Trip to New York

I finally made it home from New York on Saturday evening, rolling in a little after 9pm. While the trip was very worthwhile and a lot of fun, it sure would have been nice to have an extra day at home. To pass the time on Saturday, I slept in, had a nice thai lunch, and hung out for a few hours in Central Park. It was a beautiful sunny day in NYC, which made the extended stay much more palatable, and there may be nothing finer in NYC than sitting in the shade in the park on a hot day, listening to various musical acts and watching people pass by.

At the staff conference, I had a fantastic time interacting with my colleagues from NYC and around the country. Here's a pic of my goal-surpassing Central-South team. A big theme of our regional team portion of the conference was celebrating surpassing our goals from the most recent fiscal year, both personally and as a team.

The first two days of the conference were spent with our entire national team. About 38 staff work in our NYC office and another 12 work in various offices across the country (including me!). The two day all-staff conference was a great chance to forge new friendships, learn more about our organization as a whole, brainstorm exciting new things for the coming year, and get fired up for some ambitious goals. The final two days of the conference was devoted to our regional teams (Central-South, East, and West teams) along with our Teacher Engagement team and Business Development duo. It's always great to learn from the insights of my amazingly talented and intelligent colleagues from around the country! Here's a picture of our regional teams, and as you may notice, I'm in the back and the only Y chromosome present. What are the odds?

The conference gives a lot of opportunity to hang out with our staff, and on Tuesday night, we had an international-themed dinner at the company's office. It was so much fun, and also surprisingly included some gifts from the organization for Eliza! My coworkers are incredibly thoughtful. The gave her a gift basket with tons of pink stuff (frame, bag, m&m's for me, blanket), a bib that says "I love my daddy," and three fantastic bunny-themed books, including The Velvetine Rabbit! Very fun! Exciting news, our founder and CEO's wife had their second baby this last Friday, so it was a double-baby celebration at DonorsChoose.org!

You may notice the two onesies in the picture above, and a better pic is below. These were presents I brought Eliza (and sort of Lynne, too) from NYC. First, there is a a onesie from the NBC store at Rockefeller Center branded with a Dunder Mifflin logo on the butt from TV's The Office. The front says "That's What She Said," which is a great recurring line from the show, and thoroughly enjoyed by myself, my friends, and more recently, Lynne. We had seen this last year when we were both in NYC, but since we weren't pregnant yet, we didn't purchase it. Also, it seemed more appropriate for a boy, but give the second chance to buy it, I couldn't resist. I'll make sure Eliza wears it around my ATO brothers for extra laughs. The other onesie was a big deal for me to purchase, despite being cheap. Growing up outside Chicago, I love (most) everything about the city, including its sports teams. Therefore, I also despised New York and its teams (Knicks especially). This led to a general resentment of NYC in general. After finally getting to explore the city for the fourth time, all thanks to my job with DonorsChoose.org, I must officially admit that I really like it there. Of course, to visit, definitely not to live. And as Lynne is quite a fan of the city, I knew she would appreciate Eliza having an "I Heart NYC" onesie. At this time last year, I was still unwilling to cave and get one, but I'm officially a convert, although I still can't stand NY sports teams :).

I said this a few times to my coworkers on the trip (OK, probably way more than a few times), but while I missed Lynne, I can at least talk to her while I'm away. I have never missed someone so much as I missed Eliza for those 5 days. I'm already wrapped around her little finger.

1 comment:

Megan said...

The Dunder Mifflin onesie is priceless!