Friday, December 31, 2010

happy new year!

As we step forward into the new year, it is only right that we look back on the past twelve months and remember how we got to the place we are today.

2010 didn't always bring the best situations, but I made it through. Here is a "short" run through of what happened this year:

January: Rang in the new year with my roommates and some of our good friends. Then I was back at school in the United States after spending 3 months studying in Spain. Can you say reverse culture shock?

February: Nikol, Stephanie, and I headed out for a wonderful photo shoot - we had so much fun during our girl's day!

March: I made it through finals and got on the Dean's List again :)

April: Christine, Stephanie, and I made our way down to Indio to go to the Stagecoach Country Music Festival for the second year in a row. 

May: Christine's 21st birthday was a blast! We had a photo shoot, sang karaoke, and had fun with so many of our good friends. My big sister also graduated from college (congrats Caitlin)!!

June: My littlest sister graduated from high school (much to her relief) and my older cousin, after a very difficult year, graduated from Stanford!! I was so proud of both of them.

July: I spent a week on a boat in the British Virgin Islands with my mom, step dad, two step brothers, and my little sister. I also started my internship at AAA. 

August: My dad's family (dad, step mom, three sisters, and family friend) went to Costa Rica for a week. Then I moved my little sister into her dorm room at Penn State, visited my grandparents, and went to Amish Country. Oh, and I went wine tasting for the first time too!

September: I spent a weekend with my mom's family at the beach house, said goodbye to AAA, and moved into my adorable (but freezing) little house with Christine and Stephanie. The first day of classes began with my Beekeeping laboratory - and a bee sting!

October: I had a wonderful time celebrating Halloween for an entire week, and got super excited because the San Francisco Giants won the pennant and secured a spot in the World Series.

November: Remember those Giants I was talking about? Well, not only did they compete in the World Series, but they WON the entire thing! I got to visit Hearst Castle (which I highly recommend) as well as celebrate my 21+1 with some of my best friends. Plus, I got to spend Thanksgiving with my mom's family which was pretty awesome.

December: I got through finals with a 3.75 GPA for the quarter, visited San Francisco with Christine and Kara, plus I hung out at home with my family for three weeks. Not to mention, I got to bring my niece to the Little Farm which was a blast.

Although, for the most part, 2010 was a pretty good year, I can't say that I'm sad to see it go. I can, however say that I'm looking forward to what 2011 brings. Hopefully a job, an apartment, and lots of new friends and experiences.

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you had a great 2010 and that you are excited to see what 2011 will bring. 

the pest :)

Do you have those books that you used to read over and over when you were younger? Well, in addition to Baby Sitter's Club, I grew up reading Ramona the Pest by Beverley Cleary. I loved the books and the videos.. I probably even took a few ideas from my little idol -- like packing a suitcase and "running away" when I got mad.

Earlier this year a movie came out called Ramona and Beezus. I finally got the chance to watch it just now, and let me tell you - it was ADORABLE! Joey King and Selena Gomez were outstanding!

The story line is super relatable (I have three sisters - we were bound to drive each other crazy) and your heart just goes out to this 9 year-old girl. I know it's a little kid movie, but I really, really recommend you watch it. I still have tears in my eyes because it was so sweet.

Beezus: Ramona, I know you think being different is bad, but it's not. You don't worry about coloring inside the lines. You're your own person. You don't care what other people think. It's brave being how you are. 
Ramona: Oh, well sometimes I color inside the lines. It really depends on the picture.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

did i mention...

Did I mention that I really, really want a pet hedgehog???

cute, huh?

good day

Today was a pretty good day (which doesn't explain why I am feeling so stressed right now). I woke up all by myself a.k.a. no text messages, alarms, or sisters being loud outside my room. It was wonderful.

My morning happy face:
((No, I do not wake up looking like that. By "morning happy face" I really mean "me after I have gotten up, had a cup of yummy Earl Grey tea, showered, and put on makeup".))

Then something funny and wonderful happened which gives me faith that I will be okay after graduation.
It all began yesterday when I went into my dentist's office for my bi-annual checkup. You know the awkward conversation that the dental practitioner makes when you are getting your teeth cleaned and they ask you questions but you can't actually answer because, well, they have their fingers in your mouth? Well this time, the woman (Amy, my favorite one) was talking to me about graduation, asking what I was going to do once I'm done and what my plans are for next year.
Skip to this morning, about 11:00 a.m. when I got a call from the receptionist at the dentist. She said that a man in the next dentist chair/room overheard my conversation and, after he was finished getting his teeth cleaned, he asked the receptionist for my contact information because he wanted to know if I wanted to do some Public Relations work for him. She wouldn't give him my info (you know, patient confidentiality and all that) but she called me and gave me his info and I called him and left him a message.
He called back this afternoon while I was at the mall (long, long shopping trip for my NYE outfit... spent lots of money... hello new year's resolutions aka saving money) and needless to say, we are going to try to figure out a way for me to help him with some PR work!
Who knew that networking worked that way? I thought it was all online these days, I wouldn't have guessed word of mouth could get me very far. (hehe, get it? word of mouth??)
Cool huh?

Anyway, I had a happy day, I'm spending time with my family, and my Daddy is making me chicken corn soup (my favorite - from Amish Country, PA) so that I can bring some back to school with me.

Here's what I spent my morning doing. I have never really messed around with the PhotoBooth on my Mac, but I kinda got carried away this morning. Plus, I like my new haircut and my glasses.

I hope your day was as silly, random, and happy as mine!

Monday, December 27, 2010

day 4

Day 1 - Something you hate about yourself
Day 2 - Something you love about yourself
Day 3 - Something you have to forgive yourself for
Day 4 - Something you have to forgive someone for
Day 5 - Something you hope to do in your life
Day 6 - Something you hope you never have to do
Day 7 - Someone who has made your life worth living for
Day 8 - Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit
Day 9 - Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted
Day 10 - Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know
Day 11 - Something people seem to compliment you the most on
Day 12 - Something you never get compliments on
Day 13 - A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 - A hero that has let you down. (write a letter).
Day 15 - Something or someone you couldn't live without, because you've tried living without it.
Day 16 - Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 - A book you've read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 - Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 - What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 - Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 - (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 - Something you wish you hadn't done in your life.
Day 23 - Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 - Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 - The reason you believe you're still alive today.
Day 26 - Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 - What's the best thing going for your right now?
Day 28 - What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 - Something you  hope to change about yourself and why.
Day 30 - A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.

I have been thinking about this "Day of Truth" for a really long time - actually, since Day 3. Honestly, I can't really think of something that I need to forgive someone for. There are a lot of things that people have done in my life that have upset me, and I will be the first to admit that, in the past, I may have held some pretty bad grudges, but I also think that I've gotten a lot better at that. 

I'm not really upset/frustrated with anybody right now (besides my mom - but that doesn't have to do with any sort of forgiveness thing, that's just how we are), and even if I am still hurt by something that someone has done to me, that hurt will not go away so easy - only time will heal it. There are people from my past who have said and done some pretty awful things to me, and I am still angry, but I don't think they deserve my forgiveness; at least not yet. 

A quote from a Dixie Chicks song comes to mind - "Forgive, sounds good. Forget, I'm not sure I could. They say time heals everything, but I'm still waiting." 

I'm in a pretty good spot with my grudges/frustrations right now. I've been relatively happy lately (which is definitely a good thing - and feels like a nice change of pace), and any frustration or anger doesn't really have to do with other people, it has to do with me sorting out my own issues and mostly forgiving myself and learning how to live the life I want to live. 

So until I can think of something that I'm holding against some other person, or come up with something that I need to forgive someone else for, I will leave it at that. 

No forgiveness, just letting go and moving on.

Friday, December 24, 2010

the holiday

It's Christmas Eve and we are going to celebrate being young and alive - Miles, The Holiday

fall in love
be young
be yourself
if you can't do that now, when can you?

Merry Christmas Eve!
I hope you all have a wonderful night dreaming of sugarplums. 


Thursday, December 23, 2010

cosas que hacer

Today I was going to blog about the next thing on my "30 days of truth" list. Or maybe it was going to be to tell you about my senior project. Or to share yet another one of my random thoughts. I was going to write about any or all of those things, until about 2 hours ago.

You see, two hours ago I found out that my Spanish professor passed away. He is the man who helped me establish my minor, was available to me when I freaked out before studying abroad and needed to gain some perspective, and he was my professor up until the end of this past quarter. Dr. William Martinez was understanding and helpful and smart and funny, and now he is gone. He traveled to Spain and when he arrived, he complained of chest pains. He went to a hospital and had a triple bypass, but passed away shortly after. He wasn't even 50 yet.

I am telling you this not so that you can feel bad for me (it isn't me who needs your thoughts and prayers, after all, it is his wife), but so that you can hopefully look around you at the people and the place that you are in at this very moment in time and appreciate all of it.

The holidays are normally a time when people show their appreciation for their families and friends by giving them gifts or eating meals together - everybody knows that. But this year, I have a request - a bigger request than just buying a loved one a gift that you think they will like. My request is that you really tell those around you how much you love them. Give your grandparents a call, tell your cousins how much you love them, laugh with your siblings, snuggle up on the couch with your parents and watch It's A Wonderful Life. Just do something that really shows that you care.

We tend to take our families for granted during the rest of the year, but the holidays are a time to tell them what we might not tell them enough at other times - that we love and appreciate them. To tell them that we care what is going on in their lives and that we like spending time with them. I have had a wonderful past week and a half being home and spending time with my sisters and parents. I'm hoping that the realization that came along with my professor's death - that life can end at any moment and that we should appreciate and live life to the fullest - will help me over the next couple weeks that I'm home.

There was a billboard that I saw in Barcelona that sums it all up perfectly (ignore that it is, in fact, a Heineken ad... that is beside the point).
Cosas que hacer antes de morir: vivir
(Things to do before you die: live)

That's fully what I intend to do.

Rest in peace Dr. Martinez. You will be missed.
Thank you for being so supportive, knowledgeable, and helpful.
Cal Poly and the rest of the world will not be the same without you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

twenty something

I came upon this post on someone's Tumblr site. I LOVE the original article. Read it here.

My favorites are:

Reestablish a relationship with your parents.

Date people you know you'll never be able to love.

Form the habits that will stick with you forever.

I got to reconnect with some old friends earlier tonight. We are going out again tomorrow night.
Sometimes coming home feels great.

My sister is having knee surgery tomorrow. She tore her ACL and her meniscus a few months back and my mom wanted her to have her surgery in CA instead of PA where she goes to school. It was a big ordeal.
Sometimes coming home is stressful.

Tomorrow I get to spend all day wrapping presents and finishing up the crafty things I'm doing for my sisters.
What will you be doing?

I hope you had a wonderful night.

Love, Rachel

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas time in the City

I have always been a California Bay Area kind of girl. I grew up in Berkeley/El Cerrito, went prom dress shopping at Jessica McClintock in Union Square, and every winter my dad and step mom would take me and my sisters to the Embarcadero to go ice skating and we would see The Nutcracker in the City. Looking back on it, I've lived a pretty charmed life.

This past week I have had the good fortune of spending a couple days in that part of the bay. I got to go to a Christmas caroling party at my "aunt" Carol's house in Oakland (Caroling party at Carols...) and yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to visit a good friend for dinner in the City.

Some photos from Carol-ing
my dad... a partridge in a pear tree

me and my little sister, Kelley

A couple of my girlfriends and I decided to make a day out of it so we headed out to San Francisco to shop and sight see. Needless to say, we were basically tourists in our own city. We did a whole lot of the stuff that people do when they have never been to California or San Francisco and want to experience all the city has to offer.

We went shopping in Union Square (and took a picture with the real giant Christmas tree which is located in the center of the square and maintained by Macy's)

 Visited the Golden Gate Bridge

Drove around to get beautiful views of the City (and Alcatraz... and a pirate ship?)

 Went to Ghirardelli square and got ice cream sundaes and peppermint hot chocolates (and took advantage of the photo opportunity, obviously)

We then headed up to Twin Peaks at sunset to get a beautiful view of the city lights at night. (Isn't the view gorgeous?!)

Of course we also drove past Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, the Prisidio (owned by George Lucas), and picked out the houses that we will one day live in when we make millions. 

Finally, we met up with my good friend Matthew to get some dinner at Barney's and then got a drink at a bar that is right down the street from his house. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures with him, but we definitely had a blast. 

It was the perfect day to go to the City. The weather was beautiful, the sky was clear (with only a few clouds that added a little dimension to the pictures), and there weren't too many people in the stores/tourist locations. I had a blast being a tourist in my own city. 

Want to see more pictures? Click here!!!

I hope your Wednesday was just as lovely as mine was. 

P.S. Of course we had to drive past AT&T park...
after all, we all LOVE the Giants!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Remember how I told you that I didn't like the book Eat Pray Love, but that I liked some of the ideas in the book?  Well, here is one of those quotes/ideas that I liked...
People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of our own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments. (p. 260)
P.S. Tomorrow I'm going into San Francisco with Christine and Kara. I'm so excited! I haven't gotten to hang out in the city for a very long time. Yay! (Charging my camera as we speak -- or as I type and you do whatever you were doing when I was typing this... you get the picture.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

who cares

This is how I felt today... unfortunately. 

Note to self: work towards NOT feeling this way.

(thanks Le Love)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

second to the right...

This afternoon I finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat Pray Love". It took me three months to get through - but I finally did it. For many reasons, I wasn't a fan of the #1 New York Times Bestseller (I can get into that later if you want...) She had some great ideas, I liked some of the things that she quotes about happiness, I liked Indonesia, but overall I couldn't find a way to warm up to her as a person.
In any case, I finished it. 

Now I am starting to read another book - one of my favorite stories of all time. Once when I was little and got sick my dad stayed home from work and I made him watch this movie with me - five times in a row. (Yup, that's the kind of dad he is - the kind who will sit with his six year old and watch the same movie over and over and over again. Pretty cool, huh?) I have always been meaning to read the story, but have never gotten around to it. Finally, when I walked into Anthropologie (a store which I absolutely love) and saw their beautiful leather bound books, I couldn't resist it. I bought the gorgeous book - purple and printed with green pirate ships along with yellow moons and stars. (It was a birthday present for myself.)

Peter Pan has always been a magical story - which is what Neverland is, after all, a magical world for magical stories to take place. I have only gotten through the forward of the book thus far (I started it about 5 minutes before I decided to write this post), but I am already hooked. (I know, I know, who reads the forwards? Only nerds. Well, I'm one of those nerds. I read every forward in every book. I can't help it! It is all a part of the story.) The past year or so, I have felt kind of lost; like I don't really know my place in the world or what I'm supposed to do after graduating college (June 2011, an ever-looming, ever-present thought weighing on my mind). The forward to this publication of the story moved me to tears... okay, not tears maybe, but my eyes were a little damp. 

Here is part of the intro so that it can capture your heart just as the one and a half pages I've read so far have captured mine. Maybe it will inspire you to go and read one of those stories that meant so much to you when you were a little kid, just like I was inspired to read this one. And don't worry, I'm sure you will see many more quotes from Peter Pan as I continue my adventure through Neverland.

Sadly, like Peter himself, most of our childhood memories begin to fade and drift off as we get older. The newspapers remind us daily of all the reasons why being a "responsible adult" seems to be our only aspiration in life. Thankfully, stories like the one you are about to embark upon remind us of what is important. And, even if you can no longer remember how to fly to Neverland, Peter Pan will always come to rescue you if you want him. All you have to do is believe ... Go on! Get going! You already know the way - Second to the right, and straight on till morning, you can't miss it! - Tony DiTerlizzi, Peter Pan

Saturday, December 11, 2010


A week and a half ago my friends and I celebrated my 21+1. Last year I was in Spain for my 21st birthday, so this year my wonderful roommates and other friends helped me celebrate my 21+1 so I didn't miss out on all the normal 21 festivities.

The day before my birthday I went to my friends Hannah and Caroline's house. We had been in the dorms together. They made me a lovely cake.
Top Photo: My 19th birthday, freshman year (minus Emily, one of my then-roommates)
Bottom Photo: My 22nd birthday, senior year
I love these girls!

It was Dead Week (the week of classes before finals, when every single professor you have decides to add an extra paper, give you extra homework, and have you present a bunch of projects - right before finals) so I was really surprised as to how many people came out with me. I had told everybody that I completely understood if they couldn't come downtown with us, I wasn't going to hold it against people.

I got so many wonderful e-mails, text messages, and Facebook comments. It really was a wonderful 21+1.

Here are some pictures from the night... the ones that I feel comfortable posting online. 

The cake that Steph made (the candles were pretty awesome) and our b-day decorations.

My wonderful roommates, Stephanie and Christine

Me and my wonderful guy friends who came DT with me .. some more showed up later

Lovely ladies <3

Aubrea, John, and Kristen - I got to spend my real 21 with them (in Spain) AND my 21+1. I love them!!

Journalism friends - Stephanie, Erika, Krista

Thank you to everyone who made my 21+1 such a wonderful day :)