Well, I’m back! I really don’t have any good excuse for my absence, except to say I’ve been directing my energies elsewhere. I hope you all were able to catch my “Ellen” episode, and also (finally) the episode of “The Price is Right.” I received a huge box from CBS Studios the other day, containing an egg boiler, a Brita water filter, a garlic press, and two Dolce & Gabbana watches. The water filter has proved useful, at least!

Another time you might have caught me on television: the ESPYS. The Sports Awards is one of the biggest events of the year, and I was able to snag two tickets to the red carpet! My friend, Catherine (another Wheaton grad who recently landed in LA) and I were given priority seating at the top of the red carpet, just feet from where some of the most celebrated stars walked. We spotted Gabby Douglass and McKayla Maroney, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, Maria Sharapova, Lolo Jones, and Joe Flacco. Michael Phelps walked by quickly, ignoring the cheers and dodging any questions. Other celebs making appearances included Selena Gomez, Nelly, and Jon Hamm. The biggest hits on the red carpet were, of course, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James. It was a little surreal to see so many amazing athletes concentrated in one place. The ESPN interview booth was directly across from where Catherine and I were standing, so from television it looked like we were standing directly on the shoulders of greatness!

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Summer in California is a dream. I quit my job at the Raymond restaurant about a month ago. The environment had changed dramatically under new management and it was tying up more of my life than I felt it deserved. I’ve invested more time into Annandale and it has definitely paid off. I’ve been meeting with various company representatives to order spring clothing lines, helping with the kids’ golf camps, and assisting the club in its summer family programs.

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And I have been playing a ton of golf. I’ve enjoyed playing with my regular “crew” of musicians, but I also have a new partner in crime: Victoria. Victoria walked onto the women’s golf team at USC last year and is also (conveniently for me) a member at Annandale. She practices nearly 8-hours a day, but eventually has to take a break every once in a while. After becoming regular lunch buddies, we transitioned into golf competitors. She beats me rather soundly, but she’s also given me new motivation to improve my game. I’ve started keeping an official handicap and hope to play in some tournaments this fall.

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Victoria and I playing in a Celebrity Golf Tournament with the one and only, Jonathan Banks!

One of the best parts of having more free time is getting to be more involved with the Junior High students at Lake Avenue Church. I was able to join the students on a camping trip up to Yosemite (my first time there— I’m dying to go back!) and also on a day outing to Six Flags. Didn’t really have to be “forced” into either of those trips! It was wonderful to have the freedom to take time off and just hang out with the kiddos. Twelve-year-olds provide such a refreshing perspective on what is and isn’t important.

More adventures coming soon!

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