Dent and photograph by Elizabeth Lavin

Love

How I Ended Up in John Isner’s Bedroom

(We still owe him for the dent in the wall.)

I never thought I’d be in John Isner’s bedroom.

Truthfully, I never thought I’d be in his home, but I had come to interview Highland Park jewelry designer Madison McKinley, and John just happens to be her husband.

Madison, who was pregnant with her first child at the time (and radiant in a blue floral maxi dress), started talking about her latest jewelry line. Then I asked how the ESD grad had ended up marrying the best male tennis player in the United States, a strapping 6-foot-10 hockey fan from North Carolina, and she told me this crazy Netflix-worthy rom-com story that involved a mother-daughter book club trip to London.

So the jewelry story was clearly going to have to take a turn.

Later, after Madison had her baby, I returned to her home with Elizabeth Lavin, our staff photographer, for a photo shoot. Elizabeth took beautiful photos of Madison nursing her daughter and of John coming home from a workout at SMU to kiss his wife and child. Then Elizabeth made a suggestion.

“I’d love to photograph you all snuggled up in your bed under that gorgeous duvet!” she announced with typical enthusiasm. John looked at her askance. He was nervous enough about his attire for the living room shots, asking to keep his socks on because he said he had ugly feet. “Like I did with Tony Romo,” she added, as if that settled the matter.

Next thing I knew, John, Madison, and Hunter Grace were cuddled under the duvet. Elizabeth was standing on something (a step stool? the dresser?). I was asking John about when he first fell for Madison. And then the lighting rig crashed into the wall.

I won’t assign blame, but it left a noticeable dent.

Elizabeth still owes the couple some photos. Meanwhile, I left with a great story for the June issue. You can read it here.

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