This is our story and we're sticking to it

she said
he said

Chapter One: The meeting

From the moment I heard his voice, I felt a connection to Travis. We first spoke while I was on the phone with my college friend (and Travis’ brother) Tyler. Our first conversation revolved around our love of our espresso machines. Much like my unhealthy addiction to caffeine, I was hooked. Several days later (July 5th, 2003—Tyler’s birthday), Tyler called and told me that Travis was in a horrible campfire accident. When we finally spoke again, Travis told me about a doctor appointment on July 10th. I tried to visit him at the burn unit, but the nurses were skeptical of a person who had no clue what the patient looked like. We finally met that evening. It was an odd first encounter—I’ve never changed a date’s bandages before. We talked for hours by the pool and I would never be the same.
I recall speaking with Kaylan first over the phone several times before we finally met for the first time. I remember the first time we met. I was laying on the floor at Ralph’s apartment reading a book. I couldn’t tell you everything we said, but I know we talked a lot. The conversation eventually migrated from the living room to the pool side where we continued to talk and get to know each other until nearly sunrise.

Chapter Two: Going the Distance

The best thing for our relationship was the toughest. While we met in Tulsa, I attended OU in Norman, Oklahoma and he returned to Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. Although the distance was tough, our friendship grew stronger. Thanks to driving buddies like Molly, I was a road warrior. Over time, the 168 miles became second nature. After graduation, we both moved back to Tulsa (albeit on opposite sides of the city).
College was definitely some of the best years of my life (at least so far – something tells me it’s going to keep getting better). At times it was frustrating holding up a relationship over a 2.4 GHz wireless connection. But I would just remind her (and myself) that if we could get past the distance, it would make our relationship that much stronger. I also looked at it as a way to get to know her better through all of that talking. I never had a car until after I graduated, so there was the special treat of her coming up to visit me. It was really cool to take her to the local coffee house (College Hill Coffee – I miss that place) and just have her around while I was working away at the college radio station.

Chapter Three: Trial by Fire

During my first semester of law school, I received a lot of empathy from a myriad of people. However, Travis endured the challenges of my first year along with me. As he started a “real” job and I moved into the library, time became a true luxury. Along with working hard, we played hard. Travis shared his passions with me—including teaching me how to fish and survive a mosh pit. I helped him survive his first plane ride and trip to the beach. We make a great team.
Ahh yes, the chapter on the law school experience. She’s working away at her last semester at the time of this writing. They all said it couldn’t be done (“it” being a serious relationship during law school). There’s not really a secret to it. I don’t believe so anyways. It just takes some patience and persistence. I knew Kaylan was the person I wanted to marry and I wasn’t about to let her go very easily. I do my best to be patient and understanding of her space and time constraints while she’s studying, preparing for the next competition, or otherwise juggling school related work. I think the occasional vacation and forced relaxation sessions help.

Chapter Four: The Proposal

After my second year of law school, I spent the summer working in Washington D.C. Travis came to visit for 10 fantastic days. As hard as it was to be apart for almost 2 months, the feeling of picking him up at the airport almost made it worth it. We had a blast touring the city together, especially the National Zoo (my favorite place—right across the street from my apartment). I was convinced that he would propose on the 4th of July. I am very hard to surprise and Travis did a great job of throwing me off the scent. Our last Saturday was jam-packed. We toured our future home (the White House), found an amazing burger joint (5 Guys—my new favorite) and explored the zoo even more. As much as I love the zoo, I wanted to visit some other sights on our last free day together. Travis insisted on making sure we stopped by the pandas one last time. At 7:00 pm on July 7th, 2007, Travis surprised me with the most perfect proposal of all time.
I had planned on going to this huge Christian music festival called Cornerstone. But\ while I’m planning for this, I kept hearing everybody talk about how July 7th, 2007 was going to be biggest day for weddings on recent record. It was also the day my favorite band – Saviour Machine – was supposed to release their exciting final album (which didn’t happen, it got postponed – again). I also thought that it was a pretty neat concept. I’m not really huge into numerology, but as a once time (and perhaps still occasional) amateur student of eschatology, I understand that they have importance. So I couldn’t pass up this great opportunity. I cancelled the trip to Cornerstone and used what I had saved to make the plunge and visit Henry’s (the local jeweler Kaylan once told me the she wanted an engagement ring from). The trip to Washington D.C. was epic. I had never attempted such a venture by myself before and carrying around an engagement ring the whole time didn’t help calm any nerves. But I can’t imagine it turning out more perfect. Kaylan seemed like she was almost expecting a proposal and at one point after the 4th of July was quite upset that I didn’t propose to her by now. It was incredibly difficult not to say anything, but I really wanted to wait for the right time and day. Close to the start of the trip, I asked her what her favorite place in Washington D.C. was and she said that hands down, it was the zoo. I knew that was where I was going to propose. At that point, it was just a matter of where at inside the zoo. As much as I tried to plan, when the time came, it was really more of a matter of finding a place that was secluded from running and screaming children. Nearby the Ailuropoda melanoleuca exhibit, I found the perfect spot. The background was gorgeous and it was at last the perfect time. I reached into the camera bag, pretending to put away a lens, and pulled out the ring (yes, on one knee) and asked her if she would marry me.