Saturday before Easter, I had some time to myself (well, Sam was there, too, but he didn't say much).
We went down to Utah to visit family for spring break but I headed farther south to attend the wedding of a friend from my high school days. Ben took the kids, except Sam, to his family's cabin in the mountains, so Sam and I were able to visit with some dear, fantastic friends (Yes, you, Kate) in my old college town. Provo, Utah. Doesn't get much better than that, folks:).
I spent Saturday morning driving around our old stomping grounds. This place was full of memories because it's where Ben and I met, made-out (kidding, well, maybe...), dated, married, and had our first child.
(Ben's apt. was on the top floor, where the bike is...)
(My apt. is the first door, middle floor, with the white paper on the door.)
I wanted to take pictures--for history's sake--of our dwellings. Apartments. Places we lived while we finished school, before we headed out into the Big World, called Real Life.
I walked around the outside of each of our homes. Memories flooded back. To say I was filled with nostalgia would be an understatement. I remembered the Me from those days. I thought I knew so much. I thought I was so grown-up. I thought that being married for 2 months was SO MUCH longer than the newly-married couple that moved in next door.
We were young, naive, and poor. And, looking back, it was glorious.
Our first place was College Park. We lived on the bottom floor. I can still remember blushing because our neighbors just above us were, shall we say, a little noisy at the bedtime hours (if you know what I mean). I always laughed inwardly whenever we passed in the parking lot.
I'll never forget one couple. I can't remember their names, but she was pregnant with their first baby. I secretly looked up to them. They drove a "fancy" Nissan Altima (remember, we were poor), and they were so in love. I remember hoping that Ben and I would be just like them when we were pregnant with our first. They seemed SO mature, so much farther ahead in life than us. When in reality, they were probably married only a year earlier. Time was so relative back then.
Another neighbor had such a fantastically decorated apartment. I tried so hard not to hate my hand-me-down 70's couch. I learned to make-do. I
was forced learned to be humble, because there was absolutely NO WAY we could afford nice, new things. In fact, I remember wondering if we'd EVER have nice, new things:).
Our next place was where we lived the longest. Wymount. Married student housing. It had TWO bedrooms! We were moving up in the world:). This was where we really settled in. This was where I was surrounded by humble, poor couples, just like us. This was where we made wonderful friends. This was where I saw the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice for the first time:). This was where I got my very first cell phone. This was where I watched the Twin Towers fall on 9/11. This was where we lived when I graduated, had our first baby, and chose to be a stay-at-home mother. And luckily, I was surrounded by many amazing mothers, whose examples I looked to and learned from.
(This is the walkway where we spent many a sunny afternoon visiting with friends. Our sidewalk is the first one on the right. The part of the window you see on the first floor was our family room window, where I made curtains for the first time.)
(Our apt. was the bottom floor, the window behind the tree and the window on the right.)
I still remember kneeling down in our empty bedroom the day we moved. I offered a prayer of thanksgiving to Heavenly Father for all the wonderful experiences and memories we had in that little apartment. The tears flowed freely, no doubt. The U-haul truck was packed and ready to go. Ben and 6 month-old Brigham were waiting for me. We were on our way to Arizona to begin our very first REAL job. That empty-room prayer has occurred in every home we've lived in since. They are special times for me. Sacred times.
I had so much fun. I can't wait to share these places with my kids one day. We've never taken them. Memories are gifts. Well, most are. I was lucky to be able to re-live some of my favorite memories of all.