Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Big Move.

It is official.  I am graduating and moving to Columbia, South Carolina in a few short weeks.  I will be making the 18 hour trek with my dad next weekend and am moving into a gorgeous condo overlooking the William-Brice Stadium in a beautiful part of town.  Last weekend, I took an adventure out to the east coast just to see for myself what I was getting into.  Saying that I loved it would be the biggest under statement of the year.  Just look at it:

This first one is Finlay Park.  I love that it has a ton of water throughout the park because guess what... Baylor will love it and love his new home.  It will definitely be a great place to go on a nice Saturday, oh wait!  I will most likely work every Saturday... So maybe Sunday afternoons?  

The next picture is Main Street, and you can see the capital and the end of the street.  When I went to Columbia last week, I had breakfast at the cutest little very modern restaurant.  It was called Roll Call.  And the breakfast was kind of bland and not the best... but the people were so nice, and that's when I knew it - not only was I in the south, but I was somewhere where I knew at some point I would be able to call home.  

 These next several pictures are of the neighborhoods of Shandon.  It is placed beautifully between the campus (downtown) and Fort Jackson to the east.  The rolling hills and old majestic trees make the 15 sq.blocks of the neighborhood homey and so inviting.  It is just the place I would love to live and if you have half a million to put on a 2,000 sq foot 2bd/2ba home - then go ahead, but finding one of these gorgeous homes for rent and one that is in beautiful condition was just not going to happen.  So I went to my favorite place on earth - the stadium.  No matter what sport or team, stadiums represent the essence of the game - where the rules, the fans, and the players get to take part in the outcome.  It's the best - and that is where I found my condo.  It's a gorgeous 2br/2ba so if you ever want to visit - I have an open room!

Switching gears: The reason I am moving to Columbia and not staying at the beloved Baylor.  Back in June my boss had let me know that there would not be a job for me upon my graduation.  I took that as a sign to find a job - wouldn't we all?  I decided that it would be in my best interest to go to the NACMA (National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators) Conference.  So I made travel arrangements for Molly Anne and I.  We went down to Orlando and stayed for 6 days and it was absolutely amazing.  I learned so much from sitting through so many different lectures that week, so eye-opening.  

The best part about the conference is that everyone communicated via Twitter.  So I created a professional twitter before I went @ATurnerSports, along with business cards, a Linked In profile etc... and when I got there I started tweeting to every major school that I could think of and adding EVERYONE.  Every sit down I got with the schools ( I had maybe 15) I would ask them for a job.  A lot of no's, a lot of polite (let me look and get back with you) no's, and 2 let's talk next week.  Iowa State and South Carolina.  

The best part of this story is that back in April I worked the National Collegiate Equestrian Championships and met the Media Relations guy at South Carolina.  I kept in touch with this guy and he ended up getting me in touch with the girl at South Carolina who ended up helping me get this job.  I mean WOW! Can you believe it. How many people did God use to put me where I am now.  

I am going to South Carolina as a Marketing Assistant in the athletic department and will basically be helping create the 'event'.  The event is everything from script writing to sponsorship fulfillment, and basic game-day promotions; but the end goal - selling tickets and being sold out.  

I guess I can say this without being vulgar?  I am officially a Cock - Gamecock that is!  But to be honesty, it is really hard for me to get used to that being on everything from shirts to hats to billboards.  Guess it will come with the territory.  But I am really excited, excited to start a new chapter in my life, a new adventure, and in a NEW place!!

Abby

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

[ramblings]

I thought I might catch you up on what is new in my life.  As my graduate career comes to a close in a few short weeks, I have been looking for the next adventure to tackle.  I have considered traveling, (I was super jealous of the trip my sister had this semester to Europe) but that wasn't a feasible option $$$, I have considered getting married, but the lack of prospects in my life make that option un-feasible... so finally I decided I should probably get a job.  (because that was the most OBVIOUS choice after spending thousands of dollars on two educations - might as well, right?)

I went to Orlando recently to a conference (NACDA - National Assoc of College Directors of Athletics) and I learned so much.  In fact, I have pages of notes typed up on my computer and I have loved looking back over them and enjoying the lessons all over again.  At the conference, I met with a lot of people from all over the United States and the ones that really made an impact were from Iowa State and South Carolina.  

I decided that I should broaden my horizons, after a less-then-adequate interview (in my mind) at the University of Texas and no luck on the home front at either Baylor or Arkansas with jobs, it was time that I moved out of my comfort zone and branched out - traveled.  In short, interview at schools hundreds of MORE miles away from my family.  

And you know how I feel about that. (the whole leaving the family behind thing is not my forte)  

If you can remember back that far - about two years ago on this blog I was crying about leaving home, and a lover "that I was GOING TO MARRY" (oh how I chuckle at the thought of marrying him - or anyone at this point in my life), and how my first few months in Waco were treacherous.  Now, on top of everything, I am going to travel further away from my family - the family I cried I would "never leave again!".  I must be bonkers, fallen off my rocker, plain flat out crazy.... well, the answer might normally be yes to those phrases, but in this moment my journey seems perfectly reasonable, and a blessing, to be quite honest.  

I will be joining the staff at the University of South Carolina in the marketing department.  Now, I don't really know what that entails and I will be visiting in a couple of weeks to figure that minor part out... but I am excited and ready to hit the ground running.  Columbia seems like a great city with lots to offer and I am excited about a new adventure.  However, today was the first day that I felt a little knot in my throat and began to cry on my short 3 minute drive to work.  I wondered what it would be like to drive to work in Columbia, would I find a church home?, and what about friends - will there be friends there for me?  

I have a peace that all of these questions have a joyful answer, but my humanity keeps fretting.  That is probably why it is 1:35 in the morning, I have taken 3 Benadryl, and am still wide-awake, at this point, I am really just trying to stay up for my 5:30 am workout.  

But please be excited!  Because I am and I know that in a few weeks when I fly out to Columbia to sign a lease and get familiar with the city for a few days I will be less stressed and the sleep-less nights will be over.  I pray that much.  

At least for now, all is well.  My sweet baby boy, Baylor (a dog!), is sleeping soundly next to me, or is having patience as I proof read this post out loud.  It's a great time to be in my shoes - and a fun adventure I have ahead of me.  
Abby

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Copy-Cat Cookies


If you have been following my blog for long you know that my favorite flavor is lemon.  I love the sweet yet tangy-ness of how the acid in the lemon fills up the entire dish of whatever you are cooking.  Well, for a while I have been wanting to learn a good lemon cookie recipe.  One of my favorite restaurants in the entire world, Cross Creek Sandwich Shop, makes lemon cookies that are absolutely to die for.  So what did I have to do?  I had to try and replicate it.  With the help of some friends and a key ingredient (lemon cake mix) I think I have almost perfected my copy-cat cookie.

They are so easy to make and, if done perfectly, you will eat the entire batch.  Don't say I didn't warn you!!


What you will need:

Cookie Mix (makes 12):
One box Lemon Cake Mix
One egg
One stick of butter
Vanilla - to taste


Frosting Mix (will frost 48 cookies):
One bag of powdered sugar
One box (8 oz) of cream cheese
One stick of butter
Vanilla (to taste)



The Process:
Literally all you have to do is mix it all up! The most important step is to make the ball big enough.  These need to be about 2 inches across by 1.5 inch thick.  (yes it is a science) The cookies in the end, if you made the ball big enough, should end up being the size of a coaster.  You must make sure that you let the fully cool because the hotter the icing gets, the runnier and messier it will get.

FROSTING:

I usually freeze my frosting (and it will stay good forever - just make your frosting, put it in a container, and keep it until your next lemon cookie experience!).  Therefore, when I put it on the cookie it is a lot easier to work with.  it might take you a couple of cookies to figure out how much icing to use because it will spread and run.  I usually put a dap on the top of all of the cookies and let it melt and spread itself!


Enjoy!  Let me know if you like them!



Abby