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Catch Up.

Okay, okay.  I’ve been gone a long time.  I know.  But today’s your lucky day, dear reader.  I’m sitting in an airport with nothing to do.  It seems I’ve been gifted some time to finally do a serious catch-up post like I’ve been putting off meaning to get to for months now.  Hopefully I can remember most things.  In case you’re not all that interested in reading forever, the summary is that life’s good.  :)

Let’s see… work’s going fine.  It’s work.  Not a lot to report there.  On to more important things.

I continue to spend as much time as possible at church and with my church family.  Women’s study.  Midweek study (on hiatus for the summer right now).  Emmaus on Thursdays.  Sunday service.  It’s good.

And I’ve been cooking dinner with friends on Tuesday nights, as well.  That’s always a highlight of my week, even if it’s also usually the most mellow night.  I’ve been trying out all sorts of dishes.  Whatever I can think of around 4pm the day of.  :)  Oh!  But we’ve done some pretty amazing salmon.  Nate’s perfect at timing it so it comes out incredibly delicious.  And I had a pretty decent cooking injury a couple weeks ago, burning my hand by grabbing onto the handle of a frying pan I’d used in the oven.  Anyway, my adventures in cooking continue.

I bought my first pair of cowboy boots.  They’ve become essential now that I’ve taken up line dancing.  Line dancing.  I am kind of unsure about what to write here.  It’s been so much fun checking out the “local” (they’re all a bit far, to be honest) places: Tia Juana’s, In Cahoots, Cowboy Country.  The various nights and various places all have different feels, and I’m getting to know them rather well.  I’m even getting to know some of the regulars at these places.  After all, I need some people’s feet to watch as I still am learning the dances.  And that brings me to my next thing about line dancing: the people.  First of all, it’s given me a chance to hang out with some great girls who I might not have gotten to know so well.  Megan, Janet, Amy and others have been great fun.  And then there’s this other interesting bit.  People from some of these clubs (for lack of a better term) have been showing up at my church.  Yes, my tiny little church!  And others I’ve met have also turned out to be Christian.  So we’ll see what happens as I get to know some of these people better.  The whole thing is just an interesting way my life is being blessed.  Nothing is secular.

I have managed to work in a bit of traveling lately.  I’ll tell you about some trips in a second, but first I want to say that something else interesting has been happening in regards to this.  It’s getting harder to leave.  I have a full life to miss when I’m gone.  One that I’m not just looking to escape all the time.  One that includes friends whom I love seeing all the time and miss when I don’t.  One that includes hearing the Word several times a week.  Anyway, it’s a beautiful change.  That feeling of missing means there’s a love and care of great people.

But anyway, you probably also want to hear about where I’ve been.  I went to The Middle (particularly Indiana and Ohio, though I can hardly see why such a detail matters) to visit family for Easter.  I got to hang out with Aunt Anita and Uncle Paul and Grandma Wyatt.  Plus, I also saw other family and my parents too!  It was a very interesting trip, getting to really understand more about my dad’s life growing up in Ohio and hearing all sorts of tales about the Wyatt family.  For a variety of reasons, I found the whole thing quite emotional, but I’m glad I went and I learned a lot.  In case you’re interested in seeing just how flat The Middle is, the photos are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/missywyatt/sets/72157623780290612/

I took a last-second, one-day trip up to San Carlos to see the parents and check out Jaron (and the Long Road to Love) and Phil Vassar in concert.  Just flew up for the night.  I’m so grateful for opportunities like that, and I really needed to get home.  Sometimes a girl just needs to get home home.

And the family came to see me for Mother’s Day, which was cool.  We hung out.  It was great to see Adam.  I realize this isn’t exactly traveling but it’s sort of like vacation to have them with me.  Except it’s nice because I still get to go to church! :)

And then there was The Trip.  Marke found an awesome deal on flights to New Zealand.  A deal too good to pass up.  So Marke, Allison, and I decided to take a last-minute (12 days ahead of time is short notice for international travel, I’d say) vacation to New Zealand together during an extended Memorial Day weekend.  We flew into Auckland, rented an RV (which we quickly nicknamed Willa), and headed out.  We drove all around the North Island, seeing as much as we could in the 5 days we had there.  We were on the move a lot, but really, driving around and seeing the country was what this trip was all about.  New Zealand is spectacularly beautiful and I never tired of seeing more.  (I’m sure it helped that Marke was a champion and did all the driving… on the wrong side of the road from the wrong side of the vehicle… a challenge, I’m certain.)  We first went to Hobbiton, where “The Lord of the Rings” movies were filmed and which is once again a live set as they prepare new Hobbit holes for “The Hobbit” movies, to be made soon.  It was an essential stop for a nerd as big as Marke, but I also really enjoyed it.  From there, we drove to Rotorua.  It was evening by the time we got there, and were exhausted from so much travel, so a soak in the geothermal hot springs there was nice and relaxing (if also a bit smelly).  We stayed in campgrounds each night, so we found our first one and settled in.  Then we spent the next two days driving around the East Cape, which was so incredibly beautiful.  It’s the easternmost part of New Zealand and one of the easternmost places in the world.  We watched the sunrise from the East Cape lighthouse, one of the first places to see the sun each morning.  It was so pretty.  Just ridiculous.  Getting there involved taking Willa down a 12-mile dirt road and then us hiking up a jungle-covered mountain at dawn.  Anyway, I’ll never forget this place.  We also went to Waitomo to go tubing in glowworm caves.  Just incredible.  They suited us up in wetsuits, helmets, and boots and gave us inner tubes.  Then we went trekking through these caves.  Part of it was hiking, and part of it was floating down the river in the caves.  It was freezing cold (the water was about 47F), and we had to jump backwards over some waterfalls, and it was just amazing.  I’ve definitely never done anything like that before.  And then all of a sudden, it was time to come home.  It was such a wonderful trip and a great chance to see a beautiful new place with friends.  A few photos from the trip are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/missywyatt/sets/72157624335750072/

And then there’s the trip I’m about to take.  I’m in the airport right now, headed towards San Francisco.  Mom and Dad are picking me up, and we’re headed straight to the Napa Valley (Calistoga, specifically).  Sarah’s getting married on Sunday!  And then after the wedding, Mom and Dad are headed home and Meg’s headed up to meet me.  We’re going to hang out and have some girl time until Wednesday.  And then I’m headed back to San Carlos to hang out through the Fourth of July.  It should be a great time to relax and see some friends and family.  I don’t usually get to be in the Bay Area for such a long time.  I’m sad to be missing the Emmaus camping trip and Nate’s 28th birthday, but it’s a trip I need to take.  So anyway, that’s what is coming up.  I’m anxious to get on my plane now.

Anyway, that’s what has been going on.  I’m hoping to write more here, so stay tuned.  :)

Write.

I’ve been thinking about getting back to writing here. I just never think I have enough time to really sit and fill in all of what I’ve been up to since March. Things have been good. I’ll get to it all soon. Maybe if I update now, that’ll be like me getting back into it and make writing the next time easier. Life’s good. More soon.

Appreciative.

I cleaned out a lot of the kitchen this weekend.  I paid bills.  I read while sitting on (no, not at) the dining room table.  I napped on the couch with the sounds of squeaky basketball shoes from the tv to comfort me.  I spent some quality time with myself, both getting things in order and also thinking, studying, resting, and painting my nails.  (Putty is the color of the season, so they’re You Don’t know Jacques.)  It’s been good.  Strange.  A bit uncomfortable, to be quite honest.  But good.  I’ve been feeling like sinking myself into books quite often lately.  The desire seems insatiable.  This weekend, it was “Resident Aliens” for the book group and “The Four Loves” for myself.  And some other bits of things here and there.  I went on Amazon.  More books are (slowly) on their way to me.  So anyway, that’s where I’ve been of late.

Let’s see, though.  I know there are other things.  Work’s been good.  Marke and Chris are in Austin for SXSWi, which means I have lots of time to just work and work and work without distraction really.  That’s probably good.  They’ll be back Thursday.  So yeah, work’s work, and I’m fine with that.

Nate helped me cook salmon for Tuesday Night Family Dinner.  I’ve never cooked fish before at all.  Or even really eaten much of it out of my own free will (since being an adult).  Tastes here and there in the past year or so, but that’s about it (not counting the sushi).  Anyway, we did a great job.  I thought it was delicious, and apparently so did everyone else.  Total success.  I’m stoked.  Plus, it was pretty easy. :)  Learning to cook new things is a huge benefit of these weekly dinners.

Today was Selection Sunday, which means I’m totally gearing up for one of my favorite times of year, March Madness!  Hooray!  My Stanford boys had a down year, so I’ll have to choose some other teams to root for, but I really think the field is wide open.  It could go a lot of different ways, and I think my brackets will be destroyed by the end.  Should be good fun!

Anyway, more soon.  I’m going back to C.S. Lewis until I crash for the night.

Perfect.

I must say, it’s been another busy week.  But it’s been really good.  Now, if only I could manage a bit more sleep.  Anyway, here’s a rundown of various goings on.

Tuesday, I was feeling especially ambitious so for family dinner I decided to try my hand at yakisoba.  Mark Bittman made it look easy in his NY Times article and video demonstration, so I had at it.  Turns out, it wasn’t too hard, though I’ll continue to experiment with different ingredients and such.  Anyway, the guys all seemed to like it because there was none left.  And we totally got a kick out of the fortune cookies, which had fortunes in English on one side and Spanish on the other.  Unexpected.

Wednesday was a day for me.  Somehow I managed sleeping in an hour, getting a pedicure and reading James Joyce during lunch, a great night at midweek study at church, dinner at Chick-Fil-A, and line dancing the night away.  Somewhere in there, I went to work.  :)  Line dancing was so much fun that night!  We danced to a ton of songs and I actually managed to fully catch on to some of the dances.  And during some, I just ran into people, got stepped on, and turned the wrong directions.  It was a good time all the way around.  :)

Thursday night’s Emmaus session was a good one.  And so was hanging out with Megan at Denny’s until the wee hours of the morning afterward.  Because I wasn’t sleep-deprived enough already.

On Friday, we had a girls’ night to celebrate Laura’s birthday.  It was a great time in a restaurant where we had excellent service, a quiet enough space we could all talk to each other, surprisingly delicious food (including custard-filled beignets that Jen and I had our eye on from the beginning), and a chance to let Laura know how much we loved celebrating with her.  I hope her actual birthday today was just as wonderful.

And today I went to church, had a really great lunch with a bunch of people, and watched the Oscars.  Happy for everyone involved with “The Hurt Locker” and sad for my celebrity boyfriend Matt Damon.  But all in all, a fun evening. :)

Yesterday, however, was the clear highlight.  My dear, wonderful friends Chris and Katie were married in the most perfect, sweet ceremony.  I’ve never seen Chris that happy ever, and he’s a generally happy guy.  And the wedding was just really, really lovely all the way around.  Janet, Nate, Michael, and I all made the long drive up to Camarillo together, which was fun.  What great friends I have!  And we got there a bit early so Janet and I had a good time doing a little photo shoot; she’s a photographer and just needed a subject.  Anyway, the wedding was great, and so was the reception, and the whole thing was so blessed by the Lord.  There are lots of pictures, so I’ll get them online for you soon.

More soon.

Speak.

Oops.  It’s been a busy few weeks.  It’s been a busy year.  I’m sorry I haven’t quite kept up with writing, but I have a few minutes, so here it goes.

I made a last-second trip back home at the end of January.  I hung out and relaxed and ate great things.  I missed my life in San Clemente.  It was a lovely little break.

Katherine came to visit me for the first time in years and years, and we had a great time!  We hung out with lots of my friends around here and caught up on each others’ lives.  Oh, and there was lots of eating and bowling and shuffleboard.  It was really lovely.

Dave started a book group at church, so we’re working through “Resident Aliens,” which I’m enjoying.  It’s just a small group of us, and we’re going so slowly but that’s perfect for us.  Our discussions thus far have been really interesting.  It’s about how to live as a disciple of Christ and a part of His church in this world.  Interesting stuff.

My parents came to visit me during Valentine’s Day/Presidents’ Day weekend, which was pretty awesome.  They worked so well in this life I’ve set up here, and it was just awesome to experience.  They took a big group of my friends out to a really fun dinner, and even did breakfast with me and Nate one morning.  Oh, and they came to church with me, which I always appreciate.  I realize it’s very different from the Catholic church they’re used to and that I grew up in, so it’s cool to have them at Zoe with me on occasion.

I spent much of the past two weeks watching the Olympics (curling mostly) while working my butt off.  Work work work.  I’ve been working a ton lately, though today was a nice reprieve from that.  And I’m grateful that so many nights after work, I’m headed straight to more things related to church.  So life’s good, even when work’s a bit much.

Last Friday was Oral History Night at Emmaus.  Which is normal.  Except that it was my night.  So after a big potluck dinner, everyone gathered around to listen to Dave interview me about my life.  We talked about everything from my grandparents to how I ended up in that lovely little church, and it went really well.  The Spirit led us to all the right topics throughout, and a beautiful group of people was there to witness all of it.  My dearest friends showed up, and it was just a great experience.  I continue to get really sweet feedback from people, too.  I am so blessed to be part of that community and call those people my family.  It’s been a bit overwhelming, in fact.

That sums up the big things, I believe.  There have been lots of other things from moment to moment that the Lord has seen me through.  It’s constant.  More than I could ever write about here.  But anyway, the point is things are good.

By the way, the site looks a bit different, if you’ll notice.  I’m working on cleaning up.  :)

Breathe.

Alright, well it’s been like a week since I last wrote.  It turns out that God keeps taking care of all these crazy situations in my life.  Or is using them for stuff.  I don’t know.  I’m not good at explaining it always.  But basically, stuff happens and it’s all from Him and it’s awesome.  Even when it’s not awesome.  So let’s see… what have I actually been up to lately?

I didn’t do a ton last weekend.  I hung out with some friends, went to church, continued working out every day, and went to the Zoe Church Baptisms.  Some of my good friends were baptized, and it was beautiful.  I also went on a misadventure to Whole Foods (the closest of which is shockingly far from San Clemente).  After getting distracted from my plan to go there and then having issues finding it, I got there 15 minutes before they closed, instead of the 90 minutes I had planned, which I was going to use for lots of browsing and reading of signs and labels.  Oh, well.  At least I now know where it is and will be back again some time in the near future.

This week, I started my swimming (or technically I believe it’s called aquatic conditioning) class.  At 6am.  This is insane for the girl who stays up all night and likes to sleep in!  Technically I’m only required to be there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The coach (that seems like a better term than teacher or professor somehow) wants us there on Mondays and Wednesdays, as well, if possible.  He says that’s the best way to get better.  And I want to get better.  So I’ve been up outrageously early and I’m still adjusting to the schedule, but I survived week one.  :)

In a wonderful treat, Roderick cooked dinner for me at the boys (Nate, Hanssel, and Chris) Tuesday night.  Delicious!  I do love our Tuesday night family dinners.

And so that’s a lot of the stuff.  Things are good and crazy and everything.  More soon.

Shot.

Oh, goodness.  The new year has gotten off to quite a start, I would say.  It has been a time of (re?)evaluation and thinking and prayer.  It’s brought me some good insight, though, and the Lord’s work continues to be really apparent.  At a moment when I was totally freaked out about my life here in Orange County, He beautifully lined up people I love literally right in front of me.  Amazing, really.

And there have been other good developments, as well.  I’ve been working out a lot.  Currently, my body is pretty sore, but I take that as good news.  I need this.  Swimming starts next week.  I’m nervous about it, to be quite honest, but I’m also excited to be back in a pool again.  I just hope my body doesn’t just completely give up on me when I wake it up at 5:30am.  We’ll see.  And I’m back to running, too.  I’m out of shape but trying not to be discouraged about it.  I’ll get stronger.  I know I’m capable because I’ve done it before.  Oh, and Marke and I have been taking walks at lunchtime.  The weather here is gorgeous, so it’s been lovely to get outside and enjoy it.

It’s good to be back at work, but more than that, it’s good to be back in church.  I missed it a lot when I was away for Christmas.  And I get to add back in Wednesday nights, which are so good.  By the way, I aced the Architecture History course I took at Saddleback last semester.

So anyway, that’s sort of been what’s up.  More soon enough.

Anew.

It seems appropriate to be posting on the first of the year.  Yeah, that means I buy into the social construct of a calendar or whatever.  I figure it’s as good a day as any to go ahead and reflect back on the past 365 days and explain a bit about the next set.

The past year was spectacular.  It was up and down left and right and every direction in between, and I loved it.  It was madness.  But ultimately, I grew a lot, learned so much, and added some awesome people to my life.  What more could a girl want out of a year?  I’m thoroughly, thoroughly grateful.  Praise Jesus for all He’s seen me through.

And then there’s 2010.  I’m looking forward to more.  I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’m hoping it will include traveling to some new places (Arizona? European countries?), adding some things to my life (like morning swims), and enjoying lots of time with family and friends.

There are some goals for the new year.  I’m not sure I’m ready to post very specific things about them yet, but for now I’ll let you know I’ll be working out a lot, continuing to learn about food, and doing lots of organizing in my life.  Productive things.

So anyway, I’m still here.  Maybe I’ll keep this thing updated more often.  We’ll see… :)

Dining.

Alright, everyone, this girl’s doing things that surprise other people.  And herself somtimes, too. :)

I’m going camping.  For a week.  With the Hallowell family.  So it’ll be Marke, John (Marke’s dad), Kathie (Marke’s mom), and Allison.  Plus one more couple from church.  We’re going out to the Sierras, and it should be gorgeous and relaxing and wonderful.  I’ll be back in a week.  :)

In other news, I’ve been keeping quite busy.  First of all, work’s been insane as I’ve prepared to take an entire week off.  But everything got wrapped up by the end of the day today, so I’m all set.

Wednesday I had a chill night to myself really.  I had dinner (and dessert!) out, and then I got started with the packing and prepping for this camping trip.

Last night, I hung out with Nate a bit and then went to Emmaus.  And then to Corky’s.  For hours and hours.  And then Lauren came home with me and spent the night here because she’s spending the weekend with various friends in this area.  And we went to bed at like 4am.  So I’m now operating on very, very little sleep after a crazy busy week.  But that’s alright because I can make it all up very soon!

And tonight after work, I met up with Lauren, Danny, and Nate.  I found myself some coffee.  Awesome.  Very good news.  Anyway, then I hung out with Nate a bit.  We shopped (for him, not me) and went out for sushi.  Okay, he wanted sushi, but I tried some of it and it was good!  My foodventures continue. :)  Anyway, we had a really, really delicious Japanese dinner, and it was cool to just hang out a bit.  We even made a Costco run.  Anyhow, then I headed home early.  I’ve been cleaning and packing and such; now I’m all set to go away for a week.

So yeah, I should probably get to bed in the very near future.  I’ll be back after the trip! :)

Replace.

Today was great.  I wanted to let you know. :)

Work’s busy, but that’s alright.  Slowly but surely, I’m checking things off my long to-do list.

Just before lunch time two things happened simultaneously:
1) Marke bailed on our lunch plans together because he needed to take care of something.
2) Chris texted me and wanted to have lunch today.
So I had a really fun lunch with Chris!  So much fun!  I always think we don’t see enough of each other.

This evening, Chris came over.  He was tonight’s volunteer family dinner chef.  Once Roderick and Nate arrived, we all went to the grocery store for the food.  Chris decided on fajitas!  :)  Michael, Marke, Allison, and Grace joined us for dinner, as well.  Chris did a great job cooking, and the meal turned out perfectly.  And then I threw together some cookies for dessert, which were quite delicious with a scoop of ice cream.  The boys helped do all the dishes, and Michael even helped me hang up a picture that I’ve been meaning to hang since I moved here 15 months ago.  It was a great evening here, and I’m so thankful for my dear friends who bless me with their presence each Tuesday night and make this place really, really feel like home.

Also, I put a few new photos up on flickr. :)

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