15 Signs You Grew Up In Park Ridge, Illinois

15 Signs You Grew Up In Park Ridge, Illinois

This town made me who I am.
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I had the pleasure of spending my life from the ages of five to eighteen in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Illinois. As with anywhere, there are drawbacks to living in Park Ridge. However, since I have moved to Indiana for college and my parents moved to New Buffalo, Michigan, I have been missing the suburbs. Here are things that everyone who grew up in Park Ridge will know to be true.


1. Every movie you see is at the Pickwick Theater.

When there is a movie theater right in Uptown Park Ridge with $6.00 matinee movies and $8.00 movies after 5 pm, it is no wonder that most middle and high schoolers spend part of their weekend there. Oh, and it is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

2. Your town has two Starbucks within a block.

The age old question when you are meeting your friends uptown: The big Starbucks or the little Starbucks? Do we really need two Starbucks? No. Is it convenient? Yes.

3. Summer starts when the pool at Centennial opens.

Even if this was before school ended, which it always was. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve spending time at the Centennial Pool and the park on hot, summer days. To be honest, I was kind of sad when they tore down the park to make Centennial a water park, but at least they have cool slides now.

4. But Centennial is cool in the winter too.

Giant sled hell? I think yes!

5. The Lincoln vs. Emerson rivalry was real.

You upheld the dignity of your middle school with pride (Yay Lincoln!!) even through high school.

6. You have enormous Hawk Pride.

Most of Park Ridge goes to Maine South. Being a Hawk is not only where you go to school, it's a lifestyle. I am in college now, but I still watched the Hawks win the 8A Football State Championship this year. GO HAWKS!

7. You learned how to ride the Blue Line at a young age.

Being close to Chicago is definitely awesome, and it is even better because of the Blue Line stop at Cumberland. You can get to the Loop in less than an hour!

8. You take pride in the fact that Hillary Clinton grew up in your town.

She didn't win the election, but she won the hearts of all of Park Ridge.

9. And Harrison Ford.

Can't forget Han Solo/Indiana Jones.

10. You're not used to much diversity.

Our town is 93% white and feels like a lot more, and everyone seems to be upper middle class. People in Park Ridge are very accepting people, though!

11. You scream whenever you see the car chase in "Blues Brothers".

You recognize the Nelson Funeral Home.

12. You went to the Park Ridge Park District day camps.

I went there for eight years, and I can honestly say it was one of the best parts of my summer.

13. One of your first jobs was probably working at the Park District.

Whether you were a camp counselor or a lifeguard, you definitely spent time working for the PRPD.

14. You hung out in the library.

The Young Adult Loft at the Park Ridge library was the coolest place to be in middle school.

15. You met some of your best friends in Park Ridge!

I love them all so much, and I will forever cherish our memories.


Thank you Park Ridge for making me who I am.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Christian Boys Vs. Godly Men

It is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.
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Ladies, there is a huge difference between a Christian boy and a Godly man; therefore, it is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.

So many times I hear girls saying:

“Well, he’s a Christian.”

“He goes to church with me.”

“He listens to Christian music.”

“He went to church camp.”

“He has a favorite bible verse.”

SEE ALSO: What An Attractive Man Looks Like

Well, all of those things are just peachy and there is nothing wrong with doing those things. I mean, they’re all good things to do. But how is his personal relationship with God? How is his prayer life? Does he talk about his relationship with God, with you? Is he truly a follower of the one true God in all aspects of his life? These are some of the characteristics you should be looking for that makes a Godly man.

Ladies, a man will love you great when he loves God greater.

A Godly man will pursue an honest relationship with you. He will be clear of his intentions. A Godly man will worship, pray and passionately praise God with you. Whereas, a Christian boy might open the door for you, a Godly man will open his bible and explore God’s word with you so that you both may grow spiritually, together. While a Christian boy may put on an outward show, a Godly man will live out the love of Jesus daily.

So ladies, are you catching on to this ongoing trend? A Godly man does more because you deserve more.

A Godly man will be a leader. Trust me, I know that in today’s society Godly men are few and far between while Christian boys come in plenty. But you deserve a man who is after God’s heart not just a boy who goes to church. And I know that this Christian boy may seem great and have some really stellar qualities at the time but money and looks fade, whereas, an ongoing love for our savior will not.

The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is to lead her closer to God than himself. (Yes, yes, yes).

SEE ALSO: As Christians, Life Isn't Supposed To Be Hard

So I beg of you, do not settle. Do not settle just because you’re tired of being single, it’s convenient or because you want the relationship your friend has. Single does not equal available and a relationship status does not define you. God uses your season of singleness to prepare you for what is to come. And if you’re dating a Christian boy, he needs to step it up or you need to move on. Wait for a Godly man who is ready to lead you. God’s timing is always better, always. No matter the circumstance. So, do not rush God. (I mean, He is, after all, pretty good at His job). Therefore, turn your full focus to Him and He will direct your path.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Cover Image Credit: Christina Sharp

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8 Old Katelyn Tarver Songs You Probably Haven't Heard

None of her new songs will ever go as hard as "Chasing Echoes" and that's a fact.

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Years ago, I found (through iTunes recommendations) a pretty cool female artist. Later found out she was on "Big Time Rush", and then I found out she had some new songs out. I decided to give her new songs a listen, and they're good. However, I prefer some of her older stuff, which sadly isn't on Spotify. Fortunately, YouTube exists, and I'm here to share the best ones.


1. "Wonderful Crazy"

This is just a fun, upbeat song for when you're having a good day. Would recommend playing in your car with the windows rolled down.

2. "Rain"

I have a very specific memory of a time when this song blessed my life, but for all intents and purposes, it is a beautiful and happy song.

3. "I'll Make It Real"

This is a beautiful song with a wonderful message about staying true to yourself. I used to listen to it on the way to school every day my senior year of high school.

4. "Something In Me"

Featured in the greatest show of all time, "South of Nowhere" season 1 episode 6. A very relatable breakup mood.

5. "Love Alone"

This is definitely the second-hardest-hitting song she's ever released. The fact that this is not on Spotify or even iTunes anymore is just not fair.

6. "Favorite Girl"

This one's cute and upbeat, a definite crush mood. Not on the same level as "Love Alone", but it's still underrated.

7. "Closer to My Heart"

Another cute love song. I'll tie it with "Everything" for cutest love song on her first album. Highly recommend both.

8. "Chasing Echoes"

Facts are facts and the facts are that Katelyn Tarver's new stuff could never go as hard as "Chasing Echoes". I can't even begin to explain how deeply these lyrics cut through me when I was fifteen. Even now, this song can take me all the way back. She is robbing us by not making this available on streaming services (or even to purchase). Katelyn, bring this song back, I am begging you.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying the new stuff and am excited to see what's next.

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