All that to say, today my heart is aching for California. I am happy to jump head long into this life here in AZ provided that I am allowed to leave that not-so-little CA shaped piece of my heart on the coast. A few weeks ago, my big sister, Anna, and her husband came to stay at the Wilhelm home. It was such a pleasure having them here. I love my big sister. She is my hero and always has been. I look up to her because (as I have told many people on multiple occasions) she is basically the coolest person I know. Anna married David. He graduated from USC. Jake loves the U of A. So of course they came out to visit on the weekend USC and U of A football faced off. We went. Arizona won. It was a blast!
Here, you can see what should have been a harsh rivalry between my sister and I. All morning I stayed true to my husband. I bought the Arizona shirt. I wore it proudly. And for the first quarter of the game I rooted whole heartedly for the home team. Then, USC began to fall behind. The team my family cheered for my whole life was in trouble. And as the U of A running back began to gain some ground, 2 yards... then 5 yards... now 10... heading for 15, I felt my fists clench, my breath caught in my chest and out of my mouth, whispers betrayed me. "Get him... Take him down!". These words came out under my breath, too quiet to be noticed. But Jake doesn't miss a thing. He looked at me as if I were uttering heresies. And, it was at that moment, that we both knew my blood was not blue, but cardinal and gold. GO USC! The rest of the game I tried to straddle the line and cheer both teams on, but I was defeated when Arizona won. My heart belongs to Southern California, it's in my blood.
I tell this story because today as I sit in my home and I look at pictures and posts of my friends and family getting ready to celebrate Christmas in Cali, I am tearing up. It's not that I want to go back. Or that I wish I was not in AZ. It is simply that I miss you all. I don't think I can ever stop being a California girl. And to my family in Santa Clarita (and Simi) and my friends in San Diego, to the beach, to the sun that shines different over CA, to the food, to the fast pace, and even to the freeways, today I have you on my mind. So, simply put, in truth, I love you California.