Wednesday, July 29, 2009

15 Years and 6 Kids Later...

I REALLY can't believe that it was 15 years ago--my freshman year at Linfield. 15! At the same time though, I won't say that it feels just like yesterday. Ha! No, too much good stuff has happened between then and now. A lot of growing up. But I do remember parts of that year like it was yesterday (which I don't know if that's saying much...lately I've realized that my memory is, well, not that great...ha! ha!). I remember moving into my dorm room--clean, brand new--and meeting my roommate Kendal on that first day. She was a local girl from Newberg. She knew people. And she was close to home and all things familiar. I was not. Later that day (or weekend) I met Allison. We were both what they called 'Linfield Legacy' students--others in our family had attended Linfield, too--so they had us pose for a group picture. How cool to find out that Allison had also been assigned a South Hall dorm room, almost right across the hall! I could have never predicted on that very first day that I was meeting one of my very best life friends! And then there was Tiara. Her dorm room WAS right across the hall. And again, who knew that she'd be like my kindred spirit? Lots of things made us different--she was from Hawaii, I was from Idaho--but one thing connected us like no 2 others. We were both incredibly homesick!!! So in that year, we learned to lean on one another and somehow formed an indescribable bond that has truly withstood the test of time. There were 4 others, too, who I would connect with right in my hall. 8 of us total. The South Hall Girls. I'm guessing that most other college freshman don't have the same experience. After all, we were just 7 random freshman (plus Ami, our R.A.)--strangers to one another--assigned to the end of the 2nd floor hallway, just by chance. Well, actually, it wasn't just by chance because it's easy to see now that God had a little something to do with it. Because it was those girls who remained my closest friends for 4 years. And beyond. What are the chances of that? 8 girls thrown together by chance actually clicking?! It really was a cool thing.

Over the years distance has certainly separated us but not disconnected us. Sure, some of us are closer than others, and some I haven't seen or talked to in a LONG time, but I am still so thankful for all 7 of those girls and the time we had at Linfield. And the moments we've had since. There has been tragedy, extreme heartache, joy, and triumph among us and while we haven't always been able to be there physically for one another, I've always taken great comfort knowing that these girls are with me in spirit. Always.

And thankfully, every so often, we DO get to come together, share space, and reconnect in a way that only happens when you get to see someone face to face. One of those times was this past weekend. 5 of us made it. A mini South Hall reunion of sorts. And it was just what this girl's soul needed. Amid the wine tasting, a trip to the beach, a backyard BBQ, and a visit to campus we laughed, we cried, we ate, and we truly just enjoyed being together again. Like I said, it didn't feel like just yesterday that we were freshman in college (laughing and crying back then, too). No, because there were 6 little reminders last weekend (ages 10 months to 6 years) of just how much has changed over the years. But even with all of the changes and all of the time that has passed, we just picked right up where we last left off. That, you know, is real friendship. Thank you, girls, for a fabulous weekend!
After a fun, super yummy dinner at Tom and Allison's on Thursday, we woke up Friday, loaded up the kids, and headed to Lincoln City. It was a great day on the beach! A little windy, but sunny and not too cold. The kids played and played, and when all was said and done, they were FILTHY! So a quick-change was in order before lunch at Mo's and then a little shopping and ice cream at the outlet mall. That night we headed back to Tom and Allison's for a little pizza and dessert. Great day!

On Saturday the good times moved to our house! We sent the guys out golfing in the extreme heat while us girls chatted it up some more, did a little cooking, and watched the kiddos play.

Tiara and Ami

Kendal's husband, Gabe, was the only guy not crazy enough to golf in the 100+ degree heat! Instead he and K had fun looking thru an old Linfield scrapbook (as did the rest of us). Looking at the scrapbook(s) I couldn't believe how much I had forgotten over the last 15 years! :( Like a fall break road trip to Cali. 5 girls stuffed into a teeny tiny 2-door car and a 4 day adventure that included a stop in San Fran and a day at Great America. Who forgets that kind of thing?! Seriously! But then the girls reminded me that I had surgery in my mouth just the day before we left. Ha! I must have been on some serious pain meds! (I know, my mouth is cursed. Chances are--though honestly I can't even remember what that surgery was for--that it involved the same ding-dang tooth that the orthodontist and dentist are STILL working on!!!) Anyway, I digress...

That evening, after a delicious BBQ, we headed over to campus with cameras and kids in tow. My pictures that follow are VERY amateurish, but Tiara--the pro--got some great shots of everyone. And in the process, it was fun to take a walk down memory lane as we strolled across campus.

Ami and Max

This little guy is my favorite! So happy and easy going.
Allison, Tom, and Andrew
Kendal, Gabe, Micah, and Dominic. Super cute family!
Of course we couldn't resist the fountain statues! I think Kendal is trying to hold me up. I think. :)
This pic is an attempt at a partial recreation of a shot from 15 years ago. Except for back then the sign said 'South Hall' and there were 3 additional girls. This is the '09 version! (It kind of stinks that they renamed our dorm!)
We tried to make the guys pose, too. They, uh, kind of made fun of us. :)

My favorite shot of the night! Cracks me up every time! Trust me, it was serious work to get those priceless expressions.
Tiara and Brian (with Tiara's 2nd floor dorm room in the distance)
Again, the weekend was SO much fun! I'm so thankful for all of the new memories, and I promise not to forget them!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Looks like a great trip down memory lane. Amazing how many things we "forget" in day to day life. My 20th hs reunion was this past weekend. That brought back some fun memories that I haven't thought about in years.