We met in 2016, shortly after we both graduated and moved to Washington, DC. Toby was a staff assistant on Capitol Hill, and Clay had just started working with the OCC. We were friends for a long time and bonded over being totally broke, our similar sense of humor, and a mutual appreciation for Madam's Organ before we started dating on Cinco de Mayo 2017. We got tight with each other's families quickly over margaritas on beach trips, on the dance floor at weddings, and through story sharing at funerals. Toby decided to go all-in on one sport for Clay (hockey - go Caps) and Clay was a great cheerleader when Toby announced she wanted to start running (very slow) races. Clay brought Toby to Keeneland and NYC, and Toby introduced Clay to TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack. We planned surprise dates for each other, bopped around new restaurants and hole in the wall spots throughout the city, kayaked on the Potomac, hosted the best visitors, and discovered how much we love going to comedy shows.
We celebrated promotions, mourned the loss of family members, and hunkered down to watch endless Sopranos episodes while Clay recovered from his "knee job." When the pandemic began, we enjoyed walks all over DC, church from the couch, Zoom birthday parties, and Toby's undiscovered skill of mixing quarantinis. When Toby found out she'd be moving to South Carolina for a few months to work for the campaign, Clay was the number one supporter and spent many weekends driving back and forth from Columbia to spend time together on Toby's one day off a week. When Election Day rolled around, Clay packed up the Highlander with the ring in his pocket and headed to SC. Clay proposed in front of the South Carolina State House on November 5, 2020, after telling Toby he was so excited he almost dropped down on one knee when he pulled into the driveway 2 days earlier.
We're confident that every good and perfect gift is from above, and God has given us the sweetest gift in each other. We feel so thankful for the friends and family who have celebrated with us, prayed over us, and shared advice, laughs, weekend visits, and long phone calls with us through all seasons of our relationship. Thank you for everything you've done to love us well - we can't wait to celebrate our best day surrounded by the people we love!