Archive for Milestones

Our Wedding

wedding

On November 1, 2009, in Little Bay, Jamaica, Ken and I “legalized it,” as the Jamaicans love to say. I couldn’t be happier that we chose to have a destination wedding with close family and friends. It was everything we had hoped it would be, and quite possibly the best family vacation the Pattersons or the Nichols have ever had.

We left with a thousand favorite memories, but here are just a few of the highlights (in no particular order):

  • While I was in my room preparing for the ceremony, just about to step into my dress, it suddenly started to downpour. I was losing it – this was the first time it had rained since we arrived, and it just happened to occur when I was supposed to be walking down the aisle!? Luckily, the rain stopped in time for us to get a handful of pre-ceremony pictures. And you know what? We ended up having two huge rainbows for our ceremony.
  • The night before the wedding was a blast! After the rehearsal dinner, our friend started playing Michael Jackson on his ipod at the resort’s bar, and everyone was doing the “Billie Jean” dance. Our parents even got up on the bar and started dancing. Now I’ve heard of them having that much fun before, but never have I actually seen it…
  • Our second day in Jamaica, our group went to the Blue Hole, which is a natural mineral springs where the only way to swim is to jump – 35 feet! We all did it, or course. The coolest part about it was that it was just us and the locals, who showed off their impressive cliff diving skills. It’s currently being developed into a major tourist attraction, so we are truly lucky we got to experience it beforehand.
  • On our last night of the honeymoon, Coral Cove prepared a private dinner for the two of us out on the cliff where we got married. They illuminuated the way with torches, and decorated our table with romantic candles and flower petals. I just can’t say enough about how great those people were!

I will stop gushing, but first I must insert a plug for both Coral Cove (where we all stayed) and Ray and Erica of 35 Atlanta, our photographers. Both helped to make our wedding unforgettable.

Here are some more of the first wedding pictures! The professional photos should be ready soon 🙂 

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An update on grown-up life

I’ve had very little time to write lately because I’ve been busy transitioning to the real world. Yes, I am finally moved out of my parents’ basement and busy establishing myself as a professional.

In this economy, I am blessed to now have a job in the development office at Georgia Gwinnett College, where I started my new position as Assistant Director of Annual Giving on Feb. 2. As the first public, 4-year liberal arts college opened in the 21st century, GGC has enormous growth potential and I’m anxious to see what happens in the coming months. One of the most exciting recent developments is the news that Gen. David Petraeus will be speaking at the May 2009 commencement ceremony.

On a separate note, I’ve just moved to a new apartment in Suwanee, GA, about 15 minutes away from my job in Lawrenceville. Although moving in (and decorating) has been a very slow process, I’ve really enjoyed living by myself and am sure Ken is relieved that I won’t be moving quite as frequently now that I’m done with college.

I’m still adjusting to both living in a new city and working, so if any of you reading have any tips to share on fun things to do in Gwinnett or fundraising, I would greatly appreciate it. I hope everyone is having a wonderful New Year so far!

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: UGA graduation 2008

graduation-010

It was the day I’ve eagerly anticipated for the past four years: my graduation from UGA. As I sat with my fellow students at the Grady commencement ceremony in Hodgson Hall on Dec. 18, there was a mixed sentiment in the air of excitement and uncertainty.  The speakers’ words of praise and encouragement were dotted with reminders that we were entering one of the toughest job markets in recent history. I wanted nothing more than to forget that fact, at least for a while, but they were right to discuss it: it was the truth.

Keynote speaker Carolyn Tieger, borrowing a phrase from Dickens, captured the moment perfectly: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” She added, “When you tell people that you graduated in 2008, you will certainly get their attention!” She went on to discuss the importance of perserverance in the job search, offering several useful tidbits of advice. She even reassured us that it’s okay to live with parents for a little while, which came as a relief to me since that is where I am right now.

If anything, my time at college has taught me perserverance and humility. I’ve received bad grades on projects and papers I’ve poured my heart into. I’ve been turned down for internships, jobs and other opportunities. I’ve made mistakes. But I’ve also learned to turn these failures into learning opportunities and, in fact, not to think of them as failures, but necessary experiences on the road to success. It’s that old cliche: “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”

Thanks to my wonderful family and friends, I had a great graduation week. My parents came up and took us to a wonderful dinner at Last Resort. My 12-year-old brother (and equally antsy boyfriend) sat patiently through the graduation ceremony. My friend Becky and I had a joint graduation party in our hometown, and were showered with gifts and kind words from our amazing family friends. Each time I was asked if I had a job lined up, I was able to smile and simply say, “Nope!” They believe in me, and that’s all that matters right now. (Click here for some more pictures from graduation).

Congratulations to all other recent graduates, and thank you to all of my wonderful supervisors, professors and colleagues who have encouraged me along the way.

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September Highlights

The past few weeks I’ve been very busy, but it has definitely paid off! First, I’m happy to annouce I will be one of the students attending UGA Connect on Sept. 19-20. Apparently blogging my entrance essay (in the post below) earned me a few brownie points 🙂 I am excited to learn all I can about social media from some very important names in PR that will be speaking at the conference. Along with three other students, I will also be helping to cover the event via Twitter, podcasts, the blog and more. Follow me on Twitter for updates!

The goal is that all of the new social media knowledge will come in handy during the job search early next year, but also as I continue to promote Jeannette Rankin Foundation and their new book, Daring to Dream. More about the book and ordering information can be found here.

On a different note, I have now officially mastered the surprise b-day party! Ken turned 26 on Sept. 7, and on Friday more than 20 of his friends and family showed up at the Cheesecake Factory at Perimeter Mall for a surprise b-day dinner. Judging by his face as he walked in (seen above), he had no clue what he was walking into! He said later it was one of the best nights he had every had 🙂 I have to give the staff at the Cheesecake Factory kudos for attempting to piece together the cake, which fell apart during the ride down to Atlanta. To see more pictures, check out my Google album.

In other news, I am volunteering at Tri For Tourettes (at the Concourse in Atl) on Sunday, and am excited about seeing all the kiddies do their thing! It’s amazing how young they are starting now. It is also the last season I’ll be able to watch the Dawgs from the student section, so the next few home games are sure to be fun, and possibly slightly emotional.

Stay tuned for UGA Connect recap and more!

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My Last Day at The Georgia Club

Tiffani Brooks, Alan Rockett, Sarah Freeman and Mike O'Malley

Some of my wonderful co-workers treated me to lunch at the Clubhouse for my last day. Counter-clockwise: Tiffani Brooks, Alan Rockett, Sarah Freeman and Mike O'Malley

Today was my last official day as an intern at The Georgia Club, and I simply can’t say enough great things about my experience in just one post! It was tough to say goodbye to everyone, especially with the “star treatment” I received today. I was treated to lunch in the Clubhouse, where I had to have the amazing shrimp & grits just one more time, and the kitchen surprised us with a delicious dessert platter for the occasion. Everyone in our office and other departments showered me with compliments and warm wishes. My direct supervisor, Sarah Freeman, gave me a very sweet card, two extremely thoughtful gifts and just a general boost of confidence. If you’re reading this, THANK YOU SARAH!

Apart from the amazing people I got to work with, the best part about this internship was the sheer amount of experience it has given me. This was no coffee and copies internship – I truly got to have a big part (and a say) in several projects, including electronic and print newsletters, several graphic design and writing projects, social media and more. I helped TGC start their very own blog, and am very excited to see it progress in the coming months along with the new Web site.

Most recently, I was involved with promoting The Georgia Club Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament (a few photos are posted on my Google album). I had the opportunity to sit in on many meetings, write several promotional e-mails and sponsorship letters, and design the program for the event. It was awesome to see the whole thing come together this past Saturday, August 2. I even got to rub shoulders with several local celebrities, including Neal Boortz, Chuck Dowdle, Suzanne Yoculan and many others. By some miracle of God, I was able to carry on a conversation with one of my long-time favorites, David Greene, for a few minutes without losing my cool. True to reputation, he was a very nice guy. It was the big-name journalists at the event that made me nervous 🙂

Like all good things, this experience had to come to an end. But I will never forget everything I have learned this past few months, or the kindness everyone at The Georgia Club has shown me.

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Caroline’s Wedding

me with the beeeaauuutiful bride!

me with the beeeaauuutiful bride!

On Friday, Juy 25 my sis became Mrs. Joshua Cody! The wedding and reception were held at Alvaton Banquet Hall in Alvaton (which is in Meriwether County, about a half hour drive from our parents’ house). I must say, she looked absolutely gorgeous, and the look on my brother-in-law’s face when he first saw her definitely attested to that.

The hours before the wedding were a little bit stressful as things came together at the last minute (i.e. the florist not showing up until about 30 minutes before the ceremony started…), but I guess that comes with the territory. My dad teared up a little bit, but in all he did great walking her down the aisle. About half way through the ceremony (which was outside), it started to thunder and lightning. Hugh Kirby, the officiant, made the call to move everyone inside. We scrambled inside, and just as the last of the guests got through the door it started to downpour! We were all laughing as we finished up the rest of the ceremony improv-style, including Caroline and Josh. If you can laugh about something like that, chances are you’re going to have an awesome marriage!

The ceremony was a blast. Everyone was on the dance floor (Memo was hilarious), the food was great and the wine was flowing. Ken caught the garter! And I thought all in all, my toast went pretty well even though I totally winged it. When my dad got up there to give his speech I cried for the first time the whole night. He wrote an amazing poem to my sister, which he read to everyone.

The happy couple made their escape around midnight, with all of the guests holding up sparklers. They will certainly have some amazing memories from that night! They are honeymooning in Jamaica, and then they are going to move into their apartment in Athens. I’m really excited, because that means I will get to see my sis a lot more than I’m used to (well, at least until December when I graduate).

I can’t even believe the wedding is over already. The last of the out-of-town family left this morning, which is a little sad, but I have to say we’re enjoying the long awaited peace and quiet.

Click Here to see a few more pictures from the wedding and rehearsal dinner.

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