This past Saturday, I had the chance to get away. I know... who would ever want to leave the San Diego coast, right? But I needed a change in perspective. Lucky for me, Ashley from House of Glass lives on a ranch out in the "desert" and had invited me a couple months ago to come hang out for a little fiesta. I'd be lying if I said we were counting down the days until we could see each other again. [Insert comment here about how much I adore the fact that my blog friends have become my best friends.]
I arrived at the Glass Ranch and beads of sweat immediately found their way onto my brow as I stepped out of my car into the 99 degree heat ;) But I couldn't have been happier when Ashley and her three pups ran out to greet me! Right away, I was refreshed. It felt so nice to see the house I had read about for months and months. And to feel the hospitality. Ashley gave me a tour of their house and their property. She showed me the amazing hawk's nest in their backyard and two of the beautiful hawks that called it home.
I met some of their friends and family and we all had a blast and enjoyed the breeze and warm June night as the sun started to disappear. We painted pretty little bird houses [I left mine at Ashley's] and had some really good cupcakes after Ashley blew out the candles. Those cupcakes were amazing. Like, really amazing. And this is also where I'll mention that ALL of the organic goodies we had to munch on [like lemon hummus!] were so very delish. Well done, Ashley, Justin, and the Farmers Market ;)
I had some special moments with RD and Outside Kitty too! There were lots of cuddles and I think it goes without saying that I will be going back soon due to separation anxiety!
Amidst the fun and pets and pretty sunsets, there was some good conversation as well. Ashley, Kelsey, and I had an insightful conversation about how important it is to love ourselves. Don't even ask me how this topic came up but I'm so glad that it did. Because it's not something I [or any of us probably] think about enough.
First and foremost. Love yourself. Embrace being a woman. Embrace your health. Embrace your hardships. Embrace your triumphs. Just love yourself. Because life is so much better when you do. When you love yourself, you can conquer anything. You open yourself up to receive love from so many other sources when you love yourself. And you're able to close the doors where love cannot be found.
That night, on the way back to SD, I had the greatest drive I have ever had. Ever. It was just me, the breeze whispering through my hair through my sunroof, the beautiful California desert night sky, and the SoCal freeway. With no one else on it. I watched the white lines zoom past me. I listened to the lyrics of the songs I was dancing to. And in those moments, I loved myself and, boy, did I feel alive.
Thank you, Ashley for being such a beautiful person on the inside and out and for always reminding me, even if you don't realize it, what life is all about.