Friday, May 28, 2010

baby, it's only life.

Ten days since my last blog? Sheesh, I am SLACK! I apologize for not adequately keeping you up-to-date with all my adventures. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again…I’m going to try to get better! Okay, now that the shameful part is over, here is what the past week and a half has been like for me…

I worked 41 hours last week, consisting of office work and two trips: jet skiing and a harbor cruise in Long Beach with an organization called Totally Kids. Both were SO much fun! During the harbor cruise, I made a new friend names Mariah. She was absolutely precious, and I am still proud of myself for not snatching her up and taking her home. She was three years old and had a mild mental disability and a respiratory disease. But most importantly, she loved me. I have no idea why, but she did. Which made me HAPPY! And blessed. And excited. And [insert all awesome words here]. I will never forget that sweet baby girl as long as I live!
I got to sit in on a few client assessments last week, also. I can’t wait until I get to be a big girl intern and administer them all by myself! Anne and Jen, like I’ve said a hundred times before, are probably the best two CTRSs that I could have possibly worked for in a million years, and they are SO helpful in teaching me the ropes. Fact: I love my job!

Not only was last week an epic work-week, but it was also epic for another reason…One Tree Hill season 7 finale AND season 8 renewal!!!! WAHOO! I was an extremely excited/happy/out of control/ecstatic/etc. girl on this day, make NO mistake about that! Eden’s 21st birthday was on the 18th, which was yet another awesome contribution to my week! I only wish I could have been there to celebrate with her…best friends since 7th grade! AND, to add to that, I got a care-package from home with KASEY KAHNE pajama pants in it from Darlington! YAY!!

Did I mention I met THE GloZell on Saturday evening? Because I DID!!!! And she was AWESOME! And I‘m still freaking out from getting to meet her! And THEN Ally and I went to Hollywood Blvd for a night out on the town (or something like that). Even though I was the ONLY girl NOT wearing stripper heels and a dress/skirt up to my hiney, it was super fun! I even met a CELEBRITY! Well, sort of. We talked to him for a few minutes and he got us into the VIP room at The W Hotel. Uh-may-sing. I didn’t even know that he was an actor when we met him, but just yesterday I found out otherwise. Did I freak out? YES!!!! And why was that? Oh, no big deal…he was just in ONE TREE HILL EPISODE 11 this season!!!!!!!!! WHAT?!?!? I kid you not, last night when I discovered this, I SERIOUSLY thought I was going to die of a heart attack. In fact, I am still CURRENTLY finding it hard to breathe. I’ve already told Teesh that if I ever happen to “run into him again” (aka stalk him until I find him), the choice has been made. Please listen to “If We Ever Meet Again” by Timbaland and Katy Perry for a better explanation of my feelings toward this situation. I’m telling ya…this week was a doozy because of all the excitement!

And then something AWFUL happened. Ally left to go back to Ireland on Tuesday, two months before she was supposed to. Yep, you guessed it: all my excitement flooded from me and what did I do? Cried, of course. And so did she. BUT I pinky promised her that I would come to Ireland within the next year (which absolutely PUMPS ME UP!) so at least we’ve got future plans. I’m really going to miss her though; heck, I already do! Who would have thought that a girl from South Carolina would meet a girl from Ireland while they’re both in Los Angeles, CA for the summer and become great friends in just three weeks? That just goes to show that you never know who God is going to put in your life-or for how long. All you can do is enjoy it while it’s here, and be grateful for it when it’s gone. Life Lessons with Anna. Be on the look-out for my new talk-show coming soon, folks. When in Hollywood…haha, riiiiight!

At work so far this week we’ve had two trips (sailing and kayaking) and we have one tomorrow (surfing). So exciting!! My watch, shorts, and sports bra tan gets better and better every day. I can’t wait until I put on my bathing suit and show it off to all the hotties with bodies at the beach. I know, I know…you’re going to hate to miss it! I would be disappointed, too.

Actually, I’m going to the beach on Sunday after church with Kyle, Tom, and Micki! And with that said, I guess now would be the perfect time to tell how God (yet again!) provided for me out here! Kyle Carrion ( a friend from high school) got in touch with me out of the blue and told me that he lives in LA! CRAZY!! I hadn’t seen him since senior year, so this was a MUCH NEEDED reunion!He invited me to a Bible study this past Tuesday, I went, and I LOVED it! He and two of his friends (Tom and Micki) are so incredible, and we’ve already made plans basically for the rest of the summer. They may just feel bad for the poor girl all alone in LA, but I’ll take it—pity or no pity! But seriously, they’re awesome and I am SO GRATEFUL for this door that the Lord opened for me. I mean seriously, the SAME DAY that Ally boarded a plane headed back to Ireland, I got to hang out and dig deep into the Word with a group of people in Santa Monica with a passion for Christ just like I’ve been praying to find. Blows. My. Mind. If that’s not a testament to God’s sovereignty and mercy, I don’t know what is!

I also got my first Cali lecture from my daddy yesterday. Not fun. But what that conversation really meant: he misses me. Which made it okay for me to just to sit back and let him fuss. Once daddy’s little girl, always daddy’s little girl. Even when you’re 2,300 miles away from home. I am so thankful for and BLESSED to have a daddy that cares enough about me to make sure I’m okay and still know right from wrong. I have PHENOMENAL parents who raised me to be the strong and independent young lady that I am today, so when they lecture me, I know it’s all out of love. At least I hope! : )

And since I’m on the topic of being 2,300 miles away from home, I would just like to say this: I love California. I love the opportunity to be on my own and make my own decisions and be responsible for everything I do. I have never doubted my abilities to be on my own, but this is really the first time that I’ve ever been able to prove that I can do it-and do it well-by myself. This whole graduation thing is so weird, because this internship really is the first major move of my adult career. I’ve been looking at jobs and apartments all over the place, because I love having the opportunity to create a new life. Everything about it just makes me so super excited!! I’m ready to be a big girl. Weird, huh? Yepp, I agree! But it’s a good weird; a weird that I am so proud of! In a sense, my life if just beginning. And I want more than anything to go where Jesus leads me. Even if that means making drastic changes and shocking the heck out of some people along the way!

One last thing: MY ROOMIE TURNED 22 YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!! YAY! I would have given anything to be there with my Kerbear on her big day, but I'll see her AND Squid and Mal in July so we'll make up for it then! Goodness, I miss my roomies.

Okay, I think that just about covers it...for now at least! I miss you, South Carolina!

Over and out.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

busy as a bee, happy as a camper.

Things have been so busy lately that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write out my days, hence why this is the first time I’ve blogged in nearly two weeks. Sheesh! I promise I’ll be better from here on out. I pinky promise! Here’s a recollection of the past 11 days, most in Cali but some in Nevada! Ready, set, go!

My first two days of work (May 6th and 7th) were awesome! I went in at 8 a.m. each morning and left at 5 p.m. each evening. I met with Anne and Jen (my supervisors) on Thursday morning for a few hours and they gave me a run-down of all the important stuff I would need to know then gave me a tour of the hospital. I got to play basketball with a few clients Thursday afternoon before I left, which was so much fun. Marco, Jean, Buck, and Romona were so much fun to hang out with. I had been teasing Marco, a client with cerebral palsy, all afternoon by saying “Polo” every time someone said his name, and when I was telling him bye, he said “Polo!” I thought I was going to DIE from excitement!!! That was the highlight of my day, fo sho!
Shelye, my roomie for the summer, set me up on a blind friend-date with one of her clients’ nieces. I was a little nervous but mostly excited to have a friend. She (and her uncle, who she’s staying with) is from Ireland and is visiting until the end of July. Her name was Ally and she was incredible!! We went to Universal Studios Hollywood on Saturday and Hollywood Blvd on Sunday. We are going to have no trouble tag-teaming to see all we can while we’re both here, that’s for sure! I’m so excited that the Lord put her in my life. That was one of the things I was most concerned about (not having anyone to hang out with) but that’s no longer a problem. YAY!

On Monday, I went to work til noon and then Ally and I went to the taping of the Jay Leno Show!!! Jay Leno and the show itself: amazing. Everything else about that day: horrendous. I had my first run-in with California’s rude population. Not ideal. Not to mention I had a parking ticket waiting on my windshield for me when I got back. Like I said, not ideal. It was, however, awesome to see Laura Bush guest star on the show! She’s such a proper, southern, cute lady. I was obsessed. I feel like her and Reba should be related. Just sayin’.

House boating began Tuesday morning at 5:30 a.m. Waking up at 4:15 a.m. was not my time of choice, but the moment I got there it was all worth it. At 7 o’clock a.m. eleven participants and eight staff/volunteers headed to Lake Mead, Nevada for five days on the water. It was so incredible! And it went by SO fast! Scott Allison, Scott Porter, Shelley, Stephanie, Ann Marie, Chris Lawhon, Chris Hobson, Theresa, Larry, Mary Jane, and Jeremy all had their own individual personalities that added so much to the trip. When I say there was never a dull moment, I mean it. Highs and lows were had by all, which only added to the adventure! Between a boat, a tube, a wakeboard, a knee board, two jet skis, and two kayaks, there was no possible way that fun was not to be had by all. We were all water babies for three full days. I have quite a few new tan lines to prove it. My shorts tan line is especially attractive.

Lake Mead is a breath-taking place. It is right in the middle of a canyon, with huge rocks completely surrounding you wherever you are. My favorite part of the entire week, hands down, was sleeping under the stars. The mountainous rocks outlined the sky and the shadow of the moon gave off the perfect amount of light. Uh. May. Zing. I wish I could have taken a picture of it, but there is no way that it would ever do it justice.

Psalm 8:3-4 has always been one of my favorite things to read, and sleeping under something so incredibly big instantly brought those verses to my mind:

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”

It is so amazing to me that with all of the things in this world that I have never seen, some of which I will never see, Jesus still thinks about me. He was with me during every second of this week, and he’ll be with me forever and ever. Blows. My. Mind.

Welp, we got back to Casa yesterday around 3:45 p.m. and unpacked/repacked from the trip. I got back to the apartment around 5ish and took my first shower since Tuesday morning. Just call me Miss Hygiene, since it’s so great and all. Good thing no one else on the trip was taking showers either, so there was no room for judgment. Deodorant: a house boater’s best friend.

As soon as I left work and turned on my phone, I got a call from Michal…who was calling to tell me that SHE BOUGHT HER PLANE TICKET TO COME SEE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Boy oh boy, I cannot WAIT until June 26th! FACT!!! And then, a few hours later I was having a skype date with Teesh and…HE BOUGHT HIS PLANE TICKET TOO!!!!!!!!!!! July 9th!!! YAY! I am SO EXCITED I can barely stand it!!!! WAHOO! I can’t believe it’s really happening! And there’s no turning back now!!! YAY! :-D

I also talked to Melly, Mommy, Shannon, and Daddy last night! It’s amazing how much more you miss someone without hearing their voices for a few days! I got a little homesick yesterday when we were on our way back to Casa because everyone got so excited when we starting seeing signs for Pomona. “I get to see my mom! I get to see my dad! I get to sleep in my own bed! There’s no place like home!” were just some of the things I was hearing coming from the back seat, and I was thinking “Orrrrrr we could just go back to the lake because I don’t get to experience any of those things!” No worries, though. I got over my self-pity quite timely. I should be good for the next few days. The trick is keeping myself busy. And I’ve been doing a great job at that.

Today is the first day that I have just stayed at the apartment and done nothing all day long-except for my big girl trip to the grocery store, of course. Although it would be nice to be sight-seeing and meeting tons of famous people, I’m very content just sitting here on the couch, watching a little Disney channel. Hannah Montana, to be exact. Ahh, perfection. I am super excited about 7 o’clock tonight because I have a skype date with P. Sawyer! YAY! I cannot wait to see that beautiful face on my computer screen! Sometimes, BBM just doesn’t cut it.

Tomorrow, Ally and I are hopefully going to the beach for a while and then having a drink at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Ally has been doing her research and that’s apparently the place to be to spot famous people. Good thing all those trips to Wilmy have trained me to be a professional stalker.

And speaking of stalking, I was telling some of the volunteers on this trip that I was going to go to Hemet, CA (in honor of James, of course) and they told me that I would need a bodyguard if I was going there. Interesting. Maybe James will come home and show me around himself. I’ll add that to my list. At the top. Maybe even before Disneyland. Yes, it is that serious.

Adios for now from southern California. Sending hugs and kisses to you always!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

west coast ramblings of an east coast girl.

The past 96 hours have been filled with a TON of new things! Daddy and I left Greenville on Saturday morning (May 1st) around 10 a.m., after getting a 3-hour late start…which, by the way, turned out to be great because I got to hang out with the fam and Teeesh for a little longer! : ) And thennnnn came the goodbyes. I knew it would be tough, but I had no idea it would be THAT tough. To say I cried a river MAY be an understatement. I definitely lost a lottttt of water-weight in a short time frame. Puffy eyes are cute though, right?

On day numero uno, we made it through South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana before stopping for the night in Marshall, Texas. Eight hours of sleep later, we were up and at em’ around 7 a.m. ready to start all over. We knocked out around 1,100 miles on the second day, making it through the rest of Texas and New Mexico before stopping in Tucson, Arizona for a second night of rest. We had another eight hours of sleeeeeeeep and finished up our road trip by 3 o’clock on Sunday. I can honestly say that it may be the best road trip I’ve ever been on. Not only because of all the super cool things I got to see (i.e. my first tumble weed blow across the road and real-live, tall cactuses in the desert), but also because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for daddy and me to hang out for a whole lot of uninterrupted quality time. That chance may never come around again and I am grateful beyond words that we got to have that daddy-daughter time.
From the time we got to Chino Hills (a.k.a. my home for the next three months) to 10:30ish on Tuesday morning, daddy and I were little traveling bees! We toured Chino Hills and Pomona; we even stopped by Outdoor Adventures in hopes to meet Anne and Jen, and daddy got to meet Anne and see the hospital I will be working at all summer. I think it made him feel good to know my whereabouts and kind of get a feel for the area before he left me all by my lonesome. And speaking of, that was when the waterworks started up again. Even worse than the all the rest. Not only was I in a new, HUGE city but I was about to be all by myself in it. But mostly, I was going to miss my daddy. And he was going to miss his little girl, too. How do I know? Well, I’ve only seen my daddy tear up/cry maaaaaybe five times in my whole life, and this was one of them. Now THAT was a doozy and part of the reason I cried so hard when I dropped him off at the airport in Ontario, CA. The perfect quote for this moment: “A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again.” -Enid Bagnold. : )

Once I dropped him off, I did a little more exploring—I’ve got a list of things to accomplish while I’m here, ya know! I only stayed around the Chino Hills/Pomona area for the afternoon, stopping by Wal-Mart and a few other familiar shops. I made quite possibly the best purchase of the whole trip: a WEBCAM!!!!! Now I get to see the faces of all my favorite people, which may help me not miss them as much. Orrrrr maybe not. But I’m willing to try anything! ; ) My first skype date was with Michal, and we talked about her coming to CALI pretty much the whole time! Wahooooo! I also got to have a skype date with Melly, Lizard, P. Sawyer, and Melissa! Cam-o doesn’t have a webcam yet, so we just messaged for a while, which was great as well! Now if my fam, Teesh, Whit, Cait Cait, Laur Laur, and Emilie Carol skype me, life will be grandddd. That’s a HINT to ya’ll, by the way!

Today (Wednesday) was Why, you ask? Oh, no big deal…I just went to the heart of LA and hung out for the afternoon. Rodeo Drive, Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd…like I said, no big deal. HAHA! RIGHTTTTTT! I was the most touristy person in the WORLD today!! I even squealed in public. Multiple times. And I wasn’t even ashamed. Basically, I wanted to walk up to everyone I saw and introduce myself as Vivian. Fact: I may need a babysitter while I’m out here.

I saw all the ritzy stores on Rodeo Drive (not to be confused with the Mighty Ducks’ pronunciation of Rodeo Drive—even though it’s tempting) and even went into a few ones. I legitimately felt like Pretty Woman walking into Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Tiffany’s, etc. Whew. It sure is tough being a poor country bumpkin from Simpleville, SC. I was scared to touch ANYTHING in all of the stores! I just stared at everything in awe. I kid you not.

Once I left Rodeo, I immediately went to see the Hollywood sign. I saw it when I crossed a bridge going to the other side of town and stopped breathing at my first glance of it. Who knew huge block letters had the power to take your breath away. Because they DID! Once I did my paparazzi duties at that location, I moved on to Hollywood Blvd and looked at the Walk of Fame. I only made it through a fraction of them because I didn’t realize there were SO many of them. I took pictures of my favorites, which really ended up being most of them (whoops!). I met Zorro and the Cookie Monster while walking down the strip, and they proceeded to talk to me for about five minutes. About what? Oh you know, absolutely nothing. I got pictures with them (per their request, I promise) and when Cookie Monster told me that I looked just like “a curly-headed Julianne Hough,” their innocent, “I just wanna be friends” disposition disappeared. Flattery won’t work, buckos. I look in the mirror every single day and never in my LIFE have I ever though I looked like Julianne Hough. Next time, just say, “Welcome to Hollywood!” It may work better than lying to my face. HA!

I walked down a little bit of Sunset Blvd, thought I saw Kim Kardashian (false alarm, dangit), then decided that I better head back to Chino Hills before traffic got bad. Did I mention that most highways in LA have at least 10 lanes? It’s either scary or fun, depending on perspective. I choose fun! Just ask daddy! ; )
I made a pit stop at Chick-fil-a before heading back to the apartment (couldn’t resist), then went to the grocery store with Catherine, one of my roommates! After that, I put on some comfy clothes, admired all my pictures from today, watched the Disney channel, and even got to talk to Kerbear! That is, before my phone went bazerk and hung up on her. I’m kind of excited that happened because now I’m guaranteed another phone date tomorrow to finish up our conversation. YAY! Another fact: I miss my roomies. A lot. Squid and Mal-o are graduating on Friday and I can’t be there, which doesn’t make missing them any easier. On a bright note, I will love them even MORE than before at the end of summer. I didn’t know that was possible, but I’m pretty positive it will definitely happen!

Tomorrow is my first day on the job (YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!) and I honestly could not be more excited. This summer is going to absolutely BLOW my MIND and I can’t wait to get started. Orientation tomorrow, surfing on Friday at Bolsa Chica Beach, house boating on Lake Mead in Nevada all next week…sounds like a rough summer, right? I hope you caught the sarcasm in that. This could quite possible be the greatest summer of my life, and I am SO ready to get started!!!

Welp, that’s all for now folks! Can’t wait til next time! : )
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