A Million Years Ago (UGA Homecoming 2014)


College is so freaking awesome. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. Yes, the people and opportunities in my life now are amazing and worth the whole “getting old” part that accompanies them, but there are a lot of times that Ryan and I reminisce about the good ol’ days…like yesterday when we took E.V. and Cricket to UGA for their first football game ever. It was an amazing day — beautiful weather, fun friends, good energy. Really, it made my heart ache to be back in college again. I spent a lot of the day today reminding myself that no matter how much it hurts, I can’t go back to my early 20s no matter how hard I try. Life moves forward without our consent, and we must learn to enjoy the ride.

I also had to remind myself that as enchanted as we were by a breezy game day in Athens, moving there wouldn’t help us escape the worries of the world. I say that because as we drove into town, my heartbeat hastened at the sight of  tree-lined streets dotted with perfectly-manicured period homes with smiling families clad in red and black lounging in their front yards; in that moment I had the worst urge ever to leave everything behind and move my little family to Athens. But, once again, I have to remind myself that that isn’t reality. There are still bills and stresses and woes that would inevitably follow us there. Boo.

But enough of the sad stuff; on to the fun stuff! Emma Vance has been perfecting her Go Dawgs cheer for a few weeks now, and it was worth all her efforts. I’m pretty sure she’s already enamored with UGA, and I’m ready to help her write her admissions essay. Seriously, her eyes were as wide as saucers the entire day, taking in all the people (she loves crowds) and the commotion with a happy heart. And, of course, Cricket was her usually cheery self, enjoying the entertainment of being passed around as we took turns chasing her big sister.

Saturday marked my 10 year anniversary as Homecoming Queen (I know, TEN YEARS?!? How did that happen??), which is why we made the effort to go to the game. Athens is about a 90 minute drive from where we live, and with two kids and Ryan’s crazy work schedule, we had to plan way in advance to make this little trip happen. Thankfully our sweet babysitter, Olivia, was gracious enough to accompany us to Athens to help wrangle the little ones; without her, I’m sure that the day would’ve been much less enjoyable. (In fact, as we finished our tailgating and headed to the game, a little boy nearby went missing, and in that moment I truly realized that Olivia’s help was worth every penny; thankfully he was found unharmed, but I would’ve DIED if that was Emma Vance. Talk about a day-ruiner!) Plus, E.V. is obsessed with her, and as we drove home declared, “I love you, ‘Liba!” (Close enough!)

Saturday we all piled in my Durango (which I’ve had since college, so I suppose some things haven’t changed, haha!) and headed to UGA in the morning. We’re lucky enough to have some friends who live in town and are super generous, so they let us use their house as home base for the girls’ sake (Thanks, Rasmussens!), so we arrived and regrouped there. Then we headed to a Homecoming Brunch (at the good ol’ Tate Center, so full of memories for me!) with this year’s nominees and committee, and then hiked uphill to the Alpha Chi house. (How many millions of times have I made that trek before?) I, of course, wanted some pictures with the girls in front of AXO (future rec material, of course, hahaha), which was such a surreal moment because back then I swore I’d NEVER have kids. (Ha!) I loved seeing the new faces of Alpha Chi milling about, and I can’t help but hope that one day E.V. and Cricket will be walking in and out of those same doors. Oh, and before I go any further, I’m sure Ryan wants me to mention that Cricket spit up near the front stoop of AXO so that he can slip in his cheesy dad joke (for the dozenth time already) that “I bet it won’t be the last time she throws up in the sorority’s front lawn!” {ba-da-bing} Okay, okay, everyone chuckle for his sake. ;) Since my old sorority house is on campus, our friends (the ones who lent us their house) tailgate right across the street, so we joined them before the game. By the time we were ready to walk to Sanford Stadium, E.V. and Cricket had pretty much blown through naptime, and so I was eager to send Olivia back to the house to let them get some rest; and it wasn’t a moment too soon because my poor little baby Crickie passed out in her arms while we walked back to the car. (She can’t hang, but I can’t blame her since, well, she’s only six months old. She’s got time to learn!) Then, while the girls napped, Ryan and I cheered the Dawgs on from amazing seats. During halftime I got a little teary-eyed remembering what a wonderful experience that was for me ten years ago and then flash-forwarding through the decade that has occurred between those two moments in time. It was a perfect day, just like it was when I was 21 and standing out on that field.

We drove home in the dark, leaving the down-town-celebrating to the young and childless, and my heart was happy with my handsome husband behind the wheel and my girls slumbering peacefully in the back seat of my college car. As I ran back the day in my mind, I almost laughed out loud while remembering that when I showed up at the Homecoming Brunch, a parent of one of the nominees asked me if I was on court. It was perhaps the most flattering and most ridiculous thing anyone’s said to me in a while, so I replied, “Yes, of course! Or at least I was on court — a million years ago!” :)

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