An Orientation Birthday

My birthday last week happened to fall on the first day of my last freshman orientation session at SFA. (Techincally, depending on where I go from here, it very well could have been my last freshman orientation session ever. So crazy.)

I had thought about both things going into the day, but didn’t really think about how appropriate it was that they would coincide.

The day was full of phone calls, text messages and Facebook wishes for a great birthday. It never fails to make me take a second to stop and appreciate how many good people I have in my life, and how thankful I am for them!

But this year, it went a step farther than that.

As I looked at Facebook, I started to realize just how many of the people who were sending birthday wishes my way are in my life because of orientation. People I’ve worked with. People I’ve worked for. Students I’ve helped. Students who have worked for & with me. Colleagues across the nation.

And it just really moved me to think about just how much my choice to apply for Double T Crew more than a decade ago has really filled my life.

So as I head into a new year of life, and a new phase of my career, I’m happy to take some time to look back. It’s been a long road of lots of birthdays spent working alllll day, but there are definitely much worse ways to celebrate. Because usually, I’ve been able to spend it surrounded by some of the best people I know (like this girl… dang, Adrian, we were babies!!)


So to all of you who sent kind words and birthday messages, thank you! And to those of you who I’ve met through orientation in some form or fashion, just know I’m glad I made that choice as a college freshman. It’s been one of the best ones I’ve ever made.

Everyday Life – Round 8

Here’s a peek into what everyday life has been like over the past few months…

Nacogdoches photographer iphone photo recap of everyday life



1. Spending lots of time with my AMAZING Orientation Leaders!   2. Daddy & his mini-me   3. Road tripping

4. Taking time to soak up gorgeous sunsets   5. Delicious crawfish boils by the master   6. Beach days

7. Pretty little God gifts on the way into work   8. Sewing projects   9. Silly time with my favorite Peanut

If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow me (bmariephoto) for more peeks at what’s going on in between blog updates! And leave your Instagram info in the comments so I can follow along with you too!

Here We Go!!!

Today is Day 1 of our first freshman orientation session!


This is always such an exciting (and very tiring) day, but it is always amazing to watch all the hard work that has been put in by my amazing staff come to life.

At my freshman orientation session, my mom told me that I should be an orientation leader. I was thinking that it seemed like something I’d like, but didn’t really think anything of it… little did I know that every summer of my life since then would be full of orientation.


There’s just something about being a part of welcoming new students and their families and getting them started on this amazing experience. It’s exhausting, and it’s challenging, but it is oooooh so rewarding too.

And now, on this side of things, I get to also see all my student staff putting their hard work and preparation to use. They are what keeps me going on little-to-no sleep. They make me laugh and continually make me proud. They grow so much over the course of the spring and summer, and I am lucky to see that growth in person.


So to all of my student staff, enjoy today. Enjoy tomorrow. And enjoy each moment you get with this job, because it can be sooo much more than just a job. Soak it in, and be the difference for someone!!