four years ago today, i arrived in california with my kitty and a loaded to the brim vw golf. i had no job, no dresser, no bed and very little savings. i lived out of boxes and slept on a borrowed blow up mattress (thank you kindly, josh lee kwai!) for a year! my amazing big brother had moved across the city from scary (aka: really hot) burbank to west la and found us an apartment to share. when i arrived, i wondered why he had rented us an apartment on a highway! now, i realize, that it was most definitely not a highway, just a street named sawtelle (which for you canby folk, is roughly the size of 99e). i would have never made it down here (and survived) without the love, support and encouragement from my parents (especially my pop), my sweet friend sarah q., and mostly my incredible brother, tyler.
you see, my following tyler around started WAY back...as far back as i can remember, really. tyler's first job: server at the local retirement home, springridge down the loop of the neighborhood. my first job: server at the local retirement home, springridge, down the loop of the neighborhood. tyler's second job: langdon farms golf club. my second job: langdon farms golf club. tyler's pick for college: university of portland. my pick for college: university of portland. i varied from him a little in the sports that i played, the type of job that i had at langdon and my major in college...but otherwise, i pretty much followed right in his footsteps. while i sort of doubt that he really appreciated all my copy cat moves, he always put up with them. when i was a freshman in college, he was a senior. he took me under his wing, shared his car with me and invited me and my friends over to forty night at his house (as in oe forties...yup...the malt liquor...gross...i never did get anywhere near finishing one). tyler moved south to la shortly after graduating college...it took me another six (?) years to follow that path. but, here i am. :)
after i moved to la, he took me under his wing once again. he invited me along to functions with his friends, showed me the ropes of living (and driving...those stinking left turns, man!) in la, helped me navigate areas to find a job, furnished our apartment, picked up my slack on rent, cable, etc when i was short (whoops...) and so much more. without him, i certainly would not be sitting where i am today. so, thank you, tyler, for always being such an amazing guide and friend.
just weeks after i moved here, i found a job and nearly immediately met anthony. :) i knew right from the start, he would be the man i would marry. after a year of living here, we moved in together and after three more months we were married! (crazy, right?). i could have never imagined how much my life would change in a mere four years, but i am so thankful for it all. in four years' time, i have met and married my husband (and best friend). i was hit by a car while riding my bike (ouch). i am now the mommy to sofia, my angel baby in heaven and nolan, my 16-month-old, rambunctious, loving, funny little boy. i have lived in three different apartments and had three different jobs (my current job of mama being by far my favorite...and the trickiest, at times). i have found a passion for all things related to pregnancy (well, except the puking part) and motherhood and hope that this passion will some day parlay into a career helping women...i'm just not quite sure what that looks like to me right now. and i have met some INCREDIBLE people that i am so honored to call my friends, who keep me sane.
before i moved, i figured i would change a lot and perhaps become a super-hip, trendy, high-steppin', fast-paced la lady...the funny thing is, i think the opposite has happened! i have never in my life felt more grounded and more me. i wear jeans (of varying lengths) and a t-shirt pretty much daily, i love all things "green," and am pretty sure that most people would think of me as a little "crunchy". though, i promise you, i still shave (when time allows...hehe) and wear deodorant. sadly, i appreciate portland, it's greenery, rain, beauty, fresh air, people and uniqueness SO much more now that i am here than i ever did as a portlander (boo...i guess that's what being away does for you, huh? luckily it is short flight home to visit). the way i see it, i have the heart (and often brain) of a portlander, while enjoying the benefits of living in southern california. i like the blazers and hate the lakers (and always will...sorry, hubby). now and again, i crave cool, cloudy days with a little rain, but really love being able to take nolan outside to play almost any day of the year. i miss walking around northwest portland and running into at least three people that i know, but love that now i can walk to the beach, bury my feet in the sand and wet my toes in the ocean waves. and i guess it's pretty neat to watch movies and recognize places that i go regularly... :)
if you had asked me four years ago, what i thought my life would be like now, i wouldn't have had a clue!! but i wouldn't change it for the world. now, what in the world will the next four years bring!? hopefully lots of happiness, love and fun!