Kaila and I were born three days and forty miles apart, and spent much of our lives living just down the road from each other in the Berkshires of Western, MA. That said, we really didn't become friends until we were in college (despite going to different colleges), but it didn't take long for that friendship to grow into the best one either of us had ever had. Kaila completed an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice at Cazenovia College and I self-designed a Speech and Hearing Science undergrad at Smith College. We both graduated in 2009.
After undergrad, Kaila moved to Concord, NH after accepting a position as an officer with the Concord Police Department, and I moved to Boston to attend the PhD program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology at Harvard and MIT.
Finally, within a short driving distance of each other, we spent a lot of time together. At one point, we actually made (half-jokingly) a pact that we should just marry each other if we weren’t married by age 30. As you may suspect, eventually our friendship grew into something more, something that perhaps had been there all along but we just weren't ready see it.
I actually owe a lot to John Mayer, who’s song “Say What You Need To Say” came on the radio one day after Kaila left my house, and apparently was what convinced her to turn around and come back and tell me how she really felt. It took me a little while to make sense of it all and be willing to risk losing my best friend for the potential of what our relationship could hold, but it was the best leap of faith I’ve ever taken. She is, and always has been, my person.
I was finishing up my PhD in the spring of 2014 and Kaila had transferred to working with the NH State Police by then and we had to make some tough decisions about what to do next. I decided to pursue a clinical doctorate in Audiology and Kaila spent much of that year visiting programs across the country with me (despite having an incredible fear of flying… she was a trooper, pun intended).
Perhaps serendipitously, UMass Amherst offered me everything I was looking for, and Kaila was able to transfer to the part of the state within an easy commute from Amherst, and so we picked up and move to a town neither of us knew anything about and bought our first home together. Last fall, Kaila surprised me with the most perfect proposal I could have ever imagined on top of Mt. Greylock (a staple from our shared hometown in the Berkshires) on a stunning fall day. We had talked about getting married, but after a big move and buying the house, I thought it was pretty far off in the future. She definitely managed to completely surprise me (which is no easy task). We have spent the last year enjoying our new home and planning our wedding, and this fall, almost a year to the day from when we were engaged, I will finally be able to call her my wife. We will be married at Kitz Farm in Strafford, NH and are beyond excited to be putting all the finishing touches on everything as the date nears.
Our engagement photos were taken by the ever-so-talented Ally Schmaling at various locations nearby our home in Swanzey, New Hampshire, and the handsome boy in the bowtie is our 6-month-old Lab/Weimaraner mix, Berkley.