Almost 6 years ago I walked into Jesse Brown's Outdoors Store in an attempt to entertain my new-to-adulthood-self. I had recently moved to Charlotte and hardly knew anyone. I was in the process of realizing that built-in friends are a commodity of my former school-aged days, so I considered any friendly faced stranger to be a potential new friend. I guess it was my lucky day. I noticed a photo near the register while I was checking out. It was a moment frozen in time. A shot of a weathered hiker accomplishing the final ascent of the Appalachian Trail -- meeting his through-hiker destiny (something I have longed to do). I said something about the photo to the cashier and he identified the weathered hiker as a skinnier, bearded version of himself. I asked him a million questions about hiking all 2,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail. In turn, he uncovered the truth about my recent move and lack of friends...and the rest is history. Matt is incredibly genuine and kind. He's motivated and disciplined. And he could not have landed a more perfect match for his wonderfulness. Jennifer.

I had the incredible privilege of spending houuurrrss of one on one time with Jennifer every week not that long after meeting her. We spent hour after hour running side-by-side each Saturday morning for 4 months. We were training for the Chicago marathon...but it feels kinda like speed dating. You can learn so much about a person when the alternative is listening to your feet pound the pavement for hours. Jennifer was always keeping me in line (and entertained)...she's overflowing with encouragement and she's willing to do anything for anyone. There is just a sense of easiness about her. She lets you be you. And it feels good to be her friend. She is intentional and kind. And I love that she and Matt found each other.

My words to picture ratio is getting a little out of hand, so that's enough out of me. It was a wonderful experience to document the union of two people that I like so much. Matt and Jennifer, thank you for being in my life. And...happy marriage!