I've found that my memories of Jacksonville and college grow rosier with time, which makes me happy. Jacksonville is a cute town at first glance, but like any town or city it has problems, and sometimes those problems get in the way of the town becoming some place better. However as time passes, I'm finding that my memories are better than things really were, and I'm okay with that. I'd rather have memories that are golden and shining over memories that are tarnished because of some negative experiences.
Anyway, we went down to Jacksonville because Graham had an event in Springfield, and his sister Mary was performing in The Vagina Monologues the same weekend. We figured it was a great time to see everyone again and visit with 'the fam'.
We drove down on Saturday and Graham went to his event at the capitol and my future sister-in-law Robyn picked me up from a Starbucks a few steps away from the capitol. While Graham was at his event, Robyn and I met Mary, Brian, Mom, and Grandma in Jacksonville for lunch. After lunch we went to Robyn's bridal shop--Girls in White Satin--to get fitted for our bridesmaid dresses. We hung out in Robyn's apartment for a few until Graham came back to Jacksonville (after wandering around the Illinois State Museum and losing the car). We checked in, he got lunch, and then I went to see Mary's performance.
Here are some of the more appropriate pictures from the weekend. There were chocolate 'vagina' suckers available for purchase at the show, and I snapped some anatomically correct pictures, but my mom reads this thing, so family friendly it is!
Mary and I in our hotel room after the show.
I was so proud of Mary. In our family(ies) I'm usually dubbed 'the theatrical one' or 'the performer' because in high school and college I spent more time on stage, in the theater, or singing than I did sleeping and eating combined! (And we all know that sleeping and eating are my two favorite pastimes.) I knew it took a lot of strength for Mary to get up and audition, especially for a show like TVM. I'm so proud that she got out of her comfort zone and did something to challenge herself and others. (If you haven't seen it or read it, The Vagina Monologues can be a difficult one to sit through. Powerful, but unsettling at times.)
All in all, it was a great weekend. We got back this afternoon after driving through some pretty heavy rain. At one point, we couldn't see past the car in front of us! Thank God we got back safely. That was definitely some grace of God leading us through that storm! We won't be doing much traveling between now and summer, and we're okay with that. Sometimes staying put and enjoying the weekend is a beautiful thing.