Friday, October 23, 2009

Sleepy Hollow

This past weekend we went down to Sleepy Hollow, NY (yes, it's a real city). We went last year and it was one of our favorite trips, so we decided to go again this year. We met up with Em & Brett, who drove up from D.C. The weather wasn't quite so nice (it was a bit cold), but we still all had a really good time.

On our way down, Cory and I stopped at Taughonnock Falls, about 30 miles south of our house. We wanted to take some pictures of the waterfall, surrounded by the fall leaves. We got more than we bargained for ...


Philipsburg Manor. This is a working farm established in the 1700's. You can take tours of the buildings, the mill, and walk around the grounds.

My favorite... Abby's expression. Priceless.

The Blaze. This is the main reason we went down again. They carve thousands of pumpkins and arrange them in scenes. You walk along a path and marvel at the talent on display. This picture is the Manor House.

Different lighting of the Manor House

Pirate ship

Captain Jack Sparrow

Marine life



Washington Irving's house (author who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Love this picture of the 2 of us
Like I said, we had a great time!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quality Award

As most of you know, I work at New York Chiropractic College. I work in the Office of Institutional Quality and Assessment (long title, I know). Basically, we're quality, which means we're responsible for a lot of stuff at this school. I work with accreditation for our various programs. I administer and then analyze a bunch of surveys. I keep track of board scores. Etc etc.

Recently, NYCC applied for a Malcolm Baldrige Award, and that effort was spear-headed by my office.
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards are regarded as the “gold standard” of quality awards and named after Malcolm Baldrige, 26th Secretary of Commerce. They are bestowed through a program managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to promote excellence in organizational performance, recognize the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and to publicize successful performance strategies.

Since 2001, only seven educational institutions have received the Baldrige Award – none in the area of natural healthcare education (which is what we are). And of the seven education winners, only three were higher education.

Basically, it's the most prestigious quality award you can win, and if you do win, there's a fancy-smancy ceremony in Washington D.C. and the President himself gives the recipient the award. So yeah, this is a big deal.

So you're probably thinking... "wow, they won one?" Alas, no. At least, not yet. We were awarded what's called a 'site visit', which means that certified Baldrige examiners come to our campus and verify what we wrote in our 50-page application. It’s still quite prestigious, since over 70+ companies applied for the Baldrige award this year, and only 15 were awarded a site visit… and out of those 15, only one education institution was awarded a site visit. Us. Stinking cool, huh?

They started their visit yesterday, and they’ll be here through Wednesday. It’s been so cool to watch the process (I’m a nerd, what can I say?) Still… it’s been a hecka lot of work. Hecka lot. I’m going to be so glad when they go away and even happier when it’s the weekend. We won’t find out til November if we won the award or not… but win or not, I already feel very proud of NYCC. This is one very good institution.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The bump

I'm finally getting to the point where I actually look pregnant, and not just fat :) Some of my regular clothes still fit, and some... well, not so much. I bought a few maternity things and Em was kind enough to lend me some of her stuff (thanks Em!) Plus my mom promised to take me shopping when we're home in a couple of weeks. We figured since I'm finally looking pregnant, it was time to start taking some pictures. So here's a few.

I'm not photogenic and I hate posing for the camera... consequently, I just look awkward.

This was Cory's suggestion for a pose...

I wish I could report that I'm feeling fabulous, but no such luck. We went to the doctor last week, got to hear the heartbeat again, and were basically told by the doctor to "hang in there!" We did get an ultrasound appt for November 2nd, so assuming baby is cooperative, we should be able to tell whether we're having a girl or boy. I'm putting a poll up on the right hand side of the blog, so people can vote (you've got 3 weeks). I'm not telling what Cory and I think we're having until after people vote, cause I'm interested to see what others think. Enjoy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

One good weekend

Cory's sister Danielle and her boyfriend Trevor came to visit us last weekend. I took some time off from work and gave myself a 5-day weekend (nice!) It was so much fun having them here, and getting to show off New York.

First, we went to see all the church historical sites (that's what we do for everyone who visits). This is the frame home the Smiths built (I love fall!)

The temple, framed by fall leaves.

The original rock wall the Smiths built to mark their property line -- it's up on the temple grounds.

The next day, we drove 2.5 hours north to a place called 'The Thousand Islands.' When Cory and I moved out here, we made a list of all the places we wanted to visit while living on the east coast -- and this was the only place left on our list. So now we've seen everything :) The Thousand Islands is actually a group of more than 1800 islands, stretching from northern New York into Canada. Many of the islands are privately owned -- people buy the island then erect these gorgeous houses.

The only way to see the islands is by boat, so we took a 2 hour boat tour around the islands. This is us on the boat.

Haha, this is where Trevor is going to some day live...

This is the smallest of all the islands. All you need to be counted as one of the islands is a tree and some other form of vegetation. Wa-la!

They call this the world's shortest international bridge, cause it passes right over the American/Canadian border. Our tour guide says the guy who owns the islands used to banish his grand kids to another country when they were being bad.

This is Boldt Castle, as seen from the water.

The Boldt Castle pump house.

For a few extra dollars, you can take a tour of the castle, which is exactly what we did. The grounds were gorgeous. And the castle was so cool-looking.

Haha, I was trying so hard to keep a straight face... and failing miserably...

I love this picture of the 4 of us, on the terrace of the castle.

This is a state park called Watkins Glen. It's so pretty, carved out over centuries of time by water. Cory took Danielle & Trevor down to visit (I stayed home, by this time, I was feeling rather sick... too much playing, I'm afraid)

This is a good picture showing how narrow it is.
We'll sure miss all the cool stuff that's in or nearby New York when we move. We've seen some really cool places and it's so fun to show them off. It was nice having visitors, even though I felt crappy for lots of the time. Thanks for coming and seeing us, guys!