25 years later: Year 1, 93-94

Look at how stinking happy we were. We were definitely happy, even though I cried the entire time. Just look at those faces. It’s Thanksgiving break and we were home from college, and we got married!

As a mom now, I just sit a shake my head. What in the hell were we thinking? We lived in a dorm. We didn’t make squat for money. How in the hell were we going to give this kid what he/she deserved? Sure hope “love” could work miracles.

Back to school we go. There’s 1 month left for us in the dorm, and then we’re renting a house with Jake.

Before any of that though, I managed to get into 2 car wrecks. One, I slid through the intersection. We were in IL still. It was my fault. No shocker.

A month later, during Christmas break, I got in the 2nd wreck. My father-in-law specifically said “don’t go on Cameron road.” Yep, so stubborn. I thought that one was going to hurt the baby. But he was fine.

After that mess, it was finally time to move into our “own place.” My next tip for you kids, don’t live with your man’s BFF, in a college town, while pregnant. Stress. Usually Jake was the lifesaver and John was the jerk, and in hindsight I am grateful for his presence. But at the time, I just wanted my own space for my little family.

John waited tables. I went to school and worked in the financial aid office. Since we were still college kids; we went out a lot. I didn’t drink since I was pregnant. (Second tip of the day, if you don’t want people touching your belly, don’t go to a bar pregnant.) We also had parties since we had a house a Jake worked for the local liquor distributor. We actually had great friends. Look how huge I was.

In May 94, Alec was born and our world completely changed. Up until that moment it was playing house. Suddenly we have this baby who is so stinking adorable and all I want to do is hold him 24/7. The worst part, we couldn’t. He had an infection and they kept him in the hospital for several days. We could snuggle him while there, but couldn’t take him home yet.

Once his staph infection cleared, we were released to go home. The first couple months were spent with my in-laws. It was summer. John took a factory job and I stayed home.

Everything was all about Alec. Everything. I’m so grateful we had those months.

During that summer, many of our friends joined us in wedded bliss. There was THE infamous bachelor party. Then Flanagan’s wedding. And then Glenn’s. Our tribe was growing up.

By August, we were moving into our first real apartment. Alone. My father-in-law furnished our home with furniture he gathered in southern IL, and helped us move in.

Back in school, life was pretty good. We had no money. We had good friends who liked playing cards. We had a beautiful son. We juggled our class and work schedule so Alec didn’t need a sitter, and when he did, we had an old family friend in town. If we wanted to go out, I had younger siblings who were teenagers who could come spend the night. On weekends, we enjoyed time with both friends and family. We were blessed.

Our one year anniversary comes. (We don’t have a single picture) Karen takes Alec for the weekend and John surprises me with an amazing private dinner at the nicest restaurant in town (he worked there). It was wonderful 💕

Our first year together was probably one of the best, and definitely one of the easiest. I wish we had enjoyed/appreciated it more. We were about to learn the worst news ever. That Thanksgiving (right after our 1 year anniversary), we learned my father-in-law was sick. Nothing was going to be the same.

[A note on photographs: we still were using film then. Most of our film was used on baby pictures. Not many of John & I together. It’s just how it goes.]

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