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Catch Up.

25 June 2010

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:

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:

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.  :)


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