Tori, Brian, and I went to P.F. Chang's for dinner.
And there was a toddler eating his noodles. What looked like his mom, his mom's friend, and his mom's friend's child-aged daughter were also at the table with him. In front of the toddler was, no lie, a portable DVD player, right in front of his face, playing the movie Cars.
Yes. Apparently, the toddler cannot practice enough patience and manners and self-control to normally dine with his family and friends. I cringe to think of that youngster as a teenager.
But seriously, world. This HAS to stop.
Anyway, just wanted to bullet some of the highlights of my summer, which will probably end up including all of my summer. Because it was that monotonous, and almost every week and weekend was exactly the same. With a few exceptions.
For the record: something that was not monotonous in my summer was my amazing Savior. He had something new for me everyday.
Here you are. The most memorable parts of my first collegiate summer (in no particular order):
- The Fant family. I babysat for these four kids all summer long, sometimes up to 40 hours a week, and loved every minute of it. Jack, Rad, Kakki, and Lauren are such amazing kids and their parents are wonderful people to work for. I am still amazed at the things those children taught me in the simplest of terms.
- River City Church. Need I say more? I was concerned about my relationship with God coming back home, mostly because the church I go to in Charlotte (City Church--actually a sister church to RCC) had been really strengthening for my faith, and my church back home, I knew, was going to leave me feeling dry. Apparently, God had been working on my parents' hearts as well, because we all started going to River City, which is exactly what I wanted to happen anyway! The results have been life changing. Every week I am blessed by the people there, by the words shared, and by the Lord's overwhelming presence in that place. My summer would not have been the same without RCC.
- Thursday nights. I don't know if that whole college group gettogether has an actual name, but, it's basically a time for college students to come together and study the Word/study the culture/fellowship/eat/laugh/etc. And, of course, this was just another part of RCC that made my summer incredible. Derek and Beth, the hosts/leaders, are so anointed and truly have a gift for connecting with our generation. I am so, so, so thankful for them, and for Thursday nights. I was humbled to be a part of that group of people. And I will be back to visit!
- AG gatherings. If you don't get it, don't ask. But seriously: I love you guys more than you know and am so thankful for your place in my life! Thanks for taking the time to cultivate a friendship that could just as easily have never happened. And I think I speak for all of us when I say that the spontaneous one was definitely the best of the summer, if not the best so far!
- Brian Eltomi. I only saw him a few times this summer, but every time was funnier than the time before. Our day in Orlando, the I-owe-you phone calls from the car, and the crazy night of Thai food and cigars were all extremely memorable. And of course, Tori was apart of all of this, because it's always Brian, Tori, and Leslie. And sometimes Brian and Tori. But I'm afraid of Brian, so Tori always has to be around to protect me. Look him up on iTunes. Now.
- Queens. Everytime I talked to someone from school (which was pretty often), I wanted instantly for us to all be together again. 3.5 months felt like a lifetime, but now it's almost over. And I cannot WAIT to see you guys again.
- Family. No, really. I actually enjoyed hanging out with them, getting to know my growing-up little brothers a little more, and having lots of spiritual conversations with my mom. And Dad and I spent lots of time laughing, of course. Because that's what we do best. I got to see my grandparents and my mom's side of a family a bit, which was nice, especially with little Cooper growing more every day. (Also, I will note that I think the reason I didn't go crazy and actually got along with my family had a lot to do with the teaching and encouragement we all were getting from RCC. Just sayin'.)
- Tori. My best friend. I really can't say anything else, because I have to get ready for Cooper's birthday party, and if I start to talk about Tori, then we will be here all day. But she is the greatest. And I adore her. And I would be lost without her.
There's more, but I'm out of time.
So here I am, saying hello.
I go back to Charlotte one week from today. Be excited with me.
I could write an entirely too long post about my summer, even though it has been, for the most part, uneventful.
But God has been doing some incredible things in my life. Ask me about them.
I also want to say that I finished the book I had to read (the freshmen's summer reading--I had to read it because I'm going to be helping them with it) a month ago. I am just so pleased with myself, because this never happens! No matter how hard I plan to read the book with plenty of time, I always end up finishing it the day we start school or whatever. But not this time. And I'm glad to say that my study habits and work habits are really improving. Not that they were ever bad; I always got my work done. But I probably wasted a lot of time and did more procrastinating than was necessary, causing more stress than was necessary. I'm getting over that. Finally. I'm getting to the point where I can work on a paper a little at a time instead of trying to write a 10+ page research paper the night before it's due. BAD IDEA. Just saying.
Well, I have to run, because I'm baking some goodies to take to Bible study tonight.
But remember this: God doesn't just love you. He adores you. And He doesn't need or want anything from you. He wants to give something to you. And he will always, always be there.
I love you all.
- Tony frikin Pierce.
- Music (Coldplay, Goo Goo Dolls, Hanalei, etc.).
- Philippa Gregory.
- Julie Kent.
- My best friend, Victoria.
- My parents (and other intellectual adults who have inspired me to be a better human being).
- The Google boys.
- Gregory Maguire/Idina Menzel/Kristin Chenoweth/Stephen Schwartz/everyone who made Wicked possible.
- The rain.
- Barnes & Noble. For getting a bookstore right.
But alas, I am a Christian. And therefore these things must always remain secondary to the rest of my life (with the exception of Tori, mis padres, and Tony, of course).
This list is just getting started.
I began my day early, waking up at 7:30 (well, I got out of bed at 8, actually) to shower and go babysit little Agnes. Agnes is the happiest baby I've ever watched, and she's a joy to be around. We had a pretty good time together, and I was lucky to spend some of my birthday with her.
After babysitting, I met Tori--my bestest best friend--at Al's Pizza for lunch. She brought me a present: a Nemo-themed goodie bag for my car, Nemo! And a poster of The Other Boleyn Girl movie. Even though the book is better, Tori pointed out. Which it is.
"So, we're having pasta for dinner tonight."
"Oh. We're having pasta now, for lunch!"
"Oh, right. We are. I didn't think about that. But we're having ice cream cake!"
"We're having the Molten Chocolate Cake for lunch."
"So we're having pasta and cake for lunch, and pasta and cake for dinner."
That was part of our lunch conversation. We got the Molten Chocolate Cake. And decided the one we got at Crisper's last week was better. Just for the record.
We left lunch and went to the nails place in the new WalMart shopping center (across from the Target, yeah, on Beach and Hodges) to get manicures. I've never had a manicure or a pedicure, so Tori got me both. It was lovely! Tori had a slightly painful experience (one of the tools cut her finger) but I thoroughly enjoyed being waited on...hand and foot. Although, I did manage to mess up my finger nail polish before we had even left the store. Whoops.
After lunch came Claire's. Yeah. Teeny Bopper Claire's. Claire's where we used to go when we were 13 and buy cheap, tacky jewelry and be attacked by pink, purple, and cubic zerconia. We went there. It was a tribute to our last year as teenagers. Not really. We actually went because I wanted to get my second ear piercing, and we decided Claire's was better than a skechy tattoo parlor. After showing my ID, signing release forms, and paying way more than I did when I was 12, I emerged with new CZ studs in my ears and a "I just got my ears pierced!" bag. Embarassing. And then, of course, I ran into someone I knew. I swear, I just turned 19.
Then we went and saw Baby Mama, which we laughed through the entire time. Also, let it be known, that as soon as a possible love interest for Tina Fey's character entered the scene, I had the entire film figured out. Baha. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are, of course, brilliant and hilarious. And why wouldn't I want to watch a movie about babies with the funniest actors ever? I used to watch Baby Geniuses for my funny baby movie kick. Now I've got this one, thank goodness.
Tori and I came back to my house only to be inundated with the smell of homemade cooking and the mad rush of a family preparing for a sister's birthday celebration. I did what I could, but they had done a darn good job of getting everything ready. And we were 45 minutes until takeoff!
Needless to say, loads and loads of my friends showed up and we had, I hope, a great time. Ate lots of pasta, talked and took pictures, demolished an ice cream cake, played a painful round of Catch Phrase (but my team won, which is the important thing), goofed off on Guitar Hero for a bit, and had a few physical fights...all without injury!
In the middle of the party, Joey called from Argentina, so I put the shindig on hold while I chatted with him for a few minutes. I couldn't believe he called me from so far away. "I don't know how much this is costing me," he laughed. So if he doesn't make it back to North America, we all know what happened. He ran out of money. And died.
Anyway, it was so fun to spend the day with my best friend and the evening with my friends and family. You guys rock my world.
Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so special!