Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Small Change with a Big Meaning

It's a new year, and we're feeling a bit of cabin fever, what with the cold and all. So we updated the blog. We started this thing in 2004 with the title "Maybe it's not Home Sweet Home. Adjust." The title came from a plaque we bought that struck us (Mike, mostly) as funny in an in-your-face sort of way. Living in Utah within an LDS culture brings with it some "expectations" about home and family that don't always match with real life, or at least with the experiences we had had within our own families and among our friends. There was a certain "Suck it up. Get over it." attitude to the phrase that spoke to some of the realities we were living as college students experiencing life's ups and downs in Salt Lake. So, when Mike started the blog, that attitude came along for the ride.

Things have mellowed some in the intervening years, and last year during a hard stretch, we received a comment on our blog questioning what was interpreted as the negative tone of what we had to say. Make no mistake. The world is a complicated place full of cruelty as well as joy. While it is not wise to dwell on the hard parts of life, acknowledging them is no crime. However, the conversations that arose from those initial comments did plant a seed that set us to re-evaluating the tone of what we presented in this public forum.

As we reflected on a new theme for the blog, we recognized that one constant in our marriage has been our determination to do things together, to be together as much as possible. A story from when we were courting set the stage for this goal. When we were getting to know each other, Hallie mentioned that she was a fan of classic Winnie the Pooh, and Mike had bought Hallie some Pooh-themed gifts, including a small ceramic box that held her wedding ring when he proposed. On the top of the box was an illustration of Pooh and Piglet holding hands and walking in the grass. Inscribed around the sides was the phrase that became the new title for this blog: "It didn't matter where they went as long as they went together."

In our marriage, we have had the remarkable fortune (so far) of being able to spend an unusually large amount of time together both as a couple and as a small family. 
We were married nearly seven years before we spent a single night apart, and this included a period where we gave serious thought (for about two seconds) to having Hallie stay in the US while Mike went to Argentina for his two-month internship in 2002. Hallie has managed to make it to conferences Mike has had to attend, and Mike has managed to accompany Hallie on her own business trips. We have been blessed with a remarkable flexibility of time that has compensated us a little bit for not having the rug rats (we love you, Landon!) earlier in our marriage. Now that we're coming on 10 years married on the 23rd (Happy Anniversary!), the change in title hopefully reflects what you read and view here: our family, living a life of rich adventure and great excitement together. For us—up, down, or sideways—living our lives together is what counts, no matter what or where that may take us!


carly said...

exciting change!

Diamond Evans said...

WOW that is so sweet. I love it. You guys are the cutest and sweetest couple ever.

Lorie said...

I think it is great that you spend so much time together. You have a beautiful family!

The Michiganders said...

I love the make-over. Both me and my blog need one as well.

Here's to the New Year!

Brandon, Emily & Sydney Wilson said...

hey there Hallie, Mike, and cute little boy! It's Emily Andreasen (Wilson). I found you on Kate Plewe's blog. Kinda nice being able to find you so quick being we share cousins. I have known you were in Michigan and that you adopted a beautiful son, just didn't ever think to look for your blog. Well, glad I did. Hope you don't mind me peeking in on your life. Looks like you all are doing great. Would love to hear from you. We have a family blog you are welcome to visit anytime at
I know, it's a lengthy one.
Well, take care and Happy New Year. love, em*

Aaron said...

Now, figure out how to get the Pooh and Piglet picture in the title box at the top of your blog!