Josh is an Iowa native. He grew up in Cedar Falls with his parents and younger sister. Growing up he liked playing video games and sports such as football, basketball and baseball. He was also into the nerdy things like comic books, sci-fi and fantasy books. In his early 20s, Josh started attending church and growing his relationship with Jesus.
Josh took up mud runs in 2019 then biking in 2021. He’s participated in a few bike races and recently completed his first triathlon – he’s looking forward to the next ones! Josh works for Delta McKenzie where he makes archery targets. He also Door Dashes in his free time.
Holly grew up all over the country – 11 states and 40 addresses so far! She is the middle child with two brothers. Holly’s family enjoyed traveling, playing games and camping. Holly also played sports – volleyball was her favorite! She spent a lot of her childhood reading and being artsy. She grew up in the church but really began to grow in her faith in Jesus after age 12.
More recently, Holly enjoys LEGO building, bike riding, puzzles & cross stitching. She owns her own business called Handcrafted Blessings where she helps people be creative with paper, ink & stamps. Creating/selling cards & being an encourager are two things she’s passionate about.
Our story is one of growth, commitment and understanding toward each other. There’s been a lot of laughter and a few bumps and scrapes as we took this journey together. Our story truly highlights the love, healing and redemption that comes from Jesus.
Our first date was coffee at Panera on October 14, 2021 after exchanging a few messages through an online dating app. While we were both nervous and unsure that anything could flourish between us, we ended up talking well past closing. And thus the adventure began. On our second date, Josh discovered that Holly can make anything a competition – even skee-ball. 🙂
Our first Thanksgiving and Christmas (2021) were spent with Holly’s family. Josh graciously endured the questions and grilling from her dad and brothers. He also found card games were fun to play again.
Josh reintroduced Holly to bike riding. She found him to be a patient teacher while finding her balance again. We’ve biked many miles together throughout the Cedar Valley.
2022 became our year of growth and truly learning about each other. We traveled to South Dakota, Indiana, Minnesota and Illinois for work and fun. Miles of driving gave us the chance to go deeper and ask questions to understand the other better. And Josh is figuring out how to drive so Holly doesn’t get carsick!
We’ve been attending Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls together. Josh joined Holly’s small group and met a great group of new friends! He was baptized last fall and we became members of the church soon after.
We recognized our baggage and past trauma and we each sought counseling to help us heal. Honest communication, compassion, patience and prayer are characteristics that define our relationship. Plus lots of laughter!
One new adventure for us will be doing craft shows together. Josh is learning woodworking so he can make shadow boxes, frames and other wall decor. Holly will use her paper crafting skills to complete these projects.
It started on a Saturday (February 25) with a visit to Toad’s where we’d had our second date. We played many rounds of skee-ball and Holly finally won one match! The next day (February 26) it was off to Panera for lunch (the site of our first date). Afterwards we ventured out to Prairie Lakes Park and walked to our special spot overlooking the lakes. It was windy and freezing! Josh pulled out a ring and popped the question. Naturally Holly started laughing and said “are you serious?” After repeating this question a few times, accompanied by a lot of giggling, she did say yes! Josh had picked out a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring – a unique token of love between a unique couple.
H&J – we will be getting married May 13, 2023!