29 March 2010

The weekend I'd been waiting for:)

As of last Friday, it had been 11 weeks since I'd seen Luke. January 4th was the day I had left him standing there, outside of the staff house at Zephyr, and drove away. I moved to New York knowing that it would be difficult to see him, but we planned on him visiting twice. Well, as the best laid usually do, these plans fell through. Between Luke's work schedule and me adjusting to life in the city, there wasn't much time for him to visit. We planned on him visiting for my birthday weekend, March 26th-28th, which was, again, 11 weeks since we'd seen each other. Before this semester, we had never gone more than about 6 weeks without seeing each other. Luke and I both knew that this was the kind of thing we were committing to when we decided to have a long distance relationship. But 11 weeks?? It didn't seem possible...

But, we made it:) And for the first time in 11 weeks, I saw Luke this weekend!! And it was the best weekend I've had in a LONG time. We had both missed each other, but with the craziness that is our lives, I don't think either of us had truly realized how much we had missed each other. As we were saying goodbye at the airport yesterday evening, I was crying my eyes out (this is a normal Sara and Luke goodbye for me) and Luke was even a little emotional. I know its hard for him to see me upset, but its that much harder when he's upset as well. We got through it though, and it was well worth it. We had a wonderful weekend and I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present! I love that boy so much!!

Instead of going through every detail of our weekend, I'm just going to make a list of all the things Luke and I did:

1) Visited and ate lunch at Grand Central Station
2) Watched Phantom of the Opera on broadway
3) Walked through Times Square twice
4) Bought candy and a teddy bear at FAO Schwartz
5) Visited the under ground Apple store
6) Walked up and down 5th Ave., window shopped, and looked at diamonds at Tiffany's
7) Bought hotdogs and ate them in Central Park
8) Explored the Central Park Zoo
9) Watched crazy hip hop dancers dance outside of the park
10) Watched a virtual tour of New York City and went to the 86th and 102nd floors of the Empire State Building
11) Ate New York Pizza at some hole-in-the-wall pizza place
12) Visited Ground Zero
13) Hung out in Brookyln/visited my "hood" (ha!)
14) Walked Monatgue St. and ate at Five Guys
15) Walked the Brooklyn Promenade
16) Walked the Broklyn Bridge
17) And my favorite: cuddled a lot and watched tv

I know, it sounds simple and not very proper since we were in New York and all, but seriously, mine and Luke's absolute favorite thing to do together is just lay around cuddling and watching tv. I think it's because we're both so busy and never slow down. This was so needed and I'm glad we took that time together.

Even still, we did SO MUCH in a very fast 48 hours. I was proud of us! I'll cherish forever the memories we made this weekend. Luke actually liked New York a lot and I'm sure we'll be back to visit again after we're married. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

{Luke and I at the Majestic Theater for Phantom of the Opera}

{At the Central Park Zoo}

{In the jungle at the zoo}

{Freezing at the top of the Empire State Building!}

{Kisses at 1,250 feet!}

{One more Empire picture just because I Like this one}

{Luke and New York pizza for lunch!}

{At Love Lane in Brooklyn}

{Looking a little sleepy in Times Square}

You may be wondering why Luke is wearing the same thing in every picture. Well, he's not. My sweet boy, who is not used to the cold, was not as prepared for the weather in New York as he probably should have been. This was my fault though, because the weekend before he visited, it had be around 72 degrees and sunny. But once he got here, the high was in the 40s and lows in the 30s. Luke had to wear his hoodie and jacket over his shirts every day to keep warm. Oh well, it was all the more reason to snuggle closer! And we still had so much fun!!

And now, the countdown begins. I had been looking forward to Luke's visit for so long and now that it's over, there is one presentation, two finals, and 5 weeks that stand between me and moving back to Texas. I can't believe this adventure is almost over and I know that part of me is going to miss this city so much, but seeing Luke reminded me of why I'm doing this and what it is I'm working so hard for. I can't wait to get home to him and to GRADUATE! Ahhh!!! 39 days until I'm home and 47 days until graduation. I know that I should be more nervous and sad about this, but I'm not. I'm ready:):)

22 March 2010


It's been a couple of days since I blogged last, but that's because life in New York has been busy and I've had visitors! This is a recap of my weekend and all of the interesting/fun/crazy adventures we went on.

My momma and sisters flew in on Thursday around lunch time. However, I was still at work until 6 p.m., so we couldn't meet up until dinner time. From that point on, the five of us spent the whole weekend together! On Friday, we hopped over to Chinatown to do a little bargain handbag shopping;) This part of Manhattan is the equivalent to Harwin St. (sp?) in Houston. We also ate lunch at a little Chinese restaurant right off of Canal St. It was really hot on Friday (for New York that is), so it was nice to sit down inside and take a break from walking around in the scorching 72 degree heat (ha!). I also took the girls to their first bridemaid dress appointment at David's Bridal. There was really only one dress that Claire tried on that could possibly work if it had to. But it really wasn't the style and/or the color I was looking for. I think we all left David's Bridal a little less than satisfied. Friday night, we had dinner at Red Lobster in Times Square, which was SO good! Have I mentioned my love for coconut shrimp? Because I LOVE coconut shrimp!

{Momma hen and her chicks in Chinatown!}

On Saturday, we went to the second bridesmaid dress appointment at Bella Bridesmaid. I loved all of these dresses! Seriously, every one of the dresses my sisters tried on I would be more than happy to have worn at my wedding. We decided on two different styles of dresses, 4 girls will wear one style and 4 will wear the other. They are so romantic and flirty, exactly what I'm going for! They are a beautiful stormy blue color. When I see this color, I think of the sky right before a heavy rain. My bridesmaids are going to look so beautiful!!

Saturday night we went to see Mary Poppins!! This musical is just fantastic! The actor that played Burt did such a great job and the woman that played Mary Poppins is the orginal Mary Poppins. Not Julie Andrews from the movie, but the one and only person that has played this role on broadway. I guess it does help that she is British, but I just thought this woman was phenomial. I'm not going to lie, I did tear up when Mr. Banks realizes the value of his family and when Mary Poppins leaves. SUCH A GREAT SHOW!

{After Mary Poppins!}

On Sunday, the girls focused on getting their last souveniers bought for themselves, boyfriends, etc. Mom and I made a quick stop by J.Crew to check out one other bridesmaid dress which was not nearly as cute as the ones I've picked out. Oh well, it was worth a shot! After a quick lunch, a pretzel from a street vendor, and a couple more cups of coffee, mom and the girls were almost ready to leave. We went back to their hotel to get the luggage and add the souveniers to the already very full suitcases. They caught a taxi around 6 p.m. and headed to the airport and I walked to the subway:(

{My visitors before they left}

It was tougher than I had thought to say goodbye. I have missed my momma and sisters a ton since I've been in New York, but I think I've missed my momma a little bit more. It hit me while she was here that there are a lot of things with the wedding that I wish I was able to do with her or talk with her more frequently about. I want to go through every step of the planning with her and I don't want either one of us to miss out on anything. I can't wait to be home so we can do all the rest of it together!

Since my birthday is Friday, I won't see my family on my birthday, and because it's practically spring in the city now, my mom took me shopping for some new spring clothes! I would like to proudly announce that I dominated Ann Taylor Loft. You know how some girls sort of have "their store?" A place they always love to shop at, can always find a good sale deal, or always find clothes that fit them the best. Well, The Loft is most definitely "my store." I bought:

1) A cute floral dress I'm thinking about wearing to my first bridal shower in May!
2) A black dress that I'll probably wear to see Phantom of the Opera with Luke this weekend.
3) Two skirts: one black silky one and a cute blue on with a bow that ties at the top.
3) A cute ivory blouse with a little ruffle across the neckline
4) A pair of khaki-green pants that came with the cutest belt!
5) A khaki-tan 3/4-sleeved jacket

I also bought two really comfy t-shirts and two pairs of sandals at American Eagle. The American Eagle in Times Square has a great spring clothes selection right now! I can't wait to go back to The Loft in a couple of weeks to buy some new shorts for the summer. I love shopping:):)

{These are the two dresses I bought this weekend. I love them both!}

{These are the two skirts I bought this weekend! Except I actually got the gray one in black.}

And now, some MORE great news! LUKE WILL BE IN NEW YORK ON FRIDAY!!!! I cannot even begin to explain my excitement. By the time we're together again, it will have been 11 weeks since we've seen each other. I'm pretty sure I won't be letting go of him after that initial hug. My arm will be around him, we'll be holding hands, or something! Or for that matter, maybe I'll just lock him in a closet so he can't go back to Texas. Just a thought:) On Friday night (my 23rd bday!) we're going to see Phantom of the Opera and I'm planning on taking him to the top of the Empire State Building on Saturday night after dinner. I want to take him to Central Park and on an adventure to Brooklyn. Of course, he needs to see Times Square. So much to do, so little time!! But ultimately, I just want to be with him. I don't care what we're doing as long as we're together. I'm committing to a "no-wedding-talk" weekend so that we can just relax and enjoy each other. 4 MORE DAYS!!!

Lastly, I have to rant for just a second about my new favorite thing to do in New York: run the Brooklyn Bridge in the evenings with Helena. We love it! We run from our dorm to the bridge, from the Brooklyn end of the bridge to the Manhattan side of the bridge, and then we turn around and run it back. It's so fun because tons of people are always walking, running, or biking this bridge. And when you run at night, it's like your running into the New York skyline. It's absolutely breath-taking. I plan on doing this as much as possible between now and when I leave the city to go back to Texas.

Ok, I leave you with two questions:
1) What's "your store?" The one store you absolutely love shopping at...
2) Where's your favorite place to work out?

I'd love to know:) Hope you had a not-so-manic Monday!


17 March 2010

My Papaw

I am extremely blessed to have the greatest Papaw in the world! After a wonderful phone conversation with him on the phone last night, I was motivated to blog about my Papaw and what he means to me.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are from my weekends spent at my Nana and Papaw's house. Nana would take me shopping and Papaw was always working on some kind of project outside. Trimming trees, mowing the yard, something. We'd watch a lot of TV and there was never anything "good" to eat in their house because, let's face it, grandparents don't have Cool Ranch Doritos in their pantry. They have Saltine crackers and grapefruit juice, blah!

I loved when my Nana would get out her ukulele and sing "Big Rock Candy Mountain." I never knew all the words to the song, but my Papaw did and I thought that was so cool! And Papaw, he tells the BEST stories. He used to be a Marine and flew fighter jets (is that the right terminology, Papaw?). I still to this day love listening to Papaw tell stories about his life; where he lived, the adventures he went on, the lessons he learned. I never knew there was so much one person could teach another. Papaw has taught me so much in my short almost 23 years of life.

As I got a little older and started high school, Papaw used to help me do my math homework over the phone. Every high school girl needs a Papaw that is a pro in Calculus, let me tell you! I'd be one of the ONLY kids in my class with all of the answers to our homework and people would want to know how I'd figured them out. I don't think I ever let them in on my "secret weapon." Get your own Papaw, people! One of his favorite phrases to say to me back then, and even now, was "Work, work, work. Learn, learn, learn." This is one of those principles that never dies. For the rest of my life, I will know that as I work hard and learn as much as I can, I'm making my Papaw proud.

Last night, I was having a rough night. I missed Texas, my family, my friends, and Luke. I called my mom and she happened to be in Victoria, visiting my Papaw. She had to get on the road to go home to Hallettsville, so she had him call and talk to me. We caught up on life, my time in New York, my internship, where I live, my upcoming graduation, marriage, etc. He told me he got my save-the-date in the mail, which was cool. I asked him how he was and of course, he's keeping busy. Still working, still learning. He also told me that he's been keeping up with me and my sisters via facebook. He even reads my blog regularly! How awesome is my Papaw?! It was good for my heart to talk to Papaw last night. I miss him, and all of my family, very much. Talking with him, however, reminded me that I am so blessed to have such an amazing family and support system. I can't wait to visit both my Nana and my Papaw when I get back to Texas!!

Before we got off the phone last night, Papaw said, "Chin up girl! Only 6 more weeks. You can do it!" That is so like him:) It's also exactly what I needed to hear and from just the right person.

I love you very much. You mean more to me than you'll ever know or more than I've ever told you. Thanks for all your help in Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Cal and Calculus. I couldn't have done it with out you! I dedicate my last 6 weeks of this time in New York to you. I promise that I will "work, work, work and learn, learn, learn." I want to make to you proud. Thanks for sharing your life stories and wisdom with me. You're an awesome role model and I'm so blessed to know you and call you my Papaw. I love you.

16 March 2010

Psalm 25

Psalm 25 is the scripture God has laid on my heart the past couple of days. I keep reading it and it gives me so much hope and strength. I just wanted to share it with you all. What's your favorite scripture? What part of His Word does He call you back to over and over again? I hope you have something like this, but if you don't, maybe Psalm 25 could be yours:)

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.
Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, O LORD,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.
Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
See how my enemies have increased
and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you.
Redeem Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!

Psalm 25

14 March 2010

Rainy day blues

Yesterday it poured all day. Today, it's super gloomy outside. THIS WEATHER IS NOT GOOD FOR MY HEALTH! It makes me really unproductive and I'm not nearly as peppy as I am on a normal day. So, what else is there to do but blog:)

Last night, Luke went with his best friend Jay and Jay's family to the Icerays game for Jay's birthday. The Icerays are Corpus Christi's ice hockey team. From what I hear, they all had a great time and the Icerays won 5-3, woohoo!!! I was super bummed that I couldn't be there because Jay, Morgan (Jay's beautiful fiance!), Luke and I love to all hang out together, but last night I was missing from the group. Jay's sweet momma posted this picture to my Facebook wall for me hoping that is would make me feel better, which it did, but it also made me miss Luke and the whole gang that much more. Oh well, 7 more weeks and I'm back home with everybody! 

{How cute is this guy?? I miss him so much. I can't wait to be married to him:) 146 more days!!}

{This picture of Jay and Morgan is about a year old, but it's still cute! Luke and I are so blessed to have these two in our lives. They're getting married just a couple months after Luke and me. Love it!}

This past Friday after work, I stopped by Borders at The Shops at Columbus Circle. This mall is just a couple avenues up from where I work. I spent a peaceful two hours just wondering up and down the many rows of books. Have I ever told you how much I LOVE books? And reading? Seriously, it's like my life's goal to own a bookstore. I have a list of books that I want to read, but with school and work, it's hard to find the time. Determined to make time, I promised myself I would buy at least 2 new books while I was at Borders. I had narrowed in down to three books: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, A Reliable Wife, and Twenties Girl. The first two are currently on the New York Times Best Seller List under "Paperback Trade Fiction" and the third one I just stumbled across when I first walked into the store. Since my momma (of course, I called for her expertise reader's advice) figured I could borrow The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo from a friend since it's so popular, she advised that I buy the other two. This was a good choice since it got me a more serious/suspenseful book and a girly book. Got to have a good balance! I'm now almost half way through A Reliable Wife (doesn't take me long!) and I'm loving it. I'll let you know what I think after I've finished it. 


I guess I'll head on over to the gym now. Hopefully a good workout will help me shake these rainy day blues! Maybe a little laundry later? Or working on a little homework? Wow, I sound lame. Mom and the girls get here in 4 days and I can't wait!! Hurry up Thursday!

12 March 2010

Wedding updates and other fun stuff!

Save-the dates have been SENT, praise the Good Lord! It was so tough finding time to get them mailed because I work 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and that's most post offices' hours of operation. But, I got it done and can now mark it off my list! I'm still waiting to hear back from a couple of people, but it looks like we're getting close to picking a DJ for the reception, yay! Of course this would be one of the toughest decisions for me because I love music and dancing so much:) These DJs are having to prove they are good enough to play at my reception (uh oh, bridezilla...she's coming out!). I'm beginning to look into registering which is really exciting because, as both Luke and my mother will let you know, I love to shop! I have a couple other things on my wedding to-do list, but for now, I think Luke and I are moving at a pretty good pace. Poor thing, he's such a trooper listening to all of my wedding conversations over the phone and Skype. And it sounds like he's getting a lot of good ideas for and doing some good research on honeymoon desinations and packages. Have I told y'all I have the best fiance ever?? Well, I do:)

My momma and sisters will be here in 6 DAYS!!! And don't you worry, I'm taking advantage of my time with my bridesmaids (muahahahaha!). We have three appointments to look for bridesmaids dresses the weekend they're here, 2 Friday and 1 Saturday. Our appointments are at Adriennes, David's Bridal, and Bella Bridesmaid. I really hope we find something at Bella Bridesmaid because they carry a lot of the designers I like. I want my girls to be in flirty, romantic dresses. Wish us luck! I'm sure you'll get to see a few pictures once we're done with the appointments:)

{These are a couple of the cute dresses I want my sisters to try on!}

Today marks the end of my 9th week in New York City. I have 7 weeks left of work, a couple days for finals, and then I'm back in the sweet state of Texas. I can't wait!! I've loved New York and this really has been the experience of a lifetime, but I can't wait for summer, the beach, Camp Zephyr, my family and friends, wedding planning, MEXICAN FOOD!, BBQ, my car, and wide open spaces. I can't believe I graduate so soon and I'm still waiting to hear back from a couple law schools, but God is good and His plan is perfect. I'm just trying to be patient and I know He already has it all worked out.

{This is what I'm looking forward to when I get back to Texas!!}

As I was walking into the lobby of work today, guess who I ran into? None other than the beautiful Jessica Simpson! I thought about just walking by and not saying anything because she looked busy and I was in a hurry to get to work, but I just had to say hello. Us Texas girls have to stick together! I introduced myself, told her I was from Texas, and that I go to Baylor. This was cool because one of the girls with her had gone to Baylor too! I also told her that I watched her on Oprah a few days ago and that I'm so excited about her new tv show that premieres on March 15th. I really felt compelled to say this to her because after watching her on Oprah, I really felt for her and all she's gone through with stupid John Mayer, Tony, Nick, etc. The tabloids have just been ridiculous because she's such a beautiful woman, both inside and out. Her new show, The Price of Beauty, speaks volumes for her growth as a woman and for what all women go through to be "beautful." I'll have you know ladies, that The King in enthralled by your beauty, every last one of you. We are all made in HIS image. Be proud of who you are! Jessica Simpson is a great example of this. Here is the preview video for The Price of Beauty:

Another exciting thing: as I type, my high school alma mater, Hallettsville High School, is at the UIL State Basketball Tournament in Austin, Texas. Our boys basketball team has made it to state for the first time (I think) ever! My dad is giving me quarterly updates and Claire's boyfriend, Reid, is a senior and a starter for the team. Good luck Reid and GOOOOOO BRAHMAS!!!

09 March 2010

Back to reality...

Day 3 of hanging out with friends in the city was wonderful! We met up around 11 a.m. to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Christine came in from Conneticut to spend the day with us too! Because we went during the lunch hour, we got to skate for $5. None of us fell, thank goodness, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect! After iceskating for about an hour, we grabbed hotdogs from a street vender for a quick and easy lunch. After that, we went back to the girls' hotel to put Christine's bag up and figure out what else we wanted to accomplish that day.

{Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have from ice skating (from my iPhone) because I was scared to take my nice camera on the ice. I think Cat got some good pictures though!}

We ended up taking the subway down into Brooklyn. On 5th Ave., I showed the girls where I go to church and we walked through a couple of the cute little shops I've come to adore since I started living in Brooklyn. One in particular, Teddy, has to be my favorite. Unfortunately, this cute little botique doesn't have a website, but here's a review someone wrote about the store online:

"Teddy has a cute, but small assortment of dresses, blouses, skirts and jackets. They also have fabulous accessories. The quality does vary, but the pricing reflects that. A lot of the clothes are cotton, which can look good depending on what it is and does lower the price. Many of the items are under $100."


I tried on a couple of dresses, but didn't find anything I was in love with. Cat bought the cutest floral top, which will be so great for when spring finally arrives. Overall, success:)

After shopping, I took the girls to my favorite coffee shop in Brooklyn, Gorilla Coffee. This place makes the strongest espresso I've ever had and their famous maple latte is delicious! We also grabbed a quick bite at a little cafe to hold us until dinner. The sandwiches were so good and I ate the other half of Christine's for lunch at work today:)

We took the subway back to Clark St. and walked to the Brooklyn Bridge. Then, we actually walked the Brooklyn Bridge. This is the bridge that takes you from Brooklyn to Manhattan. It was 58 degrees outside, the sun was shining and beginning to set, and I couldn't have spent this peaceful time with better friends. We took a few pictures on the bridge and then hopped on the subway to go to dinner.

{The Brooklyn Bridge}

{Christine, Kristin, Catherine, and I on the Brooklyn Bridge}

For dinner, we ate at Ellen's Stardust Diner. If you ever visit New York, this is definitely a cool place for lunch or dinner. The waitors and waitresses take turns singing, even on table tops and booths, while also waiting on you. Many people that move to New York hoping to make it big on Broadway will work here in hopes of being seen by the right people. After a great dinner, Cat, Kristin, and Christine went to the Top of the Rock. I wanted to go, but I'm going to take Luke when he visits in a couple of weeks and I want to experience this beautiful view of the city with him first. I received a text from Cat a little later in the evening just ranting and raving about how wonderful the Top of the Rock is. I'm excited!!!

I, unfortunately, went home:( I've been living in la la land the past three days just playing in the city my roommates, but at some point it had to end because I don't get a spring break in the real world. I had to go back to work today (Tuesday) while my friends are still enjoying the city until Friday. At first Iwas kind of bummed about this, but then my Otis Spunkmeyer cookie from the cafeteria downstairs made it slighty better. Today's cookie, and my favorite, the white chocolate cranberry cookie!

07 March 2010

Friends in the City: Day 2

Catherine, Kristin, and I had a full day in the city! We met up for breakfast/coffee at where else, Starbucks!, and then we headed over to Rockefeller Center to ice skate. On the way, we stopped at Papyrus, the cutest stationary store in the world, and Cat bought a small sketch pad. She's an interior design major on vacation, what can I say? :) We also stopped by Radio City Music Hall for a couple of quick pictures! When we got to Rockefeller Center and checked out the prices, we realized it would cost us $9 less to ice skate tomorrow around lunchtime. Done:) So, we moved on.

{Radio City Music Hall}

After leaving Rockefeller Center, we decided to walk over to Grand Central Station. On our way, we stopped by the American Girl store. Wow, this brought back so many childhood memories! We looked for the old dolls and books that we loved so much because they "looked like us." Of course, I was Kirsten, Kris was Felicity, and Cat was Molly. There were so many little girls, their moms, and their dads walking around this 3-story little girl heaven. The poor dads were carrying multiple bags and looked like they had the word "sucker" written on their foreheads, ha! After a tour of all three floors, we got back on track and headed over the Grand Central.

{Cat and I with pictures of the AG dolls that "looked like us" as kids!}

We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Grand Central. The salads we ate were SO yummy! Mine was mixed romaine lettuce, onions, kidney beans, cheddar cheese, cajun chicken, and low-fat creamy italian dressing. We also walked around, took pictures, and checked out the many cool stores at Grand Central.

{My delicious salad from lunch}

After lunch, we visited Bloomingdales on the Upper East Side for a little bit, just to say we had. Then we stopped by Dylan's Candy Bar. DANGEROUS STORE, let me tell you! They have every kind of candy under the sun. On the bottom level of the store, yes it has 3 levels, there is a huge fudge counter that held my attention for a while. We saw a bath tub full of gum balls, an entire wall of M&M paraphernalia, and Kristin bought James some candy with his name on it. What a sweet (no pun intended, hehe) girlfriend. But shhh! Don't tell James:)

After Dylan's, we went to Serendipity. We ordered two frozen hot chocolates, one original and one with peanut butter (my personal favorite). If you don't know, this is what Serendipity is known for. You can't go to New York and not get one! Here is a great picture of my precious roomies and their first frozen hot chocolate:)

{Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity!}

{Thanks for the paparazzi pics outside of Serendipity, Catherine!}

After our long day out and about in the city, the girls and I went and put our names in a broadway lottery the see the show Rock of Ages and we were drawn! So, we each got to see the show for $26.50, which is AMAZING. The show itself was good, but it was even better for the price we paid! The lead role of this show is Constantine Maroulis from American Idol. His voice, and the many other lead voices were seriously so good! This musical showcases a ton of 80s music, so of course, we loved it all and sang along throughout the entire show. Any night full of rock and roll 80s music and a lot of laughter is a good night!

Tomorrow we're headed to Rockefeller Center to ice skate, possibly to the Central Park Zoo, and to the Top of the Rock for an evening view of the beautiful lit up city at night. I'm excited because this is supposed to be super romantic (yes, going with the roomies) and I want to see if it's somewhere fun I can take Luke when he comes to visit for my birthday weekend. More tomorrow!

06 March 2010

blueberry coffee, save-the-dates, and a visit from friends

Wow, so much has been going on the last couple of days! I can't believe it's 9 p.m., I'm at home, and I actually have time to blog without feeling rushed. Work has been good, but I'm starting to get tired of my routine. I decided to try and change it up a bit, so I ordered, along with the normal coffees, some blueberry flavored Keurig K cups for the Keurig at work. By the way, if you  don't know what a Keurig is, you should! If you're a coffee, latte, tea, or hot chocolate drinker, this sweet machine will revolutionize your life. The blueberry coffee is ok, but I think it needs a little creamer. This has been ordered as well. Hopefully by next week I will have that office smelling like blueberries and hot chocolate instead of, well, whatever it smells like now:)

Wild Mountain Blueberry coffee!

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours working on my wedding guest list and addressing the envelopes for mine and Luke's save-the-dates. I had no idea it would take that long! And, ironically enough, the longer it took me, the longer our guest list got. Between the two of us, Luke and I have about 175 family members. On top of that we added FBC Hallettsville friends, FBC Beeville friends, Zephyr family/friends, Baylor friends, TAMUCC friends, HHS friends, CHS friends...lions, and tigers, and bears, OH MY! I called my mother and gave her the most up to date guest list and you know what she told me?? She said, "Your father just said don't go over 600 people." WHAT??? Who invites that many people to a wedding?? I don't think the country club can comfortably hold 400, lol. It sure will be interesting to see how many RSVP once official invitations go out. Although, the more the merrier! I always envisioned my wedding being a huge party where everyone eats a lot of really great food and then dances the night away. I just want that special day to be a time of celebration and FUN! Save-the-dates go out Monday, finally. 

Today, my two roomies from Baylor, Catherine and Kristin, flew in to the city. I'm so excited they decided to spend their spring break in New York with me! I met them at their cute hotel, the Hotel Edison in Times Square, and then we grabbed a bite to eat at a local cafe on 6th Ave. After that, we went to Central Park, The Plaza Hotel, Wall St. and then to my dorm in Brooklyn Heights. I showed them around the St. George and they got to see my tiny dorm room that I had cleaned just for their visit! The girls got to see my wedding dress and I got to fall in love with it all over again:) We walked down to Montague St., over to the promenade to look at the beautiful New York City skyline all lit up at night, and then grabbed dinner at a little Italian restaurant called Pete's down by the Brooklyn Bridge. The girls went back to their hotel early tonight since they'd been traveling and then on their feet all day. We figured this would give us all a good night's rest before our very busy day tomorrow! On the agenda for tomorrow: ice skating in Bryant Park,  Bloomingdales, Serendipity, Grand Central Station, and we'll probably put our names in a broadway show lottery drawing tomorrow evening. Wish us (and the city) luck! 

Here are a couple pictures from our first day back together. Be looking for another blog post/update from our adventures soon!

How cute are they?? So glad they're in my House Party!

Funny story. The guy that took this picture looked like he knew what he was doing, but then he didn't even get the whole New York Stock Exchange in the background. Lame dude, lame.

Oh gosh, I almost forgot and am now adding this part to the blog post after I've already published it once. Tonight, the Baylor mens basketball team BEAT TU!!! Congrats boys! Y'all make me, and all of Baylor, SO proud. SIC 'EM BEARS!!!!! 

Check out this link to read about the game: http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/m-baskbl/recaps/030610aaa.html

03 March 2010

For all you book lovers: "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

I've done a lot of research recently on the book, "The Help," by Kathryn Stockett, for work. Let's just say that it will definitely be the next book I read! This author and her book are currently being featured on @KATIECOURIC, which is "an online program featuring candid, in-depth interviews with newsmakers from the worlds of politics, business, medicine and entertainment" (CBSNews.com). Below is the video featuring Katie Couric's interview with Stockett. Make sure you check it out!

@katiecouric: Kathryn Stockett

Kathryn Stockett, bestselling author of "The Help," speaks with Katie Couric about her successful novel and her childhood in Mississippi. Stockett also answers questions from book club readers.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Mentorship Round Table: The Round-Up

This week a really cool opportunity came up and I was able to participate in my first blogging round table. For those of you who don't know what this is, a blogging round table occurs when one blogger comes up with a theme or topic and invites other bloggers to write on this theme/topic in their individual blogs. A friend of mine, Holly Hoffman, Co-founder & Chief Inspiration Officer at Neovia Solutions, sent out this tweet on Feb. 15th:

This tweet got a lot of response, so Holly decided to host a blogging round table on the topic of mentors. Many bloggers sent Holly the links to their posts on this topic, she complied the links, and posted all of them together on her blog. GENIUS, in my opinion. I had never heard of such a thing until this week and I felt honored to participate. I am a young professional, so I enjoyed reading the blog posts of those older and more experienced than myself. This round table took mentoring to a whole new level!

Ok, I'm done ranting and raving about my first blogging round table experience. Here is the link to Holly's blog and to the results of the round table on mentors. Be looking for me in other discussions such as this one!

01 March 2010

My First Blogging Round Table: Mentors

First off, I am really excited to participate in my first blogging round table. I had never even heard of such a thing until I saw Holly's blog post about it. Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and I look forward to any comments you are willing to share.

Those of you reading this post may think that I am too young to be blogging about "outgrowing a mentor."However, I can confidently say that in my young 22 years, I have had already outgrown one mentor and am currently being mentored by two others. From a professional perspective, I may not have as much experience to share as some of you. However, I am definitely on my way to becoming a public relations professional and it has has been my mentors, both past and present, that have helped pushed me to become the student, leader, and young woman I am today.

As a teenager in high school, there was one particular woman in my church that took me under her wing and mentored me in different areas of my life. I looked up to her because she had gone through many of the same situations as a teenage girl that I was going through at that very time. However, I do believe that God's plan was for this woman to mentor me through a very specific season of my life. During my four years of high school, she set example of a Godly woman for me to follow and spoke truth into my life. After I moved off to college, my communication with this mentor began to fade and hardly exists anymore. We are still friends, but her role in our relationship has changed. I believe this is how it should be. I have outgrown this mentor because I am in a different place in my life now.

As a soon-to-be college graduate (May 15, 2010!!), I find myself being mentored in new ways today. I have been working for the past four summers at a Christian camp in South Texas called Camp Zephyr. I began my first summer as a "summer staffer" and have been promoted each year. This past summer, I served Camp Zephyr as the Program Coordinator. I created camp schedules, programmed and coordinated all-camp events, and served as the liaison between the executive camp staff, camp directors, and church pastors. My immediate supervisor, Shaune Martinez, who is the Associate Director at Camp Zephyr, has been some what of a mentor to me throughout my time at this camp. He has not only taught me a great deal of what I know about camp ministry, but has also given me room over the years to make mistakes. This has helped me to build a tougher skin and strengthen my skill set through both failure and success. I believe that a good mentor does not treat the person that he or she is mentoring as a puppet, but encourages and guides this person as he or she develops into the leader they are supposed to become. I plan on working at Camp Zephyr once again this summer, summer #5. I am not quite sure if this will be my last summer or not and I have no idea how long Shaune will serve at this camp before God calls him and his wife to ministry somewhere else. Someday though, I will "outgrow" Shaune as a mentor. And when this day I comes, I know that I will be able move forward in whatever profession I choose with the desire to take a chance and impart wisdom on another "summer staffer" that I believe has the potential to do great things, just as Shaune has done for me.

The other mentor in my life may not even know I see her in this light. I am currently interning at CBS News in New York City in the press office, also known as the public relations department. My immediate supervisor plays a huge role in this department and because of her experience in public relations, I am honored to be able to work under her. She is a motivator; those that work under her want to do their best because she brings out the best in people. The quality of this woman's character is noted by other executives in my office and she sets an example of how to be a solid leader in what can be a tough industry. My internship in New York will end on April 30th, and so will my mentoring under my supervisor at CBS News. However, I do not see myself necessarily "outgrowing" this mentor; not yet, anyway. At this point in time, I will have to start looking for another mentor to take the place of the one I'll leave behind in New York. I do think that a mentor is valuable, especially for young professionals like myself that are striving for success in their careers.

So there you have it, my mentors both past and present. I really do believe that it is important to surround yourself with the people you want to become because when you do this, these people push you to be better. It is through the love, encouragement, and leadership of my mentors that I am confidently pursuing my career goals and life dreams. I look forward to hearing about your mentors and beliefs for or against having a mentor. Thanks again for taking the time to read about mine.