How I Came to Vermont.

Vermonters like other native Vermonters. They always ask "Where're you from?" and if you say Vermont, there is an instant smile, head nod, and level of acceptance. If you're not from Vermont but seem to be a decent human being, they'll like you well enough. For a flatlander.

I'm not a native Vermonter. For me, and for a few others, I'm close enough - I grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of New York just over the state line. So, I'm not flatlander, but I'm not a real Vermonter either.

I did marry one though. Andrew and I met at a bar near my hometown the summer before my senior year of college. You know when some people have this experience and it's just like, "woah, that was totally meant to be?" That's us. Neither of us were supposed to be out that night. I happened to agree to ride along on a coworker's bachelorette party earlier that afternoon, and Andrew was supposed to meet up with some girls he met on the lake. When that wasn't going to happen, his cousin asked him to be his designated driver so he could meet a girl that he had been talking to on (get this blast from the past) MySpace. So, we were both at this seedy bar. After talking to the internet girl, his cousin saw me across the bar and told Andrew to go over to me and "talk him up" while he got a drink. Andrew started talking to me, never introduced his cousin, and got my number before I had to catch my ride. He called me later that week, took me on a date to the drive-in (and yes, he did put an inflatable mattress in the bed of his pickup truck and no, nothing happened), and called me the next afternoon to set up another date.

That was July of 2008. I went back to college in August and we dated on and off, long distance, but I always knew we would get back together. It was just this weird feeling of "this will pass." Eventually, it did and on my graduation day the following May I moved to Vermont. A few years later, we were engaged. A year after that, married. And then came Ellie.

Andrew and I have definitely had our ups and downs. Having a baby and buying our first home within six months of each other was a huge test of our marriage and our sanity. I'm not gonna lie - that first year with a baby was hard. Really hard. And she was a great baby too. But stressing over taking care of another human being, home maintenance, work, and money was not fun.

But, here we are. Stronger than before, with less money and free time than we ever imagined. And we have a pretty cool kid.


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