Kaitlin and Tyler

Image 1 of Kaitlin and Tyler

How We Met

Our love story begins as any good one does. “This one time at band camp,” I spotted the new guy setting up his tenor saxophone in the band room. I was immediately intrigued. Lucky for me, the tenors joined the tuba section for a movement-long feature in the field show that year. This meant marching and rehearsing next to him everyday for the next few months. After (what I thought were) many unsuccessful attempts at impressing him with my tuba charm, I decided to seize the day and asked him to our school’s winter formal. He said yes, even though he thought I asked him as a pity date. Sad.

We graduated from high school and spent the next four years over 400 miles apart. We survived off of text message life updates, weekend visits, Google Doc paper-editing sessions, summers that went by too quickly, and brief phone conversations on the way to class.

Image 2 of Kaitlin and Tyler

I remember thinking at 18 that if we could make it through four years of long distance, we could make it through anything. Little did I know that life would throw much bigger, less manageable obstacles in our way over the next few years. But through it all — distance, growing pains, my long and ever growing list of chronic illnesses, really bad haircuts, financial ups and downs — we have remained a constant. Distance was by no means our biggest test, but my 18 year-old self was more wise than I realized. We can make it through anything.

Image 3 of Kaitlin and Tyler

how they asked

We woke up on the morning of our seventh anniversary with very laid-back plans. We were going to get some lunch, see a movie, and see how the rest of the day played out.

He is a more outwardly sentimental person than I am, and suggested that we be cute and recreate our first date: a picnic lunch followed by a 3D movie. Oh, high school.

Image 4 of Kaitlin and Tyler

We drove up to our hometown, got deli sandwiches, and headed to a local park just as we had seven years prior. But it was cold and windy, and I may or may not have refused to get out of the car. We ate our lunch in the parking lot, but after some serious coercion and guilt-tripping, I agreed to a quick loop around the park before the movie.

He asked below the tree that we sat under on our first date. I’m glad I got out of the car.

Image 5 of Kaitlin and Tyler