Friday, April 1, 2016

Baylor Girls Reunion ~ Part I

We do this every year. 
Every spring our group of Baylor friends gathers at someone's home or ranch or even a hotel just to enjoy the goodness of being together. 
I had high expectations of Baylor as a freshman in the fall of 1991, but I had absolutely no idea that I would encounter friends like these. Friendships that provided a community during our four years at school, but then would continue to mold me and build a foundation of confidence in such a rich way. My heart is absolutely glued to these women. We meet again this week for our 21st reunion... I can just hardly frame my gratitude for these friends with words. But it's worth a  try. 
And bear with me with all the pictures. Even editing a lot out, there's a lot I just have to include.

2015 ~ 20th Annual Baylor Girls Reunion
Twenty-one years and we're still going strong.
Stronger, even, if you consider the fact that our group of about fifteen morphed into a group of sixty-three over Memorial Day weekend last May including husbands and kiddos!

This is technically our twenty-second year to meet for our annual Baylor girls reunion. In May of 1995, a week or so after Baylor graduation, we gathered at Cammi's family's lake house on Lake Conroe to celebrate. The weekend was such a success, and seemed such a natural thing to do (who wouldn't want a girls' weekend with fifteen of your closest friends?), we decided we needed to shoot for an annual reunion.

You never know if these things will actually take. But I remember that very first year thinking it was important, that this was a unique and special group of friends, and that I would happily commit to meeting each spring. It's been an easy, no-brainer commitment. Thanks to a helpful husband and grandparents, I have not missed even one year since that lake house weekend in 1995.

A few pics from over the years ~
~ 1996 ~ 
Brand new Baylor grads ~ Cammi's lake house

Surprise lingerie shower for me and Kristin ~ we were both looking forward to late summer weddings
 ~ 1997 ~
Reunion #2 in Northern Cali, centered around Brandon and Kirsten's wedding

Spiral Films logo on our reunion shirts in honor of Brandon's new company

~ 1998 ~
Hot Springs, AR?

~ 1999 ~

Reunion 4 celebrating Kristin and Cammi's new babes (mine too, although we didn't know about Branson quite yet)
Precious friends loaned us their amazing guest home in Rockwall

~ 2000 ~
2000 ~ year of weddings and first babies
Grandmas and babes... Grammy with Jackson, Queenie with Adeline, and Daboo with Branson
Those precious babes are all 16 now, and both the boys over 6" tall
We spent a couple of years in Hot Springs, AR
There's a theme here with overalls ~ Jessica...
...and Cammi (giving Kristin her "trinket" wedding shower gift)
...and Jenni!

~ 2001?? ~
Year ~ Who even knows? I'm taking a wild guess at 2001, considering Charlie's Angels was released in fall of 2000...
More babes! Kirst, me and Jessica with Baby Rebecca
Molly hosted us near Austin at Camp Buckner

Alli and Kirst

~ 2004 ~
Kristin hosted us in Austin at Barton Creek
Sweet Alli. Love this pic
Kirsten, Kristin and Jessica
Back to front - Cammi, (?), Jess, Nan, Kris10, Kristin. I have no idea why we're in what looks to be a rental van.
~ 2005 ~
At the Andersons' (Kristin's parents) home

~ 2007 ~
Nan's year to host ~ Lake Whitney, TX
Loved being in this home overlooking the lake, and we got to reminisce on BU campus and in Waco
One of our fav gathering spots since college days ~ Jills' Common Grounds coffee shop in Waco

~ 2008 ~
Cammi's beautiful home in Magnolia, TX
The host always provides a reunion "favor" ~ this now-faded monogrammed towel still gets regular use in our backyard

~ 2009 ~
Michelle and Jude hosted us in Woodland Park, CO
Cammi, Jess, Nan, Beth, Kristin
Our resident dancers (and they've still got moves)
Jude and Michelle ~and a sweet baby shower for little Ava
Just had to include this one ~ so typical of Corbin. He bought me a plane ticket to CO, shooed me out the door for reunion, took care of all the kiddos, and then met me at the airport with balloons when it was all over. He makes coming home an anticipated event.

~ 2010 ~
Jill's Pine Mountain Ranch house
Sporting our Raven and Lily necklaces
We typically get in a walk or two during our weekends... the group splits pretty naturally, some walk for sport, some for leisure, and we know who's who (!)
Aimee and Kristin
Kristin, Cammi, me
Anyone know where we can find a white SUV?
Jill ~ this girl blooms joy and creativity
Molly and Kristin
Nan and Jude with their sweet girls, Kate and Ava

~ 2012 ~
2012 ~ Nan's home in Raleigh, NC

~ 2013 ~
Jill's wedding! Back at Pine Mountain Ranch in East Texas
We planned our reunion around the wedding, got to be a part of decorating and setting up. Loads of creativity in this crowd.
This event could be a blog post by itself ~ Jill's wedding was just incredible
~ 2014 ~
Back at Cammi's in Magnolia, TX
Cammi's centerpiece displayed every one of our reunion goodies from over the years ~ shirts, hats, towels ~ quite a collection!
This is what we do all weekend.
And this.

I'm sure some of those dates are wrong, and I'm not at all sure why I don't have pictures of each year. 
What I do know is that our reunion weekend is an annual shot in the arm for me - a yearly boost of being with friends who knew you when... before jobs and careers, before marriage, before parenthood, before the sprouting of grey hairs and varicose veins... Of course we tell the same stories year after year, crying in hilarity, and like a fisherman's retelling, the stories expand with zanier and enlarged details with every delivery.

Again, in anticipation of seeing all these friends next week, my next couple of posts will detail last year's Baylor Girls FAMILY reunion over Memorial Day weekend. Too much reminiscing for one entry!