Becoming “The Parkers”

How We Met

I’m from Texas. Brad is from Illinois. So, how did we meet? There are a couple of versions to the story (mine, his and our friends’). But basically, in early April 2006, while I was living in Peoria, IL, I traveled with friends to Purdue University in Lafayette, IN for Grand Prix (an annual event on campus). In true “Breakfast Club” fashion, we had a fun morning partying, while Brad was refereeing youth soccer back in Peoria. At the time, Brad and I had not met, but were (unknowingly) at the same going away party for a mutual friend the night before.

At the last minute, Brad made plans with two friends to make the road trip to Purdue to catch up with everyone later in the day. We all met up at a BBQ and that is where Brad and I were first officially introduced. He claims it was love at first sight and proceeded to try to get my attention by making fun of me ALL AFTERNOON. Needless to say, I found this extremely irritating, but since we had mutual friends, we ran into each other often in the next several weeks. Within a month after meeting, we were pretty much inseparable and made our relationship “official” about 3 months later.

Dating

After we started “officially” dating, we only lived in the same city for about 3 months before I started a series of work rotations in Indiana, Miami, Singapore and Hamburg (Germany). Although it was difficult at times, we had a blast when Brad came to visit! We traveled a TON, ate exotic food, met awesome people and saw some really amazing places.

We eventually made the ‘permanent’ move to Greenville, SC, where we spent 5 years before moving to Chicago and eventually Virginia.

The Proposal

In August 2009, we travelled to Santiago, Chile to visit great friends (see identical twins in party pic above and at the bachelorette party here), go snowboarding and to drink tons of Chilean Wine go wine tasting.

On the second day of the trip, we went snowboarding at Valle Nevado Ski Resort. After lunch, Brad insisted that I wait for him to get on the lift while the rest of the group went up to the top. About half-way up the lift, he proposed and once we arrived at the top, our amazing friends were waiting with cameras and bottles of champagne to celebrate!

The Wedding

We had a whirlwind 5 month engagement…Brad flew to Costa Rica and picked our wedding location, I ran my first marathon, we traveled to Peoria for Thanksgiving and a shower, to Houston for Christmas and another shower, to Wisconsin for a New Year’s ski trip and hosted a pre-wedding party in Greenville. Finally, on Wednesday January 13, 2010, we flew Liberia, Costa Rica and arrived at the beautiful Hilton Papagayo Resort!

We were blessed that 25 of our closest friends and family were able to travel to Costa Rica and spend this amazing week with us. We spent the next 3 days fishing, zip lining and spending time with our favorites!

 And on January 16, 2010, I became Mrs. Parker!

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