Life is to short to live it without a smile...or a mustache

Monday, December 26, 2011

Grateful for Gaters, Garland, and Good Actors, Great Friends.

First off, today I am celebrating Boxing Day in honor of all my fellow Canadians (everyone here is sure I am actually from Canada because of all the weird things I say, and do).  One of our Lit. Interns actually tells Canadian partons that we have an Intern from Canada haha.  Happy Boxing Day...and it is only fitting that today is my actual day off this was meant to be!

Happy Holidays from warm and sunny Florida!  This Christmas was great, but I will admit, when it all comes down to it, I would take cold weather and family over tanning and green palm trees any day.  I have been blessed with some amazing people in my life that love and support my every move.  I couldn't ask for anything more....the care packages, shipped presents, and stockings were only bonuses to my blessings.

I recently have been out and about trying to see more of the area around Sarasota.  Boy has it been fun!  One Monday off, my friend Kayliane and I packed up the car and headed over to Myakka River State Park to pushed off on an air boat and find gators on and around the water. SO COOL!  I even talked a bit like the swamp loggers when I was out....she thought I was nuts haha.  There were points that the floating gators were only 5 feet from me.  Talk about a rush seeing an animal that powerful so close.  The temp on the water that day was perfect and there was even a light breeze.


While at the park ,we also took in the one of the Worlds few Canopy Walks.  It is unlike anything I have ever seen.  You walk up these stairs to a free moving bridge and then up and up again.  Once at the top, you are far above all the tree tops and can see forever.  I felt like I was in the Lion King or something (yes, I sang the opening song from the movie up there)!  The tower is only held up by ground enforced cables so when at the top you can feel the wind and the other people on the tower moving the structure. AMAZING!


The trip was a success and I learned a lot about the area too.

Another amazing happening to report is the Birth of my Nephew Cannon Joshua.  Here is a little candid shot of the Big Guy.  I can't wait to finally see and meet him in person.  Skype and pictures will have to do for now...

Josh sent this one morning with the caption, "I think I pooped!"
The Christmas season in Florida was interesting.  People spray snow-in-a-can on their windows and "White Christmas" plays in all the stores, yet its 83 degrees out side and everything is green.  While this will be a year to always remember and I spent my day off on Christmas eve tanning and burning on Lido Beach, I missed home.  Christmas morning I woke and stuffed my roomies homemade stockings (made by a costuming elf), made my homemade biscuits and gravy, and we opened presents from each other as well as family and friends back home.


We were lucky enough to borrow a tree from someone in the office and spent about $30.00 in decor to at least make the inside of our apartment feel like Christmas at home.  All in all, it was a wonderful day.  After the morning fun we all lugged ourselves to the theatre and worked two great shows.  Working seemed a little strange but we had full houses for all three theatres that housed two shows each.  Who would have thought that theatre could be so big on Christmas day?!

Being away made me so grateful for the little ways to show your love.  A smile to someone on the street corner that could also be missing someone special or a held door for a mom struggling to get her bag out of a mall door when you can clearly tell she is stressed over the money that was just spent to try and make her two adorable boys day complete.  As much as I have hated Christmas in the years past, this one made my heart beat.  Christmas morning Tom, one of my roomies who is at times a bit much, woke and screamed "Merry Christmas!"  I honestly thought Matt would soon after be coming out of his room to murder him.....didn't happen though.  He then proceeded to hook up his Skype and sit in front of the tree opening presents with his family at home...mind you screaming and laughing loudly the whole time.  Where I was nervous for his safety and where I would usually be a bit aggravated with him, I saw an inner child excited for the holiday and I smiled while cooking my breakfast.  I realized I don't ever want to not be happy and never want my inner child to go away.  I guess you could say Laura Clausen had rubbed off on me! ;)

I was blessed to get a little Spokane love this holiday with some very special gifts from Laura, Chad and Sophie, Dave and Crystal, Jenn and Kerry, and a very special old school advent calender from my Aunt Sheri and Uncle Mike.  Words can't express my happiness with each box!  I was also blessed with the love of my N2N cast.  They all got me things...some far to expensive.  I also got a new bar tee shirt from my office Secret Santa.  Now there should be no confusion from here on out haha.  As much as I always say I hate that the holiday has become about gifts and not Christ, it was nice to get a couple simple things.  One of my favorite gifts to report this season was being asked to be the "Maid of Honor" (I am to come up with a new name for it) for Ben and Caitlynn's Wedding.  I can't wait!  Congrats again guys!


My mom is coming to stay in just a couple days and I am excited to show her around the city and area that I am for now calling home.  She will be sing all the shows that FST is offering and I plan on taking her to the beach and the Ritz.  Fun filled pics soon.

For now, know that I miss you all very much, expecially this holiday season.  I hope that yours was and will be filled with love, joy, happyiness and family and friends.  I know that mine has been, even from far away!

For the record, it took more than 20 minutes to try and get this finished and a picture taken before the tide washed it away.  I was that child building to close to the water front.

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