Our story began 27 years ago when Rachel and I shared a Kindergarten classroom at Handley School in Saginaw, MI. She was my first crush and my first kiss. As early as age 9 I knew that Rachel was someone special. I even used the money earned over a summer collecting and selling night crawlers to buy her a gift. A gold pendant bracelet with both our names engraved on it. I had no idea that this token of a childhood love would represent a bond even bigger than I could have imagined. I'm also pretty sure it still fits her today. From the playgrounds of Handley school grew an appreciation for each other that would last a lifetime.
After Handley, we were separated by different high schools, colleges, and experiences. After graduating from U of M I moved to Los Angeles, St. Croix for awhile, then ended up back in LA. Rachel decided to continue her education and began medical school at Michigan State University.
In the fall of 2012 my mom was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. I moved back home to spend time with her and my family. Now that we were both in Michigan, Rachel and I rekindled our friendship. After a few run-ins during the holiday season, I finally made my move. In April of 2014 I took her out to celebrate her birthday (our first date). We spent the night popping bottles of champagne, eating, and laughing more than I had in awhile. The night ended under the stars, trying to identify constellations. Rachel remains completely confident in her astrological knowledge, but I was there. This memory remains a special one to us both still today.
In the months that followed our first date we faced separation because of jobs, schooling, and travel. When we both returned to Michigan again, we took full advantage of the opportunity to be in a more serious relationship. It didn’t take long to realize that it was one of the best decisions we had ever made.
We have spent the last couple of years growing our relationship and enjoying life together. We now live in metro Detroit with our dog Murphy and are grateful to have exciting new adventures and experiences almost daily. In the last couple of years we have called multiple places home, we've built, grown, and sold businesses together, cared for some of Detroit's sickest population, traveled to Panama, Mexico, Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and California. We've attended countless football games and music festivals with friends and even road-tripped across the country for Burning Man. We have made so many beautiful friendships and memories along the way, and we are so fortunate to be on this ride together-- I can't imagine it any other way.