What Penn State did this weekend.

This weekend, college kids across the nation spent their weekend partying, drinking, sleeping, relaxing, and probably making a lot of bad decisions. While I’m not saying Penn Stater never do those things, they had better plans for this weekend.

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For 46 hours, more than 700 Penn State students stood in the Bryce Jordan Center in an effort to raise money for pediatric cancer through an organization called THON.

The picture above is the total amount that was raised by THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, a total that goes up by roughly a million dollars each year.

The $13.3 million dollars raised is going directly the the Four Diamonds Fund at the Hershey Medical Center.

This one weekend will change the lives of many young people battling cancer by paying for treatment, providing support, and showing the kids and their families the best weekend of their lives …

and it’s all a possible because of the 15,000 Penn State student volunteers.

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I have no words for how I’m feeling other than an overwhelming sense of pride.

I have never been more proud to call Penn State my alma mater.

WE ARE PENN STATE.

FTK.

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If you’d like to learn more about THON and it’s efforts, please visit thon.org

There is also a documentary that I’ve included below called “Why We Dance: The Story of THON” that can help you understand the inner workings of the largest student run philanthropy in the world.

Valentines Day Diary

Hey there!

I hope very one had a blessed and warm Valentines Day. I hope wherever you are, I hope conditions are better than where I am because we dealt with a winter storm warning from 10am Thursday until 10am Friday! We got about a foot and a half of snow in 24 hours and it’s still snowing. Yikes! I guess that’s what happens here in upstate New York, you think I would be used to it by now.

Although my Valentines Day was very snowy, I still had an awesome day celebrating with Matt! Here was his first gift to me:

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It’s kinda hard to see what’s going on here, but that’s Matthew brushing off my car for me! The best part was that I didn’t even have to ask. I’m so spoiled.

While he was outside doing that, I was inside attempting to be a domestic homemaker by getting crafty with pancakes.

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Don’t laugh at me! They’re supposed to be hearts. Haha I’m so cheesy. It’s fine.

Then I went off to work and hung out with some 3 year olds and got to eat a chocolate berry pudding pop! Yummm 🙂

When I got home the real fun started and we exchanged our gifts! I got Matt Super Smash Bros for the new Wii he got me for Christmas! I never got to play video games growing up and I LOVE playing the classic nintendo games like Mario Party and Mario Cart. You know, all the good stuff I missed out on as a kid. So we’ve been playing those games together a lot and he was really wanting Super Smash Bros. Anyways, here’s what he got me:

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LOVE me some Alex and Ani +Energy! My collection is growing and I’m pretty happy about it. My inner diva was even more excited.

Speaking of my inner diva, we decided to not do anything too big for Valentine’s Day, just dinner and a movie. But, our plans changed big time when we got to the restaurant and realized that we were in for a serious dining experience. We ate at Bellini’s Italian Eatery in Clifton Park Center and apparently they go all out for V Day. They sat us down at a huge round booth and had a special menu for Valentines day that included 3 courses. And, of course, we had to split a bottle of wine.

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When in doubt, pinky out.

Everything was TO DIE FOR. Especially the dessert, which looked a little something like this:

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OM NOM NOM. Chocolate coma.

Two hours later we had finished the wine (which we intended to take some home) and had a little bit of each course boxed up. At this point it was 9:45, it was past our bedtime, our bellies were full, and I had some rosy cheeks from the wine, so we went right home and skipped the movie. Yup, that’s right, we’re 22 and couldn’t even last through a late-night movie!

Needless to say, it was really nice to sit and indulge in some delicious food. We don’t go out to eat often, and usually eat at home in front of the TV so it was nice to sit down and talk and laugh with one another all night. We were mostly cracking up at how we weren’t classy enough for the joint and joking that we would get kicked out and be forced to use our BOGO coupon across the street at Chipotle.

I guess our attempt at not making a big deal out of Valentine’s Day turned out to be just the opposite, but that’s okay. I think a lot of people try to avoid the whole thing for the sake of being cheesy and buying into a commercial holiday. But really, it’s kind of nice to celebrate love and the richness it can bring to your life, whether that love is romantic or not.

I hope you all had an amazing and love-filled Valentine’s Day. I know I did!

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Talk to you guys next time!

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Why you shouldn’t write him off because you have nothing in common.

My boyfriend, Matt, and I started dating two years ago during sophomore year of college. In the early stages of getting to know someone you’re interested in, you tend to learn a lot about the other person fairly quickly, finding your similarities and building conversation based on them. One thing we learned really fast: we had almost nothing in common.Image

He’s from Pittsburgh, PA, I’m from Rochester, NY. He likes basketball and baseball, I like hockey and soccer. He likes Wiz Kahlifa, I like John Mayer. He’s 6’4″, I’m 5’1″. He’s the oldest of three kids, I’m the youngest of three kids. He likes math, I like writing. He’s quiet, I’m loud. The list goes on and on but that’s what makes us, well, us.

The more we disagreed, the more we laughed at ourselves and laughed together. It became funny how little we had in common, and it was even funnier when we discovered we have similar senses of humor–something we found out through cat memes.

As time went on my vices became more and more clear to me and my good qualities began to shine through more than they had in the past. We were so different that learning about him made me learn about myself, without even realizing it.

More time passed and we got to know each other on a deeper level, and I started to realize that we DID agree on the important stuff. We both value our education and put it first on our list of priorities. We both believe in the power of prayer, a quality passed down to us both from our parents. We agree on the value of hard work, and understand that in order to get what you want, you have to work hard for it. And my favorite … we’re both in love with my nephew, Sammy. All of these things–the important things–are the foundations for a good relationship, the agreements that help two people build strong bonds to one another.

When I got over how different his interests were from mine and started to learn more about him as a person, he started to become someone I saw as my partner and best friend. What I thought was shaping up to be an “opposites attract” relationship, didn’t exactly fit that definition. He turned into someone who would stand by me, support me, push me, and remind me who I really am when I need it most.

Our relationship, as it turns out, is pretty amazing. Despite our many differences, we love each other. He drives me crazy sometimes. But we’re making it work, one Pens vs. Sabres game at a time.

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