While building this website and going through the many activities involved with planning a wedding, we often look back to reflect on the beginnings of our story and how many unforeseen things aligned to bring us together and to teach us what real love means.
Some of you may not know our story and so we wanted to share some of it with you below.
How we met
The truth is, Don Tracy was our cupid. Through a random series of things related to his past political activity, we were introduced in the summer of 2016.
I'd just come off a presidential campaign and Jaclyn had been soul-searching in Argentina when she was offered a job to work for then Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign. As fate would have it, at the same time, another member of that campaign had recruited me to work there as well.
We were thrust into a situation where we had to work together and in that, we developed a deep trust and understanding of each other. As time passed, that became the foundations of our love story.
Looking back, I honestly did have that "love at first sight" moment when we first met in Chicago. Granted, at the time, I thought she'd been really hungover wearing glasses at twilight but when she took those glasses off and I saw those deep, jade-green eyes and the wild, adventure loving, free spirit - that was it for me. The rest, as they say, is history.
The First Adventure
A friend asked me to interview for a job in Los Angeles that Fall and because I knew Jaclyn loved to travel, I invited her to take a chance and go with me on an adventure. By that point, we'd been spending many of our evenings sitting on a Chicago rooftop talking about life and who we wanted to be.
And so our first official date was also our first adventure, up the Pacific Coastal Highway in California. Exploring the beauty of the West coast - the Redwoods, small towns, ocean and endless adventures - that is where we began to move through the world together.
A Life of Exploration
Jaclyn and I are deep thinkers and we're never happier than when on a new adventure, seeing something for the first time and making all of the memories along the way.
To know us is to know that we are always looking for the next opportunity to do something and to devote our lives to having a significant, positive impact on others. This shared sense of adventure fulfills us and gives us meaning.
Taking a Risk Together
In late 2017, Jaclyn decided to leave the Rauner campaign and take a risk by not only joining me in running two digital marketing companies, but also moving to live with me in Columbus, Ohio.
Let me tell you - living and working together is a challenge - and we're often asked how we make it work. The honest answer is, one day at a time. We are bound together by our admiration of the others’ talents and shared commitment that we make decisions together.
Every time I look over and see Jaclyn crushing projects or exploring big new ideas, I sit in awe of her intelligence and beauty - how she handles it all with such grace. We know that together, we are a strong force and we grow stronger together with each new challenge.
It was the end of Summer in 2018 and the time had come. We were both ready to be married and begin our new life together. But....I still needed to ask Don and Wanda for their permission.
It all happened by chance as Jaclyn and I helped them downsize the Chicago condo. I found myself in a moving truck, navigating downtown Chicago traffic with Don and I saw my moment.
Thankfully, he immediately said yes, but there was one condition. He jokingly(?) asked me to promise to become a Trump supporter!
I wasn’t too concerned about Wanda (You know...the Ohio thing...) but I was grateful to have her blessing as well (she may or may not have threatened to harm me if I didn’t “Marry Jaclyn and treat her well!”
Fast forward to Labor Day weekend when Jaclyn had invited some of her friends for a boating weekend at Don and Wanda's house in Springfield. Little did Jaclyn know that I'd been planning to propose on this weekend and that every person there knew about it other than her! My parents made the drive out there to participate in the celebration.
It was the day of Sen. McCain's funeral, so I was already pretty emotional, one of my heroes, but what better way to improve your day than by having the love of your life say yes! It was a perfect day and I wouldn’t change a thing.
One of the rules of adventuring is to not always have a plan and while we don't run our business that way, it is how we try to live our lives.
There are big challenges ahead and risks to take but we’re ready for them.
Time will tell what the future holds but I do know one thing: We'll do it together.