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)