A Fun Survey About Us

Hi friends! We’re snowed in right now and a lot of our meals this week were leftovers/random throw together things that I didn’t bother photographing, so I thought it might be fun to mix it up today and do a little survey post about me and Matt and a trip down memory lane about our relationship!

I saw a similar survey over on my friend Julie’s blog this week and thought it was really fun. It reminds me of the old days of blogging where everything was more casual and personal. So, let’s do it!

I’m using some of Julie’s questions, some questions I got from you all on Instagram stories, and I threw in some of my own just for fun, too. 

This started as a short, quick post and then I got really into it so now it’s quite long! I hope you have fun reading – I definitely had fun writing it! 🙂

I hope those of you who are also getting snow and really cold temps are staying safe out there!

I’ll be back to the eats + exercise + recipes next week. 🙂

A Survey About Us

How did you and Matt meet? 

Matt and I met at the very romantic (sarcasm) “dollar mug night” at Whitlow’s on Wilson in Arlington in the summer of 2004, right after graduating college (Dickinson College for me, Syracuse University for him)!

My college bestie Kris was visiting and we spotted a guy named Tom who went to Dickinson with us across the bar and went over and said hi, and he introduced us to all his roommates, one of whom was Matt! They were high school best friends who moved down to DC from Pittsburgh together after college. 

(Sidenote – both Kris and Tom were in our wedding party 8 years later!)

Our groups started hanging out quite a bit over the next few months and the rest is history – we became an official couple that fall. 🙂

When we first met, I was 21 and Matt had just turned 22 – wow! So young. I wish I had more photos from that time, it was pre-camera phone and I have no idea where the hard copies are!

First date?

If my memory is correct our first official date was dinner at a Thai restaurant in Arlington! Matt had never had Thai food before and I was like, “Uhhh, we’re going to have to change that ASAP.”

How long have you been together? 

About 17 years (!), but not totally continuous – we broke up for a bit in 2009/2010 because I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and we had met and starting dating so young!

When I started this blog in October 2009 we were broken up – I was taking prerequisites and applying to grad schools to change careers and become a dietitian, and I had just come back from teaching English in Prague (something I had always wanted to do and wanted to make sure I did before I found a career to really settle into).

We ended up getting back together a few months before I was going to move to Chapel Hill, NC to start grad school at UNC in August of 2010, and we decided that he would come with – luckily he was working in consulting and had done a lot of travel for previous projects so they didn’t mind him doing the consultant travel thing every week.

So he would come up to DC and stay in a corporate apartment Monday through Thursday, work from home with me in Chapel Hill on Fridays and then stay for the weekends. It was a nice way to ease into living together for the first time since we both still got to do our own thing for part of the week!

When did you get engaged?

In October 2011! Matt proposed on the top of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park – our all-time favorite hike! 

I threw off his plan by inviting my friend Kath and her husband (who we were staying with overnight in Charlottesville before the hike) with us on the hike, but Matt figured he’d go with it and have them be our unsuspecting photographers!

So this is not a reenactment, it’s the actual moment. 🙂 

Here’s the blog post about it: Surprise: We’re Engaged!!

Fun fact: that blog post crashed my website for almost a whole day when I posted it because so many people went to look at it at once! <3

When and where was your wedding?

We got married at Rosemont Manor in Berryville, VA on October 12, 2012, when we were 30! You can see all my wedding posts on the wedding category page, if you’re interested. 🙂

That fall was such a crazy time for me – I was interning full time as part of grad school, finishing up some grad school classes, writing my masters paper, writing the blog daily (yes, I used to post 7 days a week – that was just what lifestyle bloggers were doing back then!), and planning our wedding. It was bananas.

We postponed our honeymoon until mid-December when I was done with school/interning!

Age difference?

Only a couple months! 

What are your Enneagrams? 

This was a fun question from an Instagram follower and when I asked Matt what his number was, he said: “What’s an Enneagram?” Haha. 

Luckily he was down to take the test quickly – I always find stuff like this fascinating and am obsessed with Zodiac signs, too, which Matt thinks are basically just made up (for my fellow Zodiac sign fans, I’m a Virgo right on Libra cusp and Matt is a Leo – opposites attract). 

My main Enneagram is 3 (“The Achiever”) – makes sense I started my own business apparently! 

Matt’s main Enneagram is 9 (“The Peacemaker”). 🙂 

Who cooks more often?

Probably Matt, ironically! 

Was Matt a healthy eater before you started dating?

This was another fun Instagram follower question!

I can’t say either of us were super healthy eaters in our early 20’s, although I was definitely a healthier eater than Matt was – he was doing the typical single dude meal situation with lots of super salty frozen meals, mostly meat and potatoes and not a ton of veggies. 

It’s safe to say Matt has become a way healthier eater as our relationship has continued, especially once we started living together! Luckily he’s pretty open/flexible to trying different and new foods, although he does generally consider vegetarian dishes as side dishes that would be better with some meat involved. 🙂 

Since I do the meal planning and grocery shopping (well, ordering – we almost always order groceries nowadays) for the most part, and am also the one who picks out the meals we make each week with Blue Apron (affiliate link), I tend to choose more veggie-packed nutritious things and he just goes with the flow. 

Who is most competitive? 

Definitely me! 🙂

Matt’s like: “Eh, we’re all winners!” And I’m like: “Okay but seriously, bring it on…”

Who is most stubborn?

We can both be pretty stubborn… but probably me. 😉

Who drives when you are together?

Matt! He likes driving more than I do. 

What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten together? 

Oh man this is a tough one! I’d probably say dinner at The Inn at Little Washington with our parents – that restaurant is absolutely phenomenal.

I was just saying the other day to Matt how I was dreaming about going back there – not only because eating at a restaurant sounds like a dream right now, but because the whole experience of eating there is such a luxury between the super attentive staff, the wine pairings, and the exquisite food! 

Who changes the light bulbs?

Matt. 🙂 

Who falls asleep first? 

Definitely me – Matt is a night owl, I’m a morning person!

Who is more social?

We’re both quite social; I’m probably a bit more extroverted in the sense that I get more bummed out if I don’t see friends super often, but he’s definitely social/extroverted too.

I think he’s just better at going with the flow and doing his own thing more often than I am!

What type of trips do you like most as a couple?

Those involving adventure!

We really love doing hiking trips in particular (hiking Banff + Jasper National Parks in western Canada was a big highlight, that was such a great trip), and really anything that involves a nice mix of outdoorsy adventure but also some relaxing and pampering, too.  

What’s the coolest trip you’ve taken together? 

This is tough, having been together so long we’ve been fortunate enough to take a lot of really fun trips together!

I’d probably say the overall winner, though, is a tie between our Costa Rica Honeymoon in 2012…

Here are all the recaps, just for fun:

  • Costa Rica Honeymoon Details (overview)
  • El Silencio Lodge: Hiking Adventures
  • El Silencio Lodge: “Cultural Tour”
  • Waterfall Rappelling
  • White Water Rafting
  • Hanging Bridges, Volcano Hikes, Waterfalls, and Hot Springs!
  • JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa
  • Ziplining!
  • Scuba Diving!

And also tied for first place is our scuba diving trip to Malta in 2015 – that was SUCH an awesome trip… (also, that arch in the picture below sadly no longer exists – it fell into the ocean a couple years after our trip):

Gosh a tropical vacation sounds amazing right now, doesn’t it? Take me backkk!!

Here are the Malta recaps, which I just got very jealous of my old self reading:

  • Malta Adventures: Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands
  • Malta Adventures: Mellieha, Scuba Diving with Bezz Diving, and Gozo
  • Malta Adventures: Sliema, St. Peter’s Pool, the Blue Grotto, and Mdina

What do you like most about each other? 

This was a fun one to think about, and to talk about together… I feel like with how monotonous life has gotten lately being cooped up at home all the time, plus being very busy and distracted with Riese, and also just how long we’ve been together, it had been a long time since we really checked in. Too long!

Here’s what I like most about Matt. He is:

  • Generous
  • Kind (it has been so special to see how he is with our daughter Riese – he’s such a sweet, attentive dad – it’s no wonder she’s 100% a daddy’s girl)
  • Knows how to make me (and now Riese!) laugh
  • Is always up for whatever random adventures I come up with 🙂 

And here’s what Matt said he likes most about me. He said “I like that you…”

  • Are proactive about coming up with fun stuff to do (at least, when not pregnant and also in covid lockdown life, that is)
  • Make me want to be the best version of myself
  • Prioritize building real and strong relationships (friendships, etc.) and put in the time to keep them up 


Did you always know you wanted kids?

Yes, Matt and I both knew we wanted kids, we just weren’t sure when or how many! He was ready to start having kids a couple years earlier than I was, but he didn’t pressure me or anything, just basically said that he would be ready when I was.

I think since I started my business/career so late after pivoting and going back to school to become a dietitian (I graduated with my Masters of Public Health in Nutrition in November 2012 right after we got married, and started my nutrition private practice in early 2013) I wanted to have some time to focus on that and to build things up before starting a family.

Plus, I was having a lot of fun traveling (with Matt and friends and also for blog press trips) and running marathons! 🙂 

But we both felt ready in late 2016/early 2017 and were thrilled to welcome Riese to the family in November 2017. <3

And now we are happy to be completing our family in May of this year, with baby #2, a boy!

For a minute there we thought about trying for 3 kids, but we’ve decided 2 feels right for us/our family, especially since I needed a lot of recovery time in between Riese and trying for number 2. And given our age at this point – we are 38 now! 

Wow, this got long. 

I will close out here, and thank you for reading if you made it this far! 

I’m curious – what’s your Enneagram? Do you think it’s accurate? Why or why not? 

And if you have any other questions for me + Matt, let me know! 🙂

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