Friday, August 1, 2014

Growing Up

Ok everyone-I'm really going to try to be better about posting this month. I know I post reviews of amazing companies and products, but I want to be better about writing about the rest of life, too. So, here we go.

Growing Up

I always assume that all my readers know me. As Preppy Mom's Wanderings has grown, however, that is no longer true. 

Growing Up-in a post.

I grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa. It might sound strange, but this area is actually really terrific. We're right on the Mississippi River, and it's a large community. No, I didn't drive a tractor to school :)

My dad, who you may see me refer to as Dr. Bob, was a surgeon here. He was the kindest, most amazing dad in the world. A friend recently referred to him as a real gem of a man, and I think that she nailed it. He worked really hard to give us everything that we could ever want. I now see, as I look back, that he worked too hard. He wanted us to have everything, and he didn't stop to take care of himself. He had a heart attack in the parking lot of the hospital where he had a patient prepped for surgery inside. He was only 52.

My mom was a pretty typical mom. She drove us to lessons, the orthodontist, and cheered embarrassingly too loud at my sister's swim meets. She grocery shopped and took ceramic classes, and had dinner ready when my dad got home from work. Something that I remember about my parents, was that the minute he came home from work, he immediately went into the kitchen to give my mom a kiss. That's a pretty great memory. My mom has never gotten over losing my dad. It was 1988, and she was two years younger than I am. Wow.

I'm the youngest of three kids (ha-we're far from being kids anymore)! My sister is the oldest, and I feel like I never knew her growing up. Another friend recently said that my sister scared the shit out of her growing up. I think a lot of people probably felt that way. She was pretty intense. Now, however, she is the kindest, sweetest person. She's my best friend, and I pretty much talk to her in one way shape or form every day. She's successful, she's in a great marriage, and she's an incredible mom. So, if she was scary to you when you were growing up, and you're reading this- I hope you get a chance to meet her again. My brother and I have always been close. We're close-ish in age, and we went to boarding school and college together. Besides- once I got to about 14, our friends became date-able! He's uber successful and lives a pretty great California life. One of the things I love about my brother, is that he is stinking hilarious. He's silly and has the best one liners that will come out of nowhere. He's terrific.

So this is my family. My mom is pregnant with me in this picture.

I think I was a pretty average kid. I was (and still am) the kind of person who had a couple of very good friends, but I was friendly with many. 

This is me in probably the 1st grade.

I had a "boyfriend" here and there in middle school. Basically that meant that I might sit with him at the high school football game, and there was a chance he might put his arm around me. We were so amazingly cool- ha!!

So, in 9th grade I met my husband. No, I'm not going to tell you that we went out until we were out of school, and that we lived happily ever after. 9th graders weren't allowed to leave campus for lunch. My friend, though, was dating M's best friend, and so we sneaked off campus for lunch. My parents sent me to school with a lunch ticket. That wouldn't get me too far at Hungry Hobo, so I had to borrow money from M. A few weeks later, he gave me a ride home from school because I missed the bus. I was leaving to visit my sister at boarding school in Switzerland the next day, and M told me to bring him a Swatch (hey, it was 1986). Being a naive 14 year old, I picked one out and called him when I got home. I said it was Andrea, and M said,  "Andrea who?" Very proud. So, I told him who I was and that I'd brought him a Swatch. He invited me to go out. On Halloween of 1986, we went to see Crocadile Dundee. We dated about a month, and then I broke it off because my parents were worried about him being a senior and driving a car. Oooohhh.....
Seriously though, we stayed friends for many many years-more on that later.

I went away to boarding school in New Jersey when I was 15. It was the best thing (other than getting married and having kids, obvi) I've ever done. My school was amazing. I had a great roommate, C, a steady boyfriend, B, and it felt like home. I was a pretty decent student, but I honestly loved it there. I was a little homesick here and there, but not really. I made good, true friends. My dorm parents made me feel like I was part of their family, and the faculty really cared about what we did. Amazing three years of my life. 

Pictures of the stunning boarding school, Blair Academy, that I was so lucky to attend and graduate from.

I got into really solid colleges, but my dad didn't plan well to die so young, so I ended up at The University of Arizona. My mom had moved to Phoenix, so I was close-ish, but not so close that I had to live at home.

I actually think college deserves another post. I wasn't really growing up (although I learned a lot), but I was far from being an adult. So, that will be another day...

Please, if you're a blogger-write about how you grew up, and link back to me. If you're a reader-what sticks out in your mind about growing up?


  1. I always enjoy getting to known the bloggers I read , and think Yurok
    Ink up,is a great idea. I will write a how I grew up post this weekend and link back to you.

    1. Thanks, Kimberlee! I agree-it's so much fun to meet everyone!