Friday, June 25, 2010

one day is worth a thousand tomorrows.

Helloooooooo again! It always amazes me how excited I get to write down my days on here. I wish I could do it every single day, but with my crazy random schedule of work and being a full-time tourist, that’s never going to happen. All the more reason to use twitter like it’s going out of style, if ya ask me!

Okay, here are the past five days of my life in a nut-shell: I was able to sleep in on Monday (YAY!) and be lazy all afternoon (double YAY!) On Monday evening, I worked with a few clients in TLC for a couple of hours. I worked in the office all day Tuesday, with the exception of ASAP in the afternoon. I was going to go Santa Monica for my weekly Bible study/hang-out time with Kyle, Tomahawk, and Micki untillllllllllll I received an email saying that my ePortfolio for graduation was due by June 30th. Yikes. Thank goodness they changed the requirements for it and it only took me 2ish hours to get it done instead of 3ish weeks like students in the past. By 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, I was DONEZO with it, and I’m tellin’ you what—that felt uh-may-zing! Wednesday at work was filled with meetings and more camp preparation. We met with the Director of Research at Casa to discuss our attempts at measuring client outcomes when they come on trips. Also on Tuesday, I met with the Director of Speech Therapy and Children’s Services Center. This was my favorite interview so far, because Ms. Sendor was extremely knowledgeable about everything that was going on in both of her departments. It made me want to work with kids even more than I previously did! They were all so presh!

After work, I got to hang out with Candice and two of her sorority sisters at……..the ANGELS vs. DODGERS game!!!! So. Much. FUN. Seriously! I bought a t-shirt to get in the spirit and since I didn’t know any of the players for the Angels, I went with a familiar name. WEAVER! All for my favorite Weaver in the whole world—Timothy Justin!!! YIPPEE! Sidenote: the Angels stadium is WAYYYYY nicer than the Dodgers stadium. Just had to throw that out there. Another sidenote: I am so unbelievably BLESSED to have met Candice. I’m not even joking…she has absolutely spoiled me ever since the first day I met her! As if everything else she’s done for me the past month hasn’t been more than enough, she got us SECOND ROW TICKETS to the game! YESSS!!!! In. Cred. Uh. Bull.

On Thursday, we took a group of participants to Santa Catalina Island, right off the coast of Long Beach, CA. It was a SUPER fun day, and the participants really seemed to enjoy themselves. It also helped that Catalina is absolutely beautiful. I mean B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! I seriously felt like I was somewhere in the Mediterranean…more specifically, on the set of Mamma Mia! in Greece. I don’t just want to travel anymore…I NEED to. Every time I go somewhere else, it becomes more and more difficult to ever want to settle down in one place. I shoulda been born a gypsy. Forrealzzzz.

Catalina used to be completely owned by the Wrigley family…yes, as in Wrigley gum. Saweeeeeeet! The Chicago Cubs also used to have spring training on the island, which made it even COOLER! Steven Thornton would have been in heaven. That’s a fact. The Wrigleys still own 9 ½ square miles of the island, but they donated 87% of it to the island conservancy many years ago. We took a tour of the mainland, and even got to see some wild bison! YAY! And the view from on top of the mountain? Wow. That’s really all I can say. I was gasping for air at times. Hey God, you continue to blow my mind with your creation. Please don’t stop. Love, Anna : )

Just when I thought ripping my pants as soon as we got onto the island and having to wear my jacket around my waist all day like I was in 7th grade again was the worst part of the day, I received some pretty terrible news from Teesh. Good day gone bad? That’s a severe understatement. I hid out in the handicap restroom on the ship bawling my eyes out the entire trip back to Long Beach. My heart is still absolutely crushed, and I think it will be for a while, but it is also overwhelmed with how graceful and merciful the Lord is. When I got back to my apartment, I meditated on Psalm 91, Psalm 34:18, and Philippians 4:7 for hours. And even after I closed my Bible for the night, my mind was still wide awake, allowing me to only get about 30 minutes of sleep last night. It’s times like these that make me sick with sorrow because I can’t be there for the people who need someone to be there for them. I missed home a lot today. If it wasn’t for the bear hugs from Jen and Anne last night and today, I’m pretty positive that I would have gone crazy by now. Michal coming to visit tomorrow was so perfectly orchestrated by God that I can’t help but smile SO BIG even through my tears, because he ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS know EXACTLY what we need and EXACTLY when we need it. Thank. You. Jesus.

Speaking of Michal coming tomorrow…HOLY MOLY! I can’t believe our countdown since FEBRUARY is finally ending. WOW!!! I pick her up at 12:10 p.m. tomorrow and I seriously COULD NOT be more excited than I am to see her!!! Tackle hug? Yep, she’ll pretty much be calling me Da’Quan Bowers after this one! I am so incredible blessed by her friendship. Real talk. She is a PHENOMENAL best friend, and I couldn’t be more grateful for her! I can’t wait to show her LA…and maybe a few other places! Someone once said “"Friendship lightens every burden and makes the sun shine brighter,” and that is exactly what she does for me! I. Love. Her. : )

I am currently lying on the couch watching the Disney Channel. I love it when this is all I have to do all day. Lazy days are a gift from God, no doubt. Anne let me off work at noon today, so I was able to run all my pre-Michal errands early this afternoon. Getting off work early=a little piece of heaven on earth! Especially when it’s unexpected.

I’ve also got all my ORANGE on, and I’m ready for some TIGER BASEBALL! I’m actually pretty pumped that we get to play Carolina tonight…a little Palmetto State rivalry all the way in Nebraska. YAY! Goooooooo Clemson!

Okee dokee, well, I think that just about covers it for now! Expect another update following Michal’s visit…I’m confident that I will have MANY stories to tell!
See ya later, alligator! : )

p.s. Hey Teeesh! You can stop complaining about how I didn’t write about you, because TADA! Here it is. I MISS YOU BOYFRIEND! Andddd I lub joo!

Anddddd a little food for thought: “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” -Charles Dubois

Monday, June 21, 2010

tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme.

I’ll just go ahead and get this part out of the way…yes, the Celtics lost. And the Lakers won. And I have been getting heckkkk from everyone out here since Thursday. Awesome. Good thing I’m an all weather fan, fresh like vanilla man!

Okay, now that that’s out of the way…these past few days have been INCREDIBLE! So incredible that I honestly couldn’t wait another second to write about them! Everyone pull up a chair, grab your reading glasses, and read your heart out.

Thursday was one of the most humbling days of my whole life. Seriously. I filled out my mid-internship evaluation of the agency while Anne and Jen filled out their mid-internship evaluation of me. Oh, the pressure. And I was definitely feeling it while they sat out on the patio of the office and deliberated. Two words: nervous wreck. Little did I know that I was about to receive some of the best feedback and encouragement than ever before in my whole life. I was absolutely blown away by the positive comments they were making about me and my work so far—I couldn’t stop smiling to save my life! I gave it right back to them, though, because I only had great things to say about them, as supervisors and, more importantly, as people. Every single day I walk into the office or go on a trip, I get so excited to be able to spend another day with them. And to back-track a little…how in the WORLD is it possible that I have already been in Cali for SIX WEEKS? I can’t believe it at all—I just hope these next seven don’t go by as quickly. I already don’t want to ever leave this place, and I don’t even want to think about how devastated I will be when the time comes. Ahhh, makes me want to cry! And hence, I feel a subject change comin’ on.

Then Friday rolled around. And since it was my day off, I got to sleep until 10 o’clock. YES! I feel like I should admit that I had to genuinely force myself to stay in bed for that long, though. The only thing that kept me there was popping in Dear John for the sixth time since I got it. Hey Teesh, I think it’s safe to say that you’re getting your money’s worth for that one! : ) Once I got up and got ready for the day, I went to Forever 21 and H&M for a little retail therapy…did I mention that I got the CUTEST dresses ever? Oh, because I totally did! Two of them are more like cocktail/work party dresses and I have no earthly idea where I will wear them, but I couldn’t put them down. If anyone needs a date, just let me know…I can be dressed to impress in a flash! After I left the shops, I went into work for about an hour to tie-dye pillow cases with some of the residents at TLC. SO. MUCH. FUN. I don’t know what I’ll do when/if they go home before I leave…I’ve truly grown to love those guys!

And what did I do after work? I did something EPIC. Something that I had never done before, but always wanted to do. Brace yourself. I went to my first….DRIVE-IN MOVIE! It is legitimately changed my life! Two movies for only $7 and you get to bring your own snacks, blankets, chairs, etc.? HECK YES! Thank goodness I’ve got an incredible friend like Candice to introduce me to all the awesome that Southern Cal has to offer. I. Love. That. Girl. Yes I do! We watch Get Him to the Greek and Killers, both of which were phenomenal! I honestly don’t think I stopped laughing the ENTIRE time Get Him to the Greek played. And Ashton was lookin’ tooooooo fine in Killers. Bada-bang-bada-boom. Mmhmm, what’s that now? (just for you, P. Sawyer!)

So basically, Friday was the bomb. And what about Saturday? Even BETTER! I started my day out from 8:30-2:30 at a bike rally/car show fundraiser event that Casa put on. I haven’t seen such classy people since I left South Carolina. It made me feel right at home, that’s for sure. Mullets made up about 75% of the population, fake boobs were present in 99% of the females, leather was the hottest item up for grabs, and crazy people paid $4 for a little teeny tiny cup of beer. Devotion. Pure devotion. The only thing that would have made the day complete would have been if daddy showed up in his jorts and holey (or holy, depending on perception) Harley Davidson t-shirt from the 90s. I would have been in hog heaven! I must give credit where credit is due, though…Anne, Jen, Will, and I voted on the best outfit of the day and we unanimously agreed on a winner: a man wearing a doo rag, Levis, big ol’ black boots…sounds pretty basic, right? Well, the thing that set him apart was his black t-shirt, which had “Jesus would have rode a Harley” in white block letters on the front. I don’t think any of us ever laughed so hard than when we saw that for the first time. PRICELESS! I’m cracking up right now just thinking about it. HA!

After my duties at the bike rally were completed, I went to Candice’s graduation party for a little while. She’s a big girl now! YAY! And she’s also one of my most favorite people in the whole world. Boy am I glad that I met her, got to work with her for a few weeks, and now we still hang out. Remember those blessings I keep talking about? Yep, she’s definitely included in those…multiple times! I left her house around 5:30 and headed to Tomahawk’s apartment…why? So he, Kyle, Micki, and I could go toooooooooooo DISNEYLAND!!!!!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!! TIMES A MILLION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I also ran into a little surprise when I was driving down the freeway headed to his place...I was on the phone with Melly when I looked over and saw caught a glimpse of someone driving a little Mercedes coupe convertible that looked just like Jessica Alba. I couldn't tell though, but fortunately there was traffic and we ended up passing each other several times. And guess what. IT WAS HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After passing me like ten times and seeing me gawking over her during every one of those passes, she LOOKED OVER at me and SMILES and WAVED! AHHHHH!!!!! I screamed bloody murder for a good five minutes while seeester laughed her head off at me. I am STILL beaming from that experience! WOWZERSSSS!!!! Okay, back to Disneyland...first and foremost, I was SUPER excited to see BELLE and the BEAST! I honestly don’t think that it’s possible for me to be anymore obsessed with them than I already do. True life: I’m addicted to Beauty and the Beast. We also got to see the fireworks show, the Fantasmic Light Show, and ride our favorite rides, which included Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain (twice!), andddddddd (get ready for it……) THE SPINNING TEA CUPS! They’ve been my favorite since I was a little girl, and I can promise you that they will be FOREVER! All four of us twirling that tea cup was hilarious and super deeeee duper fun! It definitely made me get over the fact that the princess castle at Disneyland is like a fourth of the size of the one in Disneyworld, which is a huge deal because I was quite upset! During those several hours in the park, everything in the whole world was as it should be. There’s just something about Disney that brings out the absolute best in me and makes me all tingly inside! I just love it! Disneyland and Disneyworld are definitely the happiest places on earth…which is why I have decided that I need to move there! Preferably Disneyworld since the castle is more appropriate for my taste! : )

We left the park when it closed, and headed over to Downtown Disney for a little while. House of Blues was the only place opened so we camped out there until they kicked us out. Just a day in the life of a couple of Disney junkies. I got back to my apartment around 4:30 a.m., which was just in time to snag 3ish hours of sleep before I needed to wake up for church. Good thing I’m an animal and can function for several days on no sleep (as evidenced by me being motivated to write this at this time!). I went to church with Jen (one of my supervisors) this morning, and it was so great! The Holy Spirit was showin’ out and I was lovin’ it! It was also wonderful to spend time with Jen outside of the work atmosphere. She is a one-of-a-kind lady and I am honored to be able to work with her and also get to be her friend. She’s categorized under “blessings” too, no doubt about it! I even got to meet her mom and dad at church, both of which were so nice and free-spirited. Great, great, great morning!

The only thing I wish I could have done today that would have made this day absolutely perfect that I wasn’t able to do is give my daddy a bbbbbbiiiiiggggggg bear hug on his special day! I miss my pop a whoooooole lot, especially today. I’m glad he was able to play a little golf this morning (all thanks to my wonderful, incredible, thoughtful, irreplaceable boyfriend), watch Will win his baseball game, and just relax for a while. I wuv wuv wuv wuv wuvvvvvv my deddy!!!!!

Today was also my roommate Shelye’s birthday, as well as Morgy Porgy’s birthday! This day was just super exciting! AND another epic thing happened earlier this evening…I picked up my senior pictures (which I absolutely LOVE!), picked out my favorites, and ordered my graduation announcements! Holy smokes, I can’t believe it!! I love the way Meredith Grey puts it: “When did we become adults? And more importantly, how do we make it stop?” Haha, I just love that! Except, I really don’t want it to stop. Not yettttt at least. The more I think about how I get to be a big girl and make my own decisions (even more so than I already do), the more excited I get. Now I just need everyone to start praying that I can find a job. That would be AWESOME! Dude, I can’t even believe that I get to have a real job now. Crazy! Yet so so so SO exciting and thrilling at the same time!

Welp, the time has finally come: I am starting to get a tad sleepy. Since that’s the case, I guess I’ll make my way to my comfy mattress, NOT set an alarm, and pray that I can sleep wayyyyyy late tomorrow. I get the day off tomorrow (yippee!), but I’m probably going to go to TLC at 6 o’clock to help Beth with the activity. I’m tellin’ ya, I can’t get enough of it!

Sweet dreams! Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

p.s. Michal will be here in FIVE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY. SMOKES. I can’t even fathom that yet!!! HOOOOOOOOOOOTIEHOOOOOOOOOOO!

p.p.s. I really want to see Toy Story 3! Like reeeeeeeeally bad. I bet Micki will come with me…us little girls at heart gotta stick together! Always!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

and I don't know how it gets better than this.

Fact: Monday, June 7 through Friday, June 11, 2010 were the best five days of my life so far. Not only was I able to spend those five days at the lake, but I got to do it with fifteen of the most amazing people. Ever. Not only did we get to spend three full days on the water, but we got to know each other so well that I feel like I gained fifteen new best friends. I thought for sure that after the house boating trip that nothing would get better…ha, what a joke! I seriously am STILL so unbelievably blessed from that trip that it still kills me dead to think about. I grew as a therapeutic recreation specialist. I became more mature. I learned things about myself that I never knew before. I had fun. I was goofy. And fun-loving. But most of all, I am currently walking closer to Jesus because of that week. How so, you may wonder. Well, I would love to enlighten you! How often do employees talk with their bosses about Jesus and their faith? How often do employees get asked to pray with their bosses? How often do bosses hug you so tight that there’s no way to doubt that it’s real and they care about you? How often do groups invite outsiders into their home…just because? I could go on and on, but I’ll simplify it to this: Outdoor Adventures is the absolute, hands-down most anointed place I could have ever been selected to spend three months affiliated with. I honestly can’t even believe that I get to do what I do.

I could write/talk about my new friend, Andrew, for hours and hours. Andrew was a 17 year-old boy that we met one day when we were out on the beach. He ended up hanging out with us a lot, both on the beach and back at Lucia’s house. If I had to describe Andrew in three words, that would be a synch: the prodigal son. His story was heart-wrenching and inspiring and emotion-evoking and real. It was so real. There really is only one way to describe how he’s even alive right now: blessed by a gracious and merciful God. I will never ever ever ever forget him as long as I live, and I am so thankful for the two days our group was able to spend with him. I am a better person just for knowing him. Amazing.

I went to sleep around 8:30 on Friday night. I was POOPED! But it was the absolute BEST pooped-ness ever in the history of pooped-ness. Those 11 hours of sleep were exactly what I needed to jump-start me for Saturday because it was…ERICK’S 23RD BIRTHDAY! YIPPEEEEEEE! Erick and Emilie got to see my apartment that day too, which was preeeeetty saweeeeet! Afterwards, we went back to Erick’s apartment, got ready for the night, then made our second appearance at The Playhouse to celebrate! We went with a super fun group, and it didn’t feel like we were out more than 10 minutes before we were leaving. That’s when you know it’s a good night! : ) The conversation on our way back to Erick’s was prooooobably my favorite part of the night though. All my passengers were thanking me for being such a good DD, which I credited to all my shifts in past years (ha!). When I told them that I’m always the “Mom” when my friends go out, they quickly changed my title from “Mom” to “Angel.” They said this was because “Moms have to take care of their children…angels don’t have to, but they want to because they care about everyone.” It was absolutely hilarious to hear a couple boozies talking about me being an angel. Haha, gotta love Hollywood. They did succeed in making me blush, though, I won’t lie. Guilty as charged!

I got up Sunday morning, went to work for a couple hours, got to hear Skyline record a song (SAWEEET!), then went to church with my Uphoffs. I loved C3LA and I’m really looking forward to going back again soooooon! I’m so thankful for all the churches I’ve been able to visit, and I’m ready to start going somewhere steadily. Until I go back home and get to go be with my family at NewSpring. Sheesh, I miss those wonderful people so much! Especially my kiddos in KidSpring! But for now, I’m super excited about all the doors being opened out here for me to serve. It amazes me how blessed I am sometimes. I love it! We went to dinner after church to celebrate Erick’s birthday one last time before Emilie left us for the east coast (tear tearrrrr). I got to meet a lot of awesome people, picked me up a dinosaur (thank you, Ke$ha), and discovered how disgusting tequila is. Bleckkkkk. Margaritas are definitely NOT my drink of choice. At least dinosaur, I mean Emilie’s cousin, paid for it and I didn’t have to. Haha, gotta love being a girl sometimes!

Monday was Emilie’s last day in Cali. Booooooooooooooooo. That’s all I can say. And how did we spend her last day in Los Angeles? We got lunch with Erick before he went to perform, met a new friend named Moe (who was a “multi-millionaire” that “couldn’t be bought”), and then got the best surprise ever…Tomahawk, Kyle, and Lucas were sitting righttttttttt beside us! Made my day, fo sho! And thennnnnn we went to Rodeo Drive…baby. I don’t know what I was more excited about…us being there or me finally having a Kit to walk around with. Ahhh, who am I kidding—Vivian and Kit, all the way! YES! Where are all my Pretty Woman lovers out there? You know what I’m talking about! YAY! We went into a couple of the stores—whew, that was nerve-wrecking. I even found my perfect engagement ring. Here, I’ll describe it to you: roughly 3 carats, clearer than glass, glistened like the sun on water, and called out “Annaaaaaaaaaa!” while I was gazing at it. Hey Teeesh, how much do you love me? Haha, not that much. Daddy always told me to dream big. And I’ve become quite good at it. Thanks, pop! ;) To finish out our day out on the town, we went to dinner at The Counter to see Kyle! The burgers were the bomb, the sweet potato fries were literally a taste of heaven itself, and the strawberry milkshake was off the chain. The only downside to eating there? Oh, that’s an easy one: having Kyle tell us that LANCE BASS (yes, from *NSYNC!) had JUST eaten there and JUST left like 30 minutes before we got there. Oh. My. Gosh. Talk about a Debbie Downer! I am STILL crying myself to sleep over that. Sheeeeesh.

The weekend ended, and Tuesday at work we had two sessions of jet-skiing—one in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Everyone had an awesome time, and I even enhanced my stunning tan lines. Man, I can’t wait to go to the beach in a couple weeks and show off all my different skin tones. All the fellas are going to chase me around, and all the ladies are going to wish they looked like me. Owwww! Haha, that’s a big SIKE! Andddddd since we’re on the topic of going to the beach, I think it is the perfect time to have a freak-out attack. Here it comes…………..MICHAL WILL BE HERE IN TEN FLIPPIN’ DAYS AND WE GET TO SEE ALL OF LOS ANGELES TOGETHER!!!!!!!!! AND SHE GETS TO SEE THE BEAUTIFUL PACIFIC OCEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND I GET TO SEE MY GIRLS STATE BEST FRIEND OF THREE YEARS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (breathe, Anna, breathe) I CANNOT WAITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, I shouldn’t have another one of those for at least five minutes. Butttttt to add another exciting element to this entry, I got three surprises in the mail over the past two weeks: a card from my best friend Whitney, a card from Nana and a box of goodies from Teeesh! YES!!! I always get SO excited anytime I get something out here because I know people are thinking about me and actually miss me! It’s a good thing because I miss all my east coasters SO much my heart hurts! I know I say this all the time, but I just can’t stop saying it: I have the best friends and family in the whole world and there is NO WAY I would be the same without each and every one of them in my life! Blessed. Blessed. Blessed. That’s what I am! : )

I think that catches everything up for now (until I remember something that I forgot to write in a few minutes, that is). I hope everyone is having a wooooooonderful June! Always count your blessings and give way too many hugs! Sending all my love from the golden coast! : )

p.s. welcome to the world of blogging, Cait Cait!

p.p.s. do you know how hard it is to be a Celtics fan in LA? I hope my boys don’t cause me grief from EVERYONE I know out here tomorrow. Let’s go Boston!

p.p.p.s. You make me smile. :O)

Monday, June 7, 2010

who's that chick that's rockin' kicks? gotta be from outta town.

It’s been 10 days since my last post…again. My goodness gracious, I need to quit going all the time and make time for documenting more often! Everyone put your reading glasses on, here it comes:

On Saturday, May 19th, I went to Laguna Beach for the first time to take my senior pictures! One word: BEAUTIFUL. Holy moly, no wonder people are obsessed with that place. It was seriously so incredible! I haven’t seen my pictures yet, but the great and talented Amanda Kurmata should be getting those to me soooon! YAY! And thennnnnn I went to sleep at 10 p.m. I know, I know…I need to settle down and not be so crazy. Maybe I’ll eventually get over all the hype of the big city. HA!

On Sunday, I went to church in Bel Air with Kyle, Tom, and Micki. Fact: I absolutely love those three! They are so much fun and I am SO blessed to have them to hang out with now! Thank you, JESUS! After church, we all went to Santa Barbara for the afternoon. Can you say beautiful? Whew, I swear my mind gets BLOWN every time I go somewhere out here. I can’t even fathom the beauty sometimes! It was a super fun day! And did I mention how gorgeous it was? Okay, good.

Monday was Veteran’s Day, and I spent it being super lazy. I slept ‘til 10ish, moved from my bed to the couch, and watched tv for a good three hours. Thennnn I went into work for a while to do an activity at TLC. It was Candice’s last day working there so we went to see Letters to Juliet to celebrate her being finished with her internship AND college. Perfect occasion. PERFECT movie. Oh my goodness, it was SO gooooooood! A good, healthy cry was exactly what I needed—and exactly what I got! Letters to Juliet, you are now my 6th favorite movie. I don’t know if you know it, but that’s a HUGE honor. My favorite quote of the whole movie was this:

"Dear Claire,
"What" and "If" are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together, side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life. "What If?" I don't know how your story ended but if what you felt then was "true love", then it's never too late. If it were true then, why wouldn't it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart. I don't know what a love like Juliet's feels like; a love to leave loved ones for, a love to cross oceans for. But I'd like to believe if I ever were to feel it, that I'd have the courage to seize it. And Claire, if you didn't, I hope one day that you will.
All my love,

Those words are just awesomely encouraging and I love them! It makes you want to hug someone, doesn’t it?! I missed Teesh a WHOLE lot when I was watching the movie, especially when I heard this quote, but it made me all warm and fuzzy at the same time: how blessed am I to have had someone in my life for the past 6 ½ years that is the epitome of what that quote says? I know what a love like Juliet’s feels like. I feel all warm and fuzzy just writing these words. Yep, I’m definitely a girl! : )

Okay, enough mushy stuff...for now, that is! The rest of my week was spent copying a million papers, sitting at my desk, and putting Land Meets Sea Sports Camp registration packets together, stuffing them in envelopes, and mailing them. All 150 of them. Whew, that makes me tired just thinking about it! My motto for the week? “For the glory.” It works. Every time I would start getting frustrated or wanted to stop, I thought about Colossians 3:23-24 and my mood INSTANTLY changed. Jesus is way too good to me, and that’s a fact!

On Tuesday night I went back to Santa Monica for the Bible study (which was, once again, fantastic!) and on Wednesday night, I met Jennifer Nisbett for dinner. How CRAZY is it that we met for dinner…in LA? Haha, who would have thought that would happen in a million years? Nevertheless, it was AWESOME! I even met two of her friends that she made while here: Stephen and Anna. They were so genuine, and their love for Jesus rocked my world. Seriously. I hope I get to hang out with them more while I’m here!

Thursday was a bittersweet day for me, and quite a few tears were shed. On June 3rd, 1923, my great-grandmother “Ma” was born. She would have been 87 this year, and even though she’s been with Jesus since August 28th, 2006, thinking about her not being here anymore still rips me apart. I may not have been “happy” on Thursday, but I can tell you one thing—I was more JOYFUL that day than I have been any other day this whole year. That’s because she had her 87th birthday in a kingdom made of the purest gold, which is EXACTLY what she deserves.

Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity.” Mother Teresa

On Thursday night, I watched the Celtics vs. Lakers game then headed to North Hollywood to see EMILIE CAROL! Seeing her was exactly what I needed on a day like that! : ) And then what happened on Friday morning? I got another parking ticket. Southern hospitality in California? Heck to the no! But THEN, Emilie scored $50 and promised to give it to me to pay the ticket. Once again, thank you JESUS! Question: is Emilie a good friend? Nope. She’s one of the VERY BEST! For the rest of the day, we hung out with her brother and his girlfriend (Erick and Marisa). We watched Erick perform some saweeet dance moves and then went to the BRAVES vs. Dodgers baseball game. YAY! Except the Braves lost. BOO! They must have known we came to watch them all the way from the east coast and they developed performance anxiety. Yep, that’s our story. And we’re stickin’ to it.

We went on a mini shopping spree on Saturday, and I got some super cute heels (because that’s ALL people wear here) and a few other items. Forever 21, you make life complete. And affordable. Thanks for that! Then I got my eye brows waxed, came back to my apartment to get ready, and headed to San Bernardino for the Lady Antebellum & Tim McGraw concert! YESSIRRRRR! It was so much fun hanging out with Candice and her friends AND seeing them perform. It was so refreshing to be in a place filled with rednecks. I never thought I’d miss that southern characteristic, but I DID! Rebel flags and all. Felt just like home sweet home! After the concert, I headed back to North Hollywood for a night out on the townnnn with Emilie Carol, Marisa, and Erick. Erick got us into a club called The Playhouse, which was SUPER nice! My first club experience was veeeery interesting yet veeeeery fun! And did I mention that I love being a girl? We seriously don’t pay for anything (except parking tickets) and it is the JAM. Attention all boys: thank you for your contributions! It makes having an unpaid internship MUCH easier!

Today, I got up, got ready, and headed to work. I was supposed to work from 12 to 4, but ended up only staying until 2ish. We definitely had an activities fail today; no one wanted to leave their rooms and do anything. No one. Not even after I bugged the mess out of them three times each to try to get them to come participate. At least I got to go home early! And what was the first thing I did when I got back to my apartment, you ask? Oh, no big deal…I just applied for GRADUATION! Anddddd bought my cap, gown, and tassle! AHHH!!!!!! In the words of Meredith Grey, when did I grow up? And how do I make it stop? Haha, but seriously, I can’t believe that I graduate from COLLEGE only TWO MONTHS from TOMORROW! Craziness! I’ve even started looking for jobs. REAL jobs. With salaries, not time cards. Jiminy Crickets!

To continue my excitement, I even got to talk to Cait Cait tonight for a while! YAY! It’s been so hard for us to talk and catch up since summer started so anytime we actually get to, it’s a huge treat! Thennnn I got a letter from my best friend (not bestie!) Whitney Anne Barnett! It made me cry because I was so excited. This is the first summer that we haven’t spent every free moment together…weeeeeird. I miss her so much, and I can’t wait to get back to South Carolina just in time to celebrate her 21st birthday! Woot woot! And then laterrrrrr, I skyped with Teesh for the first time in a whole week. It was SUCH a breath of fresh air getting to see his handsome face!

Now, I’m about to go pack for this week; we’re going to Lake Havasu Monday through Friday. YIPPEE! I think I may be more excited than the participants (who would have guess that?). Since I haven’t even began to pack, I think it may be time to go do that. Hasta lavista, friends! Talk to you soon!

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