The Circle of Life…

I figured I would be coming home to a blog post describing in detail how Donnie Wahlberg and all the New Kids on the Block members knocked my socks off on the cruise this year but that will have to wait just a little bit….stay tuned.

Instead I unfortunately came home to some unexpected news. The news that my grandfather had passed away.  Yes if you do the math, I’m 37, my father is 62, therefore, my grandfather was getting up there in age and health, it was not something I had thought about lately. Which begs the question, what else am I forgetting to think about as life is too short to forget.  Therefore this blog post is dedicated to all those things I feel I need to remember not only to work on more day to day but also to thank my grandfather for helping to bring my distant family back together again even for just a brief passing to celebrate his wonderful life and love he gave us throughout the years.

Here are a few Thank You’s to start it off:

To my mother, who calls me day after day to check on me, chit chat, and some times even give me some jewish guilt when I need it.  You are my rock when I need it most.  You are the friend I call when I need advise. I am glad to have the relationship we do. I love that you let your light shine so bright to lead a path for me to follow.

To my father, no amount of time or distance between us makes me love you any less. I know I will always be daddy little girl on the inside.  As I have become my own adult, you have allowed me the space and freedom to wander.  I wish our paths were closer to each other as adults as they were when I was a child. No matter the distance in miles or days, remember I will always be your daughter.  Grandpa’s passing has reminded me that even though our daily lives are in different directions, we must make time for those who are farther away as they are the ones closest to our hearts.

To all my wonderful cousins – No matter how far you are both in distance and age, you are close in my heart.  To a special shout out to my cousin Cindy, who constantly picks up the phone at random times again and again to reach out me while I continue to forget to to the same.  You are always on my mind and in my heart.

To my AOII sisters – Thank you all for stepping in and picking up when I needed help the last few days, checking on me at just the right times, and even those who had no clue what was going on continuing to make me laugh as you always do because that was just what I needed.  Sisterhood really is about forever.  #ALAM

Leslie, Paty, Sylvia – Thank you for the best vacation a girl could ask for.  4 days of paradise with 3 amazing girls and all 3 of you continued to check up on me separately for the next few days.  I know Leslie and I gained 2 great new friends on this year’s boat and we can’t wait to see you both again.  BTW, how is YourNuts? LOL!

And finally, to my husband James – Without him, my life would be incomplete.  He is my heart, soul, body and mind.  He is my best friend (although I believe Gwen is his best friend). Although he did not make the trip to Los Angeles with me for the funeral, he is holding down the house and taking care of the the animals and work.  I was only home for a total of 45 hours and he fed me every meal, helped me repack my bag, shuffle the mail around, download my brain, research, and anything and everything I asked of him. I truly believe his heart is crying from my heart crying the past few days.  My life – and all the great it has in it – would not be possible without having James a part of it.  #143

Sisters are not born they are made

During my lifetime, I have made friends who stay for a minute but leave their mark in my life and those who last life times through thick and thin. As an only child who grew up with many children in the hold hold I was use to having people around and it was always something I loved. As I got older, I loved having having some alone time as well but still craved those special moments that only “sisters” could provide.

Alpha Omicron Pi has provided me with millions of sisters around the world with a special bond no matter if I know their name or not. All I need to know is that they believe in the faith our four founders entrusted to us back in 1897 to continue on for generations. I have found those sisters here in Las Vegas to be my second family. They are there for love and support, movie dates, airport rides, hospital visits and child births, concerts, and my personal favorite sushi dates.

Which brings me to talk about “sushi dates”.  This has become quite the tradition we have created here in Vegas for our Las Vegas sisters.  The sporadic pop up on Facebook from someone posting about a last minute sushi date and all those sisters that want to join in or just a double date between two has become quite a custom.

Lately we have been working our way around the valley trying out different sushi restaurants.  While we are not reviewing them, we do have our own critique of each one with pros and cons.  I personal favorite thus far is Sushi Bomb on Cheyenne at the 215 Beltway.  Which is saying a lot since I was always willing to drive from the north west to Henderson for Sushiwa.

There is just something about sushi that brings sisters together over a mean of raw fish.  I think its more about the bonding over various funny names of each of the sushi rolls and the good times we make while enjoying each others company.  Even last minute shopping efforts arise at the end of these events sometimes.

It goes by so fast…

Last weekend, Alpha Omicron Pi welcomed 71 new sisters and one affiliate into the Lambda Iota Chapter at University California San Diego.  These sisters have been bonding together this spring learning all about AOII and its sisterhood.

While my primary role is to work with the alumnae advisory committee – those wonderful volunteers who give of their time, talent and hard earn passion to this chapter – this weekend was one of those times, I was able to bond with the collegiate women.  
Originally chartered in 1977, AOII was the first women’s fraternity on the UCSD campus.  Our very own Marylyn Herman, Past International Executive and Foundation Board member was instrumental in the adoption of Greek Life on the campus.  We were so very fortunate to have Marylyn join us for our re-installation and the new sisters were fascinated to hear about the rich history of Lambda Iota from many of the Lambda Iota alumna.
While this weekend is about bonding and celebrating, I believe this this the beginning of the chapters light shining bright for the world to see. The bond of sisterhood these women have created with each other, their advisors and area alumnae will lead them through their collegiate years of community services, scholarship, college and fraternity spirit.  

There is something special about a recolonization…

As a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, I have been through so many stages with these wonderful women.  I joined in the fall of 1996 at Sigma Phi Chapter at California State University Northridge.  Although I didn’t travel far for college, I wanted to be a part of something that was bigger than I was.  Sorority life reminded me of Girl Scouts and AOII was my Black Prince. (those of you who know me will get that reference).  My collegiate experience was great although I was not considered a big joiner.  I did community service and helped where I was needed; even spent a year living in the AOII house; but ultimately missed out because I never took an office, chaired a committee, or took a little sister.

BUT, I am making up for time lost now.  As an alumnae member, I am finding the opportunities to volunteer for AOII are exceed my expectations.  I had 5 years as the Las Vegas alumnae chapter president.  I chaired and founded the Southern Nevada Alumnae Panhellenic and am completing my last year on the executive board as president. I served as financial advisor for 2 wonderful collegiate chapters (after all numbers are my passion). I am now the network specialist of development for the Lambda Iota chapter at UC San Diego.  Lambda Iota is a new colony which is reborn.   This weekend is the installation of the chapter after being dormant for some years.  Reminds me of the time Black Price was dormant and I brought them back.

Stay tuned for the after post of how installation and rose banquet went.

~~ Jane

They always say the first one is the hardest!

Who:  Hi and welcome to my little slice of the blog-o-sphere.  I always think about what and to whom to write about but for me, my pen (or keyboard) have been actively brainstorming about how to bring everyone a glimpse into my life.  While Jane is only a pen name, she is thought by many as giving of time and money, honest and direct, and most of all dedicated to a rich faith in life, hope for happiness, and the deepest of love.

What:  A life style blog focusing on those issues most near and dear to my heart.  Topics may range anywhere from sorority life after college ends, a family of two plus 3 furry friends, following your (or my) favorite boy band around the globe, growing older and all that comes with grey hair, or maybe even a short story or two.

Where: You can find me right here at My Pen Named Jane as well as many other social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram.  Feel free to find me an one or all.

When: My goal is to post at minimum once a week, but please bear with me as we all know, life sometimes gets in the way of the things we love to do the most.

Why: I realized I can not be the only almost 40 year old women out there with adult bonus children, beautiful grandchildren, active with organizations, loving music, and enduring numerous health issues all while living a prosperous life.  Why not share the information I have learned, loved, and lost along the way.

~~ Jane