The Iowa Reunion Tour

Tom and I had a great time (expect all the driving) being in Iowa this past weekend.

It was kind of hit or miss last week whether Tom was going to be able to join me. Fortunately his pass was approved the day before we were scheduled to leave. Thank goodness because that 12 hour drive back would have been awful. Plus road trips are always better with him!

We had a wedding in northern Iowa for a former student of mine, but we decided to stop in Ames the day before to a) break up the trip and b) see our old home.

We lived in Iowa for 3 years. It was the start of our life as a married couple and became real adults. We made some great friends and had wonderful memories from our time there. Also, I believe Iowa is a hidden gem of the United States. I really loved it there.

It was hard to leave Iowa a year ago after Tom returned from deployment, but we knew that it had to end. It was great to be back in Ames and to see some lovely faces again.

We made the most of the afternoon we were in Ames by eating in some of our favorite restaurants.

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I definitely miss the college coffee houses and cafes.

We chatted with my old supervisors which was so great for me mentally. It reminded me of a time where I thrived professionally, and that someday I will have that again.

We were able to catch up with several of our old friends that night. It was awesome to be able to chat and pick up right where we left off. With Facebook, you can still follow along with people’s lives, but there is just something about being able to be face to face with people that does something for your soul. Lots of laughs were had!

We also went by our old digs. And I am not going to lie, I almost broke down in tears as we drove away from Friley I was so emotional, and I am not sure I can blame that on hormones.

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That building behind me was our home for 3 years. I love how big it is; you can’t get it all in one frame. Yes we lived in a giant residence hall. We were given a really nice apartment in there. Oh Friley.

I also was spoiled by my old neighbor/partner in crime who has been stocking my favorite ISU dining muffins. I swear these things have drugs in them, they are so addicting. (I am aware that they do not, and they are just really delicious.) We used to text each other when it was chocolate muffin day so we could fill up our to-go containers with just these goodies.

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Then we headed even further north for a wedding.

It was the first Catholic wedding I had ever been to, and Tom wasn’t too familiar either. We were fish out of water.

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When they had the congregation do the greetings where you apparently say “Peace Be With You” to each person you shake hands with, Tom instead introduced himself. The ladies in front of us were not impressed with, “Hi, I’m Tom.”

I also made a blunder when they recited the Lord’s prayer. FYI the Catholics do not say the whole thing! I did not know this. I just felt really proud of myself that I actually knew something they were doing, so I just went along merrily! Unfortunately, when the rest of the church stopped reciting, I kept going. Just me, practically sounding like I was screaming the end of the Lord’s prayer all by myself….Embarrassing.

There were quite a few of my former students at the wedding. It was so good to hear what is going on in their lives and where they have moved on to. Each of them had such a huge impact on my time there since we worked together practically every day and some of them for almost the entire time I was there. It was fun to see them all grown up!

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Sorry for the bad picture quality! They were all of my staff members at one point in Friley. And of course Tom was the odd resident of the building being neither staff or a student…

It was a fast trip since most of it consisted of us driving across the midwest. Let me tell you, road trips are not as fun when you are pregnant. At least the people on the other end made it all worth it!

Thank you to everyone we saw and made an awesome reunion for us!

Those of you who we didn’t see, I am just saying Tennessee is really pretty and we are happy to have visitors…