It was that time again, time to plan for my high school class reunion in Macomb, Illinois. I know what you’re thinking, where is that? Well my most common reply is its a small college town downstate from Chicago and is basically in the middle of a cornfield. While small, this Midwestern town offered me an opportunity to grow up in a great, loving, Christian home full of activities, friends and fun. What else could a kid wish for!
My family arrived in Macomb in 1968 when my Dad accepted a teaching position at Western Illinois University. My mom apparently wasn’t too thrilled over the move as the runner-up job was in Colorado. We soon settled into our new home in a quiet subdivision close to the university campus where my Dad frequently walked to his office and where I would commonly go for special Daddy-daughter time. But don’t tell him it was actually to raid his office candy jar.
Family life for me growing up was structured and loving. Dinner was on the table at 5:30 pm and trust me you’d better be within Dad’s calling distance or else. There was church Sunday with a hot chicken casserole or lasagne waiting in the oven when we returned for a family meal seated at a table with a crisp white tablecloth. My mom baked bread on Thursdays which meant killer Friday sandwiches. We had milk delivered, I went to girl scout camp, and my dad built me a balance beam in the backyard cause I wanted to go to the Olympics.
Summers were filled with time spent at the pool, family road trip vacations, and slumber parties. The neighborhood was full of kids who gathered to play baseball, midnight, kick the can and in the winter, we went sledding, made snow forts, ice skated till toes were frozen or went to the town roller rink on the weekend. My first job in high was at the busiest pizza and ice cream parlor in town where again, great relationships were made and I ate more hot fudge sundaes than I care to discuss and still never put any weight on my small frame.
Now don’t get me wrong, this may sound like a tv episode of Leave it to Beaver, in fact, my mother’s name is June. I did have struggles with confidence, there were school cliques, and being the skinniest girl in the class made it hard for me to fit in because I looked like I was in elementary school all the way through high school. I prayed for the boob god to come (and I’m still praying for that). But I plowed through it all knowing that my family supported me and
I could do anything if I just tried hard enough. I was shaped by all these experiences and all for the better.
As I was planning my wardrobe for the 40th reunion, deciding what to pack was a challenge. It’s hot and humid in June in Illinois, there are several events and for the most part, everyone wears casualwear. Stein Mart found me on Instagram earlier this year from an outfit I wore during SXSW and they sent me on a shopping trip so I knew I would have some cute things to wear. I ended up finding some adorable and fashion finds.
My favorite was a cropped black and white polka dot jumpsuit that was comfortable, stylish and fun. I shot the photos at the Macomb Country Club, a place where I practically lived in the summer swimming and playing tennis with an occasional round of golf thrown in.
It was an amazing reunion and highlights included a happy hour, a float ride in the annual Heritage Days parade, and I should mention we won the Mayor’s trophy! a party, an after party and more. A personal highlight of the reunion party was to see my high school English teacher Mrs. Egler. She encouraged me to participate in a speech contest which I did very well at and was instrumental in encouraging me during a time when my self-esteem was fragile. A group of us also made a visit to see Mrs. Parks. She was our choir teacher during high school and led our music program to state sweepstakes win every year we were in high school. We surprised her with a
More than 220 grads walked across the Macomb High School gym stage on June 1, 1978, to start new careers, attend college and fly into the world. Thanks to social media we are able to stay connected even more and easily catch up 40 years after graduation. We may be 40 years older, with more wrinkles, kids, grandkids, divorces, deaths and all of life’s events, there is one common thread we share. We support each other and all agree that growing up in Macomb was a special experience. And of course, we haven’t changed a bit. Can’t wait till we all get together again for #45! Go Bombers!
Black and White Polka Dot Cropped Jumpsuit – Stein Mart
Shoes – Khol’s
Bracelet – Marnie Bugs
Earrings – James Avery
Printed Bird Pants – Stein Mart
White top – Mine
Jacket – Estilo Austin
Straw White Bag – Stein Mart
Navy and white seersucker skirt – Stein Mart
Yellow tee – Stein Mart
Wedge Navy Shoes – Stein Mart
Jewelry – Kendra Scott
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