7 · 4 · 2010

Our Story

Julie and Mike met one auspicious, sunny afternoon in October of 2003. (October 14th, to be exact.) Their paths had actually semi-crossed a year earlier, when Mike was TA-ing CS103B (Discrete Structures), a class that a certain enterprising freshman was taking, but of that Julie only recalled a tall, lanky guy creeping surreptitiously into the lecture hall and slinking up to the front row with his beaten up little black backpack about fifteen minutes late every single class.

On this fine occasion in October, Julie was now a Sophomore, and into her first quarter as a Section Leader for Stanford's introductory programming classes. (Section leading is basically a program where they get undergraduates to do the work of grad-level TAs but pay them about 5x less.) Mike, as a grad student (fifth-year), should have been beyond the drudges of section leadership, but an unfortunate series of mishaps left him with no class to TA that quarter and so he was forced back into section leading for meager wages. But, since he was a long-time veteran section leader at that point (with some 7 quarters behind him), he also got roped into being a mentor for the 1st quarters. It was thus at a group mentor-mentee dinner at the Peninsula Creamery at the Stanford Shopping Center that Mike found himself seated across from Julie, where they eventually got to discussing, among other things, classes, professors, making video games, and the finer points of Final Fantasy.

They continued talking the entire dinner, and on the car ride back to campus, and then for another hour on the steps of the Gates building. Such was the start of a most excellent friendship built around a shared love of computer science, video games, quirky e-mails, and the 1800s. Julie would often invite Mike for dinner at her dorm (since he was, after all, a starving grad student without the luxury of a meal plan.) Mike for his part made some mighty fine salads and fried rice and brought them to late-night shifts when Julie was helping young computer science students debug their pointer problems. Tea Time was another time-honored tradition where Mike and Julie would huddle around steaming mugs of 3:15 Rose Fruity Tea from Ranch 99 market while talking about classes, life, and the universe. At one point Julie told Mike about Shanghai, the city where she was born, to which he boldly said, "Sounds like a great place. How about I go with you next year?"

Mike and Julie officially started dating the following year on July 3rd, 2004 over a shared mushroom crepe at a crepery in Menlo Park. They then proceeded to travel to Shanghai during the upcoming Christmas. In their six years together, they've traveled to 10 countries together, lived in 4 different abodes (each one slightly more spacious than the last), eaten at at least a dozen Michelin star restaurants, and discovered 3 perfect seasons of television (Death Note s. 1, Veronica Mars season 1, Heroes season 1). They've played 2 Final Fantasy games, built about 30 pieces of IKEA furniture, and challenged each other to at least hundreds of games of Lost Cities, Schotten-totten (download it free), and Starcraft. They've also collaborated on a Facebook App called (fluff)Friends and went through a total of 6 jobs between the two of them (5 of which were Mike's). Last but not least, they've adopted a cat who is quite beautiful but with an improper tail, named Chup.

Mike asked Julie to marry him on July 3rd, 2009 on Catalina Island by showing Julie a five-year anniversary DVD he put together with all the photos and videos of their years together. The last chapter was titled "The Future" and strongly wondered what we would be doing a year from now. Cue Mike pulling out the ring. : )

Flash forward to a year later. We're thrilled to celebrate our big day with our closest friends and family, and look forward to many, many other milestones to add to our adventures together.