When I was in the third grade, my family moved to California. It was a big move for a little third grade girl, and I think I was pretty convinced I had left all my friends behind. When the bell rang to line up for recess on my first day at school, I didn’t know who to stand by, and Lizzy Sampson grabbed my hand and pulled me into line with her. I don’t think we really let go of each other since then. I have very few memories from growing up that don’t include Lizzy. From chasing boys on the play ground, to chasing boys in middle school; from father daughter dances, to prom; from having our hearts broken, to breaking hearts; from thinking school would never end, to walking beside each other in high school graduation; from exploring every nook of Santa Cruz, to traveling the world; from torturing our little sisters, to loving them as our best friends; from eating chicken strips every afternoon for 9 months straight, to learning to love to cook real food; from dreaming of finding the perfect guys, to standing by each other’s sides at our weddings; I could not have asked for a more loving, fun, beautiful best friend to grow up with.
Last week, thanks to the generosity of my parents and Lizzy’s parents, I was able to fly home and be a part of Lizzy’s wedding. I was not one bit surprised to find that Lizzy is still the girl who pulls the people from the sidelines, into her life. Everyone at Lizzy and Stacey’s wedding really loved Lizzy and Stacey, and felt loved by them. One of the hardest things about living across the pond is missing days like this day, and I was so so glad to be able to be there.
I left straight from Paris to go to the wedding, so it was quite the journey home. From the time I left our flat in Paris, until the time I reached my parents house, was over 30 hours. Needless to say, I was pretty exhausted, and was able to sleep right through the night! Friday was full of wedding festivities, and Saturday my dear friend Lizzy married her love. The wedding was absolutely beautiful, so much fun, and full of so much love and laughter.
The rest of the week I was able to spend relaxing and catching up with our family and friends. Cari and her boyfriend, Timmy, came home for the weekend, and I loved every minute we got to spend together. Sunday we had our annual Gudnason Family baseball game, and as Andrew is the organiser of this event, and I got the privilege of being on Andrew’s team, my team won!! We followed the game with a BBQ, and then I slept 14 hours that night. Monday morning I finally got some Verve with my beautiful mother-in-law and sister-in-law (its still weird that I have in-laws), and I went on a little shopping spree at the O’neill sale. Jared had sent me with a list of things he would like, since its where he has traditionally bought about 90% of his clothing each year.
Tuesday morning I got to spend with my wonderful friend Carly, and she cut off all my hair. Its shorter than it has been since middle school, probably because when I cut it in middle school, it just turned into an afro, which my sisters lovingly referred to as “the poof point”. Disney channel original movie.. anyone? Thankfully I love it this time around! I managed to squeeze in some dentist and eye doctor appointments, since I have yet to connect with doctors over here… And my last two days in town were spent eating my favorite foods with some of my favorite people. Wednesday night I got perfect Mexican food with my in-laws, and I loved every minute of my time with them! I have been so blessed to have married into such a great family! Thursday I got lunch with my mom and Sarah, my other bestie since the third grade (I think our grandmas set that one up…) Thursday evening I got to spend eating great burgers and ice cream with our wonderful community of church friends. It was funny to come back to Santa Cruz, and spend a few hours with these friends, and in some ways feel like I had never left. It felt just like picking back up right where we left off, and I love that it still feels that way with our friends. Before heading back to Scotland on Friday morning, I had to make a stop at Cafe Brazil, where my mom and I stuffed ourselves with Acai bowls and pancakes; typical. Saying goodbye this time around seemed a little harder. Some of the newness has died down, and this time it was for a little bit longer. I have been blessed with some of the best friends and family I could ask for, and I am so thankful for the week spent with them!