Sunday, December 14, 2008

You Will Never Guess, So Just Read the Post

Realization can be my worst enemy. It causes all kind of pain in my life like guilt and shame. I mean, you know how you can't possibly believe your life could get any worse, and then it does, so you start to justify your despair, right? And there you are, all despairing? And blogging about it? And causing people annoyance, including yourself? But then suddenly, things happen that twist your despair around and you feel complete and unfettered joy! Happiness! Enlightenment! You then wonder how you could be given such wondrous joy!
But then you know...realize? That all along you've been in line for the most amazing gifts ever? That God was completely aware of you the entire time? But you were too blind to see it? Thus the realization?
And thus the guilt?
And the shame?
Anyway, I'm feeling realization right now, dear reader. But instead of letting the guilt and shame wash over me, I'm going to freak out with joy instead. Freak. Out.
What's that?
You would like to know what is causing me so much joy that I must use the word "freak"?
You'll never guess.
Go on, try.
Nope. That's not it.
Try again.
Okay, this isn't working. I'll just tell you:
I am going.... London.
YES! I'm going to England! I'm going to London. Oh, my gosh, I have to say it again. I'm going to London! To England! To London!
I'm still in shock, but the flight confirmation is right there in my inbox. It's happening! I have two of my three babysitters already lined up (we're farming out the kids to different friends houses) and we just decided to do this two days ago!
Must calm down. Must breathe a little bit.
Wanna hear why I get to go to London?
Me, too!
So here's the story:
Brandon has to be in Europe for three weeks in January (yes, 3 weeks out of the month. Wowzahs!). Not only will he be gone for a long time, he will be missing our Ten Year Anniversary.
Yeah. I know.
For most of his trip, he will be in London. But for about 9 days, he'll be traveling all over Europe visiting different clients/offices. However, he'll be in London during our anniversary. And he'll have a Sat/Sun to sight-see. Best part? He had enough air miles saved up that BOOM! I can fly over to London, stay for a week, and hopefully it will only cost us whatever it will cost me to see museums and Jane Austen's house. Yes! So, we booked the tickets. And I'm going. To London.
Did I mention I'm going to England?
The irony to this story, though, is in the fact that we are actually going to be in London for our Ten Year Anniversary. Not only have I been begging Brandon to take me to England for...about...10 years...but all last year I kept saying: Hey, honey! Let's go to England for our 10 year anniversary. Whaddya say?
Brandon: No way.
Me: Why not?
Brandon: I want sun. We're going to Mexico or on a cruise.
Me: (Pout, pout)
Brandon: Deal with it, baby.
Me: (Threatening bodily harm.)
Okay, kidding about the "deal with it, baby" and "bodily harm" because I actually inflicted some. Which makes me think the "deal with it baby" might have happened. Huh.
Anyway, so you see the irony? Do ya? Brandon spent 7 days there in November and totally did a 180 on me. Get this: He actually likes England.
And there was much rejoicing!
But wait! It gets better: We found tickets to Wicked in London for only 15 pounds each.
It gets better: I met a woman today (the MIL of a sister in our ward) who is living near London and not only did she offer to be a contact for me over there, she offered to drive me around in her car and be my personal tour guide while Brandon is working during the day!
It gets better: All of our babysitters are watching our kids for free.
It gets better: This is my dream. It's actually gonna come true!

So, there you have it. Cheryl has now realized how incredibly blessed and lucky she is, and even though there's some guilt and shame for being so despair-like, she's mostly feeling gratitude. Gratitude for an incredible opportunity; gratitude for Brandon's job; gratitude to the Lord for allowing her some happiness while she fights the depression and searches for long-term answers. So much gratitude.
I'm going to England!

So, dear reader, have you ever been to London? If so, give me great advice on what you think I should see. If you live there, contact me! Oh, and if you could go anywhere in the world first, where would you go? (Because, by golly! This is only the first place I want to see. I'm planning on seeing the world one day, you know!)


Alison Wonderland said...

I have been and I loved it (it may very well be my favorite city) but I was in high school at the time so what I loved doing and seeing then would not be waht I would love doing and seeing now.

Anyway, I'm super jealous and HAVE FUN!!!! Yay for you!

Michelle said...

I'm crying; I am so happy for you. So, so happy.

Summer said...

That is SOOOOOO exciting!!!!!! I'm so jealous!

Kaylynn said...

London is a great place! You will love all the museums. I went there on study abroad, so I got to live there for six months. When we were there the Jane Austin's house had very limited hours during the winter, so I only got to see her grave. Have a great time!

Jill said...

Yay!!! We went to London, and I loved it. We took a day where we went on a bus tour to Stonehenge and Bath, and it was totally worth every penny. It was a little spendy, but great! We had tea (well really we had water at tea time) and rolls with clotted cream and jam, please go to the changing of the guard on the first or second day, then if it's rained out, you will be able to try again. (We went on the last day, it was rained out and we didn't have another day.) We loved The National Gallery and could have spent more than one day there. We ate roast beef and fish and chips at pubs, we walked through Harrods. We rode the tube and buses all week (we bought passes before we left, and it was awesome!) and if we went back we would travel the same way. If you want more, e-mail me, I could go on all day! Yay!

Annette Lyon said...

This is definitely freak-out worthy! Have ball (of course you will!)

I visited London for a couple of days when I was 10. I remember just enough to know I LOVED it and didn't want to leave.

Take lots of picture so we can experience it vicariously!

JustRandi said...

WOW! How amazing!! I hope you have a wonderful time. But how could you not?

Cardalls said...

LOVE LOVE ENGLAND! I am so excited for you! England is truly one of my most favorite places on earth and I want to go again (i've been twice) I do have to say need to get out of London and into the country of England to feel the true beauty of the land. I would suggest going to Shakespeare's home or Oxford (it's a very small can get out of the city in an hour or so and no where is very far). email me and I'll share my favorites!

blogging and bliss~ said...

I would love to go to Scotland. Don't ask me why just want too... Castles moors etc. Any ways have a great trip and what a fun way to celebrate 10 years...

cornnut32 said...

my sister lived in london for a semester this year, and she absolutely loved it. she came home and is homesick for london. one of her favorite places was in hyde park, at the statue of peter pan. she told me she would go there a lot and write in her journal.

if i could go anywhere in the world, it would be to venice. or florence. or how about we say italy in its entirety...the art! the food! the art! i would DIE. second choice? paris. for the same reasons.

Anonymous said...

London was lovely. It's been a few years, but just take in anything and everything. I especially loved just wandering and seeing the architecture.

As for where next? Without question Rome. But not in the summer. In the off season. Go in November.

Amanda D said...

If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to Puerto Rico. The sun and warm beaches call me there. I would like to visit Africa too, but I would have to take a suitcase full of food to either place.

Have fun in London! That is amazing! How wonderful.

Grandma Rozla said...

Oh Happy day for you! I hope it helps heal the depression for you just a little! Have a wonderful time! Love ya

Brandon said...

Looks like I can take Friday off so we'll get three full days to see the sights!

Jolene said...

You are going to have the BEST time! I'm excited for you. We buy our public transport passes before we go - they are good for the metro, trains, busses etc... And a lot of times they come with a card that gives you discounts at museums etc... One of my favorite things is the Tower of London - I love staring at the Crown Jewels. They are amazing. Like Kaylynn said - there are many places that are only open limited hours - sometimes only weekends in the winter - so do lots of research before you go. I LOVE the Rick Steves guid books - you should get one or check one out from the library - he has lots of amazing, out of the way places to visit.

Susan M said...

Oh, wow! That is so super awesome!

Richelle said...

Oh, how exciting! I would love to go to London. I went on my mission to Scotland, so I have a special place in my heart for all things British. How did you get such cheap tickets to Wicked? That is awesome. That will be worth the trip. Hope you have tons of fun!
(BTW, if Leslie doesn't get around to commenting, email her, because she knows everything about London.)

Dave and Kathryn Dodds said...

I'm so happy for you! You deserve a break! London. Wicked. I'm so jealous, I'm turning green...

flip flop mama said...

How awesome! Yay!!

Cristy said...

You go girl! And, well, you GO girl! Go right to England and be so so happy!

Never A True Aggie said...

That is way cool! Have fun! I was able to go to Norway when I was a lot younger and I loved it. I highly recommend the place. It is like Tahoe on steroids. Don and I are planning on going to Florence Italy for our 25th anniversary. So, maybe if I say it enough times, it will happen.

m_and_m said...

Does this mean our someday-girls' trip is off?

Seriously, girl, I am so excited for you.

Anonymous said...


(That's a sigh of happiness and good will, of course. Not jealousy and/or longing--not at all.)

Emily & Co. said...

so exciting!!! we are hoping to make it back to spain for our 10 year (we met as missionaries there) will take a miracle, but you are proof that miracles DO happen!!!

Liz said...

Cheap Glass Frame. I see. It's all coming together. Yes, I lived in the Kensington part of London for 4 months for a semester abroad. You've got to shop at Covent Garden. I also got to see many other places in England. My favorites: Stratford-Upon-Avon, Cambridge, Bath, Stonehenge, Lake District. Cheryl -- you know you deserve it, right? No matter how much you have despaired, that doesn't make you unworthy -- only human. Another thing we have in common: wedding in 1999. Matt and I want to go to Paris for our 10th anniversary ... I'm so glad you're getting your London! :)

Anonymous said...

I am soooo thrilled for you. Talk about a GREAT pick-me-up!

I've been to London but only stayed for a couple of days before backpacking all over Western Europe. You will have a fantastic time!


Cheryl said...

Thank you for all the congratulations and excitement, people! I love it. And for those that are jealous, just remember --I used to be you, which means one day, you'll be me! Yes!

And if any of you have info, email it my way! Thanks. :)

Janette Rallison said...

I'm totally jealous. It's so beautiful there and even the gas station attendants sound sophisticated. See Warwick castle and the country side.

Oh, and make sure you know what all the traffic signs mean. It took us a long time to figure out what the photo radar one meant.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome!

I've never been to London. But someday. Someday!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I'm so glad to hear that it's working out so well, you two are just gonna have the best anniversary ever! :)

Julie said...

2012 is my 10th anniversary and I'm totally stoking the fire of the London Olympics for our celebration. Here's to hoping (that I'd be able to drag Stanton to all the Jane Austen-esqueness of it all).

I'm so happy for you!

Sara said...

that's the best christmas gift ever! :) wow!

C Mommy said...

You are so blessed!!!! Have a great trip!!