May 20, 2012 Married
Kate + Phillip
are married!

boy + girl meet...

told by Kate

I met Phil on the night of our last Full Moon on the Quad (FMOTQ) at Stanford.  FMOTQ is a Stanford tradition that started a really long time ago.  Traditionally, on the night of the first full moon of fall quarter, senior men and freshmen women would assemble on the main quad, pair off, and kiss at midnight.  This was supposed to symbolize the women's initation into Stanford life.  FMOTQ has since (d)evolved into a much more inclusive campus-wide party which includes live music and lots of mouthwash among other things.

It was senior year and I was seriously considering opting out.  I'd had a rough day or something or I was tired, and I had been to FMOTQ twice before (I was in Chile during FMOTQ 2006).  I'd skipped club basketball practice (gasp) and was hanging out in my dorm room (I believe Mack was bumming around next door), when Lea called.  She and Zak (now Mr. and Mrs. Kearns) and company were throwing a FMOTQ pre-party at their suite across campus, and she said there was "this guy" I should meet.  She told me his name was Phil Mariner (I promptly facebooked him, ashamed as I am to admit it), and that he was "tall, and very organized."  Facebook told me was cute to boot...what more could a girl ask for?  So I put on a cute outfit, fluffed my hair, and drove over to Zak's house (also Phil's, Mitch's, and Aaron's house), Jordi and our friend Briana in tow.

We were there for a while before Phil showed up, dusty and sweaty from a late game of kickball, but still cute.  We were formally introduced, and he excused himself to freshen up, before joining us again at the party.  The boys had constructed a homemade bar (complete with color-changing lights) earlier in the quarter (that to this day they are still quite proud of), and we chatted it up as Phil poured drinks.  All the while Jordi and Briana were having a grand time.  Soon it was nearing midnight, and we all migrated down to the main quad for the festivities.  Jordi and Bri disappeared into the crowd and at 11:59pm I found myself standing with Phil, Lea, and Zak for the final countdown to midnight.  At 12:00, Zak and Lea kissed (crafty little matchmakers), and of course, feeling left out but always a gentleman, Phil asked if he could kiss me.  It wouldn't have been FMOTQ without a kiss, so of course I said yes and that was that.  It was awkward and corny and perfect, and I knew he was special. 

That was October 25, 2007.  My dad's 61st birthday, strangely enough.  A son-in-law is a pretty cool belated birthday gift, no?  


boy asks, girl says "yes"...

told by Phillip

Kate and I were on a 5-day trip to South Florida in March for a much-needed vacation away from the never-ending Chicago winter and to attend the wedding of my high school friend Christine. The plan, as Kate knew it, was to fly down to Fort Lauderdale the night of Tuesday, the 22nd, and return to Chicago the night of Sunday, the 27th. In between that time, we spent our days sleeping in late, lounging on the beach, seeing my family and childhood friends, going to the requisite preseason Marlins game, attending said wedding, and--our favorite activity--going out to eat!

The story of the proposal starts early in the afternoon on Sunday (the day after Christine's wedding) when Kate and I ventured down to Miami Beach to have an early dinner at the DiLido Beach Club in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. (For those of you who have not caught on to our foodie nature, the DiLido Beach Club is home to Chef Jeff McInnis of Top Chef fame.) So, we were having an early dinner since our flight (as Kate knew it) was supposed to depart in the late evening. As there is not a lot of parking in that area of Miami Beach, I'm sure Kate didn't think much of me driving up to the valet port to remedy this situation. However, I am sure she was pleasantly surprised when I responded, "Yes" when asked by the valet if we would be checking into the hotel. I then told Kate that I changed our flight to the next day and she might want to email her professor to let her know that she wouldn't make class on Monday. Kate giggled. We checked in, took the elevator up to the 8th floor, opened the door to our room, and were immediately drawn out to the balcony to soak in the views of the ocean and beachfront.

After settling in and making a quick wardrobe change to fit into the Miami Beach scene, we headed down to the DiLido Beach Club for a meal under palm trees out by the beach. Our meal was absolutely delicious and we were sufficiently stuffed, so we went for a stroll along the beachfront. Some of you might be thinking this is where I might propose to the lovely Kate, but you would be wrong. As it so happened this weekend, Miami was hosting the Ultra Musical Festival, one of the biggest electronic music concerts in the world. As such, there was electronic music thumping and brightly, crazily, and scantily clad concert goers everywhere with nearby hotels hosting Ultra parties of their own--not quite the background I envisioned for the most important act of my life. Nevertheless, the walk was very entertaining as there was plenty to gaze at.

After the walk, it was close to sunset and we headed back to our room to lounge on the balcony. Now, this was a time and place I had thought about doing the proposal, and I think Kate started to catch on to that as we lounged. This was mainly due to the fact that I was trying like hell to get the damn iHome to connect to my iPhone--I even called the front desk to replace it--so I could play the "The Proposal" playlist I created, especially to drown out the electronic music that could be clearly heard from our balcony. Kate’s catching on could also be a result of me calling the front desk a second time to have them deliver some "foliage" (yes, I actually used that word) to put out on our balcony because Kate commented earlier that the balcony seemed a bit stark.

With the malfunctioning iHome, the thumping electronic music, the barren balcony, and the dwindling sunlight, I resolved to shelve the sunset proposal and go to "Plan B," which you'll read in a second. Instead, Kate and I spent the night seeing the city, drinking delicious cocktails, and simply enjoying each other's company.

So, Plan B: The next morning (Monday) I quietly got up right before sunrise (around 6:45 AM), brushed my teeth, put on my Ritz-Carlton robe, and placed the engagement ring box and ring into my robe pocket. Next, the hard part: getting Kate up before 9 AM. I gently caressed her back and said, "Babe, do you want to watch the sunrise?" To which Kate replied, "Ehhhh." This is mainly why this was "Plan B." However, upon asking her a second time, Kate acquiesced and I helped her with her robe. Kate did not brush her teeth. As we're heading to the balcony door, she turned around as though she almost forgot something very important. After she quickly returned to the balcony door, I see she now had a Cadbury Creme Egg candy in her hand--very important indeed. This is typical of Kate--enough said.

We went outside, Kate put her morning chocolaty treat on the ledge, and we leaned on the balcony railing together waiting for the sun to rise. In my head, I am thankful that the electronic music has finally ended. As the sun rose in the slightly cloudy sky, we were both amazed about how the clouds soaked up the varied colors in the horizon and just how beautiful the scene was. I couldn't have asked for a better sunrise--it was perfect. Once the sunrise had just about come to completion and I thought the sun was giving off just the right amount of light, I told Kate, "I love you so much. Just as this sunrise starts a new day it also symbolizes the start of our new life together." I then dropped to a knee and took the ring box out of my robe pocket. I opened the ring box and said to Kate, "Will you marry me?" To which she replied, "Yes, yes, yes," and I put the engagement ring on her finger.

Once we stopped hugging and kissing each other, we noticed that we had some fans as a couple in another room across the way watched the whole exchange from their window and were visibly cheering for us, which made us laugh. We ended up seeing this couple at the pool later in the day where they formally congratulated us and told Kate to stop playing with her ring in the pool before she loses it. The rest of the day was spent calling friends and family to tell them about the great news!  To this day, the Cadbury Creme Egg rests peacefully in our freezer.