Uncle Time…

There are always moments in my life where I am reminded that no matter how much planning I do, I simply cannot account for everything or everyone around me… Today was one of those days. I completely and entirely forgot that my uncle and cousin live in San Jose.. (whoops!) Thankfully my uncle saw on Facebook (woot!) that I was in town, and he was able to, and gracious enough to clear his schedule to spend some time with me. Unfortunately my cousin was not able to change her schedule, which really is my fault for forgetting she lives here. Either way, I am so blessed to have family spread out across the entire country (literally) who love me and make time for me whenever they can.

The cool thing about the time I had with my uncle is that it was the first time we have really gotten to talk for any great amount of time with me as an adult. Last time I saw him I am fairly certain I was still in college, and it was at a family get together (which means dozens of people around), and beyond a few basic pleasantries I do not have any recollection of having a genuine conversation with him… ever. So, heading into the evening I was excited to get to know him for myself, not through stories from the rest of the family.

He picked me up in a ’72 Jaguar, which is an awesome car, and one I have never had the chance to ride in before, so that alone was pretty neat. We ended up heading to Santa Cruz to walk on the pier, chatting the entire time about random things. He told me about various places he used to live, showed and explained things, such as the fact that in California you have to pay for the rights to use water on your own land! We talked about jobs, places we have traveled, and random funny stories that came to mind as we chatted.

The pier was awesome even after dark, and I swear there is just something about the smell of salt water that touches my soul and puts it at rest.

We walked and talked about God, our views on loving and judging others, we got ice cream and talked about how fascinating people are to us and how people deal with death differently and how they view it (he is a funeral director).

A couple hours later as we drove back I told him about my blog, and different stories related to the people who read my blog (and basically how crazy their stories are and how awesome God is at using my thoughts to reach others).

I had no idea what to expect from an evening with my uncle, but regardless, it was awesome, we had so much fun, and I felt entirely and completely blessed to have him go so much out of his way to spend time getting to know me. My family near and far are all such blessings in my life, and I do not deserve it. Love them so much!

The Start of Convention Week…

This week I am out in San Jose California for our annual convention at work. While I am less than enthusiastic about the hours I have to work this week, the lack of sleep I will receive, and the inevitable few people that are somewhat crazy… I am excited for a change of pace to my work schedule, the laughter with my co-workers, and the fact that I will be in California all week (even if I will not get to spend much time here).

As I traveled to CA, I had a few interesting encounters, and interestingly enough, a couple of them have kept me praying for the person I met. My flight from DC to Denver was fine, nothing super exciting, I listened to Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis on my ipod while I played Angry Birds Space (hello new addiction). Other than the gentleman who snored ridiculously loud behind me and kept farting wretched farts, it was a fairly uneventful or even noteworthy flight, except for the tall guy in front of me in line waiting to board who I found curious because he seemed intent on where he was going, yet did so with an air of being relaxed about it as well. He also wore work-boots and a bright orange backpack that initially is what caught my eye.

Let me just say, I had no idea that Denver was not actually IN the mountains… I thought it was because of all the people that go there to go skiing… Huh, weird.

The second flight barely left me enough time to hunt and scarf down some food before having to board the second plane. What almost made me laugh though is the guy from the first flight was standing in front of me for this flight as well.. As we were boarding and as I was about to get to my row and scoot in to my glorious window seat, the guy with an orange backpack was asked if he would be willing to switch seats with this other man’s wife, he agreed, and as only God can be ironic and slide into the middle seat next to mine before I could stop him. I couldn’t help but laugh as I tucked my things under my seat that of course God would put him next to me… We did not talk hardly at all for the first hour of the flight, that is until the man sitting in the isle seat coughing up a lung finally decided to head to the bathroom, then we decided to chat about how we really hoped we wouldn’t get sick, and that’s what he gets for being nice and changing seats with people. We quickly stopped talking when the man returned to fidget and cough some more. The rest of the flight we shared occasional knowing glances and and smiles as the guy continued to infect the entire airplane with whatever he was carrying. As the flight ended we chatted about the books we were reading, the reasons we were in San Jose, and about the essential need for airborne and a shower. The thing I find the most interesting about the entire conversation is how easily God changes situations, brings things to our attention, and uses the small things to set a good week in motion. Nothing happened, we did not even exchange names, but I could not help but laugh at how the entire thing added to another one of my ridiculous yet funny stories I have on a fairly regular basis.

I am curious to see how the rest of the week plays out…

Lighthearted Moments…

I am sure the last few posts have given away how much better my demeanor is, and how much less stressed I am now. I am so thankful for the 4 or so days that I escaped normal life and headed to Cali for some much needed beach time, and quality time with my beautiful cousin!

So, while I did a few posts and comments over the time away, I thought I would highlight some of my favorite moments throughout the course of the few days.

Shortly after arriving my cousin informed me that she was going to make me hit on and flirt with all the guys… Which lead to so many fits of giggles as she would not so subtly hint that she thought this guy or that guy was appropriate or attractive. The look on her face as she would hint would send us both into fits of laughter.

Every night we snuggled on the couch and watched a movie with some sort of desert or refreshment. To highlight our uniqueness, the first night was none other than Step up 3… But, but then we watched Unknown, and on the last night The Eagle.. all great movies!… But totally different haha

We walked the pier a couple times and ran it once.. Two of those times were at night, and included us standing mesmerized at the end of the pier by the bio luminescent plankton and the flickering jellyfish. It was truly amazing.

We walked.. and walked.. and walk.. everywhere! A couple miles on the beach (thank you sun for kissing my skin!), up and down the hills to and from her little beach flat to dinner, pedicures, tea, frozen yogurt, farmers market, breakfast etc..

We laid in the sand and soaked up the sunshine.. played and were overcome by waves and freezing cold salt water. We attempted body boarding… which we claimed to have dominated.. but really the waves dominated us. But, we laughed and made fun of each other the whole time.. and my ankle incurred but survived an attack from the rocks and sand.

We made DELICIOUS food… and when we did not feel like cooking ate out at some pretty spectacular places.

We got pedicures, and I picked the brightest pink (yes I said PINK!) color I could find.. it just embodied the feelings of Cali I had. Then we got ice teas with “texture” meaning some sort of flavored gelatin (sounds weird, but was really good).

We took paddle boarding lessons, and laid on the paddle boards in the middle of the basin laughing and talking about random memories from holidays, summers, family, and just normal childhood things we remember.

We stopped by the cliff/place my cousin got married and took a few anniversary shots to commemorate her anniversary since her husband is currently on the other side of the world… We talked about their wedding and the first couple weeks of their marriage.

We joked, danced… well really we made up a ridiculous funny-crazy-dance that really was just us bouncing our arms, shaking our bodies, and convulsing our legs…. But it made us laugh hysterically every time.

But mostly.. we just talked and enjoyed each others company over cups of coffee in the morning or while laying on the beach in silence listening to the rhythm of the waves. I adore being adults together, supporting each other, laughing together, talking through thoughts about life, God, and family. I love that she is my cousin, and that from opposite sides of the country (literally) and four years separating us that we are still so close.

These moments are when I am refreshed and reminded that I am special, I am loved, and I am seen by my God who knows when I am about to have a meltdown. God is so faithful.

3 Years Ago..

My beautiful cousin and I went to where she got married in La Jolla, CA. Since he is currently deployed but coming home in a few weeks, we took a few anniversary shots. She is so stunning to me!

Happy anniversary my dear cousin!