The next weekend T. and I went on a road trip! We packed up the Honda and headed west very early on a Friday morning for Omaha, Nebraska and my sister's graduation from Creighton University's pharmacy program! I have said it before and I will say it again--I am so proud of my sister and everything she has accomplished! She inspires me to find greatness and work hard to accomplish my goals. She is an incredible sister and daughter, an amazing friend, the best mom and fiancee, and she will make a fantastic pharmacist! Anyway, it was a busy weekend with lots of family and laughter, with the hooding ceremony on Friday night, dinner afterwards, and a graduation ceremony on Saturday morning.
While it was a fantastic weekend, it wasn't without its, shall we say, issues? We just have really bad luck in Nebraska, I think. T. went out for a long bike ride to get some training in for his first century ride and ended up calling me to come pick him up, saying that he was stranded. He did some pretty gnarly damage to his bike (that was all easily repairable) but it definitely put the bike out of commission. And then, later that night, I somewhere, somehow, misplaced the car keys. Yeah. It's almost as if some black hole opened up in the vicinity of the hotel room and sucked only those into oblivion. We were able to get home, thanks to the help of a late night locksmith named Mike and our landlord's wife, who let us into the building when we got back. It was a bit traumatic and completely maddening.
But... the baby snuggles and laughs and good meals (and cake!) and time spent with loved ones we don't get to see very often, enjoying beer and cocktails in a hotel room far from home, driving early Saturday during that part of the morning where the sun is its brightest and everything glitters, even the sky is a yellowish orange-y blue canvas that seems to be glowing... that all more or less made up for it. A. is in Arizona now, with the tiny redhead, completing her last rotation for pharmacy school. Almost there!!
The next weekend, I completed my first Tough Mudder Half with a group of dynamic and strong ladies from work. This race most certainly deserves its own post and it will get one. I have never been so physically and mentally challenged in my life, but it was so awesome! And a lot of fun. The best post-race beer I've ever had, also, haha. I will definitely do another Tough Mudder though it remains to be seen if I will be doing another Half or if I will attempt the full. My little sister (by friendship, not by birth, but it's all the same as I've known her since she was born!) did the Full Tough Mudder the same weekend and I am super impressed with her for it! (Seriously, way to go!)
Probably one of the biggest highlights of my month came at the very end... After 18 years of friendship and writing letters back and forth to one another, I was finally reunited with A.! She and became penpals when we were on respective family vacations in Orlando, FL in October 1998. We exchanged addresses and have been writing ever since! A. is one of my oldest and dearest friends and it was so, so good to see her again! She was on a family vacation to Chicago and came up to Edgewater with her sister to see our apartment and go to Ann Sather for breakfast and visit the lake. It was a perfect morning! Easily one of my favorite days of the year. It definitely won't be 18 years until we see each other again, that's for sure!!
Though I am always wishing time would just slow down for a minute or two, my calendar and my life are full and I am happy. I feel pretty fortunate to be living out the life I always dreamed I would have, and while I know our days and months are punctuated by hills and valleys, I am definitely savoring the sunshine from up here. Onward to June, and the true beginning of summer in Chicago!
"Give me this splendid sun,
with all his beams full-dazzling.