30 before 30: #s 11 and 14 in progress


I wanted to give an update on the 30 before 30 list! Numbers 11 and 14 are: Knit a scarf and memorize the sermon on the mount. I wanted to put these two items on the list to for a couple of reasons, first and foremost, knitting requires you to be consistent in order to complete the task. You have to do the same stitch and the same number of stitches repeatedly over a period of time. I am a fairly task oriented person and typically finish things I start that have a short completion period. I have a harder time doing the same thing over and over in order to complete a task. I love crossing things off short-term lists, it’s the longer term picking something up day after day or week after week. So in the hopes of building some long-term task completion abilities and giving me something to do while I watch my favorite shows.


Here is the scarf as of about 3 weeks ago!

The Sermon on the Mount #11 has similar reasons behind my desire to cross it off my list. I spent many years doing AWANA growing up and I missed the scripture memory in my life. I had always memorized verses and only memorized one chapter in college so I wanted to up the ante and memorize multiple chapters. I have to say it’s been fulfilling to attempt this and the Lord has used the quest to bring me comfort and encouragement in times when I’ve needed it most recently. On November 4, I lost someone who has been very dear to my life, Grandma Faye Wright went home to organize things in heaven for our Savior. She has been a consistent figure in my life since I was 3 years old and a pillar of faith in my life. She  told it like it is and never forgot anything even as a ninety year old woman. I got the news when I was at women’s conference with a friend and found myself in the bathroom crying. If there is one place to grieve, it is at a women’s conference. Before I finally composed myself again, I had at least 6 women stop and offer a hug, prayer or encouragement. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4. As I sat there, I thanked God for the truth in His word and how He showed me that He is in control.

Stayed tuned for more 30 before 30…..


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 :


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:


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……….

Quote book

As a communications major, I started keeping a quote book when I was in college.  I thought it was something that only I would find useful or important.  I loved writing down sayings, proverbs, and jokes that made me stop and say, “Huh, that was well said.” I didn’t think it was all that remarkable until one of the most brilliant men I have ever shared a room with came into my advanced writing class. His name was John Patrick and he said, “Once you have heard something said well, it is lazy to say it poorly.” and then he asked if anyone was in the practice of keeping a quote book. I was surprised to be the only person who raised her hand in that class. So needless to say, its has been something that I have tried to keep up over the years and have recently went back to. Here are a few submissions that have made the quote book:

From a Protestant minister who works with Shane Claiborne in ecumenical ministries in Philadelphia:
“Jesus is coming back and we got to get it together because He’s coming back for a bride, not a harem.”

“If you want to go fast; go alone. If you want to go far; go together.” African Proverb

“What is this?! Horseville? because I’m surrounded by nay-sayers. WORDPLAY!!” Tracey Morgan, 30 Rock

“I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you–not one bit.” Billy Collins from “The Revenant

“As you ramble through life, whatever the goal, keep your eye on the donut and not on the hole.” From the thai donut shop on Sandy

Comedy Connoisseur

My boss’ daughter and I were talking about comedies today as we had both viewed two blockbuster movies this weekend and were discussing which we thought might have outranked the other. I made the offhand and joking comment that I was a comedy connoisseur and we squared off on comedies new and old. So regardless, I had been thinking about my favorite comedies all day and how might they rank on other lists. I checked out AFI’s list of their favorite comedies which you can find here:





However, as a student of comedy (I was on and lead 2 improv teams) and raised in a home where comedies were always our first choice, I feel as if my list might perhaps be… oh I don’t know… AMAZING. Just kidding. However, Here You will find my list of my favorite comedies (in no particular order) some of which appear on AFI’s list but many that don’t:

The Three Amigos
Office Space
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The Big Lebowski
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Blazing Saddles
The Blues Brothers
The Hangover
Wedding Crashers
Mrs. Doubtfire
Bill Cosby Himself  (Special consideration because it’s Bill Cosby and it’s a long stand up routine)
Old School
Raising Arizona
The Great Outdoors
The Jerk
Groundhog day
Good Morning Vietnam
Billy Madison
Happy Gilmore
Tommy Boy
The Wedding Singer
Animal House
Police Academy
Best in Show
Drop Dead Gorgeous

Who is on your list of favorite comedies?

Add another candle!

Yesterday was my boss’ daughter’s birthday. She is now 17. I met her when she was 14.5 and she is turning into an amazing human being. I am lucky to know her!

SO! Had to make a birthday card! I LOVE making birthday, christmas, wedding or gift cards! I LOVE MAKING CARDS! It is so cathartic to me and helps me utilize some of the creativity that doesn’t always get used at work. I also like to make cards that are fun to open and unfold and this one was no different. It took me a long time and I got stuck in the middle but it came out pretty good. I started with a 12×12 piece of paper and folded it in half twice into a 6×6 square and then made it so each portion opened into the next. I also utilized the cricut BIG TIME as you can see! Here is the cover:

The first set of two pages you open

This is the 12×12 all open

Message space opened up "Happy Birthday!"Here is the opened up spot where I wrote the message!

Maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll make you a card someday!

Things I love…

Today I am grateful.

Today I am grateful for my mom who’s amazing and my iphone 4 (which allowed me to see my mom’s face on mothers’ day for the first time in years.)

You can’t sit there reading this blog on your computer and not admit watching all those movies about the future in the 90’s with video chatting did not make you slightly jealous… RIGHT? Say what you will about apple. You have to admit that this is pretty cool:

The future is now. I want to be face chatting you all the time. SO Happy Mothers’ Day mom! Glad we got some facetime in even though we are almost 500 miles apart!