Weekly Wishes #11

This Weekly Wishes post will be a place for me to share my goals for the week. Hopefully blogging about them will help them to actually happen!

The photo theme for this week is "Selfie" - can you tell?! This is me, looking happy, because I'm happy!

Congrats to Little Miss Designer for being featured in the participant photos for last week's "Creativity" - She rocks and is in the same art fraternity I am in so this is exciting! The creativity theme is the perfect one for her to be featured with :)

It has been a HUGE week for me. I was so happy to spend time down in Southwest VA with my friends. It was like God's plan or something because this week I found out where I'll be moving to next year for my Peace Corps service. If I had found out alone or with my mom, that would have been cool. But there's nothing like running outside to your best friend as she comes back from class to scream and jump up and down. I can't believe how good things are at the moment, and I'm pretty thankful. 

Last week I wanted to: Help my friend with her art show. This didn't go exactly as planned, but we did try our hardest. She is printmaking and I don't know if you know anything about that, but things were going wrong that we couldn't exactly control. We did get some done, though! Hopefully she can talk to the professor and get all her issues straightened out. 
Take a risk. This was that vague one, and while it didn't go like I thought, I did make an effort. Guess some things just aren't meant to be!
Continue having fun with my friends! Oh, yes, I think I completely did this. I got to have dinner with my big, and have LOTS of best friend time doing art and watching movies and talking about everything (it's way easier than texting every day - move closer to friends is my future life goal!). We even had our palms read, which was SO COOL. I fully think the palm reader knew our lives and I'm pretty sure we may have even met in a past life. Just saying. 

This week I want to: Do my aspiration statement. Now that I've got my Peace Corps assignment, I have some assignments. The most pressing is the aspiration statement, as it is due within 10 days of accepting the invitation. 
Work on some more Everyday Happy. What, you mean you've seen this goal here before? Shocking! 
Get a gift for my godson. This Sunday is my godson's baptism. I'm so excited because A. I've never been a godmother before and B. He is so so so precious. So I need to get him a present because I'm pretty sure that's appropriate.. Although to be honest I don't know for sure. 
Make my Christmas card list! I know, I know.. It's still October. But I work at a card store, guys! There is pretty much no excuse for me not to send Christmas cards now. I just bought them yesterday and we were having a Buy One Get One Free event so I may now have over 100 cards......... Judgment is not welcome here on the wall! Haha so I've got enough for next year too, obviously. Now I just need to figure out who I need addresses from and such. 

Wish me luck on my goals this week, and I hope you accomplish yours too! Don't forget to link up to Melyssa at The Nectar Collective to share with everyone else!

The Nectar Collective


Peace Corps New Application Timeline

I know it is helpful to Peace Corps applicants to see timelines (I searched and searched for them, and they were difficult to find since I fell under the "new" application - the one that started August 2012), so I thought since I have an invitation now, I would post mine!

It does include some things that aren't totally necessary, like one day where I thought about the Peace Corps a lot.. Just kidding! But the timeline is longer because it starts with my introduction to the PC.

May 15, 2012: I went to a meeting with a friend about working on a political campaign. The people we met there asked us what we wanted to do after graduating, like adults do. My friend has a lot of big dreams, though he often changes his mind, so when he said he wanted to join the Peace Corps I figured he probably wouldn't. One of the men there said that he was a RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) and the two of them discussed it while I listened. 

May 19, 2012: I of course went home after that meeting and looked at Peace Corps information until my eyes were going to fall out. I have this calendar where I write down one thing I did that day so I can remember big and small moments in my life, and when I look back at May 19, all I wrote was "decided that I NEED to join the Peace Corps." 

Sept. 17, 2012: I had been leisurely working on my application, but I might have gone 30 days without logging on, which is a no-no, so I had some sort of meltdown while working on it. It was gone and I had to start over. This wasn't good because I thought that I had to get it in by the end of September to leave when I wanted to (this was of course not true, but I didn't know that at the time). 

Sept. 25, 2012: There was a study abroad fair at school that a friend made me go to (okay, that's not true. I think I made him go because I had heard that Peace Corps was going to be there), so I got to meet Emory's rep, who would eventually interview me.

Jan. 6, 2013: This is when I officially submitted my application. All essays written, all boxes filled in, everything done and into the system. 

Jan. 7, 2013: Finished the medical questionnaire, which was crazy in-depth. I may or may not have needed my mother's help. Okay, I did. 

Feb. 1, 2013: Got an email saying they would be scheduling a formal interview soon. 

Feb. 6, 2013: Got a date for my interview!

Feb. 24, 2013: Stayed up with my grandlittle going over questions we'd found online and thinking about what possible responses could be - this was super helpful. 

Feb. 25, 2013: This is when I had my formal interview. I don't think it necessarily takes that long between getting the date and having the interview, but my recruiter and I had some miscommunication so it might have been a week later than it would have been. (Although, that was much preferred for me, because I was really busy the week prior.) The interview was longish, but excellent. Pretty much like a conversation with a cool person who happens to be typing everything as you say it. I got up early, spilled yogurt on my dress in the car, drove an hour and a half to VT, had the interview (I didn't even get lost, which made me think it must be fate), drove the hour and a half back, and even made it in time for my noon class! It was a good day. He told me at the interview that he would be nominating me.

March 15, 2013: Got a request for a medical form about my orthotics, which I did and sent back that day.

March 18, 2013: Got an email from my recruiter that was relatively cryptic.. It said that they had found a program for me but also said, "Are you okay with long cold winters, uneven terrain, and extreme heat?" I called my mother to ask and she said to go for it, so I emailed him back almost right away and said yes.

March 18, 2013 (later that day): Got my nomination! Community Economic Development sector, tentative departure date March 2014. 

April 5, 2013: Got my fingerprints taken at the police station next to the criminals (just kidding!) and mailed them along with other background check stuff at UPS. Apparently I could have done the fingerprinting there too. Who would have thought? 

August 22, 2013: Got an email saying I was medically pre-cleared!

August 26, 2013: Checked my status in the Application Portal and it says "Legally Cleared" so I guess I'm (pre-)cleared on both fronts. 

August 27, 2013: Received Placement Questionnaire.

August 28, 2013: Submitted Questionnaire

September 12, 2013: Submitted final transcript. I had to wait for this to come in the mail since the one on the school's website didn't have all of the information they wanted on it. 

October 21, 2013: Got a call from PC placement. Minimal questioning (You said you can leave basically right now, but I've got something in June, how does that sound? It's a slightly different assignment and area, is that okay?, etc.) and was told I'd get my invite Thursday (Oct 24).

October 23, 2013: Got the invite! Moldova June 2014! Community and Organizational Development.

So from application submission to invitation, it took 290 days (9 months, 17 days).
From nomination to invitation, it was 219 days (7 months, 5 days). 
And from questionnaire and transcript submission to invitation, it was 41 days (1 month, 11 days). That includes a government shutdown! 

(And from that day I decided I needed to join the Peace Corps to invitation... A grand total of 522 days, or 1 year, 5 months, 4 days.) 

Pretty thrilling, I know! 

I would be glad to explain any of this further if anyone is interested!

[UPDATE: I'm currently serving in Moldova and blogging at Wining & Whining if you'd like to read about my experiences.]


Life is calling.

So I may have barely hinted at this announcement with one tweet that you probably all missed or something, so let me just say: I've got an announcement!

Remember when I had it on my Weekly Wishes to study my Spanish because I might be moving somewhere where I'll need to speak it? Well, let's just say it's a good thing I didn't do much in the way of following through with that one. Because what I'm really going to need to be learning is ROMANIAN. If you've never seen Romanian, here's a hint: it's one of those languages that has so many diacritics that I've never heard of.... Needless to say, that part doesn't thrill me yet.

Wait, did I get ahead of myself? Why do I have to learn Romanian (oh, it also could be Russian..........)?

If you didn't know, which you probably didn't.. In the beginning of this year, I submitted my application to join the Peace Corps.

After months and months of waiting and waiting and filling stuff out and interviewing and checking my email obsessively and that darn government shutdown..

I finally got my invitation!

Let me back up again. Remember how I went to Emory this week to visit friends? Well, I was in my little's room with her talking about boys or something, when my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number but thanks to the iPhone saying "DC, USA" underneath it, I did some internal freaking out thinking it might be PC.


It was a nice woman from the placement office that had just a few questions for me about a change in departure date and a slight change in assignment, all of which I happily agreed to. She said she would be able to email me my invitation, probably Thursday, and asked if I had any questions. UH YES CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE IT IS?!


She said it would be Eastern Europe. Remember when my recruiter told me to learn Spanish for Latin America? Hahahahaha, so funny! So since I was with my little, I got to do a lot of jumping up and down and hugging, with a few happy tears of course because of my constant high level of emotion. It felt like one of the best days of my recent life.

Then on Wednesday, RIGHT BEFORE my friend and I went to get our palms read, I got the email.

June 2014. I'm going to Moldova.

Okay, I checked. Moldova is actually 5035 miles from me. But still.
Moldova, Eastern Europe.

Hope you're excited to come with me because Cat on the Wall is for sure coming too.

There it is, folks! Now you know! Now I know! Hootie hoo!!

[UPDATE: I'm currently serving in Moldova and blogging at Wining & Whining if you'd like to read about my experiences.]


Weekly Wishes #10

This Weekly Wishes post will be a place for me to share my goals for the week. Hopefully blogging about them will help them to actually happen!

This week I am featured in the "Celebrate" participant photos! So exciting because the picture from my big's wedding means a lot to me - it was truly a beautiful celebration and an enchanting day.

For today's "Creativity" picture, I picked one from my art show earlier this year, which is one of my biggest accomplishments as of yet. It fits well with one of this week's goals!

Last week I wanted to: Pack for Emory! I packed! I am here now, so if I hadn't packed I would be lacking a lot of things I need.
Have a lot of fun seeing people I miss. I am definitely doing this. Saturday was Homecoming and I got to see so many people I hadn't seen in a long time! It was a great day and it has been a completely fantastic weekend.  
Catch up on Everyday Happy. I was able to do a little bit of this, but not a ton. Which I am okay with! I'm just moving at my own pace at the moment. 

This week I want to: Help my friend with her art show. That is officially the reason I am staying here for a week when the event I was coming for was just on Saturday. She has to turn in 12 pieces at the end of the semester and some of it kind of requires 4 hands, so I'm going to be the other two! 
Take a risk. I don't exactly want to explain what this one is about right now (if I'm being honest, I may never explain it), but just know that I want to do it. It's funny when you're away from home and things happen at speeds that are not the way they would be in a normal setting.. So with all of that vagueness, I just want to see what happens here.
Continue having fun with my friends! Another easy one to cross off the list :)

Wish me luck on my goals this week, and I hope you accomplish yours too! Don't forget to link up to Melyssa at The Nectar Collective to share with everyone else!

The Nectar Collective


The Sunday Currently...


Reading Sequel to The Maze Runner; The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. It's taking a long time, but I'm enjoying it!
Writing down what I did the past few days on my perpetual calendar.  
Listening to my friends study for a test they have tomorrow. 
Thinking about just how freaking nervous I am for tonight's first date.
Smelling Dunkin' Donuts - study food of champions! 
Wishing I could stay here forever.
Hoping I don't make a huge fool out of myself tonight. 
Wearing pajamas still (again, rather) because I haven't figured out what to wear for the rest of the day yet.
Loving being at my alma mater with my best friends.
Wanting the pictures currently being taken to never go online, since I look ridiculous with a towel on my head, hehe!
Needing to chill out. 
What are you doing right now?


Weekly Wishes #9

This Weekly Wishes post will be a place for me to share my goals for the week. Hopefully blogging about them will help them to actually happen!

Happy Wednesday! I know I'm late on this Weekly Wishes situation, but better late than never! 

The reason I'm so behind schedule with everything is.. well there are a ton! This last weekend I went to a wedding, which was more wonderful than I could have imagined, and that has been much of the source of my distraction these last few days. I'm also going down to visit friends tomorrow (I get to stay there a week, yay!) so I was scheduled for way more hours than usual since I won't be working for that week. 

Last week I wanted to: Mail my Snail Mail Collective gift. I finally did this, so now Alex can get my gift! Since I had already gotten both her gift and her postcard before I sent mine.. Oops. 
Get my big a wedding present. I did this! I got her something from her registry, and I also brought her a big container of candy corn to snack on, which was shared by many. Did I already say I had TOO MUCH fun at her wedding? Oh, right.
Do some work on my blog. Notice anything new? The fantastic Aimee at Dear Harper was so wonderful to do this for me! I am way more clueless than I should be on this and would have had to Google everything about 14 times to make it look this great. So a huge thanks goes out to Aimee. Let her know how much you like it!

I also wanted to keep reading for the Busy Bloggers Book Club, and I finished the book! Go read my thoughts about it, and then join us next month!

This week I want to: Pack for Emory! Yeah, if I don't accomplish this one tonight, well.. I have to, so. That's that.
Have a lot of fun seeing people I miss. I don't think this one will be too difficult, shockingly enough. Hopefully I will get to see a ton of people, because Homecoming is this weekend!  
Catch up on Everyday Happy. I am so behind it's not even funny. Like I said, my mind has been elsewhere. Okay, my mind has been at Emory. Or.. Near there.

Wish me luck on my goals this week, and I hope you accomplish yours too! Don't forget to link up to Melyssa at The Nectar Collective to share with everyone else!

The Nectar Collective


You're My Other Half Of the Sky [#busybloggersbookclub]

This past month I read The Light Between Oceans with the Busy Bloggers Book Club with Allie over at Call Me Sassafras! (And Codi at The Art of Balance!)

I really enjoyed this book! Like Allie, I thought it was difficult to get into. But once I did, I couldn't put it down. I had to know what was going to happen with these families.

Ridiculously simplified synopsis from Shelfari: A childless couple on a lighthouse keep a baby found in a boat washed up on the shore.

Obviously there are consequences to this decision.

I did enjoy the couple falling in love in the beginning, because while it was awkward, I think it reminded me of my awkwardness and if they can fall in love, I probably can too, right?! "You're my other half of the sky." How great is that? I mean it would probably sicken me to hear from anyone who wasn't the right guy, but I totally bought it for this couple.

I dog-eared a bunch of pages that had stuff I liked (I know, sorry!) and a lot of it was the way Stedman described the world on the lighthouse rock. It just seemed kind of magical: "The oceans never stop. They know no beginning or end. The wind never finishes. Sometimes it disappears, but only to gather momentum from somewhere else, returning to fling itself at the island, to make a point which is lost on Tom."

"Existence here is on a scale of giants. Time is in the millions of years; rocks which from a distance look like dice cast against the shore are boulders hundreds of feet wide, licked round by millenia, tumbled onto their sides so that layers become vertical stripes."

Getting too emotionally involved in fiction (book, movie, etc.) is one of my.. Lovable quirks. So if you are anything like me, this book will make you cry. I was practically sobbing for the last 30-40 pages or so. Couldn't even see to read but I had to because I had to finish it! Otherwise I'd have to cry in two sittings? No thank you. I can't say that the ending made me too happy, but with a story like this, there would be no way for a happy ending for everyone involved in the situation.

Overall, I'd say that while it started slow, it did improve, and apart from all the crying, I did enjoy a lot of it. I wish more people in the book had had some common sense! I felt like they constantly thought of only themselves and couldn't really see any other options to their predicament. But anyway!

Some more quotes I liked:

"A lighthouse is for others; powerless to illuminate the space closest to it."
There's some symbolism in that that I just can't think about at the moment. But I'm sure it's there!

The memory of a conversation Hannah has with her husband, where she asks him how, with all the strife he has had in his life, he is always happy. His response: 
"'I choose to,' he said. 'I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive and forget.' 
'But it's not that easy.'
He smiled that Frank smile. 'Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things....We always have a choice. All of us.'"

"Izz, I've learned the hard way that to have any kind of a future you've got to give up hope of ever changing your past."

And one last quote that I hope to remember for my own life:

Join us next month! Head over to Call Me Sassafras to learn more!


Crafting for Zombies

I don't really know any zombies (does anyone?), but my sister plays Humans vs. Zombies at her college practically every weekend (okay, I might be exaggerating about the frequency, but in my defense, I sort of tune out the zombie talk). She is pretty obsessed. I know Nerf guns and bandanas are involved, and that it's kind of like tag.

So for her birthday I decided to make her a t-shirt! Her birthday was actually at the end of September, but I couldn't find the t-shirt I had bought.. And then when I got ready to make it finally, I couldn't find my craft box!

Guess where it was, guys?

In my closet.

Which means that I put it away, and didn't think to check where it was supposed to be. Logical! So I continued my Ugly Betty marathon binge while I crafted.

One of the many lifelong skills I learned in joining a sorority is how to craft a t-shirt. If you don't know how, an easy way is to use Heat n Bond, shown here!

I think the most fun I had in making this was sketching it out! I haven't done any crafting or sketching or anything in so long! I did paint one painting around May, but since then.. Pretty much nothing. So I loved drawing the letters and that little zombie guy. I stole him from the HvZ website and kind of took some liberties, but I think he turned out pretty cute.

As you can see, I have tons of fabric that I will probably never use, but I wanted to be simple for this one (basically I want my sister and her friends to think it's cool) so I went with black for the letters and orange for the heart. I think I remember her squad or team or something using orange as a color..? I could be totally wrong about that though, haha! But also with the shirt in green, I didn't want to go with Christmas colors.

So if you're following along and wondering when I'm going to get to the next step, here it is! Trace your letters (or picture or whatever) onto the Heat n Bond paper - backwards! It has to be backwards otherwise it will be wrong on your shirt (or pants or blanket, etc). Don't cut out the letters, but cut around them so you've got a square/rectangle of Heat n Bond to iron onto your fabric. Put it on the "ugly" side of the fabric - this didn't matter for the black but did for the orange! It makes more sense once you've done it once or twice and you think about the process.

Once you've ironed the paper onto the fabric, cut out the letters/shapes. Peel off the back of the paper (now do you see why we needed to go backwards and use the ugly side?) and place your stuff in the right spot on the shirt. Now iron!

Sometimes (like when making sorority shirts with Greek letters that I'd wear a lot or that would get passed down to future sisters for years and years and stuff, I would use puffy paint around the edges to make sure everything stays on through washing, but for this one I just went without. I'll just advise her to hang dry instead of putting it in the dryer. I was going to use the puffy paint to draw the zombie guy in the heart, but then while searching for black, I found a black fabric pen and decided that that would work much better! And I was so right!

So here it is before and after the drawing - I wasn't sure it was going to look right so I almost left it off, but I sent her a picture and she loves it, so I'm glad I decided to add it!

This wasn't a very exhaustive tutorial, but I am happy to answer any questions you have about crafting your own t-shirt! You can buy fabric, Heat n Bond, plain t-shirts, and anything else you might need at Walmart! (Or craft stores!)

Happy crafting!


Weekly Wishes #8

This Weekly Wishes post will be a place for me to share my goals for the week. Hopefully blogging about them will help them to actually happen!

This week, the picture of Lilo and me was featured in Melyssa's participant art - so awesome! That's really exciting. 

I had a great weekend this week - I went to my first alumni event ever! I was, of course, the youngest one there by at least 8 years (not including people's children), but it was still fun. Then Saturday I had to work really early, but was done early, and got to visit an event at my old dance studio, and then go have a drink with the woman whose dogs I sit for. Basically it was a lot packed into two days. Whew! 

Last week, I wanted to: Craft (and blog about it). After decades of searching for my crafting box (which of course was put away.. Why would I even think to look in its spot?), I did make my sister's shirt, and it was fun! I sent her a picture and she thinks it's awesome. Did not blog about that, but look for a post to come! 
Find a good journal and get ready for Everyday Happy! I found a cute journal! It's bright red and on the front says in gold foil, "She makes the day brighter. She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes." So it's adorable and perfect, and I had already bought it! Even better. I've enjoyed using it so far for the course, which has been great.

This week I want to: Mail my Snail Mail Collective gift. I am so sorry that I'm an awful partner, and I will not be doing this in October because this month is just too busy.. But did you know it's kind of hard to figure out mailing stuff to another country? And going to the post office when you're working a 9-5? Yeah, shocking, I know. So I need to get it out this week or else I will just continue to be terrible. 
Get my big a wedding present. I am SO excited, because my big is getting married to an awesome guy on Saturday and I get to go to the wedding! I even get to go the night before and stay with her and her bridesmaids! I love my big (another shocker, haha) and I haven't seen her in 5 months! So I should get to getting that present.
Do some work on my blog. I keep meaning to add buttons, and do some other little things.. But I've been lazy about it. So I'm going to hopefully do that! And maybe a post besides WW would be good, right? Ha.

And as always, I want to keep reading. I did read a LOT of The Light Between Oceans today. Once I start, I can't put it down.

Wish me luck on my goals this week, and I hope you accomplish yours too! Don't forget to link up to Melyssa at The Nectar Collective to share with everyone else!

The Nectar Collective