My Love Story: Part Two - Saying ‘Yes’
When Nate and I first started dating I was three months in at my first full-time post college job at Skyward in Stevens Point, Nate was about to begin his final year at UW-Stevens Point. I had just moved into an adorable one bedroom apartment and Nate was living in a college house with five other guys. Some would say we were living very different lives, but I think that for both of us the environment and lifestyle of the other was refreshing and welcomed, it was a nice balance. We met each other's friend groups quickly, had plenty of opportunities for social gathering, and were still able to have quiet, one-on-one bonding time when we wanted it. When Nate graduated the following Spring, he moved into my one bedroom apartment where we lived for the next few months. Nate also landed a full-time job at Skyward upon graduating. That summer we spent time trying new restaurants, exploring new walking trails around Stevens Point, discovering our favorite flavor at King Cone, going to lots of Rafters games, and playing trivia at local bars with friends - life was good. For a while, I had been communicating with a woman who had an english bulldog that was expecting puppies. I had always wanted a bulldog, and I paid a deposit as soon as I could to ensure one of these puppies would be mine (of course, depending on how many were born). On July 9, 2015, I received news that her bulldog had four healthy puppies, and I was fourth on the list! We were getting a puppy! Nate and I had been looking into moving into a bigger apartment for months, but had not found the right place for us yet. When we got word that we would have an opportunity to get a puppy, our timeline sped up quickly as our current apartment did not allow dogs. Luckly, after viewing a number of apartments we absolutely fell in love with a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in Plover, WI. We moved in and a few weeks later, we brought our first dog, Plop, home with us. My goodness were we smittened by him, we felt we had the perfect family unit.
We began new hobbies such as home brewing, cribbage battles, and for me fantasy football and all was going good. The year for my birthday, Nate got me a GoPro camera, which was beyond exciting and unexpected as I love all things photography and creativity. He also got a harness for the GoPro for Plop and a few other accessories to try, a new hobby perhaps?
In January 2016, to break up the winter blues, we had planned a long weekend to Madison to explore this local, micro breweries. The trip was a Christmas gift from me to Nate (even though I was benefiting from this too ;)). Before we head out for the weekend, we were about to take Plop on his morning stroll around the block and Nate suggested we try on the GoPro harness and the GoPro this morning. Not thinking much of it, we set it up and were on our way. Half way on the walk, Nate stop, got down on one knee and ask me to marry him, I said “yes!”, he shot off a confetti cannon and Plop captured the whole thing on camera - it was perfect. We spent that entire weekend sipping new beers, giggling lots, and with a smile plastered to our faces 24/7.
My Love Story - Part One
I met Nate through a mutual friend during the summer of my senior year of college at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. I was going for a motorcycle ride (a secret love of mine, I have a motorcycle license and hope to own my own bike someday!) with my friend Corey, upon arriving at the house he was living in, I was greeted by five other guys who all lived in the house. One of these guys was Nate. Mid-way through our ride, Corey and I took a break, we started chatting and Corey mentions that his roommate thinks I am cute. Later that day, I start the social media creeping to find that this guy appears to have a girlfriend and I move on.
Months later, on a Friday night out, we bump into each at a local bar, Graffitis. When I say ‘bump’ we literally bump/run into each other on the dance floor. We got a drink, he walked me home, we chatted about constellations, and the rest was history. Lol Well not exactly, but that is how things started. The next day, I was waiting for a Facebook message, I finally received one in the afternoon that Saturday, we exchanged numbers and our conversation began.
Graduation for me was around the corner, Nate is a year younger than me and was heading home for the summer for work. I had landed my first full-time job at a local software company, Skyward, working in their marketing department. Nate and I continued our dialogue in the coming months, seeing each other on occasion. He invited me up to Door County with his family (which was terrifying since I had only met his parents once for a brief moment, and I had never met his sister and her long-term boyfriend), I agree to go with hesitation and excitement. They were all so wonderful and we had the most fun Christmas in July which has remained a tradition ever since. A few weeks later, mid August of 2014, we decided to make our relationship official. :)
More on our relationship in future blog posts. :)
Being a mother is something I had always dreamed about and Nate and I knew early in our relationship that children was something we both wanted. From the day I took a positive pregnancy test in June 2017, I had begun reading and researching and “preparing” for the transition to a family of three.
As a person who has struggled with a number of mental health issues, becoming a mother did test me mentally and emotionally more than anything else. Postpartum anxiety and depression were both something I had to work through for the 15-months or so after Riley joined us. Daily tasks seemed overwhelming, I barely felt some days I could get out of bed, but yet I did 98% of the days. I did end up seeing a therapist who truly helped me sort out and find myself again in all the hustle and noise that motherhood had brought. Riley also wasn’t the best sleeper and did not sleep through the night until she was a little over a year old, so pure exhaustion began to improve around this time as well. The past three years have truly made me a more complete person. I feel that the transition into motherhood has helped me identify my strengths and flaws and own that. I feel proud of the journey I am on and where I am at. In the past three years I have really learned to give myself grace, to let go of things not serving me, and invest in the things that fuel my spirit.
Today our little girl turns three. She is truly a remarkable human being, confident, goofy, smart, funny, I hope that these are all traits she never lets go. She radiates positive energy and makes everyone around her laugh. This year she has really begun the journey to becoming her own person, with attitudes, opinions, interests, and I relish in watching her develop and grow.
Riley Marlys Kirchenwitz, you are a dynamite gal and I feel so lucky to be your mom. Cheers to the big ‘3’!
Hello! I'm glad you are here.
I am an Appleton, Wisconsin-based photographer. I lean into my creative side when I shoot and love bringing out your personality during your session. To ramble off a few of the things that fuel my soul (other than my camera); clear night skies, snuggles with loved ones, the outdoors, sunsets, having genuine conversations with new people, and listening to audiobooks.