About Us

Kristen and Zach met at The Daily Cougar at the University of Houston. Kristen was a forlorn sophomore studying print journalism, and  Zach a wayward poet, living the thug life.

On one fateful afternoon, Mena El-Sharkawi brought Kristen into the DC for a copy editing test. Zach happened to look up as she entered the room and immediately thought, well, what he thought isn’t safe for the Internet. Bu

t he told Blake Whitaker, the managing editor and Zach’s best friend, to hire Kristen. And so it began.


In Kristen’s first few days at the DC, she would learn a lot about Zach, as he is not a private person. We’ll save the details for the rehearsal dinner and reception toasts. Suffice it to say, Kristen has been laughing at (with?) Zach since the day they met.

And Zach has been continually searching for the words to describe the way Kristen makes him feel. (“Awesome” is a bit cliche.) In the fall of 2005, the couple (They weren’t technically a couple yet.) went to a party. Kristen drove Zach home, and Zach finally worked up the courage to read her a poem he’d been working on:

I want to be the god you dream of, lost in sleep forgotten
And caught again each morning in thick streaks across your cotton.

If you remember me, your tender cheeks blend camouflage with memories,
Suspending me extended for your lips’ consent before I leave.
Am I naïve to try to see a sigh for me in eyes so clean?
When I fell from Heaven did I bring a piece of sky with me?
Each time you breathe my name, I’m stunned and struggle to discover
One subtle change in tone or stains that intimate a lover.
What I want is astral charts of all your facial constellations,
Because I’m lost inside your charm and I can’t navigate your vagueness.
But I wonder like a blind man if I am the one who sees,
And maybe you’re the one that’s fighting through my ambiguities.

Responses need no questions if we meet there in that Walden
And walk beneath the odd debris your body leaves your thoughts in.

Shortly thereafter, the two officially started dating.

Zach proposed on October 13, 2010, their fifth anniversary. Kristen had just finished a moot court practice when Zach asked her to go on an evening stroll through campus. It was late, and Kristen thought it was weird that he wanted to carry their bags around campus after a long day, but five years of dating called for some sort of celebration, so she went for the stroll. Zach took them from the law school, to the library, around the fountain to the English building, and then back to the DC courtyard. He picked up an issue of the DC from the newspaper stand and sat down on the courtyard bench.

Kristen and Zach worked on the paper’s crossword puzzle for a few minutes, and then Zach reached into his bag and pulled out a piece of paper. No longer wayward,  but still a poet, Zach read Kristen a sonnet he had written. Just a few lines in, they heard a rumble in the distance. It was a janitor wheeling a trash can up the driveway and into the DC courtyard. So Zach stopped reading for the ten minutes it took the janitor to pass.

Finally, Zach finished reading his sonnet, reached into his bag and pulled out an ivory ring box. He got down on one knee and asked Kristen to marry him.

Kristen was shocked and pretty much has no recollection of what happened after seeing the box. Inside was a beautiful ruby. And she knows she must have said, “yes” at some point, because she gets to wear the ruby everyday.

Kristen and Zach immediately called their family and best friends to tell them the good news. Later, Zach told Kristen that he had been planning the proposal for months and that he had just recently asked her parents’ permission. It was official later that night when they changed their Facebook relationship statuses.