Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's Sunday which means I'm feeling contemplative

Here is a send out going to everyone in my little world asking for your own stories. As I sit on my couch in yet another student apartment, it's hard not to notice how different my life has turned out from my high school imaginings, college dreams, or even mid-twenties ideals. I'm not despondent, I know everything happens for a reason, but, when I was in high school, I figured I'd be married by 23. In college, I thought I'd have children sometime during that decade. And in my mid-twenties I assumed I'd be in a house by age 30. So with all of my ideas of what a lovely life looks like thrown out the window (don't worry, I'm still convinced I have a lovely life), I'm wondering if others too have been thrown a big curve ball by life. Who else would never have thought they'd be where they are or doing what they're doing? Someone, please tell me your life is not what you envisioned either, and why it's still so much better than your early imaginings!!
As always, this question is open to people who know me or people who have happened on this blog while looking for actual helpful advice on that darned skin problem. I'm no respecter of nice helpful friends, be they new or old.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weekend Trip

Something fun about not having children, other than making up fun reasons for why you don't have any, is being able to take trips to see family and friends without hours of planning and preparation. This past weekend was just such an example. Friday morning, I drove down and spent time with darling college roommate Ada. Her in-laws live in a gorgeous home outside of Baltimore with a pool, plenty of space inside and out and lots of nice cool air conditioning. I could easily see why she spends a month there every summer. I love visiting her and remembering all the fun things I love about her - especially her hugs.
After visiting with Ada, I drove over to another college friend's house, Leah. Leah and I have kept randomly running into each other over the years, each time realizing we have more in common than we had previously thought. I love Leah for her easy openness and her honest acknowledgement that she is just as wacky as I am. I tell you, I get along so much better with people who recognize their own neuroses. Hey, we all have them, isn't life so much more fun to just embrace them?
After saying good-bye to my new best friend Adam, Leah's 3-year little boy, I made my way through downtown D.C, past the worst pedestrian's maybe on the planet, through every single red light, and behind every person going 10 miles an hour to see my darling Isabella and Marie from Wenatchee. Isabella, one of the high school kids I tutored, won a state-wide essay contest on what Gear Up means to her and thereby won a trip to D.C. with Marie, one of the Wenatchee High School's Gear Up administrators, to supervise. I absolutely fell in love with Isabella while living in the Wenatchka so of course I made time, while I was in town, to see them. It was wonderful to get to spend some solid time with them, trying to impart any last minute words of wisdom, like "make who you marry the most selfish decision you ever make," and "texting while you are having brunch with someone is kind of rude, put your phone away." Hopefully she remembers something of what I tried to impart.
Saturday afternoon, after a very quick run through of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum I drove down to Fredericksburg, VA to see my brother Phillip and his lovely family. I am so super duper excited to have them within easy driving distance. I am going to love getting to see them and fall in love with them every two to three months. We played games, chatted, played more games, ate, played even more games and slept. Oh, and Sunday we went to church. What a fun weekend. My new favorite thing about Phillip's family is the way he and his wife are teaching their children to serve - often by volunteering them. But the children don't complain or shirk. They go and do. It was amazing to witness!
So thank you husband for letting me go and take our only car with me. And thanks to my wonderful family and friends for hosting me this past weekend. It was a wonderful excursion!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

State College Women

Although the humidity just might kill me I think I am going to be highly entertained here in State College, PA for the next two years? Why is that you ask? Well, partially because there is a dollar theater and I can finally afford to go to the movies again, but mostly because I think I have found some kindred spirits in my new ward. We had a Relief Society social last week and the women at my table provided sometimes interesting, sometimes informational, and oftentimes hysterical conversation. I fell in love with these women and am so excited to have the next two years to make new life-long friends!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun Thoughts

Has it really been a month and a half since I have posted? Sorry, I've had a lot on my plate. One such item being a road trip from Portland to Pennsylvania. Along the way, we visited Matt's grandparents, my brother Paul and his wife Brie, Mount Rushmore, and Nauvoo (an LDS church history site). We enjoyed our trip that took us through scenic locales like Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota (the eastern half, because the western half is really quite lovely), and Iowa. By the end of the week we were so done with driving and road trip snacks. But at least we could still say we loved each other. So that's a plus. But here are a few highlights of the trip.

We stopped in Utah to visit Paul and Brie in Provo over the weekend so on Sunday we braved Paul's singles ward he has been assigned to. In Relief Society, one of the cute little counselors asked if I was Brie's mom. Her mother!! To make matters worse, this isn't the first time I've been accused of such a thing. The other time happened five years ago when I was living at home while on sabbatical and one of Paul's high school friends made the same mistake. Thankfully I didn't take too much offense to it because it seemed a little too absurd, but even still, I find it noteworthy enough to make mention of here. So, although I don't feel old enough to have a three year-old, I guess I am old enough to have a 21 year old. Sweet.

The other observation I wanted to make here is that Wyoming, but especially Iowa have really great rest stops. It seemed to me that the less exciting a state, the greater their efforts to make the time spent on their roads as pleasant an experience as possible. This in contrast to Washington state, that had, as at least one of their rest stops, a male and female port-a-potty. So, if you do have to travel through some rather, dare I say it, drab states, don't despair, at least your bladder will be thankful, if not your other senses.