Mark and Holly both grew up merely miles away from each other in Kent, WA but they did not actually meet until the time was right in late 2009. Holly’s sister, Heather, went to Kentridge High School (95-97) with Mark (97-99) but boundaries changed forcing Holly to attend Kentwood High School (99-01).
In 2000, Mark started working for Holly’s uncle, Terry.
In 2005, Mark went to Terry’s wedding at Holly’s grandpa’s home in Ellensburg, WA. Holly was in town that weekend at the rodeo with friends but did not end up making it to the wedding that day.
In 2009, Holly’s dad, Jack, and wife, Tanya purchased a plot of land in Ravensdale, WA to build their dream home. They invited the family out for a hot bonfire to celebrate on a cold autumn day. Terry and Holly spoke very briefly at the bonfire but he invited her to the annual Turkey Bowl. The Turkey Bowl is a game of flag football where Terry’s frozen Thanksgiving Day turkey can be used in the game for extra points. It sounded interesting and he mentioned there would be a lot of single guys there. Holly (completely out of character) decided to go ahead alone and freeze her butt off watching a bunch of guys play football with a family she hardly knew.
Mark spotted Holly walking toward the bleachers while they were warming up on the field. After the game Mark hung around to help clean up, but really to ask Terry’s son Corey, “Who’s the hottie?”. He looked over his shoulder and simply said, “That’s my cousin.” and kept on walking.
On the way back to the house for food and drinks, Mark tried to mentally prepare himself for approaching Holly. For the first time in 7 years, Mark knew he needed to jump back on the horse and get back into the dating scene.
During the after-party, Holly located the outdoor fireplace to warm up next to. Mark immediately found a wing-man, Dave, and slid into conversation with Holly. They talked with ease and knew there could be something there but the conversation ended abruptly.
Holly had to leave to meet up with a friend (which she was already an hour late). She made sure to pass on her phone number loudly to her cousin, Corey right in front of Mark. Mark was so deep in thought about how to ask for her phone number that he completely missed the opportunity to take down the number while she gave it to Corey. Over the course of the next few weeks Mark frequently bugged Corey to give him Holly’s number. When Mark finally got her number and made the first call they both knew something special was beginning.
On September 15, 2012, Mark and Holly were wine tasting for the first time in the Tri-Cities. They spent the day enjoying each others company in the hot summer sun. They walked along the river, played frisbee in the park and went to a few wineries for tastings. There was one winery that really stuck out to Holly when researching places to go for the quick weekend trip which was Tagaris Winery in Richland, WA. They had an indoor bar and restaurant with outdoor seating with a live band at night. They tasted the best wine of the weekend in the bar and joined the wine club before moving to the patio next to a large fountain for dinner. After dinner, Mark got down on one knee and proposed to (a very surprised) Holly. Of course she said yes!