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Callie and Nathan Ziegler are college sweethearts who have been married just over four years. This Valentine’s Day, the parents of Anders and Rosie are happy to share a few of their ‘marriage survival’ secrets.

Ah, to be in love. And even better, to stay in love. Most married couples will tell you that takes some work. And they are right. But when it works, well, it is good for everyone. 

Nathan and Callie Ziegler are in love, still in the newlywed stage of love, having been married for just over four years.

“My favorite things about Nate are that he is loving, kind and such a hard worker. I am so lucky that I get to work with, live with and parent with my best friend,” said Callie.

They might be fairly new at this marriage-thing, but they have some good, sage advice for making a marriage work and keeping love alive.

“People should make time for their marriage. Never stop dating. Hold hands when you are fighting or arguing and start each day with a kiss,” advises Callie.

“We communicate,” Nathan chimed in. “It took some time to adjust to each other’s love language, but once we figured it out, everything fell into place. We love being together, which is good because we keep working in the same place.”

Both Zieglers are teachers and both taught in Browning for a time before taking teaching jobs in Cut Bank. Callie teaches second grade at H.C. Davis Elementary School. Nathan teaches first grade at the same school. 

Nathan graduated from MSU-Bozeman with a degree in Fish and Wildlife. “But I couldn’t find any jobs hiring in my field. One day, Browning was in need of someone to long-term sub in a first-grade classroom and it was at the school where Callie worked. I took the opportunity, thinking it would just be a job to make money while I continued my search for a biology job. However, I fell in love with it and here we are,” said Nathan. 

Nathan will be getting his P-3 education degree this spring from the University of Montana-Western. He is teaching through a provisional teaching license.

Callie also graduated from MSU-Bozeman where she earned her degree in elementary education. She taught first grade in Browning for four years.

“I became a teacher because I love to learn and as a teacher I get to share my love of learning. I also love the challenges of being a teacher and connecting with kiddos,” Callie shared. 

These two sweet lovebirds were married in 2015 at the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex after dating for several years while both were going to college at MSU-Bozeman. 

Callie admitted their first date did not go as planned and perhaps, Nathan could have done a better job of making that first-date impression.

“We met as sophomores in college through my best friend. I was throwing her a birthday dinner and we had reservations at a restaurant in Bozeman and Nate was invited. He and a few of his friends showed up late and the restaurant made us move some tables to make room for them. Not the best first impression,” she said laughing. 

“We met at a mutual friend’s birthday party in college. Callie had set up the whole thing and I showed up late, which was probably a little annoying,” Nathan confessed.

However, they “hit it off from there and kept making excuses to see each other,” he added. “We dated for a few years and I eventually proposed to her by the duck pond on the MSU campus.”

“I definitely remember we hit it off right away and became very good friends after that first night. We started dating a few months after we met and dated all through college. He proposed our senior year of college at the MSU duck pond and we were married in 2015,” Callie said.

They have two children, Anders, who is two and Rosemary “Rosie” who was born last November. 

They know that keeping their marriage alive, means working at it and both are on board to do just that. 

“We make time to connect. Each day we make a point to laugh together, talk about what brought us joy that day and pray for one another. We try to leave work at work, but it is fun to be able to collaborate together at work. We eat lunch together, which I love because at home we tend to be in parent mode,” Callie said.

She continued, “It is comforting to know that he understands what I am going through when I have a tough day. We can truly empathize with one another. The absolute best part is that we both have holidays and summers off–together.”

Nathan agreed with his lovely bride. “Leave your work at work. We both know that days are hard and we may need to vent so we will set a little time aside to talk about work. However, once we get home, we know that our focus needs to change. We have to remember that it isn’t our spouse’s fault or our children’s fault that we had a rough day so we shouldn’t take it out on them.”

Knowing all that, Nathan added, “I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today, if not for my wife. She has taught me more than anyone. We work well together and haven’t had any problems being around each other 24-7. It is great having the same hours and the same breaks because it gives us more time together with our family and we can plan vacations so easily.” 

It would seem these two Valentines have things pretty well in hand as it relates to their work life, marriage and being parents. While there might be struggles along the way, they know the one thing that will keep everything working in their favor, is the love they have for each other.

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