Marriage, Year Two: An Ode to Continued Transformation

Well—here we are! Today, Sean and I celebrate our second wedding anniversary, and I’m so proud to say how far we’ve come, hand-in-hand. I am living proof that life can pull a complete 180 in a year… and then do it over and over (and over).

Four years ago, today (2009), I was a single, successful 24-year-old woman named Mollie Shambeau. A few years out of college from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with two bachelors’ degrees, I had never met Sean Busby and had never ridden a road bike. I was living in Madison as a well-known style/associate editor of a women’s magazine called BRAVA. I didn’t have a passport, and my stylish (jam-packed) closet of clothing was my most prized possession—and I was totally, 100% OK with that.

Here’s me with my idol (at the time), Tim Gunn (of Project Runway fame), during a day we spent together in Madison during the Madison Women’s Expo—an event produced by the magazine I worked for, BRAVA.

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Three years ago today (2010),  I had met the love of my life, was living with him in the-middle-of-nowhere in Central Utah, had secured a job in the marketing department at a boarding school, and was training for my first century bike ride. I was also shopping for my first pair of skis, and considered myself—for the first time in history—a proud dog owner.

Little did I know that Sean would propose in March of 2011 during a ski expedition to Iceland at one of the most incredible waterfalls in the country, Godafoss—Waterfall of the Gods.

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The aforementioned dogs, Daisy and Dexter; this picture really captures their true nature and the joy and laughter they bring us daily.

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Side note: Although Daisy still lives with us today, Dexter is a permanent resident of my parent’s home in Wisconsin—not because we didn’t love him or want him anymore, but because after an extended dog-sitting event, my parents refused to give him back to us! We’re happy to report Dexter is just fine being the master of his own domain.

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Two years ago today (2011), I married the love of my life in the garden across the street from my parent’s house in my little, Wisconsin hometown. The song, “Don’t Stop Believing” played as I walked down the aisle with my father. The tune paid tribute to a young boy—Jesse Alswager—who’s passing at age 13 (along with our mutual friend and my colleague from BRAVA, Michelle Alswager—Jesse’s mother) ultimately brought Sean and I together. Our anniversary will forever remind us of Jesse, who would have turned 15 years old on our wedding day. Today, he would be 17.

Photo credit Leah Aubrey Photography.

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Sean, on our wedding day with Michelle (Jesse’s mom) and her other two children, Joey and Samantha. Photo credit Laurels and Stars PhotographyAnother side note: Today, Michelle and I work together—I, as the Exec. Director and she, as the Development Director—running a nonprofit that hosts action sports camps for people with type 1 diabetes… a mission we believe her son, Jesse—who lived with type 1 diabetes, had in mind for us all along.

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One year ago today (2012), Sean and I were visiting Whitefish, Montana after a tour of the surrounding communities. We were certain we had found the place we wanted to raise our family and grow old together. After that trip, we set a goal of moving to Whitefish.

Me, taking in the scenery at Glacier National Park.

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Today, Sean and I have made our dream a reality—we sold our quaint Utah home, packed up our life, and moved to what they call “The Last Best Place,” Montana. We merged our online website/blogging efforts into one (thus, Two Sticks and a Board) and are currently planning a number of international ski expeditions for the end of 2013 and into 2014 as a team.

Utah home, SOLD!

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Montana home + 10 acres of land with a killer view to boot, FOUND!

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Adorable “Welcome to Whitefish” photo credit: Abby Dell Photography.

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Although it sounds so simple and carefree the way I summarized it, the last four years have been marked by hard work, sacrifice, determination, love, and personal and spiritual growth for the two of us. I couldn’t feel more fortunate to have found the love of my life, the plot of land we’ve always dreamed of in the one place in the world that makes both of us so unequivocally happy. Photo credit: Andrew Meehan Photography.

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Life is good. I love you, Sean. Here’s to the next chapter!

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