In the Beginning

Amidst our friends dressed in green toting cases of Guinness, Hugh first asked me out during an early St. Patrick’s Day celebration in 2008. Here we are that night, so young and happily wrapped up in college life:

We don’t have a good story about how we met, although I think we made up something compelling once about one of us saving the other’s life somehow. Anything is more interesting than “we have a lot of mutual friends.”

So we went to dinner at Outback Steakhouse on a Sunday night, the day before St. Patrick’s Day. On the ride there, in what I would come to affectionately know as El Trucko, I learned that he hates cats and doesn’t understand why most girls he knows own at least one. Lily was a little six-month-old kitten at the time, and I figured the pressure was off the rest of the night since we’d already stumbled upon the deal-breaker.

I was wrong — I still got nervous and talked pretty much the whole time. Hugh might argue that not much has changed in the four years since. We talked about the road trip he’d done the summer before and compared notes on the places we’d both been. I was excited to learn that he and Tim had visited one of my favorite stops on a family trip, Slide Rock State Park in Arizona. It was awkward, as most first dates are, but we enjoyed it enough to meet up for lunch on campus (paid for with our individual meal plans) and nights out with friends here and there for the rest of the semester.

Then I graduated, we went on the best beach trip with a ton of friends, and came to really enjoy each other’s company. Can you tell?

I stayed in Blacksburg that summer, soaking up whatever I could of college life before I absolutely had to leave. Plus, unlike most of my friends, I didn’t have a job lined up on graduation day or anytime soon after. Hugh went home to intern before his final semester and we met up for adventures every so often.

We hiked Old Rag on an especially hot day (hence my face color).

We went kayaking at Fountainhead Park, and Hugh learned how to catch “zillions” of sunfish.

We’ve had many more adventures since, and we’re excited for the biggest one yet: wedding planning marriage!