How did you two meet? We met on a cold Christmas night in south western China where we were both serving in the Peace Corps. We ate street food with a group of friends in a tent outside, but it wasn’t until the following night that we really hit it off. It was 2009, and we’ve been together ever since.
What has been your favorite part of wedding planning? I think wedding planning has actually brought us closer together as a couple.It is such a massive undertaking, and I am lucky to have someone willing to help with the big and the small tasks. His patience and willingness to help has only made our relationship stronger. On a side note–the flowers are my favorite, and Jim’s least favorite aspect. I would have an entire wedding dress made of flowers that would die in a week if I could.
What is your favorite memory together? Our favorite memories together are more recent. We’ve had our dog Sherpa now for two years, and love to go hiking with her. She’s a trooper. She went on an 8.2 mile hike with us last year, and then slept for about 2 days. We love being out doors together and taking her with us. We have great conversation in the woods with a happy dog running around.
What was your favorite date? Valentines day, 2011, because it was our first real big date after moving in with each other that year in Pittsburgh. Jim spent a long time planning, bought me a dress I had said I liked, flowers, and brought us to a fantastic restaurant. It was a very romantic gesture, and helped to reaffirm that moving in together was the right step for us.
How did the proposal go? In spirit of our meeting on Christmas years before, Jim proposed on Christmas eve 2013 in our apartment in Alexandria, VA. I had no idea he was planning it. We typically unwrap one gift each on Christmas eve, and it’s usually the “not so nice gift”. I gave him his gift first. It was poorly wrapped with two types of wrapping paper because I ran out of one roll in the middle of wrapping it. It was a BLENDER. I gave him a Blender, and then he gave me a beautiful box with a unique ring box and diamond ring hiding inside. I was both elated with joy and completely embarrassed at the same time. I gave him a blender, and he gave me a diamond ring! It was the ring that my grandmother had, and I was so happy to see it remain in our family. Jim’s proposal was romantic and full of personal and thoughtful touches. Also, I couldn’t believe that my parents knew he was going to propose and didn’t spill the beans!
What is your favorite place to go to dinner? It’s a now unattanable place… this small restaurant in Beijing that we called, “Fatty’s”. It had our favorite food– Gan Guo, was right around the corner from our apartment, and included the character for “fat” in it’s name. We liked to nick-name all of our favorite restaurants in China. Fatty’s was our favorite, and still is.
What is your favorite thing about your fiancé? Jim on Kristen: …when she gets really excited about everyday items/events, like all the topping options at the frozen yogurt joint, new flowers, and going to the farmer’s market. Its an excitement I don’t feel I get regularly, and she rubs off on me a bit, which is nice.
Kristen on Jim: …he has the best heart of anyone I know. I trust you completely, and love his love for reason and logic. Sometimes it’s like he’s read every study ever conducted in the history of the world. He’s subtle about how he applies his knowledge though. He’s humble, but knows how to pick his battles. It’s an admirable quality…one of his many.