We first met in December 2013 at our company’s annual holiday party. Nate had just been hired — and hadn’t even started the job yet — but we recall chatting about music and making other small talk. After the party, we barely spoke for almost a year, as Nate’s team was on the second floor at our company’s old office and Beth’s was on the first.
We then got to know each other during the flag football season in fall 2014. On the road to a flag football championship, we bonded over a shared interest in NFL football, even though our allegiances don’t exactly align.
We started dating soon after flag football season, with many of our early dates centered on watching the NFL playoffs. Gladly (for Beth), Nate didn’t run away scared after seeing Beth on her craziest behavior at a Chicago-based Boston bar when the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX.
Other than cheering on our favorite football teams, we’ve already shared tons of wonderful experiences together. Nate taught Beth to fish and encouraged her to get on a bike for the first time since breaking her elbows in eighth grade. Beth shared several of her hobbies with Nate, including inviting Nate to several Irish dancing showcases and twisting his arm to attend Dave Matthews concerts. We also share a mutual love for strong coffee (by the pot) and books, and think we just might have enough combined books to build a sliding ladder bookshelf one day.
Nate, a lifelong camper, first introduced Beth to camping during a Ude family trip to the Black Hills, South Dakota in summer 2015. In South Dakota, we saw Mount Rushmore and hiked an off-the-beaten-track trail to a beautiful waterfall called Hippie Hole. Even though a tree almost fell on us as we set up camp on the first night, Beth caught the camping bug and has enjoyed it ever since. We’ve camped in New Glarus and Madison, Wisconsin, and at various pit stops during a road trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where Beth’s parents live. On the same road trip, we visited Niagara Falls, took Beth’s parents’ kayaks out in Buzzards Bay, and ate our weight in fried seafood and stuffed quahogs.
We’ve also taken up a new hobby, brewing beer. So far, we’ve brewed and bottled several varieties from brewing kits, including stouts, amber ales, red ales and wheat ales. Next, we hope to get one step closer to brewmaster status by creating our own recipes, rather than following along with kits. We’ve learned a lot about brewing along the way by visiting breweries every chance we get, including New Glarus and Minhas in Wisconsin, Harpoon and Sam Adams in Boston, and Dryhop and Burnt City (formerly Atlas) in our home city of Chicago. And we have quite the large beer glass collection to show for it.
On a Friday evening in June 2016, Nate proposed to Beth at one of our favorite places in Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo. We were at a beer tasting event and Nate found a scenic spot away from the crowds to pop the question. Nate got down on one knee and rummaged for something in his Camelbak — the ring! — and asked Beth to marry him. Of course Beth said yes! From the zoo, we called our parents and they were all thrilled to hear the news.
Our wedding will take place on Sunday, May 28, 2017 (the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend) at The Brookside Club in Bourne, MA, right up the hill from Beth’s parents’ house. We can’t wait to celebrate the big day with our friends and family!