embrace it

& be proud

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I bleed red and white, green and gold, and blue and gold. I will never be able to shake those long “O’s.” Despite the season, the Badgers, Brewers and Packers are always on my radar. I can never get enough cheese, and PBR is my kind of beer. I can pronounce any place you point to on the map, and I will argue that we have more lakes than Minnesotawisconsin pride.

Folks, Wisconsin is my home and it always will be. For the past three years, I have lived in DC and I still get butterflies when I land in the motherland. I still get excited when I see a fellow Wisconsinite walking around DC repping my state. Wisconsin has state pride like I’ve never seen or experienced before. I know Texas would argue they have the most state pride, but I respectfully disagree. Wisconsin has camaraderie.

I’m sure it’s evident that I have undying state pride and love for Wisconsin, and frankly, that’s a burning passion that I will always have.

Over the weekend, I got in a heated argument with a friends’ friend I met. As we were making introductions and creating small talk, (let’s call him) Bill asked me where I was from and I proudly exclaimed, “WISCONSIN!” I countered and asked him where he was from. After much hesitation he answered, “New York…City.” With his response, this was something I was not pleased with or something that I was going to let stand by the wayside, I again asked again, “No, where are you really from?” Bill again hesitated and finally responded, “Chicago.” The conversation goes like this for a while and I finally get Bill to tell me where he is from after I told him I was very familiar with the “Chicago-area.”

I will give you the same talk that I dished out to Bill on Saturday night. Be proud of where you are from. Take pride in your upbringing and where you came from. Where you are from has a lot to do with who you are now. And truth be told, being a coward about your roots is almost an insult to your parents and how they raised you.

When you think of Wisconsin, what comes to mind? Probably the Green Bay Packers and cheese, and with good reason. The Packers are a storied NFL franchise, but as the foam cheese hats the Packers fans wear indicate, the real pride of Wisconsin are the people, the sports, the seasons, the beer, the cheese and the list will only continue.

Until the day I die, I bleed Wisconsin through and through. If it wasn’t for my Wisconsin and Midwestern upbringing, a lot would be different and I sincerely take pride in being from the great state of Wisconsin and being a true Midwestern.

i’m so over it

then why did you join?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

ΔΦΕ has been a huge part of my life for the past five years and it will continue to be in the forefront of my life. Rushing a Greek organization and the New Member Process are very important steps in any Greek’s life. During these two chapters, you learn that being Greek and being part of an ever growing organization isn’t for four years, rather it’s for life. In my experience, accountability is always a downfall of a sister’s membership. Just like an organization or any activity in life, if you put more into something, the better the results.

Why yes, that is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis throwing up the Unicorn horn!

Why yes, that is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis throwing up the Unicorn horn!

While I was an active sister, I believe that I was the epitome of a “sorority girl” (loyal, professional, high standards, philanthropic, confident, accountable, lively and adventurous) and I still am. You can find me melding into that stereotype because I’m a Vera carrying, bow wearing, pearl sporting, monogram obsessed, southern hair kind of girl and those are an everyday occurrence. Yes, it’s my style and who I am but that’s because of my fondness for my Deephers. Being a Deepher has become such an important thing in my life. I could never imagine uttering the words, “I’m so over the sorority thing” as an active or now as an Alumnae. In the past day, I was sent the article below three times by different women and it’s worth reading, especially if you are Greek. I hope Emily Johnson inspires you and lights a fire under your ass if you are one of those “I’m so over the sorority thing” girls.

The text below is from Emily Johnson’s blog which you can find here. A HUGE shout out to Emily for taking the courage to write this. YITS!

“I’m So Over the Sorority Thing”

When I became a member of my sorority I felt in my heart that I was joining something bigger than myself.

But then along the way you tend to forget.

You forget the meaning of sisterhood because you live in such close proximity to your sisters and they inevitably get on your last nerve.

You forget the bonds you have with these women because boys, frat parties, and cooler decorating become more important.

You forget that you genuinely share an interest with some of the women in your chapter because they can be catty, mean-spirited, quirky, or downright weird. (But you know what, they’re family- and all families have the eccentric one, the dramatic one, the loud one, the quiet one, the one who is MIA majority of the time, and that’s what makes a family interesting. It makes a family a family. )

And then you graduate, and then you really forget.

You lose touch with many of your sisters, the women who were supposed to be your life long friends.

You forget what appealed to you about this chapter, this sisterhood, this bond, because life got in the way and clouded your memory. You look back and it’s hard to see past the time you were wronged, the time a sister wasn’t there for you or any other dramatic moment that redefined your perception of a sorority.

You forget how incredibly special and unique the bond was with your big or your little because you’re older now and it is not socially acceptable to go around calling a twenty-something year old friend, “big”, “mom”, “dot”, or “little”.

In essence you simply forget. There are more important things in life than a sorority. How juvenile.

But then, there are times when your faith in sisterhood and its everlasting bonds is revived.

It’s in times of need, when you see a sister is hurting that you can’t help it -you want to be there for her in some capacity.  Because no matter how hard you try to dismiss it- that bond remains.

When there is a loss, a death, a tragedy we feel compelled to reach out.

That’s lovely.

That’s what you should do.Don’t be so foolish as to think it’s special that you give of your time, your energy, or your love to a dear friend (or even someone who is practically a stranger) when they need it most. It’s what you should do. Not just as a sister, but as a fellow human being.

But there is also something else you should do.

As a sorority woman it’s difficult for people to understand why this silly little chapter means so much to you. Hell, sometimes it’s even difficult for you to remember why this chapter means, or meant, so much to you.

So the next time you find yourself saying or thinking, “I’m so over the sorority thing.” Think about a time in your life when you may really need your sisters and they’ll be compelled to help. You would want that… wouldn’t you?

Think about the time you were a brand new member and were a little intimidated to go to formal but one of the older girls reached out to you and made you feel welcome.

Think about the time at recruitment when you were a senior and it was your last preference ceremony and you balled like a baby and couldn’t explain why.

Think about being a younger member or as a PNM going through rush and seeing the older members cry like babies and think, “I want that. I want something to mean that much to me.”

Think about the night when everyone was going out but you and another sister you barely knew stayed in and watched movies, talked, or went and got froyo instead. Maybe you became best friends, or maybe you didn’t. But it was somehow special.

Think about how stressful it was when big and little time came around- what with all the baskets, spending more time crafting than studying and spending way too much money on ridiculous decorations that you know won’t be acceptable after college but you make them anyway. You invest so much time making sure everything is perfectly painted, bedazzled and glitterfied- only to find remnants of glitter when you move out of your dorm room or apartment, months or years after the fact. (Any sorority woman can attest to the fact that glitter is indeed the herpes of craft supplies.)

I guess what I’m trying to say is this..

Treat your sister, every sister, even the sister you have nothing in common with, with kindness, respect, and acknowledgment that they are of value. Always.

Because, after all, these are more than friends- they’re sisters. You don’t have to like them or hangout with them everyday, but you have all collectively agreed there is a unique bond that you share and thus, you are innately required to care.

It’s easy to forget and let harbored negativity and grudges cloud what was once a very special and important part of your life. Never forget the good times and the genuine spirit that at one point in time  made you choose to become part of a sisterhood. You needed this and they needed you. Regardless of what has happened since, that will always be a large part of your life. Be grateful you were so lucky to have felt that. Not many people do.

We all still need each other.

Even after we graduate.

Even after we get married.

Even after we have children and our college days are but a distant memory.

Instead of holding on to the dramatics of life, choose to remember that feeling you had when it first hit you. When you for once felt like this was where you belonged.

When you start to forget, just remember…

You promised to “forget-me-not”.

giving thanks round 3

30 days of thankful, edt. 3

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

As a little recpa, Last November one of my friends was talking about her 30 Days of Thanks project and I wanted to hop on board. Now let me get this out of the way by saying, the idea that being grateful for 30 days is ridiculous; you should be grateful every day, not just for 30 days. That’s the problem though. We know we should be grateful every day, but we aren’t. That’s why 30 Days of Thanks was a project I took under my wing this November.

I understand that you should be grateful every day thing; however, I recognize that doesn’t always happen in my life. I’m working on that. I hope by the end of 30 Days of Thanks project, I will stick to it every day, not just the 30 days that are in November. Alas, every project must start somewhere, so here it goes. Here is a recap of the first 10 days in November.

So here is is friends, these are my last days of  30 Days of Thanks project. I must say, it sounds easy to find one thing to be thankful for everyday, but I wanted to look for more than the easy answers. Every day I am thankful for something and here are some…just to name a few!

11/21- Appreciation

Appreciation goes a long way in the work place. Today, I am thankful for these tiny thank yous and little signs of appreciations from the team I work with. My boss will often go out of her way to show her appreciation or say thank you to me, which is amazing. My team, doesn’t usually do that, but today it was apparent that they were making an effort and wanted to show their gratitude for one another. Seeing these smalls gestures and hearing thank yous gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Let’s keep these up, team. Today I’m not only thankful for y’all, but the work you do with and for me and he attitudes possessed today. Thanks!

11/22- A Simple Hello

Today I am thankful for simplicity. After leaving the Hoodie Allen concert Zach and I got on the metro to head back home. Zach and I were talking to one another and more people would board the train as we got closer to our destination. A man said a simple hello, which sparked a conversation between us and another person. In that moment four strangers were riding the metro in a deep conversation. Those moments are simple. I am thankful for little things like this. These moments make me see that mankind isn’t totally terrible and there are decent people left in the world, we just need to find them.

11/23- The Badgers & Wisconsin Pride

With a heart that bleeds red and white (blue and gold & green and gold) for the badgers and especially Wisconsin, I will always have state pride. Sure it’s hard to be in dc when my badgers are playing the biggest game (minus the rose bowl) of the season, but I feel right at home when I see badgers walking around town. The bars are filled and people are getting into the game. Every year the badgers fight for the Paul bunion (sp?) axe against the gophers. Honestly, it’s not even a fight anymore, they really just let us have it. I am thankful for Wisconsin state pride and my badgers. Great game and thanks for keeping the axe in Madison!

11/24- Surprises

Today, it’s surprises. I love surprising people, and I love being surprised. For a little background, I was going to stay in DC for thanksgiving, but last minute I found a crazy cheap ticket. My boss told me to take it, fly home and enjoy the holiday with my boyfriend and family (thank you!). Originally I was going to surprise the whole family, but I told my parents and we kept my sister in the dark. After meeting up with my parents and doing a little holiday decorating, we made it over to my sisters new house (congrats) for dinner and (for me) to meet her new boyfriend. She was thrilled, and totally surprised. The best part about a surprise is seeing someone’s face light up with a gorgeous smile. The genius happiness makes the room glow and when you’re in that presences you can help but smile yourself. Today, I have a lot to be thankful for.

11/25- A Classic Date

I am thankful for a boyfriend has an unconditional love. I am thankful for my person to be so good to me. Today was classic date night. Matt and I started dating while he was on a visit from Tennessee, so we never had the chance to do the “classic date”, ie, I will pick you up at 8, talk to my parents while I am finishing getting ready, go to dinner and a movie, but today that changed. When Matt arrived he had gorgeous flowers in-hand when he greeted me. He was a gentleman and opened all my doors, kissed me on the cheek and wouldn’t let me pay for a thing. Today I am not only thankful for the classic date night, but also for Matt. #CTBOT I love you.

11/26- The Ability to Work from Home

This week I am working from home, thanks to my awesome boss. I saw an opportunity for a chance to go home and because I asked here I sit. I sit at my kitchen table with my puppy at my side, the fireplace on working. Working from home is a blessing. I couldn’t be more happy or thankful for this opportunity.

11/27- My Aunt

My Aunt Loy is a remarkable lady. Today I am thankful for her and all the bits of knowledge, wit and life experience she has to share with me.

11/28- Family Traditions

Thanksgiving is always different in my family. Sometimes it’s just the 4 of us, sometimes it is with relatives and other times we open or home to neighbors and friends. This year, it was the four of us and my aunt. We always do a few things on Thanksgiving regardless: a last minute grocery store fun, watch football and the parade, make home made rolls and enjoy a holiday movie. Today I am thankful for my family and our little quirky holiday traditions.

11/29- Family Memories

Today I had the opportunity to not only make memories with my family, but also with Matt’s family. Today I am thankful for the opportunity to remember our memories and to reminisce. I am also thankful to make new memories with another family as well as reminisce on their family traditions and memories.

11/30- Unspeakable Moments with Friends

Today I am thankful for the unspeakable moments that I am thankful for. It’s that text message received, a the way a friend smiles when you are talking, a simple let me get the first round. These are thankful moments. The moments with friends shall never be forgotten during the holiday season. Friends are the family you choose, so choose them wisely and most of all show your appreciation and gratitude. This one for you kiddos and our moments!