Our Cast of Characters:
Sean Gardell – husband, engineer, website designer, actor, fencer, archer. Asked Briana to marry him on stage at an Enter the Haggis concert in NYC in 2005, and has been rolling in the brownie points ever since.
Briana Gardell – wife, project assistant, photographer, actress, amateur seamstress, archer. Has aspirations of being Martha Stewart, but none of the energy. Also the main author of this blog, and not really sure why she didn’t put herself first on this list…or why she’s talking in the third person.
Natalie Gardell – our newest cast member, our daughter. Enjoys sleeping, drinking milk, and making funny faces.
London – part siamese, part himalayan, all momma’s boy. Loves to cuddle, chase his brother, and wake momma up for attention in the mornings.
Malcolm – Full name, Captain Malcolm Reynolds headmaster of Kittenfarts, sometimes referred to as the Monkey. Loves scritches, toys, chasing his brother around, and dragging arbitrary items into momma and daddy’s bed in the mornings.
We met backstage at one of Sean’s shows in 2002. It was the summer before my senior year in high school and his junior year in college, and I had a friend in the same show. There’s much dispute about our first meeting, but it all boils down to me having to go home rather than join them for a late dinner, and him starting to date another girl that night. Our paths crossed again when we worked behind the scenes of a show a month or so later. He was still in a relationship, but we became good friends during that time. Fast forward to January. We were talking online and he was on the phone with his girlfriend, trying desperately to end the conversation. Three hours later he hangs up and sends the following message: “Well, it took me three hours, but I’m single again.” We went out a week later.
Spring and summer flew by and I had graduated high school. I headed to the University of Delaware in September, and we were determined to make the long distance thing work. It wasn’t easy. Sean drove his car into the ground making the 5 hour drive once a month to see me on a weekend. I went through a bucket load of calling cards my freshman year before I got a job and a cell phone. My grandfather passed away my sophomore year, followed by my best friend’s father, and he was by my side. In April 2005 (spring break Sophomore year), we went into NYC to see our favorite band play. Little did I know, but Sean had commiserated with the band to call him up on stage. So he could propose to me. In front of 500 people. And look way smooth while I melted into a shaking bundle of knee-less nerves. And then they made us dance.
Two and a half years later he made good on that proposal, and we married on August 12, 2007.
In December 2007, Sean gave me the cutest Christmas present ever. We scoured Petfinder for a young cat to warm our hearts and laps. Our first inquiry was snatched up, but then we saw a picture of a beautiful 6 month old Siamese/Himalayan mix. When we first met him, he didn’t seem too keen on us and refused to budge from his cage. Meanwhile another pretty white thing was loving us 6 ways from Tuesday. After a quick conference, Sean put his foot down and said we should take the chance on the one we came to see. Best gamble ever.
In August 2008, we closed on our first home. London had his mind blown when he discovered stairs, but things seemed a little empty still. We worked 9-5 hours, and our theater commitments left London alone more than he liked. So in October of 2009 we revisited Petfinder and headed to look at a cute little long haired gray girl. When we arrived we were met by a swarm of kittens. Seriously, not even Oscar the Grouch could be grumpy in that place. They were playing, running, tumbling, and oozing with cuteness. The little one we came to see had zero interest in us. She’d wriggle out of our hands and run off to play with a toy. We were a bit bummed. But this little tabby would hop up on Sean’s knee and perch, watching them, and tremble with purrs. He’d occasionally dart off to play, but would always come back and perch on his knee. He was the brother of the little girl we’d come to see, and no one had shown interest in him. His sister had a waiting list of inquiries. Our minds were made up, and this little tabby was our Malcolm. The two are inseparable.
December 17, 2011 brought our little peanut, Natalie, into the world. We discovered we were expecting a baby while working on the production of Hamlet with Stageloft Theater. So technically she tread the boards in utero – I doubt it will be long before she’s stealing scenes in her own show.