The husband and I were married in August of 2001. <so. many. tangents. resisting . . . okay, here we go> We left immediately for the honeymoon, then were back in San Diego just long enough to move our boxes from my parents' garage into the U Haul and off we went to Stanford so Jim could start business school.
He was 27 years old and getting out of the Marine Corps, so he had been a grown up for quite a while. For me, it was different. I was 24, and while I had been away to college, and worked, and had my own place, I still had a lot of growing up to do.
And Stanford was where I did it. I learned to be a wife and a homemaker there. I had to learn to cook and do laundry and pick up after myself. I had to learn to spend money responsibly and run errands regularly. Not that my parents hadn't tried to teach me any of this stuff, but it just never took. Not until those two years at Stanford.
I also became a mother there, and that, of course, changes everything. (For more on what I learned about parenting from living in student family housing, see here.)
I feel really deeply linked to that place and all the wonderful people we met in the two years we were there. So it was really extraordinary to be back there, ten years after Jim graduated. I wish we had thought to recreate that above photo, but with ALL the kids now, but we didn't.
This one with our Goddaughter Ava will have to do:
And some details . . .
Dress, earrings: Anthropologie
Sweater, belt: Old Navy
Shoes: Mia2 (?) I'm pretty sure I had these when we were up there the first time!
Hair color: It wasn't died then and it isn't now. It's crazy how much lighter it's gotten! C'est la vie.
We got to see so many of our friends and most of them brought their kids, which was awesome. In case you're wondering, we did NOT win for most kids. The most kids in the class is eight. We are tied for second with our dear friends the Loves.
Here we all are causing a scene at breakfast this morning:
And here are all of our kids and 2/3rds of theirs (they left a couple with grandparents):
The Stanford folks really go all out for the reunions. Friday night there was a cocktail party, with a seperate supervised kids' party in a room adjacent. Then all Saturday afternoon was an all-inclusive family carnival. And Saturday night there was a dinner party, again with a seperate, supervised, adjacent party for the kids. Love, love, love the kids' party. So did the kids.
But their favorite part, of course, was the carnival:
|Petting Zoo (and pony rides)|
|The Boys Loved This|
|Awesome Balloon Animals|
|An Old-Fashioned Carnival-Game Arcade|
|And Lots of Silly Prizes|
But it also reminded me how happy I am to be right where I am now. Comfortable in my own skin (and gray hair), confident in my vocation, surrounded by happy and fun and loving children, and by the side of my amazing husband, who has made all the ups and downs of everyday life a wonderful adventure.
In unrelated news, Stanford has a Quidditch team:
Thanks to Mandi at Messy Wife, Blessed Life for hosting What I Wore Sunday this week and congratulations to Emily (our usual hostess) on her wedding!