Day 796: Turning 30

Rachel, Day by Day

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 788: Arlington Race Track

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 788: Arlington Race Track

Back in May, I went to Arlington Race Track with family friends! It was a beautiful day as you can see from the photo above. We brought our own food, had some drinks, and enjoyed some fun in the sun. There was a barbecue event going on where you could win a nice grill, but sadly no one in our group won! Oh well.

Day 788: Arlington Race Track

The ladies at Arlington!

I didn’t bet on every race, maybe just a few. I ended up winning some money on the first race, so I didn’t want to gamble too much after that! It was nice catching up with everyone throughout the day. The race track was packed!

Day 788: Arlington Race Track

Ready for the next race!

Sometimes I feel bad for the horses that race… I keep assuming they are treated badly, but hopefully I’m wrong! I can’t imagine being a jockey, either. I have no clue how they can bend on the horse like that! That must be horrible for your knees. I wish I could ride a horse again sometime, but sadly I’m allergic.

What a beautiful day!

Day 785: Second Anniversary

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 785: Second Anniversary

Celebrating our second anniversary!

Hello there! Happy Sunday to all of you reading this. I am extremely behind and definitely need to catch up. This post is from our anniversary back in April! Yikes, I’m almost two months behind. My bad.

So back in April, Scott and I celebrated our two year anniversary! We spent the weekend in Chicago and had a blast. On Friday night, we walked around the city and stopped at an awesome view of the city by the planetarium. Here it is for you!

Day 785: Second Anniversary

We ate dinner at Rockit and had drinks at an Irish pub nearby. It was a nice, relaxing night! On Saturday, we went to the Shedd Aquarium. I haven’t been there since my prom in 2004, so it’s been a while! We saw some cool fish, went to a 3D show, got to see some adorable penguins, and much more! I am in love with penguins, so I took a ton of photos. Here’s one for you.

Day 785: Second Anniversary

He’s looking at me!

After the aquarium, we stopped at the Field Museum for some fun. There are a lot of cool historical artifacts in there; it’s really amazing! There’s so much history in our world and it was neat getting a glimpse of some of it.

Day 785: Second Anniversary

The Field Museum.

For dinner on Saturday night, Scott and I went to Hub 51, a nice and trendy restaurant. I ate some really good ahi tuna. It was packed in the restaurant, too! They had a giant screen in front of us showing the Blackhawks game, so that was awesome. After dinner, we wandered around to a few different bars so we could watch the rest of the game! We ended the night having a drink at Harry Caray’s Restaurant. The River North section of Chicago is great! There are some many restaurants and bars. I highly recommend it!

It was a great weekend with the hubby!

Day 781: Beer Fest

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 781: Beer Fest

Hello again! Recently I went downtown with family and friends to Union Station for a beer festival! It was a lot of fun. As you can see from the photo above, we got this little mugs and were able to sample lots of different beers. I liked some more than others… and there were some crazy fruity ones, too! I tried an apple pie beer along with a strawberry rhubarb one. They were a bit strange! They had good music playing and later people were even doing the limbo. My mom and I did it! Good times.

After the beer fest, we went to a restaurant called Prime Bar. It was really good! I had a black bean burger… Mmmm. After a long day of drinking beer, we went home and relaxed. It was a fun day!

I’m so excited spring is here now! And the sun stays out longer. Hopefully we are done with the snow now!!

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 778: Christina’s Party

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 778: Christina's Party

Prom poses! From left to right: Brittany, Christina, me, and Melissa.

Why, hello there! I’m a bit behind, but a few weeks ago, I went to my friend Christina’s birthday party! She had people over at her house for some drinks, snacks, games, and fun. I had a GREAT time! A bunch of us played a board game called Encore and it was a blast. Essentially you get a random word on a card, and you have to think of songs with that word in it. It’s difficult at times, but fun! And it doesn’t help that I’m bad with lyrics occasionally. It was great chatting with everyone that I haven’t seen in a while. And I’m glad I got to catch up with these wonderful ladies in the photo above. I hope I get to see them more often!

It feels like spring is just around the corner… I love this time of year! The days slowly get longer and the snow starts to melt. The days get warmer, too. What could get any better than that??

Enjoy your Monday night.

Day 777: Reflection

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 28

Day 777: Reflection

When will my reflection show who I am inside? (In case you didn’t know, this line is in the song Reflections from Mulan.)

Well folks, here is a reflection for you. I went shopping and had lunch with my mom, so I took this photo through the side mirror while she was driving. It’s a cool shot since you can see the house in the back while looking through the mirror. Too bad there wasn’t something more interesting behind us, but that’s OK. I didn’t really want to take a photo of myself in a mirror or anything, so this is what you get for today! Enjoy.

I’m going to my friend Christina’s birthday party tonight!! I’m excited to see her and everyone. Woo!

Well, sadly today is my last day of the February photo challenge. Overall, it wasn’t really challenging, but that’s OK. I had fun coming up with ideas even though some might have been boring. Maybe I need to find more difficult challenges! I hope you all enjoyed reading my February posts and looking at the photos. I might do another one of these challenges in April, but don’t worry… I’ll definitely be posting in March! Lots of things to look forward to.

Have a lovely Saturday!

Day 776: My View Today

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 27

Day 776: My View Today

Yep… this is my view.

Happy Friday! Today’s photo had to be my view. So this is the view from my cubicle at work. It’s not the nicest, but it’s not the worst. It was a nice sunny day today, which helped! I wish my view had mountains or an awesome waterfall, but Illinois isn’t that cool. We should work on that. Maybe my view will look better in the spring? We shall see.

It’s been a good Friday night! My family and I went to a restaurant I’ve never been to before called Pappadeaux. It’s a delicious seafood kitchen; I ate some really good tilapia. Mmmm. My mom and I had some good wine, too! The place was packed, so it was good we made a reservation. I would definitely go there again. I ate way too much, though.

Yay, it’s the weekend!! Woo!!

Day 769: Peace

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 20

Day 769: Peace

Beautiful ocean sand.

I think this is pretty peaceful… sand from the ocean. I thought about holding up my fingers and taking a photo of the peace sign, but that was pretty boring. This would be more exciting if I was at the actual ocean! Sorry about that. I didn’t want to hop on an airplane just for this post. I’m not that dedicated. Anyway, I love sand and the ocean, so that counts as peaceful today!

It’s been a good Friday evening! I spent time with my husband’s family and now I’m at home drinking wine with the hubby. I like relaxing Friday nights! Good times.

Enjoy the weekend!

Day 767: Magic

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 18

Day 767: Magic

He can fly!

Isn’t this photo the most magical thing you’ve ever seen? After work today, I happened to see my brother, Ray, flying above the driveway. Look at how amazing that is! Besides being cold, he looks so happy floating off the ground. I wish I could do that. This is something you don’t see everyday, so this is a beyond average blog post. It’s magic!

Brrr, it’s cold outside! On the plus side, it’s National Wine Day. So, I celebrated with a glass of wine at dinner. I am also participating in Lent, so I only had one meal today. For Lent, I am giving up goldfish crackers. I’ve been eating them a lot lately, so this is going to be a tough one. I eat them as a snack at work and then again when I get home. These next 40 days might be rough!

Stay warm!