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Our Story

Kendall & Rocky

True love waits.
 

In our story – it waited until the eve of the second half of life and instantly transformed it. It’s our great honor to host you – our beloved family and friends across several decades – for a long weekend party celebrating our romance. We wanted to spend a few words sharing our story, as the party comes together.

 

We met by the most modern means. We met online. OKCupid, to be exact. Before our first date, that first weekend, we spent hours and hours, which felt like years and years, getting to know each other, talking around the clock. So, by the time we met “live,” we already were on. Upon first sight, on Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side, Blake took Kendall’s face in his hands and kissed her.

 

We have been together ever since. In a sense, we were getting married from that very first kiss.

A modern family came together, Kendall and Blake – Blake’s then eight year old daughter Lauren and Kendall’s puppy son, Bruce T. Beauchamp. Blake and Lauren have since adopted Bruce. We’ve been together for nearly seven years, living together as a family for three and looking forward to soon making it official on a trip back to the Heartland, to which we eventually will return to work, live and build our future home.

Flashing back on the path to here – Kendall was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, adopted by a young newsman Dale Allen (the original Daddyo) and his beautiful, golden hearted, artist wife Barbara (Miki – you’ll see), and the journey commenced. Dad’s work would take the family to Philadelphia—where Kendall lived a classic 70s childhood complete with Bicentennial Tall Ships, a two-story tree house and Sears’ Toughskins jeans—and then Ohio, which the Allen family now calls home and where several cherished friends, Kendall’s longest standing childhood friends, live today. You’ll meet them soon.

Kendall journeyed on to college at The Ohio State University and then to graduate school, in Montreal and then Chicago, earning a few degrees along the way, including an MS in Journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Her first full-time magazine job, for Time Inc.'s Sunset, took her out to San Francisco, where she lived for over a decade building her career in print and then digital media and agency land, a lasting focus that eventually brought her to the East Coast and NYC, the heart of her industry's work, where she has now been for 13 or so.

These decades in several amazing cities bloomed deep and abiding friendships with so many in attendance for the celebration in June 2018 and who will walk and read with Kendall on the 16th. Prepare yourselves.

Until meeting Blake, Kendall lived on the Upper West Side in a little brownstone known as Salon 38, building her business Influence Collective and eventually bringing home Bruce, whose name references of course: The Boss. On October 1, 2010, life would change forever. That kiss on the sidewalk – holding romance, deep companionship, and the most mutually respectful, supportive, awestruck union imaginable – is the spark by which “Kendall & Rocky” were born. The relationship is also fueled and strengthened by a lifetime of keeping connected with family and friends over time and from afar. Distance has not mattered. Family and friends are truly our beloved community.

Before the spark that got us here, Blake had spent about 13 years collectively in Chicago and New York City – where Lauren entered the world – first working in Finance and ultimately imagining and founding his life’s work: Special Spectators. Truly hailing from the Heartland, Blake was born in E. Grand Rapids, a place he treasures and to which he credits an incredible childhood, spending early years there and then in Midland, before heading off to Cranbrook and then Albion College. He was a college athlete, he likes to remind us – but more importantly, as a true child of the Midwest, Blake has spent countless hours sailing, skiing, and immersing himself in the great outdoors, all things he and Kendall love doing together, as it happens, and with Lauren and Bruce as much as possible. Their camping trips to the Adirondacks are an ongoing treasure and lasting memory in progress.

Blake’s parents, Margie and Rocky met at Michigan State after World War II when Rocky noticed Margie walking into the drug store just off campus. They were married in 1948, raised five kids with Blake being the youngest (by a lot) and built a home that offered woods, a swamp and a lake and plenty of adventures for a boy. Having significantly older siblings also offered other types of adventures including learning a full vocabulary of swear words, sneaking into jazz clubs at age six, announcing to his parents every time his brothers went out on a Friday/Saturday night that they were, “Going drunk-driving and kissing girls,” and having his sister and older brother, who at the time were in their early 20s, fill in for his mom and dad on Parent’s Day in 2nd grade. Rocky passed away in 2006, but will be well represented on our big day.

After college, Blake moved to Chicago and during his free time, became a volunteer at Children’s Memorial Hospital where his late brother, Charles, was treated most of his life. He met inspiring kids who, surprisingly, were huge sports fans. Despite their passion for sports, few had ever attended a game of any kind. This experience planted the seed for what would become Special Spectators, a nonprofit organization Blake founded in 2002. Since that time, Special Spectators has hosted almost 10,000 seriously ill children, their parents and siblings at nearly 400 games across the United States – mostly college football. Back then, Blake ran and continued to build the organization, while living in NYC, little did he know, right across Central Park from Kendall.

In October 2010, reluctantly, Blake followed a friend’s advice and created an account on the online dating website, OKCupid. Though he created an account, it had been months before he completed a profile. Late one night, with the help of the Heineken Company, Blake created a profile. After the torture of writing about himself, he decided to investigate some of the women on the site. He found Kendall’s profile and sent her a quick note thinking he would never receive a response—this beautiful woman must be flooded with notes. By 10 AM the next morning, Kendall responded and the rest is history.

Prior to meeting Kendall, Blake had begun attending the historic Riverside Church of New York City, an inter-denominational church, influential on the nation’s religious and political landscapes, with a strong social justice agenda. It’s here that Blake and Kendall met and befriended the amazing Rev. Bob Coleman, then senior clergy and now back in Nashville, which he and wife, Tami, call home. A buddy like none other, an unofficial bluesman and more – Bob will officiate with vigor and love on June 16, 2018. All this, as the small but mighty queen, known and loved as "EWalk," looks down from on high. She would approve. As she proclaimed, "Love rules."

This June 2018 weekend, we will share a glimpse of the Heartland, where we both have powerful roots and to which we eventually will return. There will be a taste of the region and healthy gulps of what we love at every turn. It means everything to us that you will be there with us. Until then, just a quick look back to October 2010...

My Self Summary

KMAUWS: "It's tricky to define one's own essence - but, by someone who was trying to sum it up, I've been told I'm best friend, college girlfriend, great beauty and royalty all at once, in one woman."

 

On a Typical Friday Night

AllAmBoy: "What the heck is so typical about Friday night? I'm either out with friends or home with my daughter; cooking something healthy at home or eating a cheeseburger in a restaurant; traveling or hanging at home."  

 

AllAmBoy's message begins: KMAUWS - I was intrigued by your profile and pictures - could we chat? All the best, AllAmBoy

And BOOM this love story began. See you in the Heartland! Kendall + Blake

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