June, 1996: Chris and I met while working as techs in the ICU at Clarkson Hospital.
October, 1996: I wrote the note that changed my life and stuck it into Chris' work mailbox asking him to hang out sometime. He called that night asking me out on a date to Old Chicago in the Old Market.
July, 1997: Chris began working at Sterling Software (which is now Northrop Grumman). Yes, he has been driving all that way since 1997!
September, 1998: Chris proposed marriage - I said yes!
August 28, 1999: Chris and I were married at Faith Westwood Church in Millard in front of friends and family. Our reception was held at Lakeshore Country Club in Lake Manawa, Iowa.
September, 1999: We took our beautiful honeymoon on a Sandals vacation to Negril, Jamaica.
Once at home, we set up married life in our apartment at 3919 N. 154th Court #337 (Torrey Pines Apartments). Chris wanted a house almost immediately, where I liked not having to worry about the yard and home maintenance.
April 2000: I started my job at Dey Pharma, leaving nursing behind.
August 11, 2000: Chris & I moved into our first home at 4013 N. 162nd Avenue just 1 mile from our apartment. It was a beautiful 2 story home with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. We found the home while driving through the neighborhood with my parents. We actually went to the door and asked the homeowner (Noel) to see it! Chris and I loved the house, but Chris thought it was out of the budget. We put an offer in a couple days later.
September, 2000: Chris finishes his Master's Degree! YEAH! We have the 1st of many parties at our new home.
May, 2002: I finish my MBA! Yeah! I won an award at Dey, sending Chris and I to Napa, CA for a weekend getaway.
November 2002: We take an unforgettable trip to Hawaii!
August, 2003: Chris and I take a trip to Chicago. While staying at the Fab Sofitel (love that place!), Chris and I decide we are ready to start a family. Scary!
September, 2003: I begin RCIA classes with Chris as my sponsor at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.
November 2003: We are excited to find out we are expecting baby #1 due June 23, 2004!
January 31, 2004: Chris and I get married AGAIN!! This time we are married in the SVDP Catholic Church with Chris' parents and his Grandma Biga as witnesses. It was freezing that day!
February, 2004: We found out our first baby is going to be a girl! We start planning for her arrival.
April, 2004: I become a member of the Catholic Church.
May 25, 2004: Alivia Grace Austin surprises us by coming early (4 weeks to the day!). My water broke while at work, actually, but it was not an obvious thing. We went into my OB's office where I waited for a half hour before I reminded the receptionist that my water had broken. Alivia was born at 3:05 that afternoon.
Having a baby brought many changes to our home. Alivia was an overall good baby. She had reflux initially, but Zantac put a stop to the 72 hours of straight crying (oh, that was fun). I did not want to go back to work. This was a weird thing for me since all I ever wanted to do was work hard to do well for us. I had trouble balancing work/mommy life for many years.
August 28, 2005: Chris & I celebrate 5 years together! Wow! What an amazing ride so far!
Fall, 2005: We decided we were ready for another baby! It took a few months, but it finally happened! Baby #2 was to be born mid August 2006.
July 12, 2006: Addison Rose Austin was born just 3 weeks early.
Again, I wanted to stay home. Chris kept telling me to quit. He knew it would be better for the girls and for our family to have me at home. We enrolled the kids in what we thought was a Christian at home daycare.
April, 2007: I began feeling sick, but did not think much of it. I had started running at night and not having a snack, so I just thought it was low blood sugar. I was still nursing Addison, who was 7 or 8 months old.
April 23, 2007: My friend Heidi called to say they were expecting baby #3 in November a few days prior to this day. I got to thinking after her call..."OMG, could I be prego?!" To reassure myself, I bought a test. 2 tests later, I realized I was pregnant with baby #3! When I called my OB, the nurse asked when my last cycle was, November of 2005 did not help her any!
May, 2007: Due date #1 was December 12 or something, then it was changed to December 29 after the ultrasound (I think the first one was right). We decided not to find out the sex of this baby keeping the whole process a surprise!
June, 2007: Christian daycare turned out to be crazy. Chris and I wonder if I should just stay home now. We have paid off all of our student loan debt, car debt and have only the mortgage. We had saved enough to buy a car once I quit but not quite a year of Chris' salary after that. I decide to try and find daycare and hold out until baby #3 arrives so we can save up the necessary safely net.
November 29, 2007: Asher Wade Austin arrives!
March 1, 2008: I finally quit my job and stay home! Chris and I decide this life is so much better, less chaotic. Dinner is on the table at night, laundry is done, and we are just more relaxed (as much as we can be with 3 small kids). I love being at home, but wish Chris was closer.
July 2008: Chris and I look at a few homes. We are getting the itch to move.
November, 2008: I begin to work for "fun" at Janie and Jack clothing store for kids 1-2 nights a week. I leave a couple months later after I find it not to be fun.
March, 2009: I get back into nursing (against Chris' better wishes) to keep up my license working at UNMC 8 hours 11p-7:30am every other Saturday night. It is probably good for me to get out of the house, but it is hard for me initially since I am giving up a night's sleep.
April, 2009: We try and sell our home For Sale by Owner, unsuccessfully. The housing market is not good, and FSBO's miss 80% of the market (supposedly).
August 17, 2009: Alivia begins Kindergarten. We love her teacher, Miss Moran, but cannot get moving out of our minds. We just think it would be better for us to get our kids in a better neighborhood with nice kids nearby to play with.
August 27, 2009: Our home is listed with NP Dodge real estate. We will give this route a try. It is listed on the MLS on August 28th.
August 28, 2009: Chris and I mark our 10 year Wedding Anniversary! What an amazing ride the last 10 years has been. We have had 2 places to call home, 2 cats, 3 kids, I have had a few main jobs while Chris is still dedicated to his job, we have had a lot of fun, challenges, but all love in the last 10 years. We know many people probably thought (or wished) we would never make it in our marriage. We are happy to have proved them all wrong and then some! Chris and I are soul mates. To some, it looks from the outside that we have it easy. Believe us when we say, we have had our challenges too. Fortunately, we are both goal driven and dedicated and forever in love with each other (& will do anything for our kids!)! I, for one, look forward to every day I wake up next to Chris (because he generally has been at work for 2 hours by the time I wake up!) and get to spend with my beautiful kids. I look forward to what's next in our future.
May our laughter & love go on along with our infinite time line...