before you know it, there you are. . .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

i was recently invited to shoot my cousin's wedding a few weeks ago.
(more photos on that later.)
rainy & cold, but a fun weekend despite the weather.
it was made EXTRA special, by the fact, that they were married at OURS (& theirs,)
alma mater.
i wasn't expecting our trip back here to invoke as much emotion as it did.
but it did.
and i had to bite my tongue quite a bit to keep the flood gates from opening.
jack & grace were in the wedding, so came along for the trip (which it what made it that much more wonderful,) & got the grand tour of where 
'mommy & daddy met.'
oh, so surreal.
yes, it's where we spent four, magical, responsiblity-free yet formative years.
binge drinking, sleeping in, studying (occasionally,) more drinking, forming some of the most incredible friendships & bonds the two of us will come to rely on for this life.
finding ourselves,
finding each other. 
all of those memories came flooding back as we drove in to the small town of st. joe, mn, 
where our colleges reside.
and jack & grace actually seemed really interested!
this is where we hung out, this is where we ordered pizza at 2 am.
this is where daddy lived on campus.
this is where mommy lived.
kind of like a roadtrip through the badlands with your unappreciative teens.
only it was with our ever-curious & enthusiastic six & four-year-olds.
and it was the 'good-lands.' 
the good ole' days.
where neither of us had a care in the world.
no tragedies, no cancer, no weddings to plan, healthy babies to carry & deliver. . .
just ourselves & our friends & our beer.
aaahhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .
 who would've thought, 10 years later,
we'd be here, the reefer (one of the greatest cafeteria's on SJU's campus,)
eating breakfast BEFORE noon with 2 of our 3 babies?
where the topic of how much we drank last night
was replaced with 'oh my gosh, dad!  can you believe how many different juices you can choose from?!?!  can i mix all of them?  WOOHOO!'
that in this same place, in what seems like just yesterday, i would confidently stroll past where i knew your dad & his friends would be eating lunch between classes, trying to 'act cool' but shaking like a leaf inside?

and now here we are, with our kids, married to each other.
and we drove past THE PLACE.
where your dreams can come true.
(not really.)
but mine did.
where i meandered (because i was drinking,) through the front door at midnight on a saturday, to find your daddy, sitting on a barstool, checking ID's.
little did we know that that moment, would change our lives permanently.
that we'd soon fall in love, get married & have babies.
and we showed the kids the BUSES daddy used to drive!
they thought that was pretty cool.
so did i.
i remember randomly ending up catching a bus that brian was driving between campuses.
we were still in the 'courting' phase, i guess you could say.
so i was nervous as could be around him.
and i'd sit in the front seat behind him so i could talk to him as he drove.
and when it would get quiet & awkward, 
i'd stare out the window, wondering what the hell i should talk to him about,
as he drove this gigantic piece of machinery filled with young lives, 
and would then just watch him through the overhead mirror,
(you know, the one you remember as a child, that oversees the whole bus,
so the driver can see what kind of shenanigans the kids are getting in to in the back?)
well, no shenanigans here.
not on a weekday between classes.
kids were half asleep, preparing for their next exam, or planning their agenda for this next night of drinking.
and me, sitting behind my future husband,
trying not to get busted staring at him.
and before you know it, there you are.
sharing these magical stories with your babies.
ten years later.
oh, how time flies.  way too fast.
if only you could throw some reins around it & pull back.
but you look at their beautiful faces & can't imagine going back without them.
you move forward with amazing memories & for us,
the blessing of a love that has lasted & only gets better.
gosh, i think he's even hunkier now than he was when i was hiding behind him on the bus!
after a day of 'sight-seeing' with the kids, 
who grew bored after the buses,
we prepared for the wedding.
and before you know it, there you are.
just steps away from where he spent some of the best years of his life,
the lovely dorms of tommy hall (that white building behind him,)
holding your baby girl.
whose little legs & feet are tired from all the partying & dancing.
and just wants to be held.
oh, how quickly, how amazing how blessed life can be.
despite the heartaches, the loss, the sickness, the pain.
how beautiful, that we can combine our past with our present,
with great joy & great appreciation.
that we can still hold them in our arms, that we still have 'some' control over them,
that we don't have to worry about them heading off to college quite yet.
our summers days are long & lazy.
no 'where are you planning on getting a job this summer?!'
no figuring out the car situation.
no 'how late are you going to be out tonight?'
nope!  none of that.  i know we'll look back on these days as precious.
(despite being with them 24 hours.  and the days where they draw crazy voices from the depths of your soul because they're all being so unruly!)
for right now, they're here with us.  
all we have to do is hope & dream for their futures.
wishing for them even MORE & even BETTER than WE were so blessed to have.
and that they'll have the same fond memories when they get there.


Jackie said...

The only thing you missed from this post was "Piano Man" playing from your playlist! We are a Johnnie and Bennie couple as well, only we met in high school! You captured the feeling and emotion very well!

Unknown said...

From a fellow Bennie and Johnnie couple, you nailed it, Liz - just nailed it (minus the bus driving - I tried to look cool in front of Ryan as he was TA-ing in chemistry lab). I still get butterflies when I go back to campus. Your post brought tears to my eyes - loved it.

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