'98 Throwback

Natalie Here! This weekend I traveled back to Fort Knox, KY for an impromptu mini FKHS reunion. The catalyst of this event: Britt returning for R&R from her FOURTH deployment overseas, this time Afghanistan. Jen Teters (JT in Fort Knox speak), flew in from DC, Jen Sims (Schildroth) drove in from Texas with her husband and two kids, I braved the skies with my two little ones, and Aimee (Carter) drove down from Michigan. Andrea Trim is on-site in Louisville and she caught some time to join us as well.

A few pictures to look back:

Some of the group before Senior Prom. From top left Chad Jussell, Tim Maynard, Keven Guasp, Thomas Dennison, Lashanda Moore, Kathy Hamilton, JT, Jen Schildroth, Me.

Hanging out at the Lloyds. Oh the bad bad hair cut.

JT, me, Keven, Jen. I assume this is a birthday party for me, or I just felt like a princess that day. Once again with the boy hair cut... And I think Schildroth is asleep on the piano bench? Pretty rockin' party.

Me and JT before Sophomore Homecoming dance. Why are we so shiny???

Me and Schildroth in San Diego spring break freshman year in college. How does that feel so long ago?

Schildroth, Aimee, little brother Alex (who is a freshman at UK now!), Donnie, my mom, me, and Brit at the bowling alley. It was for Donnie's birthday so hopefully Aimee was laying off the GIs that night, but who knows :)

(Still looking for a good pic with Andy--most of my pictures are hidden in my attic in MD, these were borrowed from my parent's photo albums).


And look at us now!

Me, Andrea, Jen Sims, Aimee, Brit, JT.

The two mommies Jen and nat.

Britt (now in uber soldier shape) and nat.

It was so great to catch up with these amazing women. And, for me, the best part was that we really weren't just reliving memories of the past. Yes, we had some great laughs a la Aimee's inexplicable high school crushes and coming clean about a few indiscretions to Ma Lloyd, but for the most part, we just shared who we are now. And I am really proud to count these women among my close friends.

Britt--now a Captain in the Army, she just returned for a short break from leading a Military Police Company in Afghanistan (hope I am getting the facts straight here). She is a lean, mean fighting machine, challenging the perception of women in the armed forces and in combat situations. She is well-respected by her soldiers and I see great things happening for her in her military career. HUA Brit! She and hubs Devon are PCSing to Hawaii this summer and will hopefully get a break from deployments for a few years.

JT--now a lobbyist for the American Dietetic Association in DC. She has been heavily involved in the Healthcare debates and gave us the scoop on all the personalities on the Hill. She works 14 hr days and is passionate about her career and is somehow fitting in a Masters in Public Admin--but don't let the black suit and pearls fool you, DC; she is still our quirky and lovable JT (the girl has a lime-green bedroom, some things just don't change!)

Jen S.--now a law clerk for a federal judge in Texas. She attended law school at prestigious Baylor Law while raising her daughter Madison mostly by herself (Terry was deployed to Iraq during most of it), she graduated in the top 1/3 of her class and made law review. If that weren't enough, she then passed the bar while 7 months pregnant with her son Corbin. Now she is working her buns off, learning the ropes of federal litigation and somehow juggling 12 hour days while mothering 2 young children. Thankfully her hubs Terry is a big help--he does his best to take care of the kids while still attending school full-time, currently working on a degree in Engineering. Their kids are adorable and obviously well-loved-- a feat in and of itself!

Andrea--now working for Continental airlines and living with her hubby Brad up in Louisville. Andy became an overnight mom when she married Brad and became step-mom to his 13 year old son Johnathan. In addition to caring for him every other weekend, she also plays mom to her youngest sister Rachel (now 15!) and helps out with her niece and nephew, as well as playing mom to various friends and lost souls. She has such a big heart!

Aimee--has found her calling as a Social Worker in Michigan. She has moved up the ranks quickly and is already working as an analyst on a strategic level, ensuring the field officers in her district are in compliance with regulations. She is still as crazy and hilarious as ever and had all of us in stitches recalling some of our teenage drama and youthful indiscretions.

None of us have it all together--we are all trying to find that balance between career and personal life, we all work too much and sleep is a luxury we rarely can afford. But I think as a whole, we have done pretty well for ourselves. We never could have predicted the lives we have all found our selves in, but I think we should all be proud of how far we have come.