1. Experience: This was my first solo trip away from home for more than 4 days, a chance to clear my head, break away from the monotony of daily hum-drum, spend quality time with the bff, focus on my goals...
Lesson: Ten days is too long to be away from my family. I missed the chaos that is my house... Jamey's theatrical hysterics, Audrey's incessant prattling, Jared's jokes and Jeff pining after me (yes, he pines).
2. Experience: Audrey, the last child to exit my womb, lost her first tooth while I was gone and I wasn't there to yank it out. This first loss of tooth also commences her gangly-kid stage. I might not be taking very many pics of her for the next year or so...
Lesson: I felt like a deadbeat tooth-fairy. She got $5.00 and Dada gloated in all the glorious credit. I am sad she will have her grown-up teeth soon and my baby wont be a baby anymore.
3. Experience: I swam with manta ray sharks at night in the dark black sea. Perhaps these giant monsters wouldn't have been so intimidating had I not been floating prostrate atop the ocean waves peering down into the abyss while the behemoths charged at us like UFOs with their mouths gaping open, looking all ravenous and able to swallow a baby elephant if they so desired.
Lesson: The scary mantas were actually quite amazing and docile. Despite my attractive plankton-colored skin and terrified screams, they did not eat me. For this I am grateful.
4. Experience: I ate spam.
Lesson: I liked it.
5. Experience: I sang Karaoke and got tipped twenty bucks by an old man with a famous dog.
Lesson: This was my first paying gig. Maybe Nashville is finally ready for me... Anyone?
6. Experience: On a tropical beach called "Magic Sands," I got sucked into the ocean by a flash current and came within inches of being flushed down the toilet of the sea. My body flailed like a wet noodle, tossed by a crashing succession of 6-8 foot waves until one young boy on a boogie board noticed me drowning and rescued me from a watery grave. Of course I pretended like nothing happened as I crawled ashore and bumbled my way back to the public shower to wash the sand out of my everything.
Lesson: It should be called "Whirlpool of Death Beach." I learned it is possible for logic and panic to coexist during a near death experience. I found that reasoning doesn't make sense when you're going to die and it's perfectly logical to scream and throw yourself on the first stranger within arms reach, thank you Jesus. I also learned that even while at deaths door I tried to maintain my dignity. No doubt someday I will be that little old lady in a home with smeared fuchsia lipstick and coral dyed hair in a shampoo set. My mind will be gone but I'll look hawt.
7. Experience: A long-time family friend defriended me on Facebook. I have never been dumped by someone who is my real-life friend. I got my feelings hurt and didn't handle it very maturely.
Lesson: It's my hope I was unfriended because she simply didn't know how to 'hide' my posts. I suggest to Facebook a 'dislike' button instead, then maybe we could get heads up we are offending someone and have a chance to apologize before we're permanently erased.
8. Experience: I got my first tattoo, something I've been threatening to do for seven years. It felt like sandpaper grinding off my skin but not unbearable. It makes me look all tough and hard. Now I just gotta go beat somebody up and join a motorcycle gang.
Lesson: I like tattoos. I'm thinking maybe something simple next time, like a huge flowering Japanese maple engulfing the left side of my torso.
Well, that's all the new stuff I experienced. I wanted to post this a month ago but I didn't have ten nicely rounded points to share. But since I have been home, even more new and exciting stuff has happened, for instance...
9. Experience: Due to copious amounts of fur stuck to all things and everyone, I had the groomers shave my cat. She sleeps on our bed and in our closet so when she started shedding this spring it became a serious problem for our clothes and allergies.
10. Experience: All of the sudden I'm fifteen pounds over my 'normal' weight. I've outgrown my clothes and I have no explanation for it. It could be all my crash dieting or perhaps the over indulgences when I was in Hawaii or maybe it's my complete disregard for working out or total love affair with carbs...there's no way to tell, really.
Lesson: I've embarked on a new LIFESTYLE change. No Sugar and No flour from now on, period. Except on weekends. Until I lose fifteen lbs.
11. Experience: I SCORED this garage sail season and snagged me a genuine used Cannondale in perfect condition (a many thousand dollar bicycle) for $20.00.
Lesson: If you put it on your list, you will find it at a garage sale and God will bless you for being thrifty. Now I just need God to make me go ride it so I can eat cake again.