Day 796: Turning 30

Rachel, Day by Day

201607071101

Me throughout the years.

All this time I thought I was going to dread turning 30, but I’m not worried about it at the moment. I mean, so many things happened in my 20s and I thought it would be difficult to close that chapter in my life… graduated college, first real job, first legal alcoholic drink, first car, first apartment on my own, first real relationship, first time I fell in love (or thought it was at the time), first time I actually fell in love, first house, first smartphone, first (and only) marriage, first kid, and so on. A lot can happen in 10 years.

201607071103

Me throughout the years.

It’s really strange looking back. There are certain parts of my 20s I won’t miss. The bad dates and relationships in my early 20s, a horrible relationship that hurt me badly and I thought had scarred me for life, losing loved ones, being apart from my husband for a little while, struggling through every-day stresses and drama of being a young adult, and so on. The first week living on my own, I was almost robbed in the middle of the night and now I’m kind of afraid to leave windows open. I went through my 20s without my dad and somehow made it through. I lost a lot of close family members in this decade (Grandma, Uncle Pat, Aunt Carol, Grandpa) and I miss them every day.

201607071105

Me throughout the years.

While there were some bad times, I’m getting somewhat sentimental remembering the good times. I was able to live with some amazing friends during college and I’m glad I live closer to them today! It’s crazy thinking how we used to stay out until 3 a.m. many nights; I don’t think I could do that now! We had some awesome and silly times together. I met some great friends at my first real job, and sadly we are all scattered in different places now. I stayed in touch with some high school friends, which has been great. I went on a lot of awesome trips with my mom, Ray, and other family members, and had many fun nights with them in general. I met the love of my life during college and later married him. I got some great in-laws out of this, too! Our child recently came into this world and it’s been wonderful getting to know him and having him in my life. I went on some great trips with friends and family, including Mexico, Michigan, Las Vegas, a road trip to California, Cedar Point, a cruise, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Paris, Miami Beach, Punta Cana, Ireland, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and so on! I swam with dolphins, met the Stanley Cup, found a Corner Bakery not on a corner, went to numerous Cubs games, met Jonathan Toews numerous times, saw friends and family members get married, went parasailing, climbed up the steps of Notre Dame Cathedral, saw the Grand Canyon, got engaged, got married, had a child, and much more.

201607071106

Me throughout the years.

Even with the bad times, I know I’ll be able to look back on my 20s and smile. They are definitely a time for learning and growing. I don’t regret the bad relationships and I don’t feel stupid about them anymore. In fact, I came out of them a stronger and more confident person (I could still work on the confidence part just a little bit). I used to be so naïve in my early 20s, and feel like I’m out of that phase now. But, I’m still the silly, weird, caring, worrisome, funny, loving, sensitive girl from birth. Just a little bit older. So this decade made me part of who I am today.

What do I look forward to in my 30s? Definitely watching my son grow and taking him to new places. Spending time with family and friends. Spending time with my wonderful and amazing husband. Going to Cuba (which would be absolutely amazing). And watching the Cubs win the World Series. The Blackhawks could win another Stanley Cup, too.

Day 791: June Through October Update

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 791: June Through October Update

I went to Wisconsin Dells with my family in September!

I realize I haven’t updated in a long time, so I thought I’d just give you the highlights over the past many months! Here you go.

June

  • I got to hang out with Andrea and Kim.
  • Steve visited us to watch a Blackhawks game.
  • Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and I watched with family!
  • I went to the Blackhawks parade with Hannah and Sydney.
  • We spent Scott’s 30th birthday in Normal. We ate crepes and went to Pub II with family!
  • We celebrated Scott’s birthday by going to a Cubs vs. Cardinals game in St. Louis.
Day 791: June Through October Update

Cubs vs. Cardinals game for Scott’s birthday!

 July

  • I hung out with Brendan, Anne, Kate, and Graham in Lisle.
  • We got to hang out with the Koehlers in the Chicago suburbs!
  • I got to hang out with Mel, Christina, and Brittany more often and see Grace! And…
  • SCOTT AND I FOUND OUT WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!
Day 791: June Through October Update

Our baby announcement!

August

  • We had our first baby ultrasound.
  • Met my new cousin Duncan Keith. Got to see Champaign friends the same day, too!
  • I went to a Cubs vs. Sox game at The Cell. Cubs won!
Day 791: June Through October Update

Our first ultrasound photo.

September

  • Got to take my photo with the Stanley Cup!! Then later that night, I went to the Cubs game with Scott, my mom, and Ray!
  • I went to Wisconsin Dells with family over Labor Day weekend.
  • My friend Stephanie got married on September 12.
  • Went to the Cubs game with Steve!
  • Went to a Cuban restaurant in honor of my dad’s birthday. Scott accepted a new job offer, too!
  • Went to the Apple n’ Pork Fest and saw Kendyl play soccer!
  • Uncle John visited a few times!
Day 791: June Through October Update

Me and the Stanley Cup! We are BFFs!

Day 791: June Through October Update

Cubs game with Steve!!

October

  • Cubs made it far in the playoffs. I’m proud of them!!
  • FOUND OUT ON OCTOBER 31 WE ARE HAVING A BOY!!
  • Buying a new house soon and we close soon.

There you go! And I’ll really try to update more often. Goodnight!

Day 790: Chicago Cubs… Could This Be the Year?

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 790: Chicago Cubs... Could This Be the Year?

Some awesome Cubs players huddle on September 1, 2015. I took this photo!

Alright, Cubs fans. Let me here ya.

I haven’t written in a little while, but felt the need to write about the Chicago Cubs right now. In case you haven’t been paying attention, they are doing very well. And they’re in the playoffs. And they just beat the Cardinals. All good things.

I keep thinking about the Cubs’ past and mine with them. My family (dad, mom, Ray, and me) shared season tickets with others for almost 20 years, starting back in 1988 until around 2007. We mostly went to night games and weekend ones. Our seats were perfect… first row in the field box section right behind home plate. Here’s a photo of my view all those years:

Day 790: Chicago Cubs... Could This Be the Year?

The view from our seats in 2006.

When I was little, I’d bring my baseball glove and homework during night games. I’d try to quickly get through the homework before the game started. I didn’t have time to do it right after school! Anyway, being a Cubs fan my whole life (which is 29 years) has its ups and downs. I lived through years with Jim Riggleman as their manager and saw many losses… years full of losses. I remember many of us booing him. But, there were the amazing highlights such as watching my favorite Cub, Tuffy Rhodes, get three home runs on opening day in 1994. In fact, my family started calling me Tuffy when I played softball. I went to one game with just my dad, and the Cubs ended up winning by a crazy amount, maybe 19-2. We just kept laughing the whole time. We watched Sammy Sosa in his home-run race against Mark McGwire in numerous games. We went to playoff games in 1998, 2003 and 2007. So there have been some great times. My other favorite players included Joe Girardi, Mickey Morandini, Gary Gaetti, Glenallen Hill, Kyle Farnsworth, and Derrek Lee. I loved all of them!

Day 790: Chicago Cubs... Could This Be the Year?

Sammy Sosa raising his helmet in 1998.

Day 790: Chicago Cubs... Could This Be the Year?

I got to meet Kyle Farnsworth in 2002!

Then there are the wonderful moments I remember with family and friends at Wrigley Field. When I was a little older, I’d run to the perfect spot to see Harry Caray sing during the 7th inning. We’d see random celebrities at games, including Penny Marshall, Scottie Pippen, Hillary Clinton, Billy Corgan, and more. We became friends with the people sitting in the row behind us and would talk to them all the time. We got to sit in a skybox during one game. I’ve been lucky enough to go on the field at least three times. My family and I got to meet some awesome players at Cubs Conventions. My family put my name on the scoreboard for my 21st birthday. The one memory I love the most is when I was younger, my dad would put me on his shoulders during every 7th inning stretch until I was too big. I felt on top of the world. I wish he was here to see this Cubs team. He’d be going nuts.

Day 790: Chicago Cubs... Could This Be the Year?

My family and me in a Wrigley Field skybox in 1999.

Day 790: Chicago Cubs... Could This Be the Year?

My brother Ray and me meeting Joe Girardi in 2000. As you can see, he signed this photo later!

As you can see, the Cubs gave us hope at times, but it always went away. I would call myself a cautious Cubs fan after all this time. I might regret what I’m about to say, but I need to get it out. I’m usually hesitant and nervous about the Cubs, even when they have made it to the playoffs in the past, but I’m having a different feeling with this current team. I’m still nervous, but I’m more excited and I feel real hope for once. For some reason it makes me want to cry! I get emotional thinking about how well they could do this year. And I keep thinking about my dad and how much he’d love this. I love all the players on this team: Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Dexter Fowler, Jake Arrieta, Jorge Soler, and more!

Me on the field for a Women's Clinic in 1994.

Me on the field for a Women’s Clinic in 1994.

Me, my mom, and Ray at a game in 2007.

Me, my mom, and Ray at a game in 2007.

So, to the other Cubs fans out there, be proud of your team this year. And even though we’ve lost hope in the past, don’t give up hope this year! And to the Cubs, no matter what happens this year, thank you for giving us fans such a fun and exciting season to watch! GO CUBS!!

Day 783: Guster Concert

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 783: Guster Concert

Hello again! Back in April, I went to a Guster concert with my Uncle John and Scott. It was a great time! We went to the Riviera in Chicago to see them. The last time I went to one of their concerts was in 2007, so it’s been a while. They still sound awesome! It was cool being able to sing along with them. They really do sound amazing live. It was packed in there, too! They sang a lot of my old favorites and some of their newer music, too. We might have been the only three people in Guster t-shirts, but I don’t care. We have Guster pride! I hope they come back to Chicago soon… I’d go to another concert! They were pretty funny and told a few jokes between songs. Good times!

On our way home, we drove down Lake Shore Drive. It was a beautiful night to see the city! I love that road. I kept thinking about all the Cubs games I went to as a little kid and we’d drive home on Lake Shore at night. I loved looking out the window at the lights back then, and I still do now! Chicago is a beautiful city.

Speaking of Chicago, right now I’m proud of the Blackhawks and Cubs! And I’ll go knock on wood now.

Have a good evening!

Day 780: Arizona Trip

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 780: Arizona Trip

A beautiful Arizona sunset.

Just a few weeks ago, I went on a little trip to Arizona to visit my cousin Kim and her husband Raymond! I had a blast. I went on the trip with Scott, my mom, Ray, Uncle John, Uncle Paul, and Sydney. We got in very late Wednesday night, so we didn’t do much besides go to bed soon after arriving. On Thursday, we walked around the downtown area of Arizona State University. It was a cool area with bars, restaurants, and shops, so we stopped at an outdoor bar for some appetizers. The mountains around there were gorgeous! Later that evening, we ate some Buffalo Wild Wings and headed to the Coyotes vs. Blackhawks hockey game! The majority of the people there were Blackhawks fans… it was amazing!

Day 780: Arizona Trip

The gang before heading to the Blackhawks game.

Day 780: Arizona Trip

The Blackhawks about to kick butt!

The Blackhawks ended up winning 2-1. They had a lot of shots on goal, so I’m surprised there weren’t more goals! I’m glad they won, though. We then hung out at Kim’s place for a while… Kim and I had some lemon martinis! 🙂

On Friday, we went to the Cubs game at Sloan Park! It was a beautiful day. Sadly the Cubs lost, but at least it’s just Spring Training.

Day 780: Arizona Trip

At Sloan Park with Scott.

Day 780: Arizona Trip

From left to right: Me, my mom, Sydney, and Kim. Go Cubs!

After the game, we went to a restaurant called Oregano’s pizza. It was delicious! We waited a while for a table, so Kim, Sydney, and Ray ended up running through the sprinklers. Silly! We then went to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream and played games at Kim’s house.

On Saturday, I hung out by Kim’s pool with my mom, Sydney, Uncle John, and Kim while the rest of the gang golfed. It was a relaxing afternoon! We dared Sydney to get into the pool even though the water was freezing… and she did it! I tried it, too. Wow, it was cold!

Day 780: Arizona Trip

Sydney in the cold water!

I tried In-N-Out Burger at lunchtime for the first time ever, and it was really good! I haven’t had a hamburger in about six years, so I thought it was time to have one again. Later that evening, we went to Rustler’s Rooste for dinner and I had some really good salmon. The view there was amazing. Here it is!

Day 780: Arizona Trip

Beautiful view of Arizona.

After dinner, we played some games and had lemon martinis for our last night of vacation. Sunday ended up being a really long day full of canceled and delayed flights. We were originally supposed to get home early afternoon, but it ended up being around 9:30 p.m. Yikes!

I had an amazing time with my wonderful family!!

Day 768: Feet

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 19

Day 768: Feet

Hopefully they aren’t smelly.

Well, here are my feet. This is not the most exciting photo in the world, but how do you make a photo of feet exciting? I could have gotten a pedicure and painted my nails awesome colors. But, that would take too long. I actually have a problem with my feet; I think they have poor circulation. They are pretty much cold all through winter, except when I’m taking a hot shower. Even when I wear heavy socks and shoes they are still very cold. This started a few years ago… I remember walking around my apartment barefoot; all of a sudden my feet got extremely cold. I looked down and they were purple. They still sometimes turn slightly purple, but then I just put more socks on. I miss walking around barefoot. Maybe I’ll be able to do that again in June. So, that’s the story of my cold feet.

New topic! I’ve been wanting to post this video for a while now related to the Chicago Cubs. It gets me pumped for the 2015 season.

Doesn’t that give you goosebumps? I’m more excited for this season than usual, but I’m still the concerned Cubs fan. I hope I can go to a few games this year!

Have a good evening!

Day 754: Square

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 5

Day 754: Square

Mark Grace autograph.

It’s harder to take a photo of a square than you think! I mean, I saw a lot of things with a square shape today, but most were pretty boring. So, here’s my Mark Grace autographed baseball in a square-shaped box. I think I bought this in the early 2000s at a Cubs Convention. I haven’t actually met him, but he was one of my favorite players at the time. He was a first baseman for a really long time with the Cubs, for most of my childhood! And when we shared season tickets, I got to see and cheer for him all the time. I miss going to Wrigley Field a lot; I wish I could afford season tickets! Anyone want to buy me season tickets for my birthday? Go Cubs!

In other news, I bought a really cool thing recently. It’s called an Eyefi Mobi SD card. It’s a wifi-enabled SD card I put in my digital camera. I connected it to my phone, kindle, and laptop yesterday. Basically when I’m in an area with wifi and I take a photo with my digital camera, the photo will automatically be sent to one of the three devices I just mentioned. Pretty cool, huh? For example, if I’m on vacation and want to post a photo on Facebook, I can post a high-quality photo from my digital camera! I think it’s pretty awesome.

Have a pleasant Thursday night!

Day 746: Year in Review

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 746: Year in Review

Our first wedding anniversary. 🙂

2014 was a great year! There were many great times with family and friends and I have so much to be thankful for. Time really has flown by and I can’t believe 2014 is almost over. From family gatherings on weekends to a trip to Las Vegas, we did a lot this year! 2014 ending makes me sad in a way. The majority of the year had great times, but there were also some tough times, too. But, I had Scott, family, and friends by my side, which has always been a great feeling. I don’t know what I’d do without them! I am one of the luckiest girls in the world.

Here’s a list of the highlights from 2014 for you!

  • Last New Years Eve: We rang in the New Year at Medici and Maggie Miley’s.
  • I started the Double Take project, but sort of neglected it. Sorry!
  • Kate, Graham, Steve, and Jillian visited to watch a Blackhawks game in January.
  • I needed two fillings, my first fillings ever!
  • My family visited in January and we went to Carl’s ice cream!
  • Ate at Biaggi’s with Scott for Valentine’s Day.
  • Went to the Bloomington Thunder game in February with family and met Tony Esposito!
Day 746: Year in Review

Uncle John meeting Tony Esposito!

  • Celebrated Soleman’s birthday at Kings and Park Tavern in Rosemont in March.
  • Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day parade in March.
  • St. Patrick’s Day parade in Normal and threw a little party!
  • Met Grant Bitzer. He’s such a cutie!
  • Attended the Going Away Party for my cousins Matt and Jackie. (They moved to North Carolina.)
  • Fancy happy hours!
  • Got together with college friends and their husbands in April. Went to Claim Jumper and Beer House.
  • Spent Easter weekend with my family. We colored eggs and ate brunch at Drury Lane.
  • The ending to How I Met Your Mother was awful. Ugh.
  • Spent our first wedding anniversary in Chicago!
  • Went to Cubs vs. Cardinals game in the bleachers at Wrigley. Cubs won!
Day 746: Year in Review

Ready to watch the Cubs win!

  • Spent Mother’s Day weekend with my mom! Went to McCormick and Schmick’s for dinner.
  • Chicago Blackhawks made it to the playoffs but lost. I’m still proud of them!
  • Had a Memorial Day BBQ at our house with my family and Scott’s family.
  • Met Trgyve, my friend Kim’s baby!
  • Cornbelters vs. Bandits baseball game and got to see Soleman.
  • Went to Caden’s baseball game and Kendyl’s soccer game.
  • Jeff’s 60th birthday party!
Day 746: Year in Review

Celebrating Jeff’s (Scott’s dad’s) 60th birthday on a beautiful day.

  • Scott’s birthday: Went to Pub II and had family over for dessert.
  • Saw Jimmy Buffett in Tinley Park!
Day 746: Year in Review

The gang tailgating before the Jimmy Buffet concert!

  • Went to Caden and Kendyl’s birthday parties.
  • July 4th party at family friend’s house.
  • My birthday: Went out with Brendan and Anne for pizza. Had dessert back at our place, too!
  • Went to a Bandits softball game.
  • Blackhawks Convention!
Day 746: Year in Review

Got to love Toews and Kane!

  • Went to Christina’s baby shower and Anne’s bridal shower.
  • Cracker concert with Kate and Graham.
  • ALS ice bucket challenge. Yes, I did it twice.
  • Barbecue with friends at our house.
  • Met beautiful little Grace in August!
  • Vacation: Went to Wisconsin Dells over Labor Day weekend.
Day 746: Year in Review

Hanging out in Wisconsin Dells.

  • Celebrated Grandpa’s 87th birthday.
  • Anne’s bachelorette party in Chicago!
  • Laura and Tyler’s wedding in September.
  • My 10 Year Reunion. Yikes!
  • Anne and Ted’s wedding!
Day 746: Year in Review

A bunch of awesome ladies at Anne’s wedding!

Vacation: Las Vegas for Ray’s 30th birthday!

Day 746: Year in Review

The family together in Las Vegas for Ray’s 30th!

 

  • Carved pumpkins in October.
  • Went out for Halloween. Scott was a ninja turtle and I was Captain America!
  • Sydney was in the musical Annie Get Your Gun.
  • Started my new job in November!
  • Thanksgiving at my mom’s house.
  • Movie nights with Mickey.
Day 746: Year in Review

Hanging out with Mickey! I love this guy!

  • Mom’s 60th birthday celebration at McCormick and Schmick’s.
  • Spent day in Chicago seeing the Christkindlmarket and Wrigley Field.
  • U.S. and Cuba relations will be better soon, thanks to Obama!
  • Spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with Scott’s family.
  • Went to Brookfield Zoo.
  • Movies I saw for the first time: The Hulk, Man of Steel, The Illusionist, Hoop Dreams, Saving Mr. Banks, Gone Girl, Interstellar, Bull Durham, The Godfather, and probably more

Sorry, that was a long list! The toughest part of this year was losing my Aunt Carol in August. She was a very caring a special woman and I’m still having a hard time without her. I can’t imagine how her children, grandchildren, and husband must be feeling. But, we have definitely been there for each other through this difficult time. I miss her so much. It really hurts sometimes.

One great thing I was able to accomplish this year was that I finished scanning all of my mom and dad’s old photos. This project took years, and I’m finally done! I’m so glad we have all of them as digital copies. I should make 1,000 copies, just in case!

Overall, this year was a good one. I have so many wonderful people in my life and I’m glad I got to spend time with them. There were some changes this year, but I think they are for the better. I can’t wait to see what will happen in 2015! I think it will be a good year, too, especially since I have Scott and great family and friends to make memories with. Goodbye 2014, and welcome 2015!

Day 741: Day in Chicago

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 741: Day in Chicago

Christkindlmarket in Chicago!

Hi, folks! Scott and I decided to spend a day in Chicago a little bit before the holidays. It was a fun day! It wasn’t too cold, which made it better. We took the train downtown; when walking out of the train station, we ran into one of my cousins and her family! That was random and cool. We then headed to the Christkindlmarket since we’ve never been there before. It was packed! There were a bunch of cute little shops and lots of German food. It was a bit difficult to get around! We drank some mulled wine, which was really good. They gave us a small souvenir mug, too! I would go back, but maybe during the week when there are less crowds.

After the market, we walked over to Michigan Avenue. We stopped in a few stores and even got a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. This bakery is actually in New York; my mom and I tried a cupcake from there when we went to New York in 2005. These cupcakes are AMAZING and I can’t believe they are in Chicago now! I might have to get a dozen next time I go back.

Scott and I went into Macy’s since we’ve never been in there around the holidays. I love the decorations and the windows! We also went into the new Blackhawks store; it was packed in there. It’s a pretty cool store, but I expected it to be bigger. Oh well! We then stopped for a quick lunch at the Corner Bakery. Yum!

We later decided to take a quick train ride over to Wrigley Field to see the construction. Wow, it really looked crazy! The bleachers are completely gone, the back is ripped out, and most of the sides are ripped out. It looks like it’ll take a lot longer to finish this! Hopefully it’s done by April. It actually made me a little sad to see Wrigley so torn apart, but I know it’ll be better soon. As we were walking around, we noticed a ton of drunk people dressed in crazy Christmas outfits. Apparently there was a bar crawl that started at 8 a.m. I felt a little out of place! It was an interesting scene.

It was a fun day! Gotta love Chicago.

Day 714: Best and Worst of the Week

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 714: Best and Worst of the Week

I took this photo of a sunrise when I got to work this past Wednesday.

Hello, folks! I am starting a new tradition at the end of each week. (Well, I’m hoping to remember to do this every week!) I am giving you a list of my top 5 best and worst things of the week. Maybe it’ll spice up my blog a bit since I’ve neglected the Double Takes for a while. And I’ll include a photo I took over the week (see above).

Worst Things of the Week
1. It was really dark when I woke up every morning this week to head to work. And it’s only going to get worse.
2. I missed out on National Guacamole Day on Tuesday. And I love guacamole. Sad.
3. Only getting about 6 hours of sleep each night. I need more than that.
4. I had a scary dream Tuesday night where creepy almost dead children were trying to kill me. I woke up at 2 a.m. and couldn’t fall back asleep.
5. I’m tired of hearing about the NFL and the players that hurt their wives or significant others. It’s an extremely horrible thing that makes me angry and sad. Let’s talk about happier things on the news.

Best Things of the Week
1. Anne’s bachelorette party is this weekend!
2. Watching a few home movies and hearing my dad say my name again. I miss his voice and it was great hearing it again.
3. Watching Jimmy Fallon’s Good News segment this week (click here to see some hilarious stuff).
4. A truck driver honked at me on my way home from work this week… I initially panicked and thought something was wrong with my car, but apparently he just wanted to wave and say hi. Weird, but I guess it can count as a good thing.
5. A friend of ours won $10 since the Cubs won 68 games. I’m glad the Cubs can help people out!

There you go!