Holly and I met an a very unconventional way. There were many versions of the story told over the years depending on the audience or what Holly felt comfortable in sharing. The reality is stranger than any of the other stories she would occasionally tell. I am about to blow your mind with some geekiness.

We met playing the game World of Warcraft. Yes. A nerdy video game. Holly was in a guild on another server and for whatever reason they transferred to the server I was already on. The name of the guild was YARG and when they hit my server they become the top guild in a very short period of time. I applied (yes, it is really that geeky) and was accepted onto their raiding team. At the time I had no idea who she was.

I eventually made it on to the main raiding roster and was a part of many Alliance first server kills. At one time I think we even flirted with being a US top 100 guild. Holly was mostly a social player and was always being the social butterfly. Not much different than in real life. One night when not a lot of people were on we started talking and came to find out we had a lot in common. I was living in California at the time and she was living in Texas. As odd as it was, we fell in love amazingly quickly. Around that time I had moved back to Oregon temporarily. Within 3 months Holly had packed up her BMW with as much stuff as she could take and without a word to anyone, headed west to come meet me. Looking back it was entirely crazy but somehow it just worked for us.

Shortly after Holly got to Oregon we rented a house in Lincoln City, Oregon and moved to the coast. The house was right on the Pacific and had amazing views up and down the beach. It was amazing. We stayed there a couple of months where our days consisted of walking the dogs up and down the beach each morning. We ate at small little coastal restaurants that would eventually know us by name. It was truly one of the best times in my life. Just Holly and I and the dogs. It was perfect.

Eventually our money dwindled down and it was time to get a real job. I interviewed for a digital marketing position in Bend, OR and was offered the job. We packed up all our stuff and headed to Eugene where we dropped everything at my dad's house. We booked plane tickets to Texas where we proceeded to pack all of her furniture, clothing, and everything else into a 24 foot U-Haul. After saying our goodbyes to Holly's parents we hopped in the truck and headed west.

We found a cute little house in Bend and moved in. My job allowed me to work from home. For that first year Holly and I spent almost every single day together. Aside from a couple of trips she took to Texas to visit her parents, we were inseparable. With Holly I never had that feeling of needing personal time away from her. I loved spending time together even just doing the mundane things in life. She truly was my best friend.

On a grey and drizzly day I asked Holly to marry me while standing on the Cardinal Bridge in the resort town of Sunriver, OR. The Deschutes River slowly glided below us looking more like ink than water. She said yes. We laughed. We cried. We were happy. We were also engaged. It was honestly one of the happiest days of my life. I was going to marry my best friend.

Holly and I had decided to elope rather than have a full wedding. Having just taken a new job and wanting to be frugal we decided to get married in San Francisco at City Hall. Getting married in city hall in most cities is probably fairly under-whelming. Not in SF. It is unbelievable gorgeous. Holly's best friend Kelsea and her husband Jason met us there on June 11, 2009 to be our witnesses. The ceremony was simple and quick and perfect. We were married!

Holly and I spent the weekend in the city and had a great time exploring and having fun. We had both been there several times previously but this was the first time together. We spent several hours at Vesuvio. It is an old (and moderately famous) pub where we planned our life sitting in the front table by the window. It is one of my best memories of her. As the weekend ended we hopped in the car and headed back north toward home. A little south of Bend we saw an amazing rainbow. We stopped and took pictures and the world just seemed... good.

That fall we found out we would be having a baby. For those that new Holly, being a mother was the one thing she wanted more than anything else in life. It was finally going to be a reality. Her pregnancy went really well. We had more doctor appointments than most due to Holly's AVM. Aside from that everything was pretty routine. Aside from her desire to eat Appleby's (which I hate) all the time, it was a great experience for me as well.

We welcomed Sophie Jean Christensen into the world on July 1st, 2010.

To be continued...