It just hit me that 20 years ago TODAY, May 4th (my birthday!) I have lived in California for 20 years. 20 years ago I bought a one way ticket from Michigan to California! I UPS'd my stuff one way! Wow how time flies. It just hit me how fast that 20 years has gone by………

1992, I was a senior at Michigan State University and majoring in Building Construction Management….I was the Vice President of our chapter of the Student Builder's National Association of Home Builders. Now that was some achievement for a girl in a major with the majority boys…….I was proud of that. Our chapter went to of all places Las Vegas, NV for the yearly convention. There was 30 of us…28 boys and 2 lone girls. Our quest was to find possible employers and meet the various vendors in the industry. We were seniors and on the brink of graduation so once we landed we had our career goals in sight.

Once we de-planed we heard the clink clink of those slot machines and all bets were off! We were 30 Midwesterners cut lose in the gambling mecca of the West and on Super Bowl weekend of all weekends! We could gamble on everything and all we had to do was show up to the convention center for a head count every day. What a blast that was!

I did have the luck of meeting an amazing family that weekend which led to a spring break in sunny California where the conversation came up…what would it be like to live in California??? I did not have a car, place to live or job. But I was a college graduate hopefully making a job easier to find. Colleen offered me a place to live and I got a car to borrow………….what was stopping me???

I flew home with sunny dreams in my head and got off that plane just waiting for my parents to nix this silly idea just like they nixxed the idea of me running off with the circus (ok, they may have been right on that one). I got in the car all sun-tanned and ready for their rolling eyes. I said "I want to move to San Diego!" With a slight pause my mom said "Well, if I had a degree, no debt, no kids and no responsibilities this would be the time to do it".

WHAT my mom said this? Did I just land in the twilight zone??? and right then and there……I decided I was moving. The next day I headed back up to college and when my roommate walked in and heard the twang of Garth Brooks playing "Shameless" she almost knew something was up. This Midwest girl was trading in her rain boots for a pair of cowboy boots (I literally did by the way!). That very day I called United and bought a one way plane ticket. When the girl asked what date I said "What the heck, May 4th my birthday!).

I graduated and in less than a month I was on my way to Cali! Armed with a college degree and a lot of optimism I was heading West!


Some good-byes were harder than others……my roommate and best friend (I had to buy a second seat on the plane to fit my permed afro!).


…..mere days before I left….


Wow, how 20 years has flown by…….what an amazing trip. I am proud of those paths taken, those people that have crossed my path and the bonds I have for life. 20 later many of those same people are still in my life and I am thankful for that.


I traded fresh water for sea water……


See, I told you I traded in rain boots for cowboy boots!


20 years later and I have traded in those cowboy boots once again for heels and comfortable tennis shoes…

Traded in the perm for a good straightening iron

What I didn't trade was who I am.  I am still that Midwest girl who is just 20 years older, 20 years wiser, 42 and loving it!  I am also the Mom of three now!  Now that is a true anniversary to be celebrating. Thanks Mom and Dad for letting me spread my wings and never clipping them knowing I needed to fly. May I give my kids that same gift one day.

20 years………………….Happy Anniversary….to the next 20! (can you imagine the footware and hair I will have in 20 years!)


"If you have a vision to dream, seize it, and make it your own. As there is nothing you can dare to dream.  Seize the future and make the day" ~Unknown