Busy March!

Hey friends!

You know that you have had a busy month when you are about to start your blog in case note format “Worker started the month by going to…”. Work has been busy, but great! I’ve been able to be involved in some cool projects that have made me feel like I am in a movie (or an episode of Law and Order: SVU). I feel like I’ve been handling things pretty well and striking a balance between dealing with crisis and consistently practicing self-care. It makes me sleep better at night and generally keep my personal relationships in tact. Ah! I don’t have to write this post formally, so I won’t. This is my life as Amanda, not as “trafficking specialist”.

Anyways, I have spent quite a bit of time actually DOING things, which goes along with one of my New Years Resolutions of trying to see friends and not hibernate as much. I have been making an effort to see friends even if I have an early morning the next day or if I have had a busy week. I started the month celebrating the birthday of one of my oldest friends, Emily. We went to Skooters in Shorewood. I’ve secretly been listening to country music more and more, so this was actually a good time, despite the fact that I not only spilled one drink, but two. One onto the birthday girl. Here we are drying her off:

Emily 27th Birthday

It is always great to see Emily and the rest of her pals. The next night I was able to support my mom and the Joliet Junior College’s Fine Arts Department by going to see the musical my mom directed, The Who’s Tommy. She sat in to watch the performance. I’m always so impressed by her work–my mom truly is a talented woman! Although this is a show I wasn’t sure I necessarily “got” it was still entertaining and well done. Here is my mom before the production:

Tommy 2015

The next weekend, Matt and I scored tickets to game 6 of the Big Ten Tournament. We were able to see Northwestern get smooshed by Indiana and Ohio State defeat Minnesota. Matt’s whole family are OSU fans. Since I’ve never given a shit about college sports, I have decided to root for them as well. I LOVE going to see sporting events live, so this was a blast.

March Madness 2015

The next day, Matt and I went out to dinner with people from our church group to celebrate Sean’s birthday. He had the brilliant idea to go to Sun Wah BBQ in Uptown and get the Beijing duck feast. Pretty much, they carve a duck in front of you (which you eat) and then they make the rest of the meal out of the rest of the duck. It was delicious and so fun! My full plate:

Sun Wah Duck Feast 2015

I had a volunteer training the next day, but I was able to go see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater while they were on tour. Alvin Ailey is a brilliant choreographer who’s company grew out of African American culture and modern dance in the late 1950s. Just seeing how the members of this company are able to move their bodies was incredible. I was introduced to this style of dance in high school at La Danse Academie and have thought it was amazing since initially seeing the tapes, so this was a dream come true. It was also the 125th season for Roosevelt’s Auditorium Theater so I was glad to be able to see a show during their celebration!

Auditorium Theater 2015

I then was diagnosed with strep throat, so I spent the weekend indoors without doing much–exactly what my body needed! Once I was back on my feet, I was able to celebrate another birthday, Mike’s, with a great group of people (Sara, Rob, Sabrina, Mike, and Matt). We started the night going to Goose Island Brewpub, as we all like beer and it’s a “Chicago thing”. For the first time in my life, the reviews on Yelp were actually right–horrible service with great food and mediocre beer. I’m not sure that I’ll be going back when Revolution is closer and better. We went to Second City’s current show, Panic on Cloud 9, which made up for the not so great service at dinner.

Mikes 28th Birthday 2015

This was my first time at both Goose Island and Second City, so now I can say I’ve done two more quintessential Chicago things. Last thing that I spent time doing this month–celebrating two first birthdays! Both Nola and MacKenzie turned one this month. Of course, the smash cake pictures are the best so those are the ones I will share from their birthdays.

Here is Nola, serious as always:

Nola 1st Birthday 2015

Here is Mackenzie, full of character as usual:

MacKenzie 1st Birthday 2015

*Few* what a busy month! Happy to be able to see family and friends as often as I do.

Until next time,



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