I stared at the plane on the tarmac of gate A50 at Denver International Airport. It had been about 16 years since I flew anywhere. As I sat there taking in my surroundings and observing other travelers, one thing seemed to be a common denominator. Everyone seemed to be plugged into things. A guy next to me had his laptop plugged in, earphones in, wearing a business suit and some expensive loafers totally oblivious to the world around him. I sat there eating a sub sandwich that had to be additionally x-rayed because of the 4 oz of Picante sauce hidden in its packaging. Crumbs were getting everywhere. I was trying not to get embarrassed for eating like my five-year-old, but not a soul was paying any attention to me. Some were dosing off or listening to things on iPhones or reading books.
There wasn’t any particular reason why I hadn’t flown in so long except that marriage and children were my focus and leaving them to go off on a trip by myself never seemed appropriate until now. But here I sat waiting to see some familiar faces on the other side of 906 miles. It had been six months since I left Arizona and I needed friendship therapy. I truly believe time with friends can be the best therapy.
I spent a lot of my time with Lanny when I was in Phoenix. In fact, I stayed with her! She has the cutest little guest room! She was amazing and let me borrow her vehicles to go to a wedding, reception and catch lunch with some friends of mine in Flagstaff.
I really needed those deep conversations and intense self-reflection. I’ve never met another person in my life who gets me more than her. Now distance has always been a factor in our friendship. There was a period of time when she lived in Idaho and I wondered if I would ever see her again, but thankfully she moved back. The last 12 years I lived in Flagstaff and I remember that day when Lanny called me and told me that they bought a place in Munds Park, I was incredibly excited! We spent some time at her cabin the last few years riding on ATV’s, and eating yummy food but not nearly as much time as I had hoped.
Anyway, this trip to Phoenix couldn’t have come at a better time. We just moved from the Western Slope of Colorado to Loveland on Halloween. I spent the eight days following our move unpacking box after box and getting things in place, before I had to pack myself for this very special flight. My main intention of flying back to AZ was to see my friend Jessica marry her soul mate VJ. I am so incredibly happy for her. She had the most beautiful wedding that turned into a mini high school reunion! Her wedding had me in tears and her reception was fun. We danced like we were back in high school!
While in Phoenix I discovered the weeks before that Mel and Rich were flying through to California from Texas, so Mel picked me up from the airport and took me to dinner with Rich and their friends. We were so lucky to be in the same city at the same time!
My trip back home was a wonderful way to gain some perspective before starting our new life here in Northern Colorado. We live about an hour away from Cheyenne Wyoming, about the same distance from Denver and there are so many things to do here. I really can’t wait to explore the area. I am dying to hang out in Estes Park, go up to the Rocky Mountain National Park and see a different side of the Rockies we haven’t seen yet. I can’t wait to take the kids to the Denver Zoo this summer and the aquarium and of course truly learn why God had us come here. I know I am meant to work with kids, so that should reveal itself soon.
We’ve spent the last twenty some days getting the kids acclimated to a new school and settling into our home enough to hang pictures and prepare for the holidays. We enjoyed a very different, low-key Thanksgiving. With just the four of us, our 11-pound bird was too big, we’ll definitely have turkey leftovers for a week, so I’ll have to soup it or freeze it. The stress for this holiday wasn’t there like it normally is. It was truly a wonderful day where I woke up and watched the parade in my PJ’s, took the boys for a walk through the neighborhood and I didn’t start preparing homemade mashed potatoes until about an hour before the turkey was due to be done. I’ve hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas every year except the year I had Braidy for the last 11 years and it’s quite a big ordeal and can get expensive quickly. This was the least expensive Thanksgiving in those 11 years. While I enjoyed our quaint little holiday, I know next year I will enjoy visiting folks back home, or expecting some to come up and see us and it will be equally fun and amazing! It’s nice to now be able to do something different each year.
I will be finishing out this year truly enjoying our new home, our new surroundings and finding something to do for work that will hopefully be fulfilling and will fit right into my schedule with the kids and school. I hope you’ve had a wonderful stress free Thanksgiving!
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