Welcome to Los Angeles (again)
The last time I visited Los Angeles was three months ago. #what. I miss it so much. Even if the last time I went it rained pretty much non-stop. Which is needed because they're in a drought. So maybe it canceled some of the plans I had (when Matt and I came in late January, we were going to visit a friend who lived an hour away but the freeway was so flooded that we decided it would be better to go back home) but it also gave me more of an opportunity to relax and just enjoy being at home.
Sometimes when I go home, I really just want to see so many friends and family that I get into a schedule that can literally be like 9-10am friend A, 10:05am-11:00am friend B, and that just gets so rushed and ridiculous. But there are so many people that I love and miss there that I really just want to see everyone and spend quality time with each person.
I put this photo journal together of the last two times I visited. Because maybe in these little records of memory, it'll be like I'm back there again, even if it's brief.
Christmastime! I'm so glad I was able to spend Christmas with my family. I think I take it for granted a bit — my mom didn't think I'd be able to because of work, but that wasn't even a thought/option for me! — because I've never spent a Christmas apart from them.
Here's a couple things that I did in those four or so days:
I saw Toby and Tater Tot. Toby still pees on everything. Including my bed. But I still love both of them so much.
I said YES TO THE DRESS! And it was the easiest thing ever. I was really happy I could share this experience with my mom, my grandma, my Nana, my aunt, and my maid of honor Jennifer. I honestly thought I would look at a couple places, but end up just not finding something within my budget and just look in Nashville or Utah. But after trying on maybe six dresses at Lilli Bridals, I kept coming back to one of them. It needs alterations — sleeves, a back — but it was within my budget and oh-so-comfy, which was a must for me.
My aunt is one of the founders of Wedding Prep Gals, and got me a robe that says "Mrs. Jacobs" on it which I think was the first time I even understand that I'd be changing my name eventually. So crazy. Even now, I'm just taking everything one step at a time/as it comes and I seriously can not believe it's just over two months away. I know some people are like super excited at this point, but all I can think is there's still quite a bit to do and prepare for and I'm starting to feel it. I keep telling myself "it'll all be ok!" Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
One of the coolest parts about wedding dress shopping was afterwards when we got lunch. We were all pretty hungry, and across the street was a good restaurant my aunt likes. It looked like they were open, but no one was there. So we asked, and they said they don't open for the next couple of hours but they would feed us anyways! So we had the entire restaurant to ourselves for awhile! (Another family also came in a little while later.)
Chrismtas Eve was a little chaotic. But it started out really soothing: with a manicure/pedicure. My dad had said that my stepmom Marian wanted to get a manicure/pedicure with me and her daughter Clair. And when I showed up — late as usual :l — I recognized everyone in the entire row of seats including my dad, Marian, Clair, another friend Marion, and her daughter. The funniest thing was Marian and Marion didn't know each other! So I was super confused. I also loved that my dad was there. I had no idea he really enjoyed pedicures.
For lunch I met up with April in Abbott Kinney. We walked over to The Butcher's Daughter and it was so good and very photo worthy (as indicated). I loved that they served the food on polygonal wood blocks. And I also loved seeing and catching up with April and her awesome life. She's always inspiring to be around.
Christmas Eve continued and concluded at my grandparents house in Palos Verdes. Driving through the Peninsula was the first time since I'd been home that I actually had a chance to stop and see and appreciate the vast ocean. One of my absolute favorite views ever.
I love Christmas Eve at my grandparents. It's not as it always was — we're not little kids anymore opening al the wrapped presents under the tree. Most of it now is gift cards (much appreciated). But as we've aged, it also has become more about the people than it has about the presents.
And then... CHRISTMAS! MY BIRTHDAY!!!! Celebrations all day! The log cake made another appearance (continued from last year, and just about every year before that), we had a great dinner, and great people over. The biggest bummer was not having Matt there. But this was the first year, maybe ever, that Jen could be there for cake! (She's usually at someone else's house far away and so we have a tradition of going to each other's houses in the morning and exchanging gifts and eating quiche.)
The funniest thing was Whitney sent me a present, and when I opened it, it was kind of this skimpy top that wouldn't fit me, and that was about it. So I showed her and thanked her, and she was like, "That's not what I got you." Apparently, she got me a personal journal and a cute card and some celebratory birthday thing, but she didn't tape the box when she went to the post office. Andddd I guess it fell out and they swapped it? Not sure haha. But it was a good laugh.
I only had the following morning before I left later that afternoon. The trip had gone by way too fast. I was so glad I could spend that last morning getting breakfast at Good Stuff by the beach with Emily, AJ, Ashley, and Aubree. And then later come down to go on a short walk with Amanda and Jen. Felt like high school. I just love all of them so much!
LA part two was pretty soon after the first trip so it felt kind of nice leaving the first time knowing when I was coming back and that it wouldn't be too long away.
There were the dogs again.
I finally got to take Matt and my friend Michael to my favorite hidden place in the South Bay: Old Town Music Hall and it was just as fun as ever.
I got to watch Matt receive his scholarship award through the SCTA banquet among watching many other awards received for land-speed racing. Pretty incredible. Matt and the SCTA I mean. And even though we missed out on going to an 80's club because the banquet went longer than expected, it was worth being able to stay and meet the guys that Matt bonded with back in August when he went out to Bonneville with only plans of sleeping in his car and watching the race. When he met these guys randomly at a restaurant nearby, they took him in and made him part of their team so he actually got the opportunity to help them in their records!
We also went out to Malibu to meet up with my cousin at Pepperdine. Malibu is like a whole other world. Los Angeles seems to be made up of many of those. But I was really excited that Matt could meet Julia and that we could go to as good of a place as Malibu Farm right at the end of the pier. #worthit
Lastly, I'm just glad I got to spend a couple days with Matt. Despite the rain and wind, we had such a fun time. Our last evening, before we both headed to our planes, we watched the sunset, saw the windsurfers, and went to Goodwill so Matt could find a genu-ine southern California shirt. I also happened to find my new favorite pair of shoes after being sort of a brat about having to go to Goodwill when we had two hours left haha, and they're my favorite pair of shoes I own now! Only 12 bucks! The miracles of Good-will ;)
On my way back — and on my way there — the way that the sun hit the plane because of the rain I suppose, cast a ring of rainbow around the planes shadow. I've never seen that before and thought it was pretty magical. The picture doesn't do it justice.
But really, most of these pictures don't. All the people and love I feel being at home is hard to capture in the quick snaps. But I love all the little moments. I'm so thankful for all of them, and I'm so happy I get to see most of these people in Nashville in June! And Matt even sooner!!