An unexpected vacation came to town in the form of my bestest best friend, Amber, and her family (minus one son). She called on Monday from her home in St. George and asked if they could come on Wednesday and stay for a few days. Are you kidding me? Move in and STAY! Amber is so much fun, and I never feel any pressure around her at all. I can look my best or my worst, and none of it matters. I don't feel pressure to entertain her or give her false 'happy' answers. She just loves me. And I love her for it. I couldn't wait for them to get here.
Amber and I met in Show Low, Arizona, when the ward boundaries changed and rocked her world. I was not disgruntled at all about the change because it brought her into my life and I loved her immediately. We were assigned as visiting teaching companions, and later served in Primary together, but mostly, we just knew we were meant to be friends.
She was the one who blessed my life with the Mary Kay opportunity, giving me a way to be home and support my children as a single mom. She was the reason I had success so quickly. I kept going and going because she believed in me and I didn't want to prove her wrong. She poured belief and strength into me during really fragile years.
During that time, we got to travel all over the country together for Mary Kay conventions and Seminars. We were in New Orleans together just months before Katrina hit.
Amber's the kind of friend who is loyal through and through. She only sees good in me, even though I work very hard to convince her that I am deeply flawed and undeserving. She is my biggest fan, I think, and I am her biggest fan, and I love her like she was blood. I trust her implicitly. She knows my deeply spiritual side; she knows my raunchy, vulgar side. I can't even really express in words what she means to me, but she knows. One of my favorite things about being single was jumping in my car and heading to St. George to stay with her for the weeks or weekends that my kids were with their dad. She's one of those people that I never tire of or need a break from. Her home was a haven for me, and still is. And so, I always want her to come visit.
The better news? (Well, for me, anyway) Since her oldest son couldn't come, they had an extra ticket for Wicked! and offered it to me. I love that show! It was my third time seeing it, and they had great seats. Every time I've seen it with a different cast, and so it's always fresh and new in that way.
And Amber and I realized that now she and I have seen it together on both coasts! We first saw it in New York together with our friend Luisa. So much fun. I really must go put that soundtrack on and give it a whirl.
on Broadway in NY
in Los Angeles
We took the kids (and my Conor) to Universal CityWalk, which I'd never been to, but had heard good things about. It definitely helped me reach my 10,000 step goal, but it was hot. Conor especially loved the shooting fountain thingy, and it cooled off the girls, too.
Yesterday we spent the day at the beach at the Santa Monica Pier.
Conor loves the beach, and had fun with his toes in the waves, his shovel in the sand, and his mind on catching one of those sea gulls with goldfish crackers. They weren't fooled, but it kept him busy.
Amber's princely husband, Kevin, took over Conor duty for me so I could go play in the water with Amber and the girls. I don't think I've played in the ocean for 20 years. I always sit and watch everyone else because I hate the hassle of sand in my swimsuit and saltwater in my eyes. I don't like to be sticky and sandy, and I never get my hair wet. Amber wouldn't take no for an answer, and what have I been missing? After the terror of impending death wore off, I had a blast in the waves with her and her daughters. We laughed! Well, they mostly laughed at me, but I had a fantastic time, and wished so much that my own kids had been there to see me finally in the fun! I learned a lesson. I can't keep sitting on the sand so my mascara doesn't smear in the ocean. That's deep. Life-changing even.
We got home late in the evening and got the kids settled and then the four adults went out to dinner at Rocky Cola Cafe in Montrose. A disappointing Philly cheesesteak (aren't they all? I hardly ever get lucky, so I don't know why I keep trying), but Adam regaled us all with hysterics from his childhood. His stories never disappoint. They aren't for young or prudish audiences, but nobody tells a story like Adam does.
Amber's family left this morning, and I miss them already, but what a fantastic diversion! What a treat they gave me in so much fun and activity! Conor was showered with love and attention, and I had a few days with my precious Amber. The one and only. My sister of the heart.