Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tour of Tejas

Sorry blogger friends, the blog has been neglected because I've been gone.  I left with several inches of snow pounding to the the beginning of April.  Goodness, where do I live? I'm even more snow...but I got a break to visit my beloved home state and some dear friends/family and beautiful weather.  It was quite the journey - I had 5 days to cram everyone I could in to play catch up with, most of whom I haven't seen since we moved to Alaska almost 10 months ago! I took meticulous planning (being car-less and all) and some stored up energy (since I'm naturally introverted and my necessary alone time was not in the cards for this trip), but it was completely worth it.

I love how some friendships can stay alive and deep no matter the distance or time. 

I started in Anchorage, spent the most boring 3 hours of my life in the Seattle airport, and later landed in Dallas.  The next 2 days involved much anticipated time with my nephew Wesley, sisters Amy and Kelsey,  my mom and Mimi and Gramps.
Wesley, 5 months

The whole Heine gang
(not sure why there is a frame around it)
It also involved my 10 year high school reunion!!  Oh dear, I am getting old.  I hadn't seen, nor kept up with, the vast majority of our high school graduating class of 18. Yep, 18 kiddos.  Many of whom I went to school with since the 7th grade.  Obviously we knew the ins and outs of each others lives back then, so it was fun to see how natural it was to pick it right back up 10 years later. Matt was able to join me because he was in "town" (and by that I mean within 5 hours of driving distance) for work.  It would not have been the same without him.  I loved meeting spouses and their kids (Matt and I were certainly in the minority on that one) and just seeing what people were up to.  It was certainly a blessing to attend.
Here we are (at least half of us) in all our glory 10 years later
The next day I hitchhiked my way from Keller to Waco to College Station to Houston to Galveston.  Ok, so I didn't really hitchhike, but it did involve several cars and drivers and juggling. My mom drove me to Waco to see my friend Faith. I met Faith my freshman year of college.  Faith is one of those people who is calm and peaceful and has so much depth.  She is my adventure friend.  We used to go camping all over - Bastrop to Utah to her backyard.  Just because we could. We even landed in Colorado for a whole summer together.
Faith and I camping in the back of her car during a road trip through Colorado/Utah
From there Rebecca picked me up and drove me to her home in College Station. Rebecca and I met during our student teaching year and later became roommates after we graduated.  She is hilarious.  A woman who speaks her mind. One of the best roommates because I always knew what she was thinking...especially how much she hated it when I didn't use coasters or help make the morning java every once in awhile. Hah. When we talk it's like no time has passed.
This picture was taken back in the day...
Rebecca drove me to meet my sister Caitlin, who then drove me to her home in Galveston.  Caitlin likes to welcome me back to "America"...because Alaska doesn't count as the states.  Maybe I agree?? Anyways, I successfully distracted my bro-in-law from studying medicine stuff for a bit and hung out in their spiffy loft.  It of course involved a trip to the galleria back in Houston the next day.  Shopping is a must when back south. Especially with Caitlin.
Caitlin and Karl
She then dropped me off with Amber, a friend I met in Houston when we were in the singles at the church.  We both got married and moved to marrieds class together.  We were blessed to be in each other's weddings about 2 years ago.  She is a beautiful woman who seeks the Lord.  She and her husband were graced with my presence as an unexpected house guest that evening...even with my meticulous planning flexibility was key. So I'm grateful they spared me a bed for the night!
Me and Amber on her wedding day over 2 years ago
Amber then took me to Sarah's.  I met Sarah my freshman year of college.  We lived on the same floor of the dorm.  She is probably one of the closest, longest friends I've ever had.  I don't know if I laugh more with anybody else.  We are very real with each other and have walked through a lot of life together - good and bad.  She is a gorgeous preggo lady and expecting a little baby girl, Addison, very soon.   The phone can only go so far, so talking face to face was a huge blessing.  (she is in the picture below, if curious)

I also was able to have dinner and watch the Aggie women's basketball team win the national championship (you knew I had to throw that in here somewhere) with Angela and Jenny.  Angela was my roommate in Houston before I got married.  She is awesome. and quite hilarious.  I used to be sad I wasn't married back then, but now I'm so grateful for that time with girlfriends as roommates.  I feel like I learned so much and just had fun being random together.  I met Jenny through Angela.  To me, Jenny is the definition of a gentle and quiet spirit.  We all did Bible studies together (including Sarah and Amber) and I learned so much from each of them.
Jenny, Angela, Sarah and I
I also got to see my friend Jaclyn.  Jaclyn and I had almost every single class together in college.  We also ended up later teaching at across the hall from each other for a few years in Houston.  We certainly have a bond from late night "study sessions" - aka goofing off - and tales from the classroom.  We have also walked through some tough stuff together and I am grateful for our friendship.

Jaclyn and me on her wedding day...4 years ago!
From Houston I flew back to Anchorage, landing about 2am...working the next morning. Whew, I need a vacation from my vacation. I'm glad it's the weekend.  But am thankful God has put so many amazing women in my life!  And if you've read this far...I'm impressed.  I guess I'm getting sentimental in my old age (tear).

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