Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Turn!

My mom and sister returned from Texas about two weeks ago, and now it's my turn to make the journey! I arrived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area on Monday afternoon and will go back home to New York next Tuesday.
When I arrived, my Aunt Belinda met me at the airport and we grabbed my giant suit case and headed back towards her house. My cousins Andrew and Colin were there awaiting my arrival and came to say hi as soon as I got there :-)
My Uncle Paul got home from work a little while later, but we never had a proper hello, because he had biked to and from work that day, so he was a little sweaty and stinky haha.!!!
That night we took a short walk around the neighborhood with the two dogs, then Aunt Belinda and I watched a few hours of tv together before I crashed for the night.
Yesterday, Aunt Belinda and I drove about half an hour to a store called Sam Moon, which turned out to be a massive store FILLED with completely affordable jewelry and every type of bag imaginable! It was heaven for me!
We then stopped at a locally owned Vegan restaurant... it was DELICIOUS!
After being home for a while, I took a short nap, then joined Colin and Andrew on a short trip to the closest mall while they picked out their mom's birthday present.
Last night, Aunt Belinda and Uncle Paul made a very yummy dinner, which included Salmon, my favorite source of protein! Then, Colin invited me to go bowling with him and two of his friends, so we headed off to the bowling ally (which, coincidentally, was named "Brunswick-something-or-other")!
It was a lot of fun for me to hang out with people my age in a place so far away from all of my friends!
Today is my Aunt Belinda's birthday, and while she's out to lunch with one of her friends, which I was invited to, but didn't want to harsh her hang, I am going to make her a birthday cake :-)
That's all for now, but it's only my third day here, so there will definitely be more to come!

<3

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This Is Why I Love Jack <3





This is Jack. My little brother <3

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Hair Color!



I've decided to change my hair color (again)!
This time, instead of some shade of red... I went BLACK! Yikes! hahaha it was a bit of a shock for the whole family at first. Mackenzie was very upset with me for a few hours, but by the end of the day, said that she has gotten used to the new hair color and is ok with it at this point. As Long As the Six Year Old is Happy :-D

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mackenzie Stars in a Musical

This is a video of my little sister, Mack, in her school's middle school musical last weekend. She was asked to be in the show as one of the younger kids. She is the little girl in the long red coat with the short blond bob. TOO ADORABLE!!! (sorry for the shakiness!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Power Shift 2009

The Power Shift Conference of 2009 was a total success!!!
Over 1,500 Youth showed up to Washington DC from places all over the country! I met people from Portland, Oregon, Southern California, Florida, Texas, even Puerto Rico!!!!, and many other places!
Our group left campus at 1am Saturday morning and arrived in DC by car around 7am (our car stopped about once every hour for bathroom breaks haha) and we checked in to the conference. I was already completely sleep deprived, because, due to the attack outside my room that Thursday night/Friday morning, I had only got 4 hours of sleep that night, and then I think I slept about an hour on the car ride down to DC, so I was only running on about 5 hours of sleep since I had gotten up at 7am Thursday morning for classes...
Saturday, we spent the day going to different "classes" and learning about different things, such as how to "lead the green movement in your school," and learning about different things that other schools across the nation are doing. I was very proud of myself for the networking I did that day, because I got to meet so many cool people and I fed off of each others' enthusiasm for being there!
Saturday night was a little hard for me, because that is when I learned about Aunt Mary's death, but my new friends in my group from school pulled together and made me feel much better! They were totally awesome. With some persuasion, they got me to go out with them that night to a concert that was being sponsored by the Conference. The band was The Roots, a band that I had never heard of before, and something I probably wouldn't listen to on my own, but they were really awesome! And the music took my mind off of things.
Sunday morning and early afternoon, there were more programs to go to at the convention center, but I decided to take some time to myself and think, so I took the Metro (subway) over to the Monuments and spent a few hours wandering around, thinking, and taking in the scenery and the history. It was a lot of fun.
I returned back to the convention center in the late afternoon for some required programs that would help us prepare for Lobbying the following day.
Sunday night, I took the Metro over to American University, where one of my best friends from high school goes and spent a few hours visiting her... that made me very happy! I got back on the Metro, planning to get back to the station closest to my hotel at 11:55, because the shuttle from the hotel stops running at 12, so I was just going to make it!
However, when I got back to the station, the snow storm had begun!! And when I called the hotel, the man at the desk said the shuttle wasn't going to be running anymore! yikes!!!
So I figured I would call a taxi, take some money out of an ATM and get back to the hotel that way.... there wasn't an ATM at the station....
haha So now, I was a little panicked, but I called one of my friends in our group, who was already back at the hotel, and she told me she'd be over in about 20 minutes to pick me up! Lauren saved the night!!!!
While I was stranded at the Metro Station, awaiting rescue, I met three other people from the conference (and who were staying in our hotel), from PORTLAND OREGON!!!, and Lauren gave them a ride back to the hotel with us, because the taxi company said it would be over an hour before a taxi got to them!!!
Monday morning, we panicked, and payed for another night at the hotel, thinking the storm was going to be HORRIBLE! Then, we barred the weather and headed out to the Metro Station. From there, we took the Metro to the Capital and met with other people who would be lobbying our Congressman for the New Paltz area.
The experience was totally amazing! And it felt really cool to be talking to someone so important in politics! As we were getting ready to leave the building, a man came out of an office and asked us if we were there to speak with Congressman Conyers from Chicago!
We said we weren't, but we could! Apparently, the group from Chicago never showed up for their meeting with him! So, we filled in! It was totally awesome and Congressman Conyers was WAY cool! The first thing he said to us when we walked into his office was, "Who here has ever heard of John Coltrane?" And for the entire meeting, he had jazz music playing in the background. We learned that Congressman Conyers has been in Congress since 1964 and is the oldest man in Congress today.
After our lobbying was done, three of my new friends and I grabbed some lunch, then headed over to the Botanical Gardens for an hour before it closed... that was really nice and relaxing after such an eventful weekend! Then, we headed back to the hotel and I fell asleep for a few hours... that night, we had an informal meeting with our group to discuss the weekend and what we wanted to do with all of the new information and experiences we had gained over the weekend. The meeting lasted well into the night and the next morning, we headed out to get back to New Paltz.
We got back to New Paltz around 5:30 pm and I repacked, grabbed some dinner with my friends, then got on a bus at 9:30pm to go home for Aunt Mary's funeral service the next morning.
Overall, it was an amazing weekend, and I'm very glad I had the opportunity to go!!! It was an AWESOME birthday present from Moma and Pops!!! Thank you!!!!
*Pictures of the weekend will be up soon*

Friday, February 27, 2009

Reality Check

This morning at 4am, I was given my first scary reality check since moving out of the house back in August. I was woken up by a door banging open and a girl and guy yelling at each other. Swear words were used and as I was getting ready to dismiss the incident as a drunken argument between a couple, I heard the girl cry out for help. At this point, I got out of bed and headed towards the door, but before I opened it, I heard the hallway door to the stairs open and close and two voices (one male and one female) asking the girl if she was okay.
The male voice was talking on the phone, relaying what was happening to someone on the other end. I assumed he was speaking to the police, so I decided it was not necessary for me to get involved. I looked out my peephole in the door before heading back to bed and say that the girl who was crying was the girl who lives across the hall from me. I saw her crying hysterically, leaving our hallway, entering the stairwell.
I went back to bed, but immediately felt uneasy. Sure enough, no more than 2 minutes later, I heard more yelling and banging on the floor below mine. I got back out of bed and went to my computer to look for either the number to campus police or to the front desk of our building where residents "night host" each night.
While frantically searching for ANY number to call, the yelling couple had moved outside, where I could hear the girl now crying out for more help.
I forgot about calling the front desk and dialed 911. The noises stopped outside, which made me even more nervous, and I told the emergency responder everything that I knew about the situation and who the girl was and he said that campus police were on their way. As we were ending our conversation, I saw the girl walking towards the front door of our building from the side where they had been fighting. I continued to relay to the man on the phone what I was seeing as the guy began chasing after her across the front pathway.
Just as the guy reached the front door, he stopped, paused, turned away and began calmly walking towards the side of the building again. I thought this was odd... until 2 campus police officers came out of the front doors of our building.
They called him over and long story short, I went back to bed having seen that the police were talking to both the girl and the guy (separately).
Try though I may, I could not fall asleep. I continued to replay the events over and over in my head, I was very upset by the events.
It was the first time I had ever made a 911 phone call, and while I was very proud of myself in how I handled the situation and for doing the right thing and helping, I was (and still am) very unsettled by what happened. It was a definite wake-up call for me. I have always known things like that happened, but nothing had happened that close to home for many, many years. It was my first real-life grown-up situation since leaving home, and my first reaction was to call my mom.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Power Shift 2009

Three days until my trip to D.C. for the Power Shift convention!!!
I'm getting very excited as my group is planning our departure and small details are being ironed out!
For a short amount of time, I was worried I wouldn't be able to afford going on the trip (:-/) BUT!! Moma and Pops are saving the day (once again!) and are using this trip as my birthday present! They are graciously paying for it :-D
So, here are two links, one is to the PowerShift 2009 website, and the other is the hotel website that we're staying at... nothing too glamorous, I'm just glad we don't have to stay in tents or anything!!

http://www.powershift09.org/conference

http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-capitol_heights-maryland-MD177?sid=k9lK.bOVfNgkK2M.7&sarea=10726&sname=Capitol+Heights&sstate=MD&scountry=US&sradius=40.23&slat=38.8850&slon=-76.9161&schain=CI&exp=&scity=&sort=&type=&map=n&nroom=1&nadult1=1&nchild1=0&nadult2=1&nchild2=0&nadult3=1&nchild3=0&nadult4=1&nchild4=0&nadult5=1&nchild5=0

<3 peace and love

Monday, February 23, 2009

"C"

Okay, here's a fun game we can all play...
If you want to play, leave a comment on this post letting me know, and I'll assign you a letter. You post ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on. I promise that no one will get "J,X,Q,U or Z." Mom gave me "C". So, here it goes:

1) Cats:
I LOVE my cats!!!! Willow, the cat that adopted me when she was stranded on my grandparents farm has been with our family since we started being a family and I love her very much. Dexter, her son, is supposed to be my mom's cat... but she doesn't love him as much as I do haha. When I grow up and have my own apartment/house, I plan on bringing Dexter with me. I would take Willow with me, but she can't be left alone that much in a new environment like that :-/
But I love them both :-)

2) Cars:
I'm deviating from the directions of the game somewhat. While I do love cars and hope to have a cute little bug some day, I'd also like to think of myself as an environmentalist. I hope to live and teach in a city for at least the beginning of my teaching career. This way, I can take a subway to work everyday, saving money from gas, car payments, and car insurance... AND helping the environment!

3) Calendars:
My favorite kind of calendars of the ones that sport (mostly) naked men :-)

4) Chips
Tortilla Chips and Queso!! Yum Yum Yum!!!!

5) Choffee:
The drink I'm addicted to! It's half hot chocolate and half coffee... SOOO GOOD!

6) Just plain CHOCOLATE:
Can't go wrong with a nice big bar of chocolate lol

7) Crayons:
I love to color. Whether I'm coloring in my dorm room with friends or by myself, or at home in the Play Room coloring with Mackenzie and Jack... there's something peaceful about being able to sit down with a coloring book and 24 crayola crayons :-D

8) Cell Phone:
CAN'T BELIEVE IT TOOK ME THIS LONG TO THINK OF THIS!!!!
I love my cell phone. I am addicted to it. I feel naked and lonely if it is not by my side. ... I think I got my point accross lol

9) Camera:
Another essential in my life that I am embarrased to have forgotten about for so long! I just bought my new camera with Christmas money and I LOVE it!!!

10) Casa:
Best for last, right?
Casa= Home in Spanish... kinda lol
Home is definitely a huge part of my life and I love being home and the people that live there... not even just in my actual house, but my home is also Moma and Pops' house, next door at Grandma's house, and of course, let's not forget about my 2 homes up in Saratoga... where I've been spending more time than at my actual house lately :-P

This is my list... I'm sorry if it's not that interesting!
<3 Love and Peace to all

Inspiration









My Mom has inspired me to dedicate a post to my favorite 2 people in the world.. Mackenzie and Jack. So... here are some quick pictures of them (I have to leave for dinner in half an hour).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thought Provoking Class

As I enter my third week of my second semester, I feel that I have a pretty good handle on what these next few months are going to have in store for me. I know what to expect from my professors; I know what kind of work is expected from me and I have a fairly good idea of what each class will be like.
As of last Thursday, I currently have my favorite class for this semester :-D
I am convinced that my Contemporary Issues and Literature class was created for me. The professor is this sweet old woman who has been an English professor for many years. The course is going to explore our culture and and the issues that we have faced over the past hundred years or so.
The other day in class, as somewhat of an introduction to the course and to get our minds thinking, our professor showed us a video that almost every American child watches when growing up. However, as she had us watch the clip on youtube, she asked us to look at it as a political statement about our society and what the cartoon is saying about social issues and our culture/society.
I'd love to hear people's reactions to this little experiment, so here are the links to the two cartoons (they're not long!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAtaBeYYuw4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViFBEww8uxk&feature=related

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Exciting News!!!

As of last night at 7 pm, I am officially part of my first college club! You are now reading the blog of the newest member of the SUNY New Paltz RECYCLING CLUB!
hahaha I know, I know, it's not the most exciting club in the world, but the recycling program here at school is really REALLY crappy! And I wanted to join a club that helps the entire community, not just the campus.
So I get to help spread the word about recycling! I actually learned a lot yesterday at the meeting, which was really cool.
AND I found out about this convention in D.C. that has to do with environmental awareness. People are going from high schools and colleges all across the country, and the girl who I spoke to yesterday said that she's hopeful that we will get enough funding from the school so that the trip will only cost about $20! I am very excited! The convention is the last weekend in February, so keep your fingers crossed that this works out and I can afford to go!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Care Instructions for Shayna

Care Instructions for Shayna
By: Stephanie Martin

1. Do not encourage dancing, but accept that it will happen.
2. Don't let her eat a whole bar of chocolate, she will never sleep.
3. Too much choffee, and she will talk all night.
4. Ignore her LOST addiction, and her terrified shrieks every eight minutes.
5. Make sure no attractive people are in the hall when she tries to do high pockets.
6. Number six was regretfully too inappropriate to post onto this blog.
7. She will talk about boys ALL THE TIME, nod and laugh a little. -kidding
*She likes to hide in the closet, sing, and color. But she's relatively harmless*
Love,
Stephanie
(Previous Caretaker)

1st Week Back to School

This past week has definitely, by far, been one of the most eventful weeks at school since my first day at New Paltz back in August.
On Sunday, my dad dropped me off to school and I quickly began unpacking, needing to fill the void of the lack of Steph (my old roommate). One of my best friends here at school, Simone, came over and hung out with me while I unpacked everything. I later went over to her room to relax with her while she unpacked.
Monday morning, Simone and I got brunch together and then we returned to our own rooms to continue unpacking. Later, one of the girls from the room next door returned to school and she agreed to be my new roommate. This will be good for her because she was in a triple (she had 2 other roommates, instead of one) and now she will have more room for all of her stuff, but she's still near her old roommates! That night, I enjoyed a HUGE dinner with all of my girlfriends in the dining hall. It was so good to see all of them again!
Tuesday brought the first day of classes! I was up bright and early at 8 AM!! My general English teacher is totally awesome, she's a Graduate student and it's obvious that she loves teaching English. My Ancient World professor is... a different story. He's from Japan, so he has a very thick accent which is difficult to understand, but overall, he's a very sweet man. When I got done with my classes at 10:40 am (!!!) I headed over to school book store to buy my books for the semester... This is where I fell down a flight of stairs. That was very fun, let me tell you. After my fall, I hobbled back to my dorm where one of my best friends, Sarah, came over and we watched the inauguration ceremony and I had a bowl of soup. Later that afternoon I did some yoga to try to stretch out my back and neck.
Wednesday morning I discovered that I am registered for the wrong Spanish class. That afternoon I hung out in my bed with a heating pad, because my back had become very swollen over night (Mom and Lisa later yelled at me when I told them I was using heat, not ice... oops!). Wednesday night was the Season Premiere of LOST!!!!!
On Thursday, I RE-watched the season premiere of Lost online because it was soooo good! I also had a surprise visit from my old roommate, Stephanie!! She took me and a few of her other friends out to lunch and then I went back to my room to do some cleaning and some work... That night my new roommate and I had to sign some more papers so that she can move in this weekend. After we had dinner, Steph and our friend Shann came back to my room and we just hung around for a while. At this point, Steph made a list entitled, "Care Instructions for Shayna," for my new roommate Sara. It was very funny. Stephanie left around 8:30 and it was very sad... I really miss her :-(
Today is Friday and I'm still trying to straighten out my Spanish class. I had two classes today and I've had two lunches: 1) With Sarah and our friend Mike, and 2) with Shannon and her roommate Katie (I didn't really eat much during the second lunch). I still need to take a shower and I need to do some laundry... I also have to pack because I need to get on a bus tomorrow morning at 8:30 to go back up to Albany for the sign committee for the Saratoga Dance Flurry.
With all that being said, I've had a very eventful first week and I should probably get going on all of the things that I need to do today :-/
Also, now that I'm back at school, I'll hopefully be writing more often!
TTYL <3