I had an eventful few weeks. My cousin Courtney came - and we went to Palm Desert for a quick spa day, and then to Vegas to play.
When we checked in at Bellagio, the employee offered us a free upgrade to a suite, which we readily accepted.
In Vegas we went to a club, The Bank, which was quite fun, particularly to people watch. The next day we had a slow morning, but made it to the Wynn Buffet for lunch, and spent a few hours shopping in the forum shops. Then we did a couple of hours at the pool, had dinner at The Fix (pictures coming), and went to sleep early to drive home the next morning.
The day we got back, we were back in the car again to go to Staples Center to see Taylor Swift! We had dinner at the Yard House first, which was awesome, and the concert was pretty good, The Biebs even made an appearance!!
Finally, yesterday I met up with old friends at Disneyland. I had such a
great time in the park. I got some Dole Whip, saw the parade, and rode
great rides. Finally, we had a really yummy dinner at House of Blues.
(warning: this is a little more serious than usual)
I've been trying to not think much about the implications of moving to Alabama - partly as a form of denial, and partly because I want to enjoy my time here, and partly because, well, the decision has been made, so there isn't much to do with those thoughts.
But I am struggling to figure out what expectations I have of myself going forward. I do see Alabama as something of a new start, a change to build a community of people from scratch, instead of relying on family, old friends, and the nature of school to be around people. I also see it as a time that Curtis, me and Kenny can take that next step as our own family unit. As much as we have loved being near our family at the beginning of our marriage, I personally think that being away will help us mature as a couple, and as individual adults.
I also expect other things, like finally solidifying healthy habits like eating well and exercising, finding a church that I will join, praying more often, finding and interesting job, and just trying to be a happier, more outgoing person, who get more out of each day.
But some days, like today, I wonder if I'm expecting too much out of simply a move. Yes, I think my excitement over finding work in Alabama is genuine, if I had stayed here I would have dreaded looking for work, whereas I'm really excited about it in Bama. But the other things - my life will not get simpler just because I'm done with school, so why am I expecting all of these changes. I'm also scared about the distance for sure - although I think it will be a good thing in the long run. I'm just not sure whether the weight (figurative and literal) that I seem to carry around with me here will be lessened there.
The good thing is, a new start is better than a no start. And I feel more connected to God than I have in a long time. And I am grateful for my friends, for being so supportive of this move, and already excited about visiting. And most of all, I am grateful for my family, my husband especially, for being so loving, so supportive, and so willing to take on a new adventure like this. It may not be all that I hope for, but it will be something. :-)
I also got a Turtle on my shoulder. Other fair highlights included: drinking pinot grigio on a lovely patio, roasted corn on the cob, cotton candy, funnel cake, pig races, and a dog jumping show. Also got to pet an ox and coo at baby chicks!
Funny update: I was in the courtyard where I take Kenny near my apartment, and another dog owner complimented me on this tattoo. I laughed, said thank you, and informed her that the tattoo was fake, and that if I ever got a tattoo, it wouldn't be located there. She said that you totally couldn't tell, but that she thought it was cool, and that, like me, was contemplating a tattoo, but couldn't decide what to get, but that it probably wouldn't go on a foot. I will say however, that I do like the location, and if it were not for those pesky professional dress codes, I'd be tempted ;-).
Yesterday was by 26th Birthday. My celebration has been, as usual, awesome. My good friends Jackie & Josh took me to Catalina to go zip lining, and we also ended up having enough time for an hour of kayaking in perfect weather! I bought a cute straw fedora and a short dress, and overall had a fabulous time. Zip Lining was so fun! I'd love to go again, the views were great and the ride is awesome. It actually isn't as scary as you would think, or maybe I was just feeling a little more daring on my birthday :-). Here's a video of my last run.
And some pictures...
Me riding down the line!
I also got some fabulous gifts, and am overall very happy about a wonderful birthday celebration. The fact that I'm now on the other side of my 20s hasn't quite set it yet, but it still feels good to be happy and healthy another year.
As I've probably mentioned before, one of my favorite parts of summer when I was in high school was spending a week at Lazy W Ranch for our [United Methodist] church district's Senior High Camp (entering 9th grade - exiting 12th). In 2007 I was able to serve on the Staff as a counselor, and this was the first year I was able to do it again.
Overall, it was a tiring, but great week. Our kids were awesome. They were so willing to share from the very beginning, and had so much enthusiasm during our worship throughout the week. It's neat too because one of the deans in charge of the camp was a counselor when I was a camper, and our music/worship leader was also there back then (Matt Neely) so to be able to do camp with both of them was fantastic. My cabin was so fun, I loved all of our girls, and my "family group" (small group) was also wonderful, so vocal and so fun.
My Family Group!
For me, it was also a great way for me to reconnect with God after a very challenging three years in law school. It made me realize going forward that it would be really important for me to build on this week to try and revitalize my spirit and my relationship with God. I am so far behind what I was when I was the campers' age, and not because I was purposefully disconnecting with God, but rather because I allowed all of life's distractions to get in the way. One of my goals as part of my new life in Alabama will be to find a church where I'm comfortable, join a bible study, and try to worship more frequently.
In other news, I need to decide what to do about facebook. I had a personal 500 friend limit, mostly as a way to make sure that everyone I was friends with I cared to see what they were up to now and again, and to give me a schedule for re-evaluating. Now that camp has produced an influx of friends, I have to decide whether to let the limit go for now or try to get back down to 500. I'll probably wait until I have a chunk of time to work on it. :-)
I just spent the last week at Church Camp - it was amazing. Today I was on Catalina Island with two good friends for my birthday - we went kayaking and zip lining, and both were awesome. I will have pictures from both events soon. In the meantime I'm preparing for my next phase of activities - visits from friends and family, which start on Wednesday. The fun continues!