He beat her to the altar

Somehow, years ago, my sister Erica and my cousin Steve engaged in an epic race to the altar.

At the time, neither one was in a relationship. A race seemed like the right thing to do. Bets were made, gauntlets were thrown down, and firm handshakes were given left and right.

The very dinner over which the race was declared (summer 2008)

I am here to declare: he won. As fate would have it, their weddings are only 28 days apart—it was a close one, folks. But as it stands, with the “I do’s” that were repeated on Saturday June 26th, Steve triumphed. I just wish I could remember who owes who what. Was there money involved? And more importantly, is that money somehow owed to me? Based on a glaring hole in the historical record, we may never know.

After a careful and scientific research of their childhoods, I can say that he was bound to win. Just look at him:

Steve smiles triumphantly in the middle. Erica, to the right, has a clear sense of her future demise.

Erica, to the left, may think she's ahead--but here comes Steve. His style can only be called "barreling forward".

Let’s do a short interview with each contestant:




“How do you feel about your loss of the unforgettable ‘race to the altar’?”

Erica: Since I won the race to the earth by 5 weeks, that trumps the race to the altar . . . but if Steve feels like he’s won, I’ll let him believe that. The fact is that entering the world is a way bigger deal than getting married because you can’t actually get married unless you exist.

“How would you encourage other ‘race to the altar’ contestants who have lost to cope with their failure?”

Erica: Failure, failure. . . what is failure . . . I wouldn’t count this race as “failure” per se. What would happen if you blended orange juice and a banana?

“Let’s stay on topic—you just lost a bet—how do you not see that as failure?”

Erica: Domination is done by Team Us, team Dave and Erica—and Steve and Steph have alliterated names, which is lame. I would call that losing. So in the end, Steve and Steph get kind of a consolation prize by getting married today. I pity them.

“Erica, those sound like fighting words.”

Erica: They are fighting words.

Dad: Stephanie’s Dad is a wrestling coach. . .

Erica: Well I’m not going to wrestle her dad. I’d like to point out that Dave is also an army ranger, and rangers lead the way. That’s their motto.

My husband: Don’t you think historians lead the way though?

“So give us a little preview of the drama to come—do you have any plans that include scheming, conning, sabotage, or dueling?”

Erica: Oh, well, our children are part of that plan—we’re going to have ninja ranger rock-throwing babies. Our gang of children will beat Steve and Steph’s offspring into oblivion. And not just physically—also intellectually. They will beat them in wealth, beauty, smarts, and strength. Their names will be: Ranger #1, Ranger #2, Ranger #3 and so forth. Steve and Steph, be afraid. It’s all part of the master plan.

Erica puts up her dukes



“How do you feel about your recent Race to the Altar victory?”

Steve: Haha! Completely not the first thing on my mind . . . but it does add to the excitement. You know, now that you mention it, it feels good.

“How do you plan on interacting with Erica as the loser in this contest?”

Steve: Rub it in a little. I mean, I’ll be gracious–but I’ll always have the upper hand.

“What advice would you give to young things out there who are also contemplating engaging in such a Race?”

Steve: Mmmmmmm. . . win. And enjoy it, that’s the big thing. It happens once. Winning adds, but losing wouldn’t take away.

“Erica has said some Fighting Words about her gang of kids beating up your gang of kids; your response.”

Steve: Bring it. Bring it. Do you know what my kids are going to be named? Hunter, Gunner, Shooter, and Ace.

“Thanks Erica and Steve for fielding my questions. It’s all about good journalism on topics that are of general interest to the American public.”


Well everyone, stay tuned for the ongoing drama—something tells me we haven’t seen the last of these ambitious racers! We’ll do follow up interviews in 10 years, once both couples have had the time to produce their own private gang of ruffian children. Who will win? Who will lose? And the burning question on all our minds–whose children will be the first to make it to Mars in a home-made space shuttle and colonize what some know as “The Red Planet”? We’ll be back after a brief decade.

In the meantime, enjoy these shots of Steve and Steph’s wedding:

Erica and Steve put aside their differences

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4 Responses to He beat her to the altar

  1. dave says:

    Hilarious article Jenna! And for the record training for our kids begins day one. That’s right – conception. Just because their appendages aren’t fully formed doesn’t mean they can’t do pushups and practice kung fu.

    • Jenna says:

      Amazing!! Thought I don’t know how Erica will feel about kung fu happening in her belly. You guys will have to work that out.

  2. Luke Berg says:

    Well, either way, what’s obvious is that Steve owe’s us a snowman cookie cutter. And not just anyone mind you. THE snowman cookie cutter. And if he doesn’t fork it up, there will be brewer helmets to pay.

  3. Jen says:

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! I’m putting all my money on Ranger #1 Huffman and Ranger #2 Huffman. Ranger #3 might have issues being a third child of that name and being pitted against both Ace and Shooter. Then again the youngins of the family are rather crafty and can manipulate with their cuteness.

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