Undefined

About a year ago, my path changed. I thought I had the rest of my life figured out. I knew who I was going to marry. I knew where we were going to be. Sure, we would have a lot to determine along the way, but I knew I was up for the journey with my best friend.

Turns out, words don’t hold as much meaning as I predicted. People move on. And as time goes forward, love fades.

I’ve always been a hard lover. I fall hard, stay faithful and believe I am living the fairytale. My life has mainly revolved around love for the last ten years or so. My best friend is my sounding board, my purpose. He makes me feel meaning in my life. We have fun doing everything and anything — even laundry.

It doesn’t mean for the two years or so I was single in college I felt worthless Those were some of the most freeing, wildest times of my entire life. But this time around, it feels different. There’s not many single people to hang out with. It’s harder to just run into single guys at parties. My friends are buying houses and having babies. I’d like to be there, too.

This is the first time in my life I have truly understood depression. It’s hard for others to recognize. It debilitates your entire existence. You just want to feel full again. I feel guilty because I understand that my problems are minuscule compared to so many. One day, I will truly understand real problems. But right now this feeling consumes me. I feel as if I’m drowning, but I’m given just enough oxygen to leave me hanging on. No one will let me die and be at peace.

I often do and say things that I know don’t make sense. I come off desperate when I’m pining after guys who just aren’t interested.

I want that feeling that the sound of them texting you makes you happier than a kid at Disney for the first time. That feeling when your stomach drops when you kiss them for the first time. The feeling you never want to leave them.

But is that realistic? Or does true love and a successful marriage simply start from common interest and compatibility? The infatuation feeling fades, anyway. What’s left is your best friend.

It’s so easy to feel like giving up. To just want to climb into bed and fall asleep until life will get better. But that’s not an option. Time keeps moving forward. You have no option but to wake up, put your clothes on, get your ass to work and keep fighting for what will make you happy.

So, that’s where I am.

I’m fighting for my purpose: love and family. Husband and babies. It sounds pathetic to some, but it’s me. I was born to want that. I always knew that. Now, I’m more than ready. And I’m not going up without a bigger fight.

World, I’m here. I’m trying.

Deborah & Chicago’s five-year Anniversary

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This month marks my five -year anniversary with my relationship with Chicago. I have grown tremendously throughout this time. Let’s rewind back to right after I graduated from Kent State (as the Journalism and Mass Communications top scholar, might I add).

The month before I began my journey in Chicago, two sad things happened. My father had a heart attack, and our our 17-year-old dog Lady passed away four day we moved.  Although I felt a great loss immediately when Lady was no longer there to greet me when I woke up and when I got home, it probably hit my mom and dad more because they were at home every day, while I was in a new and different environment in Chicago.

Like all heart attacks, my dad’s happened suddenly.  I can still remember the morning it happened. I’m so so so so very thankful and so incredibly lucky that my father recovered so well.  The other day I thought to myself, “Wow, I’m so lucky my dad was here these past years. He would have missed so many incredible important moments.”

Five years ago on September 1st (my sister’s birthday), my sister and I moved into a two bedroom, two bath fancy apartment in Evanston. With a pool.  It was a bit lonely at first; I found myself visiting the local puppy shops all the time. We found my first born daughter Dollie at a puppy shop in Wilmette, next to my favorite breakfast spot in the world, Walker Brothers Pancake House.   Even though I was 23 and didn’t FULLY understand how much of a responsibility we took on when I brought her home on my golden 23rd birthday, I knew that I needed my family’s support. It’s a good thing I had it because today she mainly lives with G and G and they love her probably more than Allison and I. Their first granddogger.  : )

Before I found my home at my current job, I spent a good half a year working at Victoria’s Secret as part of the cash wrap team. I actually really enjoyed it—with the exception of the disrespectful management team.   I found excitement in talking to the customers, checking out all the cool stuff people were buying, and folding it and wrapping it in the little pink bag.  By the time I had enough of that and spent probably 100 percent of my earnings on panties, I was lucky to obtain the Communications Specialist intern position.

Around this time, I didn’t think a whole lot about my future.  This definitely was not a bad thing. But I focused on the now (well, the then.)   Allison met a cheese girl named Cynthia at Northwestern University, and we really hit up Chicago.  We explored numerous new restaurants and bars each weekend, which is why I gained 20 pounds that year.  The fun was worth every pound. I also hit it off with a lot of the interns where I work. We also had a lot of fun going to lunch and going out on the weekends.  Chicago is the perfect city for a single twenty-something.

It wasn’t until a year after me starting working that my BF and I started dating.  It’s always that guy who has kind of been in the background for a year that I end up hitting it off with. Our first one-on-one out of work was at Le Peeps in breakfast. We talked about making our online dating profiles on a new site, Plenty of Fish. Needless to say, we never needed to complete those profiles.

Before Mark and I became a couple, I went on my fair share of dates. Several with match.com. A few who lasted a few months were through mutual friends.

Also before Mark and I started dating, me and Allison’s closest cheese sister ended up deciding to leave the program and leave Chicago. This was really tough. I spent a lot of weekends alone while Allison was visiting Aaron in Cleveland. About a year after our move, Allison graduated with her Masters in Journalism from Medill—quite the accomplishment to graduate from such a prestigious program.

A little more than a year after our move, Allison and I moved to another super fancy apartment in Rogers Park (officially in Chicago this time). Unfortunately, even though Allison spent a lot of time looking for jobs, because of the economy, she didn’t have much luck.   She made the decision to move back to Cleveland in 2011. This was probably one major wake up call for me. Before this happened, I thought my parents were moving here (they actually looked at condos/houses), her boyfriend was moving here, and this is where our future would be. But that wasn’t the case. I was (and am now) the only Pritch living out of state.  This was (and is) incredibly hard. Especially if you knew my family. THANK GOODNESS for Gchat (and now FaceTime).  Dollie had to move to Cleveland when Allison did because with my commute I was gone 9/10 hours a day, and my little princess needs more love than that.

When Allison left, I moved down the hall of the same apartment complex into a one bedroom apartment. WELCOME to living by myself. I’m happy I did. I think it’s something everyone should experience.  It’s nice to do exactly what you what exactly when you want and to not have anyone else’s stuff lying around. But eventually, it got really lonely. A year later I moved in with my boyfriend, Mark.

Moving in with Mark was another interesting learning experience with its own set of challenges. We get along extremely well for living in a 1920 one-bedroom apartment. He calls me his little tornadoJ It also made me realize that maybe I don’t need the newest apartment on the block like my parents spoiled me and lead me to believe. I’ve grown up. I’d rather stay in than go out. I’d rather have a cookout than travel.

Chicago has provided me with numerous experiences that I could not have gained by staying in Northeast Ohio.

I’m so happy and blessed I have been able to take so many trips in the past five years:

  • Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, North Carolina;  Albuquerque, New Mexico;  Key West; and the Bahamas with the Pritch clan
  • LA, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Disney World (twice) with Markerdoodle
  • Ann Arbor with both the Swiderski and Pritch parents!
  • Wisconsin Dells with Mark and Gina
  • San Francisco with my N.O. Friends Nora, Gina, Caitrin, and Tim, and my college roomie Ashley
  • Baltimore for Mark’s friend’s wedding
  • Nashville to visit my best friend
  • Saugatuck and Bermuda with Mark’s family
  • New York with Allison and Caitrin to visit Cynthia and my rockstar BF on tour
  • Put-in-Bay with Caitrin, Mark, and Caitrin’s sister
  • Just last month my sister, her husband, her friends, and my boyfriend and I went to Vegas for my sister’s 30th birthday

Luckily, throughout this time I was able to keep in close contact with my parents through gchat, and then FaceTime. With them visiting me and me going home for several wedding activities and milestone anniversaries, I never had to go too long without seeing them.

I’ve had loads of visits from friends and family throughout the past five years, 80 percent of them from my parents and sister, of course.  I’ve also had visits from Caitrin, Nora, Simon, Brittany, Katelyn, Amy, Ashley, Cynthia… to name a few.

Thanks to my career, and my boyfriend, I’ve been exposed to so many new artists and have been able to go to many concerts:

Glee, Flaming Lips, the Walkman, Fleet Foxes, Taylor Swift,  Radiohead, Pitch Fork Festival, Cheap Trick (At my work’s family day)

I’ve been a bridesmaid in four weddings, and of course none of them were in Chicago.

But it was the perfect excuse to travel for the wedding showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings. Whenever they were in Cleveland I got to see my family. Ashley kicked off the bridesmaid bandwagon when she got married in Cleveland. Then Brittany and Holly’s in North Carolina. Then Amy Betchel’s in Cleveland, and a month later my sister’s in Cleveland as well.  At my sister’s wedding, Mark and I broke out into a Pritch-rated song and dance rendition of “Marry You.”  I can’t wait to see what Allison and Aaron come up with at my wedding. It’s hard to believe Allison and Aaron celebrated their one-year anniversary this month.

How do I feel about Chicago? I think it’s an awesome big city.  Most of the time I forget that I’m living in the third largest city in the U.S. in terms of population. I’m only reminded of that when there’s a 2 hour wait at a restaurant or it takes me 2 hours to get out of the city like on Fourth of July weekend.

Living in Chicago has opened my eyes to new cultures and new ways of living.  Public transit doesn’t seem overwhelmingly scary anymore (well, sometimes the people on the CTA still scare me…). And my list of tasty food has expanded well beyond American and Italian.

I love Chicago for its:

  • Chicago-style Pizza. Right now Lou Malnati’s is my #1, with Giordanos a close second. I truly have a love affair with pizza.
  • Lakefront living. There’s nothing like driving down Lakeshore drive, watching the packed beaches with cute beachside restaurants and all of the bikers, joggers, and puppies enjoying summertime.
  • Summertime. Patio seating, beautiful water.
  • Restaurants.  I now understand what my dad means when he says he doesn’t like chain restaurants like Olive Garden and Red Robin (although I still enjoy this food, I recognize and appreciate the quality of food at an original Chicago restaurant.
  • Cute apartments and houses. Although I do not want to live in Evanston permanently, the neighborhood is super cute, like many other neighborhoods in Chicago.

I can live without the:

  • Traffic.
  • 10 + percent sales tax.
  • High gas prices, food prices, etc. etc. Everything is more expensive.
  • Six-hour drive to see friends and family.
  • Violence. The first day I moved to Rogers Park we were eating at a restaurant when all of a sudden we heard gunshots of a drive by shooting. We weren’t allowed to leave the perimeters until they finished their investigation.
  • Older houses. While I appreciate the style, I’m not into it for a permanent residence. It is difficult to find a newer apartment building in Chicago!

I’ve also had so many new experiences:

  • Karaoke in Chinatown
  • Road a Segway (and almost falling off)
  • Road a tandem bike
  • Played golf for the first time
  • Played bocce ball for the first time
  • Watched performances at Second City
  • Checked out the new Casino in Cleveland (or rather, the buffet)
  • Lost my smartphone virginity. I can never go back.
  • Dined on top of the Hancock building
  • Meet Darrin Criss from Glee and Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter
  • Took a massage class with my BF (Yep, I wanted him to learn how to give me massages)
  • Found a cockroach in my apartment
  • Went to WWE Payback (wrestling)
  • Went sledding
  • Enjoyed the Book of Morman on Broadway
  • Got my first couple’s massage
  • Went to my first Renaissance fair

I’ve learned a lot:

  • I attended a PRSA conference on internal communications
  • I completed Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop classes
  • I took a painting class with mom
  • I completed several photography class to learn how to use my Nikon DSLR camera
  • I took Dollie to several puppy classes to teach her how to be a good pup. She is officially a kindergarten graduate although now that she lives in North Olmsted I think she forgot everything she learned. She also won an award on Halloween for being the cutest mermaid ever.
  • Completed a graphic design course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • I realized some friends won’t last forever, but it doesn’t mean the friendship you had at the time was any less valuable.
  • By losing a friend at work, I’ve witnessed firsthand just how precious our time on this planet is.  I don’t want to waste a moment.
  • I also have learned a lot about overcoming challenges. It’s only human nature to want more, to want better. It’s a constant need. The main fact I’ve realized is that there is no way of knowing the true challenges ahead. They are unpredictable. There is no benefit of worrying. I try to be as happy as possible every day and appreciate what I have, which is really a lot!
  • As I get older, my family grows more important to me.
  • I learned how unimportant objects and STUFF is. I’m trying to declutter my life to enhance my life.

My job

I work for pretty much the best Company ever. I will measure all future jobs against this one. I walked into the doors as an intern 4 and a half years ago, was hired full time a few months later, and received a promotion in June 2013.  Here’s how I feel:

The people: The people are kind and passionate, most importantly; they care about what they do! They are so incredibly talented… and entertaining!

The culture:  Eat to the Beat outdoor concerts. A Holiday Show put on by our Associates. Family Day. Volunteer initiatives.

The building: It’s pretty much the perfect building for me. The entire building is open in the middle. All of the walls are windows. There is no way I can feel claustrophobic in this building. And it just looks really cool.

The boss: She’s like an aunt to me. She is so kind and generous and understanding and flexible. She makes it possible for me to go on so many trips and see my family. She makes living long-distance from my family easier. And she’s been an excellent role model.

The job: It’s pretty much the perfect job for me. The people I work for are people I see every day. I get to write, design, take photos, and make little ads. And I have four cubes all to myself so I can be loud, paint my nails, and eat loudly. I can come in at 9 and eat breakfast and stay late. It’s perfect for me.

Growing up, I never even thought I would ever live anywhere other than Cleveland, and now I’ve been here for five years. Chicago has been an awesome adventure. I’ve become a person I wouldn’t have become by staying in Northeast Ohio.

At times it seems like I’m a chronic complainer and I could find something to whine about if I won the lottery. But when I take a deep breath, sit back, and look at what I have and what I’ve accomplished, I’m pretty freaking lucky.

I can’t wait to see where the next five years take me.

 

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Out of order and extremely late… woops!

Here is a post that I wrote sometime around March 2012. I know, I’ve been bad. I should have posted this instead of being anal about what it said. So I’m just posting this. No additional editing required for me… just post the damn thing!

For so long, 2012 has been this far away year that my dad would talk about being the end of the world. But now, it’s here.  While I do not believe it is the end of the world, I believe anything is possible. All I can do is live my life and enjoy my life. I never wrote down any New Year’s Resolutions, but I had some in my head. Here are my goals for the rest of 2012:

  • Walk up the seven flights at work at least once a day.
  •  Workout three times a week. A lot of options here. At the gym, bike riding, or at my apartment complex gym.
  •  Visit the first McDonalds (in Illinois)
  • Try to find the meaning of life by enjoying the little things
  •  Participate in a doggie transport
  • Drink a yummy drink out of a fruit (yes, this is weird. I think I am just super craving summer right now)
  • Appreciate all my free time.  If I have children or move back to where more of my friends and family are, I won’t have that.
  • START TRAVELING!  I did a terrible job traveling in 2011 compared to the rest of my life.  So far I know this goal will be a success… considering I just went to San Francisco, Los Angeles,  Charleston, and Savanah, and have tentatively planned trips to Ann Arbor and St. Louis. I also want to go to Wisconsin Dells, Fox Lake, and Put-in-Bay… and a million other places but I guess I can’t go everywhere this year!
  • Go on or plan a beach/tropical vacation for next year: Florida, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Cancun, and Hawaii are all options. I just need to figure it out! I also really want to go to Disney World with my BF and a fun girls trip to somewhere like New Orleans… or Vegas! 
  • Get enough sleep. BE IN BED AT 9:30 P.M…. so I’m alseep by 10:30 P.M.
  • Take more time to get ready in the morning so I feel better about myself.
  • Blog more. I hate that there was a huge gap of my life not recorded. I’m also taking less photos… this is not good! I want my life to always be important and exciting. I want to always have and share my thoughts and opinions…even though a lot of the time I am complaining J
  • Wear my hair up every day so I stop ripping it out and so it grows nice and long.
  • When I eat bad foods, eat less than I ususally would
  • Visit Caitrin.
  • Read more.
  • Take photos downtown.
  • Relax at the beach weekly in the summer.
  • Go to Chicago’s China town.
  • Never stop exploring Chicago.  Make a point to check out new restaurant or a different area of the city.
  • Go downtown and take photos of Chicago.
  • Make a few meals with my boyfriend, and take a cooking class
  • Take a few dance classes for fun.
  •  Take a dance class with my boyfriend.
  • Go out and drink more. I miss doing that. 
  • Go golfing.
  • Get a couple’s massage.
  • Go to a movie in the park.
  • Go to the Renaissance fair and Stawberry festival in Chicago.
  • Volunteer on a puppy transport… you drive doggies to a new home.
  • Go to a dog show.
  • Take a painting class.
  • Go kayaking.
  • Go horseback riding.
  • Go jetskiing.
  • Go to a doggie event.
  • Take an InDesign and Illustrator class.

Let’s look at my resolutions from last year:

  1. Don’t be obsessed with boys  (well now I’m only obsessed with one boy)
  2. Be a better intern (must’ve worked because now I’m full-time!)
  3. Take a photography class (I took two!)
  4. Keep working out three times a week  (yeaaaa this needs to improve)
  5. Stop ripping out my hair  (Working toward this…)
  6. Find a full-time job with benefits by April  (CHECK!)
  7. Learn something new every week.  (sure!)
  8. Visit San Francisco (Nora and Katelyn) , New York  (Cynthia), and Atlanta (Jacky)  (Two out of three ain’t bad, right?!)
  9. Meet Taylor Swift (I went to her concert)!
  10. Rock out at Brittany & Holly’s Wedding  (success)
  11. Explore something new in Chicago at least twice a month  (success)
  12. Stop buying and returning things  (a little better)
  13. Read more  (ya…no)
  14. Get over my fear of planes  (ya no…)
  15. Accept that there are many things in my life I cannot control (ya I guess so)
  16. See the Blue Man Group (check!)
  17. Go to China Town in Chicago  (I can do that this year!)

Eh… I guess I was successful with some of my resolutions.  Hopefully this year I’ll do even better! 

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If I die young

I wrote this post sometime after my friend passed, probably around July 2012:
If I die before I see all my dreams come true, don’t be sad. I live a full life. A life with mostly only trival problems and little pain. A  life with so much love. So many friendships.
 
Just take one look at my photo albums on Facebook. There’s never a dull moment in my life. I’m always trying something new. Always laughing. OK so I’m a tad bit exaggerating. I’m not always laughing. I complain a lot. But when I think about my life as a whole, I think about how incredibly lucky I am. How many amazing people have been and are in my life. I’ve made so many friends from my todler years to my mid-twenties.
 
I’ve gone on so many vacations and visited more cities than many people will visit in a lifetime.
 
I’ve had two incredible boyfriends who loved me and treated me like a princess.
 
I’ve always lucked out on my jobs. Generous, kind, bosses. Always doing work I enjoy.
 
My parents would give their life for me and they are responsible for most of my happiness.
 
Pain was to a minimum. A boyfriend breakup. And most recently–the death of a friend.
 
So if I die young, you better not be at my funeral. You’ll be at my party. A celebration of Deborah’s life. There will be pizza and fries and milkshakes. And you’ll remember that I told you to remember me, but don’t be upset that I’m no longer with you. Being upset won’t change the fact that I’m gone. You need to live YOUR life and have so many fun times in honor of me.
 
I hope this doesn’t happen. I want to live a long life. Get married. Have children. Watch the world change and technology get crazy. I’m just saying, if it does. Don’t be so sad I’m gone. Be happy I had the opportunity to live the life I lived.
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My 2012

The letter I want to write this year isn’t exactly a cheerful letter I fold up and mail to my friends. I’m not saying that my year wasn’t full of laughter and excitement.  It certainly was. But several things that happened this year were really sad… or just made me think about how fast life goes by and how unpredictable it can be, which to me is extremely stressful. Because I live by one word: Planning. Here’s what happened:

My friend never came home after we went out one night. He died in a motorcycle accident.

My first love (keep in mind I have only had two loves so my first love will always have part of my heart) had a surprise. He is now a father and engaged.

And other things like my friend’s father dying, just confirm my axiety about the fact that you never know what tomorrow will — or won’t– bring. And I’m still struggling with the fact that my parents and sister live six hours away.  My parents will probably be in their 70s when I have my first child. My anxiety level has now reached 16, on a scale from 0-10.

I wrote a lot of blog posts, but I never got around to posting them.  Some of them I didn’t have the strength to post.  But I want to post them, because if I leave them on my computer, I’ll never look at them. But it’s easy for me to find this blog and read about my life. I’m going to post them this winter as I sit in my apartment being lazy trying to avoid the freezing wind of Chicago. 

One of the blog posts is about Christian, my friend who is now buried six feet below, so I won’t touch on that now. But my first love having a child… let alone my first friend my age to have a child… it makes me realize how grown up we really are. I always wondered if we would get back together if I ever moved back to Cleveland. Of course I am in love with Mark. But nothing is guaranteed. Unfortunately, marriage doesn’t even ensure an everlasting relationship. I always used to say Chad was my “Noah” (the Notebook)… and that one day we would find each other again. Until we were married, until we had children, nothing was certain. This belief was time and time again supported by the fact that we did find each other, time and time again.  Even just a month before I started dating Mark, we were talking about hanging out. But I said no because I was interested in Mark too much…But now my X’s little girl more than a month old and it is certain. I want him to be happy and I want him to be with his finance and little girl forever. He is not in my future. He is my past.

I have been extremely busy this year. It’s what got me though the difficult and life changing times. I know many people would say I have an amazing life and no problems, which in a sense is true, but I overthink everything and things that happen to my friends affect me too. Anyway… on to the good stuff.

I think this year might be a record for taking tons of trips. I visited:

St. Louis: I saw Mark’s friends, Team Starkid, on tour. We went in this cool revolving restaurant in the penthouse of our hotel.  We didn’t go up in the arch because you had to sit in these really small spaceship-like seats and as I mentioned earlier, I have really bad anxiety these days.

Disney World: It was just as magical as I remember it as a child. I can’t wait to go back. This inspired my Snow White costume for Halloween.

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Ann Arbor: I went with Mark (my BF), my parents, and his parents. They actually got along really well! I never thought my parents and my boyfriend’s parents would end up on a trip together… haha.  Mark went to school in Ann Arbor and both of our parents lived pretty close so we wanted to invite them all.

MaComb, Michigan: I spent Easter with my boyfriend’s family. I have to admit I did feel a little homesick. I can’t imagine not spending Christmas with my family.  I love Mark and I enjoy spending time with his family (And definitely do!) but Christmas woudn’t be the same unless it was with the Pritchards.

Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, North Carolina:  My best friend and I actually RANDOMLY scheduled a family vacation THE SAME WEEKEND in the SAME LOCATION. How strange is that??? We think my best friend’s mom may have put Savannah in my mom’s head, but still. Come on. Things like that aren’t just coincidences.  We met up with them and went on a sex and drugs tour of Charleston.

Wisconsin Dells:  A great weekend trip with Gina and Curt.  If you don’t know, Wisconsin Dells is famous for having tons of waterparks. However, I think I liked this Lumberjeck restaurant better… it was ALL YOU CAN EAT… They just kept bringing DONUTS, pancakes, biscuits, etc. etc. to your table. YUMMY.

 
San Francisco and Los Angeles, California baby.  This trip was all about spending time with our friends. I hung out with my best friend from high school in San Fran and my roommate from college in LA. AND my boyfriend had friends in both locations too! Too bad my BF got a kidney stone!!!  We also went on a tour of Universal Studios and saw the set of Friends, Pretty Little Liars, Gilmore Girls, and True Blood.

What else exciting happened this year?

  • Mark and I saw Radiohead, which was my first concert at an outdoor arena.
  • Mark and I went to the Pitch Fork Festival, which apparently Lady Gaga was enjoying too, but unfortunately I did not see her.
  • I went to a driving range for the first time…. of course after like 20 balls I was bored and ready get pizza and ice cream.
  • Chicago is the best in the summer. We went to a movie in the park, Navy Pier with my family, horseback riding lessons… I thought I was going to fall off the horse, or have an orgasm.
  • For the Fourth of July we simultaneously saw nine fireworks display from the pier. Very pretty.
  • My parents and I went to Chinatown.
  • Mark and I went on a lot of double dates.
  • I went karaoking for my birthday and Mark took me to the Buckingham fountain to see the light show at night.
  • Mark and I each gained 10 pounds participating in the McDonald’s monopoly game. We collected hundreds of pieces but all we won were more fries and drinks and breakfast sandwiches. Unfortunately I got the flu from digging through so many garbage cans to find game pieces people didn’t take off their cups. You’d be surprised how many people didn’t even peel off their pieces.
  • Watching my shoes: True Blood, Big Love, Switched at Birth, How I Met your Mother, the Big Bang Theory, New Girl, Nashville, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, House, Family Guy, Californication, the Mindy Project, Girls… and I’m excited for watching the Bachelor and the Carrie Diaries… haha they should be interesting.
  • I get to wear my grandma Pritchard’s engagement ring. LOVE it.
  • Dollie dressed up at the Halloween parade at Petsmart. Her costume malfunction was disguised as losing her glass slipper.
  • I no longer have to drag DVDs and the occasional book (usually about how to cure one of my diseases… OCD, claustrophobia, generalized anxiety disorder, etc.) from North Olmsted to Chicago. Mark just opened a different city’s library card that has tons of great DVDs.
  • I  thought I was going blind so I started a facetime with mark, but really the onion in the air from the meal my father was making was just irritating my eye.
  • Mark and I went to see Mama Mia.

I’m very busy at work but it is going well. I attended an Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop class, compliments of my workplace, so I got to spend six days out of work learning about graphic design. Pretty sweet.  It was in the Fine Arts building downtown, where Al Capone and Frank Lloyd Wright used to spend their time.

As usual, I had several visits from my parents, puppy, and sister. The gang went to my work for Family Day, with a live performance by Cheap Trick.  My mom and I took a painting class. Cynthia and Nora also visited. Nora and the gang went to the sweestest party ever… We walked in the door of this stranger’s apartment (a friend of a friend of a friend’s dog…), to find all you can drink and eat. Kegs, margarita machines, catered food, a DJ, two sweet patios… what more could you ask for? The party was a blast until the toilet clogged.

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I also visited Cleveland a lot this year. My family and Aaron surprised Allison for her 28th Birthday. We blew up 2,000 pink balloons and threw them from her top floor down on her as she walked in the room. Too bad dad was too impatient to wait. He went to buy a lottery ticket and missed the whole thing. We visited the new Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland… well, we visited the buffet. After 12 scoops of gelato, 2 hams, 1 omlette, 3 bowls of pasta, 6 raspberries, and 5 different drinks, I was ready for a 3 hour nap. We also saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra as a family holiday event.
A few weeks after my friend died, Mark had surgery to remove his parathyroid because he was having too many kidney stones. After hearing some horror stories about people not waking up or reacting strange to the anesthesia, I was not feeling very relaxed about the surgery. But he is all better now, and no more kidney stones for him! He sang “Debra” at Eat to the Beat outdoor concert series at work.  The SPACE tour album (the tour he went on last year) was released and got to #4 on the iTunes pop chart and #19 for all of iTunes!  He also did the sound for the Apocalyptour Tour Album (hit #37 of all U.S. iTunes albums) and released a Jim and the Povolos album which placed #21 on the iTunes pop charts.   I helped film the Holy Musical Batman, which he did the sound for.  He also had a Jim and the Povolos concert at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago.  Mark helped out at Leakycon, the Harry Potter convention in Chicago, and I got to meet Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. And I got Darren Criss to sign a $2 bill.  His other friend Joey is going to be on Glee TONIGHT! We also went to my first rap concert, featuring Mark’s friend Dylan Saunders.

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 The last bit of news is news is that my sister is engaged!!! She is planning a wedding for September 2013 and she already found her wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses.  The wedding (and the wedding planning) is going to be epic. Congratulations to her and her finance! 

I’m thankful for a wonderful 2012 and for the happiness and health of my family and friends. I need to make some changes this year, or I’ll go crazy. But I have confidence in myself that I can make it happen. Cheers to 2013!

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2012

For most of my life, 2012 has been this far away year that my dad would talk about.  He said it would be the end of the world. But now, it’s here.  While I do not believe the end of the world is near, I know anything is possible, any day, any hour, at any moment. All I can do is live my life and enjoy my life. I never wrote down any New Year’s Resolutions, but I had some in my head. Here are my goals for the rest of 2012:

 

  • Walk up the seven flights at work at least once a day.
  • Workout three times a week. A lot of options here. At the gym, bike riding, or at my apartment complex gym.
  • Visit the first McDonalds (in Illinois).
  • Try to find the meaning of life by enjoying the little things.
  • Participate in a doggie transport.
  • Drink a yummy drink out of a fruit (yes, this is weird. I think I am just super craving summer right now).
  • Appreciate all my free time.  If I have children or move back to where more of my friends and family are, I won’t have that.
  • START TRAVELING!  I did a terrible job traveling in 2011 compared to the rest of my life.  So far I know this goal will be a success… considering I just went to San Francisco, Los Angeles,  Charleston, and Savanah, and have tentatively planned trips to Ann Arbor and St. Louis. I also want to go to Wisconsin Dells, Fox Lake, and Put-in-Bay… and a million other places but I guess I can’t go everywhere this year!
  • Go on or plan a beach/tropical vacation for next year: Florida, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Cancun, and Hawaii are all options. I just need to figure it out! I also really want to go to Disney World with my BF and a fun girls trip to somewhere like New Orleans… or Vegas!
  • Get enough sleep. BE IN BED AT 9:30 P.M…. so I’m alseep by 10:30 P.M.
  • Take more time to get ready in the morning so I feel better about myself.
  • Blog more. I hate that there was a huge gap of my life not recorded. I’m also taking less photos… this is not good! I want my life to always be important and exciting.  I want to always have and share my thoughts and opinions…even though a lot of the time I am complaining🙂
  • Wear my hair up every day so I stop ripping it out and so it grows nice and long.
  • When I eat bad foods, eat less than I ususally would.
  • Visit Caitrin.
  • Read more.
  • Take photos downtown.
  • Relax at the beach weekly in the summer.
  • Go to Chicago’s China town.
  • Never stop exploring Chicago.  Make a point to check out new restaurant or a different area of the city.
  • Go downtown and take photos of Chicago.
  • Make a few meals with my boyfriend, and take a cooking class!
  • Take a few dance classes for fun.
  • Take a dance class with my boyfriend.
  • Go out and drink more. I miss doing that.
  • Go golfing
  • Get a couple’s massage
  • Go to a movie in the park
  • Go to the Renaissance fair and Stawberry festival in Chicago
  • Volunteer on a puppy transport… you drive doggies to a new home
  • Go to a dog show
  • Take a painting class
  • Go kayaking
  • Go horseback riding
  • Go jetskiing
  • Go to a doggie event
  • Take an InDesign and Illustrator class

 

Let’s look at my resolutions from last year:

  1. Don’t be obsessed with boys  (well now I’m only obsessed with one boy)
  2. Be a better intern (must’ve worked because now I’m full-time!)
  3. Take a photography class (I took two!)
  4. Keep working out three times a week  (yeaaaa this needs to improve)
  5. Stop ripping out my hair  (Working toward this…)
  6. Find a full-time job with benefits by April  (CHECK!)
  7. Learn something new every week.  (sure!)
  8. Visit San Francisco (Nora and Katelyn) , New York  (Cynthia), and Atlanta (Jacky)  (Two out of three ain’t bad, right?!)
  9. Meet Taylor Swift (I went to her concert)!
  10. Rock out at Brittany & Holly’s Wedding  (success)
  11. Explore something new in Chicago at least twice a month  (success)
  12. Stop buying and returning things  (a little better)
  13. Read more  (ya…no)
  14. Get over my fear of planes  (doing better!)
  15. Accept that there are many things in my life I cannot control (ya I guess so)
  16. See the Blue Man Group (check!)
  17. Go to China Town in Chicago  (I can do that this year!)

Eh… I guess I was successful with some of my resolutions.  Hopefully this year I’ll do even better!  

My 2011

How was 2011 for me? Eventful. Stressful. Fun.  Here are some memorable things I did this past year:

  • Went to Put-in-Bay Fouth of July weekend
  • Saw Grease live in Chicago
  • Went to Medieval Times
  • Took a horse carriage ride around Chicago
  • Went to the Lincoln Park Zoolights
  • Went to the Botanical Gardens
  • Boo! Went on a Ghost tour
  • Took a Photoshop class, and two photography classes
  • Saw the Blue Man Group
  • Got a trolley and drove around Chicago drunk with my friends
  • Had fun at outdoor work concerts
  • Helped run a 100th Anniversary bakery event with my sister
  • Played (well, mostly took photos) at my Company’s softball league
  • Saw Cirque Shanghai at Navy Pier
  • Rollerbladed down the lake shore path during Chicago’s Water and Air Show
  • Went to the Pitch Fork Festival
  • Went to the Science Museum, Aquarium, and Field Museum
  • Saw Glee, Taylor Swift, the Flaming Lips, the Walkmen, and Fleet Foxes live
  • Ate ice cream, a hot dog, and fries at a Cub’s game and went to a Sox game
  • Went to the beach, which is .25 miles from my apartment
  • Volunteered for Chicago Cares
  • Road my bike on the Lake Shore path and enjoyed lunch by the lake
  • Went on a Segway tour, went by the Buckingham fountain and almost fell in the lake
  • Went on a beer tour
  • Enjoyed an Architecture boat tour  
  • Enjoyed the beet at Mai Fest in Lincoln Square 
  • Saw the green river downtown for St. Patty’s Day  
  • Went on a dinner/dance cruise downtown with the BF 
  • Witnessed the Blizzard of 2011

A few of the most memorable events include:

I officially moved into Chicago (before, I was technically living in Evanston). Now the subway is only a minute away, and I don’t have to transfer to another bus to go downtown.

Allison moved back to Cleveland to be with her boyfriend, who just got a promotion. Our 2-year old baby girl Dollie is living at Cleveland where she can receive 24/7 princess care from gamma and gandpa during the week and Allison on the weekends. I moved literally down the hall into a one-bedroom.

I FINALLY HAVE A BOYFRIEND!  I have been dating Mark for nine months. He went on a tour for three weeks with Team Starkid… he signed autographs and everything! Fans made a twitter account ClarkNMarkfans and made street teams and even asked to interview him!  So I’m dating a rock star.

I GOT MY FIRST REAL JOB. My job is going well. I now design and write our Company newsletter, manage the display screen in the cafeteria, post articles to our Intranet, and other things in the internal communications department.  Since there are so many musicians at Shure, we have several shows  where musicians (like Mark) sing or play instruments.

I had tons of visitors this year. Brittany and Holly got married on the beach and I got to be a bridesmaid! I also visited Caitrin in Nashville… but unfortunately I didn’t run into Taylor Swift.  Caitrin, Allison, and I went to New York to visit Cynthia, see the shity, and see Darren Criss… wait, I mean, to see Mark on tour… (but really, Blaine from Glee joined them on the tour for New York, so I got a pic with him!)

I went on my first boyfriend vacation this year with Mark and his family to Saugatuck, Michigan. Mark and I also traveled really far (an hour…) to Wisconsin for a weekend.

 I love planning what I’m going to do—and remember what I did. When I’m having a sucky/life stinks/my life is boring sort of day… I can look at these lists and remember and be thankful for all of the wonderful adventures I’ve had.

 

Wow. I guess I really did a shit-ton in 2011.  Here’s to another successful, happy, healthy, loving year!