"I was running out of minutes on my phone. We just decided to get together. We hopped in our cars and met mid-way. It was a seven hour drive for both of us," she said.
They've been together ever since.
As he looked for a meaningful Christmas gift that year, Chris remembered how much she enjoyed dancing in "The Nutcracker" years ago. She cried when she opened the toe shoes he gave her on their first Christmas together.
The following Christmas he gave her a piece of stained glass that portrayed Clara holding the Nutcracker. She cried harder.
"I asked myself how I was going to top that," he said. "I knew that nothing would mean more to her than to be up there on stage and dance it again." So he called Pauley, and she agreed to his request.
Although he regularly argues cases before federal judges in his job, Chris said the thought of ballet rehearsal terrified him. "I'm out of my element, but it's going better than I expected," he said. "It's all for Karen."
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.