Thursday, March 29, 2012

How We Met...

I am going to be totally honest with you guys about how I met my husband. It's not glamorous and it certainly doesn't say much about my ability  to "catch a man." So, here it is...Nathan and I met on That's right, your truly is no good at meeting people in person. Which is alright, it's part of my personality and if I was good at it, I would have never met my husband.

I had just gotten out of a 3 year relationship that had been heading nowhere for most of that time. I didn't really know anyone in the area that wasn't one of my exes friends and I'm not a fan of bars. I felt like my options were limited for how to meet men. If we're being honest here, I wasn't looking to get married or even necessarily find a long term relationship. I was looking to date, mostly so that I could feel good about myself again. Either fate or irony had different plans however, because Nathan was the first guy that I went on a date with  from the site and of course the last.
One of the first pictures of us as a couple.

I knew that he had potential from the very first e-mails  we exchanged. We had lots of similar interests and he seemed like a smart guy. We were both geeky, liked some of the same video games, shared similar movie interests, and most importantly he seemed like a nice guy.
I knew that I wanted a geeky guy and the fact that we had both played World of Warcraft
in the past was a strong indication to me that we had a lot in common.

We went on our first date and it was awkward, it was pretty clear that neither of us had been on a first date in awhile. Luckily for him I gave him a second chance and he pulled out all  the stops. He cooked me a delicious dinner, had a rose on the table, and tiers of candles lit in the fireplace. We ended up eating dinner and watching two movies that night. I knew he was something really special then. 

Our relationship progressed rapidly after that. It wasn't long before we were living together and a mere 6 months or so after we met we got engaged!

The day we got engaged!

My ring.

Engagement picture taken by Creative Photos by Caroline

Exactly 364 days after our first date we got married in my hometown. It was one of the most wonderful days in my life and I loved every minute of it. 

Wedding Photos by Magdalene Photography

So you're probably thinking "That's crazy!" or maybe even something worse. Trust me, we know that getting married after knowing each other for only a year was a crazy thing to do. I had been in several relationships for longer than that and I could not have imagined marrying any of those guys. This was different, this was my soul mate. It's hard to explain or justify it, but I just knew that it was right. Would I recommend that other people get married after a year? Depends on the couple, but for us it worked and 13 months later we don't regret it. 

How did you and your significant other meet? Have you ever done anything "crazy" for love?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Secret Addiction

I can't lie, I am addicted to reading blogs. I follow about 7 or 8 and am always looking for more to follow. Most of them are written by women with children and I particularly love pregnancy blogs. Maybe it's just me feeding my maternal side, but I genuinely feel like I care about these moms and there children. Unfortunately, for now, I am a little bit of a creeper. I don't generally comment on the blogs I read. I just feel like since I don't have children, that I am not really part of the "club" yet. Sure I have opinions on things, but there are just that, "opinions." I have no experiences to share or advice to give. I am hoping that starting my own blog here will change that and allow me to become more active in the blogging community. So, this is basically a request for any secret readers here to link to your blog so that I can read about your life (and I promise I'll comment  from time to time too!).

Being a Mom to "Fur Babies": Introducing The Cats

This is going to be the first of a series of posts that I plan to write about being a pet parent. Since we have such a zoo here, it only makes sense to introduce our pets and explain what life is like with each of them. 

I always had pets growing up. My parents had a dog before I was born and my mom has always had at least one dog at home. There were also two family cats. We got the first one when I was 8 and the second when I was around 14. In fact, the cat that we got when I was 14 was "my cat." His name is Merlin, but that devolved into just "Meow" (pronounced more like Mao, than the traditional Meow) due to his signature way of vocalizing. Ultimately my mom ended up keeping him because my zoo of a house would have been very traumatic for him. He gets to be a happier cat after each of my mom's beloved pets die of old age and he would be miserable here at our house.

This is a pretty old picture of Meow

Leaving for college was a little bit of a shock for me. It was the first time that I had never had a pet of any sort. I missed the snuggles and pets that a furry companion can offer. I missed watching them play. Of course while I was living in a dorm there was no feasible option to get a pet, so I settled for visiting my "babies" at home. A few years into the college experience, I moved in with one of my boyfriends and a few of his friends. One of those friends ended up adopting a kitten named Oscar. The next year that friend moved back into the dorms and we were left with Oscar. After my boyfriend and I broke up, I kept Oscar. Oscar is my first pet as an adult.He is an orange domestic short haired cat with stripes and some white markings. He is also full of personality and spunk. I have never met a cat with more of an attitude. He either loves you and wants to snuggle or he wants to hiss at you and bite you. There is absolutely nothing in-between. In spite of his personality "quirks" (or maybe because of them), Oscar has made himself a home in my heart and he quickly won over my husband as well.

Baby Oscar

Oscar's Christmas Portrait

I never really had any intentions of owning more than one cat. Oscar was a cat raised by himself, he had never met another cat (and hated dogs) and I just assumed that it wouldn't go very well. I ended up having to reevaluate  those opinions after I met Nathan. He was also the proud pet parent of a cat of his own. "Kitty" (Nathan didn't like the name that he had when he adopted him and apparently never got around to changing it)  is a big grey striped domestic short hair. In fact, Kitty and Oscar look a lot like they could be from the same litter. They are both rather large cats with similar markings, just in different colors. 

Kitty is a fairly typical cat. He generally speaking has a shy personality. He is terrified of strangers and will hide for hours. As I've gotten to know him over the years though, he has really blossomed into a sweet guy. He is still a little "stand-offish," but pretty much every day he'll come up to me for 15 or 20 minutes of pets. He absolutely loves to be pet and scratched, when he purrs it really sounds like a boat motor. Kitty is also the hunter of our two cats. He is an indoor cat, but during the summer we let him into our fenced in yard for several hours at a time (Oscar isn't allowed outside because he seems to have no normal sense of self-preservation). He loves it! He also brings back critters for me to freak out about and leaves them on the porch (or one time, on my sandals!). 

Kitty's Christmas Portrait

Now that you've met our cats, I hope you'll stay tuned for introductions to the rest of our zoo as well as some posts on taking care of them all. Do you have cats with unique personalities like ours?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Starting a Family

Isn't that a funny phrase? I mean, we already are a family anyways. Nathan, the animals, and I. It really does feel like a family to me, but it feels incomplete somehow. That fact in itself is really amazing considering where my mindset was before we got married.
Gratuitous Wedding Picture Since I Said the Word "Married"
I went into my relationship with my husband with the plan and expectation that I would never have children. It's not that I don't/didn't like children, it's just that children require so much from a person and I didn't think that I wanted that for myself. My mom is honestly the best sort of mom that someone could be, but she gave up everything to be that. She moved across the country from her family to live in a safer place near my father's family, she worked hard at low paying jobs because that region didn't have any careers in her field, she stayed with my father for longer than she should have for us, after they finally got divorced she still stayed in the small town that we grew up in because she didn't want us to have to change schools as teenagers, and my sister and her 4 year old daughter are still living at home due to the economy. That's an awful lot of sacrifice. She never got to have the career she wanted or go back to school to start another one. She lived in an unfamiliar environment where she didn't know anyone, just because it was "a great place to have kids." Those big sacrifices, combined with the everyday sacrifices that moms have to make (no sleep, spending money on kids instead of yourself, stress and worry) are what made me decide that I didn't want to be a mom. It might sound selfish, but I didn't want to give up my life and the things that I love now to be a mom. You might be saying, "you don't have to give up everything," and I know that's true now, but at the time I think I was terrified. 

So my husband and I went into our marriage with a "I don't think kids are for us" sort of mindset. I told him that I didn't want any kids, but that "I reserve the right to change my mind in the future." Haha, "the future!" Honestly, it's hilarious thinking about it, because almost immediately after getting married I did a complete 180 and decided that I definitely wanted a child. We had a pregnancy scare a couple of months after getting married that made me really analyze my feelings on the issue. I wasn't pregnant, but the ramifications of the experience were monumental none the less. I realized that I was genuinely disappointed that we weren't having a baby and realized that I wanted one terribly. A few months of baby fever happened and after some talking we decided that we would have kids, just not yet. It was such a relief to know that Nathan was open to the idea, but the waiting was/is heart wrenching for me. I did end up getting my fur baby, Thor, as a "consolation prize."
Our Boston Terrier Thor

The puppy worked for a little while. He took up a lot of time, woke me up in the middle of the night to go outside, and wreaked havoc on our well-ordered house. We fell absolutely in love with him and in spite of his puppy antics, I wouldn't trade him for anything. He will always be my "baby dog," even though he's almost a year old now. However, now that he's trained and sleeps through the night baby fever has kicked in again. We had another scare and this time all I could think about was how desperately bad I hoped I was pregnant. I know that our financial situation is shaky right now, but I wanted nothing more in the world. That leads us up to the present, where negotiations are currently in progress to determine what steps we need to take to prepare our wallets, home, health, and relationship for a baby. I hope to share the results of these negotiations soon. 
Since I don't have a picture of an adorable baby to end this post with,
here is a picture of Thor as a puppy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Well, We'll Give This A Shot

Hey there!!

My name is Heather and welcome to my blog. I married the man of my dreams in February 2011 and after a little more than a year together, I've realized that I really  need a place to write about being a wife (and zookeeper, more on that later) and hopefully someday a mom. For now, we're still waiting before starting our family, but since this blog is "The Evolution of a Family" it makes sense for it to start out with our life as a married couple. 

My husband's name is Nathan, he works as a lab associate at a biotech company here in Lansing (where we live). I am perpetually unemployed, due to a bad economy and health issues that make lots of jobs unrealistic for me. Nathan is currently looking into going back to school for his bachelor's degree (he currently has 3 associate's degrees) and I'm looking into finding a way to actually make use of my B.A. in Spanish. We are happy to be homeowners here in the city of Lansing, MI (for now...later on we'd like to move out of the city and into the neighboring countryside). We live here with 2 additional roommates who rent rooms from us, which is currently super helpful with our mortgage payment and not particularly inconvenient since we're used to having roommates from college. Nathan's cousin Tony lives with us along with his dog Link and my cousin Kerry lives with us along with her dog Lucy. In addition, we have a Boston Terrier pup named Thor, 2 cats, 7 degu, a parrot, and a fish! So,'s a zoo and I'm generally the zookeeper since I'm home more than anyone else. Some days I love living in our crazy house, but there are definitely days when I wish for some peace and quiet. 

Please stick around as I share the trials and tribulations of these early years in our marriage. I also plan to write about my hobbies/craft projects, work that we do in the house, Nathan's construction/building projects, our lovely animals, careers, school, starting a family, cooking, and our adventures. It might seem a little hodge podge, but I have discovered that I genuinely enjoy reading blogs about other people's lives. Themes are nice and neat, but they don't offer the depth and honesty that a blog about life in general  really can. Mostly, this will be a blog about our little family, but what that might entail is likely to be wide and varied.