eight

So, last year was pretty memorable.

This year, Tuesday, there was that whole election thing going on… so, you know.  Hard to compete.

In 2004, we lived just outside of downtown at 650 Kellogg, the same house Curt had lived in his whole life.  Curt worked for Wolverine Building Group… where he’s worked since college.  I was a nanny and a part-time ropes facilitator at Camp Roger… which would soon swing into full-time.  We got Abe (our enormous horse of a labrador retriever) just a couple months after we were married.

We married at the neighborhood church… Eastern Avenue CRC, with stained-glass windows and wooden pews.  That Saturday in November was warm and sunny, like God knew half our visitors would be from Texas and California and a true Michigan November might kill them. Our ceremony took approximately 17 minutes.  We both carried some college debt into this arrangement, and I brought along my little s10 pickup truck to share the driveway with Curt’s Toyota 4Runner. My jeans had holes in them and Curt wore black Doc Martens to work.

A lot has changed in 8 years; a lot has stayed the same.  We moved 30 miles out of the city one month before Ry was born. Curt still works for Wolverine.  I stopped full-time work with when I was had Rylie, so it’s been 6 years since my W2 has read over $50.   We have 3 kids, 30 longhorn cattle, 20 chickens if the raccoons were kind last night, and Abe is still truckin’ along.  He is, by far, the most consistent thing in this family.  I drive an Odyssey now, like the rest of America with children under the age of 10, and Curt has upgraded to a grown-up car that cannot climb sand dunes on a whim. We are debt-free minus the house and property. My jeans still have holes in them, but Curt wears big-boy dress shoes to work now. I am a better cook than when we started, and Curt is less obvious about being bothered by dust.

That’s Sugar standing guard there in the back.  We moved, like, 87 times for this photo and she’s in every shot.

OH MY WORD, it has been the hardest, most ridiculous, most fun, most maddening thing I have ever done… this marriage thing.  This living with a boy thing.  This sharing everything THING.  Hard. But worth it.  I would not, could not, change a single, blessed thing.

What do you remember?

How did you meet us?  Did you run track with Curt like the rest of West Michigan?  Do you remember Curt talking about the California girl from Texas? Do you remember me telling you I was getting married? Have you only known me AFTER marriage… as in, you call me KATE and not Katie? I would love to know where your story meets our story.  

[previous anniversary posts: year 7year 5year 3, and year 1]

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About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

35 responses to “eight

  • Jim B

    A picture of a Red barn on ur blog brought my family to ur family about the time Ry was born. I thank that picture often.

  • Miss Laura

    I remember meeting you guys just a few months after your wedding at Elizabeth’s birthday scavenger hunt. Josh and I had started dating right around the time of your wedding and I was immersing myself into his GR life, driving up from Kalamazoo every weekend. You, my dear, were part of those early days…and I’m not sure I could bring myself to call you Katie, though sometimes it feels like I should!

  • texasnorth

    I’m adding this from Rachel Fitzwater (though you’ll always be a Beerwinkle to me!)

    Happy Anniversary! Well, I’ve known you since you moved to Belton in the 7th grade. We were in TAG/honors classes and choir together from that point on. My most fond memories with you are from Madrigals and the fun trips we went on.

    I guess the only time I’ve seen you since you’ve been with Curt was when y’all were in Belton in the fall of 2003 at Christan’s house. I remember thinking y’all were such a cute couple and was so happy for you!

  • Tricia

    Happy eighth anniversary! I wish I could say I’ve met Kate Mulder and crew, but I can still only claim to know Katie Sebeck, circa 1995. Someday, I will have to change that!

  • Mandi

    We met in high school, though I don’t remember the exact details of our meeting. I know we had mutual friends–like Amanda and Rachel–and I know we were in Student Council and National Honor Society together. We weren’t close then, but you did funny voices that instantly made everyone love you. It wasn’t until college that I really got to know you–first in Hobby Hall, and then in our apartment (was it Willow Oaks?). I didn’t have the privilege of meeting Curt until after you guys were married, when we were making a crazy cross-country trip, and you guys let us crash at your place for a couple of nights. We enjoyed that visit tremendously and have often wished we lived closer, so we could hang out with you guys more often. Happy (late) anniversary! To me, you will always be Katie!

    • texasnorth

      I don’t remember the exact time we met either… definitely Freshman year, because I can still picture your jump shot form on the basketball court 😉 But Curt still talks about your trip up to Michigan… and especially that brisket you brought us as a gift. Oh, man. You are forever on his ‘favorite’ list! (and mine, too, but for more complicated reasons)

  • Frances

    Katie, I met you in the parking lot of K-Mart, Ramona, CA. You had left Oakbridge and were headed for Texas and marriage, I believe (though I have a feeling the marriage thing was not 100% certain at that point), and Heidi was going with you for the fun of sharing the driving. I have no idea why I was there in the parking lot too — maybe Heidi had asked me to bring something from home. You girls had that truck piled precariously with Stuff, but I was the only one who seemed at all concerned about it.

    You’re a fine writer, Katie — thanks for sharing your life with us!

    Frances — Heidi’s Mom, still in Ramona

    • texasnorth

      *gasp* This is simply not possible. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE that you’re HERE?! I’m just absolutely tickled pink (to steal from Heidi) that you’re here. YOU, you are a real storyteller! It was the first thing she ever told me about her parents.

      I think I remember why you met us in town… she has forgotten her driving hat- we had matching cowboy hats. My truck made it to Michigan… but not happily, as I am sure you heard. Also, we didn’t win any money in Vegas. Thank you for your daughter. She absolutely changed my life. You family is a true testimony to sweet Providence and genuine Faith.

      • Frances

        I rushed from Country Estates to K-Mart parking lot with a cowboy hat? Oh well, yes, that was essential. I guess. That hat of hers came from Calgary, Alberta, I seem to recall. We were there overnight, not realizing that it was the week of the annual Calgary stampede. When I paid for the hat the woman asked, “Are you stampeding?” meaning, I suppose, were we there for the stampede. It took me a few seconds to clear my head of a mental image of myself in a crazy stampede mode. Funny, the things one remembers.

        So you girls made it all the way to MI? I was thinking it was TX.

        Katie, I’ve been a faithful fan of your blog for quite some time, delighting in your style at every turn. I posted a comment once, about what I considered your finest piece at that time . . . but probably didn’t add the “Heidi’s Mom” label.

        Your fan for life,

        Frances

        • texasnorth

          I would pay money to see any of the Pullens stampede. You tell me where I need to be and when.

          Heidi took me as far as our friends in Denver, Colorado. Then my dad met me and drove me the rest of the way to my new life in Michigan. As a father should 🙂

          • Frances

            Your money is safe! I do get a little wild-eyed at times, and I’ve been known to snort, but I never make it to stampede levels. A pity, that.

            So it was CO, not TX or MI? One of these days I’ll get the story straight. It explains the Vegas reference, though — I had wondered how you hit Vegas by driving from CA to TX or even MI.

            Hug your gorgeous little ones for me.

    • Heidi Ho Pullen

      Oh how I love you two girls!! Mom – we could NOT have made that trip without that hat. Thanks for coming to our rescue. Kate…I would do that road trip with you over and over again. Best memory was driving up some loooong stretch of the highway…up-hill …needle in the red zone, the little red truck sputtering the entire time…and I turn to look at you and notice that you’re sputtering too. Pretty sure your tears cooled down the radiator cuz we made it safely over the hill. Love you, dear Kate!

  • trace

    This is fun. Reading through how we all met you – and came to love you instantly. My turn. I remember you from our audition for the worship team at MH. We were all in that upstairs room singing on four mikes in various combinations. You were there. Your throat was sore from something camp related and you apologized that you didn’t even know why you were there because you couldn’t sing a lick that night- but you were fun and adorable even as you were being self-depreciative. Aaron smiled and laughed and said not to worry. Not worry? I thought – singing was kind of the reason we were at an audition – but he was right. Even with a camp voice you shone that night by just being fabulously you. Later…. later we went on our first “I’m trying to make friends in this big old place” date – to Marie Catribs. You introduced me to Marie’s!! I had forgotten that – but maybe I should be more appreciative to you from now on.

    • texasnorth

      Oh, Marie’s. Bringing people together. Love that place 🙂 I had forgotten that.

      I haven’t forgotten that audition, though. Curt and I were, ahem, on a break and I was trying to make a go in this new city… and I was hoarse from swim lesson certification! Yelling in the GRCC pool all week and then teaching outside all week at camp… not a great way to start.

      My first specific memory of you, Dearest, is riding in your explorer(?) at Elizabeth’s scavenger hunt. All the dashboard lights were on and I was concerned and you said, “Oh, no. It’s fine. It’s Billy’s car.”

      Obviously we made it just fine 🙂

  • jo

    1997 – I clearly remember Curt living in my dorm at Calvin. I also remember thinking he was good looking and observed that he was always carrying his track bag. We did not speak. Ever.

    Fast forward to 2003-2004ish or maybe even 2005ish (my memory is not what it used to be). Through friends of friends of friends we actually met through Mitch and Natalie… I think. I am not totally sure. Regarless of the details, my first memories with you are from kinitting club! You were the only one who actually knew how to knit – and then instructed the rest of us! We all mastered your mitten patterns, which I still have, and Aaron even mastered knitting in the round and making fancy shmancy cigar gloves. We met at various houses, enjoyed many laughs, and all sported one type of wool or another.

    Despite your move to TN, we’ve done an okay job of staying in touch! I’m thankful for you both, for your family, for your farm, for this blog. You are good people, and I am proud to know you!

    • texasnorth

      Knitting club. Yes. Aaron and Paul both learned so fast and were so good! Crazy boys with their boy brains. I remember knitting club… and I remember being pregnant with Ry and coming over to Kristin’s and you guys giving me little shoes- a girl pair and a boy pair 🙂 And I remember Rory holding Rylie in the hospital.

      Thankful for your family, Jo! Thankful.

      • Jo

        You mean Lainy – yes? Rory was not yet conceived at Rylie’s birth:)!

        Yes – the pink and blue booties – yes! I remember that – what a great memory you have, Kate – would never have rememberd that myself.

        • texasnorth

          YES! Lainy. Of course 🙂 Of course. I just was so surprised… I didn’t know many people then and was so touched that there was a mini surprise/congratulations party for us! Just goes to show you, you never know how you will touch someone 🙂

  • zoe

    I can’t remember the exact first time we met, probably because I was too shy to speak directly to you.
    I do remember writing letters to you our sophomore year when I lived in California, hanging out our senior year and I think going to a football game with your family.

    • texasnorth

      I don’t remember, either, Zoe! I do remember the letters, though. And I do remember my mom working with your mom at school and her asking me if I knew “A Zoe? Do you know a Zoe?” and she had Grant in her class, right? My word… that was forever ago.

  • texasnorth

    From Abbie H:
    I love what I see going on here between you and Shanda (whom I know and love too!) So I met you through my sister Katie who has been following your blog for years and is your second biggest fan. I knew you as “Curt’s wife” for a while, during which time my sister Katie was trying to get me to “friend” you, facebook style. I started reading your blog and realized I had found a friend, except one I was still too cowardly to contact. Thanks again to my sister, who bribed you to “friend” me, I’m sure, we got in touch and had the most wonderful summer evening down on the farm and a couple afternoons to follow.

    Interestingly though, I remember Curt from our GRCHS track days. Strangely I can still see in my mind his reaction to finding out he had broken the GRCHS hurdle record… that sounds creepy, doesn’t it…
    Anyway, good memories, good times and a great blog post!

  • texasnorth

    Shanda: I met you after you were married. I call you Katie in private and Kate to your face.

    Katie: Sometimes you call me KATIEKATE (and so does Trace and her whole family) and I LOVE that.

    Trace: Sorry to bust in… but you are right. My whole family does call you KatieKate. Even my 15 year old Harrison. I actually don’t think my teenagers know you sometimes shorten it to just one or the other.
    about an hour ago

    Shanda: I do call you KatieKate. . .although I didn’t think I did it in front of you. Oops. If you love it. . . 🙂

  • Margie

    Okay, I haven’t actually MET you, in person, yet. So. That leaves me only the opportunity to reveal my Very Strong Memory of what I was doing on the day you were married. I wasn’t, of course, at your wedding.

    My first baby was only 2 weeks old and I voted that morning, still walking very slowly into the little church down the street to cast my ballot. Later that day, like early afternoon, I sat down on the couch with her in my arms and watched all day episodes of presidential history on the History Channel. As I sat there, the sun went down and the room got dark and she continued to sleep. Alone, I wept out of love for her, believing life could not be any more beautiful. November 6, 2004. That was my day.

    You, of course, were in a lovely, flowing gown; I, however, was wearing pale blue oversized, polyester sweats from Wal-Mart. Those weren’t so beautiful.

    Happy Anniversary!

    ~~~So after I wrote this I realized that no, you didn’t get married on a Tuesday, and I just wrote all that stuff about, what?, November 2? Even so, I’m positively certain I was wearing those same awful sweats on Saturday. And that’s where my story meets your story.

  • Sunday Grant

    I call you Katie and girl you better know where we met! One summer and I still count you as a dear friend who would send me such amazing encouragement through the mail and when I am lucky I still find something you sent! I love you and how you write because it is always exactly how I feel. We married our hunter men the same time of year, during the rut. I guess they felt a lot like the deer they hunt 🙂

  • Kendra

    We have never actually met but Curt and I went to the same high school. I am not even sure how I found your blog but it must have been a link from a mutual friend. I fell in love with your humorous take on life as a stay at home mom, so many things you would write made me laugh so hard I could cry because most often I had been there too. I am now apart of the inAble group as a fellow mom of a child with special needs…thanks for your encouragement and keep writing…you definitely keep the humor in the crazy situations of life.

  • Kim Aguilar

    I’m pretty sure you hated my guts in high school for awhile. And then, one day, we were friends. You, and Anna and Rachel and Teresa and Melissa (and a few of those choir boys), were the best part of my two short years in Belton. That surprise going away party you had for me? Knocked my socks off. To this day, no one has ever put on a party like that for me. I missed you all terribly after that, but was a horrible correspondent. Thankful for facebook and blogging, which brought us back in touch.

  • Kim Aguilar

    No apology necessary. At all! I remember just being so grateful when the wall came down (whatever the cause) because the love? It’s mutual. I always wanted to be your friend. And I’m so grateful you’re mine.

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