This past week, I had the great opportunity of going to visit one of my very best friends in Silver Spring, Maryland. It was hands down the most fun vacation I've ever been on! Mostly because I got to hang out with my friend for a week straight, but I also got to see new things I've never been able to see before!
For those of you that have never been to Maryland, it is just the cutest thing I ever did see. It's soooo green, and all the houses are in quaint little neighborhoods. The houses are adorable as well. I just loved Maryland so very much. Not to mention he didn't live far from Washington DC, so I got to see that as well!
It was seriously just so much fun. I almost didn't want to come home, I was loving it so much! I'll show you some pictures I got while I was in DC.
This is probably my favorite picture. My best friend and I in front of Lincoln?? I've only ever seen this monument in movies!!
Both of my grandfathers were in the Korean War. I visited the Korean War Memorial in their honor.
We got a private tour of the Capitol Building. The following pictures are a few things you get to see when you're inside.
The view from a balcony of the Capitol Building
I had so much fun seeing all of the sights I got to see. These pictures are only a select few out of many that I did get. My trip was mostly hanging out with my friend and his family, and I couldn't have asked for a better time. I saw things I've never seen, met great people, made new friends, and have memories to last me a lifetime now. I'm so glad I got to go on this trip.
As most of you know, I'm back home in Utah enjoying every second of it, although they're very busy seconds! Leaving Chicagoland was really hard, but it's what I needed to do and I can tell an immediate difference of happiness levels already! (Not that I wasn't happy before, I'm just happier being home!)
A lot has happened in the one month I've been home. For example, I got my job at the group home back, as well as a new job at a treatment center for troubled youth. I only had 4 days of no work. I got super lucky coming home knowing I wouldn't be out of a job. The first week I was home was spent at training for my new job! I seriously still can't believe how much I lucked out. Super grateful for that one.
I also co-adopted a new puppy, Coco. She's 11 months old and the cutest thing ever. My friends and I went to "only look" at her, and ended up taking her home. She lives with my friend and her husband, but I go visit when I can, and I help out as much as possible. (This is me trying to convince myself she's my dog too) Coco is blind and missing her right eye. Her original owners were not very good ones, and allowed an eye infection she got as a small puppy to get worse without taking her to the vet. She got Glaucoma in both eyes and her right one had to get removed because of it. Now this may sound like a sad story, but Coco is actually a very happy little puppy. She was able to adapt SO well to her disability and is the smartest little dog I've ever met. She's learning so much in her new home and she's absolutely happy and playful as can be. I honestly forget she's blind most of the time. She's such a good pup. We love her so much!
Being home and being with my family has been great! I've been helping them out so much again and it's been awesome. Although I don't think my dad was too thrilled with having to share his house again, so I am currently looking for an apartment. (Let me know if you guys see any good deals!) Other than that, seeing my family and friends has been amazing.
There are SOME cons about moving home. Like missing my Illinois family and not being able to experience the big city life of Chicago anymore. Illinois was my home. I definitely miss a lot about it. Utah was just my home first so... It won.
I've been keeping in touch with my kiddos. We Skype and talk on the phone so we don't miss each other as bad. It's been hard not seeing them literally every day. Me moving home definitely wasn't goodbye to my family out there forever though. I'll for sure be visiting Illinois very often! It's my second home! I can't wait to see it again.
Watch this clip so you'll understand what this post is about.
Marvel was eating a brownie tonight, and started eating it like Randy does in the clip. Usually I would say, "use your fork" or, "that's not good table manners" but when I saw him do it, I instantly thought of this part of the movie and cracked up. Which made him crack up as well. He thought he was hilarious, which made him laugh with a mouth full of food. I couldn't resist but to capture the moment.
Ahh, yes. The Twin Cities. I just got home from a very memorable trip. It was my 21st birthday on April 8th, and I wanted to do something big for it. I'm not interested in drinking, or bar hopping, or any of the stuff people typically do for the big 21. Me, I decided to give myself a trip. I noticed a Supercross race was happening in Minneapolis on April 13th. The weekend after my birthday, perfect! Minneapolis was just an 8 hour train ride away, so I figured I'd give that another shot. I booked my hotel room, bought my train ticket, and my Supercross ticket, and I was set.
This time around, the train was actually fun. An 8 hour trip is much better than a 37 hour one. My hotel room was a little ghetto fabulous, but I dealt with it. It's not like I was paying for a luxury suite anyways.
Now to the good stuff. Minneapolis. This may sound weird, but Minneapolis is MUCH more aesthetically pleasing than Chicago. It's quite a bit smaller, but the skyscrapers there are so unique in their architecture. I thought it was a gorgeous city.
I spent my first day at the Mall of America. Holy. Crap. I've never seen so much shopping in one place! Over 400 stores, tons of restaurants, an amusement park, and an aquaruim?! It was mind boggling! That's the most time I've ever spent in a mall.
Now for the race. Ohhh how I longed for it to be race time all day long. It was finally time for me to catch a taxi to the Metrodome. When you walk into the Metrodome, it's like a wind tunnel sucking you in! It's complete insanity walking through the doors! You feel like the wind is going to push you over. After the entertainment of that wore off, I could smell it... The smell of mix fuel in the air. One of my most favorite smells ever. I rushed to my seat. I couldn't wait for the action to start. I was an hour early. Awesome. Do you know how hard it was for me to sit there and contain my excitement? Pretty hard, but it was finally time. They brought out the top riders one by one. There were mixed opinions about each rider from the fans, booing and cheering both. Unitl one particular rider came out. Ryan Dungey. A rider from Minnesota. Everyone in that stadium instantly got on their feet and went WILD! I'd never seen anything like that. I couldn't help but smile.
After the preliminaries, and the 250 main event, the big guns were ready to come out. The top racers had all qualified, including my favorite rider. They all lined up at the gates. the 30 second sign was up, the engines were revving, the anticipation was high, then BAM! The gates go down and they all take off. After coming around the first corner, my favorite rider was in the lead for a split second, then all of the sudden 5 guys pass him. One including local rider boy.
I kept watching my guy, I wasn't necessarily interested in 1st and 2nd place at the moment. My guy was gaining on the person in front of him, so I thought maybe he could catch up. It was only the 3rd lap anyway. I also noticed someone else gaining on guys ahead of him. Our local hero dude went from 5th place to 2nd. He was gaining on 1st pretty fast too. I realized my dude wasn't going to catch up, so I started paying attention to this battle for 1st place. Dungey kept gaining on this guy more and more. It was getting super intense. Everytime Ryan would pass by any section of the stadium, the crowd would stand up. It was like a wave going on. Dungey finally has an opportunity to pass for 1st. EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. got on their feet and went INSANE. I've never seen so much fan support in my life. It was a dramatic fight for first! Ryan finally pulls out in front. Even more insanity from the crowd! Only a few laps left and 2nd place was right on Dungey's back tire. The last turn of the track comes, 2nd place nearly passes, but our good ol' local keeps it strong and makes it across the finish line! The Metrodome was raging! People were hugging, high fiving, screaming, going completely nuts! Their fellow Minnesotan just won the last race to EVER be at the Dome. It was honestly an amazing experience to witness what had happened. I wish you all could have seen it. It made the race that much better.
Taking my first little trip by myself was fun and adventurous. I learned a lot for future trips, and can't wait to do this again!
I was playing around on Facebook and found a "note" I had written on January 4, 2011. It's titled "30 Random Facts About Me" here are the facts I put down:
1) I'm in love with my name. Even though it's common, it has a special meaning to me.
2) I'm very verbal about my opinion.
3) I cheat on board games.
4) I've been taught how to play poker many times, and I still don't get it.
5) I have commitment issues.
6) I took bowling lessons when I was younger.
7) I CANNOT stand the words "retard or retarded." It makes me cringe when I hear them.
8) I'm the youngest grandchild on my Mom's side.
9) I love the 50's. I think it's the greatest era ever.
10) I broke my arm on April Fool's Day when I was in the 5th grade and no one believed me.
11) I have a phobia of spontaneous loud noises.
12) I can make myself gleek. It's pretty gross, I know, but most people find it amusing.
13) I've never been pulled over.
14) I find myself watching cartoons more than shows more appropriate for my age.
15) My best friend lives in California.
16) I hate sticking to the same routine week after week. SOMETHING has to be different or I'll go insane.
17) I have seven piercings and one tattoo.
18) I quote the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland on a daily basis. (It's my fav movie)
19) I think romantic crap is dumb. I honestly do not like it.
21) I'm just fine with buying condoms or pregnancy tests for my friends, but when I have to buy girly products for myself, I'm mortified.
22) I NEVER make eye contact with people in public, but I do when I'm having a conversation with someone.
23) I don't believe in karma.
24) I want to learn to speak Hebrew.
25) I'm a girl with a sweet tooth for revenge.
26) I wish cell phones were never invented.
27) I've never had a boyfriend. (pathetic! haha)
28) Sleeping is probably my favorite past time. I sleep too much for my own good.
29) I already have my wedding planned, even though I never want to get married.
30) I'm constantly seeking new adventures. I get bored with life pretty easily
A few things have changed. Like numbers 13, 15, 16, 17, 24, 25, 27, and 30.
13) I've been pulled over twice and got one ticket
15) I'm still friends with said person in California, but my best friends are all in Utah and always have been.
16) I grew up. I realize LIFE is a routine and you can't run away from that.
17) I now have more piercings and tattoos.
24) Although learning a new language would be neat, I don't think Hebrew would be my first choice any longer.
25) I've learned to LET GO. Doing wrong to someone who has done wrong to you, doesn't solve one single problem.
27) I finally tried the relationship thing.... Not a fan. I'm the worst girlfriend in the history of ever. 30) I still seek new adventures, but I no longer get bored with life so easily. I love my life and think its quite exciting.
It was interesting to see how I've changed. I've grown up a little bit. Emphasis on the little. I have more maturing to do, but I'll get there someday.
Around this time last year, I was on the search for a job. After having two jobs at the same time, quitting one to focus on the other, only to later lose that job, I found myself feeling empty. Like I was at a dead end with my life in Utah. I felt stuck. I felt like I was going nowhere. I wanted out. That's when I made the decision to be a live-in nanny out of state.
I applied to many different nanny jobs online for different places around the country. California, Massachusetts, Florida, but heard back from none of them. I started applying for nanny jobs in Utah thinking I was never going to get out, that I was going to be stuck. I ended up landing an interview. After the interview I thought things went great and found out that the choice was between me and another girl. Right after the interview, I get a call from a nanny agency telling me they'd be interested in representing me and helping me find a job. I was ecstatic! The instant I got home I started filling out my application. I got a call from the lady I had an interview with earlier that day, telling me they chose the other girl. I was kind of relieved because I was so excited that I had been contacted by this agency.
The acceptance rate among nannies for this agency was low. The acceptance program was long and grueling. But finally, I was in. I was being represented! The agency said they'd start looking at the families and find some good matches for me. About a week later, I get a call from the family I had an interview with earlier. The girl they chose over me had already quit. They asked me if I could come work for them. I told them I would, but it would have to be temporary. They understood and that's how I got a live-out nanny job for a family with 3 girls that I absolutely adored.
I was starting to get attached to those girls. They were so much fun! When I found out I was getting hired by the family I work for now, I was excited, but sad at the same time. It was hard saying goodbye to the family I worked for in Utah, but I was so happy to be moving and starting a new life.
Looking back, I am SO glad I made the decision to leave Utah. It has made me appreciate so much more the life I had there. It made me realize the love I do have for my home state. I've learned to ignore the people and just worry about myself. Moving has made me very, very independent. I'm not afraid to do things on my own, or be by myself. Experiencing the city life has also helped me not be so naive to the world around me. Everything about this move has been a positive change in my life.
With all that being said, I think this adventure is soon coming to an end. I miss my home, I miss my family. I'm ready to move on with my life.
I'm proud of myself for going out and getting what I wanted. It's changed my attitude and how I view my life. I'm not concerned about my past, I'm not concerned about my future. I'm living in the moment, and loving my life.
Today, I realized I haven't taken my Beating Epilepsy band off in almost 2 years.
Remember little Cole? That little boy changed my life so much, that I love to look down at my wrist, and be reminded of him daily.
When I look at this band, I think of the amazing Summer I spent doing fundraisers, and getting to know this little boy and his family. It reminds me to know how blessed I am. It reminds me to be a better person. It reminds me to be strong no matter what. It seems insignificant to people who don't know what it is, but to me, it's important I keep it on as long as possible. I changed that year and like to think I became a better person all because of a little boy and his family.
I'm SUCH a nerd that every time I see the Acura logo on a car...
I think of Star Trek...
Come on now though, it's pretty similar, I just actually noticed it. See, I'm a nerd!
Anyways, I was talking to Marvel a couple days ago about how I always tease him by giving him kisses on the cheeks. He loves it! He started laughing and proceed to say, "You have 100 boyfriends and I'm one of them! When I'm 18, we're going to get married!" I cracked up! What a little stud! That young man is going to be such a lady killer when he gets older because let me tell you, he has the moves already.
But anyhow, it seems that I'm in a 14 year betrothal. I have plenty of time to plan my wedding. Marvel seems to think a superhero theme will suffice. ;] Hah, the things kids come up with, am I right? They never cease to entertain.
Ohhhh my life. It's pretty dull nowadays. Now that it's FREEZING cold outside, I don't like to leave the house much. I get pretty bored hanging out by myself most of the time.
I've been trying to think of ways to occupy my time after work and on my days off. Now that school isn't an option at the moment, I thought maybe I'd take up some hobbies. My gosh, it's hard to think of things I like to do.
I looked into singing lessons because that's the hobby I'm most passionate about, but being I'm in Chicagoland, all possible teachers seem to be broadway experts and cost waaaayyy too much money. That's a no go!
So what to do now? I can't do the things I did in Utah. Camping, hiking, fishing, family, friends, none of that is here! I have no idea what else I can do to get me out of the house. I've entertained the thought of volunteering at an animal shelter, but I'm worried it'll make me miss my dog even more, (if that's even possible) or I'll end up falling in love with a dog there that I can't have. Maybe I should shoot for a second job? I just don't know! I'm out of ideas here. Anybody have suggestions?
I don't really have the type of friends out here that I'm comfortable with just calling up spur of the moment and going to do something. Yes, I hang out with people, but it's planned in advance. So don't worry, I do have a social life, just not a busy one.
I've also still been running, it's just on hold for a little while until I can get a new gym pass. Only doing one thing with my time can be annoying though. Yes, exercising daily is a good thing, but I want to do something else for a change too!
So as you can see, my life is a little dull. I'm ALREADY looking forward to my trip back to Utah. (46 more days!) I'm just at a loss on what to do with my time. Kinda sad when I can't think of things I enjoy doing, huh! So like I said, if anybody has any suggestions, you let me know!