I can’t believe the big day is finally almost here. In celebration of this week, today I’m sharing our love story.

The fun twist: I’ve asked Kevin to write up his perspective of our love story as well 🙂 Enjoy!

Emma’s Story

Kevin and I met in the world of politics. We both worked on a US Senate Campaign in 2013 here in North Carolina – I was the office manager of our main campaign office, and Kevin was the Youth Director, working on campuses across the state to drum up support for our candidate. I was straight out of college and Kevin had spent 4 years soul searching through North Carolina and Florida through various jobs.

We didn’t have an instant, love-y obsessive relationship from the start. I recall hanging out at our campaign house one evening (all of the men who worked on the campaign shared a house together) when I met Kevin for the first time. My first impression of him was a good one (obviously ;)) but it wasn’t love at first sight by any means. I still have my doubts on that completely, but that’s for another post.

I was fresh out of college and everyone but myself working on the campaign had come from different areas and had moved to Raleigh for the campaign. That being said, we spent a BUNCH of time together, whether it was working together in the office, traveling the state for work events, or grabbing a drink or food after long work hours. For anyone who’s worked on campaigns, you know the deal – you eat, sleep, and breathe politics for the duration of the campaign season.

Several weeks in we discovered we both had a love/obsession for Mexican food and ended up going on very casual friend dinners – nothing romantic at all. However, these “just friend” dinners ended up lasting for hours…and hours. Trust me, it’s real easy to make chips and salsa last for awhile.

It became clear that we both had feelings for each other, but neither of us would admit it. It became very clear when Kevin finally admitted it over a drunken text one night, and I remember him coming into the office the next day with a Chickfila peace offering for what could have been a very awkward situation. I admitted to him that I had feelings for him as well, but I wasn’t willing to date a coworker. Lucky for us I had just received a job offer with a nonprofit, and had plans to leave the campaign early!

Early in our relationship things were pretty relaxed. The guys Kevin was living with liked to party a lot, so we spent a lot of time at my apartment with one of my roommates (I finished college a semester early, but continued to live with my college roommates until the end of their Spring semester). Movie nights, Kevin’s amazing shrimp and grits, and even adventures with my new dog Roxy made for some hilarious and memorable times! I distinctly remember taking Roxy to some of my favorite college bars and the local dog park with Kevin – Kevin even went with me to meet Roxy for the first time. For all she knows, Kevin has been “dad” from the very beginning!

We had to work through our biggest cause of arguments pretty early – Kevin was raised a Carolina fan (Thanks Doug and Caye!! ;)) while I am a lifelong NC State fan. To Kevin’s credit, he’s done a much better job at faking being a State fan, i’m not so good at wearing that Carolina blue. Our first *official* date was over cheese fries at the Player’s Retreat when NC State’s basketball team played in a wildcard game to enter the NCAA tournament. They won!

From the start it’s always felt like i’m doing life with my very best friend. Our relationship has grown and blossomed, but the best part is I simply get a best friend forever! I truly mean it when after the end of a long day or stressful day all I want to do is sit at home with Kevin and our puppies and relax over a home cooked meals or some Netflix. Whenever something really exciting or something really stupid happens, I always want to pick up the phone and text him or call him. I think of  holidays and the many adventures we get to go on and I want nothing more than to have Kevin by my side. He’s my sidekick, my number one fan, my confidant, my best back scratcher, bartender, chef, and puppy daddy. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you!

Kevin’s Story

How would I describe our love story? That’s a fantastic question. I suppose I’ll start at the beginning.

As 2014 rolled around I was offered a position on a U.S. Senate campaign. This involved leaving Asheville once again for a new, unexplored area. I headed to Raleigh with snow falling to move into a house with no heat, with people I didn’t know, and no major appliances that worked. What could go wrong?

To get oriented with my new town and my new co-workers, the plan was to head downtown. Before we could leave, we had to wait on the campaign’s office manager. When she finally arrived, she was impatient at us standing around, she had a bit of an attitude, rocking Taylor Swift bangs and a wool pea coat. Her name was Emma Benson.

During my first day on the job, Emma was heading out to grab Subway for lunch and politely asked if I wanted anything. It was a small but considerate gesture, one that stood out enough to me that I told my friend about it. They replied, “don’t go and date your co-worker” to which I replied, “that’s not a problem, I have no interest in her.”

Over the next few months, schedules and convenience put lunches and dinners in our paths. One night after a long day of stuffing envelopes, I remember us sitting in a Mexican restaurant for two hours discussing our backgrounds, family, and life goals. Soon after, oddly enough at another Mexican restaurant, I paid for her dinner after making the suggestion in the first place. Emma told me I didn’t need to do that, and I immediately replied that I always pay on dates – not meaning a romantic date specifically, which is how she took it. She said, “well, this isn’t a date.” Well, it was a date.

The conversations became longer, the “not dates” became more frequent, and the person I had no interest in started to become more interesting. Finally, one night during a text conversation, with the help (or influence) of some liquid courage, I blurted out that my perspective on our friendship had shifted. With the same consistent bluntness, she said we would discuss this tomorrow.

Saturday morning, she sat across from me so we could discuss this new revelation. Eating my Chick-Fil-A fries, she proceeded to say that we shouldn’t date as co-workers. I completely agreed and the subject was changed. That lasted all of 6 hours. I can’t really blame her, I’m hard to resist. As she pulled against UNC, I definitely questioned my decision, but as they say, love is a funny thing.

The “not dates” became dates and the rest is history. Mexican restaurants are still our favorite nights out, even if we don’t spend quite as many hours in effortless chats. We both still love politics, but from a distance. She doesn’t hate UNC quite as much, and I’ve learned why her school is called the Cardiac Pack.

We’ve added two puppies, miles traveling North Carolina, new perspectives, and many friends. Personally, I’ve even added a few pounds staying up late enjoying her homemade foods and craft beers. Just as with the first “not dates”, it just comes easy. Where things go from here are uncertain, but I’m sure at every exit ramp of life there will be a Mexican restaurant to refuel us.


Emma and Kevin

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