Our love story begins many moons ago when we first met at work back in 2002 but that was 15 years ago so I will try my best to keep it short and sweet and just share the milestone of our relationship.
Our first date was a jog around Lake Padden the Spring of 2003 and our first kiss was a couple months later when Andy gave me a ride home after work, he just leaned in and kissed me as I was getting ready to exit the car – just like that! I thought it was so brave of him but at the same time I thought it was going to make things at work weird because we were nowhere near really dating or anything but little did I know or could have imagined that many years later that kiss was the start of what be my husband and father of my children.
We officially started dating in February of 2005 after a couple years of friendship, dating other people, a couple years of college for me, new job and travel for Andy but we finally gave into the obvious attraction between us by making it official once again while on a jog this time around Lake Whatcom North Shore trail and have never looked back.
We both attended Western Washington University. Andy is 5 years older than me so we missed each other by a few years but he later conviniently returned for graduate school and I would like to think I had something to do with it ha ha.
I graduated the Winter of 2007 with a BA in Anthropology so naturally I wanted to travel and experience the cultures I had read about in my books but Andy was still in school for a bit longer finishing his Maters in Secondary Education so we both decided to travel independently but at the same time. I moved to Nepal for four months to work with two different non profits – one was volunteering at an Orphanage in Kathmandu and the other was volunteering as a Community Heath Educator (I was interested in pursuing nursing school at the time) in a village near the India and Nepal boarder. Andy moved to Spain to practice his student teaching at a British/English school in Alicante for three months where he got to practice his already efficient Spanish. As you can imagine these experiences for us both were very life changing and made our hearts grow fonder so after four months of being away, I canceled my layover stay in Thailand to fly back home to Seattle on a Friday only to fly back out across the world again on Monday to head to see my love. To this day I can’t remember why I didn’t just fly directly to Spain but hey, we were young kids on a budget and clearly weren’t thinking straight! ha!
We moved to Portland, Oregon for a year a few months after returning. Andy got his first teaching job at Lake Oswego High School and I was attending Portland Community College full time completing all the prerequisites necessary for nursing school and getting my nursing assistant certification. That year was a blur for both of us!
That winter break we escaped and took a trip to Mexico and on Christmas Eve we got engaged – after five years of dating it felt like the natural next step for us both and we couldn’t have been more excited. That spring Andy attended a job fair in Portland winning him a job offer to teach in San Diego, California so we took off and made ourselves at home there for the next 7 years.
So much happened in San Diego those seven years! Where do I even start? Andy taught at 3 different schools during his time there – it was rough and very challenging for him working with intercity youth and it was eventually one of the determining factors to why we moved. I worked as a nursing assistant, a barista at Starbucks, a nanny, a caregiver, personal assistant and at one point started my own business South Coast Nanny, LLC but it soon became clear how over my head it was that after a year my heart and wallet weren’t in on it. All this while waiting to be accepted into a nursing program, which later I did not only one but two! I was so proud and excited but at the same time I was so burnt out on the whole caregiving role had major baby fever and got cold feet about spending two more years in a really high stress environment that after attending nursing school orientation I dropped out and gave my spot to someone who wanted it more than me. That was really hard for me because I had worked so so very hard for that spot, but it was so crazy to get to the finish line and realize you didn’t want it anymore.
We instead got pregnant with our first baby Penelope and after giving birth a short 12 months later got pregnant again with our second daughter Isabella. We loved it there and it was and forever will be a place that brings us a whole lot of happiness, but once our daughters were born we realized we wanted to move back to the PNW where both our roots were from and give our daughters a similar upbringing with more nature and small town feel. Plus the reality of how expensive San Diego was made our dreams of buying our dream house one day non existent so we moved to Oregon!
So here we are after so many adventures together in Hood, River Oregon and just loving this place so much! Oregon is simply beautiful from the coast to the mountains! Andy got a job as the middle school bilingual math and science teacher in Odell which is just 7 miles South of where we live and I after being a full time stay at home mommy I am also back to work very part time from home (which is the absolute best part!) doing contract work in sales and marketing for a company in the outdoor retail industry managing pro purchase programs for different brands, so we are both so busy! We’ve been here for almost six month (that’s crazy!) and really can’t believe it! It feels so good to be setting in and watching our daughters blossom in their new environment while we also grow closer as a family and as husband and wife sharing in the same dreams and goal for our family.
This road hasn’t been easy but I am so thankful every single day that we found each other and have been walking it together. Marriage is a lot of work but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun and one thing that we have always done nor matter how hard times get, is have fun together throughout the growing pains of life.
Here we are on our wedding day – our first dance. Guys I know first hand life is but a fairytale but I feel so blessed because I believe in prince charming and I want anyone reading this out there who is wishing to find their best friend just know that it does exist and I know this first hand because I found mine and we are living happily ever after!