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We met at Valparaiso University's Chapel of the Resurrection in Valparaiso, Indiana, on July 5, 2008.  We were both there attending our mutual friends' wedding - Ben & Rachel Lieske.  Katie came to the wedding with a few of her friends who were involved in the Sigma Chi Fraternity while they were at Valpo - the same fraternity Tom was in.  Tom was in Valpo with Phil Morris (a groomsman) and had just finished a competitive round of tennis ball golf.  Neither had brought dates to the wedding.  After the wedding, Tom introduced himself to Katie and said (in the charming and suave manner in which he is so well known), "And who are you here with?"  He added a wink for good luck.  Katie replied (in the sarcastic and antagonistic style in which she is so well known), "All of them." 
At the reception, Tom told hilarious science jokes and Katie told hilarious music jokes.  The fates were aligned - especially after some wonderful wedding dancing. At the end of the evening, Tom asked Katie for her number and asked her out on a date.  Katie said, "Yes, but there is a slight complication to this - I'll be moving to Connecticut in 4-5 weeks to start my Master's in School Counseling."  Tom said, "That's fine - because I'm unemployed and just finished a Master's program.  So, I guess this could be fun.  But hey, we'll make it work, right?" 
By the time Katie left, Tom was employed, so one problem had been solved.  But, the problem of Katie being 900 miles away would take approximately 735 days to solve.  During that time period, Tom and Katie spent most of their disposable income on plane tickets back and forth on Southwest Airlines (which we highly recommend for its reward value, friendly airline staff, two free checked bags, and completely refundable tickets).  During the visits to Connecticut, Tom and Katie spent a lot of time travelling to different Eastern seaboard states and cities to such fabulous destinations like:  Walden Pond, Statue of Liberty, the Desert of Maine, Broadway, Sam Adams Brewery, the Museum of Bad Art, and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory.  During trips to Chicago, Tom and Katie embarked upon the "So we should probably get to know each other's family and friends" journey which included many trips to Nauvoo and Homer Glen, Illinois.  Katie learned the art of Sunday Football Celebrations while Tom learned the art of feeding cows via John Deere tractors and bale spears.  Oh, we also threw in a trip to Costa Rica - where Katie witnessed Tom's excellent driving skills and Tom witnessed Katie's excellent language skills - which determined what a stop sign looks like in a Spanish speaking country.  "Alto means stop!!"
After approximately 17 months of blissful courtship and several large life discussions with Katie, Tom decided that it was time to see if Katie would
be interested in changing the "cKoon" to "athews" of her last name.  When Tom picked Katie up from the airport at the start of her Christmas Break in December '09, he took her straight to his apartment and had a scavenger hunt waiting for her (as is the McKoon tradition for all large presents).  Katie - being jetlagged, sleep deprived, and generally oblivious - thought nothing about the scavenger hunt was suspicious.  At the end of the scavenger hunt, Katie had assembled a circle of important things and people in Tom's life around her.  Some of the important things were his favorite book, movie, band, pictures of family and friends, etc.  When Katie was standing in the middle of all of these things still very confused, Tom told her that she now completed his circle.  Then, Tom presented her with an engagement ring and asked her to marry him.  She said, "YES!" and jumped into his arms and almost knocked him over. 
Currently, Tom and Katie are sitting on her bed in Connecticut finishing the final touches on a website for a wedding.  We'll keep you posted on anything else that happens with us - for instance, a wedding on November 6, 2010, in Nauvoo, Illinois.