30 before 30: #2. Meet a Portland Trailblazer

Two posts in one week is understandably a bit overwhelming for you my dear blog followers considering you are used to two posts bi-annually! However, I thought I would treat you to a double dose considering I luckily have the day off and am enjoying blogging in the sunshine. Aside from the glare, I think I could lead a writer’s life.
As I mentioned at the close of my last entry, I have created a list. It’s a 30 before 30 list. Thirty things I must attempt or accomplish before I turn thirty. So today I will share about crossing off #2 on my list: Meet a Portland Trailblazer.
If you’ve hung out with me in recent years, you are aware that I am a slight fan of my hometown team, The Portland Trailblazers.  Of those listed on the roster that has changed over the years, my heart has consistently belonged with # 12, Lamarcus Aldridge. Although, my regard has not grown to complete dedication like some of whom I am acquainted with, initials Mari Yeckel. I do think he is a great player and definitely one of the better looking men in the NBA. Additionally, any of the locker room videos or hilarious tweets from the blazers team site usually features LA.
So on September 8th,  in preparation for my boss’ son’s 13th birthday, I was running around like a mad woman on a 90 degree day trying to accumulate all the items necessary to throw a killer 13th birthday party. This included essentially dumpster diving in my boss’ storage units, aka the garage and barn, since they have temporarily vacated their permanent address for a remodel. Loading outdoor furniture, christmas lights, candles, cushions, extension cords etc, which hasn’t seen daylight in months meant that I was sweaty, dirty and covered in cobwebs. Did I also mention that the farmhand was off for the day so I had feed 9 goats, 10 chickens, a horse and rabbit? I smelled amazing and who knows what was on my clothing. So on my way back to the rental house, I stopped in at Fred Meyer to grab a few things and when I walked in the door, I saw this:

Public signing with Lamarcus Aldridge

Public signing with Lamarcus Aldridge

At this point, it is 7:00 pm and he is almost done. I walk through the door and there he is, Lamarcus Aldridge. He looks like a petting zoo animal that has seen one too many kids. I never in million years thought that I would actually be able to cross off #2 and only a few days after my list was made, I was face to face with an opportunity to accomplish one of the seemingly more difficult items on it. I was pumped until I remembered what I looked like. I hesitated for a moment before I realized, the chances of him actually caring that I have cobwebs in my hair after he has dealt with screaming girls, abusive parents, slobbering children, obnoxious teenagers and hovering employees are slim to none. He wants to go home and all I have to do is go up and meet him to start my 30 before 30 list off with a bang. Also, when am I going to have another chance to meet a blazer? This list is nothing but a push for me to not miss an opportunity.  So cobwebbed hair, back sweated shirt, hair a mess, I marched up to Lamarcus Aldridge said, “Hey, I’m Rachel. Nice to meet you. Would you mind signing a picture for my friend Mari? You are her favorite.”
“Nice to meet you he said, who’s the picture for?” I said, “Mari” and he heard “Amare” so he started to sign it with an A and then I said “No, Mari not Amare” Then he said, “Spell it.” and grabbed another picture out of his press kit.
So I said, “M-A-R-I. Can you say, ‘To Mari Love Lamarcus?” and he said, “l’ll sign it but not love.” Someone nearby made a crack about his wanting to get it right being a quest for perfection and I said, “That’s what is going to get you on the all star team this year.” He smiled a half smile handed me the picture and said, “Hopefully.” I said “Thanks,” and walked off. 2 days later I went to the beach with Mari and handed her a her picture from Lamarcus Aldridge and I kid you not, she teared up.

Mari Loves LA

Mari loves LA

My boss asked me when I told him that I had met a blazer and gotten a picture for a friend, “Why didn’t you get a picture for yourself?” I told him, “It wasn’t so much as the souvenir as it was the seizing the opportunity and the experience of meeting a blazer  looking like a mess and not being afraid to be myself that was more important that any press piece he could have given me.” So number 2 is crossed off my list and I am excited to see what other adventures I have in the quest of the 30 before 30. Stay tuned for more of my list….

Great Expectations

Once again I must begin my blog post with a giant :

I AM SORRY THAT I HAVEN’T WRITTEN MUCH ON HERE LATELY!!!

Well, I think I will make up for those 3 months right now with 1 MONSTER blog. So buckle up, use the restroom and get yourself a beverage because here we go!!

Since I haven’t been writing on my blog obviously, what have I been up to this summer? Well I will tell you! I went to several concerts: Matisyahu, Steely Dan and Adele. My amazing friend Ally completed an Olympic distance triathlon while I did a 1/2 marathon in Sunriver in June. My beautiful friend Christy married the man of her dreams on my dad’s birthday July 23!

Myself, Stephanie (MOH), Christy, Ash (BM), Jess

I got to go to Hawaii in August with my boss and two of her kids and had a ball. Here’s a beautiful shot on the grounds of the hotel!

Grand Wailea Maui

Our lovely accomodations

My family had a brief reunion in the end of August and we went to Silverwood Amusement park in northern Idaho and had a BALL! Here is a picture from the ride tremors:

Tremors

Can you tell I love Rollercoasters?!

That young man in the yellow doing his best to not look terrified is my future brother-in-law Tim, who prior to this photo, had never ridden roller-coasters in his life! CRAZY! He ended up doing 4 in one day! Congrats to Lisa and Tim who’ll be getting married next summer.

So that is a brief highlight reel from this summer! I titled this entry “Great Expectations” because what I originally set out to do was blog about one of the things I’ve been “craftin'” lately and talk about Morgan’s birthday card. This is the 3rd birthday I celebrated with Morgan, my boss’ youngest son, and I have for each of his birthdays made him a card. His first card was a simple pop up card with his face photo-shopped on Captain America’s body and thus the bar was set. Well last year for his birthday I picked him up from school and I kid you not, one of the first things he said to me on the drive home was, “Can I have my birthday card? You make the BEST birthday cards!” So needless to say, I can’t just hit Target on my way to work to get him a birthday card. This year being his 13th birthday I had to up the ante again and make him an extra special card since it was such a BIG birthday. Here is the final product:

Exterior of the card folded up

Exterior of the card folded up

First opening of the card

First opening of the card

2nd opening, the back of the right flap as the "orga" of Morgan on it

2nd opening, the back of the right flap as the "orga" of Morgan on it

The big birthday fold out of all the pages

The big birthday fold out of all the pages

The pop up page underneath the big birthday fold out

The pop up page underneath the big birthday fold out

I don’t think I disappointed him for his big 13th birthday!

In closing I will leave you with a teaser for my upcoming blog series. If you are fortunate enough to have been around for my last birthday you are certain to have experienced my ranting on the slow decline to 30. I will be 28 this November and am having a certain degree of anxiety about turning the big 3-0 in just 2 years. So, like many wise friends and women before me, I have created a 30 before 30 list. It is a list of things both tangible and non, experiences big and small that I hope to accomplish before my 30th birthday. One of the first things I managed to cross off was actually one I didn’t expect to accomplish: #2. Meet a Portland Trailblazer!

To be continued……….