I wrote this out about 8 months ago for myself. Trying to remember how our adventure out here began. I decided to throw it out into the social media world today. Not really sure why… But here it goes !
My name is Natalie. I am a 26 year old stay at home mom living near Denver with my boyfriend and our son. We moved here from Illinois , a tiny town called Somonauk , Christmas Day 2011 . Nathan and I were so crazy in love and so excited to see the world.
We had first met while he was visiting back home from living in Tempe, Arizona . We had many mutual friends and I had finally met him in person . Let me say that I am not one to approach a man … Not only was I completely drawn to him but I bought him a shot when I was first introduced to him at a local bar! He was so shy and quiet that he just walked away after our group “cheers” . I was actually kind of crushed . This was a big deal that I bought HIM a drink ! I am a bit old fashioned , ok? Soon I was dancing with my friends, not having a real care in the world, like most 21 year olds.
Two hours later he asked me to dance and I swear to you I fell in love with this man at that exact moment . He was such a terribly awkward and hilarious dancer that it made him all the cuter . He was to leave for Arizona in just a couple days and we spent every second together until he drove off . It really was a world-wind of emotions and the excitement of getting to know a new person is always amazing. I am a woman who really loves being in-love.
I assumed I would never even hear or see Nathan again after he left to go back to Tempe. I went about working my two jobs , still picking up the pieces of my life from a bad situation and a heart wrenching divorce ( yes I am sure you are calculating in your head right now just how old I was … I was 20 years old when I got married . But that’s a whole other story ) But he kept calling . And calling . And we would spend hours upon hours talking on the phone until the sun came up . I swear I went three days without more than a few hours of sleep one week because I couldn’t put down my phone when I got home from work . We were so curious about everything single little thing. We wrote letters back and forth , drew little doodles on scrap paper … Not as romantic as the letters in The Notebook , but still pretty adorable. I still have all those letters and postcards, and when things are looking absolutely miserable I read those and fall right back in love with him.
I think about a month and half later from first meeting Nate, I am driving home from running errands and I get his call that he is there waiting on my front porch of my apartment. I can’t help but put my foot down on the gas and make that old truck go as fast as I could. I am shaking . I look in the mirror and I literally gasp because I had been packing up my apartment that day. I remember it was hot . So hot and my hair was wet with sweat . This man who I had only spent two days with had just moved back to Illinois for me . Dropped his life there and came back to me because we were young and in love and just couldn’t be stand to be apart any longer . But why do I have to look like I just ran a mile ?! Ugh is that a sweat stain on my shirt ??
I don’t even remember putting my damn truck in park. I pulled in to the parking lot , saw him and his friend Jake standing there and I just ran to him like a 90s cheesy chick flick . He looked rough . His shirt was off , he had dark circles under his eyes , he was sweating and smiling so big. His bags were there on the ground by his feet. I ran to him and jumped into his arms and I kid you not he twirled me around in his arms and just held me for 3 minutes straight . I didn’t think I could ever love another human being the way I loved Nate .
I moved back in to my parents and him to his. I was bartending then , he was working landscaping. Nate had worked up in Breckenridge , Co that last winter and needed to drive back to get some snowboarding gear he had left . We went on this last minute weekend trip in October and not realizing that it was about 12 degrees at night there , camped . Yes , CAMPED. I don’t think either of us slept a minute we couldn’t stop shaking from the bitter cold. We slept in my dads old tiny two person pop up tent he would take with him on motorcycle trips . I remember as soon as that sun rose we threw everything we had in our bags and literally ran down that mountain into the town of Breckenridge. Shivering and shaking at least 30 minutes still while sitting in Daylight Donuts and drinking coffee . We had a blast. I met his friends that lived up there , we hiked and I actually remember the moment when I fell so in love with those mountains . It was nothing like I had ever experienced . We hiked all day and I was so pumped , so full of energy and light and life from that crisp fresh beautiful mountain air that I told Nate “we need to live here . Like now .”I was obsessed.
So Christmas Day 2011, I was flying out of O’hare airport saying goodbye with a terrified shaky voice to my parents . One of my most treasured moments was the hug my father gave me before I went through security. He held me so tight and for so long and told me how proud of me he was for going out to see the world . I shook so hard through security , I had never flown alone before . I almost missed my flight because I had decided sitting down at the airport bar to have a drink to calm my nerves was a good idea . With it being Christmas and everyone there being in a quite giving mood I ended up stumbling out of there and then sprinting (with three other people I had met) to jump on the plane. When I woke up from a nap on the plane, I saw the most perfect white snow all around me. I was here . I just moved to a new state a thousand miles away with just a suitcase . I did it ! Nate had driven my little convertible out a week before I flew out to start working right away . His face was priceless when he saw me in the airport . He looked so shocked and then relieved , like I wasn’t going to show up !
We were so confident and happy and wanted to see the world together so we packed our bags without a real plan of what we were doing and moved out to Breckenridge to work on the ski resort . Our housing situation through the resort fell apart and we were couch surfing and living in hostels for a couple weeks until we decided to drive my little eclipse convertible down the mountain and go see Denver. I had never been there and fell instantly in love with the city . With funds running extremely low and unsure of where we were going to lay our heads that night ,my mom called me one day and said that my dads cousin lived in Denver and I should give her call ! I hadn’t seen her since I was probably 10 years old but literally cold and hungry and not wanting to give up and go home , I called her . How awkward I must have sounded on the phone . I had no idea what to even say . . Without even thinking , she told me to come over, that the key was under the front porch rug and to make myself at home she would be home from work in a couple hours ! Thank God for family, right ? We thought we would just stay a couple days and when she insisted we stay until we got on our feet … That’s when our real adventure began . She had this big old beautiful empty house and we were beyond thrilled we had our own room and even our own bathroom ! We definitely would not be where we are today if she didn’t help us out.
For the first couple weeks, every single day we went down to Tenn Street coffee shop, found change wherver we could to buy a coffee to share and would spend hours on their computers applying to jobs. Within less than two weeks Nate had an interview at a car dealership up north and I found a job at a local coffee shop downtown soon after . We loved every single second . We could barely afford spaghetti noodles but we were finally on our way to getting our own apartment in Denver ! After three months of working and saving , march 1st we moved into our first apartment together in Capital Hill on Humboldt and Colfax . We rode our bikes everywhere, slept in on Sunday’s and then spent our afternoons sipping mimosas and smoking cigarettes on restaurant patios. I napped in the park when I wanted to , spent a lot of time reading and writing … Perfection . I loved my job , Nate liked the money from his job , we could walk to everything … Life felt truly perfect and at that time in my life , I had never been happier . We laughed a lot , smoked a lot , ate and drank a lot and I had finally felt joy ,comfort and contentment in my life . It was all so euphoric.
In May 2012 … I can’t even remember the exact date … I was sitting on my bed on my belly with my feet hanging off the edge . I was writing in my journal and I noticed a bluebird was sitting right at my window staring at me . Now I use to say that I was so in tune with my body and that’s how I knew …. But now I know it was God. I heard someone whisper to me that I was pregnant . I was staring at this bird and I thought shit, I’ve finally done it . I finally lost my damn mind . But I just knew I was ! Was I late ..? When was my last period ?! Do my boobs ache or am I just paranoid ?? After three separate trips to Walgreens and five pregnancy tests later … It was confirmed . I was pregnant ! I was going to be a mother !! Oh geeze what will Nate say …??
I was crying and swearing up a storm in the bathroom when Nate knocked on our bathroom door . “Are you ok in there ?” he asked softly.
I immediately thought I should wait to tell him. I will tell him in some adorable Pinterest kind of way! But who am I kidding ? I am going to BURST with this news right now .
I flung open the door and Nate sees me with mascara smeared all over my cheeks and a pile of used pregnancy test on the bathroom sink . Silence ….
“I am pregnant !!” I finally shout through tears stating the obvious and about to get sick because I can’t breathe .A minute went by, maybe even three seconds, I don’t know. But it seemed like an eternity. Was he going to SAY ANYTHING?!
Nathan’s reaction was the BEST reaction I could have ever hoped for . He picked me up , held me and was so beyond excited . “We are having a fricken baby?!” Is what he yelled I believe. He told me he was so happy and that everything was going to be ok and that we would be the best parents , the best family , because we loved each other so damn much .
I was happy and terrified . I didn’t even really know anyone in Colorado besides coworkers and of course my dad’s cousin . I am going get so fat … That was one of my first thoughts . Do you ever wish you could go back in time and just slap your younger self ? I do . Often .
I then became utterly obsessed with all things pregnancy and baby . I thought everything was going to harm our baby . I never even walked near a deli in fear the bacteria from lunch meat would get to me and hurt the baby . I threw our microwave out the door because I thought the radiation was going to deform him . I went completely cold turkey from smoking a pack a day to not even coming near a puff of smoke . I made Nate wash his hands before he even touched me if he had just smoked a cigarette. I went to every used book store and bought every baby book I could . I didn’t have friends , I was so scared I was going to mess something up , Nate was working long hours and I had a job where I didn’t get a single break and was standing on my feet for 8-9 hours . I was still riding my bike to work in my third trimester because we had only one car and I had nightmares I was going to get hit by a car on my bike !
I had no idea what the hell I was doing and on top of the emotional issues I was having , I was having extreme sciatic pains to the point where I couldn’t catch my breathe. And I got fat . Really fat . I’m not talking a bit of weight … I’m taking I gained almost 70 pounds ! Which is fine but Oh, how swollen and achy my poor little feet were those days ! I was miserable.
Being pregnant sucked . Yup . I said it . It was not at all what I had thought it to be . Like in the movie What To Expect When Expecting… I was that pregnant lady who was calling bullshit. I was NOT a pregnant unicorn wearing heels and curling my hair with the perfect baby bump . I was sweaty, fat and got acne . My face was so swollen I didn’t even look myself anymore . I couldn’t sleep at night and didn’t want to deal with the crazy women at my retail job during the day . I couldn’t “nest” because for one : we were quite tight on funds . And for two : we lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment. And let’s just say this apartment complex was not so “kid friendly “.
I just wanted it to be Over . I don’t know if i enjoyed a single minute of being pregnant.
Then January 3rd 2013 we had the most beautiful chunky little baby boy that I had ever seen. Liam was born and all the depression , the anxiety , the loneliness and pain disappeared . As I am sure all new mothers can relate to : our world was completely changed and so quickly we started to forget how life even went on before Liam was in our lives .