Saturday, June 30, 2007

One Week Down...

Many more to go. But surviving my first week at a real job is significant, especially when you add being across the country from all friends and fam and everything familiar. I just point out the weight of it to express the depth of peace and contentment God has been so faithful to provide, AND how awesome my friends and family have been at calling to check on me. That has meant so much. Just knowing that someone remembers where I am and wonders how I'm doing is encouraging.

James and Callie are the other two residents I'm working with, and they are great. We've already had good times in training and during lunch together this week. They are both smart and friendly, and I very much look forward to what this year will bring.

I still haven't found a church here yet. It's hard when you only get to check one out about once a week. But I've done a little research online, so I hope I know a little bit more of what to expect tomorrow. We'll see. Thanks for reading and commenting. It comforts me as well!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tacoma Town

I still like it. It's been a long, fun week of unpacking, buying, assembling, and touring with Donna and Leela and then my mom and Lee. My parents are troopers. I had no doubt with them, though. Lee's a get-'er-done type for sure. Way helpful. The sad thing was, they didn't get to see Rainier. It was too cloudy. Donna, Leela, and I were fortunate enough to see it in its grandeur on Wednesday.

The people here are very different. And I love that. I'm looking forward to the way this culture and adaptive process will broaden my mind and soften my heart. I visited a church this morning, and I was surprised to find that a woman was shepherding the church. So the search continues...

So far I'm fine on homesickness. Last night was my worst. Lee and mom were still here, and my anticipation of their departure made me a bit weepy yesterday. I think I hid it well. After my text request for prayer from some close friends, today involved just a few tears in both mine and my mother's eyes.

Orientation starts tomorrow. This will be my first night in my new bed.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Here and lovin' it

Hey guys, we made it to Tacoma in amazing time. The last day of driving we only stopped when we needed gas. Donna's a champ at some driving. We got to see Mt. Rushmore, this huge beautiful gorge housing the Columbia River, and the beautiful scenery located in Montana, Idaho, and Eastern Washington (which looks a little like West TN if you didn't know).

Driving is absolutely the worst in Washington state as opposed to the other 9 that we drove through. I got a little more than perturbed at a little black Acura that Donna ended up taking a picture of.

Here are some of our best quotes so far (don't expect to understand, just know we belly-laughed):

"Let's paint by number; let's get him" - Leela

"Lauren, it's not a power cat!" - Leela

"One of these days when we stop, I may just take off running" - you guessed it, Leela

"What's the capitol of Washington state? Spoanoak" - Donna

"There was a doe right there!" - Lauren

Apartment's cute. Simple. Small. Very good for a little starter-apt for the single white female. Now for the drama of trying to furnish that beast. I think the small space will make it a little easier.

I love my little Tacoma.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

On the road again...

We're on Day 2 of Mission: Move Lauren to Tacoma, and it's been a wild ride already. After days of packing boxes, climbing up and down the flights of stairs to old M-9, and millions of dollars in shipping, Donna, Leela, and I headed out yesterday morning from Nashville at around 6:30. Making only 4 stops, we made it all the way to Omaha, NE by 5:40. Don't ask me how fast I went on the last little stretch.

We drove straight to John Rosenblatt Stadium to meet up with Casey, his friend Anna (who's kinda been my friend via modern technology), Anna's friend Ranae (who graciously let us crash at her place), Bredow, and his crew (two friends, two sisters, and one of their friends). It was sweltering but once the sun went down, we enjoyed watching UNC beat Mississippi State, except that we were for the losing team. We all went to eat downtown afterwards in the cute little area Omaha calls the Old Market area.

After a good meal and goodbye's, we crashed at Ranae's for the night only to be rudely awakened at 5:30 (typical- we were getting up at 6) by a screeching, blaring FIRE ALARM. Yep, we all arranged our things and headed out the door. No biggie, evidently this had happened twice on Thursday. Here's one for you: Management, get it replaced! lol. Oh well, great story.

We're not sure where we're stopping today, but we're going to try to get as far as we can. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 11, 2007

People are wrong about me. Not the ones that know me well. The acquaintances. The ones that only know me in one specific role, in one setting. I, like most people, have many parts, many interests, and many goals.

Two of my most important goals are to be a wife and a mom. I believe that God will allow me the opportunity to be one or both of these at some point. For a long time I've assumed that it wasn't God's timing, it didn't make sense with school and other time commitments, etc. I think all of these are still valid, but another major reason was brought to my attention by one of my great friends tonight.

I didn't realize how I was perceived just based on my degree, my future career, and the intensity of parts of my personality. I have a history of leadership, a drive to succeed, and a comfort doing things by myself. HOWEVER, there's a part of me that desired to be LED. I want to come home to a household where I serve a supporting role. I want to be someone's biggest cheerleader. Believe it or not, I'm equipped for that. Way down deep, the potential is there.

But it doesn't have to be seen now or by all...ever. God will show it to at least one. And when he sees enough he deems pursuable, then I won't have to type any more blogs of frustration such as this one.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

1 down, 1 to go!

By prayers of those who love me, I passed the MPJE, which is the law exam for pharmacy licensure. I take the NAPLEX tomorrow, which is the pharmacy board exam. Obviously, the prayers worked. Let's keep those going up.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Outdoor Adventures

I realize as I begin this post that my titles are weak. There's no pull, no intrigue, just boring and generic. I am sorry. I got nothing.

Lake Tahoe is beautiful. We drove all the way around it yesterday, stopping at overlooks, Emerald Bay, and random shopping areas. During our Emerald Bay stop, we hiked down the 1-mile hill to see the Vikingsholm castle and experienced about 5 different weather patterns within an hour. I'm not joking. It started out just cold and windy. Then the snow came...and turned into tiny hail stones. Then the sun had its turn before a dang blizzard hit us full force. It cycled back through all of these multiple times yesterday afternoon. We were astounded.

Today we went whitewater rafting, and it was amazing. We had a bombin' guide named Josh who just graduated from UTC! His dad is an independent pharmacist in Arkansas. Random connections. He was seriously the best guide, and he should be- the kid kayaks semi-professionally all over North and South America! Needless to say, we had a blast. Water was freezing, but today's weather permitted short-sleeves and shorts. And I thought Tennessee weather was inconsistent!

I love seeing the outdoors like this: the mountains, the streams, the trees. It's amazing. I can never get enough. All the scenes end up looking similar in my head (from Montana, Alaska, etc.), but they still quiet me in awe. I find myself wanting to be immersed in them for a short time. I really would like to do some 3-day river trip or so at some point involving canoeing/kayaking/camping/etc. And something about the outdoors makes me want to experience it with someone else. Don't get me wrong, I love the fam, but I look forward to taking trips with maybe a husband someday. The scenery for some reason seems romantic to me. And now that I've confirmed that I'm a huge dork, I'll stop now.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tahoe Expedition

This day started out odd...and way early, I might add. Dad, Lecia, Daron, Kellen, and I arrived at the Nashville airport this morning to find out that our flight from DFW to Reno had been cancelled. The nice, but slow-paced and talkative, gate agent re-routed us with the best option which included a 5-hour layover in LA at LAX. Normally, I'm the ill and impatient one, but I've finally stopped expecting airlines to follow through with what they get paid to deliver, so I was fine with the change.

In fact, when we arrived at our first layover in St. Louis, I called (and woke due to the 2-hr time difference) my friend Will out in LA to see if he was available to meet us. We arrived in LA, cheated death in a cab ride to the 3rd St. Promenade, and ate with Will in the food court. Oh, and the only famous person we saw was Anthony Anderson, who rode first class on our St. Louis to LAX flight.

After lunch we headed down to the Santa Monica pier. It was nice even though the sky wasn't clear. I was glad the fam got to experience such a frequently-filmed locale in person. Will was nice and brave enough to load us all into his Maxima and give us a ride back to the airport.

We arrived in Reno after a flight that made me question airplane safety (I seriously thought at two different times that we were going to be thrust into a deadly tail-spin, and upon landing, the right wheels and left wheels did not touch down simultaneously), picked up the rental, ate supper, then headed over the mountain to Tahoe, where our resort is located. We were rudely surprised with heavy snow/sleet/rain all the way over the mountain. I was honestly scared. Who knew we would experience 28-degree weather in June? I prayed hard, and we made it as I type to you from the business center.

I'm having a blast with the fam, and I'm expecting a great vacation.