My Little Aggie

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Last fall, we got to attend an Aggie football game with The Nerd’s family. It was Andrew’s first game, and I hope it was the first of many.

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I’m glad this was the season that we got to introduce our son to the tradition. Texas A&M has done remarkably well in the SEC and Johnny Manziel winning the Heisman Trophy was the icing on the cake.

In fact, The Nerd and I celebrated our Four Year Anniversary last week by watching the Aggies BTHO OU in the Cotton Bowl. It was the first bowl game The Aggies have won since 2001.

I think Andrew makes a great Aggie…don’t you?

He’ll be Class of 2033. Gosh, I feel old.


Our Five-Year Class Reunion and a Tour of the MSC at Texas A&M

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I can hardly believe it’s been five years since we graduated from college. I look back at the years that we spent at Texas A&M with such fondness.

Last weekend, we headed south to College Station for our reunion and to watch the Aggies beat the hell outta South Carolina State University. It was a great day, and a great game!

We toured the newly renovated Memorial Student Center and stopped by a tailgate hosted by our friend, Ryan. We even got to have our photo taken with Reveille!

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I love going back to College Station. Do you feel the same way aout your college town? When was the last time you visited?

PS – All photos in this post were taken with the Samsung Galaxy S3 from Verizon Wireless. Its camera is awesome and I find myself leaving my DSLR at home more often than not.



**Disclaimer** I am a Verizon Wireless Ambassador. I received a wireless device and phone/data plan free of charge to use for review and evaluation of Verizon Wireless products and services. As part of the program, I was asked to share my opinions with others, however, my opinions are my own. Please contact with any questions about the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program.


Texas A&M vs. Nebraska

This weekend, we had the chance to go to the Texas A&M vs. Nebraska football game.
Oh my goodness. What a game.
But we’ll get to that later.
We met The Nerd’s family in College Station. That’s his parents and sister, Kate, with her boyfriend, Paul.
This was our Thanksgiving celebration together.
We came in on Friday and went to Midnight Yell practice. It was the first time The Nerd’s parents had been to Midnight Yell.
It was packed. You see that photo up there at the top? That’s the student section of Kyle Field. The first two levels (decks) were packed to the brim at Midnight Yell.
Yeah. It was crazy. But so much fun!
We were glad to be back on our old stomping ground. Well, I was. I’m not quite sure what The Nerd is thinking in this photo…
Our seats were on the alumni side of the stadium.
Boy was I glad. Not that I miss being on the student side. But standing for four hours straight was not something I miss.
Aggie students (aka The 12th Man) stand the entire game to show their willingness to step in and help the team any way they can.
We got to the stadium really early so we could watch the fly-over.
The F-16s were really cool.
The game started at 7 pm, which was after dark, so the fly-over was super early to avoid any danger to the pilots.
The student side was pretty deserted when we arrived. But it would fill fast.
We were way up high on the third deck, close to the goal line. I think we were about six rows from the top of the stadium.
The Nerd’s mom and sister used binoculars to see the game clearly.
But my favorite part (as always) was the Nationally-Famous Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.
There’s just something about the Aggie Band…
Here they’re getting ready to perform the Block T.
The game was amazing.
Seriously, the best game I’ve seen in a long time.
After many hours of nail biting and nervousness, the Aggies pulled out on top with a final score of 9-6.
The stands were packed full of celebrating Aggies at the end of the night.
Excited fans rushed the field after the game was over.
It was a great night, even if I did look a little like the Joker at the end of it.
What’s your favorite college team? How’d they do this weekend?
Thanks, and Gig’em!
We got the watch the Aggies beat the HELL outta Nebraska in the best game this season! Whoop!

We Remember: 11.18.99

At 2:42 this morning, I was sleeping safe and sound in my bed here in Dallas.
But I wish I could have been in College Station.
I wish I could have walked down the path to the Aggie Bonfire Memorial along with the others gathered there to remember the fallen 12 who were killed when the stack collapsed 11 years ago.
Has it really been that long?
I was not a student at Texas A&M when the accident occurred.
But my grandpa had always wanted to attend Texas A&M, and some of my favorite memories with him are of watching bonfire and the football games.
I remember seeing bonfire for the first time on TV — those weird dudes in overalls waving their arms around the yelling. What were they yelling about, I wondered.
Now, I know all the yells.
I’ve been to the football games.
I’ve even been to the “student” bonfire — an inadequate replacement for something that once symbolized the spirit and tradition of an amazing university.
I know a lot of you are not Aggies.
Heck, I’m sure a lot of you aren’t even Texans.
But there is truly something special about the traditions and spirit at Texas A&M.
I was never part of the official bonfire. Like I said — I wasn’t even a student when stack fell.
But I still feel the pain and heartache and loss of that day. I think that’s something every Aggie can identify with.
I was a student six years ago during the five-year anniversary.
I remember in one of my reporting classes (yes, I was a journalism major) conducting a phone interview with the mother of Jamie Lynn Hand, one of the 12 killed in the accident.
Tears come to my eyes as I remember that interview. It was probably one of the hardest I have ever had, and I had some tough ones.
It breaks my heart to think of Tim Kerlee, the 12th victim, who was at the top of the stack and refused to let rescue workers remove him from the rubble because he could see down into the stack to others who were injured.
He single-handedly saved dozens of students that night. And it cost him his life.
The next day, Tim succumbed to internal injuries that were not immediately treated due to his diligence in saving those around him.
This weekend, The Nerd and I are heading to College Station for the Nebraska football game. I’m excited to see the campus again and feel the spirit of Aggieland.
But today, I’ll be thinking about that night 11 years ago, and what it meant for the families of 11 students and a former student.
So take a moment today to say a prayer for those fallen Aggies.
They deserve it.

My Greatest Adventure: A Trip to Prague

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When I was a freshman in college, I had the amazing opportunity to spend Spring Break in Prague as part of the Cornerstone Program at Texas A&M University.
This trip would be a lot of firsts for me.
The first time I’d ever been out of the South.
The first time I’d ever flown on a plane (And yes, it was a 12-hour flight. When I go, I go big!)
The first time I’d ever seen drunken soccer players.
The first (and last) time I’d ever eaten a “ham”burger overseas (It was a Spam sandwich!).And the first time I almost got stranded in a remote village because some college kids couldn’t tell time.

Oh wait, just wait. You’ve got to hear this story.

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The purpose of the trip was to visit historic places, like the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn.
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And Wenceslas Square.
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I really got to see the city in its full glory.
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Of course, we had a little fun, too.
Silly boys.
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One day, we headed to Kutná Hora, a small village outside of Prague.
We rode the train into the city and headed out to see the sights.
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The Sedlec Ossuary was really creepy…the church was decorated with human bones.
This chandelier is made up of every single bone in the human body. 

It was a long day, and we were all pretty tired and ready to head to back to the city.
One of the girls in the group had the train schedule, and the last train was supposed to depart at 5:05 pm.
We dawdled in the little town, wasting time until we could head to the train station. We went to a cafe. We window shopped. We saw a little kid smoking a cigarette.Yes, you read that right.

The boy looked like he was 12 years old.

My poor, pure little Texas heart was shell-shocked.

But I digress.

We got to the train station at 4:45 pm — *plenty* of time to be there for the next train, right?
It seems my friend had misread the schedule…the last train was scheduled to depart at 15:05 pm — that’s 3:05 pm!Oh. My. Jeez.

Everyone panicked. I mean, where were we supposed to stay the night in this little bitty town?
Our professor would have a conniption fit if we weren’t back to check in. And we had no way to contact him.
What were we going to do!?!The most level-headed of our group decided to ask the station manager if another train would be departing that evening.

Luckily, a train was running late and we were able to make it onto that one when it arrived at 4:56 pm.
Just in the knick of time.
I was so glad we had gotten to the station when we did!
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We had dinner at Al Capone’s Pizzeria that night.Doesn’t that just sound cool?

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It was a really fun trip.
I learned a lot about other cultures, got my first flight under my belt, and almost got stranded in a Czech village!
You’re probably wondering why I’m sharing this adventure with you.
Well, I consider this trip my greatest adventure.
Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe, a Young Adult dystopian novel that will be released in January 2011, has asked her readers to share their greatest adventure.
You can head over to her blog to read everyone else’s adventures. If you share your own, you could win an advanced reading copy of her book!
Thanks so much for looking!PS – Pardon the poor quality of some of the photos in this post. This was back when I had a crappy camera with (gasp!) film.

I was almost stranded in a small Czech village during a week-long trip to Prague in college. It was an adventure!

Return to Aggieland

Last weekend, I got to return to College Station to teach at a workshop for my job.
As I’ve mentioned before, The Nerd and I both attended Texas A&M University.
There is just something wonderful about Aggieland.
There are always pennies at Sully’s feet.
The Century Tree stands tall and strong.
Its sprawling branches touch the ground, always covered with moss and underbrush.
The Century Tree is a sign of love and commitment. This was the first time The Nerd and I visited it since we’ve gotten married.
Of course, we had to swing by the Association of Former Students…
…to see this: A *giant* Aggie Ring.
The Nerd could stand inside it. It was *huge*.
Made by Balfour. Smile.
It was a such great trip. I hope you enjoyed sharing the sights with me.
Thanks for looking!
There’s just something special about Aggieland. Come take a walk with me and see the sights.


Photo by StuSeeger

Softly call the Muster
Let comrade answer, ‘Here!’
Their spirits hover ’round us
As if to bring us cheer.

Mark them ‘present’ in our hearts
We’ll meet some other day
There is no death, but live etern
For our old friends such as they!
– Dr. John Ashton, ’06
I still remember the day that I got my acceptance letter to Texas A&M University
My grandpa was so proud of me. 
He had grown up the son of a working farmer. He’d heard about those Junction Boys and had always wanted to be an Aggie.
But he didn’t have the means to attend college, so he never got the chance.
But I was going to be an Aggie. And that was just as good.
My grandpa passed away in 2004. He got to attend one Aggie football game with me, but he didn’t get to see me earn my Aggie Ring.
Today, Aggies all around the world will gather to remember their brethren who have passed away in the last year. 
It’s a tradition we call Muster
Once you’re an Aggie, you’re never forgotten.
Ceremonies will be held across the globe. Each will include a roll call of those who have died during the past year. A friend or family member will answer, “Here!” for that fallen Aggie.
It’s a wonderful tradition.
Today, I will be thinking about my grandpa.
He never attended classes at Texas A&M, but he was an Aggie in every sense of the word.
I miss you, Gramps. Protection Status