Here I am, sitting on my OWN bed, in my OWN room, writing to you from my OWN home. I find it hard to believe that a little over a week ago I was living in Mexico. Actually it freaks me out when I think about it for longer than a second. Thus far my reentry has been fairly smooth. I arrived home on Tuesday afternoon (the 6th) at about 3 o'clock. As I came down the escalator, I was greated by my amazing fan club, and by fan club I mean family!!! They made me a sweet sign that is still sitting on my floor, and had flowers and balloons!! It was the ultimate greeting team. I felt SO loved and cared for and I know that they were as excited about making all of the funness as I was about seeing it. We went to Houston's Steakhouse and I had the best burger ever. I am obsessed with the Veggie Burger at R+D Cafe by my house, and Houston's is owned by the same people, so I got to feast on my favorite burger. HOWEVER, it was SO massive and filling that I barely ate half of it! Not to mention the fact that my body was completely unaccustomed to eating "dinner", having just come off of a semester where the big meal of the day was served between 1:30 and 3! Nonetheless, it was an absolutely divine feast and although it felt strange to not have my 14 other family members (our WIM group), it was delightful to be with my family.
Wednesday was full of errands and running around with my mommy, christmas tree shopping, almost forgetting to pick up my dress from the tailor. WHEW! It was an eventful day, but so great to be home with my sweet family. We have a tradition where we pick a tree that is still wrapped up and take it home and unveil it on the front porch. Well, let's just say, this year we rescued our tree from the pound. While she might not be the most noteably full, or respectably tall, she has character!!! And, considering that we are leaving for India in 12 days from today, it doesn't really matter what she looks like because her life is going to be cut short. In order to ease the process of getting out of town, we decided to go with homemade decorations for our little charlie brown tree. My mom lovingly cut strips of christmas paper for us to make a paper chain, and then we cut out snowflakes and Lindsay strung popcorn (which by the way is WAY harder than one might think). We adorned her with colored lights and our intricately made decorations and called it a night. I planned on leaving for Westmont the next morning at 7am, so I needed to get some sleep.
I took off at 7:10, and headed up to pick up ERICA! Seeing her was unreal. I missed my sweet adventuring buddy SO much, which made our reunion even sweeter. We spent the hour driving up to Westmont telling stories and comparing our trips, which is honestly impossible considering that they are completely and totally different and unique experiences. We talked and anticipated what it would be like to reenter Westmont culture and how it might be hard at times, because people don't necessarily understand the amazing experience you just underwent for four months. But, we both decided that we are super excited to see what God has for us and the ways in which he challenges us! We made it up to Westmont at 11:30, I dropped Erica off at her brother's house and then headed down to the beach to surprise WESLEY! We worked it out where a friend and her boyfriend would somehow get him down to the beach, and then I'd be standing there ready to jump into his arms and give him the hugest hug ever. It was SO EPIC waiting for him to arrive, my heart was practically beating out of my chest. When they finally got there, I had the biggest smile on my face. He looked so handsome and we stood there like staring at each other because it honestly didn't feel like real life. Needless to say, it was a glorious reunion. After hugging for like 20 minutes, we headed up to Blenders to get a delicious/long awaited smoothie. Then we headed up to Westmont and I went and surprised some friends in their room. It felt strangely natural to be back on campus, although it was odd that my friends no longer lived in Page Hall and there was suddenly an influx of 400 people that I had NEVER seen before in my whole life... FRESHMAN! So strange, but I got rather excited about getting to know some of them and investing in them. That afternoon we went and shopped on State St, and had Chipotle for dinner, which tasted absolutely delicious.
The next morning Erica and I went on a run down to State from school, with Backyard Bowls as our final destination. For those of you who have yet to experience the life changing nutritious and deliciousness that IS an acai bowl, I'm sorry you might not understand the excitement I had and motivation that caused me to run 6 miles to State. SO incredibly amazing and scrumptious!!!!!! Fruit smoothie topped with granola, strawberries, blueberries, honey and coconut. DIVINE. Then we went back up to school, thanks to David Dry and his massive truck, and began to get ready for the DANCE! YAY! I conviently left my makeup on the counter of my bathroom in my rush to get out of the house thrusday morning, so I borrowed and we got all did up. Then we saw the men, and they looked absolutely awesome. We were sitting in my car because it was SO cold outside, and they proceeded to walk infront of my car and stand in the headlights posing like models. It was great. We headed to Silvergreens and had deliciously MASSIVE sandwiches and salads. Riquísimo. After dinner we went down to the beach and killed time listening to dubstep and looking out over the moonlit ocean. When it was the appropriate time we drove up to the Monticito Country Club and went inside! It looked absolutely beautiful inside and everyone was dressed so gorgeously! I saw my sweet roommate from last year, and we made a scene in the entryway screaming and hugging like long lost sisters who had been reunited after years apart. It made me feel so loved! The dance was insane. So fun to be reunited with everyone that I love and go CRAZY together. Afterwards we headed back to school, everyone changed and we ate some quality dominoes pizza.
Saturday morningish Wesley, David and I went to Jeannines and feasted on delicious breakfast (if you hadn't noticed, this weekend was rather full of FOOD, considering that I have a minor obsession...). We went to REI and wandered around, then headed back up to Westmont. I gave Wesley the journal that I kept for him all semester, and in turn, he played me the song he wrote me while I was gone. After that super special and fun time of gift exchanging, we ate at Your Place Thai restaurant with some friends and then came back so I could go to my roommate REUNION sleepover in Kylie's room. Being back with those girls allowed me to realize how much I value them and really missed them in my life. We stayed up for entirely too long talking and catching up. The next morning I went to Reality Santa Barbara with Wesley and his friend Jose, and it was so amazing to worship with a body of believers. After church I picked up Whitney, who is leaving next semester and we went out to lunch and tried to catch up. It was so special to spend time with her and hear what the Lord had done in her heart. We hurried back so to make it to Vespers pictures/practice in Page. It was so awesome to join the team finally after skyping into practices and being so far away!! We took team pictures and then began practicing. I am absolutely so excited and feel so blessed to be apart of such a neat ministry!!! The Parsons took us all out to China Palace and we FEASTED on asian food. SO GOOD. Then we had Vespers, Christmas edition and it was epic. After I persuaded people to neglect their finals studying and we went to McConnells for ICE CREAM. Even though it was raining, it was so good. Monday morning we went to Coffee Bean, and then Leanne and I drove home in the rain.
I feel so blessed and excited by this weekend! Next semester shall be an awfully big adventure, and I can't wait to see what God has in store!!!