Head blogger: Anita Cory, wife, mom of 3, sister, sorority alumnae, Christian, Sorority/Fraternity Life professional at WSU, former Paper Pals Design Team member, dissertation writer, and all around friendly 40-something in Pullman, Washington.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why there aren't many photos of Anita & John...

1) We are rarely in the same place for longer than 10 seconds. No.
2) We believe being photographed will take part of our soul. No.
3) One of us is usually taking the photos of everyone else having a good time. Yes.
4) Our camera does not have a remote. Yes.
5) We are difficult subjects to photograph. Yes...see for yourself.

OK, it doesn't help that we had 3 helpers making fun of us, taunting, and in the case of the photographer (Spencer), cracking inside jokes with one of us (John).

But, all this is for you, dear blog follower (and Christmas photocard receiver). Otherwise you would have only been able to enjoy the delightful faces of my favorite subjects in the beautiful leaves.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Life moves fast. Cory year in review.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look once in awhile, you could miss it. --Ferris Bueller

Well, I have finally arrived. You know, at that place in the space time continuum when you realize you actually do not have enough time to do what you want or need to do? Remember the good ‘ol days when the Cory Christmas card (all 100+ of them) was hand-crafted, contained a lengthy annual update with thematic material and photos, and may have induced laughing and crying in the same letter?

Well, that isn’t this year.

As the organizer, scheduler, writer, gift-purchaser, card-creating, do-it-yourselfer that I am, I have concluded that this year takes the cake for busy. Thus, much less pizzazz on the old blog here. Sorry friends, family and even foe. Keep following us. I have big plans beginning next summer!

Here’s the skinny:

It seemed life was moving slowly, until all of the sudden it is moving way too fast. Two years ago I lamented in the annual update that taking 2 classes each semester was making the PhD coursework take “forever”. Well, I am done with coursework, have passed my prelims, defended my proposal, conducted 20 interviews and am currently chin deep in transcribing interviews and writing my dissertation. I am studying how fraternity/sorority membership influences leadership identity development and am also planning to graduate in May. Aha! Do you now see how and why I will have more time to devote to the Cory Connection next summer? My job is still great; working with college students is so rewarding! I was honored to be recognized as the Fraternity/Sorority Life Professional of the 2010 for the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values in April.

John still works at the CUB (student union) as the Associate Director. There have been several staffing changes in his immediate circle over the last year, but overall, things are going pretty well. John also tackled a huge project in our backyard this summer that kept him very busy. He removed about 12 tons (not kidding) of brick and mortar by taking down our huge chimney (it had to be done…ugh).

John has also grown more interested in training for sprint triathlons and once again won his age group and place in the top ten overall in a competition this fall. Two weeks later, he ran his first half marathon and took up serious running with a couple other guys he met at these competitions. Sadly, John’s Dad, Don Cory (age 73) suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in October and John spent a week in Iowa with family. We have now each lost a parent…a club in which no one wants to be a member. This is a sad place to be.

Spencer (15) has transitioned from middle school to high school relatively smoothly. Yikes. Yes, I said HS. He is a great student, plays saxophone AND trombone in the band, and hopes to play soccer for the HS team in the spring. Early this fall, he injured his back and has really struggled to get and stay healed. It’s a long story, but we are optimistic that with serious focus and PT, in the coming months, he will regain his strength, flexibility, and ability to play soccer. He has grown so much and is now 6’ tall!

Camryn (12) has also transitioned this year, from elementary school to middle school. It is going pretty well for her too. She is learning to play saxophone and already plays piano and loves it, so perhaps music is her “thing”?! She played soccer this year and made many new friends over the summer and fall. Haircuts, ear-piercing, and a new-found passion for clothing have defined Camryn’s changes from ‘little’ girl to ‘big’ girl this year!

Harrison’s big transition this year is not having a big brother or sister to walk to school with him. Right, we have a kid in each school this year…it’s a little hectic. Anyway, Harrison has risen to the challenge and does indeed walk a relatively straight line to school each morning and picks up his buddy Daniel along the route. Harrison started playing soccer this year, which is a great sport for him, because one is constantly moving in this game, and that is right up H’s alley. He continues to be a ham and keeps us laughing all the time. Harrison joined the CUB Scouts this year and LOVES it! It has been fun for both he and John to get involved in something like this together!

We are blessed with good beasts: Ellie (dog) and Simon & Chloe (cats). All of them love John to pieces, and we kid him that he is a “animal-whisperer”.

We had visitors this summer: John’s Mom, Chris came for a week back in late May, and my Dad (John) and sister (Gena) came for a visit in mid-July. We really loved having family come visit us and just “hang”. Whenever we travel to the Midwest, our schedule is packed with people to see, places to go, and things to do. If/when, you come visit us; we’ll hang out, play cards, eat good food, and get lots of R & R. The door is always open and the lights are on for YOU!

So, this is the update. Photo collages below illustrate the annual happenings, and if you have even more time, go back through the blog. It will be a little glimpse into our everyday life. It is the Cory Connection.

Merry Christmas!
First half of 2010 in photos...

Second half of 2010 in photos...

Our friends...our family out here!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pullman...one of the best towns to raise kids in the US!

Yes, you read that right. Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Businessweek featured about 50 top US small cities to raise a family (and live/work). A "top city" was selected from each of the states...

...drum roll please....

Pullman is #1 for Washington!

Of course it is. We do love this place and thankfully both John and I are still employed at Washington State University and able to raise our kids in this great town.

Here are the top 10 reasons we love Pullman:

10. We have an amazing climate here. Yes, all four seasons, but nothing crazy. Rarely is the weather extreme. It is usually so mild.

9. It is a small town which has pros and cons. We can get anywhere in about 10 minutes. This comes in really handy on the occasional days when we get our wires crossed about who is picking up which kid and transporting them to the next thing!

8. It is very safe here. The only real "crime" here is the things college students do after a hard night of drinking.

7. Education is really important to practically everyone here. We have great schools for the kids, and a solid University here and another good one 8 miles away.

6. Great college students (Greeks for Anita and Union staff for John) enrich our life, volunteer in ways that touch our kids' lives too, and keep us young at heart!

5. Great fellowship and friends at our church, Emmanuel Baptist. Thank you God for this family away from our family.

4. For us "townies" this is a soccer town. Our kids all love to play!

3. The "arts" come to town because of the University in the form of concerts, plays, exhibits and interesting lectures.

2. Pullman is a melting pot of people from all over the world. We all have friends from all corners of the world and have the great opportunity to learn about other cultures, religions, languages, etc.

1. We are here together. Our home is here in the place we have put down roots.

You really should come visit!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A few of my favorite things about December

This blog needed to move on from a focus on Punkins and Pumpkins. So much goes on in our lives that a person with more time, motivation, or time could/would blog about. So, this will have to bring us into the current month.

Even though December seems to move along at warp speed and there is never enough time to do and enjoy all that I want to, I do love this month. Here are a few reasons (in no particular order).

1. We celebrate the birth of ourSavior. If there was nothing else to love about December, this would be enough...in fact, more than enough.

Trailing in distant rankings:
2. Christmas music. I really love traditional Christmas hymns that have been re-composed like here: http://www.lifewayworship.com
3. Giving gifts. I really like shopping for just the perfect thing (although things aren't really that important) for my friends and family.
4. Peppermint mochas.
5. Our mailbox having a steady stream of Christmas cards, photos and update letters.
6. Spending Christmas Day with John and the kids.
7. Having friends over during the Christmas break for games, movies, etc. Love love love having the extra time.
8. While I don't love saying goodbye to amazing WSU students that bless my work and life enormously, celebrating the end of their term as a leader is always fun!
9. This December, I defend my dissertation proposal and begin interviewing many many fraternity/sorority student leaders....yahoo!
10.Baking cookies and giving them away...goodness knows I shouldn't eat them!
11. Witnessing my kid's delight when they see Santa every year...yes, he always shows himself...just a little on Christmas eve. Everyone goes to bed early and easily on this day!
12. Sledding if we have snow, which we do now.
13. Christmas movies and TV specials - the Peanuts' Christmas special was on last night. So sweet.
14. Christmas crafting. Although I don't think it will be part of this December, I usually make all manner of paper crafts like wreaths, topiaries, cards, tree decorations and other gifts for friends.
15. After Christmas sales. Wow.

Check back. As my blog followers know, the Cory family has gone "mostly green" and we'll be sending out a Christmas photo card, but the annual update will be here!

Slow down. Enjoy!