2.05.2011

Oh California....

So, this past weekend I got to spend some time in sunny Southern California!
It was part of my birthday gift from my Daddy...
And it was one of the best gifts he could have given me in this season of life...
I didn't realize how much I missed my friends...
The friends I grew up with.
And of course, seeing my family was so amazing!
{even though I didn't see him hardly at all, it was great to see my brother}

I flew in late Thursday (January 27th) night to LAX where one of my best friends, Lauren, picked me up!
It was so great to have her welcome me back to CA.
I hadn't seen her in over a year, but the last time I was out we didn't get to spend any time together.
{this is the completely exhausted Autumn...I didn't get much sleep while I was there}

She also had it planned out that our first stop would be, of course, In-N-Out...(YES!)
Her fiancĂ©e, Drew, met us there, so I got to meet him...again...
I met him back in like 9th grade, but hardly knew him.
So it was great to meet him again, kinda get to know him, and laugh with him and Lauren.
She dropped me off at Dad and Tanner's apartment...
It was SO wonderful getting to hug both of my boys.
They may drive me crazy, but I love them with everything in me.
After a little chatting with Dad, I finally got to sleep, yay!
Friday I got to sleep in, which was so lovely.
My dad decided to surprise me with a delicious French Toast breakfast!!
Not only is it a favorite breakfast dish, BUT it was my Dad's first time making it :-)
And he did a FANtastic job!
I am so blessed to have such an amazing Dad.

Later that day, we drove over to my Grandma's house...
I got to stay with her the whole weekend, which was such a blessing...
I got to sleep in a nice comfy bed...
And we got to spend some time together!
{this is my cute Grandma! She doesn't smile in pictures, 
but she is such a happy, wonderful lady...and one of the strongest ladies I've ever known}

Friday night was filled with friends!
Lauren let me have a get together/party thing at her parent's house...
So many of my close friends came...
My best friend Adam showed up first, which was so good...
We got to spend a little time together (before all his stupid drama came up...so dumb)
I got to see people who I hadn't seen in years...
Friends that I grew up with, high school friends, church friends...
You name it!
I was so blessed that night...
And had so much fun catching up with everyone.

Saturday I got to spend the afternoon with a close childhood friend, Whitney...
We met at In-N-Out and talked for hours...
Then drove over to her house so I could say Hi to her family...
Who was like my second family, back in the day...
Some of the conversations we had were SO hilarious...
Haha...I miss her so very much!
Unfortunately, no pictures together, but I did snap this one...
and this one!
{I was very, very excited! I also drove my Grandma's minivan...
I'm definitely not gonna be a mini van Mom, but I see why Mom's pick them. They drive nice...haha!}

Saturday night, I went to church with Dad...
I got to see Shane & Morgan Idleman for the first time in years...
Shane started this church a few months ago and it was so nice to be able to visit.
He taught on speaking the truth in love...
And it was such a good message.
My favorite quote of his was, "Forgiveness is a choice, Trust is process."
Hm...I'll be thinking back on that quote a lot these next several months...
I also invited, actually I forced, a good friend of mine to go to church with us...
And he came! 
It had been years since he went to church...
We got the opportunity to talk about life...
And he joined Dad and I for dinner, which was so great!
I love my friend.
I think the Lord had it all planned out perfectly....
That I was there...
That my friend came to church...
And he had a friend to listen to him talk about what has been going on in his life the past couple years.
I was very blessed that night.

Sunday rolled around it was was such a busy day...
But by far the best day I had while I was there...
I had breakfast with my close friend and "sister" Jenn...
I just love catching up with her...
We worked at Barnes & Noble together back in the day...
So hearing about all the new drama going on is absolutely hilarious!
Right after breakfast, I had lunch with Lauren...
Oh, I miss hanging out with her.
She's the type of friend that you don't talk to for weeks or even months...
You see each other and everything is the exact same...
We laughed, joked, talked about serious matters in life, shared stories...
I was so sad to have to say goodbye to her.
But we planned out what we're gonna do when I go back in the summer...
And now, I can't wait to go back!
Then....the BEST part of the trip!!!!!
I got to see another best friend, who I haven't seen in over a year...
But haven't spent time with in years!
My friend, DAVID!!
I just love this guy......
I met him at a tattoo parlor and gave him the biggest hug I could manage...
It was the first time in my life that I didn't mind at all being around cigarette smoke...
Or having the smell of cigarettes on me...
When it comes to someone you love, things like that don't matter...
David has always had a special place in my heart...
When we were in junior high and high school we hung out all the time...
There was never a time that I can remember where we didn't get along.
He's a year younger than me...
Has been to jail, rehab, and as of late has been rollin' around with a gang...
But I made sure that he knew, no matter what he did or went through...
I would always be his friend, always be here for him, and always love him.
The Lord really tugged at my heart strings when I was hanging out with David...
I realized how many of my friends have been sucked into a lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, gangs, etc.
And I realized how I have been failing as a friend...
I need to pray for my friends, call them up to see how their doing, and show the love of Jesus 
through my actions and words...without pushing them away from Him.
I convinced David to come to a dinner that night that some close family friends of mine were having for me...
He hadn't seen anyone from church in a really long time...
So, I knew it would be uncomfortable for him...
And I didn't think he would actually come...
But he did!
And it made the last night of my trip all the better!
(oh and before dinner, I got to see my Dad's brother and sister, Debbie and Ronnie. Uncle Ron drove a couple hours to come see me. He's the greatest and most hilarious uncle. I was so blessed to be able to spend some time with him and my aunt!)
The Switalski family was like my second family when I lived in CA...
They made a delicious Italian dinner for me, invited some good friends to come visit,
and spent the evening together laughing and catching up!
Saying goodbye to everyone was so hard...
Specially when my bffffffff Bradley said, "Do you really have to go back?" (with the saddest face ever)
It made my heart sad...
But I told him to check out UCCS and move out here, haha!

Monday morning, I packed up my bags...
Spent some more time talking to my lovely Grandma...
Stopped off at In-N-Out again for a lunch date with my Daddy...
{hahaha...my eyes were so swollen from lack of sleep. But I was a happy girl
eating a #2, animal style, with animal fries!}

And then it was time to say goodbye to the CA sunshine...
and the desert town known as Palmdale...my hometown
Last but not least...I had to say bye to my Dad.
It was so sad...
I have the best Dad anyone could ever ask for...
I know people say that all the time, but mine really is ;)

Goodbye 70 degree weather...I will miss you...GREATLY!

Thank you to everyone who stopped their life for a bit to see me: Lauren, Andrew, Ramsey family, Adam, Brad, Marc, Aaron, Switalski family, Felicity, James and Sam, Jeff, Mario, Eddie, Kim, Cassandra, Summer, Vanessa, Whitney and her family, Jenn, David, Grandma, Uncle Ronnie, Aunt Debbie, Daddy, and Tanner! I love you all so much and am SO blessed to have you all in my life!
My 22nd birthday turned out to better than I could ever have asked for!
Thank you Jesus!

2 comments:

  1. I just gotta say... next time go 4x4 animal style with animal fries and a Neapolitan shake!

    ReplyDelete