We'd met in 2009 when Chris was in high school at Athens, and Erin was a freshman at Ohio University, but a few years later, Erin was working in the Ping weight room when Chris showed up.
"Hey, I know you," we both kind of said.
We caught up, as much as two people who'd barely met before could.
"What do you study?","Where do you go to school?", "Were you always so good looking?" — you know, normal questions.
The next day, Erin jokingly told their mutual friend Ben to call Chris and tell him they should date.
Meanwhile Erin kicked and screamed in the background, embarrassed but also kind of thankful for super bold and obnoxious friends.
Little did Erin know just a few days before they'd bumped into each other, Chris' best friend Stephen and him had just had a heart-to-heart about finding a girl Chris could adventure with. The first person who came to Stephen's mind: Erin McCarthy.
Our first date at Casa Nueva in Athens, Ohio.
Moved into our first apartment in Pittsburgh, PA.
Brought home handsome Pete, our Great Pyrenees rescue.
In true Chris Holliday fashion, Chris proposed under the sea at our favorite dive site in Bonaire (Oil slick). After a surprised moment of 'is this really happening?', Erin said yes.
The past five years have been filled with travel, laughter, and really good eats. We’ve made great friends, and found passions together. We’ve explored a new city to call home, and made a new house ours. We drank great beer as we ripped up old linoleum and painted every wall a brighter color than the last. We've logged thousands of miles by car, plane, train and foot. We've swam, we've biked, we've ran. And we're just getting started.
In between it all we've learned that love is a verb — a daily activity of patience, passion, kindness, compassion, selflessness, friendship, forgiveness, laughter, sarcasm, curiosity, humility, and joy. Love does its work during loss, and sickness, failure, frustration, and confusion. Love pushes each other toward the highest of dreams and pulls us from complacency or mediocrity. Love is a verb, and this life is its unequivocal work.