This is the first picture ever taken of us. We met at a Christmas Sweater Party at J's apartment in December 2002. Then we didn't see each other again until February 2003 when we ran into each other at a coffee shop neither one of us had ever been to before! This picture is a few days later when we went out in a group of friends and then hung out at J's apartment after. I think it was actually February 13th! Isn't it funny how in college everyone has dress-up clothes? I'm wearing crazy Elvis glasses and J is a cowboy. He even has a little toy gun. Silly! We had both just returned from our study abroad experiences. I had gone to France and J had been in Germany. We loved Europe and from the very beginning it was our little joke that we'd live in Switzerland someday because both French and German are spoken here. (Haha!)
This is us later that summer before we moved to LA. We only stayed in California a few months because I hated it! And, we learned while we were there that we actually hadn't graduated from the University of Oregon and needed to complete one class each to finish our degrees! What a mess. (And it looks like my scanner is a mess, too, considering how dusty these photos are! ;) So we went back to Eugene. I was happy to leave LA because I realized while we were there that it wasn't getting me any closer to my goal of moving back to Europe. When we got back to Eugene, I took more French classes and got a minor and J finished a major in German. That totally ended up helping us with the permit application to come to Switzerland seven years later! Good move, us. :)
This photo is from the rehearsal of my sister Amy's wedding. Doesn't J look like Jesus with his big hair and beard? I think those are skate shoes he's wearing. Makes me laugh! In 2004 I started the Montessori training in Portland and J was still in Eugene for a few months, so I drove down to see him every weekend.
In 2005, I was still in the Montessori course and J was interning in Germany. I went to see him for spring break and we hiked the Cinque Terre in Italy. It was gorgeous. (Last fall, we took Coco there and hiked a portion of the trail with her in the Ergo. It was so fun to return as a little family.) Then that fall of 2005, when I was finished with the Montessori course and J was back from Germany, we moved to Spokane! Looking for jobs and trying to establish ourselves as recent grads was brutal. J ended up moving to Seattle for an internship. I applied for, and accepted, a job in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. More long-distance dating for us. :(
When J took me to the Seattle airport to leave for Neuchâtel, I was so sad. I had honestly thought that we would end up going our separate ways at that point, but once I was waiting to board the plane, I knew that that wasn't going to be the case. After the first four months in Neuchâtel, I went home for Christmas. Here we are all dressed up and ready to go out on New Year's Eve. We had so much fun and the plans were already underway for J to come to Switzerland and join me.
J arrived in Switzerland February 25, 2007. I went to meet him at the Geneva airport and I had the first week of his stay off of work for ski holidays. Within a week of his arrival, he proposed! I was surprised and happy. Here we are that night. He stayed in Neuchâtel with me for three months. Then we made plans to return the States. We went to interview with a school in Arizona and were both offered positions. J was to take the Elementary Montessori course over three summers' time and work as a classroom assistant during the school years in between. I was offered my own class. It seemed ideal! But then everything fell apart when the summer Montessori course was full. We ended up being apart again! :( Oh, it was horrible. J went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the academic year Montessori course and I went to Phoenix. If I had it to do over, I would go to Milwaukee with him. We survived somehow, but it was the worst year of my life. I took over an extremely challenging classroom in Phoenix and didn't experience any success all year long with those children. It was hard being apart and I hated driving everywhere, not having any seasons and planning a wedding under all that stress. That year, I had strep throat FIVE times. It was miserable. :(
We did have a few good times though. I went to Chicago with J to watch him run in the marathon. We had an amazing time and he finished in 3:34 before they shut it down due to the extreme heat and the death of a runner. Yikes!
We visited each other every three weeks at least during that year, but it was so hard! Thank goodness we never have to relive that one! ;)
Our wedding was fabulous! Definitely the best party I've ever been to. If only it hadn't gone by so quickly. It really did seem like it was over in a flash!
After our honeymoon at Sun Mountain Lodge in the North Cascades, we packed up and moved into our first apartment as a married couple in Northwest Portland. J carried me over the threshold and my brother and my friend Joy helped us move in. It was so exciting!
Summer 2009 we took a trip to Ireland on buddy passes with my friend Andrea who worked for a big airline company at the time. We had so much fun! We drank Guinness, walked out to see Newgrange, and explored Dublin. Little did we know that a year later we'd be moving to Zurich! Eeek.
July 31st, 2010, we officially moved to Switzerland. We spent that summer getting rid of almost everything we owned, except for what would fit in a 6'x8' storage unit. We sold our beloved car and let go of our lovely apartment. During our first school holidays, in October, we took an amazing trip to Italy. We zipped all over Rome on a scooter, stayed in a little apartment off of the Piazza Navona, sat for hours in the sun and read books at cafes, went to Florence, stayed in Assisi and hiked between three Umbrian hill towns, ate tons of amazing food and visited Pompeii. It was awesome. And very soon after that, we realized we were ready to have a baby. It was our last carefree vacation as a couple. And it was perfect!
2011 was the year I'd been waiting for all my life. I was so happy to be pregnant, I loved that we had finally attained a level of success in our careers to be able to take on the responsibility of starting a family. I felt secure and happy like never before! It was (and continues to be) so amazing. :) That year, we saw our little baby dance and flip on the ultrasound monitor. We traveled to France and Spain and Greece. We moved to our beloved Seefeld neighborhood. And we brought our baby girl home from the hospital. I don't see how it could have been any better.
We spent 2012 wholly invested in our lives as parents. We found time for a couple of dates. We overcame challenges and difficulties. We learned to relax and laugh at the small stuff. We loved every single minute of it.
2013 is the year of the toddler for us. Coco is more independent all the time. We are learning about tantrums (note the Jimi Hendrix above). We don't have many pictures of us all together because either J or myself is always behind the camera. ;)
Just think if a fairy could have whispered in our ears on our first date ten years ago that in 2013 we would be living in Zurich, married almost five years, with a beautiful daughter. We never would have believed that fairy! ;) But here we are.
And won't it be fun to see what the next ten years hold? Happy ten years together, J. I'm so glad we met! xo