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A Year In Review

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S: Our Dating Life: The Story of How Erin Married Tyler

FC: by Tyler Kurtz | Our Dating Life: The Story of How Erin Married Tyler

1: Dedicated to my newly-wedded wife. Thanks for taking a chance on me.

2: I met Erin the first day she moved to DC in October. Luckily I was at her house helping her roommate with some economics homework. Over the next month our paths crossed a few times, we had a couple mostly superficial conversations, and Erin moved to a more permanent place. Then the sweatshirt incident occurred and it all changed.

3: I had recently traveled to Israel over Thanksgiving with a few friends, including one of Erin's roommates. One Friday night the five of us gathered to swap photos from our trip. Little did I know that divine providence would shine on me that night. Erin came home from working out in her UCLA Lacrosse sweatshirt, and I asked if she played. She said she did, and seeing her in that and knowing she was an athlete, a switch flipped. The next day I asked her out. Our relationship was solidified following a timely ankle sprain in late December, causing me to miss a trip to Panama and Costa Rica but enjoy a glorious week with Erin. It was one of the best things that could have happened to me

4: Snowpocalypse | DC got slammed with over 50 inches of snow (a record) over the course of a week in early February, and the area came to a grinding halt. This meant no school or work for us for over a week. Thankfully we had Parcheesi to keep us busy and Loaded Questions with friends to stave off cabin fever. Flying midget ninja-monkeys on acid anyone?

5: Spring in DC is a special time. It is a time of renewal, when color reappears from the cold grasp of gray, liveliness reemerges, and people return to the streets. It is a time to go on walks and listen to conference on the banks of the Potomac. Most beautifully though, it is the time of the cherry blossoms.

6: This was my first test with Erin's inner circle to prove my worthiness. Needless to say I was excited. . . .if a little nervous. | Meeting the girlfriends for the first time

7: Thankfully they approved

8: DC Challenge

9: The DC Challenge is the country's largest urban adventure race. We had to solve 12 clues hinting at locations around DC. To win the race and $2000, we had to take a picture at each secret location and be first to cross the finish line. Sadly, we were not $2000 richer.

10: Summer Jeeping, BBQs, tennis, throwing lacrosse balls into the Potomac, exploring, bull riding, swimming, soccer, golf, beach, road trips, traveling, hiking, cruising the Potomac, ice cream, rallying to restore sanity and/or fear

12: Over Memorial Day weekend Erin's dad was giving a presentation for work in DC. That was the perfect excuse for the rest of the Rains family to come out too. I had met Darryl earlier, but this was the first time I was going to meet Erin's mom and brother. I was nervously excited. However, it just so happened I was graduating from SAIS that same weekend and most of my family, all of whom Erin had not yet met, were coming to DC as well. Worlds were going to collide. The first night was a Rains only night. I met them in the hotel lobby, and they told me it was tradition for their family to wear matching shirts the first day vacationing together and threw me one. Honestly I was slightly mortified and thought to myself, "Is this really the family I want to join?" I put on the shirt and smiled. They all laughed. It was a fantastic joke. I then knew that this was a family I wanted to join. That night, under the guise of talking about my upcoming trip to Greece with Erin, I asked Darryl what he thought of me asking for Erin's hand in marriage. Luckily he approved. | W O R L D S

13: The following day was my graduation, and we had to suffer through stifling hot weather. Erin met us by DAR's Constitution Hall, and I gave quick introductions before I had to go inside to get ready. After the ceremony, we had dinner at Old Ebbit's. It was a great Kurtz only day. | C O L L I D E | The last day we had a combined Rains-Kurtz affair. Admittedly, Erin and I were nervous. We met at Clyde's for dinner. The parents sat at one end, the siblings at the other, and Erin and I were buffers. It couldn't have turned out better. We all liked each other!

14: Did you know... Before this trip I had traveled to 11 countries and Erin to 16 and only China overlapped for both of us. | Greece

15: MAKING MEMORIES | Just after I graduated from SAIS, Erin and I decided to take a trip to somewhere we had never been... Greece | Did you know... We both found Athens to be too poor to be nice, but to rich to be exciting.

16: Thira, Santorini | Parthenon | Santorini

17: We explored ruins in Athens; scootered around Santorini; learned about the Minoan civilization at Knossos; drove to Treis Ekklisies, the most remote place on our map of Crete, and ate the only food they had available--locally caught fish; captured a glimpse of the "endangered Kiri Kiri"; lounged on the beach in Elafonisi; and quickly took in Chania before I left for Turkey and Erin for the US. | Chania, Crete

18: The Proposal | Picture this. It is a gorgeous evening, Erin and I just finished a lovely dinner, and we are sitting alone on the roof-top terrace of our hotel (pictured) watching the sun set into the Mediterranean. It was just the moment I planned. It was perfectly romantic. Up until this moment I was completely confident she would agree. I must confess, though, I am a sucker for surprises. As my feelings for Erin deepened over the last several months, the notion of marrying her became more real, and I did not want to spoil a surprising proposal. In fact, the closest we came to talking marriage was a month and a half before this when I mentioned that I thought we "had a future."

19: Now, here we were in Greece, and I had executed my plan to perfection. I proceeded to profess my love for her, got on one knee, and asked her to marry me, but Erin was not the only surprised one. To my proposal, Erin basically replied, "Maybe, I don't know yet." My confidence was shattered. Had I just ruined the best thing that ever happened to me? After a night that seemed to last an eternity, and several highly emotional talks, we agreed that my proposal merely started our discussion on marriage. We continued our trip, but the worst for me was when we split and I went to Turkey alone. Having that much time alone with my thoughts was torture at times. There was not a day that passed that I did not think of what was going to happen when I returned home. Thankfully, Erin did not make me wait long. Right when we drove up to my apartment from the airport she agreed to marry me. That evening we went to the Tidal Basin to celebrate our engagement. It was one of the best nights of my life.

21: To celebrate the Fourth of July, we went to a small town near Philly and stayed with our friends at their parents house. We definitely enjoyed the friends, food, and fireworks requisite for a successful Independence Day celebration. The next day, in honor of Erin's birthday, we gorged ourselves at an all-you-can-eat ice cream festival. Turns out we're lightweights.

22: For Labor Day we went to Erin's house in Orinda. Jana and I are birthday twins, and I knew there was going to be a celebration for us with the extended family. I admit, I was slightly intimidated by the thought of being at Erin's parents' house for the first time and meeting so many soon-to-be family members. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. I felt so comfortable and welcomed there. It was like I was at home. Later that weekend, Erin and I enjoyed a beautiful day in the Porsche as we cruised down the PCH to Monterey. I don't know what was better, driving there or exploring the aquarium. On our way back we made the requisite stop at In 'n Out. I, of course, stuffed myself with 2 Double Doubles animal style, while Erin was slightly more conservative. It was so delicious.

23: On our final day just before going to the airport, Jana chose a lovely Italian place to have a farewell dinner. It was tasty, and I had the gnocchi. Well, about 4 hours later I was battling the worst food poisoning I'd ever experienced. 7 contained throw-ups later (5 on the plane, 1 at baggage claim, and 1 in the car) I was finally home. Even with that, it was a splendid trip and fantastic birthday weekend.

24: Engagement Photos

25: We took our engagement pictures in Old Town Alexandria in August.

26: THE MOVE | After many discussions and looking at too many places, we decided on our new home. Will and I had the distinct pleasure of moving all the big stuff up three flights of stairs, including the 10-ton monster dresser with the drawers that do not come out. | 3308 Wyndham Cir #321 Alexandria, VA 22302

27: We chose a "cozy" one bedroom place in Alexandria, but the only furniture we had worth keeping was Erin's bed and dresser. This meant trips to the furniture store, and scouring Craigslist. Sadly I only "fixed" the $8 ottoman for about a month, but we found a great couch..

29: Reasons I love you: Not only do we have the same ringtone but the same text-tone; California raised and schooled; you pole vaulted; you make me think; you love to travel; you'll make a fantastic mom; you regularly beat me at Jeopardy; you're a loyal friend; I have fun with you; tu hablas español; you love to learn; you're stubborn but you know it; you quote the Simpsons; you call me on my BS; you're good at Parcheesi; you laugh; you love to read; you prefer the Jeep to have no top or doors; you make me a better person; you like to be outside; we can talk about anything; you're a superb skier; you love your family; I can call you on being dramatic; your curiosity; your car; you play football, lacrosse, and tennis; you tolerate my child-like need to touch everything; and you will explore new things with me. Most of all, you make me happier than I ever thought possible. I love you my mermaid duckling.

30: Erin married Tyler on November 19th, 2010 in the Oakland Temple.

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