Well, another milestone has passed...my two year California anniversary is tomorrow and in thinking back over just this past year, a lot has definitely changed!
I feel more 'comfortable'living here now and the homesickness has definitely died down from that first year. I'm not saying that I don't get it or still think about home, but this has become my way of living. I've gotten into a routine, made new friends, and continued to expand in so many areas of my life that I never thought would have been possible. Ask me how I'm doing in a few more months and maybe that will all change!
You can easily track my whereabouts and what I've been up to through reading older posts on here, but the major changes have taken place within myself. Sometimes I didn't realize how strong I really can be and at other times, I find myself at my weakest and not knowing where to turn or who to turn to. It can be a very lonely place.
I continue to grow in my small groups at church and being with this amazing group of women (whom I definitely can call my friends) they encourage me, lift me up, and challenge me at the same time. I have been awakened to some characteristics and qualities that I have held on to and need to focus on changing and they're always there for me... I've met some struggles and have freely spoken about them, and again, they give me their 'mom' and 'best friend' perspectives on the subject. I honestly don't know what I would have done had I not met them, but I firmly believe that God had His hand in this all along and knew that I would need people like this in my life while I'm not around my core support group of family and friends back home.
All in all, it has been a good 2nd year here, though some obstacles were thrown in the mix! I've had break-ups, health concerns, family and friends who have passed away and I wasn't able to be home with everybody during those times, and of course the nagging feeling of missing my niece and nephew growing up - this is the one that really chokes me up... However, I have been able to still do new things (hello, rode a bike for 8 miles - which is FAR for somebody who hasn't been on a bike in years!),I've been to places that I probably wouldn't have seen or experienced, and all of the little things that make my life here enjoyable - mainly my friends.
I appreciate everybody's continued support over the last 2 years and can't thank you enough for the constant prayers, emails, cards, and phone calls. You've been just as much of my journey as I have and it's been a fun ride :)
On a side note, for those who have asked, I'm still holding strong with my Lent quest of one hour of tv a day... I did falter during the finale of the Bachelor, but I didn't watch any tv the following night! hee hee... I have found that I don't 'crave' tv any more and it's almost liberating not being tied up for hours on end. I have read some incredible books the last few weeks and have finally devoted that extra time to the One that this is all for...it's been very healing for me, to say the least.
My BFF, April, is coming out here next month and I can't wait for some girl time! Oh my gosh, it will be so much fun! I know I'll be a crying fool when I pick her up at the airport, but it's ok - she knows I'm an ugly crier :) I have a few things planned, but mostly, I just want to spend some time alone with her to get reconnected! Wee Hoo!
Well, two years of learning, growing, experiencing, and spreading my wings has definitely gone by fast...this has been the best journey I have ever been on!
Cheers to another year ;)