Birthday week  

Posted by Rachel

I decided to celebrate my birthday for a whole week this year. Well I guess I didn't really "decide" so much as it just happened.

Starting on Sunday the 7th in Laguna Beach, CA, I got to hang out with my cousins Sean and Tyson, as well as Erin, Megan, Jess and Matt. We played beach volleyball and then ate dinner at Mosun Sushi, the best sushi place ever. Then in celebration of Matt and I's birthdays (on the same day), we went to BJs for a pizookie platter. Yum!

Fast forward to my actual birthday on Wednesday the 10th... I went on a walk with the roommates to start the day and they said they were going to cook me breakfast after that. Well when we got done with our walk and came home, Dustin and Nick were sitting on the couch and breakfast was in the oven. Surprise!

Next up...the flowers that showed up on my desk when I was away for a minute, and then Lauren and Erin Welch surprising me by dropping by my desk with a present, including yummy baked goodness... Both made my birthday fin and exciting. And lunch out with Bek!

That evening, Bekah, Ryan, Nick and I headed to Eustis for family dinner in honor of my birthday and our cousin Zac's too.

Friday night was birthday date night at Seasons 52, another lovely surprise, followed by a drop in at Cara's surprise party.

Saturday, I spent the morning/early afternoon at Animal Kingdom w/ friends and then went home to get ready for the play that my roommates and I were going to with Jaclyn that night. At the last minute, Jaclyn needed a ride b/c her car broke down, so we went to pick her up only to find 25 of my closest friends hiding in her living room waiting to yell surprise. There was never a play and Jaclyn's car was just fine, I just have a great boyfriend and friends that planned a fun surprise "breakfast for dinner" party for me that make me feel so loved and appreciated.

And that isn't all! Sunday I flew to Dallas and got to spend time with Emily, Lauren, Ben, Andy and Jamin in the afternoon followed by another sushi birthday dinner with Tim, Crystal, Jess, Lauren and Emily - complete with fun presents from the Maxi and all!

I am one blessed girl. What a great week!

- Posted using BlogPress on my phone


Posted by Rachel

My birthday was on Wednesday. I’m now officially a quarter of a century… I know, a baby to most of you. In titling this post, I realized I disagree with how we talk about birthdays. At this point, I have actually already lived 25 years. When I turned ONE, I had been alive for one year, so in turning 25, I have already been alive for 25 years. Whatever, that isn’t how we seem to talk about things, so I guess this is a reflection of my “24th year.” At breakfast the morning of my birthday, my roommate Jillian asked me about the highlights of my 24th year, and though it was kind of a tough question, I enjoyed the reflection, so I thought I’d fill you in.

My favorite moments of my 24th year…

  • Ben and Emily’s wedding in Texas – March 2009
  • Dallas with the Orlando roommates to visit Crystal and Tim – May 2009 (good trip…lots of “learning about me” involved)
  • Chicago trip for Steve’s graduation – May 2009
  • Lauren visiting me in Orlando! – May 2009
  • The year of the broken septic tank in North Carolina – July 2009
  • Cake decorating classes – Spring/Summer 2009
  • West coast trip with Dustin for work – July 2009
  • Beach with my family (PLUS significant emotional processing for me at this time…) – August 2009
  • Starting a new job! Wow…this was a learning process and still is! – August 24, 2009
  • Andrew and Tiffany’s wedding w/ the fam in Philadelphia – August 2009
  • Started taking guitar lessons – something I’d been wanting to do for a while – September 2009
  • Gator football season opening game with the roommates, Bekah and Ryan. Think I laughed my butt off that day – September 5, 2009
  • September 8
  • September 10
  • To quote HSM, “The start of something new…” First date – September 15
  • Though sad for my old House Church to be ending, starting a new small group has been GREAT too – September 2009
  • Bekah and I visiting Charis and Pete in San Fran! I love new cities! – October 2009
  • Muse/U2 concert – October 2009
  • Moody Radio campaign at work…lots of work and HUGE success (including trips to Panama, Peru and Spokane) – October-November 2009
  • Thanksgiving at the Tidwells… though a really emotionally tough week, still a marking point in my 24th year and I do love Thanksgiving holidays so much – November 2009
  • HALF MARATHON! – December 2009
  • Urbana – good work stuff and personal stuff – December 2009
  • Visiting Kanoe in Tucson – January 2010
  • California – March 2010

Now the funny thing is that Jillian actually asked me for the top three highlights. Clearly I am not (and never have been) good at picking highlights or favorites, though if you know me, I will ALWAYS ask you to do that. So, I’ll do my best to narrow it down to five highlights (in no particular order) – how’s that, Jill?? And I will tell you why each thing made the top five list.

Chicago, May 2009 – This made the list because of the fact that I spent time with most of my closest friends from college in a GREAT city, with GREAT weather while we were there. It was fun and more adventurous than things we had done together before.

I’m entitling this one “Learning new skills” and cake decorating and guitar lessons fall in this category.

Starting a new job, August 2009. I wasn’t too sure about the idea when it was first brought to my attention… I thought – Why apply for a new job within the same organization? What’s the point? Well, I felt like it was something I should do, so I pursued the option, got the job, and have grown quite a bit as a result and while having some really great experiences.

First date with Nick on September 15. Though his presence in my life has turned “normal” upside-down, which hasn’t always been fun and easy to accept… it has been totally worth it and this day marked a huge change (for the good) in

Half marathon, December 2009. This makes the list because I like each year of my life to be marked by a fitness goal. In my 23rd year, I completed my first sprint triathlon, so in my 24th, I did my first half-marathon. This year? Working towards another (LONGER) triathlon.