Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SIOP 2015-Philadelphia

This past weekend, my husband and I headed to Philadelphia! Every year, his field of work holds a conference called SIOP (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology). It is always a huge conference where people in his field come together to present research, and meet up with other people in his field. Basically it is professional during the day, but everybody has a good time at night.

We left early extremely early Wednesday morning out of Dallas, with a layover in Minneapolis. Our flight out of Dallas was delayed and we were worried that we would miss our next flight. We only had an hour layover to start, and our plane was delayed 30 minutes. Luckily, we landed in the terminal right next to where our next plane was taking off. All along, I had been hoping that we would have enough time to stop and get Caribou Coffee since I knew they have that in the Minneapolis airport. I barely had enough time to run and get it. Funny story. I wanted to run and get Caribou and Richard wanted to wait at the terminal for our next flight. Our conversation went a little something like this.
Me. Oh is that a Caribou right there? No, it is a Starbucks. Ok, well I am going to run and get Caribou, want anything?
Richard. Yes, I want to get a large coffee.
Me. Ok. I'll be back.
(Run to get Caribou to grab myself something and Richard something. I get back and Richard already has a large coffee from Starbucks)
Me. I thought you said you wanted me to get you something from Caribou? 
Richard. Oh. When you asked if I wanted anything I meant that I wanted something from Starbucks.
Once we got into the hotel, we had to go help set up a booth for a committee that Richard is on. I helped with the booth previously by designing the poster and the quarter sheets that were handed out to people.
After setting up, we had to get a quick dinner across the street at the Hard Rock Cafe. We brought it back to the room because Richard had to get on a conference call. Then, we headed to the opening reception for the conference. We met up with some people that Richard knew and after the reception we went out to dinner with them. After dinner we went to a few bars before settling on a Karaoke bar. Karaoke is always fun to watch and we really enjoyed the people we hung out with.

This was the first official day of the conference. Richard had some things he had to attend so I mostly hung out in the hotel room in the morning. I went with Richard and some of his friends from school out for lunch. We went to Pat's King of Steaks for Philly Cheese Steaks. There are two places right across the street that are known for their cheese steaks and we chose this one since we heard it was better. While we were ordering our food, the lady behind the counter asked Richard and I if it was bring your daughter to work day. Meaning she thought I was Richard's daughter. Richard was like, umm no this is my wife...We are the same age. The lady apologized profusely after that.
After lunch, I went with DeAnn, who I knew from Richard's school program, on a bus tour around Philadelphia. We were short on time so we were not able to get off the bus much, but it was interesting to see all the buildings and listen to the tour guide. Unfortunately, DeAnn had to make last minute edits to her dissertation since there was a deadline the next day so she was stuck on her computer. Life of a graduate student, good thing I am used to the crazy deadlines.
We were able to stop at the Rocky steps. I guess they are the steps Rocky Balboa climbed in the movie, but I have never seen it so I don't know. But we ran up them anyway. Our next stop was the Liberty Bell. We got there at 5:01 and the place closed at 5:00. Sad. We were able to see it through the glass, but it was not as cool. Don't I worry, I made it back there later. Independence hall was also right across the street.
Thursday night at SIOP is usually a night that different organizations have their own parties. Richard's school partners with a small school in Minnesota to throw a huge party. Richard had a party with his coworkers first so I went to the party without him to start. There were a bunch of people from his program there so I knew people. Eventually Richard showed up and the party got larger as other parties ended.
In the picture on the left, James and I totally got photobombed. Richard handed me my phone and we saw the picture and turned around to find the guy and he had disappeared. It was pretty funny. We had a good time and I think this night was my favorite.

Friday morning, after only three hours of sleep, Richard had to wake up and run a 5k. He had agreed to run since his company needed him to complete a team. He actually finished the race even with little sleep.
After the race, Richard and I went to a breakfast that his undergraduate professor puts together for other people that come out of his undergraduate university.
Richard had back to back meetings the rest of Friday. I ended up going to lunch with some people from his program. Richard, his friend Patton and I were then able to get out and get burgers for dinner. We picked a place that had a bunch of different burger options and an added bonus was that the place served organic food. The food was amazing.
Richard then had another party to go to that I could not attend so I went with a bunch of people from Richard's program out to a second dinner. After dinner, I met up with Richard and some of his friends for a quick drink and then we headed to bed early. That was the only night we got more than 4 hours of sleep.

Richard had an early breakfast so I slept in. He also had a couple sessions one after the other that he was a part of. After he was done with his sessions, we had a few hours to actually get out and see the city. We started the the Reading Terminal Market that was right across the street to get some food. The market had a bunch of different food options and we settled on chinese food.
After lunch, we headed to see the Liberty Bell. We had to stand in line for about 30 minutes before we were able to get in to see it. I am glad that we were able to go back and see it since it is way cooler up close.
After the Liberty Bell, we walked over to Love Park since it was close. The park had the well known sculpture, a fountain and some cherry blossoms that were fun to see.
We did not explore much because we were both too tired to do anything. Saturday night, we went to the closing reception for the conference. They served food and drinks, plus this year they had dancing.
After the reception, we went out with some friends to get drinks for a while. Then we got hungry and decided to go get IHOP. We then decided to call it a night since we had an early flight the next morning.

Sunday night I got more than 12 hours of sleep since we had got so little the five days previous. There are a lot of details in this post mostly for my own memory. The days started to blur together since they went so fast that I wanted to make sure I documented it all. This weekend was a whirlwind, but it was so much fun. Even though I did not participate in the conference much, it was great to see people that we do not get to see anymore and meet new people along the way. I was not sure if I would have fun at SIOP and considered not going, but I am glad I did. I know Richard will be going every year, and it will be fun to tag along with him in the yeas to come.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Moving: Staying Organized

Unpacking in Texas has been a bit of a process. We have a unique situation since we don't know long we will be living in this apartment, but we know it most likely will not be longer than six months. So we are not planning on fully unpacking since it will not be very long.

When we were packing up in Louisiana, I wanted to keep this move as organized as possible. I feel like the hardest part of moving is putting all your things in boxes, only to move and not be able to find anything. It is the most frustrating thing. I decided when we started packing to come up with a system. I created an excel spreadsheet where we labeled each box with a number and then listed out its contents, which room it came from, and a one word overview.
This system has helped us so much. Originally, I thought about doing this by hand, but then realized that digital would make it easier. We can filter by room if we want or search the document for specific items. This has come in handy countless times while we have been unpacking, especially since we have not unpacked all of our boxes. Even when we were packing, there was a few time where we packed something and needed to go back and find it. If we had to search through every box to find the item it would have been a nightmare. While this system made packing take a little longer, its benefits have far outweighed the time put in.
Over the last few weeks, we have unpacked some boxes, but things started to get crazy. With all the empty boxes we are keeping and other boxes that we are not unpacking, our office started to become a dumping ground. It got so bad that we could barely walk in there. So I buckled down this weekend and decided to organize all the boxes so we could live in this space for the next few months. I'm embarrassed to even show these pictures, but moving is not always a pretty process.
Not pretty. The plan was to empty out the large walk in closet shown below, and reorganize both empty and full boxes. Sorry for the not great pictures. This space is really tight and hard to photograph.
I looked through my spreadsheet at all the boxes that had been un-opened and decided which ones we would not need access to for a while. Boxes that held Christmas decorations, books and other things were then stacked in the closet. The storage in this closet is amazing. The space is 11 feet deep, 4 feet wide and has amazingly tall ceilings at 9 feet. Have I mentioned this apartment puts our old apartment to shame? I was able to stack about 35 full boxes and then filled the rest of the space with empty boxes all the way to the ceiling.
Once the closet was full, I organized the office boxes. There are a few still full boxes, but they are ones we need more access to and also some half empty boxes. Overall, the room is so much better and leaves space for us to continue to unpack the rest of the house. We had 6 or 7 boxes sitting in the hallway that leads to our living room that I was finally able to clear out as well. I forgot to take a before picture before I moved the boxes, but here is the space after I had moved the boxes.
Then I cleared the rest of the space and it looks amazing now. We have our living room back! It makes me feel so much better.
The office is also a million times better. Although, we don't use that room as much but it feels nice to have more room to continue to clear the clutter around the rest of the apartment.
So that is the bit of organizing I was able to do over the weekend! It felt good to see progress around the house. There is still a lot to do in our apartment, but having this space cleared will make things going forward much easier and much more organized.
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