Good morning, merry Monday, Happy June! How the heck are ya? Sorry for *poof* disappearing. I had every intention of writing a few posts ahead of time so that while I was out of town the blog wouldn’t be silent. Well, every intention if you don’t count the lazy and procrastinatory side of me. That side had zero intention.
I’ve just arrived home from 7 days in Dallas. (Side note: if you haven’t been to Dallas, do yourself a favor and go.)
I’ve had this trip on the books for a while because Great Strides, the annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser, was on the 31st, and I participate every year in honor of my late brother-in-law. (You can read about Ben here.) As it got closer, my best friend mentioned that she had a few days off work and suggested that I extend my trip. So I did. Have I mentioned how smart my BFF is? Best idea ever! I thought I was doing everyone else a favor by gracing them with my presence – modest much? – but this was really a treat for me. I had a chance to get out of the house, get out my element, surround myself with family, and catch my breath. Would you believe me if I told you that while I was there I didn’t check my deployment countdown every single day like I normally do? See, overdue for a vacation. And yes, I know I was just there back in March.
I plan to do a whole post about Great Strides 2014 (this was my fourth year participating!), but for now, I thought I’d just share a few of the highlights:
My big brother and his wife graciously let me crash with them for the entire week. They have a big comfy bed in their guest room with an attached bathroom. It’s a sweet set-up.
My furry nieces and nephew. Mollie (on the floor), Charlotte (the doxie), and Jack (with the white paws). So many cuddles!
Best of all, we got some way overdue bonding time in. The last night that I was there, we just talked for hours. It reminded me of when Mike was a senior in high school and I was a freshman. He and I spent a lot of time just talking that year, and we haven’t really been able to do it in the years since.
I ate like a queen!
Of all the amazing things I ate, I only took one food picture, and it’s of salad. Hah! Well, don’t worry, I was knee-deep in the Dallas foodie scene the entire week. Eats included Whiskey Cake, Hopdoddy, Torchy’s Tacos, Neighborhood Services, Uncle Julio’s, Goodfriend, and a few home cooked meals, too.
I spent two days with best friend Mary Beth (BFMB?).
Bonding with Brooklyn, 4 months old!
It was so fun seeing her girls again. Even though it’s only been 8 weeks, they’ve both changed so much! I didn’t snag any pictures of Whitley; she was moving too fast! MB and I got some quality grown-up girls time in, too. Any time we spent together is always too short, but I’ll take what I can get. I can’t help but think how wonderful my friends are to me during deployment. We spent a lot of time together during Stephen’s 2011-2012 extended Afghani vacation and they were there for his homecoming. They still manage to take care of me even though I live faraway.
I visited my absolute favorite morning radio station, Kidd Kraddick in the Morning.
Big Al, Kellie, J-Si, Jenna live in studio!
I started listening to them regularly when I was in high school, kept listening all through college, I even listened while living in Germany via their app! I woke up early one morning to enjoy the show in person, and it was awesome. Awesome slash totally awkward. I was the only person there, just staring at them like a goof. Two of the cast members came out to talk to me and pet Geronimo. They even gave me some free swag! (So nice!) When Geronimo and I left, it was a whole ordeal that involved walking through mud and getting splashed by cars trying to find an ATM, so we could pay for the parking garage only to discover that parking was free despite the big red signs that said “CASH ONLY!” which made me think otherwise. True Amy fashion.
Finally feeling like I’m in a good headspace.
Near White Rock Lake
I can’t quite put my finger on it because I didn’t feel bad before. Now, though, I feel…lighter. I loved driving by the familiar skyline, being flooded with happy memories at each place I visited, getting quality time in with my mom and mother-in-law. The only way the trip could have been better is if Stephen was there.
I’ll forgive the humidity, the bugs, the traffic, and all the other flaws, and one of these days I’ll be back for good. I love Dallas!