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!

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Day 672: Year in Review

Rachel, Day by Day

The best day of my year! Our wedding day on April 27, 2013.

The best day of my year! Our wedding day on April 27, 2013.

This year has been utterly amazing. I’m having a hard time putting it into words. These past 365 days have been full of so much love and happiness and I am grateful for every moment. Scott and I have so much to be thankful for; we have wonderful friends and family that have been with us this year and our whole lives.

We did so many things this year and saw some cool places. Instead of writing a paragraph about every single thing, I decided to just make one giant list and put some photos in between some text. When I went through this list, I was in shock. We did all this in one year??  It’s been an amazing journey!

My Year in Review: 2013

  • Last New Years Eve: Went out to dinner for Uncle John’s birthday and then to Christina’s party.
  • Brendan and Anne visited in January.
  • Trip to Springfield in February with Scott (see photo).

Day 672: Year in Review

  • Double dates with Anne and Drew.
  • Scott’s grandparent’s 65th anniversary party.
  • Bridal Shower with Scott’s family and friends in Bloomington (February).
  • Bridal Shower with my family and friends at Brio Tuscan Grill in Lombard.
  • Caroline Lou (my new cousin) born on February 14.
  • St. Patrick’s Day parades in Elmhurst and Normal.
  • Myles Thomas (my new cousin) born on March 12.
  • Shopping day with Sydney at Woodfield and went to Red Robin for dinner.
  • Easter weekend: Made bunny cakes, had a scavenger hunt, and dyed eggs (see photo).

Day 672: Year in Review

  • Bachelorette party in Champaign (hung out at Kate’s, went to Boltini and C Street).
  • Bachelorette party in Naperville (got our nails done, had dinner, danced and drank at BlackFinn).
  • Went to Rosie’s with Granny, Maggie, Ashley, Barb, and Stacie to celebrate!
  • Rehearsal and dinner for our wedding at Maggiano’s.
  • Our wedding on April 27, 2013 (see photo). (This bullet point deserves to be in bold!)

Day 620: Wedding

  • Vacation: Our honeymoon at Excellence Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (see photo).

Day 621: Honeymoon

  • Maggie’s graduation and party.
  • Saw West Side Story musical in Peoria with Scott.
  • Went to Arlington Racetrack with family friends and won a little money!
  • Vacation: Miami Beach in June with Melissa, Brittany, and Christina (see photo).

Day 628: Miami Beach

  • Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on June 24! We watched it at Esquire with Steve and Jillian!
  • Scott’s birthday party in our man cave with friends and family.
  • My mom, my grandpa, Ray, and Uncle John visited July 4th weekend!
  • Vacation: Went to St. Paul, Minnesota with my mom and Ray for John’s wedding. We went to Mall of America, too (see photo)!

Day 632: Minnesota

  • Christina visited me in Normal. We went out to dinner, mini golfed, and rode bumper boats.
  • Went to Shakespeare Festival with Scott in August. We had a picnic and saw Comedy of Errors!
  • Blackhawks Convention in Chicago. I met Andrew Shaw and saw the Stanley Cup (see photo)!

Day 635: Blackhawks Convention

  • Went to County Fair with Scott’s family. I got to hold a rabbit!
  • Fancy happy hour at Boltini when Anne moved away (see photo). 😦

Day 640: Fancy Happy Hour

  • Went to Cubs vs. Cardinals game with Scott and Jeremie at Busch Stadium. Cubs lost. 😦
  • Vacation: Went to Wisconsin Dells in August with my mom, Ray, Grandpa, Uncle John, and Scott (see photo)!

Day 644: Wisconsin Dells

  • Vacation: Went to Milwaukee in September with Brendan, Anne, Graham, and Kate (see photo)!

Day 645: Milwaukee

  • Celebrated my grandpa’s 86th birthday in September at my mom’s house.
  • I started my Double Takes project in September. I’m loving it so far!
  • I saw a meteor on my way to work on September 26!
  • Went to Becky (Scott’s cousin) and Angie’s wedding (see photo).

Day 672: Year in Review

  • Melissa and Larry visited us in town! I now love Settlers of Catan.
  • Golfed 9 holes for Ray’s birthday and went to Emilio’s for dinner with family (see photo).

Day 672: Year in Review

  • Halloween: Scott and I dressed up as Mario and Luigi and went out with Liz, Jillian, Graham, and Kate. Graham performed at the bar (see photo)!

Day 672: Year in Review

  • Carved pumpkins with Scott’s family!
  • Went to Alli and Jake’s wedding.
  • Scott and I stopped in Dublin, Ireland on our way to Paris.
  • Vacation: Scott and I went to Paris, France and spent time with Renée and Chris (see photo)!

Day 663: Paris Day 2

  • Went shopping with Melissa, Christina, and Melissa and ate at Mago Grill.
  • Spent Christmas Eve with my family.
  • Spent Christmas day with Scott’s family.
  • Got to see my friend Kim at her baby shower. My friend Andrea is pregnant, too!
  • I fell in love with Tom Hiddleston this year.
  • New Years Eve… stay tuned!

As I mentioned earlier, this year was incredible and one of the best in my life. There have been so many awesome changes in my life this year; I’m not sure if I want 2013 to end! I can’t believe I went on six vacations in one year! Scott and I did so many fun things by ourselves and with family and friends. Thank you all for an outstanding 2013 and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2014!

Day 596: Year in Review

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 596: Year in Review

I don’t think I ever shared this photo (I took it near the beginning of the year). I thought it was cute!

Well, 2012 is almost over. It’s time to write all of the highlights in my life this year! Well, for this year in general, it seemed like a lot of bad and good things happened. It was a good year for gay marriage (woo!), Obama won re-election, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes broke up (I don’t really care about that, though), Kate Middleton is pregnant, Draw Something and Pinterest became really popular, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen was a popular song, and the Olympics in London were awesome.

As for some not so great things, there has been no hockey season so far, too many violent things happened like the Colorado theater shooting and the Newtown Connecticut shooting, and Hurricane Sandy. But, I don’t want to talk about bad things right now.

I saw many movies this year, including Dark Knight Rises, Avengers, Men in Black 3, Beauty and the Beast (in the theater!), Brave, Lincoln, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Vow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Argo, Taken 2, and The Artist. Out of all of these, I think Dark Knight Rises, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Argo, and The Artist were my favorites. You should check them out if you haven’t!

As for shows, I was into Revenge, New Girl, Amazing Race, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Cougartown, and Chopped. I think HIMYM might be the favorite of the year. I also got into the band Mumford & Sons and Fun. And, yes, I do actually like Gangnam Style by Psy!

Alright, so let’s start at the beginning of 2012. I rang in the new year at Christina’s house and went out to dinner earlier in the day for my Uncle John’s birthday. Both were lots of fun! I also spent the night at Mel and Larry’s and we ate yummy pancakes the next morning. Good times!

I started the Color Challenge early on in the year (click here for the first day and click here to read more about the challenge). I actually came up with that on my own and had fun with it. If you are a regular reader, you know what I’m talking about. 😉

My friend Nicole had a baby in February! Her name is Eleanor (and I just saw her a day or two ago). She is so cute and I hope I get to see her more. Andrea had a baby in September named Jacob! He’s a cutie, too. I can’t believe my friends are having babies!!

We celebrated Scott’s mom’s birthday early in the year at the casino in Peoria and at the Burger Barge. We did the same for Stacie’s birthday in August, too, and both places are A LOT of fun. I hope we go back soon!

On a not so great note, I found out this year that I have asthma. I tend to notice it around dogs or cats, so it’s ok most of the time. I can handle it!

Let’s see… I had some fun movie nights with Mickey, went to a fun wine bar with my mom, went out with Anne Shea a lot when I lived in Champaign, enjoyed dinners with Stacie and Maggie, played lots of tennis in the spring and summer, had fun getting pedicures and manicures with Anne, enjoyed dinners with Zach, had many guitar lessons, had a nice Valentine’s Day with Scott at Biaggi’s, loved good times at the Essig’s house, saw Venus, and had a great time playing some softball over the summer with the Human Kinetics folks. Those are some quick highlights since I’m typing a lot!

We had lots of fancy and regular happy hours with my Champaign friends throughout the year. The fancy ones at Radio Maria and Destihl were awesome. Another memorable time was when Kate, Anne, and I went to Boltini and got our palms read! Good times.

I went to Christina’s birthday party back in February at Mel’s house. We also went to Flat Top Grill. I miss hanging out with those people! Then the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Elmhurst the next month was a good time. Mel and Larry visited us in Normal near the beginning of the year, too!

We went on a big trip this year to Gulf Shores, Alabama! We spent lots of time at the beach, stayed in an awesome condo, ate great food with great company, spent time on the enormous balcony, went to the Battleship Memorial in Mobile, Alabama, shopped in Fairhope, had a shrimp boil, and basically had an AWESOME time! Here’s a photo from Gulf Shores:

Day 596: Year in Review

Let’s see… what else? I made a scavenger hunt for my family on Easter, hung out with Christina in Champaign one weekend, went to Drury Lane for brunch on Mother’s Day, spent the day at Arlington Racetrack, went to Hannah and Sydney’s (my cousins) 8th grade graduation party, went to the Taste of CU, celebrated Scott’s birthday at Alexander’s, went to a carnival in Normal, went to Stacie’s awesome 30th birthday celebration, went to the Shakespeare Festival with Anne and Brendan, went to the Mackinaw Valley Winery with Scott, and went to Bruegala Beer Festival. Woo!

Mel, Christina, and Brittany visited me over the summer. We had a great night at Boltini, spent time at the pool, and hung out. It was awesome! I hope we get to do that again soon. My Aunt Carol, Sydney, and my mom visited me in Champaign, too! We hung out, mini golfed, got ice cream, and ate some good food. I love having visitors! I got to see Sydney in a few musicals this year: Aladdin and Sound of Music. She was great in both of them!

My family and I visited my Uncle John in Michigan! We saw many beautiful waterfalls and parks. The parade was fun and the Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise was awesome! We saw fourth of July fireworks on a boat on the lake, which was cool. We also went to a casino and mini golfed. Good times! Here’s a photo from Michigan:

Day 596: Year in Review

I went to the Blackhawks Convention with my family! I met Jonathan Toews again with my cousin Sydney, which was probably the highlight of the weekend. She was SO excited! We went to a wonderful meal at RL (Ralph Lauren’s restaurant) that weekend, too. We also visited Buckingham Fountain and danced in Grant Park. For my birthday, some friends and I went to Boltini, Cream and Flutter, and Destihl for a drink. Good times! Here’s a photo of Sydney and Jonathan Toews:

Day 596: Year in Review

I guess the biggest thing that happened this year was that I moved in with Scott. I now live with a boy! Weird. It’s been awesome, though. 🙂

Want to hear more? Well, Scott got his wisdom teeth pulled, which was an adventure. It was funny seeing him try to eat yogurt. We had a Labor Day cookout with my family, celebrated my grandpa’s 85th birthday at The Clubhouse, went to the Apple and Pork Festival, carved pumpkins with Scott’s family and threw a Halloween party at our house with work friends (and went on a haunted trail!), saw Mary Poppins in Peoria, and saw Singing in the Rain at Drury Lane.

I’m almost done! Scott and I saw the documentary Man on Wire at the Art Theater and got to meet Philippe Petit! It was awesome; Scott was so excited. We had a great Thanksgiving with Scott’s family and even did a scavenger hunt! The Turkey Trot was fun, too.

It was great seeing my family on Christmas Eve; we ate Cuban food, sang, opened presents, and played Cuban Bingo. Christmas Day was great, too; we saw most of Scott’s family, exchanged presents, ate a lot, played Minute to Win It games, and had a White Elephant exchange. Good times!

I just went to Brookfield Zoo recently with Uncle John and Scott. I haven’t been there in a couple of years, so that was great! And I plan on ringing in the new year by having dinner with my family and then going to Christina’s house. Woo!

This year was truly a great one. I got to spend time with some awesome people in amazing places. Yes, I know I just typed up a lot and some of you might not take the time to read all of this, but I like looking back on everything I’ve done in a year. To my friends, family, and Scott, you are all such wonderful people and I don’t know what I would do without you. Here’s to a great 2013!

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 275: Cake

Rachel, Day by Day

I made a funfetti cake for my Uncle John! It was his 50th birthday on the 31st. I do love funfetti cakes and so does he, so it works out! Sorry, I left the plastic wrap on the cake; I should have taken it off for the photo. I think this turned out well, though! I like the sprinkles on top, too. They make it look pretty. I wrote in the letters, too; do they look professional? Haha, probably not. My mom did have to write in the HN! because my hands were shaking and I couldn’t do it anymore! Well, I think it turned out well! Yay funfetti cakes!

I had a great New Years Eve with my family! We went to The Clubhouse restaurant and it was delicious. I tried a flirtini, too, and that tasted great! It had raspberry, cranberry, and pineapple in it. I should try making it sometime. We then hung out at my mom’s house and played games. I’m glad my family likes to play games. My mom and I tried pomegranate lemon drop martinis, but they weren’t that great. So, we make margaritas instead! Those were good. I’m glad I got to spend the new year with my family. Fun times!

So, I usually like to recap my year around this time, and I’ll do that for you now! I know you are wondering, “What was 2010 like for Rachel?” Well, I will tell you shortly.

Let’s see… where should I start? I did more than I thought in 2010. I’m not sure why, but I had a lot of celebrity dreams this year, including Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper, Robert Downey Jr., Molly Shannon and Gerard Butler. I was dating most of them too, well not Molly Shannon. She was giving a speech somewhere. Anyway, I wonder what that means.

I went to two states this year: Utah and Michigan. My niece got married in June in Salt Lake City, so my mom, brother, and I went out there. It was great seeing my sisters again and I’m glad we went! We also went to Escanaba, Michigan with my grandpa and Uncle John. We went to the Beach Boys concert, too! It was pretty good and John Stamos was there! It was a very mellow concert compared to other concerts I’ve been to. Not many people stood up or anything, but it was fun to sing along. Good times!

I went to four weddings this year! Kim and Luke got married in May, my niece Sonya and her now husband Hunter got married in June (I wrote about it above), my cousin Bob and Libby got married in July, and Nicole and Tommy got married in October. I’m happy for all of them! Their weddings were very nice, too. Kim’s was at her church in Elmhurst. I used to go there for youth group with her when I was younger! Bob and Libby had the ceremony at a garden and the reception was at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. It was pretty cool! Nicole and Tommy got married at Starved Rock; that place is gorgeous! I want to go back and walk around on some trails.

I bought a Wii this year! That was a bigger purchase for me this year. I’m happy I bought it, though. I don’t play it that much, but I do play it when people come over! I also bought a couch for my new apartment; it’s really nice! It’s green and is that microfiber material. Those are the most expensive things I bought this year.

Speaking of apartments, I moved to a better one this year! It’s bigger, has central air and heat, and has a community pool. I love it! I can’t wait until next year when I can use the pool again!

I audition for Glee and American Idol this year. I didn’t make either of them, but it was a fun experience! Here are the videos if you still want to watch them:
Glee: http://www.myspace.com/gleeauditions?link=530770927
American Idol: http://www.myspace.com/americanidol?link=530770927

I would have to say my favorite shows of the year are Modern Family, Glee, The Office, and Amazing Race. Here’s a list of movies I saw in the theater this year: Inception, Back to the Future (at an older theater in town), Letters to Juliet, Toy Story 3, Lovely Bones, Legion, Valentine’s Day (do not see this), Iron Man 2, Sex and the City 2, Harry Potter, Easy A, The Other Guys, Scot Pilgrim, and Morning Glory.

My friend, Rohit, had a pretty awesome party this past summer. He rented a trolley and we rode around Chicago stopping at some bars. I liked riding on the trolley; it was fun! We drank and danced around on a trolley. How many people can say they’ve done that? I threw a party for the first time this year at my new apartment. I made some appetizers and ordered pizza. We also played Rock Band and a drinking game. It was a good time! I would definitely throw another party. On Mother’s Day, my mom and I got massages and pedicures. We then went to a Mexican restaurant and drank margaritas. It was fun spending time with my mom and getting pampered!

I finally made it to Taste of Chicago this year and I’ve never been to it before! It was a cool experience. I don’t think I ate much there, but it was fun to just walk around and see everything. It was really crowded, too! I also went to a Cubs game this year and sat in the bleachers. I went with Ray, Soleman, and Anne D. The bleachers are very interesting; there are always lots of people around! It was fun, except for the fact that the Cubs lost. I recently spent a day with Scott in Chicago, too! We walked around a lot and went to the top of Sears Tower. I love Chicago!!

I started taking guitar lessons this year. I’m not really that good, but it takes a while to learn! I’ll keep practicing, though. My cousin, Sydney, was in Beauty and the Beast, the musical, at her school. She was a townswoman and a napkin. It was a good play! She’s a good dancer and singer, too. She had a small solo! Yay, Syd!

I guess I’ll mention the sad parts of 2010. My Uncle Pat died at the end of July, and it was sudden. We were really close, so it’s been a tough time. I don’t think I’ve really accepted it yet. My mom also had hip surgery since she was in a lot of pain before. She is a lot better, though! It was just rough seeing her go through that pain.

I had some visitors this year! Christina and Melissa visited me for a night. We went to Za’s a lot, went out to downtown Champaign, minigolfed, and swam in a pool. It was great spending time with them; it felt like college again! Uncle Paul, Aunt Carol, Sydney, Ray, my mom, Uncle John, and Grandpa visited me, too. Guess what we did? Minigolfed! I guess I do that a lot. It’s fun, though! We played games and hung out. I was happy they visited. 🙂

I tailgated with my brother and his friends before the SIU vs. U of I football game. I was the only U of I fan at the tailgate since they all went to SIU, but that’s ok! We basically drank and played bags all day. We also grilled some hot dogs and burgers, too. It was a fun day, especially since U of I won!! I started dating Scott this year, and it’s been great! We met up again at this tailgate. I’m happy. We’ve done a lot these past few months! We’ve been to a lot of nice restaurants, walked around a very confusing corn maze, went to the SIU vs. U of I basketball game with family (U of I won again), and lots more!

Halloween weekend was fun! We went out with work people to a martini bar in our costumes. Scott was Waldo and I was Lady Gaga. I wore my costume to work, too. It was probably one of the best costumes I’ve ever had! Good times.

Well, as you can see, I did a lot this year. Those are the good times of 2010. Let’s hope for a great 2011!!

Looking Back on 2009

Looking back on 2009

+ did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?: Probably not.  I don’t actually make resolutions, though.  Maybe I’ll try to eat healthier this year.

+ did anyone close to you give birth?: Yes, my friend Bre had a beautiful baby girl, and my cousins Gary and Aimee had a beautiful baby girl, too!

+ did anyone close to you die?: Yes.  My grandma

+ what places did you visit?: I went on two road trips.  On the first one, we went through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California!  On the second one, we went through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois.  Both were amazing road trips!

+ what would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?: More time with family and friends, and more time to read and work on projects of mine

+ what date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory?: Maybe July 19.  That’s when I left for our fun road trip to California!

+ what was your biggest achievement of the year?: Working on a few books at work as a developmental editor and an assistant editor

+ what was your biggest failure?: Not reading enough for fun!  And not keeping in touch or seeing friends enough!

+ did you suffer illness or injury?: I was achy after the car accident I got in and my thumb turned red, but nothing serious happened.

+ what was the best thing you bought?: My 32 inch HDTV!!

+ where did most of your money go?: It probably mostly went to my landlord, Comcast, and Target.

+ what did you get really, really, really excited about?: My two road trips and playing with Lawna, the bunny

+ what song[s] will always remind you of 2009?: Haven’t Met You Yet by Michael Buble

+ compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter, just a bit
iii. richer or poorer? Not sure.  Around the same

+ what do you wish you’d done more of: I wish I read more and bothered people about visiting me more!!

+ what do you wish you’d done less of?: I wish I worried less and stopped stressing out. I think too much about things, too. I need to stop that.

+ how will you be spending the holidays?: My dad’s side of my family came over to our house on Christmas Eve and my grandpa and uncles came over on Christmas day.  I got to spend a week up north, too!

+ how will you be spending new years?: At Christina and Wes’ new house!

+ what was your favorite TV program?: The Office, Amazing Race, and Glee

+ do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?:  Not that I can think of

+ do you like anyone now that you hated this time last year?: Nope

+ what was the best book you read?: Maybe the last Twilight book in the series

+ what was your greatest musical discovery?: Definitely Michael Buble!

+ what did you want and get?: Lots of great things!

+ what did you want and not get?: I don’t know

+ what was your favorite film of this year?: Maybe Julie and Julia

+ what did you do on your birthday?: I played softball and then a girl from work and I went out for ice cream!

+ what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?: Seeing friends and family more often

+ how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?: It could be better.  I want new clothes but don’t want to spend the money!

+ what kept you sane?: My friends and my family

+ which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?: Michael Buble, Hugh Jackman, and Gerard Butler

+ what political issue stirred you the most?: I don’t know.  I’m not really into politics, but I like Obama.

+ whom did you miss?: My grandma, my dad, and my family and friends when I’m in Champaign

+ who was the best new person you met?: Dena and Liz

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. 🙂