Sunday, June 30, 2013

Out of touch

Well, vacation started out on a sour note...  My iPhone went swimming :( It's now a brick so I am using only my iPad.  Not so bad...  I am realizing life goes on without FB and Instagram updates.  Jay takes far fewer pics so we have to work with what we have...  I'm really missing it most for music when i run each morning.  Yes, I have been that person running with their iPad with headphones...  Silly but it gets the job done!

We started off our vacay with a stop at Pap and Tappy's house while Jay worked an event in Andalusia.  We have swam, ate, fished, ate, picked blackberries, ate, loved on Pap and Tappy, played with Cameron... you get the point - this family loves to eat and it is always delicious!  We head to the beach tonight and to say we are excited is an understatement!  Heath, Kelly, and the kids will join us on Wednesday and that's when the real fun will begin with a condo full of cousins :)

Pray that I have a phone soon!  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Oh the places you will go!

I have been traveling this week in Florida visiting 14 colleges in 5 days.  Whirlwind, but lots of fun (if you love college visits which I do). A lot of friends have asked recently "what exactly do you do" so I am going to try my best to explain...  My career has been in college admissions since graduating in 2004.  I love working with high school students - (preschoolers not so much).  I love helping others talk about what they think they want to pursue and what types of colleges they think they would enjoy attending.  I made a big switch last year leaving my alma mater and a place I truly love, to working with students independently as they consider their college plans...  It's been fun, exciting, tiring, sad, but rewarding.  I was blessed to join an established practice in the Atlanta area.  I have the opportunity to learn from a mentor every single day.  I knew it was time to make a switch professionally but never dreamed it would be where I am...  I thought my path would lead me to a private high school or up the ranks on the college side.  Being an "independent" allows flexibility for work and home.  I have the job of working with high schoolers (which I love) and being with Ellie a lot more during the week!  Flexibility was crucial in my job search as it was something needed since Jay owns his own business...  He doesn't have off days nor a normal work schedule.  This provides our family with exactly what we need at this point in our lives.  

My official title is Independent College Counselor.  I work with students (and families) looking for an in-depth college and career search process.  Most of our clients are high school students (and families) with varied backgrounds around the Atlanta area.  My job is to assist them with determining their strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes, values, majors, etc...  and try to match them with a variety of college choices.  Just like no 2 colleges are the same, neither are the students.  We do a series of assessments to help narrow their list of potential college choices.  I spend most of my time meeting one-on-one with the students throughout their high school years.  I spend some of my time visiting other colleges around the US - about 4-6 weeks a year...  June 1 marked my 1 year anniversary in my new role and to date I have visited 60+ colleges.  Yes, that is a lot of visits...  this is when I learn the most.  I am able to see the campus, understand the academic and social environment, and connect with Admission officers.  This experience has taught me so much.  I understand now why everyone doesn't choose to my alma mater...  Why small colleges are a great fit for many students...  Why football and Greek life shouldn't be the driving forces of your college decision...  And that college truly is when most students figure out who they are and who they want to be!  

This week we were in Florida so the pics below are from small, large, publics, privates, and HBCU's!  Beautiful colleges with someone for everyone - but you better be okay with the HEAT!  


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Enjoying our summer!

I am loving being home with Ellie, especially now that summer is here and we can head to the pool most afternoons.  This year she is comfortable being in the pool without me and becomes "friends" with anyone that is interested in talking back to her!  I love that our neighborhood has lots of young families with young kids so there is always someone to float around with. 

We started off our summer with a trip to Andalusia.  We celebrated Cameron's birthday and literally didn't leave Paps house.  It was fabulous!  The pool was warm and the lounging was exactly what we needed.  I look forward to Ellie spending a week in Andalusia firing the summers...  Maybe next year!  She absolutely loves being with cousins and grandparents.  

With summer also comes a busy time for Jay...  There are multiple festivals every weekend so we are getting out to more of those.