Above the Clouds

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So… I just couldn’t figure out what this little area was in front of me on the plane. There was storage on the bottom but like a cushion and then an open space on top. It specifies that it is not to be used for storage but I’m confused. It is right under the TV so surely you don’t sit on it. Oh well!

While looking for information on internet… I find a sheet that explains the seats and controls. I crack up (very loudly) when I see that it is an ottoman intended for you to “put your feet up and relax.” It never would have occurred to me because my feet don’t reach!!!! Not even close!!!

We were delayed an hour but it didn’t matter, I got to say my goodbyes, catch up on Facebook gossip and follow up on some things… then I got a good laugh about my short legs so everything was fine. Did I mention I was allergic to the soap on the towels they handed out? Thankfully it was just my hands — but who do these things really happen to?? I cracked up again and took an allergy pill!

On a more serious note, I received a message from someone very smart and very special today about the trip. He says:

“You have earned a respite, not only time away for fun and family fellowship, but time for you to think in terms of what you have done, where you are, and where you go.”

He is right. A trip like this does allow you to really evaluate, but without pressure, at least I hope it will for me. I get so caught up in my day to day chaos and anxiety, I never really stop to think anymore. I plan on changing that starting today. What I have done… Where I am… And where I go… That will make for a good starting point.

He goes on to say:

“What is truly valuable seems to prioritize itself as you relax and forget”

I just love everything about this! I am also excited that a great friend of mine thought to buy me a sketch book and pencils to bring! I wonder if I can still draw? I assume that even if I’m awful, drawing the countryside from the farm or the views along the coast on the train will be amazing!

Okay, so in summary, I’m going to leave you with some random Laura thoughts…. I thought 30 would be hard. I love 30. It’s only day 5 of 30. Ha! I didn’t always have great friends. My friends now are so incredibly thoughtful. I’ve met my best friends in random places. I like to talk to strangers. And I think people should smile at each other. I think if something feels right, do it. If something feels wrong, don’t. I need to trust my gut more. I have said I am going to Italy when I turn 30 since I was 21. I never believed myself. I think anything is possible though, so I’m not surprised. The flight attendants are very nice. The people around me are not. I’m smiling at everyone anyway.

Now, I am officially on the ground in Italy! Meeting our Italian family shortly and we will have a few hours in the car to get to Palmoli…

Ciao for now!

The Little Black Dress

Well… it’s official, I am 30 years old!

Leading up to my 30th birthday, there were several times where I got offended by family because of plans changing and inconvenience… Even trying to plan a night out myself. I mean, everyone knows I need attention… And sometimes people aren’t the best at making that happen. In hindsight, I should have realized people were avoiding me and moving things around and acting funny.

Friday, I had a great day in meetings, time with my Godson at his school and in the spa with cucumber water and one of my best friends. We had a great dinner where I was surprised with a bottle of wine that I had searched for five years ago and never found, thoughtful gifts and great company. I had such a great time I never even thought about the number 30!

Then came Saturday, I woke up and went to get my hair and nails done.  I met my friends (who were staying at my house for the weekend) to eat and then went home to get ready for a night in Atlantic City. I never thought twice about it when my friend, who is always late, was rushing us to leave the restaurant.  They left my house telling me they were going into the city for other plans that night, but asking why I wasn’t ready yet since I was getting picked up in 30 minutes. But what they knew, and I didn’t, is that they were throwing a surprise party for me and here I was laying down in sweats with no makeup on.  See, my cousin had told me that we had to wear little black dresses. On a normal day, I would never even consider it, however it was my birthday (and everyone should wear a little black dress when they turn 30) and we were going to Atlantic City.  I figured it would take me three seconds to put a dress on and I could do my make up in the two hour car ride so I wasn’t rushing to get ready.

I never noticed that when my friends got to my house they were completely jittery and checking their phones and texting. So I started to put makeup on because initially they said it was fine and I had time but at some point they realize that me doing makeup takes too long and told me to stop and get in the car. So I did. But then, I wasn’t putting it on, I was just gossiping and dilly dallying (as usual). I was told that I should put my makeup on while I’m sitting in the front seat and have the mirror because once the guys got in the car I would be in the back. My response was “it doesn’t matter, you can just hold the mirror for me.”  I don’t know how they held back the look of horror when I said that because everybody knows if I would have walked in there without makeup on, it would not have been a good thing. Thankfully, 5 minutes later I realized that she was right and I should use the mirror while I had it and there was light to see. I finished my make up just in time to pull up to the party that my cousin’s mother and father-in-law were attending with my niece and nephew. They were supposed to tell me some story about going into see the kids but they didn’t even have to because I was upset that my niece didn’t call me on my birthday the day before. So I told her I want to go see Leigh and give her a piece of my mind…. she said sure!

That must’ve been such a relief for her that I was going to go in on my own, however, as soon as I got to the door I realized that I was wearing a little black dress… At the last second I stopped and said, “I can’t go in there wearing this.” She had already started to open the door and just froze for a second not knowing what to do. People are standing there waiting to yell surprise and I wasn’t in the doorway. My cousin responded with “JUST GO IN.” So I did and I was greeted by the kids, including my niece who I planned on “giving a piece of my mind,” holding a beautiful bouquet of red roses, and my whole family and my friends yelling surprise!

I have never been surprised before in my life and I realize that there was a lot of time and planning required to pull that off. After hugging the kids, the first thing I did was look down and notice my little black dress. My friends were so funny talking about the fact that if I would have known, I never would have worn that little dress but after the first 20 minutes of tugging on it in an attempt to make it longer, I didn’t care anymore. People thought it looked cute. It was a whirlwind and I jumped around talking to family and new and old friends, danced around the place for a while and laughed so hard at the little things that I never noticed until later.

It was an amazing birthday weekend and one that I will always remember.

After trying to unwind, and catch up on sleep, today I am frantic to get my office in order and finish packing to get on a plane for nine hours that will land in Rome, Italy at 9:10am (Italy time). Since I turned 21, I have said that I would go to Italy when I turn 30, never really knowing if I would or not. Today, that is happening, and by the way, I am bringing that little black dress!

Not every day has been fun or easy and not every day will be, but I am a little older, a little wiser and I realize today, more than ever, that no matter what happened in the past, I am surrounded by people who love me. For that, I am grateful.

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CIAO!!

-L