I don’t know if there will ever be a place that we call home that will fill me with as much heart-swelling nostalgia as Pasadena, California. I’m sure it’s because it’s where Derek and I started our life together. We started our family there. We experienced the hardest year of our marriage there and came through it stronger and more in love. We learned so much about each other. I learned so much about myself. We both finished school and made amazing friends. I learned so much about relying on God, about trusting Him, and looking back, I can clearly see ways that God provided for us, guided us, and loved us. The 6 years we spent in California were, simply put, life changing.
Pasadena was our first stop on our week-long California vacation. Derek wanted to go to his old school (Cal Tech) and visit with his adviser. That sounded great to me because the campus is beautiful and such a fun place to explore with kids. So while Derek visited, the kids and I watched the turtles–and by “watched” I definitely mean they tried to push them into the pond when I wasn’t looking and ran around like lunatics. I finally found the perfect spot for them to burn off some of that energy. It had been a long day of travel, and this was the perfect activity for them!
I sat in the grass with the biggest smile, watching my 3 favorite little people, enjoying the gorgeous weather and drinking in the beauty. Houston is definitely lacking in the beauty department! It was the perfect start to our vacation.
The last time we were on the Caltech campus was almost exactly 5 years ago for Derek’s graduation. This was us then:
And this is now.
Be still my heart. I love my family so much!
After we left the campus, we headed to the Kinsey’s house. The Kinsey’s really deserve a post all their own, but with my horrible blogging track record lately, I’ll just give the abridged version right now. I was a student at Azusa Pacific in 2001, and Beth was the nurse practitioner on campus. Somehow by the end of my first visit to the clinic, we had arranged for me to meet her kids and possibly become their baby-sitter. For the next 4 years, I picked them up from school, helped with homework, even baby-sat while Beth and Bob went on weekend trips. But more than that, Beth and Bob took Derek and I under their wings. Their kids, Jeff and Matt, became more like my brothers than just kids I baby-sat. I still call Beth my California “mom”. We started going to the same church as them where Derek and I met so many amazing friends. Pretty much, Beth changed my life. She is one of those people that I can think about and so clearly see how God provided exactly what I needed. It’s hard to believe that Jeff is now in college in Boston (and we didn’t get to see him-boo!) and Matt is a sophomore in high school. Matt was 7 when I first me him. Crazy! So anyway, Derek and I went to the Kinsey’s where we soaked up time and conversation with them. And bad Megan! I was so caught up in visiting that I forgot to take a single picture! But I do have this picture of Matt, Jeff (holding Logan at just a few hours old) and Beth. Love these guys so much!
We had an amazing first day in California! And best of all, the fun is just beginning.
I love vacation.