Mountains, Memories, and Miss Marlee

It’s a mixed emotions type day for me today. My baby sister {okay, I guess she’s 24} is in a moving truck with her boyfriend headed across the Midwest on their way to Denver, Colorado to start a new job in a new city.  I have mixed emotions because I am SO happy and excited for her, but I’m also sad and of course a little jealous of her new adventure. It also makes me reminisce on my own past, and look forward for her future. I know she has an exciting ride ahead of her and can’t wait to see where this journey leads her! I’m so proud of my sister and know that even though we’ll all miss her and Andrew, this is all just part of God’s plan for them!


10 years ago, I packed up and drove my little red Jeep out to Colorado, too. I cried the whole 10 hours there {seriously—the whole way}, not sure I was making the right decision. I was headed to Boulder to start my freshman year of college at the University of Colorado. I remember when I got my acceptance letter from Colorado [& I cried for days because I was so happy]. THIS was where I was going to start my adult life and where I was going to go to college. THIS was where I would first be out in the world on my own. At 18, as it turned out, I was too far from home to be happy and I only lasted a year in Boulder before I was ready to come back to be an Iowa Hawkeye. I cried the whole 10 hours home, again, not sure I was making the right decision.

Sometimes I look back and wonder what would have been if I had stayed in Colorado. Who would my friends be today? What would my job be? Where would I live? But when I think about that—I have to also think about what I would have had to give up in order for that to happen, and I realize that for certain, everything happens for a reason.

First, I wouldn’t have gotten to be a part of Zeta Tau Alpha. I joined a sorority so I could meet new people at Iowa, especially since I was a transfer student and didn’t have the experience at Iowa living in the dorms. During rush, I didn’t think Zeta was my first choice–but I sure am glad they saw something in me and asked me to be a part of their organization. Being in ZTA introduced me to some of the most incredible friends I could have ever met. These women touched my life, helped me grow into who I am today, and became family. I know being in a sorority isn’t for everyone, but it was one of the best decisions I made for me, and I am thankful my parents were supportive and helped me be a part of the organization that I am still proud to be active in today.


Second, had I not followed my heart and moved back, I wouldn’t have ever lived or worked at The Lodge. Who knew it would be such an important part of my life!?  My roommate at The Lodge was a “random roommate” assigned by the office staff. Little did I know that the wild blonde girl in a short jean skirt would take a liking to me, the underage, badly dressed brunette, and become my 3rd sister and a bridesmaid in my wedding years later. I am truly blessed that Katie and I were thrown together like we were and are still such close friends….that wasn’t by chance, but I’m certain by fate.


And of course….if it hadn’t been for The Lodge and the rowdy group of boys from Fort Dodge with whom I became fast friends, I would have never met my husband and soul mate. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him, and I thank God every day for placing him in my life.

Lastly, had I not moved back from Colorado to graduate from Iowa, I might not have moved to Des Moines after college. And if I hadn’t moved to Des Moines after college, I may not have gotten the opportunity to spend a year and a half living with my sister as an adult, and becoming closer to her than I ever imagined we would. Living with my sister as an adult was truly one of the best experiences of my life, and I don’t know that I’ve ever really told her that. Getting the opportunity to know her as a friend is something I will always cherish, and I hope she looks back on that time fondly as well. When I moved out it was a happy time because I was moving to be in Ohio with G, but it was also sad because I knew that we would probably never get the chance to live together again.

216_557357274539_8939_nSinging “Wanna Be” by Spice Girls–our “go-to” Karaoke song! 7535_763721498979_632307_nBefore the Britney Spears concert!!

Now as she moves on with this next chapter in her life, as her older (and wiser) sister, I hope she takes time to experience all of the wonderful things Colorado has to offer. I hope she makes life long new friends, has lots of success in her career, and remembers how much those of us in Iowa miss and love her. I pray she follows her heart and continues to grow in her relationship with her boyfriend. I am so proud to be her sister and will miss her very much. But don’t worry, Mar and Andrew–we will be out to visit very soon!! 🙂


One thought on “Mountains, Memories, and Miss Marlee

  1. Pingback: 2013 in Review | Our Little Ivory Tower

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