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 622: Maggie’s Graduation

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 622: Maggie's Graduation

Maggie (Scott’s cousin), graduated college! Yay, Maggie!!! There she is about to receive her diploma. I got some good shots of her. The whole arena was packed; it was really hard to find her at first! But, we eventually spotted her in the big crowd and saw her graduate. I got a pretty awesome photo of her going back to her seat. Here you go!

Day 622: Maggie's Graduation

I like how everyone is blurry behind her! It turned out to be a beautiful day and we got some more nice photos outside, too. Graduating college is a big accomplishment; you should be very proud of yourself, Maggie! Welcome to the real world! Here are a few more family photos taken after the ceremony.

Day 622: Maggie's Graduation

Day 622: Maggie's Graduation

Maggie had her graduation party a few hours after the graduation. It was really nice! We spent most of our time outside since it was a beautiful day and we ate lots of great food. So many friends and family were there for her; it was great. She opened some presents later in the evening and Doug definitely got her some interesting and silly gifts! Good times. Congrats again, Maggie!

Yikes, yeah, I’m behind. Maggie graduated in May and now it’s almost the end of June. I have more catching up to do!

Day 541: Close-Up (Challenge Day 26)

Rachel, Day by Day

30 Day Photography Challenge: Day 26

Happy Saturday!! I had a great day. I went to my cousins’ Hannah and Sydney’s 8th grade graduation party. I can’t believe how fast they are growing! My cousin Kim had these M&Ms made for them; these are their faces and the other side they say something like Congrats! These are so cute! And it counts as my close-up photo. Hannah is on the left and Sydney is on the right. I had a hard time eating them at first since their faces are right on them, but how can you not eat M&Ms? These would be a cute wedding favor, too, but I’m not sure how I’d feel about seeing my face on an M&M. I’d probably be weirded out! This is a creative idea, though.

In the morning, I played tennis with Scott, Ray, and one of his friends from high school. We had a good time! It felt good to play since it’s been a while. We switched partners a lot, which made it more fun and interesting. There were 4 older men playing on the court next to us. I hope to still be playing tennis as I get older. I love that it’s a sport you can play your whole life!

Hannah and Sydney’s graduation party was a lot of fun! It was good seeing family I haven’t seen in a while. We sat on a nice deck in the backyard and enjoyed the weather. I played a washer game with Scott that looked like the bags game. The board was smaller and instead of throwing the bags, you use washers. It was difficult, but fun! He beat me. Good job, Scott. I still can’t believe my beautiful little cousins are going into high school in the fall. It feels like yesterday when I was holding them in my arms and watching them try to walk as little 1-year-olds. Time keeps flying by so quickly and I get emotional sometimes just thinking about it. They are growing up to be wonderful girls and I know they’ll do great things in the future. I will be a wreck when they graduate college and get married. I’m not ready to think about that yet!

Day 195: Office Things

Rachel, Day by Day

Here’s a photo of some random things in my office! In the bottom left, you’ll see a notepad; it’s probably full of work-related notes that you won’t care about. On your left is a Hawaii postcard from Anne! She went to Hawaii a while ago for a wedding and was kind enough to send up postcards. In the middle is a photo of me, Melissa, and Christina the day before we graduated college. We are throwing our caps in the air. That day was fun; we went around to random places on campus in our caps and gowns and took photos. It was a good idea since the campus was packed the next day! On the right is a calendar picture of a bunny and cat that look alike. My boss gave it to me off of her calendar; she made the dialogue bubbles, too. The bunny says, “Can I come?” and the cat says “Good luck with the move!” She gave that to me the day before I moved into my apartment, plus she knows I like bunnies. Fun times!

I visited Scott yesterday (sorry, I should have posted this yesterday)! We ate dinner, watched Glee, and hung out. It was a better episode of Glee; both Rachel and Finn were acting crazy as usual. I was surprised Sue Sylvester didn’t make an appearance. It’s getting better, though!

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. 🙂

Blackhawks Convention

This past weekend, I drove up for the Blackhawks Convention. I went with my Uncle John and mom. My Uncle Paul came during the day on Saturday. I drove right after work to Elmhurst, took a train to Chicago, and took a cab to the hotel. Andrea was nice enough to drive me to the train station! I was pretty tired by the time I got to the hotel. We stayed at the Hilton on Michigan Avenue, which is a really nice/fancy hotel. I took lots of pictures! When I got there, the three of us got something to eat since it was almost 10pm and I hadn’t eaten since noon. We went to the bar and restaurant in the hotel called Kitty O’Sheas. It was a pretty cool bar. They were playing Irish music. Then, we walked a little bit down Michigan Ave., and then went back to the room. I was really tired and it was nice having air conditioning in our room!

On Saturday, I got up and was planning on getting Patrick Kane’s autograph. I got down there around 9 or 9:30 since he was signing autographs at 10. Well, I stayed in line for hours and never got his autograph while my mom and uncles were in another line. The amount of people there was insane! I felt like I was in line all day! We ate lunch and then got back in line around 3 to get Bobby Hull’s autograph at 6pm. He was a great hockey player from the 60s. My mom kept calling him the Michael Jordan of hockey. He was signing until 7pm. Well, it was 7 and we were all about 5 people away from his autograph. He was nice enough to keep signing after 7. So, I at least got one person’s autograph! I was mainly happy for my mom. She loves him and was so happy after he signed her jersey (sweater). After that, my two uncles, mom, and I got a drink at the bar. My Uncle Paul left and I walked around Chicago with my Uncle John. We walked to a park across the street where there was a Chicago Summer Dance going on. People were doing the waltz. I asked my uncle to try it with me, but he wouldn’t. We walked to Buckingham Fountain, hung out, and bought glow stick necklaces. It was fun! Then, we ate some dinner and hung out in the hotel with my mom.

On Sunday, I walked around the rest of the convention since I felt like I missed everything from waiting in line all day. There was a room full of interactive hockey games and a gift shop. I didn’t try anything since there were mostly kids around, but it looked cool. I got my picture taken with Eric Daze. We then went to a session where some players and people talked about how equipment has changed over the years. They started talking about the cups that they guys wear. It was interesting to say the least.

After that session, we drove home and ate lunch with my grandparents and Uncle Pat. My grandma is going to leave the Rehab Center this week! I’m excited for her. I then went to Renee’s graduation party for a bit. I didn’t stay long, but it was fun talking to her, Anne, and Ted. I have to see Batman now since it seems like everyone in the world has seen it but me. Even people at work were talking about it. So, hopefully I’ll do that soon. After her party, I said goodbye to mom and drove back to Champaign. It is very humid here. Blah.

I honestly cannot wait until I move into my new apartment with a window air conditioner. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in a while. It makes me crabby sometimes.

So, would I rather feel really hot or really cold? Right now, I’d say cold. I don’t know how I’ll be able to stand living in my apartment for another three weeks. I especially like being cold at night so I can cuddle under the blankets and with my stuffed animals! I’ve been way too tired lately because of feeling too hot. In general though, I like being right in the middle.

I’m getting used to being by myself. This is the longest I’ve lived by myself probably ever in my life. It was nice at first, but I’m not so sure anymore. Maybe I’ll be better when I get out of this apartment!

Would you rather love and not be loved back or be loved but never love?

Well, goodnight everyone!