Now that I’m”in between” jobs, I have been able to go to Tennessee and visit family and friends. The women in my extended family have a tradition of getting together, known as the “Chapman Women Hoodalihoo”, about once a month and having dinner. Well my Aunt Jen decided to spice things up a bit and told us to wear tennis shoes and a tight fitting shirt. So Jen picked us up and wouldn’t tell us anything about where we were going. We arrived to the University School of Nashville, where we asked the parking guy what was going on tonight and of course he responded with the very vague answer of “some plays and classes”. We then walk into the building and Jen discreetly shows the guy at the front desk which class we are attending, and tells him that it’s a surprise. We arrive to the classroom door, only to find that we are going to a Middle Eastern belly dancing class! Needless to say, it was quite a memory. We all participated, some of us got into it more than others-but most of all we had laughed a lot and had fun. I feel so blessed to have a family that still cherishes each other and makes these efforts to be together, I just wish I could be there for more of them.

I realize that I don’t put forth the effort enough to go that extra little bit to try to change the ordinary into something extraordinary. To create a memory is far more memorable, than to merely wait for one. I hope in my near future to create many more memories with the people around me.

Part of the purpose of this trip is to visit my sweet sister in her new home in Johnson City, TN. I’m here now and am amazed at the life that she is creating. I’m so proud of her for taking a huge step of faith to move to a strange place and pursue what God has for her. (And I get to meet her guy tomorrow)