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 573: Ornament(s)

Rachel, Day by Day

Capturing December: Day 8

Day 573: Ornament(s)

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments for you! In the upper left is one that says San Francisco. In case you don’t know already, that’s where Scott and I got engaged. I like getting ornaments on vacations; they are  good memories you can remember around Christmas! The one in the lower left is really cute. My Uncle Paul, Aunt Carol, and cousin Sydney gave it to me last Christmas. The guy is proposing to the girl and the heart says Scott and Rachel 2011. I have posted this ornament before on my blog (click here to see that post), but I wanted to include it again! I like having these two ornaments close to each other on the tree. There are so many other ornaments I like, though; maybe I should have just taken a photo of the whole tree! Oh well.

I had a fun Saturday night! Scott and I went to my work holiday party. The food was good and the company was great. The party started to die down around 8:30, so a bunch of us went over to Steve’s apartment, ate some food, and watched the movie Gremlins. I’ve never seen it before; it was hilarious! Gizmo was so cute, but the other gremlins got pretty ugly. It was a fun night!

Day 568: Red

Rachel, Day by Day

Capturing December: Day 3

Day 568: Red

Hello again for the third day in a row! Woo! I’m doing so well! Anyway, here is a red stuffed animal Santa for you. I think I got this at a white elephant Christmas party at work in 2008 or 2009. He is really cute! I just realized I still have the tag on him; I should probably cut that off. Anyway, I remember being nervous at that white elephant party; I was fairly new and we each had to get up in front of a very big group, pick a present, and open it. I ended up with this and a book of Christmas poems, so I got a cute present! We actually haven’t done this party in the past few years, which is a bit sad. I think I wrapped up and brought a calendar for the next year, but no one picked that one until the very end since it wasn’t a big present. I was a little disappointed about that at the time, but I’m over it now! I remember one present that stuck out; someone brought a toilet paper holder that was Christmas-themed. It was pretty funny!

So, what’s new for today? I’m sure you heard Kate and Will are expecting a baby. Good for them! The news is everywhere, though, and I guess we’ll have to be hearing it for months to come. I wonder if they have to sign some sort of contract saying they’ll have a kid within the first few years of marriage. I wouldn’t be surprised!

Scott and I were in the newspaper in Normal for our engagement announcement yesterday! Click here to see the online version. Our photo turned our REALLY bright for some reason, but that’s ok. I can live with it! The original version isn’t that bright, so I don’t know what happened. Oh well! It’s cool being in the paper!

Have a good evening! I’m going to watch The Holiday.

Day 551: Michigan

Rachel, Day by Day

Hello! I’m very sorry I haven’t written in a while. Life has been crazy busy! During the week of July 4th, I went to the upper peninsula of Michigan with my family (Mom, Ray, and Grandpa) and Scott to visit my Uncle John! We had a great time. It is so beautiful up there! On Tuesday, we drove the 7 or so hours up north and ended up going to a casino in Christmas, Michigan! It was cool, but I lost some money. That part wasn’t so cool. On Wednesday (July 4th), we all went to the 4th of July parade! It was cute. We also stopped at Miner’s Castle (see above photo) and it’s so beautiful. Scott and I then went on the Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise for 2 hours and it was breathtaking. I think I went on this when I was 18 or 19 years old, so it’s been a while. There’s a lot of scenic areas I didn’t remember, and everything was just gorgeous. Here’s another photo for you!

Jealous yet? Our country does have some beautiful spots! Wednesday really was a busy day. We went to a waterfall called Scott Falls and I made sure to take Scott’s photo in front of the sign. We also went mini golfing, which is always fun. And we had root beer floats! When we stopped to see Scott Falls, we saw a drug bust, which was pretty random! The police had a guy in handcuffs, was questioning a girl, and there were many giant pill bottles on the top of their car. We drove away quickly after seeing that! The fireworks were cancelled due to some rain, but we saw some the next night! We spent the rest of Wednesday night playing games. 🙂

On Thursday, my Uncle John was kind enough to take a lot of engagement photos of Scott and me. Thanks, Johnny! We also had a picnic at a very nice campground on the beach by Lake Superior. I love picnics! I should have them more often. We also stopped at Grand Sable Dunes, which is another breathtaking place (you should google it!). Later that night, we went on the Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise to see the fireworks! They were great. It was awesome seeing them on Lake Superior, too. It was an amazing experience! Here’s an awesome photo I took of the fireworks:

On Friday, we stopped at Miner’s Falls so Scott could see another pretty waterfall! Then we stopped at Palms Book State Park and went on a boat over a freshwater spring. It was cool! We drove to Escanaba and stayed there for the night. The Island Casino is there, so we gambled a bit more! I, of course, lost again, but that’s ok. We had a few drinks at the bar, which was fun. I ended up leaving before my family because my throat started hurting; I think it was from the cigarette smoke. My family brought cupcakes back for my birthday; that was nice of them! I love them! We headed home on Saturday, but had a quick bite to eat and played a round of mini golf. I had a great vacation! You should definitely visit the UP; it’s breathtaking!!

Day 535: Bokeh (Challenge Day 20)

Rachel, Day by Day

30 Day Photography Challenge: Day 20

Hello! Here is a bokeh photo for you. I had to look up what bokeh actually meant before attempting to take this photo. It’s basically a picture of something clear and close up while the rest of the background is blurred. I think I got it here! I know I’ve posted my engagement ring before, but it’s so pretty, I thought I’d take another photo of it. My brother and a family friend are in the background, too! I was hoping to capture people in the background. It worked!

I went to Arlington Park Race Course today with awesome friends and family. It was a beautiful day for it! In the photo, my brother is reading about the horses in the program. We ate some good food, bet on some horses, and hung out most of the day. It was a good time! I bet on a few races and one of my horses came in second place one time. I won $7.20 out of it. It’s better than nothing! One of Scott’s horses came in first, so that was good! Luckily the rain held off until I got home this evening. I had an awesome time and look forward to next year’s visit! I like how this is turning into an annual thing.

Sunday nights are always a bit sad. It means the weekend is almost over. Only five more days until the next one!

Day 450: Year in Review

Rachel, Day by Day

Hello! So, it’s time for my 2011 year in review (sorry, this will be long) . Thinking about 2011 compared to the past few, it’s been a really good one. I had a lot of memorable moments with friends and family. The year started out great, spending time with Uncle John, Grandpa, Ray, Mom, and Scott. We went out to a fancy dinner for my Uncle John’s 50th birthday and spent the night hanging out and drinking at my mom’s house. It was a great time, except the martini I made didn’t turn out so great! Oh well.

Let’s see, what else have I done this year? I continued taking guitar lessons and really feel like I’ve improved over this year. It was nice playing tennis with work friends and going to occasional happy hours. Game and pizza nights have been fun with Scott’s family, too! Here’s a list of movies I saw for the first time this year (not in any particular order): Black Swan, The Muppets, No Strings Attached, The Social Network (not in the theater), The King’s Speech, Winter’s Bone (not in the theater), Adjustment Bureau, North by Northwest at the Normal Theatre, Vertigo (not in the theater), Water for Elephants, Rear Window (not in the theater), Pirates 4, Bridesmaids, Hangover 2, Winnie the Pooh, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Limitless (not in the theater), Cry Baby (definitely not in the theater since it’s a bit older), Bounty Hunter (not in the theater), Source Code (not in the theater), The Kids Are All Right (not in the theater), Up in the Air (not in the theater), Lion King 3D, and Sherlock Holmes 2.

I can tell you that the worst movie out of this list (in my opinion) was No Strings Attached. Ashton and Natalie were horrible actors in this movie and it wasn’t really funny. Hmmm, I think my favorite movies out of these are Adjustment Bureau and Harry Potter. Of course it was hard to say goodbye to Harry Potter and it was a great ending to the series. I loved the plot of Adjustment Bureau and Emily Blunt is a great actress. Sherlock Holmes 2 and Bridesmaids are close behind these two movies, though!

My favorite shows of the year are Modern Family, House Hunters, Amazing Race, The Office, New Girl, and Glee (not so much right now, though). I think New Girl is my favorite at the moment. Zooey is an awesome actress and I love the chemistry with her and the three boys! I definitely recommend this show.

Here are some other fun things I did and places I went this year: karaoke nights at Bentley’s and Pias, Scott’s mom’s 50th birthday party, two Blackhawks games (and they won both!), the karaoke bar for Christina’s birthday, the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Elmhurst and spending time with friends that day, a cooking class with Scott, Easter brunch with family at Drury Lane, an arena football game with Scott’s friends, Melissa’s bachelorette party (went to bars and a restaurant in Naperville, went minigolfing, got pedicures), Melissa and Larry’s awesome wedding on my birthday, going to Arlington Park Racetrack, my college friends visiting me for the weekend, the Pork and Apple festival, being in a video shoot for work, my friend Anne’s Halloween party (Scott and I dressed up as a gangster and flapper), pumpkin carving with Scott’s family, spending time at Mikey’s bar, seeing Eric’s show in Chicago (True Twilight: A Glee Musical), doing the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, and seeing my cousin Sydney in the Alice in Wonderland play. I also bought a new laptop for myself that I’m typing on right now. I love it!

Here are some few things that were not so great this year: one of my tires blew last winter on a very cold morning, the crazy snow storm in February, firefighters came to my apartment thinking there was a fire (my fire alarm goes off a lot when I use the oven; this was embarrassing), I accidentally let a squirrel in my apartment building, and a squirrel got in Scott’s house (luckily I wasn’t there for this; we’ve had a strange year with squirrels!).

I went to three weddings this year: Josh and Jenny’s in Edwardsville, Bree and Ian’s in Dubuque, and Melissa and Larry’s up north. It was fun taking short little trips to Edwardsville and Dubuque, and it was great meeting Scott’s friends. I was a bridesmaid in Melissa’s wedding and it was fun spending the day with all of the girls and dancing the night away! Congrats to all you crazy couples!

I joined the whole smartphone world this year, too. My mom and I bought Droids on Black Friday. I think it’s pretty cool, but I still really don’t use the Internet that much. I can see it being great if I wanted or needed to check my e-mail all the time, but I don’t really. I do like my notepad app, though, since I write notes to myself a lot!

I think the biggest world news this year was that Osama Bin Laden was killed. It feels like it happened a long time ago already. I think it definitely boosted the country’s morale, especially since our economy has been struggling for so long. I never I thought I’d be glad to hear about a person’s death, so maybe I felt a little weird about the whole thing. I definitely didn’t want to see the photos, so I’m glad they weren’t released.

The Blackhawks Convention was great this year! I had a fun time with my family and sitting in on some of the seminars. It was fun spending time in Chicago again, too. Plus, I got to meet Jonathan Toews again and this time I got my picture taken with him! I had fun hanging out at the hotel bar a few nights, too. My brother got a lot of autographs just by staying up late and waiting by the front door of the hotel. Good times.

My mom was called in on Windy City Live this year, too! She won a gift card to an awesome restaurant in Chicago. Here’s the video: http://windycitylive.com/video?id=8406332

I went on some amazing trips this year. My mom, Ray, Scott, and I went to Las Vegas for a long weekend near the end of May. We stayed at Monte Carlo; the pool there was great! I think we spent time there every day, which was nice and relaxing. Scott and I walked on the strip a lot, which is always fun to do. We went to a really fancy bar called Mandarin Bar. The view was beautiful, so we sat by the window and enjoyed some cocktails. It was fun dressing up, too. On our last night, we went to a piano bar and had a great time. The woman even played a Lady Gaga song for me. Fun vacation!

I also went to the upper peninsula of Michigan with my family to visit my Uncle John. We had a nice time! We saw the 4th of July parade, played some tennis, saw many beautiful scenic areas and waterfalls, and did some gambling. I even played a round of golf with my brother, mini and real. I’m not that great, but it was fun! I always love spending time with my family. I hope we go to Michigan this year!

In August, Scott and I went to San Francisco, which was an amazing trip. You probably already know what happened there if you know me. 😉 We both had never been there before, which made it extra special. Some highlights of the trip include seeing crooked Lombard Street, having wine for happy hour at our hotel, eating great food (I fell in love with rainbow trout), seeing the Fortune Cookie Factory and the Cable Car Museum, seeing Jimmy Stewart’s apartment in Vertigo, going to Alcatraz and Ghirardelli Square, walking to Golden Gate Bridge, spending time at Fisherman’s Wharf, playing at Musee Mechanique, seeing the Full House house, seeing the Haight/Ashbury district, and going to the Cubs. vs. Giants game at AT&T Park.

Of course, the best day in San Francisco was when we walked through Golden Gate Park and had dinner next to the Pacific Ocean. Scott proposed to me on the beach after dinner and we celebrated at a bar called Vesuvio later. I had no idea that day would be so life changing, and this year! It was definitely one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on, and I’m so happy I found Scott. 🙂

I think I’ll write about what I did New Years Eve in another post since this is so long. But, to sum up, this year has been great. I did so many fun things and went to many awesome places. I got to spend a lot of time with friends and family. And I’m engaged to an amazing guy. It’s hard not to smile when thinking about 2011. I’ll miss you! But I sense more amazing times to come.

Day 425: Blockbuster Is Weird

Rachel, Day by Day

So, yes, I am still one of the few people in our country that goes to Blockbuster. Please don’t judge me. There’s something I love about walking around the store and looking at all the movies choices. Anyway, Scott and I rented Bridesmaids this weekend and this sign was in Blockbuster’s window. When you look at the giant words, of course you naturally think you can rent a movie and get another one completely free. Well, when you read the littler words, you find out you are wrong. Crazy. Just read the little sentence above. Rent any movie and get a coupon for a FREE 99 cent rental. Now tell me, does FREE 99 cent rental make sense? The answer (if you don’t know already) is no. Absolutely no. The poster is very deceiving. Not cool, Blockbuster. Not cool.

I had a great Friday night! My work friends and I had a fancy happy hour to celebrate Anne’s birthday, Kate’s birthday, and Scott and my engagement. I wore a dress that I’ve worn to a few weddings, but I love it! We started out the night at Destihl restaurant. I ate yummy dijon chicken. Mmmm. It came with sweet potatoes and asparagus. We then went to Blind Pig for some drinks and then Radio Maria for some girlier drinks and dessert. I had a great time with everyone and we took some fun pictures! It’s fun spending time with them outside of work. We ended the night going to Brendan and Anne’s apartment to see the new tile in their kitchen. We took some funny pictures on the floor. Good times!

What food were you surprised to like when trying it? I can think of two right now. One is v-jerky, which is vegetarian jerky. There’s a guy at work who sells it, so I tried it one day. I’ve never even tried beef jerky before since that made me a bit nervous. But, I liked it! He put a lot of good spices in the jerky. I don’t think I’d eat it all the time, but it was good. Another one is trout. I tried it while Scott and I were in San Francisco and I loved it. I ate it two nights in a row! I could do without the bones and fish head, though. Mmmmm, yum.

Day 420: The Ring and Pier

Rachel, Day by Day

Time for day 4! I just realized this title is a bit creepy with The Ring… oh well! The first photo is of my beautiful engagement ring. I thought you’d like a close up! I am in love with it and keep staring at it! As for day 4, we spent most of the day at Fisherman’s Wharf. We were supposed to go on a wine country tour, but it was cancelled at the last minute. I got to eat a corn dog on the pier, though! It was delicious. We got some ice cream at Ghirardelli Square this time, too. We decided to have a low-key day since Scott wasn’t feeling well. We went to the wine reception at the hotel and spend the rest of the night at Tosca Cafe, a really cool Godfather-like bar.

The second photo is of Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf. Sorry I forgot to mention that earlier! It’s a really long pier and we stopped in some really cool shops. I could have spent all my money there if I wanted to!

Day 419: Full House, Pacific Ocean, Proposal

Rachel, Day by Day

Time for day 3! You probably already know what happened this day, but I must say that this day changed my life! We started out the day looking for the house from the show Full House, and we found it (see first photo)! It still looks exactly like the house, except I think they used to have a red door. Fun times! We then saw the Painted Ladies, a row of older houses of all different colors. The view behind the houses is great, too! Scott really wanted to see the Haight/Ashbury district where all of the hippies used to hang out. We did go in a very awesome record store.

We spent the rest of the day walking around Golden Gate Park, which is huge and beautiful! We kept stopping to take pictures. We made it all the way through the park and ended up at the Pacific Ocean (see second photo). I love the ocean and I love the picture I got at sunset! Scott and I ate dinner at Beach Chalet, which was right next to the beach.

So, Scott had been smiling more than normal and acting weird all day. I even found myself yelling at him and asking what he was smiling about over and over again. After dinner, we walked back to the beach and sat in the sand. He made a little speech, pulled an engagement ring out of his pocket, and proposed! And guess what… I said yes (see third photo)!!! I was completely surprised, which made it more fun! It was such an amazing moment. We then stuck out feet in the ocean water and stared at the beautiful ocean. I love the sound of the waves, too. It was unforgettable.

We celebrated that night by having drinks at a bar called Vesuvio. It was a perfect day and night. I’m happy. 🙂

Year in Review- 2008

Well, as my avid readers know (not sure how many readers that would actually be), whenever a year ends, I like to write about the highlights and fun things I did. So, this might be a long entry. I promise I will update my life at a later time. By the way, my computer is back!

So, the year didn’t start off so well for me. I went to a step exercise class, fell, and broke a bone in my foot. I had to walk around on crutches for weeks, which is a pain in winter. Ice and snow are not fun. The bus drivers were nice enough to lower the buses for me when I was going to class. I even used a motorized wheelchair at Meijer. I felt silly. Rohit had a fun party at the beginning of the year. We played Wii, drank, and had a lot of fun. I couldn’t move around much because of my foot, but I still had fun! I got my first car ever this year! It’s a silver 2004 Honda Accord. I love it. An old lady did hit my car when I was at the foot doctor, so that wasn’t fun either. I got it fixed though, and didn’t have to pay anything since it was her fault.

For my last semester of college, I took a vegetable gardening class, a nonfiction creative writing class, an intro to poetry writing class, and a newsletter production class. My favorite games were Smash Brothers, Civilization, Uno Attack, Guitar Hero, Wii Sports, and Wii Mario Kart. I hung out with Anne and her friends a lot! We went to Brothers and Legends numerous times.

Andrea got engaged on her birthday, which was February 8th, and I went home that weekend to visit her! I was able to go to her engagement/birthday party, which was fun. At my old apartment, a tile broke above my bed and water spilled all over it. That wasn’t fun. It was such an old apartment, but I miss it a lot. I got to see a Lunar Eclipse, which was awesome!

I think I started liking tomatoes this year, and I haven’t before. Not sure how that happened.

Unofficial was crazy this year. Jim, his cousin, and Rohit came down to visit. I went to Anne’s at about 11am and did a power hour. Then, we went to Fubar and another party after that. It was definitely an all day event! My cousin, Marirose, had her bridal shower this year and her wedding in May at Virginia Beach. It was fun going on a vacation there with family. The water was too cold to swim in, though! It seems like it would be a cool place to visit in the summer. Andrea asked me to be her maid of honor for her wedding earlier this month, too!

My brother got his first broadcasting job in Laredo, Texas for the Laredo Broncos. I visited him at the end of June with my mom. I actually sang the National Anthem at one of the games. It was fun visiting him there and seeing him work. I missed him a lot this past summer. You can see the border of Mexico from Laredo!

Speaking of Mexico, my mom and I went to Ixtapa, Mexico for spring break and stayed at an all-inclusive resort. It was amazing! I even went parasailing! It was a fun and relaxing vacation. There was actually an earthquake in Champaign in April. I didn’t feel it, but I felt the aftershock at 10am the next morning. I thought that was crazy!

Eric D. and I decided near the end of the school year that we’d do things in Champaign and Urbana that we’ve never done before. We went to the English building late at night to see if there was a ghost (there wasn’t), we went to Jupiter’s, got truffles at Moonstruck, got cupcakes from Cupcakes on Walnut, got Mexican food in Urbana, and went bowling at the Union. This wasn’t all in the same day. I miss you, Eric! Come back from California soon!

As for movies, I saw Vantage Point with Eric W. That was an interesting movie. I also saw The Dark Knight, Sex and the City movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Pineapple Express, 27 Dresses, Mamma Mia, and The Secret Life of Bees. Wow, only 8 movies in one year? Crazy! I really like the show The Office. I fell in love with it this year! It’s hilarious!

I applied for a ton of jobs close to graduation. I applied for about 50 in the Chicago area and 1 in Champaign. I got the one in Champaign. So, I got my first real job and started July 8 as an assistant editor at Human Kinetics! It’s a great job. I met my friend Nicole there, too! We share an office together. I worked on two books that were published in 2008. One is Outdoor Adventures: Kayaking and International Games: Building Skills Through Multicultural Play.

I worked at the Daily Illini as a copy editor during college. After our last night, Anne and I went out to Legends and Firehaus after work. It was bittersweet! I went to Pias numerous times for karaoke with friends. It’s not as fun as White Horse, but it’s still fun with Jerry, the Outlaw!

I watched all three Lord of the Rings movies with Wes for the first time and some of Battlestar Galactica with Christina and Wes. I liked both of them. I wouldn’t mind watching Lord of the Rings again someday.

Well, I graduated! I did the small ceremony, the big ceremony, and went to the president’s house. Honestly, it was an amazingly memorable weekend. I loved having my family around supporting me and being there for an end and beginning in my life. I missed my dad and brother, though. Overall, it’s one of the top weekends.

Over the summer, I worked at Rotec for a couple of weeks (where my mom works) and went to a few Cubs games. I sat in the bleachers for the first time ever! It was awesome. And they won! The worst thing that happened this summer was that my grandma fell and broke her hip. I rode in the ambulance with her. She was in the hospital for a little while and then went to an assisted living place. She’s home now, though!

I found and rented my first apartment, which I’m still living in. It’s small, but a great size for me. I really like it. The only bad thing that happened is that two guys tried breaking in. I lived with my cousin Bob for a little while before moving in. It was fun living with him.

Christina, Wes, Andy, Chip, and Brittany visited me the weekend after my birthday. We went to Dos Reales and went to Soma. It was fun! We also went to Pias for karaoke that weekend. This summer, I also went to the Blackhawks Convention with my two uncles and mom, went to Turkey Run with Emily, and went to my cousin Matt’s party. He rented a dunk tank!

Brittany got married! I got to recite a poem with Melissa during the wedding. It was a fun reception hanging out with friends! Ray came home from Laredo that weekend and surprised me, too! 🙂

My Uncle Paul, Aunt Carol, and cousin Sydney visited me one weekend. We went minigolfing, went to Orchard Downs, played games, and hung out at my apartment. I’m so glad they visited me. 🙂

Let’s see what else I did… I looked at bunnies (fun!), went to a few awesome comedy shows, started reading the Twilight series, went to Joe’s and 88 Broadway a lot, had a Halloween party at work, went to Andrea’s bridal shower, had her bachelorette party (lazer tag, Hooters, and bowling), and did the Turkey Trot. I was able to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, too.

While writing this, I realized that 2008 was a lot better than I initially thought. A lot of good and fun things happened. Let’s hope 2009 is even better. 🙂