Thursday, September 30, 2004

Amy, The Blog Nazi, Finally Succumbs

Call me a control freak, if you want to, but I’ve always liked the fact that I am the master of my own blog. The most compelling reason for me not to have comments on my blog has been the fact that I’ve seen several blogs get hijacked by total idiots who rant and rave about the most unintelligible subject matter (oh my gosh, just look what happened to poor Queen of Carrots). Because sometimes I like to talk about controversial things (and because I’ve been e-mailed by several people who’ve found my blog on a Google search, one guy wanting to argue about in-depth Mormon theology, which I would love to discuss but, frankly, hardly have time to put dinner on the table every night), I’ve hemmed and hawed at giving these freaks a forum. Recently, however, Kevin told me, “You know, Amy, you can just delete comments if you don’t like them.” (i.e., I won’t lose my precious control.) Armed with that useful bit of information, and because I’ve gotten several requests to put a comment feature on my blog, and because all of my friends are very intelligent and thoughtful people and I’m just DYING to hear what y’all are going to say to me in the months ahead, I’ve decided to take the plunge. Here goes nothing.

P.S. Do take a look at the link I posted earlier today on the man-shaped pillow. I think it’s the funniest thing ever and can’t believe people are actually taking it seriously. Wow. It’s going to be fun teasing Kevin that I can replace him, at any time, with a pillow. Ha! It’s just so much fun living in such a progressive era.

The NEXT best thing to being married.

A man-shaped pillow.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

On the Cusp of a New Season

People-watching is a great pastime. Especially in the fall, when I’m in the mood to reflect. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about the world. As I observe the people whizzing past me downtown each day, it’s rather interesting, this time of the year, to notice the clothing. Especially the women’s clothing. Quite a few people are firmly, absolutely ready for fall. They are wearing long pants, sweaters, and boots. Some hard-core optimists have even pulled out their scarves. Many of these fall hopefuls are wearing rusty autumn colors, no doubt trying to help the new season along. A large contingent, however, is obviously hoping that the warm summer season will linger a little longer. (It’s a good thing they live in Sacramento, because it no doubt will.) They are still wearing flip-flops, sleeveless tops, and bright, flowery summer colors. It’s been quite entertaining to marvel at the clashing attitudes, revealed by women’s clothing, as the world is caught between the seasons.

The days are getting shorter. I have mixed feelings about the darkness. I hate it because it’s gloomy. But, on the other hand, I love it because it helps bring on that wonderful fall feeling. It just wouldn’t be fall without shorter days.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


No, we did not feel the earthquake today. Kevin is really bummed. He says, “As long as I have to live in California, I should be able to experience an earthquake.”

It’s all a hazy blur . . . if there’s such a thing as a hazy blur.

Whatever bug I had, I gave it to Kevin. We knew it was practically inevitable. But I still feel sorry for the poor guy. He has his first trial on Monday and will have to prepare for it this coming weekend. It’s really bad timing for him to get sick.

This past weekend was a blur of activity. Highlights include attending a gala for Pacific Justice Institute. The invitation said “black tie optional.” Although Kevin tried to wig-out on me, I was successful in getting him to wear his tux. (In California, “black tie” often means “don’t wear a polo, please.” There were only a handful of people, besides the speakers who wore tuxes. And, believe it or not, one guy actually did wear a polo.) We had a great time – it was interesting to discover how many people we know in Sacramento (from all sorts of different circles) even though we’ve only lived here a year. God has been good to provide us with many friends and acquaintances here.

On Sunday night we met with old family friends of Kevin’s. (He hadn’t seen them since he was five years old, actually.) Their daughter, Morgan, will be attending U.C. Davis this year. We ate at a German restaurant, bustling with activity because Oktoberfest is in full swing. We had a great visit with them and look forward to hanging out with Morgan this school year. If she’s not too busy for us old fogeys, that is. ;-)

Yesterday I went with Karen to do a class for about 500 homeschool kids on how the presidential election works. (The kids instantly liked Karen when she told them about how she went sky diving last Saturday.) Karen is amazing – she was able to keep the attention of pretty much all the kids for a very long period of time. Honestly, the electoral college process is really hard to explain. (You try it sometime!) It’s also fairly hard to understand – even if you have a law degree! I was impressed that she was able to explain all this to the kids. I played “Vanna White” by being the lady standing behind Karen writing notes on the marker board. It was fun. I love homeschoolers.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

"Sniff, Sniff"

Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat, ignored it all day long, and would you know it, today it’s worse. Last night Kevin insisted I take something for it (he’s my in-house medical advisor) so he went out and bought me Cold-Eeze. (They’re nasty but they work. Although, my sister Christy says she’d rather get the worst cold imaginable and deal with all the symptoms than suck on a Cold-Eeze for even one second. She was rather passionate about this too.) Kevin also bought me fresh flowers, to help lift my spirits. We’ve decided that we’ll have to make fresh flowers a part of our weekly grocery budget. They’re so lovely to have sitting around the house.

Morning Interruption

A few minutes ago Lance came walking into my office to ask if I heard the fire alarm ringing in the hallway. To be truthful, I was focused in on my work project and, although I heard a buzzing in the background, I thought it was a power drill or a vacuum and didn’t pay any attention to it. Later I told Lance, “Thank you for potentially saving my life.” Can’t you just see me, being the Space Cadet that I am, sitting at my desk with flames engulfing the building around me, totally unaware of it all? Scary, eh?

Soon we were descending the staircase, along with all the other building occupants, unsure if the ringing in our ears was the result of a drill or the real thing.

Most of the people who work in my building are part of the radical left-wing conspiracy. As I stood on the sidewalk outside our building, I instantly identified the Sierra Club folks. It wasn’t hard. All I had to do was look for the Birkenstocks. (Would a serious environmentalist dare wear anything else?) One of them had a green shirt with a peace symbol. Another guy had a tan shirt with a forest of chopped-down trees that said, “Once you’ve killed them, they’ll never live again.” Very astute observation, I thought to myself. Typically when you kill something, it never comes back to life. Astounding logic. Very deep, too.

Soon the entire Sacramento County fire department showed up (or so it seemed). We were all rather impressed at their speedy service. At this point we still thought all of the hullabaloo was a routine drill. Later we found out that, actually, it was a false alarm.

Fortunately, during the wait, Lance kept us all entertained with his jokes and witticisms. He relayed some interesting facts about the great Chicago Fire and how Chicago’s state-of-the-art water pump (used expressly to combat fires) was, if you can believe it, made out of flammable materials and burned down instantly! Hmmm . . .

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Night at the Opera

Okay, it was better than I anticipated. It’s definitely not the type of thing I’d want to do every Friday night but, in another couple of years, I might even want to go to another one. I’m all about being a well-rounded person, capable of enjoying numerous things. So, let me just say that opera is a nice thing to throw in the mix every once in a while. The entire night was definitely worth it when Leporello sang “Madamina.” (The song Kevin sings.)

We went to the opera with Justin and Michelle. Kevin knows Justin from the choral society. He and Kevin hit it off when they started talking about landscaping projects a few weeks ago. Justin then invited Kevin to come see Don Giovanni. Kevin told me that he thought about my mantra (accepting the precious “gift of friendship” when someone offers it to you) and decided it would be cool to develop a friendship with Justin.

I hadn’t met Justin until last night. Neither of us had met Michelle. In fact, Justin had just met Michelle on Sunday and this was their first date together. We met at Justin’s house before the show and carpooled together. Both of them are very nice. Justin is the 7th of 10 kids. We didn’t get a chance to ask much about his family but hopefully we’ll get a chance in the future. We don’t know if either of them are Christians. It was a little bit weird to be part of their first date. Especially since neither of us played the dating game; we were good friends before we became “an item.” Before we left Justin’s house, he took the four of us’ picture together, with his camera on a timer. Later we joked, “He probably just wanted Michelle’s picture and we were there to make it convenient.” ;-) In the car, on the way home, we both agreed that it’s nice that we’ve moved beyond that “best foot forward; trying-to-impress-you” stage. We couldn’t help but contrast our four-year relationship (marked by a myriad of trials and joys) with Justin and Michelle’s three-day relationship. This made me contemplate what it will be like after decades together. My dad tells me that your thought processes begin to meld and decision-making gets easier. I’m sure that’s not always true in relationships, but if that’s what generally happens, it's awesome to think about. The best is yet to come.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

What is opera?

“Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.” -Ed Gardner

Tonight we’re going to the opera. Kevin has been trying to immerse me in this type of culture for a long time. Until today, I’ve successfully resisted. I only agreed to go when I discovered that there will be subtitles so I can actually understand what all the fuss is about. The only thing that concerns me is that I will actually enjoy myself. If that happens, it will be more difficult to poke fun at it in the future. And that would be a bummer.

Tonight we will see Don Giovanni. I already have one of the songs memorized – in Italian – because Kevin sings it constantly. Should be interesting . . .

Monday, September 20, 2004

Yet another reason to smile . . .

I’ve been smiling all day because yesterday I got out my fall clothes and today the weather permits me to wear a sweater all day long. I love sweaters because they are beautiful, comfortable, cozy, warm, and best of all they are wrinkle-free. Today Kevin told me “Don’t stay in the ‘fall mood’ because it’s supposed to heat up later this week.” All I can say is . . . I’m sure going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Yesterday we had a terrific thunder and lightning storm, including tons of hail. It all happened very suddenly. Kevin was overjoyed when the clouds rolled in. He says he’s not sure he likes the 200 days of consecutive sunshine in California every year. To put it in his own words, “They can’t expect me to be that happy so many days straight in a row.”

I had to drop Kevin off at the state university for his chorale rehearsal after church yesterday. When I went to pick him up, all the roads were blocked off because of the flooding. It was incredible to me how much rain we got so quickly. Basically, it hasn’t rained a single drop since April and then it rained dogs and cats in a period of about an hour. Craziness!

Although I love each part of the process, I love the aftermath of rain most of all. The air is so clean. The cloudy sky, with the sun poking through, is gorgeous. The grass seems greener (even if it’s not). And the street glistens with the dampness. It’s all so very enchanting.

When Dreams Become Reality

On Saturday we met with about 25 of our old law school friends at the Hilton in Sacramento to start a new alumni association. We are very excited about the prospects of this endeavor. Kevin was elected president and eight other dedicated alumni were also selected to be on the board. Those who desire to help get this thing off the ground and promote its goals have our work cut out for us. It’s encouraging to see the interest and wholehearted commitment of so many people to make this happen.

In addition to the excitement of starting a new venture, it was fantastic to see so many old friends this weekend. Several of them flew in from out of state. We were able to host a Friday night mixer and a barbecue on Saturday at our house. It was so much fun to have people over. Although, I must confess, there were several times when I wanted to pull out my hair while getting ready for it. And, I bought way too much food. We’re going to be eating pasta salad for months! (To make matters worse, Kevin just told me he doesn’t really like pasta salad to begin with. I wish I’d known that when I planned the menu. But oh well. We’re going to have to throw another party to get rid of all this food!)

It’s amazing how tight-knit the Oak Brook students are, despite the fact that the school is primarily a distance-learning program. I think it just goes to show that when people who are likeminded meet each other and go through a rigorous time of life together, they are friends for life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Strawberry Strife

I just got back from buying approximately 10 million strawberries for this weekend at the farmer’s market. I had a tough time finding a parking spot at the crowded downtown plaza. Finally I found one but then discovered I didn’t have any quarters. I located the nearest vendor to my car, raced to her stand, grabbed the nearest piece of fruit I could find (a peach for forty cents) and then raced back to my car with the two precious quarters. I barely made it before a parking-policeman drove by. Whew – that was a close one. (The parking enforcement is brutal in Sacramento.) After I deposited my quarters in the parking meter, I noticed a sign that read “No parking Wednesdays 6 AM to 3 PM without a permit.” This just isn’t my lucky day, I suppose. (You’d think I’d read all of the obvious signs before parking somewhere, wouldn’t you? Leave it to me . . . ) After a few moments wondering what to do, I decided I would just risk a ticket (after all, the parking-policeman had just passed and probably wouldn’t be back for at least five minutes). I rushed to the opposite end of the plaza to find the strawberry stand, loaded up (don’t ask me how on earth I made it back to my car so quickly with that heavy load) and was soon on my merry way. To my utter jubilation, my windshield was ticket-free. Praise the Lord. Sigh . . . life can be so complicated at times.

Last night we (finally) bought a lawnmower at Lowe's. Kevin was thinking seriously about getting one of those little push mowers. I thought that was funny, for some reason. But he didn't understand why. I had a grand time testing out those huge riding lawnmowers while he was looking at all the other mowers. "Kevin," I suggested, "Why don't we just break down and buy one of these? That way it will only take us two or three seconds to mow our lawn." Kevin didn't say anything to that. He just rolled his eyes. (Do you think that's an indication he thinks I'm crazy? Probably.) Later on I told Kevin that maybe we shouldn't get a riding lawnmower after all. "Our neighbors would think we're freaks." But I still think it'd be FUN.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Bumper Space

I remember reading an article a few months ago about having “bumper space” in your life. Basically, the article said that in order to enjoy life we need space between activities. Since I’m the queen of cramming everything in at once, I was pretty skeptical about this whole idea. But now, the more that I think about it, the more I realize it’s true. Lately it seems like we’ve been rushing around at 90 miles per hour, without taking time to pause and think, spend quality time together, or rest. This has gotta stop. The fatigue is starting to set in. I think we’ve been too ambitious with our house projects. I think we’re going to have to leave well enough alone for now. There are still a lot of things we need to do . . . but if we keep up this same pace, we won’t live to enjoy them.

My wonderful boss just gave me some extra time off work to do some grocery shopping for this weekend’s BBQ at our house (for the new OBCL alumni association). That gracious act, alone, has taken a load off my shoulders. Now the only thing to do is to find a bunch of folding chairs for everyone to sit on – or else we’re going to be one big happy family eating on the floor together. ;-)

Monday, September 13, 2004

Bleach, Radio, Paint . . . and Mark

Well, I just bleached one of Kevin’s dress socks. (It was accidentally tossed in with a load of whites.) It used to be a tan color. Now it’s a creamy orange color. I’m not sure how he’ll react. Hopefully he won’t be too mad. Maybe I can convince him that it will be fun to break away from the mores and doldrums of professional standards and wear a creamy orange sock on one foot and a tan sock on the other. Hmmm. I won’t hold my breath on that one.

On Friday night I did a radio interview on hate crimes legislation. Since I had just conducted a bunch of research on the topic, I felt fairly well-informed. When I know what I’m talking about, I really enjoy radio. It’s those times when I just pretend that I know what I’m talking about that gets really interesting, to say the least. I was supposed to be on air at 5:20. So, I rushed home, started dinner, and then began the interview. During commercial breaks, I continued chopping the onions, measuring the ingredients, and setting the table. It was quite comical. You should have seen it. There I was, barefoot in the kitchen, fixing food and debating hate crimes legislation. Ha!

On Saturday, we finally finished painting all of the first floor of our house. We (especially Kevin) were really dreading painting the living room because it has a few tricky angles and a 20-foot ceiling. Things got rather precarious at times. Kevin risked his life on more than one occasion. The scariest part was when he perched his wobbly ladder up against a beam that stretched from one side of the ceiling to the other side. In days of old, knights slew dragons for their fair maidens. In this modern age, they paint tall ceilings. Both feats are definite acts of heroism.

After painting for 12 hours straight yesterday, we were finally done. Yay! Things look so much cleaner and fresher now. Amy is very happy about this.

Our good friend Mark Bigger came over on Saturday night, at around 10 PM, to work with Kevin on the bylaws for our law school’s new alumni association. I have to hand it to him – he’s a very dedicated person – he drove all the way up from Fresno to do this. And, believe it or not, he was thinking about driving back that a very same night. Only a carefree bachelor would ever think of doing something like that. And if I’ve ever met a carefree bachelor in my life, Mark fits the description.

Well, I think that’s all the news. So, for now, I will say “adieu.”

Friday, September 10, 2004

The News We Girls Have Been Waiting For

Theory: Men also suffer from PMS. (Apparently there's also a Male Menopause theory!)

Thankfully there are female doctors in this world who bring these kinds of discoveries to light. ;-)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I Give Up!

So, yesterday it was Kevin’s turn to go to the dentist. Before going, he had to fill out a questionnaire asking how often he flosses his teeth. Peeking over his shoulder, as he was filling it out the other night, I told him, “Don’t lie.” In other words, tell them how scarcely little you floss your teeth and how you only do it when your wife sends you venomous vibes and death threats and tells you that she wants your grandchildren to see your beautiful smile and you’d better floss NOW!

So, he put down “three times a week.” (And, that’s about how often I can talk him into flossing.) I must give him credit; he was truthful.

I must confess . . . I was looking forward to him going to the dentist so he could have a professional person reprimand him for his horrible flossing habits. “Maybe,” I rationalized, “I won’t have to remind him so often now.”

After his appointment, he called to tell me he didn’t have any cavities. He told me that his dentist said, “If all my patients had teeth like yours, I’d be bankrupt.” And, apparently (this is the worst), Kevin’s hygienist complimented him on his “brushing and flossing routine.”

"What?!" I probably screamed into the phone. "How can this possibly be?!"

ARGH!! I am so FRUSTRATED. I TOTALLY GIVE UP. Go ahead and don’t floss EVER AGAIN, Kevin. See if I CARE!!!!!

[His dentist must be a crock.]

Thoughts on Art

Right now I’m studying art history – just for the heck of it. It’s been fun (what little I’ve studied so far). The current book I’m reading was written by a former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s really nice to be able to study something I’m interested in for a change. The problem with a formal education is that you often have to study things you’re totally NOT interested in. But, of course, that’s a good thing because it makes you a more well-balanced person. Having said all that, I still maintain that it’s much more fun to study something I want to study.

Kevin knows a lot more about art history than I do. (He tends to know a lot more about most things than I do. Yesterday I went to the farmer’s market with a few girlfriends. We were admiring all the pretty flowers and I was thinking to myself how Kevin probably knows the names of most of them but I probably could only name two or three! This is very sad, I know.) I remember the first time we visited the National Gallery of Art in D.C. (Check out their website – they have a really cool “web tour of the week.”) It was fabulous. Kevin really helped to open a whole new world of art for me. He challenged me to “see” art differently than I had before.

The author of this textbook I’m reading defines art as “when anyone in the world takes any kind of material and fashions it into a deliberate statement.” Although that’s a very broad definition, the author challenges his readers as to why the definition of art should not be broad. When I think about it, though, this definition is kind of scary. I mean, this definition of “art” would include all the hokey homemade items in all the craft-fairs in the nation! (You know what I’m talking about? Those places where they glue clothespins together, spray-paint it purple (with some cutesy saying), and then sell it for $15.00? The worst part about it all is that there’s actually a market for this type of “art”!) But, then again, just because it’s technically art doesn’t mean it’s good art.

Kevin’s mom gave me a great little book called The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. The premise is that practically everything we do can be considered art. After all, in line with the above definition of art, what we do is the ultimate “statement” of who we are and what we want to portray. Another reason I liked this book is that it reminds us not to forget the “little stuff” in life. The details of life can be a beautiful “art” with very little effort. And, in the end, isn’t it the little, every-day things that will enrich our lives the most, if we enable it?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

On the Homefront

Rarely do I ever write letters to corporate management complimenting their remarkable customer service. That’s because rarely do I see exemplary service. But today I was compelled to write a letter to Lowe’s of Roseville (the new town we live in) commending their employees. They are awesome! I won’t bore you with all the details but yesterday we had quite an ordeal trying to buy a blasted grill (how hard can it be, right?). Despite all the brouhaha, we were very impressed by the service that was rendered. Maybe it’s because this particular Lowe’s is right next door to a Home Depot. Good ol’ Adam Smith was right – when two enterprises compete, the consumer wins!

Plus, I remember how hard it is to work retail. You stand on your feet all day, working your tush off, dealing with an ungrateful public. And, to make matters worse, you get paid peanuts! So, I thought it would be very nice to write a letter to encourage the spirits of a few weary and heavy-laden Lowe’s employees. (Now that I think about it . . . It would’ve been really nice if some thankful customer had written to Starbucks telling them, “That Amy girl, she’s a keeper. She makes the best nonfat lattes ever.” But it never happened. Oh well. I’m not bitter.)

We love our new neighborhood. Next door, there are these two little boys who are very cute and very friendly. One of them, Nick, stopped riding his bike and came to talk to us on Friday night, as we sat in the front yard pulling weeds from the landscaping. (It was very enjoyable to sit in the cool of the evening and dig our hands into the dirt. Very rewarding, I must confess.) Nick gave us the scoop on the neighborhood. During our conversation, a black and white cat, named Sylvester, walked over and started cozying up next to me. Nick’s family feeds Sylvester but, according to our young new friend, “he’s the neighborhood cat.” Apparently, Sylvester particularly enjoys lying in the shade of our front yard. So it seems that I’ll get many more opportunities to become acquainted with him.

Nick told us that he has a lot of friends in our neighborhood. “I’m sorry we don’t have a little kid for you to play with,” said Kevin. “That’s okay. I don’t need any more friends,” he replied.

Nick’s younger brother, Taylor, offered to mow our lawn for us on Saturday. Since we don’t have a lawnmower yet, we took him up on this. He missed a few patches of grass but, hey, we’ll give him a break. After all, he’s only eight years old – and it was very nice of him to offer. (Although, I think his mom made him do it. His mom has a large Bush-Cheney sign painted to her car’s rear window. So, I’ve already decided that she’s a wonderful person.) ;-)

I think this is the first time we’ve spent a three-day holiday weekend at home in years. Although we worked non-stop (and got a lot done), it was kinda nice to just “be home.”

Friday, September 03, 2004

Shopping Amusements

Last night we went to WalMart and I piled the cart high with items we need for our house. I left the cart in an arbitrary aisle while Kevin and I wandered around to look at more stuff. Pretty soon, after retrieving our cart, we were on our way to another department. After several minutes, Kevin looks down in the cart and sees a large red pillow. “Amy, what’s this?!” (He probably was mad to think I was buying something frivolous with our money.) I didn’t recognize the pillow at all. In fact, I didn’t recognize any of the items in the cart. We both started howling when we realized we had stolen someone else’s cart and walked away with it. We had no idea where the cart came from so we just stuck it in a random aisle and went off to retrieve our own cart.

We also went grocery shopping last night. I love it when Kevin goes grocery shopping with me because it gets done in half the time. Usually I run around trying to find all the “normal” food items and then I ask him to find all the unusual items for the crazy new recipes I’m experimenting with. This time around, I happened to need “liquid smoke.” It took us a while, but we finally found it. Last time we went grocery shopping together, there was a “Regional Bagger Contest” going on at the store. No kidding! There were hundreds of people, from as far away as Fresno, packed into stands set-up in the grocery store. They were all screaming and rooting for their “favorite bagger.” Baggers were judged based on quickness, neatness, and overall skill. In between bagger races, the managers of the stores had to compete, doing things like seeing how many gummy worms they could eat in one minute, etc. It was all very entertaining.

Hey - have a happy three-day weekend! As you’re off doing whatever fun thing you’re going to do, think fondly of us . . . as we’re perspiring and slaving away at the house. ;-)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Why I Said "No"

The GOP convention is in full swing right now. Our beloved body-building governor spoke last night. Did you hear him? I don’t much care for his positions on social issues, but he’s got a great persona.

Believe it or not, I was offered an all-expenses-paid opportunity to go to the convention. Initially, I accepted the invitation. I even faxed my social security number to the California Delegation. But in the end, I decided not to go. I’m sure a lot of people think I’m crazy for not accepting this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My boss had to pull a lot of strings and connections to get me an invitation. If I had gone, I know I would’ve enjoyed myself. Just “being there” would’ve been great. I love NYC and I love GWB. Plus, I would’ve had tickets to get into all sorts of interesting events. But I decided not to go mostly because it conflicted with our move and I thought it would be a strain on my family (e.g., Kevin). I felt like getting our first home is a landmark time in our life and I didn’t want to put all the pressure of moving on Kev. (And considering what a pain it was to clean and move, I’m sure glad I didn’t dump it all on him!) This is going to sound really sappy but, if I had gone to NY, I would have just pined away for Kevin the whole time – even after two years of marriage!

It’s funny because a few short years ago I would’ve jumped at the chance to go to the GOP national convention and I would’ve made whatever sacrifices necessary to get there. But things are different now. I’m in a more “content” phase of life. My priorities have changed. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to travel, get an education, do exciting things. Although I will never lack having my own aspirations for the future, I’ve got a lot of my ambition worked out of my system – for the first time in my life! (I’ve never wanted to look back on my life and regret not seizing opportunities.) And you know what? It’s kinda nice to be here, where I am. I love it.