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thankfulness

10 December 2008

oh.  my.  goodness.  it has really been ages since i’ve posted an update, but i’ve been keeping mental notes about each day so i can now fill you in on all the highlights.  amazingly and wonderfully, there are lots and lots of those. :)  okay, so we’re about to travel way, way back.  these events are listed in chronological order, but it seems compliated to try to explain the dates very specifically so just try to follow along…

i went to see “zack and miri” with marke and some of his friends, which was cool.  i mean, it was just a random plan on a tuesday night, and i got to see some people i hadn’t seen in a long time.  the movie was really funny in that kevin smith sort of way, but it was amazingly… um… inappropriate.  i mean, i don’t know how that got into a regular movie theatre.  still.  pretty funny.

nikki and jen claire had a movie night at their place.  or perhaps more accurately, marke had a movie night at their place.  and so bunch of us gathered there to watch this anime movie called “appleseed ex machina.”  i’m not big into anime, so i’m glad we were all able to laugh about some of the ridiculous bits.  anyway, it was fun to hang out with some friends and see something different.  good stuff. :)

after a night at emmaus, i spent a long time with lots of friends hanging out at denny’s.  it turns out that it gets a bit chilly out at night here in the winter, so it’s kind of too cold to sit outside at in-n-out all night.  anyway, the conversation throughtout the night turned out to be quite interesting, and again, it’s just cool to hang out with people and learn more about them.  so we talked and talked and sort of took over the restaurant in the middle of the night.  i was so content there that i think i could have stayed all night.

i spent a friday night with lots of people doing one of my favorite things: bowling!  yay!  it’d been forever!  anyway, i met up with some people for dinner at cpk before heading to the bowling alley for a late-night round of bowling.  i bowled a really rough 96, but it was still so much fun!  and afterwards, we all headed over to harbor house, which is basically a dive of a diner that’s open 24 hours.  i had a milkshake and got to hang out with friends into the wee hours of the morning, so it was great. :)

i love chick-fil-a.  i love it more when marke comes with me all the way up to irvine to randomly have lunch on a saturday afternoon.

and then that evening, i went to another one of emmaus’s oral history nights.  this time, it was a husband and wife, mark and susan allen, sharing their individual life stories.  it was really, really cool.  i enjoyed it immensely.  it’s cool to hear about how two lives came together.

i was going to have football sunday at my place.  for the late game (which starts at 5:15 or so here).  and then everyone was super late, so we ended up hanging out here all night instead.  i could not have asked for more than just a chill night with marke, roderick, lauren, laura, and chris.  perfection.  :)  so much better than just watching the game.

because we honestly don’t see enough of each other, nikki and i decided to have dinner together at wahoo’s on a monday night.  it was so much fun to just sit and chat and catch up.  we laughed and enjoyed the evening and it was simple and fun and all that.  i am not sure how else to explain it other than to say it’s like being back home in san carlos, where i’ll just meet up with a girlfriend for a random dinner just to talk because it’s fun.  i love that i have that here now with nikki and some others. :)

before disappearing for a long weekend, i wanted to see my friends here, so i decided to have a little pre-thanksgiving gathering.  so i ordered pizzas and picked out a movie.  chris, marke, amy, roderick, laura, annajoy (and justin), allison (and grace), and jen came over.  yes, we all smashed into my little place!  and we ate lots and watched “real genius” and gave thanks for the company.  it was so wonderful packing my apartment with people i enjoy!  i need to do this often.

i had a really crazy day-before-thanksgiving.  i worked.  they let us leave early, so i napped briefly before hitting the gym.  i had dinner at el ranchito with lauren and got my last fix of mexican before being in northern california for a few days.  marke picked me up and we went to a special service at cornerstone church because that’s where all the emmaus people were invited to go because we weren’t going to meet on thanksgiving thursday.  we snuck out early, so marke could bring me to the airport for my late flight out.  and i flew all the way home.  dad picked me up and brought me home, and then i baked a cake for our thanksgiving meal.  and i finally crashed very early thanksgiving morning.

thanksgiving was at our house, like usual.  it was wonderful to be with my family for a while.  yes, there were some crazy moments, but overall, it was just nice to see everyone.  oh, and i got my italian food, while everyone else had turkey or filipino food.  it was great! :)  oh!  and someone brought apple-cranberry pie that was spectacular and served as my breakfast for the next two days.  the pictures are on my flickr.

adam and i did a little black friday shopping.  not a lot, but a little.  we found some crazy good deals on a few things.  :)  and then i met up with katherine and meg for a really, really delicious dinner at this deep dish pizza place in palo alto call patxi’s.  amazing!  and it was great to see my girls!  it’d been like a million years, i swear. ;)  and after dinner, we made an appearance at meg’s friend jenny’s little party.  it was fun to see her; i don’t think i’d seen jenny in like 5 years.

sarah was going to come down from woodland to see me in the bay area for a day, but our plans had to change at the last minute, so i headed up there instead.  oh, woodland.  it is so rural.  haha!  anyway, after getting out to sarah’s, we went on to roseville, where we spent the rest of the day.  we had a great lunch at the cheesecake factory and then did some shopping.  i found a few great things at h&m, which is pretty good news.  and then it was really late all of a sudden, so we had dinner at macaroni grill before i had to head back to san carlos.  i’m really glad sarah and i got to hang out with each other in person for a little bit.  it’d been too long, and we needed the time together. :)

and i took care of some more little things on my last day in san carlos.  i went with the parents to best buy to pick up some christmas music (george strait!  faith hill!  elvis!) and then we had a little lunch at chipotle.  mmm!  anyway, then i met up with kath and megs for cupcakes at the new sprinkles in palo alto!  yay!  amazing!  :)  i even stuck a couple in my purse, but more on that later.  so once i got back to the house, i caught up with mel for a few minutes, packed up my stuff, and headed for the airport.  i got on my plane right on time, calling chris as i was doing so so that he would know to pick me up at john wayne on time, as well.

and then things got a little bit crazy.  when we left san jose, the visibility at john wayne was 3 miles.  20 minutes into the hour flight, it was under .25 miles.  that’s bad.  so they put us in a holding patten for about 45 minutes hoping the weather would improve.  ha!  right!  and then we were low on fuel and couldn’t just circle forever, so they diverted us to ontario.  we didn’t have a plan for after that until we were on the ground.  after landing, they decided that john wayne was definitely closed for all flights for the rest of the night, so they let us off the plane.  our choices were to find our own ways home from the ontario airport or to get on a bus provided by the airline that would bring us to john wayne.  the buses would arrive about half an hour after we got off the plane.  so as i got off the plane, i gave chris a call.  i was already 45 minutes later than when i told him i’d be arriving at john wayne and i wasn’t even there.  chris, in his infinite awesomeness, decided he would just drive the hour to ontario to come and get me.  so i waited and he retrieved me in his giant monster truck (not his usual honda civic) and drove me all the way home to san clemente.  it was definitely a much bigger favor than he’d bargained for when he agreed to pick me up at the airport a couple weeks prior.  i’m glad i’d brought him those cupcakes! :)  he deserved at least those.  but i made it all the way back here safely, and i’m so thankful.

i met up with lauren for a walk in the dark on the beach, which was lovely.  and then we met up with roderick at the cheesecake factory for dinner.  it was such a great night of just talking!  :)  it’s nice to have these friends, and i’d missed them while i was in san carlos.

and after wednesday night study, i found myself back with friends talking and eating.  this seems to happen a lot.

after a great message from dave on thursday night at emmaus, i went with lots of friends to jack in the box. we weren’t out especially late this time, but still it was good to see everyone after not meeting the previous thursday (because of thanksgiving).  it felt more reunion-like than most thursdays.  i’d missed lots of those people and was really glad to see them again! :)

friday after work, lauren, marke, roderick, and i all headed up to santa barbara together for a little getaway.  lauren drove because she grew up there, and we were staying with her parents for the night.  anyway, it was a great car ride up.  we crack each other up!  and we stopped in camarillo for dinner at a burger place called the habit.  marke summed up the drive this way: Roderick + Lauren + Kirsten + horrible radio stations + peanut m&ms + speaker phones + TWO CAR LENGTHS + the office on my iPhone + I have to pee + talking really fast and loud + Jesus = BEST ROAD TRIP EVER!!!

when we arrived in santa barbara, we went to stern’s wharf to a bar and grill called longboards, where we threw peanut shells on the floor and had a giant dessert and just love love loved hanging out.  so great!  and then we went to the ucsb campus to wander around a while.  we looked at the stars and walked all around and held a race in the parking structure.  and we finally made it to lauren’s parents’ house around 2 in the morning.  they have a great house that had plenty of room for us.

on saturday, lauren’s dad cooked us a delicious breakfast before our busy, busy day.  we took a very long walk on the beach, which was gorgeous and deserted and amazing.  we stopped by the mission to see it, and then we had a little lunch before walking around state street and downtown and doing a little shopping.  and then we checked out the pretty courthouse.  then we were back in lauren’s car, and we almost got hit by a train but didn’t.  our next stop was the biltmore, where we witnessed one of the most amazing sunsets i’ve ever seen.  spectacular.  of course, the biltmore itself is also lovely.  after picking up our stuff at the house, we headed back out of town.  we had dinner at a lovely mexican plance in montecito before really making our way home.  we talked the whole way back and didn’t realize how quickly the drive could go.  and all of a sudden, our little trip was over and we were sad to see it go.  but it went so well that we’re anxious to travel together some more.  the photos of the trip are amazing, and they’re on my flickr.

i had a busier sunday than i had planned.  i went to church and then spent a few hours in a paper store thinking about christmas cards.  i think i know what i’m doing now, though.  finally! :)  and then i met up with lots and lots of emmaus people at the bowling alley sunday night for some fun!  in the first game of the night, i beat the 14 other bowlers with my score of 137.  that’s a pretty low score for me, but i did it!  so hilarious to me! :)  and the rest of the night was fun, too, though there were some higher scores posted.  good stuff.  and a cheap activity on a sunday night. :)

tonight i had thought i’d be home doing nothing.  instead, i had dinner with lauren and then joined marke and some of his friends for a game night.  i actually knew almost everyone there, and i had really great time with them.  we played catchphrase, and i love that game!  plus, there were really good cookies! :)  and i was glad to see some of those poeple again, especially lindsay and liz, who i honestly don’t see enough of.  so it was a more exciting tuesday than i’d anticipated.  of course, that also meant i had to be good about cleaning up around the apartment and doing some dishes when i got home tonight.  but i got a lot done.

lots more is coming up in my life.  i’m so busy!  did you notice? ;)  but i’ll try to continue to keep you posted.  stay tuned…

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