Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thankin' My Lucky Stars

After the wonderful beach-side family visit in Pensacola, my mom and I loaded up in the Angel Mobile II and made the eight-hour drive to Texas. Having so much to catch up on, the miles disappeared before my eyes making it seem like one of the fastest I-10 trips ever (although I wasn't driving, so my mom may have a different take). We made pretty good use of the time catching up on everything, brainstorming new ideas, and, of course, jamming to Glee soundtracks (since my mom has all of them!). 

I spent my first day back in Texas doing what I always do my first day back in Texas: Shopping! I had a very focused shopping list I brought back from Guam with me. Most of the items are things I know I can use in Guam on an almost-daily basis (workout clothes, cooking supplies) that were more than I wanted to pay in Guam. Other items were things I simply haven't been able to find in Guam (like my new golf skirt!). And, okay, there were a few bonus items in there that I just couldn't turn down (a chopper that blends fresh herbs and oil into an instant salad dressing!). Pretty awesome to go into a store and find what I was looking for... plus a few goodies on sale :)

My first night there, my friend Jenny (who came to visit us in Guam!) picked me up and we went down to visit our friends Kristin and Preston in a suburb called Missouri City. We had an awesome time catching up and getting to see little William, who is now nine months. This has got to be one of the happiest little guys I have ever seen. It was so easy to get him to smile for pictures!

This is one happy baby!
So unlike San Diego and Pensacola, Houston did not welcome me home with perfect weather. It was drizzly and rainy the first day, but Wednesday was absolutely beautiful. With the promise of a front coming through for the end of the week, my dad did what any dad would do on a beautiful day while his daughter is in town for the first time in six months: He skipped out on work to come play golf with me! We played a course called Bear Creek. Not only was it my first time to play in Texas, but it was also my first time to play just me and my dad. The weather was perfect (for January, especially!), the fairways were fast, and there were no chickens in sight! I love that I have a new hobby that allows me to hang out with my dad more :) Behold the Texas sunset:

After golf, we hurried home and I did a quick turnaround because Jenny was coming by to take me out to see the girls for the evening. It was so awesome hanging out with Jenny just a few months after her visit to Guam. It was so neat that she knows what my life is like there and who my friends are and what our world consists of. And I had so much chat time to catch up with her while she was there, I know what's going on in her world too. I guess it was refreshing after catching up with so many great friends about the past six months. Jenny and I picked up right where we left off!

Dinner at Sara's with my besties is becoming somewhat of a tradition when I've been in town the past few visits. She and Matt have an amazingly beautiful home, one they are getting ready to share! Their little girl Savanna was due any day. She was actually born on Tuesday, Jan. 25th (adorable pics on Sara's blog!), just five days after I was there. I didn't get to meet her (yet!), but I got to see the adorable nursery and hear all the stories about how she and Matt were getting ready. It is so exciting to spend time with these future mommies in these precious last days before baby arrival. There is so much of a peaceful energy about all of it. A healthy mix of patience and anxiousness. All very exciting :)

After a couple more shopping trips, a few "self" care package sends via the post office, and a few hours spent helping out my parents around the house, there were just a couple more visits left. These friends, like Jenny, all fit into what my mom calls "The Guam Club." They're the ones who have made the long voyage out our way. The first were my in-laws, Russ and Diane, who you may recall were just in Guam a few weeks over Christmas.

The next Guam Club lunch was with my friend Amy who lived down the street from us in Guam until just a few weeks ago. Her husband got out of the Navy took a job in Houston of all places! As luck would have it, they were in town looking for a new place to live while I was there. So fun to meet up with Guam friends in Texas. We marveled at the fact that we were wearing real clothes, had showered before noon, and were surrounded by fabulous shopping. Weird!

Overall, it was a very relaxing week at home filled with everything Houston: shopping, eating, and visiting with some of the nicest people on the planet, including my family. The only bummer part was being at my house for the first time with no Bluester Puppy. He is still very missed, but again, you only miss something that was at some point to you wonderful. I'll take the wonderful and will figure out over time how to miss him. Small price to pay for so many wonderful years.

Thank you, Texas, for another fabulous visit on the America Reunion Tour!

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