Our story starts in the fall of 2005 when Patrick and Kara met at Millersville University. You could say it started long before then. But when we met, things started to unfold into what they are today.

We were friends throughout college, hanging out here and there, but never getting to know each other on a deep level. Years continued to pass. After graduating in 2007, Patrick moved back home with his family to western Pennsylvania. Kara graduated college in 2009, and started her Master’s in Social Work. Patrick also started graduate school at the same time, but studying Geography many miles away. Both Kara and Patrick were slated to graduate with their Masters degrees in May 2011.

The McKinney family visiting Blairsville

A new chapter in our story began at a New Year’s party with college friends to ring in 2011. This was a time of reconnecting for us. After long discussions in car rides and on the phone, Kara learned that Patrick would be moving back to Lancaster after graduation.

The day after Patrick moved back, we spent a day visiting Lancaster City. Pretty soon after, sparks were flying, “I love you’s” were expressed, and a ring was purchased. September 22, 2012 we tied the knot and the rest as they say is history.

There’s a saying: “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby….”. Well, our whirlwind of dating and married life soon turned into a whirlwind of having babies. Nathaniel entered the world in November 2013. Elijah followed soon after in March 2015. And finally, our baby girl Isabel arrived in June 2017. They’ve brought us so much fun and crazy. They’ve taught us so much about ourselves, about love, and about the world. Even though it’s far from perfect (somewhat of a chaotic mess), we wouldn’t want our life any other way.

Patrick and Kara visiting a tiny house


Kara’s Side

I remember meeting Patrick at a friend’s house in college (smack in the middle of campus) on the night of September 22. Actually, we’re not sure of the date. But September 22 is our wedding date. Wouldn’t it be awesome if it were true? When I discovered that his full name was Patrick McKinney, I was a bit taken aback, because that is the name of my uncle (married to her mom’s sister). I remember going out and sitting on the front porch swing and telling a friend how funny it would be if I married him because of his name.

Patrick’s Side

One of my first memories of meeting Kara was during an intramural football game at Millersville. A group of us were watching some friends play. I remember overhearing Kara talking to a friend about some guy. I was a little jealous. She was cute, and I was hoping to get to know her better. Another memory was a year later. I had won dinner for two at either Olive Garden or Red Lobster. I ended up having to choose between Kara and her friend. Unfortunately, I choose her friend instead. But I was vindicated in the end. We’ve gone to Olive Garden many times.