North Carolina for the ACC Championship Game

Today, I took a personal day so we could travel to North Carolina. Earlier in the week, I received my grade on the rewrite that I did. I got 93%. I was so happy. I was so surprised. I have a much better grade walking into the final paper. I submitted my final paper for revision to Nikki before we left for North Carolina. I am going to try not to check my e-mail while we are away. I just want to enjoy North Carolina.
In the morning my dad picked us up and drove us to the airport. It was 3am and way too early! We hugged my dad goodbye and then we made our way to the gate. After traveling to England and France, we were pros at flying. I honestly like flying. It’s relaxing. On the way to the gate, I bought some magazines. I need to read on the plane. It’s hard for me to sleep. It was going to be a short flight to Chicago. Southwest is crazy. Pittsburgh to Chicago, then Chicago to North Carolina. It’s insane.
When we landed in Chicago, we made our way to the gate for our flight to North Carolina. I couldn’t wait to be in North Carolina and see our Bed and Breakfast. The layover in Chicago wasn’t too bad it was only an hour or two. I bought the book a Simple Favor. It was a movie that was in theaters recently. I do want to see the movie, but in most cases, the books are always better than the movie.
When we landed in North Carolina, there was some drama with the communication between the pilot and the guys on the ground, who unload baggage. The pilot pulled up to the wrong gate, and you could see the guys on the ground directing him to another terminal, but the pilot wasn’t following directions. It was kind of funny. This delayed us getting our bags. Eventually, our bags appeared on the conveyor belt. We were meeting my cousins for dinner at some point around 4:30pm or 5pm. We took an Uber to our bed and breakfast. The place where we were staying was called the Morehead Inn. The woman at the front desk, who greeted us her name was Philomena she was from Ireland. She told us about the history of the place and gave us a tour. She kept saying how beautiful of a couple we are.

When we walked into our room, it was called the Dilworth room it was so cute. it looked like a quaint hotel room. There was a door to the balcony. The balcony was a shared space among other guests. Philomena treated us to a glass of wine. While we waited for Philomena to bring us our wine, I got a shower. Apparently, she brought the wine while I was in the shower. I wanted to get cleaned up and ready to go to dinner tonight. When I got out of the shower, I saw there was a glass of rose there for me. She surprised me!
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How am I ever going to leave this place? After we drank our wine, we left the Bed and Breakfast and went to go meet my cousins. My cousins live about 3 hours away from North Carolina. We were meeting them at the Dilworth Grille. We walked to the restaurant and took in this little part of Charlotte that we were visiting. It was raining, but not an insane downpour type of rain.  It was a calming kind of rain and it was bearable to walk in. We saw there was a liquor store next to the shop. We went into the liquor store and picked up some champagne and a can of rose seltzer water from France. I couldn’t wait to head back to the bed and breakfast and drink with my husband.

After the liquor store, we went to the Dillworth Grille. They seated us at a table and we waited for my cousins. We took a seat and ordered drinks. We were starved. While we were at the table, Drew and I talked about how much we loved North Carolina. It has always been my dream to go back to the South to live. I have always been in love with the South. North Carolina everyone is so nice and they say, “Yes ma’am.” They are pleasant. I would love to end up there.

When my cousins arrived, we stood up and hugged them. My cousin Gretchen has a daughter Dorcas. Dorcas is married to Steven and they have 4 boys.  I haven’t met the youngest yet, Edison. All in all, I haven’t seen them since my wedding. It has been 3 years. It was so good to see them.

After dinner, Drew and I went back to the bed and breakfast and wandered around the house a bit. I was in love with the staircase.  Ever since England, I have been obsessed with staircases. I can appreciate a good staircase. I can just imagine old southern belles who are aristocrats walking this staircase in ball gowns, so jealous.  Drew took a video of me walking down the stairs, pretending to be an aristocrat.
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The house was all decorated for Christmas. It looked so beautiful.

 

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Christmas Decorating

One of the things I had to get used to when Andrew and I got married, was putting up the Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving! In my family, we didn’t put up the tree until at least the weekend after Thanksgiving. Andrew in his family put it up immediately after Thanksgiving. I don’t mind.
However, I am very organized and it is a process. We have to go down to the garage, get the tree, get the Christmas bins, and go through each bin first, see what we want to put out, then set up the tree, etc. There is a method for keeping this neat and tidy. I know in the future this may change when we have children and they will tear through everything, which is okay.
Image may contain: christmas tree After we set up the tree, we put everything in the basement until after Christmas is over, and then we will put everything back in the bins, and then back to the garage. We also made cookies and drank a little while we set up the tree. Andrew likes to put on Christmas music to help set the mood. I will be honest Christmas is nice, but it is not my favorite holiday. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I try to be supportive of him because he loves Christmas and decorating. However, our tree does look mighty pretty.

Thanksgiving 2018

This morning, I got up early, showered, and got ready to go to my parents. I was going to meet Drew over there at around 2:30pm. I wanted to help my mom get ready and prepare dinner. Andrew’s family was coming over to my parents and I know she was going to be really busy. This was also an opportunity for my mom and me to have some quality time.
When I arrived at my parents, I got snuggle my dogs for a bit and then made the green bean casserole as part of my contribution for Thanksgiving dinner. I was so ready to eat. I couldn’t wait for Turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, etc. When Andrew arrived, he hung out with my dad and watched football. Eventually, Andrew’s mom, dad, and Aunt Tootsie arrived at my parents. It was nice to everyone in the house and over my parents.
After dinner, we ate dessert, relaxed and then got ready to go to his grandma’s. Andrew’s grandma is in a rehab center, and we were going to bring her some leftovers. She was doing so much better. She is a fighter.
When we walked into her room, she was watching the Wizard of Oz. I loved that movie as a child and still do. Grandma was so happy to see us. I gave her a big hug and we visited with her while she ate some leftovers. It was so good to see her and just like that Thanksgiving was over.

The Start of Thanksgiving Break

Today, we had a pre-holiday division lunch. Our Division Administrator treated us to pizza, and a move with legit movie theater popcorn and she put on the movie Christmas vacation.
Image result for national lampoon christmas vacationI am probably the only one in the world, who don’t particularly care for this movie. I mean it is funny, but I am not really into stupid humor. Wynn, one of my co-workers said it best, we have all of these characters in our families or someone that is close to resembling them.

While the movie was playing, we were all hoping that we would be able to leave early for the day since it was going to be the thanksgiving weekend. At the end of the movie, she said, “You may all go home now. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!” I was ready for Thanksgiving. I left the conference room and went down to my office and got all packed up and got ready to leave. I walked to the Cathedral to get my keys. Drew was going to have to take the bus home.

Also, I have been back and forth with Nikki, another TA in my class, who has been helping me with my rewrite. I feel as though I was almost done. It was a process and required a little bit of research. Now we are in the expanding portion of the paper. I am feeling pretty good about it. The rewrite was due November 26th.

Thankfully, I already started the third and final paper. However, Andrew and I are going to North Carolina on Friday, November 31st, and will be going on Saturday and return on Sunday, December 2nd. The final paper is due on the 3rd of December. I am so ready for this all to be over, but at the same time, I am trying to breathe in each moment and take it all in and appreciate every step and learn something from them.

Once I got home, I sat down and sent some corrections that I made to my rewrite and worked some more on my final paper. Thankfully, I had already started the last paper a while ago, or else it would have been so much to do on top of the rewrite. I was ready to rest and relax for the rest of the evening. I took a nap and waited for Drew to call me and tell me he needed to be picked up. I was so exhausted.

My Dad’s Birthday

I drove to my parents and we drove to Cinemark in the North Hills. I was so excited to see the Nutcracker and the four realms.

Image result for Nutcracker and the four realmsI have seen the previews and I couldn’t wait to see the movie. Once we got to the theater, we went through the concession lines. I got popcorn, diet coke, and water. I bought my parents’ popcorn and my dad some candy. My mom wanted a drink and daddy wanted a coke. Not a problem I was treating them since it was my dad’s birthday. Once we approached the box office, the usher scanned my phone. The tickets were on my phone. My parents were so amazed by that for some reason.

 

Once inside the theater, we took our seats and once the movie started, and I heard the familiar Nutcracker Suite started to play, and I was immediately in love. Something about the Nutcracker really gets me into the Christmas spirit.
When I was younger, my mom took me to see the Nutcracker for a few Christmases in a row. It was just a magical tradition for me as a little girl, the ballerinas, the grace and the beauty. Also, I took ballet lessons as a child (up until I was 15 years old). I think I wanted to be a legit ballerina.

After the movie, which was everything and more than I could have hoped it would be. I had to stop and use the restroom on the way out of the theater. After I finished my business, I stayed in the stall a few extra minutes and checked to see if my grade for my paper was posted. I was so nervous about it. I wanted to do well, and I had the TA look it over, so I felt confident, but something was bugging me about it for some reason.
Courseweb finally loaded, I saw that my grade for a paper was a C. I was one point away from a B-. I was going to have to rewrite. I was so upset. I cried.
When I got out of the bathroom, I told my parents. They felt so bad for me. They knew how hard I worked on it. They knew I sought help and yet still I got a C. I texted Drew and he felt so bad for me. I told him that I was probably going to have to rewrite. He told me that I should rewrite and just accept it. I was still going to pass since I did well on all my other assignments. I was still so upset. I just wanted to go home, but I had an appointment at the Apple store in Ross Park Mall.
When we arrived at the mall, I checked in at the Apple store. They said it would probably be about 2 hours. My parents had to go home and feed the dogs, so I just stayed behind. I didn’t want to be there, but I wanted to be alone. I was in such a bad mood. I just wanted to see my husband. I was dreading having to rewrite this paper, but I felt as though if I did rewrite, I would be in a better place with my grade going into the final paper.

When I finally saw my husband, I gave him a big hug. I wanted to cry. I held back tears in the Apple Store. Finally, my phone was complete all I had to do was get my battery replaced. I was so glad to go home and get out of there. When I got home, Drew and I talked and he was so supportive and didn’t think I needed to rewrite but supported my decision too. I had to get a plan of attack together. First, I needed to talk to the TA tomorrow, and see what I need to do to improve. I was so anxious for class the next day.

Library

At lunch, I went to the library. I haven’t been there in a while. I have been so tied up with my grad classes. I just wanted to go be among the books. I browsed the Hillman Library’s section of newer books. I didn’t really find anything. On my way to leave, I walked by the space saver shelves. The first space saver shelf I stumbled upon that was open was the one I walked down.

When I walked down the aisle, I was almost to the end, then I saw him. There he was my favorite author, Fitzgerald. I took it as a sign. I know it is weird, but it was fate that I walked down this particular aisle. I didn’t even look him up. I just randomly picked this aisle to walk down.

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I took it as a sign that although things seem crazy right now with the end of the semester approaching and end of the semester assignments are due. I am going to be okay. I am going to be just fine and it is all good. I think it is important in life, that we stop and reflect for a moment and acknowledge the signs.

Pitt Stronger Than Hate

Pitt Stronger Than Hate

In the morning, I went and got my  free Pitt Stronger than Hate t-shirt at the William Pitt Union. At 12pm, Nancy and I went to the Memorial for the Tree of Life victims. The memorial was held on the lawn of the Cathedral in between the Cathedral and Heinz Chapel.  There were thousands of people there.
Image result for pitt stronger than hateChancellor Gallagher made a speech, and so did Bill Peduto and Rich Fitzgerald. This was the first time I seen Bill Peduto in person. It was a cool experience.

On the way back, Nancy and I stopped at Taco Bell in the William Pitt Union and got lunch, then went back to the office.
After work I had the politics and history of higher education class. Julia and I had to give our oral presentation on Title IX. We both were ready and prepared for it. After a group did an engaged learning activity, we went up to present. We did so well and we made the time limit. I was so proud of us.

When I got back to my seat, I fired up my computer and she posted the grade of our presentation 60/60. Whew! Now I need to find out what I received on my second paper. 2 more assignments left. One more summary to complete, as well as the final paper on my philosophy of education. I am going to start the paper this weekend I think. I am ready for the end and for Christmas break!