I'll just let pictures tell the story of our week in Cali.
This is my friend Kayla and her beautiful daughter, Charlie. We bonded because our husbands were deployed twice together and we used each other to survive. She was, and continues to be, one of my nearest and dearest friends. xoxo
On one of Roman and I's first days there, Kayla and her daughter Charlie took Roman and I to the Fashion Fair mall in Fresno. Why? Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. And we hit Teazers on the way, which just happens to be the most amazing tea place in the entire world. Of course I had to bring home some tees for Jerr and I from Urban, a really gorgeous spoon rest from Anthropologie that will go on my stove after the holiday decorations are put away, and from Teazers- a bag of pumpkin tea and a can of Tiger Chai mix.
Wanna know what happiness looks like?
And while we were at the mall, I was able to teach Roman that shopping is great fun! (these sprinklers were in a courtyard area in front of Anthropologie)
Another highlight: seeing some of my past students! I surprised [along with the current choir director's help!] a group of students during their choir rehearsal at school one day. I don't have pictures here because they were posted all over facebook and I'm assuming most of you already saw them. Not to mention it would be one heck of a big stream of pictures. Just because they aren't pictured here doesn't mean they weren't a huge part of my life or that I didn't enjoy seeing them! :)
Here is the group of those who graduated and happened to be able to meet in the middle of the day. (sorry to those who had college class or work during this time!)
Not pictured: Kirsten. She was taking this picture!!
Next stop: The Errotaberre's + Karlie! They were our family away from home and we spent dinners and Easters with them during our years in Lemoore. I also taught with Maureen (the mom), had Karlie and Janae in choir (and they spent a Valentine's Day with me when Jerr was deployed, eating chocolate cake and watching a good movie) and I lived with them during the in-between when our home goods were shipped to Hawaii but I was still finishing the school year.
The main reason for the trip was for a church retreat where I led worship and got to enjoy time and fellowship with my precious friends from the Oasis Church. I don't have pictures from the retreat because I was too busy having fun and concentrating on worship, but I do have a picture of our friend Ron with Roman while at a football game. I think this picture will be one of the most treasured-to-my-heart pictures that I ever have. Ro stayed with Ron and his two daughters while his other daughter and wife were with me at the retreat. Roman had a blast and when I got home he wasn't the least bit interested in coming back to Mama. Hooray! And boo. :(
Because I don't have pictures from the retreat, I don't have pictures of some of my very closest friends but they know who they are[Kim, Jewel, Erin, and Ally] and they were refreshing to my spirit. Not to mention the rest of my church family!!
On the last night in Cali, Roman and I met up with Kayla and two other Navy-wife gals [Erin and Clara], plus daughters, that I was friends with during our time in Lemoore.
What a great visit. I was touched by all who made time in their schedules to see me and meet Roman. What a special opportunity to reunite with those who were such a big part of our life at one time. Leaving friends is hard to do, but seeing them again and realizing that a treasured friendship still exists is priceless. I am so, so glad we went.