Remember all that studying I was doing for my licensing exam? Well, I didn't pass...what a kick in the shorts. I was bummed out for about an hour, then I was fine. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that my brother was in town; seeing a familiar face, having a good laugh, and getting a hug would make things all better - and it did! After calling my manager to let him know the news, he suggested that I now try for a different license - great, can't wait to start from square one again =) However, this one is a bit 'easier' or so they say... regardless, I'm going to have to start studying again...blaaa....
For the last two months my mom and I have been sneaky little liars planning a surprise visit back to Iowa for my dad's birthday. His 62nd birthday to be exact - helloooo social security! Ha ha... (you're old). Anyway, I flew in on the 2nd and mom was waiting for me at the airport - it was so surreal because I could see a sea of people at the bottom of the escalator, but all I could focus on was my mom's beautiful face and see her little hand waving - then we turned into blubbering little fools. It was awesome - nothing is better than a mother's hug. Well, maybe a peanut buster parfait, but that's a moot point. And to reference a 'Friends' episode for my parents - as Joey would say, "It's a moo point".
We headed back to my old stompin grounds and talked about what we would do to surprise dad. Once we were pulled into the garage, mom asked him to come out and help unload the groceries from the back of the Bravada. Once he was outside, I slipped out of the passenger door and back to where he was standing and asked him if I could help him...he looked at me and then grabbed another bag....looked back at me with much bigger eyes and again, looked away... (come on neurons, fire)...finally after the third time, I get a "MARSE!" and a big hug! It was so great being back home, smelling the fresh air, and visiting with my parents for the evening.
To make a very long story short, I was able to see family, friends, and enjoy my time in Iowa thoroughly. We had the annual backyard party where people came from DM (and beyond) and we laughed, ate, drank, and enjoyed each other's company. I can't tell you how blessed I am to have such a close knit group of friends like I do and there is a story behind each one of them of how we met, childhood stories, and how things have changed, but still remain the same. I can't believe how much your kids have changed in four and a half months, but it makes me feel old!!
Mom and I got pedicures (that's right, mine is half the price - no kidding), we went out to eat supper in celebration of dad's birthday, my niece and nephew spent the night at grandpa and nana's while I was there - and for the record, when my niece is not getting pushed on a swing, she can look VERY mean. Case in point: she came over to where mom and I were playing Frisbee with her little fists clenched at the end of stiff arms yelling, "I am NOT having any fun!" We keep getting a good laugh out of that even now!
I made a couple trips to DM to have drinks with my old boss, shop, and then spend one more night with the kids. It was such a memorable trip and one that needed to happen for me. I wanted to 'see' if I would be wanting to move back there or not...once my week was up, I was ready to come back to Cali - strange, I know - but I'm enjoying my time here more. Plus, it helps that I have somebody to spend so much time with out here!
Jason met me at the airport when I flew in to Sac and surprised me with a big, beautiful bouquet of spring flowers - it was great because I thought he was out of town on his own vacation, so I was very focused on getting my luggage and getting a taxi or taking the shuttle home - something caught me out of the corner of my eye and I felt pretty goofy looking at him thinking of how strange it was that there was a guy there who looked JUST like him...bizarre.... now I know how dad felt!
My birthday came and went this week, so I did the honors of taking a Jell-O cake in for my coworkers. Again, they have no freaking clue what a Jell-O cake is (or what they're missing), but once they tasted the strawberry goodness, they were hooked! My sister in law made one for the backyard party, but she makes hers much fancier than mine because she puts slices of strawberries on top and it doesn't take long for everybody to inhale it!
Mine was still good (I had 3 pieces - middle pieces to be exact) and received some very nice cards and was treated to lunch by one of my friends and then Jason took me out for supper that night...while I wore my new Puma shoes (they're white with a pink stripe and VERY cool) that he got for me and Kerry W., thanks to you and your husband, I can't say Puma, without saying 'P-eww-ma'... to top off the night, while we were eating, I had a beer, a Pazookie, and was able to watch the Steelers AND the Cubs on the split screen TV - too bad they both lost, but still... all in all, it was a wonderful 33rd birthday!
Now I'll try to be a little proactive with the blog and keep you up to date, but quite frankly, I thought somebody would blow the surprise for my dad if I posted anything, so that's why we have a month of nothing! Even though I was doing something....
Again, thanks to all of you that were able to come out to see me and make time out of your busy schedules - it truly meant a lot to me and I can't thank you enough for your support and continued friendship!
Mom, dad, Todd, and Evonn - thank you for your love, encouragement, and for feeding me such good meals! I can still taste the chocolate pie now...mmmm... April and Chad, thank you for the tator tot casserole, putting a roof over my head, and getting me to the airport on time! You make me feel so comfortable in your home and I can't wait to meet baby Pea the next time I'm home! Jason, thank you for your continued patience and for your own little surprises for me - I truly enjoy my time with you :)