Growing Up

10 Mar

This past weekend – with the weather’s cooperation – I had the opportunity to be reunited with some of my dearest friends from college. One of these good friends, Brad, and his fiance Kira were married on the beautiful shorelines of west Maui’s Kaanapali Beach at the Royal Lahaina Resort on Monday, February 25, 2013. While Pat and I tried everything we could to make it Maui (who wouldn’t WANT to go to Hawaii?!), it wasn’t in the cards. Thankfully, Brad and Kira decided to have a ‘welcome home,’ traditional wedding reception once they returned to the mainland for friends and family who weren’t able to jet across the pacific for their beautiful Maui vows.

Their wedding reception was a perfect mix of Hawaii-meets-Wisconsin. The ballroom was lined with turquoise-blue lights, creating a tropical underwater ambiance; there was fresh fruit adorning the outskirts of the ballroom, with a heavy focus on pineapples; the welcome table donned a beautiful surfboard, while the table centerpieces were beautiful pear-shaped glass jars filled with seashells with a starfish resting on the outside. Meanwhile, cheese and beer were a-plenty, keeping true to their Wisconsin-flair.

The thing I love most about this group of friends is we can pick up right where we left off; there’s no awkward silence or conversation about “what’s new” with each other’s lives. We say a couple quick things about what’s going on with work, the latest with our families and go on as if we just saw each other last weekend. This is true friendship. The smiles grow and there is never a shortage of laughter.

Three musketeers

The three musketeers are now all married. I’m the one wearing the dress.

Madison friends

Madison family – reunited.

I can’t urge this to new graduates enough: keep in touch with your core group of friends from college, even if its one big get together for one weekend per year. Just do it. College is where your closest friendships and professional relationships began to blossom; don’t lose track of people you lived in some of the crappiest conditions with. These people were your family in your home away from home. The memories of the crappy houses get funnier as each year passes, and even though you may not live with or next door to each other anymore, the strong friendships (or for us, our ‘Madison family’ ties) still remain. Even though its been six years since (most of us) we graduated, we still make time for each other’s life events – and the random annual get together. And I wouldn’t miss any of them for the world.

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