Morgan & McKaila

Usually, when people ask us how we met, we ask them if they want the extended version or the short version. The short version is, we met in college.

We were both in a student organization together and got to know each other better through a mutual friend. The long version is that neither of us were interested in a relationship at the time, Morgan would be graduating in a few months, and I was leaving for a semester abroad. After some convincing that we really did have a connection, we started talking while Morgan was home at her parents’ house over winter break, She came back to school at the beginning of January, and we tested the feelings we were having in person for the first time. It took one hug to let us know the whole world shifted, and in that moment, we just knew we were all in.

Many of our favorite memories together are ones that include adventure and spontaneity. A specific one that comes to mind was during a recent trip. We had spent several days on a work trip photographing in Greece and decided to extend our time and take a few days on our own to explore a different culture.

Our group had been driving for several hours in a nine-passenger van to bring us to the airport to board our next adventure. McKaila is always incredibly organized, prepared and can anticipate any need before it arises. A great cross-country companion if you ask me.

However, we were exhausted on this particular day, and luck wasn’t totally on our side. We were rushing down the aisle and into our seats. McKaila’s leggings got caught on the center seat armrest and ripped from the waist down. Her butt was fully exposed.

I completely lost it and laughed uncontrollably, you’ve got to understand. These moments don’t happen too often. Apparently, “it wasn’t funny,” but was “totally fine” because this flight was only an hour, and she could just change at our next stop. I completely forgot that the flight attendant had just checked our luggage. I couldn’t help but fall madly in love with her, and this playful life we lead together through all the embarrassment and hysterics.

Thankfully she had a raincoat to tie around her waist to take two more connecting flights appropriately. Then a train ride and a long walk to our quaint Airbnb in Copenhagen, where we’d explore art museums, craft breweries, and people-watch along the canal. Hand in hand, this memory serves as the best reminder that we’ll always be one trip away from a perfectly imperfect adventure.

Together we’ve experienced loss, lack of acceptance from family members and have both struggled with mental health. Because of our first large challenge, we’ve been vulnerable to one another and navigate through these experiences on the same page.

One of our first large challenges, but the largest blessings, was thousands of miles apart shortly after we started dating. Our connection was immediate and intense. We hung out every day for thirty days until McKaila went abroad to Italy. She was there for five months. It didn’t take long for us to learn that we weren’t going to sleep very much during that time. With a seven-hour time difference, we’d call each other around the clock. She’d explain every time she learned a new path to class or ordered a new dish in Italian. I’d talk about the design projects I was working on and update her on how our friends were doing.

We didn’t know it then, but falling in love through words and stories was one of the best things for our relationship. It taught us to understand each other differently and to cultivate very strong communication.

My favorite thing about McKaila is her mind and her heart. I’ve never experienced someone who thinks and acts quite as subtly wonderful as she does. She’s continually surveying the world around her and challenging to make it better. She is impeccably aware and uses the ability to create positive change in people, our community, and our home. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not mesmerized by her in some way. Oh, and she gives the best hugs in the world, the really tight, purposeful kind.

There are so many things that make Morgan, unlike anyone else. I’m absolutely enamored by her drive and passion. It seeps into everything she spends her time on and everyone she spends her time with. I’ve known very few people who will genuinely work to any end to achieve something they want. I’ve often told Morgan, “you’re such a light” because she has this incredibly positive energy that infects everyone around her, she’s giddy, and she’s bright. It’s made me so much willing to be silly and happy and feel like myself every day.

We could give you the check-box list of milestones we are looking forward to in our future, but what it comes down to is that we are excited to continue to learn more and more about one another through all of our future stages.

We encourage a love that is yours. For us, our favorite bits of our relationship is simply existing. We love to adventure, but we love to surround ourselves with our community more. We love to do, but we love staying in and cozying up just the same. Every relationship is different, with its unique needs and tribulations. Give each other grace, lift those around you, and support the hell out of your significant other. In the end, they should make you feel the most kickass version of yourself and surprise you every day.

Photography by The Camerados

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