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Marriage Year Two | Strouse House Chronicles: Part ELEVEN

Strouse House year two was a year of transition and addition. Two months after celebrating our first anniversary Allie was offered a radio position in Richmond and after a few weeks of deliberation we packed her up and sent her east during a hurricane. That's right...if you read closely, we sent Allie to Richmond in November while Brad stayed behind in Nashville to finish out our apartment lease. We spent a few tough months living as a married couple ten hours apart, but luckily it was nothing new to us (check a few blogs back for the Nashville/Richmond dating dance)! Holidays and time together were extra special and before long it was time to move the few possessions we had back to Richmond. We spent Valentine's Day 2013 in a Uhaul. How romantic!

Our animals play a big part in our married lives and it would be remiss of me if I failed to mention the story of how we came to find Thelma Fitzergald Strouse and Dexter Mozart Strouse. Several months after getting married, Brad's brother Matt came to visit in Nashville. One of our favorite past times was going to the humane shelter to pet the puppies and kittens. This specific time Allie planted the thought while we were playing with a fresh batch of kittens, "What if we took one home...." Brad's only stipulation was that the kitten had to be playful and not mean. We quickly picked out the most friendly and playful and before long were headed to Petsmart to pick out toys with Fitzgerald (FKA Boots). It didn't take long for the professionals at Petsmart to inform us that our handsome man Fitz was actually a dainty female, hence the addition of the proper name Thelma. We still call her Fitz and a more apt name is what Brad's dad calls her- Miss Fitz.

Our pup Dex is a perfect example of our Strouse House motto "Why Do it the Easy Way?" Negotiation is a big part of Brad's day job and man did he strike a bargain on this move. In return for returning to Allie's hometown he wanted a new car and a puppy. The new Honda Civic came a few weeks before Allie moved to Richmond and the new puppy came mere hours after unloading the Uhaul. We found Dexter through Southeast German Shepherd rescue. For several months we had been scanning the website for a puppy who would be a perfect fit for house. As luck would have it a pregnant mother had been turned in to the rescue and would soon have puppies! The puppies were released for adoption and the biggest and first born was still available! Two days after arriving in Richmond we drove down to VA Beach, met Dexter, and made the two hour trip home with he and Brad in the back seat. We barely even had our bed set up and boxes were everywhere, but there was Dexter in his kennel at 12 weeks and close to 20 pounds. He's now 75 pounds and will be three this December!

2013 was all about new jobs, furry additions, new and old friends, and getting reacqainted with a city we truly love. For our anniversary trip that year we took a cruise to the Carribean. We hopped on a Carnival cruise out of Puerto Rico. We flew in a day early and managed to watch the Auburn football game in our hotel room across the street from a large cockfighting arena. We did not place any bets.... Our ship made stops in St Kitts, St Lucia, St John, and we spent our anniversary on a beach in Barbados! We love cruises because of the daily change of scenery, endless supply of food, and yes even the cheesy cruise entertainment. We definitely took advantage of the comedy club and prom-like couple photos offered every night. Ask Brad about his overshopped alien photo!

In our second year of marriage we stuck together through a long distance relationship, a cross country move, and long nights of potty training a puppy. In year three we do it big with grownup purchases, animal additions, and so much more. Stay tuned!


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