Nick's point of view about how we met, fell in love and got married is better than my version. Enjoy!
So here's how it happened: Kelly and I were in the same undergrad program for about a year so we shared all the same classes. The problem was Kelly never put out that, "I'm single, flirt with me" vibe so I just made the logical assumption that she was dating someone. Towards the end of that year, I knew my National Guard unit was going to be heading to Germany for about two years so I really wasn't expecting any new relationships to start up.
Well you know what they say about love finding you when you finally stop looking for it, it finds you. During one of our classes we had to do a fitness test that consisted of walking as fast as we could (without running) for one mile on the indoor track at the University of Cincinnati. The mile was 9 laps I think and Kelly and I somehow ended up starting the test next to each other. While I was taking this test very seriously and walking as fast as possible, Kelly just wouldn't let me walk faster than her. Then I wouldn't let her walk faster than me and back and forth until we just looked at each other and started laughing.
|Even though our nephew Chris doesn't get it we laugh A LOT!|
It was our first conversation and on the second lap I broke out with, "OK. Here's what's going to happen... I'm going to Germany for a couple years so while I'm gone you'll finish undergrad and start PT school." Kelly was following me so far. "Then I'll be done with the military and we'll get married (remember, this is our first conversation) and once you're done with school we'll move out to Colorado." The craziest thing happened just then, Kelly didn't run! There's nothing better than being yourself, which for me is just a goof ball, and being completely accepted.
|Ah to be accepted as I are :)|
So instead of something like, "Ummmm too fast creeper." Kelly cracked me up when she totally went with it and said, "That's fine, but just so you know, I'll need a ring from Tiffany." And so our conversation went on like that as we each refused to let the other walk fastest. We laughed at how much our shins burned and how we lapped every other student in our class, but when we stopped we realized that we had walked two more laps than we needed to! You know you found a good one when you just get lost in conversation. Kelly and I got to continue that conversation as we walked back to where she lived, which just happened to be where I was ticked off I had to park that morning.
I was sure nobody would want to start a relationship with someone who was sure to be gone for the next two years so I just felt free to act like myself. Some of the things that stand out as what not to do include putting your phone number in a girl's phone as "Husband Nick", bending a fork into the shape of a ring and putting it on her finger during her birthday party, and continuing all of the jokes into the rest of our classes to the point that most of our classmates wanted to puke. When we got to that point in a friendship where it's either the friend zone or the, "do you wanna wear my varsity jacket," I told Kelly I completely understand that she probably wouldn't want to start a trans-Atlantic relationship with me. Nothing was more surprising than when she simply said, "Why don't you let ME make that decision?"
Ten months later, we got engaged on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and two years after we had our first kiss at Ault Park in Cincinnati, we had our wedding reception in the same place. It's been great to see what came out of that second lap. God has been amazing to us. Kelly got her ring, I got to move to Colorado and even though we didn't mention Ethiopia while we were walking it's been one of the best things to happen to us.
|At the base of the Eiffel Tower after she said yes!|
We are so thankful for everyone who has been reading this and supporting us with prayer and even donations. Our week as the featured family on Give1 Save1 has gotten off to an unbelievable start thanks to you and your willingness to share our story with your friends. Words can't describe how blessed we feel to have you as our friends and family. Thank you thank you thank you!
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