Christmas with My Parents

Image may contain: 2 people, including Danielle Hornyak, people smiling, people standing and indoorThe day after Christmas Day we celebrated with my parents. We opened gifts. I got my Dad a gift card to the movies. My mom got some pieces to her Winterberry collection. I was anxious to see what we got from my parents. I think I already knew what I was getting, but Drew knew for sure we were getting the Nintendo Switch. I had asked for it for Christmas. Drew and I can’t stop playing it when we go to Best Buy.

It was our turn to open gifts, Drew got some beer glasses for his man cave. The glasses have his name on it. My parents gifted us with a Nintendo Switch, the Mariokart game, and a Paris calendar for our kitchen. We both received a little bit of money from them as well. I was so thankful and so happy. We couldn’t wait to go home and play Mariokart.

When I was younger, my dad and I used to play Super Nintendo. I am not a gamer, but I remember playing that console for hours. The graphics have come such a long way since the 90s. It looks so real now.

As the day went on, I started to feel a little sick in my stomach, but I was going to pull through it was Christmas. I wasn’t as bad as Drew, but there was something going around, plus we were eating all this different food.

At dinner, Drew and I prepped the food, and served my parents. It was nice and relaxing to finally be able to celebrate Christmas with my parents.

 

Game Day

This morning, I didn’t feel hung over at all. We drank a bottle of champagne together, had drinks at dinner, wine before dinner, and a can of rose spiked sparkling water. I felt ready to go for game day! We got showered and went down to breakfast. The front desk attendant escorted us to the dining room. I immediately was in another time.
Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoorThe table looked so beautiful. We took a seat in the back at the small two seat table.  We got to talking with the hostess, and she poured us some coffee, while we waited for our breakfast.

Image may contain: Danielle Hornyak, smiling, sitting, drink and indoorOur table even had a little bell on it, if we needed anything we could just ring the bell. I thought oh my God no way! I have always wanted a bell. For breakfast, I had waffles with bacon and Drew had pancakes with sausage. I didn’t want to leave. I wish I could live here.

After breakfast, we took an Uber down to where some of the pregame stuff was happening. It was still a bit too early for anything, but it was cool to go and experience it.

When we arrived at the park where the pregame stuff was happening, we saw ESPN radio doing a broadcast. It was cool to see and to be apart of.  it was still too early to do anything game related. We explored around the area a little more and decided to walk back to our bed and breakfast. Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor It was cool to see and to be apart of.  it was still too early to do anything game related.

We explored around the area a little more and decided to walk back to our bed and breakfast. On our way back, we were crossing the street and some people approached us and said, “Hail to Pitt.” We said, “Hail to Pitt.” It was a father and son. He said, where do you guys get your umbrellas?” Drew told him about the 7//11 on the corner that is we got ours. He said, oh cool. He asked if were going to the Pitt tailgate before the game. Drew said, We weren’t. we didn’t get tickets in time, but it would be cool to go. He said, “I might be able to get you in. we are on the way to meet my wife at the French quarter restaurant. Why don’t you guys come have a drink? and we can plan to meet up later. Drew looked at me to make sure I was cool with it. I nodded and said, “okay, we will go for a drink.” I thought why not. When we got to the French Quarter restaurant, we met his wife and sat at the table with them. They had a special and Mimosas were like $3.50, so that is what I got. The guy’s wife asked me what I got and I said, “a mimosa” and smiled. We introduced ourselves and exchanged contact information for later. The guy said how he is an alumni of Pitt and knows all the people in athletics and the chancellor and etc. The names he was dropping I knew of, but when it was my turn to drop names he didn’t recognize them. Drew told him how we both work at Pitt and he laughed and said, “Oh like in the book store? or ticket sales?” He was trying to be funny, but I found him rude. I didn’t really like him from the start. Drew said, “no I am in a branch of IT called CSSD.” I said, “and I am the academic coordinator. I build the class schedule for the sociology department and I am in grad school at Pitt, as well.” he said, “oh okay.” He didn’t have too much to say. I went along with it, because it could mean that we could get into the Pitt tailgate.
After we finished our drink, we exchanged contact information for later and then went back to the bed and breakfast. I had to change into my rain boots. We went back to the French Quarter restaurant around 3:00pm. We wanted to grab an appetizer before we went to the Tailgate. At the tailgate, it was all you can eat game day food and 2 alcoholic drinks per person.
Around 4:30pm, we the man, his wife, and son on the street with some other couples they knew outside the restaurant and we all walked to where Pitt was having their tailgate. I had an awkward feeling, but I didn’t share it with Drew. I just hoped it would all work out for the best. We got in line and people from alumni hall and office of special events were checking people into the event. I recognized them and I knew who they were, but I may have to tell them I am someone else so I can get in if this guy was going to give us other people’s names to use. After he checked everyone in that was with him, there wasn’t a way we could get in. He said, “sorry guys” and walked away. I looked at Drew and I said, “I knew it. I knew that guy was full of it.” We got out of line and I tried to call my friend in Athletics. He said, he was at a team dinner, but would text his contact when he told me her name. I thought we have a chance now at getting in. I knew exactly who she was. He told us we should go to graham’s pour house. There were Pitt people there we could party with until we heard back.
When we arrived at Graham’s Pour House, I have never seen so many people in one bar in Blue and Gold in my life. There was a closed in patio section on the roof. They were letting people up as people came downstairs and left. They were almost at full capacity. My contact in Athletics told us to go back at 5:30pm and see if we could get in. We passed the time away and drank and sang the Pitt version of the Neil Diamond’s song “Sweet Caroline.” Everyone was so pumped. We flirted with the idea of just staying there and not going to the tailgate, but I was determined to get us into the tailgate and show that guy how ridiculous he was.
At 5:30pm, I approached the Pitt alumni tailgate. I told them that so and so (I am not saying names) said we should come back at 5:30pm and see if we can get in. She said, “Yes, you can! Did you pay online or are you going to pay here.” Drew was so happy. I said, “We are going to pay here.” They handed us our lanyards and we were in!
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We walked in and immediately took this picture of us with our lanyards. We did it! We were in the tailgate! We walked right past the guy and his wife. The guy said, “They got in.” I smiled my fake smile said, “Yea, have a good time.” We walked over to where the food was and they had tailgate food buffet style. They had little bags of chips that you could just take and go, they had cookies that you could just take and go. They had a couple stations set up for wine and beer. I had two glasses of pino grigo. After we ate, we heard someone making a speech. We went over to where the podium was set up and we saw Heather Lyke and Chancellor Gallagher along side the podium waiting to introduced. Heather Lyke was first. She talked about the spirit and Pitt panthers and Hail to Pitt. We got a selfie with her afterwards. It was too cool. Then the
Image may contain: 3 people, including Danielle Hornyak, people smiling, people standingChancellor made his speech and he said, “there is something in the air tonight.” We were all hoping  Pitt was going to win. I got another picture with the Chancellor after he made his speech. The best part is he remembered me from our last conversation. He opened his arms out for a hug and then we took a selfie with him.

 

Image may contain: 5 people, including Danielle Hornyak, people smiling, people standing and beardAfter this picture, I texted Nancy and said, another one for my Pitt board in my office! I am so glad I was able to make this happen for Drew and for us. I am so happy and proud with all that I accomplished so far. Hail to Pitt!

After the tailgate was over, we made our way to the stadium. It was pouring down rain. I was so sick of the rain at this point. When we entered the stadium, we found our seats. We were pretty much the only Pitt fans. This was clearly the Clemson side of the stadium.
Image may contain: people playing sports and stadiumWhen the game started, Clemson was the first to score. It was going to be a long night for Pitt. I texted my friend in Athletics who was on the field. He and I shared text messages throughout the game. We only stayed until the half time then we left. Pitt was losing, it was rainy and cold. It was a good experience and cool to be apart of.

Once we got back to the bed and breakfast, we got showered and laid our clothes out to dry. We got packed up except for things that we would need in the morning. We had to be out of there at 4am.

 

 

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 doesn’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 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 go 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 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 gone 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 picked up. I was so exhausted.

Fleetwood Mac Concert

Fleetwood Mac Concert

After work, I took the bus out of Oakland and was dropped off right outside PPG paints. I met my dad at TGI Fridays. I was so excited for the concert. I have been wanting to see Fleetwood Mac for so long! My dad brought me up on Fleetwood Mac, Beatles, Tom Petty, etc. He is the reason why I have such good taste in music and a strong appreciation for music in general.

After dinner, we stood outside the arena until they opened their doors. Once inside we stopped at merchandise table and my dad bought me a t-shirt to add to my collection of concert shirts. Then I bought my dad a rum and coke and I got a Redd’s Black Cherry ale. I was falling off track with my keto diet, but tonight was a celebration.

Our seats were amazing! We could see right on to the stage, and make out who everyone was.
45200390_10156834249509712_7134276811386519552_n.jpgThe concert was a spiritual and relaxing experience. I knew most of their songs, but there were some I did not know. I just relaxed and stayed in the moment and listened to Stevie Nicks. It was so cool to see her on stage. I can’t explain how relaxing this concert was and how it was just what I needed. I needed to just be in the moment and listen to the music. I am a very spiritual person and Stevie Nick’s lyrics are spiritual and have such great meaning.

 

 

 

 

Stevie Nicks is a goddess. She was dancing around on stage, twirling and rocking. She has so much good energy about her. I just felt very at peace and very grateful for the experience.
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31st Birthday and 3 Year Anniversary

Today is my 31st  Birthday, as well as mine and Andrew’s 3rd wedding anniversary. I was not looking forward to going to work, but I did anyway.  On my way to my building, I called my dad first and he sang Happy Birthday to me. Then I called my mom and she did the same thing. It was sweet. After I got off the phone with them, I sat down at my desk and started to work. Nancy came in and wished me Happy Birthday.

A delivery man showed up with some flowers and asked for me. I smiled when I saw the flowers. I was so surprised. I had to take a quick picture. I was in the middle of a project with Nancy. I called Drew and thanked him for the flowers and we face timed for a minute so he could see them. He was glad I liked them. He is so sweet.

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Around 9:30am, we ate a catered breakfast in the conference room and had a staff meeting. Linda called us together to go over somethings and some procedures. She also announced that it is my Birthday! Everyone wished me happy birthday and I also told them that today is also my 3rd Wedding Anniversary. They wished me Happy Anniversary, as well. It was sweet.

After breakfast, I sat down and got some work done, until 1:00pm. Andrew and I were going to lunch at Fuel and Fuddle. When he came to my office, Melanie and I were going over a project and getting things ready for the Fall schedule.  We are meeting again at 3:00pm. It was going to be a busy  afternoon.

At lunch, I didn’t behave with my Keto Diet. I ate nachos, and Drew had an appetizer and a burger. We will be good tomorrow. 🙂 It is a celebration today. We had a good lunch and didn’t want to go back work.

Around 3pm, I met with Melanie and got things straightened out and we had a plan. I went back to my office and it was about 4:00pm. I started packing up to leave. I had to go meet my TA for my Politics and History class. She was going to look over my paper and give me some pointers. I still need to get the rest of the paper looked over by my tutor. I am starting to get nervous. This is too much left to close to the weekend. I wanted to be able to put it past me before the weekend arrived.

When I arrived to the TA’s office, she wasn’t there. I waited around until about 5pm then walked back to Posvar. I received an e-mail from her. Her meeting ran late and she apologized. I said it’s okay. She said she would come by office tomorrow whenever I wanted. I said that I had nothing going on tomorrow and I look forward to seeing her. I am getting so anxious.

Around a quarter to 6pm, my friend Julia approached the bench I was sitting on outside of our class room. She and I complained about the semester and etc. I told her my issues with the TA and she said that sucks. This is why I try to get things done as early as possible.

Leadership class went well. We got our papers back, our group got a 48/50. Whew! I wasn’t sure what we were going to receive. I was glad that we did so well. We also started to give each other performance reviews. I had to review Julie. She was so cool with everything I said and agrees with me.  I felt relieved.

After class was over, I met with Drew outside my department. I told him about my grade. He said, babe you are kicking ass!  I said, “I know right!” We went into my office and got my flowers so I could take them home. I didn’t want to leave them at work.

When we got home, I got a shower and put on some pjs, then we opened cards together. It was a sweet moment. Then it was bed time. We both were so tired. It has been a crazy week, but I had a great birthday and anniversary.

New Freedom Card

New Freedom Card

Today, I left work at 3pm. I was on my way to RMU. Traffic was too bad probably because I left at 3. I arrived to RMU around 4:30pm. I got a visitor’s pass from RMU police and then put it in my car and walked to the Revere Center.

When I walked into the building, I couldn’t remember which way to go. I read the sign and it pointed downstairs, but when I went downstairs, I forgot the freedom card office is straight back. I stopped into another office, I think it was Student Accounts. A work study was working the front desk. He told me freedom cards are down the hall. I said, “Oh okay, thank you.” I turned and walked down to the hall and there it was on the door, “Freedom Card Office.” I walked in and approached the work study, who was sitting in a cube. I told her I was here for a freedom card, my name is Danielle. I am a graduate intern with John Locke. She said, “oh okay, he told me you were coming.” I smiled. She said, your name isn’t coming up in our system. I said, “Oh I am alumni, and it is under my maiden name.” I gave her my maiden name and there I was. She said, “She couldn’t edit my name, but she could add to it.” I said, “Okay, I guess I will be a hyphen then.”  I truthfully didn’t care. I always joke with Drew about being a hyphen and he always says no. Honestly, it is nice to see my maiden last name next to my married name. I don’t mind it.

When they created my card, they used the same picture I took for the first one when I was an undergraduate. I thought that was great. I didn’t mind it. I was going to wear the same shirt, but it was so hot outside. They also gave me a staff card. I thought that was pretty cool as well.

After I got my card printed, I reported to John Locke’s office. He was pretty busy. We got my e-mail set up, and he gave me a parking pass. He said, he didn’t have anything for me today, but we will be in touch. He asked, if I could help with the Colonial Theater and sell tickets at the Box Office, next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday? I said, I can do that. I will see you then.

I left his office and called Drew and told him about working the Box office and my RMU ID. I said, can I get something at the bookstore to celebrate. he said, go for it Bub! When I went down to the bookstore, theater music was playing in the store. I liked it. I shopped around for an ID holder, an RMU lanyard, and went to the counter. A there student who graduated around the same time I did sold me the items, and then he saw my freedom card. He said, Oh I didn’t see that you were staff you get 15% percent off. Here I will return those items and you can buy them back, and I will give you 15% off. This is so sweet.  I said, “Oh but I am intern.” He said, “Doesn’t matter you have a staff ID.” I also bought a Colonial Crazies shirt. Why the hell not? I am enjoying this. I would have bought more, but I didn’t want to over do it.

When I left RMU, I took some pictures. I had this overwhelming sense of pride to be an alumnus of RMU. I feel blessed and grateful.

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When I got back to my parents, I finally met Alyssa. We talked for a bit. She is helping with the dogs during the day, while I was at work. She is also my distant cousin. She was telling me how she loves Paris and how little she is. I smiled. I said, they are both good dogs, but Paris has a little personality to her. We chatted for a bit, but I had to get ready for Drew to come over.

When Drew arrived it was 7:30pm. He wasn’t feeling too well, but wanted to be here with me to help me with the dogs tomorrow, so I could work on my paper. I am nervous about sitting down and crafting it, but I should have all that I need.

In the evening, we relaxed and watched Smallville before going to bed.

First Internship Meeting

Today, I met with John Locke at 1pm. I was so excited to go back to RMU. I felt as though I was going to get this overwhelming sense of nostalgia. I had 30 mins before my meeting. I went to go visit MC, a professor I had when I was an undergrad. I talked to her about my class that I had last night. She gave me a great way to look at things. I told her how I feel as though I am going to struggle with it. She said, understandable, but a lot of the times we need to remove the lenses that we were born with and put on a new pair and read through those lenses and try to see things from a different perspective. I said, I think I am afraid of what I may find. She said, that is okay, but that is how we become educated and better at seeing things in different people. I am so glad I talked to her. I feel better. I also asked her about the assignment that is due on September 10th. I have to summarize chapters 5-8 and say what the theme is in each chapter and summarize the key points of the theme. I said, Why am I struggling over this task? She said, you are thinking way too much about it. I said, “probably so..” She laughed. She is going to send me some articles. I am so glad to have her in my circle of friends.

After my meeting with MC, I walked to the Center for Student Success to meet with John Locke. I was so excited! On my way I took a picture with Bronze Bob. This is my second picture with Bronze Bob. He is a pretty cool guy. I am happy to be an RMU alum.

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When I arrived, he was coming back from a lunch meeting. When he approached me, he hugged me and lead me into his office. He gave me a t-shirt and some Bobby Mo socks. They are so cute.

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Our meeting lasted for 2 hours. I have a better sense of what is expected of me. I have some things to do for him remotely. We are going to communicate via google docs for now. My RMU e-mail will get set up eventually. I am just so blessed to be a Colonial and have made some awesome connections and friends. Being on RMU’s campus made me realize how far I have come and how much I have accomplished. I needed that.

After my meeting with John Locke,  I went to Romo’s and had a Colonial Club. It is now called a Po Colonial. It still tastes the same. However, they serve it to you on a pretzel bun. It tasted so good. This was the only thing I ate all day. I am good for the rest of the night.

When I arrived home, I got a cold shower and sat down to update my blog. I feel so bad for letting this go so long. My life is about to get so crazy, but I am going to try to keep up with this I promise. I have class again tomorrow night, Leadership. I am really excited for this class. I need this day to remind me how I am on the right track and I have done pretty well for myself.