Sunday, April 15, 2012

What do you value?

valuesthanks, pinterest.

What  do you value? Seems like a pretty easy question, no?

This year, I’ve made it my goal to talk about values everywhere I go. Whether it’s how to recruit women based on values or how to live by Delta Gamma’s values, I’m always trying to get the women that I meet to think about what this six letter word, values, really means.

Why? Because what we value defines who we are. Because what we value isn’t just communicated through what we say, it’s communicated in our every day activities. Our values are determined by what we do, say, and think.

And because somebody who knows what they value, and who strives to live their values, is unstoppable.

Some things I value? Honesty. Integrity. Compassion. Health. Happiness. Friendship. Respect. Learning. Teamwork. Forgiveness.

But it’s not just enough to tell people what you value. After all, corporations, politicians, organizations… many fail when what they do does not align with what they say they stand for. And the same fate could befall sororities and fraternities.

We say we stand for friendship, but then we talk about each other behind closed doors.

We say we stand for honesty, but then we lie about why we’re missing a meeting.

We say we stand for integrity, but then we take the extra t-shirt that someone left in the common area.

What’s that song? A little less talk, a lot more action?

What separates fraternities and sororities from other campus organizations is their ability to provide a values-based experience. It’s what has kept us relevant for over a hundred years. It’s why young women and men can be transformed over the course of their college experience.

Because that unquantifiable deeper meaning you get from life once you know what you stand for? It pushes you to be that better version of yourself. It gives you purpose and drive and breeds passion. It helps you to inspire others to find their deeper meaning too.

And that, for lack of a better word, is just awesome.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An update on some goals

Some of you may have checked out my goals page. If you haven't, you should! Anyways, today's post is an update on two of those goals.

Two of them focus on my love for graphic design - a passion I picked up as layout editor for my high school newspaper, and one that I've been able to use throughout college. They are:
  • Take an InDesign and Photoshop class
  • Pursue my passion by starting a small invitation/stationary design business
Earlier this week, I officially enrolled in a design class through Northern Virginia Community College. It's one of six classes I'm interested in taking through NOVA in order to gain more education/experience with graphic design. I start the course in May, and I couldn't be more excited.

I've also started my online portfolio. Right now it only contains a little bit of work, since a lot of my work is saved on a different computer. You should go check it out though, and I'll keep it updated as I take on more projects. Like it says, I'm available to do any freelance work :) The address is:

I'm in Boulder, Colorado this week, and I absolutely love it. I got to go to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory today, and it was a really neat experience! I think Boulder is really one of the coolest places I've ever visited, and I'm looking forward to another few days here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Half #3: check!

Saturday morning may have just been the most beautiful run I’ve ever been on. All 13.1 miles of it.

Let me back up. My dad and I got to Charlottesville on Friday afternoon, where, after checking into the hotel, our first stop was the DG house. I guess that’s what happens when you eat, sleep, and breathe Delta Gamma. After a few pictures with the house and the anchor, we went and picked up one of my best friends from high school, Shannon! It was really exciting to be able to see her and catch up, and she came with us to the expo and to carboload at a local Italian restaurant. Post pizza and gelato, we called it a night so that we could get enough sleep for our race.

With a 6:30 start time, we had the alarm set for 5:00.. which came a lot sooner than I thought it would… luckily, we were excited. See??:


Yes, I wore my Texas shorts. As a side note, it was the best decision I’ve ever made, because I got so many comments on them during the race! I think everyone thought I was from Texas.. Which I’m not, obviously, but it was still exciting to be able to provide some excitement for the Texans who were running – their faces lit up when they saw me!

Anyways, the Charlottesville Half was a really, REALLY beautiful race. While some of it winds through campus (which, side note, is my favorite college campus, and I have seen a lot of them), the majority of the race takes you through Virginia wine country. The majority of the course was rolling hills, which really didn’t feel too bad on my legs until the next morning. I kind of prefer rolling hills? I find the up/down a lot more interesting to race on than just flat ground. Here are a few of the views:

cvillehalf1  cvillehalf3

For a lot of the race, I ran behind a man who had the American flag (full sized, with flag pole) on his back. Talk about inspiration.

I finished a whole seven minutes faster than I ran my last half in May. I’m not super fast, and I didn’t finish anywhere near the top of the heap, but I’m pretty proud for shaving over 30 seconds off my average mile time. Hopefully for my next one, once I’m settled somewhere, I’ll be able to train exactly how I need to and will be able to cut even more time.


It was a beautiful run and really a perfect way to start my Saturday. I’m already excited to keep building my race calendar for summer, and I’ve got my training plan for the Marine Corps Marathon already in my planner – in pen!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Upcoming races

One of the things I love most about running is participating in races. I’ve run quite a few 5ks and two half marathons. In fact, running in races has been the thing I’ve missed most of this year on the road.

I like races because of the community they allow me to be a part of. The running community is non-judgmental, welcoming, and healthy. Being around the kind of people who get up early on a Saturday morning to do something good for their health are a special breed, and I like being one of them.

So it should be no surprise that I got really excited when I got this in my inbox earlier this week:


That’s right, I’ll be running the Charlottesville Half in just THREE DAYS! I’m preparing by drinking lots of water and making a killer playlist. And I’ve picked out my outfit – I will be running in my Texas shorts and a black running top. And obviously with my Spibelt. Get excited for pictures.

Yesterday, I also registered for another race, a two mile sand dune race on the Fourth of July.  I’ll be spending the holiday with some friends in the Outer Banks, and right now I know six of the nine participants who have signed up! I’m pretty excited for a new experience.

And, finally, I’ve got the big one coming up – my first full marathon. The Marine Corps Marathon sold out of 30,000 spots in under three hours, which is apparently a record for the US! Crazy. I’m not sure exactly what I’ve gotten myself into, but I do know that I’m excited and that I’m looking forward to starting my training.


So there’s my race schedule. It’s a little light right now, but once I get back home, I’m excited to sign up for a few more 5ks… And the Color Run that all my friends took part in in Atlanta is coming to DC in September! I’m super pumped for registration to open.

Anyone have any good recommendations for races in or near the DC area? They have to be after May 7th, but if you’ve got good ones, I’d love to hear about them!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Catching up: from Las Cruces to Lubbock

So here I am again, having promised you several blogs, playing catch up. Here’s what you’ve missed:

A week in Las Cruces, where I ate a lot of green chili (um, delicious), saw some sweet mountains, and got a view of Mexico! I met some wonderful women, was a guest speaker at Founders Day, and saw my first college baseball game of the season.

417092_1707249972396_1572450181_31593313_289049711_n    422064_1707252292454_1572450181_31593318_955392817_nDSC02369 DSC02367419856_1705662252704_1572450181_31590420_518316620_n

From there, I headed to Sarasota, Florida to watch the Orioles in Spring Training. This was my first Spring Training experience, but my dad and I have already decided that we’re going to make it a regular thing. We got to see the Orioles tie with the Red Sox and beat the Yankees! Plus, I recognized some of the rookies from working with Georgia Baseball, which is always exciting. Can you believe opening day is so soon?!

DSC02372 DSC02384 

 DSC02403 DSC02389

And then, I made my way to Delta Gamma’s oldest chapter – Eta, at the University of Akron. I really loved getting to spend the week in Ohio, especially with this group of women! I got to attend their Mother-Daughter Day, meet with alumnae, attend a cookout at a neighboring fraternity house, and bond closely with their chapter president, Danielle. They also included me in one of their chapter’s traditions, called Watershed. I also ate Chipotle twice in a week.

DSC02426 DSC02419

 DSC02423  DSC02429 DSC02416

Finally, I got to reconnect with the women of Gamma Xi-Texas Tech for a week! When I arrived, I was greeted by a chapter standing and applauding/cheering, which, of course, made me cry. That’s how I am – I get moved to tears. It’s fine. I got to present to the chapter, meet with officers, attend a baseball game, eat some really delicious things, bawl at both Inspiration and Initiation, and really just catch up with a group of women who I’ve missed since October. Plus, I got to shamelessly listen to “Texas Country…” read: all the Josh Abbott Band I ever wanted to listen to :)

DSC02431 DSC02435 DSC02439

There’s your recent summary. Tomorrow, be on the lookout for an update on my running life!