Here are a few of my pictures from our picnic on Sunday...they won't mean much to you unless you are a classmate of mine! My lame camera battery died and thus I only got pictures of a few people, but for my classmates who couldn't come, these will still give you a glimpse of who was there!
Emma and her husband Tim....Emma works for John McCain now, on his political team!
Justin and his wife Wendy with their two cute daughters...love the screaming pose!! Justin is the AD of a small Christian college now and coaches a few sports there.
Doug and His wife Corissa. They adopted three kids last year and had a baby! And Doug is a police officer now.
Charlie (somehow I didn't get a picture of his wife Amanda) lives in Minneapolis near us! He's a lawyer now and he helped with our reunion. Travis and I have met Charlie and Amanda for dinner before and plan to do so again!
Amber and her little girl Ella. Amber and Tim live in Mt. Pleasant where Amber is a P.A.....isn't Ella cute!
Amber and I have been best friends since birth...literally. Our parents are best friends too!
Jeremy, holding Doug's baby, is a worship leader now and tech guy at a local church.
Bryan, one of my great friends in junior high and high school, works for John Deere now and Matt is back in school, working on I don't know what!
So, I'm just going to apologize upfront, for my lack of pictures this weekend. I did take some, but not nearly enough. So, for all my old classmates reading this, I'm sorry, for your sake and mine! Our reunion consisted of dinner on Friday and Saturday night and a worship time/picnic on Sunday. I brought my camera to both dinners and each time was disappointed by how dark each restaurant was (although the food was fabulous and the evening tons of fun) and I was also distracted by how weird/great/unbelievable it was to see friends I hadn't seen for 10 years!! So, I wish that I had thought to photograph each couple/person that came, but I didn't. I did bring my camera to our picnic however, and I managed to take some pictures there. But again, due to lack of planning on my part, my battery had about 12 minutes left, so I had to take pictures quickly! It's ok though, I couldn't possibly re-create the whole reunion, you had to be there, so I'm letting myself off the hook! Here's what I do have however, I hope you enjoy these!
I have been hoping that we would have a reunion for several years, so I was so glad when we finally decided to do it! I think I mentioned before, that I went to a small Christian high school and I graduated with a class of 48 people! Travis thinks that's hilarious, the 48 people part, because he graduated with close to 700 or something. I, as a new bride, dutifully attended his 10 year reunion (5 years ago) and got a little taste of what some reunions are like. His was a grand affair, they hired a company to do the whole thing and it was filled with dinners, cocktail parties, and lots of people. It was fun for him to see a couple of his close friends, but for the most part, he didn't know or recognize the majority of the people there and let's just be honest, it was hard to because so many of them were totally drunk! But, I was glad we went and I was also happy that he could have some fun re-living those days again and reconnecting with some people he had lost touch with. I think we would both say today, that it wasn't really worth all the money we spent however! But, life isn't always about money, sometimes memories are way more important. Anyway, I digress.
When it came time to think about my reunion, I knew ours would be drastically different, for a variety of reasons! I was very happy to find out that lots of people were planning to come (about 20 out of 48) and some would be there with spouses and kids. I was trying my hardest to erase lots of previous stereotypes and pre-conceived thoughts about what 10 years might do to some of us and just trying to enjoy seeing my classmates with a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective. That proved to be a good idea! I was totally unprepared for how incredible the 10 year stories of everybody were.
What I loved about the weekend, was that I never felt the pressure of exaggerating my last 10 years to compete with anybody else. I never heard stories about how much success anyone had achieved or how much money anyone is making, just lots of stories about what they've learned and what God has done. Some people have had a really great 10 years and truly have achieved much. But others have been dealt some difficult blows and today bear the scars of the pain. I think it was no accident that at my Bible study last week, our topic was compassion. What a great thing to dwell on before a reunion! I recognized some people who are hurting and still searching for something, and others who are deeply satisfied and walking closely with the Lord. I would be the first to say that it's impossible to truly know or "label" anyone after only a weekend, but having gone to school with so many of these people for 13 years of our lives, I don't think I'm too far off the mark. I was very encouraged to hear the endless ways God has re-captured hearts and is completing a work He started years ago. I loved meeting spouses and thought several times about how true it is that there really is "somebody for everybody!" And to see all the kids was very fun too. Especially the kids of some of the guys...it's a surreal thing to see "boys" that you grow up with, turn into men and become fathers. I loved that. Of course I also love seeing my girlfriends become wives and mothers too, but something about a guy you thought would never grow up (I'm totally writing from a girl's perspective here-they could say the same about us too!) holding a little baby, that is just down-right sweet! How fun.
I know some of you are wondering if it was hard for me to go back and answer the same question over and over again, "So do you guys have any kids yet?" And truthfully, on some levels it was. But, one thing these last few years have taught me is, I cannot let a circumstance keep me from living my life and living it well. If I only dwell on what God hasn't given me and I make that an idol I will not let go of, I will miss the countless blessings He has for me in the waiting. Sure, I wish I could have gone back with a baby, and had I not miscarried, I would have had a cute little 2 month old to pass around. But God has other plans for me and I'm really glad He helped me "get over myself" this weekend and go anyway. I had a GREAT time and was able to hear some sweet encouragement from some other classmates who have walked a similar road, so see...isn't that sweet how the Lord does that? He helps us in the hard things and then blesses us for our obedience. Too bad it's taken me 28 years and some real heartache to catch that lesson!!
I am so thankful we went to my 10 year reunion. I am renewed from seeing the faithful hand of God, alive in my friends' lives and I am inspired to pray for those who are hurting or have walked far from God's protection. If you weren't able to make it, please know you were missed! Thanks to all who wrote an update and let us know what's going on with you. I say we break tradition and plan a 15 year reunion too! It was a blessing to see so many of you again, thanks for taking the time to come. I'm sad I missed talking to a few people...I'll catch you at the next one, or maybe on facebook!! Thank the Lord for facebook...it's so fun to see everyone's pictures! I'm calling this reunion a success and I'm glad to be a part of the class of 1998...even if that makes me old!! And thanks Amber and Charlie, for all your hard work and planning...we owe you for a great time!