I still do a lot of work for my old company so it was important to stop in, plus, that is where my very best friend works! Isn't my little rental car cute? I drove down to Stevenson's the first morning I was in Utah and Autumn and I made our grand entrance. Kae and I just ran to each other and started to cry - poor little Autumn got squished during our long embrace!
Oh how I miss this girl! She is my soulmate or more affectionately, my lobster. Kae and I met when I helped hire and train her at the store and we were inseparable ever since. We could finish each others sentences (especially when they started out as Friends quotes) and we just laugh, and laugh. My cheeks always hurt after hanging out with Kae.
A few days later I came back to the store to work - duh. No really! I got to hangout and work at the store for a good hour after Kae got off and went to volleyball practice. Her replacement wasn't due in for a while, so I hungout with Jilleun! Jilleun is such a sweetheart - she is my friend Kelvin's wife (Adam's former co-worker) and I helped get her a job at Stevensons. She and Kelvin were our "couple" and we had many doubles or nights out with Kae as well. I loved our little group! I just loved having such a close circle of friends with NO DRAMA. She and Kelvin got married after we left Utah, so it was so exciting to see her as a married woman!
It was so fun to be back at the store. I loved every minute of working there! It was so rewarding to start a project and see it through. They remodeled before I left, but continued the work after I left. It was great to see all the changes and see work I've done since I'd left on the shelves being sold. It made me happy to see so much of "myself" was still in the store - numerous signs and things I'd implemented. It was also great to see my boss and even a few customers I used to see almost daily. I was so proud that while I was there Autumn was not "one of those kids" I used to dread coming into the store.
I also got a chance to drive down to Payson to see one of my best friends Stacy and her new house and family! Since I last saw her she has moved twice and popped out a little boy! Her daughter Paige and Autumn are a few months apart and it was fun for them to play. Since Adam's parents aren't equipped to handle kids it was great for Autumn to play with some toys and enjoy other kid company!
We also got to have lunch together which was especially nice! Because I had been so anxious and worked up over the flight and trip, my stomach was awful for most of the trip. I don't know what is worse - the actual stomach condition or the anxiety that goes along with it. It was nice though for Stacy to cook us lunch and not have to deal with yucky fast food. Nuggets and tater tots always do a body good!
The second night I was there I drove down to Orem to visit Kae again - she wanted to do a movie just like the old days. She bought the tickets, I bought the goodies =) I was being ambitious though - the movie didn't start until 9:30, which was 11:30 east coast time. As soon as the lights dimmed and the movie started I thought to myself, "Oh man, I don't know if I am going to be coherent enough to drive home..." However, I pushed through so I could spend some time with my lobster and just sang Britney really loud on my long drive home!
Friday night was a big night - Tucanos! I mentioned it in our food post, but it was our favorite resturaunt before we left Utah and we've never found a replacement here in D.C. and certainly not one for as cheap! Unfortunately, Adam's folks lived quite far from Provo and Orem. With all the construction in the area and freeway, it took forever to get south which is where everything I wanted to see and do was. It made everything an all-day excursion. It took 20 minutes just to get to the freeway from their house! Add on my anxiety from the trip and it was a recipe for disaster. Friday night was also a BYU football game which made traffic even worse. Factor in being stuck on the offramp for another 20 minutes and I was so wound up that I wasn't able to really enjoy dinner! It was awful! You can ask anyone we dined with - I was WIRED when we finally got there, and frazzled. But, it was classic Kelli =) Sure, getting there was a nightmare but nothing beats dining out like the old days with our best friends!
|Adam's younger brother Tyler, Adam and our friend Kelvin|
|Kelvin and Jilleun - he's holding the "green - bring me meat!" signal for our table =)|
|Our WoW buddies - Regan, Brandt and Brian|
|Yummy - pretty sure this was top sirloin which is my favorite cut of meat next to the garlic sirloin.|
|Regan! One of our best friends. He helped us move numerous times and we've gotten to see him a couple times when he has been out this way for work. We miss him! It just wasn't IHOP, Chilis or a night out without him.|
|It's also Adam's birthday tomorrow, so it was a dual celebration. They didn't sing (thank goodness) but when they saw we were using a birthday coupon they brought him a sundae! =)|
Saturday night I got to spend more time with Stacy and her family! When I asked if she was interested in a trade - hair for new family pictures - she was game! Stacy did my hair in Utah (back when I didn't have to do it myself!) and I was in desperate need of her handy work. After taking their family pictures we came home and she did my hair in her kitchen (she's a pro stylist). It was just like the old days, and her husband and my friend Morgan stayed up late talking. When he used to work nights sometimes I would sleep over at Stacy's and we'd have grown up sleep overs =) It was the best fun! I was glad her hubby stayed up late to talk as well, plus they gave me my first taste of Nutella! Now I see what all the fuss is about...
Once again, I didn't get to see nearly everyone I wanted to. It was a struggle because I talked myself out of doing a lot of things because of my anxiety and stomach issues, and being so far away from my friends compared to where I was staying was also difficult. I know there are quite a few people on the top of my list for whenever I return to visit again. It made me so sad to miss so many people while I was there.
The thing I love most about Utah was my close group of friends. I was my own person in Utah, with no baggage. Because I've returned to where I've grown up, there's always that small part of me that feels like a "kid" here, especially being around people that watched me grow up. A part of me misses that independence I had in Utah, but while I love and miss that part of me and how I miss all my friends, I wouldn't trade anything for being close to my family. I must insist however all these people mentioned in this post move to Virginia =)