03 May 2009

How to meet and woo a Bear Cub

Three years ago, I flew back to California from Chile. This is actually the 2nd time I've lived in Chile! There's an awesome 3-month summer science research program for undergraduates at the observatories in Chile, and I took advantage of this before I finished my bachelors.

When I came home, I didn't yet know Mr. Bear Cub. In fact, I was living with my (now ex) boyfriend. We both knew it was going to end soon, though. A month after I was back in the states, he drove with me (and all my crap) to help me move in to my new life in New Mexico. This was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I was with this guy for nearly 4 years of my life, and even though I had loved him, I knew we wouldn't make it as a couple (friends, maybe, but we'll see on that).

Anyways, in July of 2006 I uprooted myself and moved to New Mexico to start a new chapter in my life. I started grad school, I was single, and I was making friends on my terms.

While I was settling into my office one day, a little Bear Cub popped out of a box to greet me!

NMSU, July 2006

His name was Mr. Bear Cub, and he was the friendliest little bear I'd met in a long while. I was pretty lonely after my move, and he became a great friend. I found out that he had just gotten back from seeing friends in the Bay Area - he had been vacationing in the town that I had just moved from!

Mr. Bear Cub is the kind of guy who will be your friend first, if that's what you need. This was probably the main reason we were able to get to know each other so well so fast. I really didn't want to date anyone in New Mexico; I didn't think I would find anyone well suited to my quirks there.

He told me later that he had had a crush on me from the moment he met me! (can you believe it?? an actual crush! I thought that was so adorable ;) ) Even though he liked me romantically, he didn't want to jeopardize our relationship as friends, so for a month we spent time getting to know one another. We watched movies no one else wanted to watch, we hiked the Organ Mountains, we talked about how the west coast is like totally awesome and radical (we both missed the rain a ton), and we finished many a delicious pint at the local brewery, High Desert (we both agreed the hoppier, the better).

Las Cruces, NM, August 2006

Then we decided we should go on a camping trip before school started in late August. I'll save the details for a later post, but I will say this - our first kiss was like FIREWORKS. It was like nothing I'd ever experienced before!

From there on out things moved pretty quickly. Before we knew it, we were flying to his home in Portland, Oregon to celebrate Christmas!

This trip really sealed the deal. I met his family, and life with him really felt like home. Isn't that a great feeling - when life with your fiancé/husband feels like home?

All our days since have just been steps towards building a life together.

Cannon Beach, December 2006

Chinese Gardens, Portland, OR, December 2006

A month after we got back from Christmas break, we moved in together. We rented a cute little house outside of town, and made it our home for a year and a half until we moved away from New Mexico.

Mesilla, NM, September 2008

Have you ever made a drastic change in your life, only to discover something wonderful come from it? In your years of dating, did you ever have to get up the courage to end a stagnant (but comfortable) relationship? How long did it take you before you "knew" your significant other was the one you would love for the rest of your life? Were you friends with your future husband before things "got physical"?


  1. While I didn't have to leave anyone to snag my fellow, I did have to change my state of mind to let him in. He also had a crush on me from the moment he met me(awww) but I was just looking for some summer dating in my hometown before my start at a new school in a new town. I was quite sure he was "the one" by the time I left for school about 1.5 months after we had our first date that quickly became an "official" relationship despite my best intentions otherwise.

  2. You guys are so cute together! Now that I know you both I can totally picture the story playing out like that...I bet Mr. Bear Cub/Rye Bread (yeah, I can't let it go just like that!) was too intimidated by you to make the first move!

  3. I just love that you are sharing all of these wonderful details. Your blog reads like a great book ya know. I freakin' love it.

  4. change overwhelms me and i get stuck in ruts. i can imagine it took a lot of courage to drastically change your life like that, but it's true, good things can come of it. plus i love hearing all the back story behind you two!