I was 16, nervous to the soles of my perfectly white Keds, and getting ready to fly from Portland to San Diego. I was taking a summer position to work in the dining hall at a Christian conference center on Palomar Mountain. I knew the director and his wife and that was it.
Did I mention I was nervous to the soles of my perfectly white Keds?
I worried I wouldn't make any friends. Little did I know that after a month at camp I would call my mom to have her extend the date of my plane ticket so I could stay another month. The girls I lived and worked with covered the spectrum of personality traits from daring to cautious, silly to quiet. During those late night talks, long, meandering hikes, treasured days off, and short afternoons by the pool, I got to know a group of girls whose friendships would forever be imprinted on my heart.
|Hill, me, and Laura. |
Seaside, Oregon 2010.
Our paths have taken us through life's ups and downs. Now the road reaches from Oregon, to Tennessee, to the Bay Area. College graduations, weddings, just-for-fun trips, babies, and family vacations brought us back to similar locations over the years and I'm grateful for those memories.
This week we met again, a purposeful trip to celebrate Laura's coming baby. Between the 3 of us we are all happily married to good guys and we have 6 children! 3 girls (Emma, Mandy, and Hillary's daughter, Camille), and 3 boys (Rem, Hillary's son, Russell, and Laura's baby boy). Has life really changed that much in 15 years? Oh yes. Our normal days take us far from the realm of carefree days at camp. Yet together again (without children) we easily fell into the pattern of longs talks and long meandering walks.
|Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, May 2008|
Our last time all together was at Laura's in Nashville. Mandy was along and we had a great time. Flying with Mandy at 8 months was hard work. I remembered that on the 3 days I was all by myself this week. The last time that happened was 6 and a half years ago. I could sleep in, eat whenever/whatever I wanted, and only took a nap if I chose to while watching an HGTV marathon.
It was absolute bliss.
|Hey look! It's Rem wearing pink.|
Or Mandy at 8 months in May of 2008 in Nashville.
I was honored to fly to the Bay Area last September to meet up with Hill. She and I were expecting babies, both in October (her girl and my boy were born 2 weeks apart). I took pictures of Hill on the beach at Half Moon Bay.
Oh what a difference a year can make. This July, Hillary and her family stopped at our place on their road trip.
|Camille and Remington. Both turn 1 year old in less than a month. :)|
On our most recent trip to the beach, I persuaded Laura to let me take a few maternity pictures of her. She is due on November 4th with her first, a baby boy. I remember not thinking maternity pictures were necessary with my first child. Do I really want to remember this? I remember thinking in my uncomfortable state. I have precisely 3 pictures of me pregnant with Emma and I look like I had bad gas in every single one.
I wanted to give Laura pictures that show how beautiful she is a woman, a mother on the brink. She will look back and remember the time she carried her son with fond memories -- if she is anything like the rest of us moms who have terrible memories when it comes to remembering pregnancy with any kind of accuracy.
|There are more pictures on my photography site: www.AlysunPetersPhoto.com|
All in all, it was a fantastic vacation. I left on Monday really excited to get a break from my family and I returned today with great excitement at seeing them again. Amazing how that works!
Special thanks Laura and Hillary for taking the long plane journeys to make our girls week an amazingly, fun reality.
To my travel-agent-extraordinaire mother-in-law for finding us space at the timeshare during a busy week.
To my parents for coming to ride herd on my munchkins.
And to my wonderful husband who said, "Go, have a good time."
I have it made my friends.
I am blessed beyond measure.