Thursday, July 30, 2015

Loving What I Do

It still feels like a dream that my new title is College Counselor. There are times during the day, when I will find myself on a college website researching admissions information to be compiled into my own database of ranked schools, with a high percentage of financial aid met for demonstrated need, high freshman retention and graduation rates, and most importantly, support of underrepresented groups. I’ll catch myself reading an article about the disparity in access to higher education and muttering, “not at work, wait till you’re home.” Then I remember… this is my work! My greatest passion and what energizes me to my utmost core, is what I do.

Not that I was unhappy in my role as a recruiter with Search Solution Group, but I found myself envious of my coworkers who were energized by the business industry. They would exhibit the same level of enthusiasm reading about mergers and acquisitions as I did reading about first generation college students and changes to the Common Application. While I exceled as a recruiter and my competitive tendencies proved advantageous, I’m completely giddy that I now spend my days discussing college preparedness with students and speaking with admissions officers who were as real to me as the talking snowman in a fairy tale.

It certainly took time for me realize this underlying passion and I’m thankful for the road that led me here. Reflecting back on my application experience when I hand created charts to display college information that I obtained from books (not as Excel savvy in 2006) it’s quite obvious that this is what I was destined to do. While disappointed with some of my own admissions decisions, I truly loved the process. I was in awe visiting campuses for the first time and experiencing college from a perspective other than Rory Gilmore’s time at Yale. Reflecting back to middle school, one of my best friends and I recorded an episode of “College Life in the Big World” (creative title, I know) where were transformed my parent’s living room into our oversized dorm consisting of a sofa, tray table for our Oreos, and a CD player to blast N’Sync while we did our homework in our Soffe shorts and cheerleading t shirts.

I know I have much more to educate myself on and I certainly don’t want my students to be at a disadvantage because I am newish to this role. I want to be more knowledgeable than the private counselors or who charge $15,000 to oversee the application process, ensuring already affluent students receive acceptances to the Ivy Leagues.  I want to be an advocate so that affirmative action isn’t something discussed with antipathy but rather appreciated for the opportunities we too often take for granted.

I’m sure there will be days with disappointments and impediments. Nonetheless, I’m confident my drive and eagerness for college access will succeed.



Monday, July 27, 2015

The Comforts

As I anticipated, the transplant from Charlotte to New York City was overwhelming. The adjustment period has certainly had its difficulties but it wasn’t until I conversation with one of my friends towards the end of last week that I realized how much I was clinging on to my comforts.

Retrospectively, this move has been the biggest transition I’ve ever undergone. Yes, going to college was a transition, but students going through the exact same transition surrounded me. It felt like everyone was eager for a new friend and asking a classmate to grab lunch after a five-minute conversation wasn’t completely unheard of and for the most part, the eagerness for friends was reciprocated. Flash forward to my first year out of college. Yes, I moved to a new city and started a new job, but all of my friends from Clemson were starting new jobs and moving to new cities too and majority of my friends in Charlotte were also new to the city. There was a connection and understanding that didn’t need to be justified and hanging out with quasi-strangers and getting to know each other was mutually exciting.

When I started with Search Solution Group, the career was new, but the city and majority of my friends remained the same. While moving to Montana and traveling to Uganda were intimidating, they both had definite timelines that were set prior to my leaving.

The transition to New York has not had any of these comforts. I moved to a new city where most people my age are a bit more settled into their friends groups. Fortunately for me, I’m not easily intimidated and I’ve made quite a few plans with acquaintances in hopes of possibly building friendships. The routine has been an adjustment. It only takes on trip with shaking arms before you start to think about making too many purchases. I plan my stops ahead of time and optimize days when I can utilize my backpack space on the way home from school. While I have a job that I LOVE, it’s not something I’ve ever done before (in this capacity.) Again, I’ve been a bit over assertive in seeking for guidance and expert opinions, but intimidating nonetheless.

While not seamless, I have been impressed with my transition until I realized how much I was clinging on to a few comforts. For the past two weeks, I’ve only eaten Fruity Pebbles for breakfast. Once on a random occasion in Charlotte, I would splurge on my childhood favorite, but then take my time eating my way through the box and enjoy the lengthy hiatus that would follow until my next purchase. However, in my limited time here, I’ve been through multiple boxes of Fruity Pebbles. For the past year, I never kept a box of Oreos in my house. Since moving to New York, I can’t tell you how many sleeves of Oreo’s I’ve consumed. Also, chocolate chip cookies happen to my most cherished comfort.  Eating a chocolate chip cookie makes me feel at home and peaceful no matter where I am or what I’m going through. Also, I’m not sure I’ve ever denied a chocolate chip cookie. So each night, I’ve been heating up a batch up chocolate chip cookies from the homemade dough I create each weekend and indulging with a Lilly Pulitzer cup filled with milk. Lastly, the pizza. Usually sweet tea is one of the ultimate comforts but since it’s not widely popular in New York and the few places that do offer the treat are far sub par from my specifications, I’ve resorted to pizza. Lunch? Pizza. Dinner? Pizza. I’ve had delivery, homemade, specialty, and frozen.

In addition to feeling exhausted, which I shared last week, my tummy has been terrible these past few weeks. Constant upset from my poor dietary selections and increase in anxiety. I wasn’t aware of this hole I had dug myself in to until one of my closest friends called me out on it last week. (Always a true sign of friendship, they tell you even what you don’t want to hear.) She brought to my attention how unsurprising it was that I hadn’t been feeling so well given my most recent dietary choices.

So instead of wallowing in self-pity and doubting my life changes (I’m not always as confident as I like to come off), I’ve decided to take charge in my trajectory. While I am sure I will struggle (accountability is part of why I am sharing this post) I have to do what’s best for me and that does not include Fruity Pebbles, Oreos, chocolate chip cookies, and pizza. Instead of finding comfort in watching countless episodes of Gossip Girl (I’m slightly embarrassed with the number of seasons I’ve binge watched since moving to New York) I’m going to push myself to find comfort out of my comfort zone. Considering reading a few new books, running more (despite the heat), and most importantly trying to eat well.

Not that I am committing myself to a chocolate-chip-Oreo-pizza-fruity pebble free life, but I don’t need to be consuming these not so lovely treats on a daily basis.

The move hasn’t been entirely all overwhelming, check my Instagram for proof, I know I would have found any transition of this magnitude intimidating, even if I crossed the pond to be the new nanny for the Camridges.  That sounds really rather lovely. Me, George, Charlotte, Henry, and Kate becoming BFFs. Hmm… maybe my next move!



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Revised Golden Rule

Treat others the way you want to be treated. An expression that I'm quite familiar with and attempted to follow until more recently when I started to think about how selfish the Golden Rule truly is and how following it was negatively impacting my life. Treat others the way YOU want be treated. At it's very core, it's selfish and egotistical.

Not that I am one to deny being selfish. I certainly have my self centric ways and would prefer if the world were to operate under Danielle's dreams. Sadly, I don't think the British monarchy is going to be ruling the world any time soon and NYC residents won't all have to bow to my purebred non-mixed, non-rescued, labrador, Henry.

Back to reality, I started thinking about both my personal and professional lives and how they would be improved if I took on the perspective of not how I wanted to be treated, but how others want to be treated. We are all different and thankfully have our own preferences and styles. Not everyone enjoys a detailed spread sheet as much as I do and prefers the silence and solitude that I often I enjoy.

When working with others, I'm trying to be more conscious of how that person would most value our interactions. While, I would rather someone send an email than relay a message face to face potentially distracting me from my current project, I recognize that some place value in personal interactions.

I spent some time reflecting on my interactions with an individual whom I had found to be unbelievably ignorant and therefore did not value them in my life. Through a conversation, I was asked if I thought of myself as so superior to others that I could not learn something (even the most minuscule piece of information) from everyone. I certainly don't want to be perceived as pompous and started to think about how I could shift this mindset to place more value on others.

While it was be much easier to think of my interactions in terms of myself, I'm realizing that in order to build truly meaningful relationships, both professional and personal, I need to think about the other person and accommodate myself to best meet their needs.

Maybe I send a SnapChat instead of a text. Maybe I stop and have a conversation with someone in my building whom I wouldn't ordinarily speak to. Maybe I step out of my own comfort zone of introvert solitude to engage in conversations. Maybe it means asking one of the owners of the adored rescue dogs in the park, about their life as a savior and complimenting them on their pooch. Maybe I don't send so many details in an email. Maybe I look you in the eye during our meeting instead of typing every word into Google Drive to be saved as notes from our conversation.

Since I only recently became cognizant of the value of treating others how they want to be treated, I still have improving to do. Overall, since making note of this, I've seen a shift in my interactions and how I'm perceived by others. Not that I am suddenly Miss Congeniality as I certainly have my crankier tendancies, but I do enjoy the serenity that accompanies making others feel comfortable around me through my purposeful interactions (which are starting to become a bit more natural.)



Sunday, July 19, 2015

New York is Exhausting

This week will mark one month since I've moved to this city doesn't seem to take a cat nap let alone enjoy a full night's sleep. While it has certainly been a roller coaster of highs and lows, one thing remains constant. This city is exhausting.

Out of curiosity, one day last week I decided to count the number of stairs I climb and from walking up the stairs to the park for Henry to play, back to my apartment to get ready, and then climbing Mt. Everest that is the staircase to my school, I have climbed a total of seventeen flights of stairs (fair estimate) before 8:00 AM. SEVENTEEN! By the time I arrive back at my apartment around 4:30, I would be perfectly content curling up in bed and calling it a night.

I am sure come January I will be wishing for these days, but for now, it's hot outside and I'm tired and melting. I feel as if I am in a constant state of dehydration despite the average of four liters of water I drink each day. If I could have an IV each night, I would. Even Henry is excessively panting after a quick jaunt outside and dramatically falls to the floor to maximize his exposure to the cooler temperatures as soon as we walk through the door.

Other than discovering our fondness of central air conditioning, we are doing alright in this city. My sofa finally graced us with it's presence last week in nothing short of a fiasco. I did my homework and learned that a couch could not be delivered to my building on a Saturday (I don't think the ones who make these rules work) and proactively planned for the couch to be delivered on Wednesday morning. When they called me to notify me of my 30 minute timeframe, I quickly sprinted home from school to greet them at the door. I had received confirmation of my couch move in approval and secured the insurance necessary. I showed the delivery men to the elevator and ran up stairs to wait. I waited. And waited. And kept waiting. Then finally, a knock came! I sprinted to the door like a gazelle only to hear that my couch did not fit in the elevator and to my great disappointment, the delivery company would only deliver to the third floor. And despite the fact that I could see the third floor from my door, they would not be able to bring the couch to me. This was the perfect time for me to strap on a pair of my finest big girl panties and discover a solution. What did I do? Cry. I stood there, in my doorway, crying to the delivery man who spoke very little english and was clearly uncomfortable with my weakness. I begged, I pleaded, offered my help, and he went to go speak to his boss. What felt like eternity later, I heard another knock at my door and there they were, two strapping Gaston like delivery men who had carried my precious couch up to the fourth floor! I was so excited, I could squeeze them. I turned to my wallet and pulled out all $44 I had in cash and gave it to them (not sure what the going rate is for carrying a couch up stairs but I was overwhelmed with elation and it was truly all I had.)

With the blistering heat outside and the arrival of my new sofa inside, I spent most of the weekend curled up on the couch when Hens drinking Pedialyte to prepare for the week ahead. We enjoyed more than a healthy serving of Gossip Girl on Netflix where I cannot help but ponder how my NYC life is nothing like Blair Waldorf's. Wheres my Dorota? I can barely walk in sandals how is she always in heels? I wouldn't mind a private driver. Wonder if I could shop there? Maybe this is why she always spent her summers in Paris. Back to the day dreaming...



Monday, July 13, 2015

The Stuff

In true to me fashion, I did the "Live in New York City" bucket list item a bit out of order. I feel like most people move to New York immediately following college and then after a few years, venture to far off lands of spacious living arrangments and personal vehicles. I decided to forego the plush life of affordable cost of living and in unit washer and dryers to see if the concrete jungle really was what dreams were made of.

One of the difficulties of moving was the downsizing and getting rid of some of my personal "things." I became upset with myself because I was too emotional over selling furniture, household items, appliances, and a car. I sorted my belongings into different categories. The keeps consisted of items that I had used within the past year. The to be sold items were either expensive and I could make money off of them or small household items that I was not utilizing enough to justifying bringing them to New York. Then, there was the donate pile of things that simply were not going to make the venture to New York yet weren't quite valuable enough to justify a sale.

For the most part, I handled this well. I'm a natural purger and while I find sentiment in things, I don't see the need to keep them, but rather hold on them as dear memories. I created a fourth pile of things to be sent to Mom and Dads. I have an entire closet there, mostly empty aside from high school uniform that I can't seem to let go of, and some items, like my precious mole, Goldie, that I made for Mole Day in my high school chemistry class, have been around too long for me to hastily remove them from my life. These belongings dwindled down to one box of mine and a few of Henry's things (his first collars were precious) and were sent to my lovely parents home.

The hardest sells were my washer and dryer and my adorable automobile, Audrey. Washer and dryer? Really? I know. I LOVE doing laundry. I went through a phase where I did laundry every single day. One of my best friends, who was really someone I had only met twice at the time, loves to recount the story of the first time she visited my apartment where I proudly showed off my washer and dryer as if they were to be a featured prize on The Price is Right. I spent weeks stressing over that precious investment before finally placing my order. I went to multiple retailers in Charlotte, read reviews online, and even went as far as calling the manufacturers. I was proud of my first major investment!

Then, theres my Audrey. I truly loved loved loved loved loved, my car. I know this sounds ridiculous. She drove me from Point A to Point B but Audrey was everything I ever wanted in a car. I picked out all of her spunky features myself and waited months for her to arrive from Europe. The day I bought her, was one of the must surreal moments of my life. I remember feeling anxiously excited, happy, yet also completely nauseas because up to that point, the washer and dryer were my most significant purchases I had made in my life. A car was a true, grown up, investment.

As much as I still feel slightly sad about that I had to say bye to, it's quite liberating to be free from the attachment of things. I find that we become too attached to things and inanimate objects when really, we should be investing in other people. I named my car Audrey and considered one of my dearest confidants. While I love the idea of completely liberating myself and trying one of the simple 30 lifestyles where I only live off of 30 possessions, I know I'm not as crunchy as I like to think I am. As difficult as it is to let those defining purchases go (buying a washer, dryer, and car all signify adulthood to me), I am happy for the challenge to break free from a few of my things. If one day, I shall decide I can't live without them, I can go buy new (or slightly used because depreciation is a not so pleasant word) versions and live fine. It served as a reminder of how easily I can become materialistic and I'm grateful for the opportunity to distance myself.



Thursday, July 9, 2015

Paloma's Journey to Elon

As you are probably aware from all of my recent social media postings, I am working with one of my students on a pretty ambitious fundraising campaign to cover the cost of her first year of tuition at Elon University. While I don't think it's my story to tell, I am quite proud of her vulnerability in being a voice for undocumented students and felt compelled to share from my perspective. 

It was a year and a half ago when I sat at my dinning room table with Paloma, her Mom, Dad, and Grandmother, while her younger sister played with Henry in my living room. We were having one of our routine, monthly college planning discussions and I had already known her for a year at this point. As we were going over our concluding items on the agenda and wrapping up our conversation, Paloma said that she needed to tell me something. It was then, that she shared with me that she was undocumented. 

I panicked. I barely felt qualified to coach anyone through the college application process and certainly did not understand the complexities of the process for undocumented students. I felt like I would let her down. I went as far as researching adoption as a potential solution. Through Paloma's honesty and vulnerability in sharing her story, I have learned so much about undocumented students and immigration entirely. She has pushed my perspectives and challenged me to think differently than I ever had and for that, I have forever changed. 

Paloma initially immigrated to the United States with her family when she was two. She enrolled in pre-kindgarden and continued to progress through the school system, always maintaining high academic achievement. In seventh grade, while on a cross country bus trip with her mom and younger sisters, they were stopped and due to lack of documents, they were deported to Mexico. Paloma enrolled in school in Mexico while her little sisters moved back to the US having been born here and given residence status. Paloma made the choice to risk her life to cross the boarder back into the US, for her education. It was dangerous. She was terrified. She was in seventh grade. Hiding in the trunk of a car after crossing the boarder by foot, Paloma and her mom made it back to the US where they returned to Charlotte and Paloma continued with school. 

She persisted with even more commitment to her education which leads us to where I met her as her Algebra II teacher in the IB program at Harding University High School. Despite her circumstances, she continued to work with full relentlessness towards her education in the hopes of going to college, her dream. While the application process certainly posed its challenges, she successfully earned acceptance into three schools. 

Elon had an accepted student day for minority students and I knew, following that weekend, it was where she wanted to be. I felt a great sense of personal responsibility knowing that she missed the opportunity to apply for their scholarship for undocumented students. It was in the fall and we didn't know about it. I felt like I had let her down. To continue with our high hopes after admissions and financial aid denied any further assistance, she launched her Go Fund Me campaign. 

I realize to some it was comical thinking that we could raise $42,000 through an online campaign to cover college tuition. Together, we created a strategic campaign strategy with outreach targets and extensive trackers. We even went as far as planning to tag Hillary Clinton on Instagram. I'm incredibly proud of her each day for making each phone call and sending each email with as much enthusiasm as she did the one before. To a student who has also risked so much, I know these final chapters are terrifying to her.  There's still time and I'm hopeful with the right amount of momentum, this journey can have a happy ending. 

The most exciting part for me has been the overwhelming amount of support from my friends. When I log in to the Go Fund Me account and see names of friends spanning across the past fifteen years of my life, I become too emotional. I'm not implying that I measure friendship by donations but for how much I deeply care about Paloma, it means everything to me that they are supporting her and this journey. They may be indifferent to undocumented students or Elon or education but they are still contributing in some capacity to show their support. For that, I am grateful. I'm doing a horrible job at articulating the emotions right now, but please know, how truly grateful I am for your contributions both financially and socially as a lot of movement has come from the expansion of social networks. I know, I'm always asking for a lot as I am passionate about many causes, and I don't want the generosity to go unnoticed. Every small note, email, check in the mail, status update, and email share has been greatly appreciated by both Paloma and myself. 

There's been quite a bit of stir the past few days from various media outlets. I am excited and hopeful! Please, help us keep the momentum going. 

With the utmost gratitude,


PS. If you haven't invested in her education yet and have a few extra dollars to spare, please consider making a contribution to her Go Fund Me campaign, Paloma's Journey to Elon. I promise, we are an extremely grateful duo.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Move

Now that I've been here for two weeks, it's starting to settle in that this is not an extended vacation which I overpacked for. I live here. I originally wrote this lengthy, comical, multiple posts anecdote of my move to New York but when I went to edit, even I got bored reading it. The truth is, the move was overwhelming.

I had about six weeks to prepare but it came like a wave crashing down that last week, of course. I traveled to New York with my parents the first week of June to engage in what I thought would be my own, smaller budget version of Million Dollar Listing: New York. I think in one day, we viewed eight places. They all sort of blend together at this point but I remember trying to stay positive with my thoughts "how lovely would breakfast in bed be because I could literally make my eggs and toast from my bed." "I think you can see a bit of green out of this window." "Nineteenth floor does permit for some impressive views." "Think of all of the money I will be saving when I sell all of my belongings to fit in this place!" I was feeling lost in discussions of subways for my commute, 400 square foot apartments, doormen, elevators, southern exposure, bars on windows,  and pet policies.

Towards the end of the day, with two appointments to go, when we were feeling completely depleted, we found it. No compromises required at all. Walking distance to work. Close to park. Spacious. Elevator. Doorman. Charm. I was ready to move in that day.

Then, we learned the complexities of the NYC rentals market. From the listing broker playing tricks with the "fee" vs "no fee" on the listing to having to wait three weeks for "board approval" it was a bit of a nightmare. For the longest time,  I thought Henry and I would be living in a cardboard box along the street somewhere in Manhattan.

I packed up my apartment in Charlotte, made a few Craigslist sales, and was ready for the call when I learned I was finally approved. Fortunately for me, this was also three days from my move in date! Wahoo!

I had decided to drive my things to New York myself. Movings companies were a pain about wanting to see everything before they would give me a ball park estimate and then it was "we would pick up within this few day window and your things will be dropped off within this two week window." Knowing how much I need to be in control of all logistical pieces, this was not going to work for me. Plus, I had the additional pleasure of figuring out how to get my sweet Henry to New York.

Within 24 hours, I secured a moving company in Charlotte to load all of my possessions into my freshly rented Budget Truck. Booked a hotel in Baltimore, where we planned to stop on our venture to NYC. Arranged for movers in New York to unload my truck. Turned off all utilities in Charlotte. Turned on all utilities in New York. Made sure all of my paperwork, insurance, and approvals had been received by the apartment building as well as the property management group. Created a folder with copies of all confirmations (in the order I would need them) and complete list of extensive contacts should my cell phone die along the way.

I thought it would be sentimental but it all went by way too quickly. I forgot to pick up the furniture blankets I had ordered from the truck rental company which was 40 minutes from my apartment in Charlotte. When I arrived with Bernie, the Budget truck, the movers were already there, ready to start loading my life into this 16 foot truck. I panicked, thinking of my majority all white furniture showing up to New York covered in chips, scratches, and scuffs. Fortunately, I had a friend sprint to the rescue with bubble wrap and all was well. My mom arrived to Charlotte that morning and within two hours, we were on the road to NYC.

I may have bounced over a curb during my initial trip with the truck so therefore I was banned from driving responsibility. I make a better navigator anyways. We ventured up the through the Mid-Atlantic and I was able to cross Virginia and Maryland, two states I had yet to visit, off of my 50 States list.

The first day, we drove from 1:00 PM to 10:30 PM, with one stop. We were tired and drained when we arrived at the haven that would be our hotel stay I had booked until we realized that under no circumstances would we be staying there. One u-turn in a 16 foot truck along a one way street and we were back on the interstate. We spotted an exit overflowing with hotel options and decided to test our luck. We ventured a few places with the "no pets allowed" policy for my docile, petite, quiet pup in the car until we found it, The Residence Inn. Pulling in, we spotted a man walking his yellow lab on the property. It was fate. I ran in, booked a room, ignored the costs, obtained the keys, and led my Mom and Henry to paradise at The Residence Inn. We were starving. Since we didn't want to drive the rental truck around looking for food, we decided to check out the "market place" in our hotel. Unfortunately, the market place had already been picked over a bit and we decided on a delicious meal of four cheese Hot Pockets. Really, I spoiled Mom.

The next morning, we woke up eagerly, feasted on a lovely gourmet breakfast of lukewarm eggs, overcooked bacon, and Frosted Flakes. With no reservations, we hit the road, crossing Delaware off of the list, on our way into the city. We crossed through the Lincoln Tunnel, spent an obscene amount of money on tolls, and made our way to the big apple. Arriving mid-day on a Monday is highly recommended as traffic was relatively light. Mom, feeling like the powerhouse she is in our Budget truck, became quite the aggressive NYC driver. Running red lights, cutting people off, and honking that horn until we arrived safely to our destination.

Once there, we waited in our truck, until the NYC movers arrived to unload it for us. A few hours later, off to New Jersey we went to return Bernie and all of his loudness while Henry stayed at the apartment in a sea of boxes.

We arrived back home, dived into the beauty that is New York food delivery, and sat in my terribly hot apartment. Henry spent the entire first night panting so loudly that none of us slept. It was the hottest day I experienced in New York thus far with temperatures above 90. The following day I had cable, internet, window units, and a freshly scrubbed floors accompanied by me singing the Annie soundtrack.

Everything else fell into place. I learned how to do laundry in my building which takes me back to freshman year of college living in Lever at Clemson.  We rode the subway to find Bed, Bath, and Beyond to stock up on all of the essentials (that we could carry) and slowly this apartment started to feel like home. I found a lovely handy-lady through Task Rabbit who taught me why all of my nails were bending when I tried to hammer them into the walls, apparently, concrete walls require special nails.

Henry has taken up agility as there are little tiny fences around the trees and flowers that I believe are there so your pup doesn't relieve himself on those select pants, but Henry sees no boundaries. He's still learning not to eat food that he finds on the ground. He is slowly making new friends despite his pure breed status and the fact that I only rescued him for a life in a fenced in backyard. He's put on a few howling performances during out outside dining experiences and may have taken a few snacks from people during our walks in the park. He also really enjoys the parts more heavily populated by tourists and should we run into any financial hardships, he has agreed to start asking for tips per shake.

I'm still adjusting myself. There have certainly been times of pinch me surreal moments and also a few emotional breakdowns of I don't think I can do this. With all of the stairs and walking, my body is in a temporary state of constant pain while I adjust to all of the regular day activity, in addition to my new runner girl status in Central Park. I have an umbrella for my bag, headphones for phone calls, and am loving the markets on each corner of the block. The other night when I desperately craved an Oreo, this girl found one really rather quickly.

I'll try to get back to regular postings around here and promise to share pictures of the apartment, once I have a couch!

As someone who loves the comfort of her routine, I have felt a bit out of sorts recently as I try to establish a new once. It will come, I know.

Thank you to everyone who has been checking in on us and our adventures. Henry says he appreciates the double taps!