Never forget! Sunday, Sep 11 2011 

Let us never forget the events of September 11, 2011. God Bless America!

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Stumble Monday Monday, Aug 29 2011 

So I really do need to get back to blogging! So sorry for the gaps in between posts. I am back at school now and on a more consistent schedule which should help me keep to blogging. In honor of being back to long hours reading and studying, I thought I would share this image with you from Stumble.

http://9gag.com/gag/85637/

I love my sorority house but we do not have a great nook like that! Wish we did!

Till tomorrow!

Question of the Day: where is/was your favorite place to study?

Stumble Monday Returns Monday, Aug 8 2011 

Hi all!

Vacations are great but man do they get you out of your routine! So sorry for not posting recently. I will (finally) post a few words about our family vacation tomorrow. But since it is Monday here is your Stumble item:

http://www.dressforthegame.com

Get ready for football season! Wish us Midwest folks would look this pretty at games 😉

Till tomorrow!

Family Vacations Wednesday, Jul 20 2011 

Hi everyone! Hope you had a good Wednesday! We are headed to Emerald Isle, North Carolina for our annual family vacation. Since I was six months old, we have been going to Emerald Isle to vacation with my Dad’s side of the family. My grandparents started the trip so everyone could stay in touch. With four children in four different states, it was a difficult task to get everyone together. But the vacation has done the trick. We are up to 20 people in the house.

My grandparents have both passed on. We have scattered their ashes on the beach so they are always with us. We honor their legacy and their memory by continuing this trip. I have been on some wonderful vacations but this one carries a special meaning. I love it! I pray that we always do this trip. I’m lucky that my sister, parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins all feel the same way.

Anyway, I wanted to warn you that there might not be as many posts for the next week or so, but I promise to give you a taste of this trip. I hope my next few posts inspire you all do organize your own family vacations! Till tomorrow!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite family vacation?

Stumble Monday Monday, Jul 18 2011 

Hi everyone!

Sorry for not writing a post in awhile but good news it’s Stumble Monday. Here’s a great column from a several years ago! Enjoy!

http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/HomePage/Class/Psy301/Niederhoffer/Articles/spotlight.html

Till tomorrow!

Are you a Prep? Wednesday, Jul 13 2011 

Hi everyone!

Sorry for not posting anything yesterday. We have another quick post tonight. As many of you know I consider myself a Prep and love all things Preppy! Courtesy of the Preppy Princess (www.preppyprincess.com) here is the list of the most Preppy schools in 2011!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/the-preppiest-schools-of-_n_894320.html#s305864&title=St_Lawrence_University

I must admit I’m disappointed that DePauw isn’t on the list, but I will make it my personal goal for senior year 😉

Till tomorrow!

Stumble Monday Monday, Jul 11 2011 

Hi all!

Hope you all had a good weekend and Monday! It was a difficult weekend here at The First House as we continue to come to grips with the aging of my grandparents. Today i found this poem. To me it perfectly captures how my grandparents are at this stage in their lives. I hope, at the very least, I never forget how my significant other or my family members look when they say “I love you.”

http://hellopoetry.com/poem/i-dont-remember/

Enjoy! Till tomorrow!

Need Something to do this Weekend? Friday, Jul 8 2011 

Hi all!

Before I get to today’s weekend post, two items I would like to share with you.

1) This summer marks 12 years since the US Women’s soccer team made history and won the world cup. I’m sure you all remember the iconic image of Brandy Chastain ripping off her jersey. It was a great moment for young girls, including myself a young soccer player, but also for American sports. We realized that we could compete in this popular international sport and realized that female athletes could bring as much pride to our nation as male athletes. We should all take time to remember this historic achievement. I just wish we had more like them to inspire young women and show the nation that women are equal to men in every way.

2) Late news tonight that former first lady Betty Ford died at age 93. While I do not know much about her I do admire her. She took her addiction to alcohol and used it to help people. She shared her struggle not for monetary purposes but for humanitarian purposes. She helped people realize that alcoholism is a disease and a treatable one at that. She did not lie to save her reputation like so many celebrities do today. Instead she realized her weakness could inspire others. We should all take a page from her book and use our faults to assist others.

Alright enough about powerful women and onto this week’s edition of “Need Something to do this Weekend?”

In honor of all the health tips I’ve learned while working at the American Heart Association, I encourage all of you to check out their website and resources while also using this article to make healthy choices apart of your everyday life. I know it is a challenge but if a group of women with barely any support from their country can win the world cup or a woman can overcome alcoholism to change others lives, I know you can take these simple steps to improve your health. Best of luck!

http://www.freestylemind.com/30-habits-that-will-change-your-life

Till Monday! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Saying Good-Bye Thursday, Jul 7 2011 

Hi everyone,

I’m not sure how many of you have been paying attention to the news regarding the American space program. If you haven’t heard, the program is shutting down and will be launching it’s last shuttle this week.

This is sad news. Space was always a favorite in school. So many possibilities exist in space. As students we loved learning about this unfamiliar place and dreaming about the next big discovery. The end of the space program is also the end of many young people’s dreams.

I have to wonder if America will ever have another great discovery. Yes many private, American businesses make wonderful discoveries but the space program was unique as it was a discovery everyone in the nation was invested in, proud of, and excited about. The discoveries weren’t for a profit. The discoveries were to show the greatness of our country. I don’t know if we have anything like that now. The end of the space program is a very sad good-bye. I hope you all take time to reflect on this major change and this end of the space era. I pray that we find another program, with the same great qualities of pride, peace, and discovery, as the space program. Maybe then we will once again have something to unite our country and to ignite our imagination.

Till tomorrow!

Want to learn more? Check out this piece from NPR

I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/07/137674600/nasa-astronauts-look-back-on-time-spent-above?sc=17&f=1001

A ‘Faceful Of Earth’: Astronauts Recall Shuttle Highs
– July 7, 2011

There are 30 years between the bookends of the first and last NASA space shuttle flights. In those three decades, the shuttles Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour flew well over 100 missions.

But this summer, the program draws to a close to allow the space agency to dedicate more funding and energy to exploring the farther reaches of space. In the process, NASA hands over greater responsibility to private space companies.

It’s a moment that American astronauts Leroy Chiao and Cady Coleman describe as sad, but essential. The two reflected on their favorite and most memorable moments from the shuttle era with All Things Considered host Melissa Block.

‘For A Few Moments, I Felt Like A Satellite’

Chiao was an astronaut for 15 years and retired in 2005. During his tenure with NASA, he flew four space missions. He says his most magical moment happened on his third flight, when he was doing maintenance during a space walk. A robotic arm moved him between work sites and at one point, he couldn’t see the space shuttle or station in his peripheral vision.

“All I had was a faceful of the Earth. And you know, the colors of the Earth from space are much brighter, more vivid than you might imagine, and it almost looks fake,” he says. “But for just a few moments, I felt like a satellite, orbiting the Earth on my own.”

He says experiences like that have changed him for the better.

“It really made me have a bigger picture of life,” he says. “I used to be bothered by little things — if I got overcharged for something or someone was rude. And gosh, after spaceflight, those things aren’t important.”

Coleman still works in space and recently returned from a trip to the International Space Station. She says her most memorable moment is similar to Chiao’s. She describes a time in an area of the International Space Station that has windows all the way around, including one that faces the Earth. She says crouching over it felt like surfing or flying.

“Seeing New England approach so it’s in the distance and it’s getting closer and closer. Then you’re right over it and you see where you live and you see Cape Cod and it’s just beautiful, and you want it to stay right there. But it doesn’t. It recedes into the distance so quickly,” she says. “It makes me wistful and at the same time, I know that in an hour and a half I’ll be back.”

Chiao says it’s possible to see that kind of detail from 200 miles up with the naked eye, but with a telephoto lens you can also see streets, city grids and even fireworks.

Sad But Essential For Shuttle Program To End

Both astronauts say they will be sad to see the space shuttle program end. Chiao says he worries that the biggest loss will be the NASA’s “know-how” — how to build and operate the shuttles — which was something other countries have yet to master.

“I’m mourning not just the emotional loss of the shuttle but also the loss of the technology and the loss of national prestige,” he says. “Frankly, after this mission, we will no longer have the ability to send American astronauts into space ourselves and arguably, we will no longer be the leaders in human spaceflight until we get that capability back.”

Both Chiao and Coleman acknowledge that the program had become too expensive. But Coleman says she’s optimistic that NASA’s passion for exploration will continue to push the agency forward.

“In order to explore, we need a new vehicle. And we can’t fly this one and operate this one. It’s too expensive and it drains too many of the people that we need — we need their knowledge and expertise … to develop new vehicles that will take us further. Because going further is what we’re all about,” she says. “It’s a hard change, it’s necessary and in some ways, I think it’s OK just to take some time to grieve.”

She hopes to see a manned mission to Mars sometime in her lifetime and says it’s possible with global cooperation.

“I think we were not made to stay in one place. Our Earth is in the middle of a neighborhood, it’s in the middle of a universe, and it is just in our nature to explore,” she says. “I think it’s necessary to do it technologically in a way that makes sense. That means in terms of money and people and nations and cooperation.”

Chiao plans to attend the launch at the Kennedy Space Center, where he says there is a tradition of lighting up cigars after a successful liftoff. Coleman expects the event to be an emotional one.

“I probably cry at most launches,” she says. “It’s a really emotional thing to see all that power and just knowing that those are people. … They’re friends, practically family, and they’re leaving the Earth. It’s a really big deal.”

The space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 11:26 a.m. EST on Friday. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

To learn more about the NPR iPhone app, go to http://iphone.npr.org/recommendnprnews

Question of the Day: what do you think about the end of the space program?

Great Story Wednesday, Jul 6 2011 

Hi all!

This will be a quick post tonight as I’m exhausted. Anyway, I was on msnbc.com today. Most of the stories were about the Casey Anthony verdict. However, a surprising headline caught my eye. The story is a breathe of fresh air. I think after yesterday’s big news, which many found upsetting, disappointing, and even disgusting, we need a feel-good story. And this one will make anyone who questioned the good in this world believe and trust again! Enjoy!

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43465344/ns/today-good_news/t/he-won-million-then-went-back-work-janitor/

Till tomorrow!

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