who would want to forget this?  The manager came back with two child XLs - questionable - with a peacock on the front and a back that read "Polly wants a cocktail at Midnight Rodeo." So we left Midnight Rodeo with brand new shirts and memories to last a lifetime!  Oh and if you're wondering how to two-step, it's simple!  Two steps to the right, one to the left, repeat.

The next morning, after saying our goodbyes, Macy and I left for home.  My parents, her parents and Jack were all there waiting for our arrival.  Y'all do you want to know how you can tell you're in love?  When your boyfriend (of 9 months on Friday!!!) comes to see you at the airport and you can't stop grinning even though you saw him the weekend before.  I could barely contain my excitement!  Awwww.  Enough for that cheesy stuff.  We ended the trip with some good eats: none other than ZAXBYS.

I have a really important piece of advice for y'all - never judge someone by what they wear, what they look like or who they might know.  One of the most amazing things I learned on my trip is that God puts the most unexpected people in your life to make the biggest impact.  First impressions, looks and everything materialistic doesn't matter.  What matters is the way people make you feel, whether they make you laugh or cry, whether they genuinely care.  Oh and one more thing: people in Texas are some of the nicest, most hospitable people I've ever met!  Maybe we can all learn a little something from them.

It's so past my bedtime!