Kaylor & Daniel are that couple that just go together. You know the type… you see them and instantly know they belong with each other. Their smiles match. Their laughs match. Their personalities are perfectly in line. But that’s really no surprise since they’ve known each other from the age of 11!
Their love story starts on a summer morning, as Daniel’s family began attending a new church. Across from him in the Sunday school room sat a young girl destined to be his wife. Was it love at first site? Not quite… Kaylor was more interested in befriending Daniel’s sister, Emily. But she did try to make him smile by telling corny jokes all morning. Among her memorable statements? “Hi, I’m Kaylor. I like cheese.” Daniel must have been a cheese fan too because as they left church that day, he let it slip to Emily that he liked Kaylor.
As they got to know each other, it was obvious there was a connection between them. Kaylor had been praying that her first serious boyfriend would be the man she married, and it seemed that everything about Daniel was falling in line to lead down that path. As they went into high school, they spent more and more time together and Kaylor began to appreciate Daniel’s maturity and thoughtfulness. He wasn’t like the other boys their age. He knew what he wanted in life and had a plan for how to attain it. (He also wrote poetry AND had it published. His mom showed her the book… It was pretty cool.) He paid attention to little details and picked up on things that most would consider minor. In fact, he once brought Kaylor sugar cubes as a surprise because he overheard her telling his sister that she thought it “would be cool to drink tea like the British, using sugar cubes.” His effort to fulfill her quirky wish led to what is still Kaylor’s favorite gift from Daniel. All because he paid attention to something small.
Another act of thoughtfulness on Daniel’s behalf led to what he considers their first “real” date (since they couldn’t drive yet when they began their relationship). While walking around at the mall one day, Kaylor pointed out a dress that she was in love with. Daniel went back to buy it. Now, this wasn’t just an ordinary sun dress. This was fancy… and that meant you had to go somewhere fancy to wear it. So after he gave it to Kaylor, Daniel planned a date to the Martha Washington Inn for dinner and then to Barter Theater for an evening show. At this point, we have to pause the story. Picture, if you will, all the awkwardness of the teenage years. Now imagine walking into your “fancy” date only to find out it wasn’t so fancy after all. This was the evening Daniel and Kaylor walked into… his suit, her dress, lots of people staring at these young kids who were definitely over-dressed for their evening out, and a passionate hatred for being the center of attention. So they spent the evening giggling in the corner about their totally awkward situation. At the play, they were both terrified of being pointed out in the crowd or called up on stage for one reason or another, and while the night was fun and memorable, they also learned a valuable lesson: no gourmet food could ever compare to a quiet night with some McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets.
The closer they grew, the more they had in common. They thought the same way and shared the same opinions on most things. He was logical; she was practical. It worked out well. They fell into a comfortable rhythm of down-to-earth honesty and openness. They also grew together spiritually. One evening at church, Kaylor was deep in prayer when Daniel grabbed her hand and began to pray with her. Not out of obligation, but of out of true care and concern. It was then that she knew she loved him. For Daniel, there wasn’t a specific moment when he knew he had found love, but he did plan out a special moment to tell her for the first time. That came after a high school football game when he gave her a dozen roses in the parking lot and nervously told her “I love you”. From that point on, there was no question about their future together.
High school was over, college was in full swing, and it was time to “plan out” the rest of their lives. Daniel planned to propose on one of their traditional picnic dates by the Watauga river. Kaylor, fully engulfed by “student-teaching-brain”, sat by the river, eating Greg’s Pizza and having no idea that this Saturday would be any different than so many others throughout their relationship. As she turned from watching the fishermen in the river, Daniel was down on one knee, ring in hand. She must have been completely stunned because she left him sitting there for about 10 minutes while she processed what was happening! Obviously, she said yes, and they began the next chapter of their love story.
With neither of them enjoying the spotlight, they opted for a simple wedding at their church with a dessert reception. As they prepared for the ceremony, Daniel tried desperately to get a decent haircut. Finally, after visiting FOUR different barbers, he was ready to go. Kaylor nervously waited for her time to walk down the aisle. (So nervously, in fact, that she forgot her bouquet in the bridal suite.) At last the time came and they said their “I do’s” in front of a packed church full of family, friends, and acquaintances. After cutting the cake, they quickly made their escape to take a some photos near their beloved Watauga river (complete with a family heirloom hot rod). Then, after years of building up and months of planning, it was over. They were husband and wife. They were tired. And they headed straight for the Chic-fil-a drive thru.
But as so many know, the real work in a relationship begins after the wedding day. As the years have passed, they’ve continued to grow together through new jobs, an adorable puppy, and a new home. Daniel still loves her smile, her lighthearted and friendly personality, and the notes she leaves in his lunch. He also enjoys her musical talents… though she tends to keep them hidden from the outside world. Kaylor has learned just how dependable he is. His quiet confidence let’s her know that everything will be taken care of and that she has no need to worry. No matter what the task or issue, he handles is with grace. There is no doubt that Kaylor found “her person”. And as the years continue, they will continue to grow closer because they have a very realistic view of marriage. Daniel describes marriage as “a commitment to be selfless and find someone who you can be blunt with, and who will be blunt with you. Someone who will call you out on your stupidity, and know you well enough to not mentally abuse you, but to build you up or smack you down back to reality.” Kaylor is his best friend and they hold nothing back from each other, thus they can never harbor problems or ill-will with the other person.
What will the future hold for these two? What will the next chapter of their love story be titled? Who knows! They have each other and that’s plenty for them. As Daniel said, “I hope we continue as we are. I’m not looking for more. I am content with our life and will accept anything God has in store for us, but I have everything I need in Kaylor.”
It seems that most of the world could learn a lesson or two from their marriage.
Cheers to you, Daniel and Kaylor, for proving that great relationships exist and that love can grow from the most unexpected places. May you continue to grow together, laughing and loving along the way.