We just returned this evening from a much needed family trip to California. We stayed with our friends Jon and Jenetta that I have known for years, since high school to be exact. As I grow older I come to appreciate the friends I made as a kid who are still a part of my life as an adult. In this case, the two friends who opened their home to us are incredibly near and dear to my heart. I find it interesting how our friendship has grown, evolved, and matured over the years. While we can discuss our past shared memories of the kids we once were our conversation easily flows into our adult lives, our families, hopes, fears, dreams, disappointments. There is a level of depth and comfort that I find lacking in many of the friendships I have made as an adult. It means so much to me that they have opened their hearts and lives to my husband and children. I watched my kids embrace this couple over the past week and I can see how blessed their children will be to have such wonderful parents. I am grateful that our friendship has endured and blossomed and look forward to enjoying their company for many years to come.
The week was full of sunshine, laughter, serious conversations, delicious meals and fun - the kind of fun that is even more delightful when shared with friends. Wednesday we headed to their home in Escondido and just spent the afternoon and evening relaxing at their home. Thursday we headed to PB to meet some friends from home that were in San Diego. We spent a chilly part of the afternoon at the beach, retreating to the heated pool at their hotel when the cool weather proved to be too much for our thin AZ skin. That evening we headed back to enjoy another home cooked meal with our friends. The next morning found us off to the Wild Animal Park with the kids and then back to their house to rest for a bit.
Late Friday afternoon we made the drive to Coronado Island to take some family photos. Did I mention that Jenetta is a fabulous documentary style photographer with a great eye for detail? Really her photos are breathtaking and we felt honored to have her behind the lens capturing our family photos for posterity. The evening wound down with a long, relaxing dinner at Tomasos. Later after we returned to their home, we talked late into the night, savoring each moment of conversation. This morning we got up early and begin the process of packing and cleaning up. We headed to Temecula to meet them for lunch at a restaurant Craig and I had enjoyed on a previous trip. Old Town was filled with people attending a hot rod show, it was a nice surprising end to our trip.
This evening I am coming back down to earth. It is always hard for me to leave California, I always feel lighter and sated in so many ways when I am there. Something about the state gets under my skin in a way that is simply indescribable. Not to mention I have to work 40 hours in the next 4 days at two different jobs. Talk about crashing back down to reality.
Last week, during orientation I came to the shocking realization that my plan to manage both jobs would not be possible. A choice had to be made and knowing where my career path is headed I had to take the leap. After discussion with my coordinator at my new job and my husband, I gave notice at my current job. I felt an enormous sense of relief at first, followed by a great pang of fear. What ifs, worries, and doubts filled my head as I second guessed myself. This is not just a job change, it is a huge career change and there is that inevitable fear that it won't work out. I have been making plans, moving in this direction for a couple of years, but now that the moment has arrived I am for lack of a better word scared. This is where I want to be, what I have worked for, I know it will all work out the way it is supposed to, but looking over that ledge, not knowing what lies ahead is both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. To be honest I can't wait to see what happens.
As a side note, last Saturday our entire family volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul's Hearts and Hands day. It is an opportunity for parents and their kids to work side by side - giving back to those that are in need. We spent part of the morning making centerpieces for family meals that are provided at their facilities. Afterwards we toured their facility with our children and were reminded that there are so many that have so little. It was unanimous amongst our family members that we should return each quarter for subsequent hearts and hands days. This entire week has reminded me how incredibly blessed we have been as a family. How fortunate we are to have a comfortable home, good friends, and lots of love that we can share.