How We Met
The first time we met was in July 2014, at a restaurant called Urban Butcher, in Silver Spring, MD, where Matt was the head butcher. I had been living in Silver Spring for about six months at this point, but had never been inside. I was actually on a date with someone else that night, and since he knew Matt through a friend, he had asked Matt to come to the table to provide us with a charcuterie board (probably my first one, but definitely not my last!) and eventually a tour of the restaurant, where we heard all about how Matt became a butcher in the first place. I remember thinking how cool the whole concept was and how I couldn’t believe I had never been inside the restaurant before. For the next 5 months, we would see each other a few times, as we both dated other people and the summer continued on. And all that time, all I knew him as was: “Matt the Butcher.” I lived about 2 blocks from Urban and never went back in, but walked past it at least twice a day as I commuted to the metro to go to work in DC. I even remember one chance “run in” as Matt was leaving work and I was walking up the hill from the metro, and it took us a second to recognize each other, but as soon as we did we chatted for a few minutes and parted ways. Then comes November. I was out at a bar with some of my friends and one of them was one of Matt’s roommates. Luckily, he encouraged Matt to come meet us since at the moment, Matt’s friend was the only guy hanging out with five girls. That was a night I will always remember because it was the night that both of us realized (through separate conversations with our friends) that we each had an interest in the other. I can recall sitting next to him and chatting for the rest of the night, and all the while thinking about how kind, funny and handsome he was. We were inseparable that night, as we left to go to another party, and continued to just hang out the two of us, even breaking into a dance off at some point (which I won!), and that was the night we had our first kiss. I remember it all like it was in slow motion, butterflies and all. A few weeks later I had a small party at my apartment for my 24th birthday, and of course I had to invite Matt, who showed up with a bottle of whiskey just for me. To make a long story short, we once again spent the entire night talking and dancing. And that is the date we now use as our anniversary, since it’s the day we both realized that we wanted there to be an “us.” And that’s that. We’ve been together ever since.
(This is the following February, our first Valentine’s Day together at Urban Butcher)
how they asked
After spending five days on vacation in San Francisco to celebrate Matt’s birthday, we traveled on to Tucson, Arizona to visit his family. We had gotten in the night before and decided to go on a hike together the next morning while we waited for his sister, brother in-law, and nephew to drive down from Phoenix where they lived. Now, Matt had explained to me what this hike would entail prior to our trip, but I either didn’t believe him, or I wasn’t quite listening as well as I should have been. So it’s fair to say that I did not realize what I was about to get into… We drove about 25 or so minutes through Tucson, driving through the city and eventually winding through the mountains that surround it until we got to a picnic area where we stopped to park the car. And thus began the hike. And when I say hike, I mean it. There were no man-made trails, no steps to walk up, it was just Matt, myself, and random rain trails and animal paths that he had found in high school when he was exploring with his friends. As we started up the side of Mount Lemmon, it took me about 100 feet to realize that not only did the altitude make it hard to breathe, but that the rest of this hike was going to be completed on all fours grabbing for rocks, dirt and “tree” trunks to grab onto to continue upwards. With Matt leading the way, we were climbing at a quick pace, and multiple times we had to stop because I was afraid I was going to fall, and also because I couldn’t breathe. But all the while, I had him to look up to, grabbing my hand and leading me up the mountain, relying on each other to make it. Halfway up, we stopped at a car-size boulder to catch our breath and so that I could re-gain my confidence that I could make it to the top. All the while, Matt kept saying, “Don’t worry, it will be worth it when we get to the top.” So, off we went. Up and up, and finally, we get to the top. BUT, Matt is insistent that we move to a boulder off into the distance. “That’s the best one to see everything,” he continues to say, and so, I follow. We shimmy up and over and in between these HUGE rocks, and then, finally we make it to THE one he wanted. Immediately I ask for my phone from Matt’s bag to start documenting and taking photos and for some water, and he continues to grab around inside the bag for something. And then he says, “Don’t turn around, I have a surprise snack for us, something you’ve never had before.” I respond by saying, “Okay…” (thinking to myself, “OOHHHH A SNACK!”) After a few minutes, he says I can turn around, and there he is, on one knee… “Will you marry me?” he says. And all I can do is (in this order): gasp, cry and cry some more. Eventually he stands up to hug me, unsure of what to do since I could barely get a word out, and when I could, of course I said YES! We spent the next 20 minutes or so, enjoying the view, trying to get me to stop crying, hugging and taking photos, and most of all just enjoying that PERFECT MOMENT. It was everything I could have ever asked for. Just simple. Matt and I. Conquering a challenge. Depending on each other. Making it through no matter what. And that is what our relationship has always been about. And that it was our marriage will always be about. Supporting and loving each other no matter what. I’m so lucky to call Matt my fiance, and can’t wait to call him my husband.
(The two pictures above are from right after he asked and I said yes!!)
(Luckily, we had already planned family photos for later that weekend, so two days after we got engaged, we got to take some engagement pictures in the desert in Tucson, AZ!)