Dan + Alex- Our Story
7 years ago today, Dan proposed. We had been together 1.5 years, and y’all- so much has happened in that combined 8.5 years. I very much last minute decided to put together a post talking a little about our story. Enjoy, and try not to laugh too much at the incredibly old photos!
In college, I was involved in an on campus ministry called Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) at George Mason University. CRU offered summer mission projects every year to different locations around the world. The summer before my junior year in college, I went to Long Beach, California (because SoCal, duh) on one of these projects. Guess who else just so happened to choose to go to Long Beach that year?! If you guessed Dan- you’re right!
Let me explain something about Dan. He is the easiest person in the world to talk to. Seriously. He’s a therapist, and lemme tell ya, he found his calling. We met the first night there and just chatted- small talk, mostly, but it stuck how easy he was to talk to.
It took a few weeks, but by mid June (we got there in late May), I was definitely crushing hard. He played guitar, he sang, he longboarded. Y’all. My 19 year old self was all about that. This picture is the first photo we ever took together. I liked him so much, and I may or may not have worked it out to strategically sit next to him during this dinner. With, like, 10 other people. So romantic.
There was one day Dan came up to my room and said he was getting some people together to go to a coffee shop that night and would I want to come. Um, yes. I spent the whole day hoping nobody else would say yes, so when it came time to leave and Dan said nobody else was interested, I was pretty sure he could hear my heart pound out of my chest.
Y’all, literally last year I learned that he never actually asked anyone else! He wanted to go with just me but wasn’t ready for a date yet!
My favorite part of being with Dan was that I was so comfortable just being. When we went to a coffee shop, we’d put headphones in and I’d write and he’d read. Then when we did talk, it was nonstop, but there was no pressure, no awkward silence. It just felt so natural.
By the beginning of July, we had hung out a few times, but I was pretty good at convincing myself that he was like that with everyone and would never be interested in me. There was also the small factor of him living in Colorado while I was in Virginia. We had a dinner to say goodbye to the staff (they only stayed half of the trip), and when I walked in, Dan hugged me and told me I looked beautiful.
Be. Still. My. Heart. Long story short, we went for a walk on the beach later that night, where he said NOTHING and I was mad, then right before we walked back to our rooms he stopped me. We sat down, he told me he really like me but was worried about long distance. So we agreed to just keep getting to know each other with the intention of dating.
Insert lots of trips to Yogurtland and coffee shops, laundry mats and late night chats. We started officially dating, and by the time he drove away to Colorado as my boyfriend while I boarded a flight to Virginia as his girlfriend, I felt pretty sure I was going to marry him.
Fast forward six months to December. My family was flying to Colorado for a ski trip and Dan met up with us there. This is the first time he met my family, and my brother was so nervous to meet him because his major had been psychology! He was an amazing skier, loved sports and good beer, and treated me well, so my family was sold early on. This is also the trip where Dan told me he loved me for the first time. This was a huge deal because earlier in our relationship, he had told me he had never said that before- he only wanted to say it to the woman he was going to marry. (THAT WAS ME!)
Lots of long distance, lots of flights, lots of money- I cried every time I boarded a flight or dropped him off. He started applying to graduate schools and was choosing ones on the east coast to be closer to me. But cute Dan thought everything on the east coast was only 2 hours away from each other (?!) so he choose University of Connecticut, which was 6 hours from me. Hey, better than a plane ride!
February 2011, Dan made plans to come see me for my birthday (which is Valentine’s Day). I was going to make dinner reservations, but he told me he had already made plans.
Y’all, Dan is great at many things. Making plans is not one of them. Especially when he doesn’t even live there. So I had a small suspicion.
We were both getting ready at the house I lived in with my roommates. I borrowed a fancy dress, and my roommates told me to curl my hair. It was a bit much, but it was my Valentine’s/birthday date.
We drove into DC, Dan still not telling me where we were going. Then we pulled up by the Potomac River, and I saw the big cruiser sitting on the river. “NO WAY!” I gaped adoringly.
He had booked a dinner cruise, and this was so beyond anything I imagined. And I felt pretty certain. We walked onto the yacht and found our table, but Dan was really adamant about going up to the top of the ship to see the view. I protested because it was February in DC- it was cold. He was being annoyingly stubborn about it, though, so we went. We were the only ones up there, and our view was the glowing Washington Monument in the distance. Dan pulled me close and started murmuring sweet things before taking both of my hands in his, kneeling on one knee, and then reaching to pull a ring out of his pocket.
“Will you do me the honor of being my wife?” “YES!”
The rest of the night was magical- the dinner cruise was so beautiful and fun, and I love that we got to share the rest of the night just us! (I did call my mom to tell her while on the ship! Funny story- Dan asked for my parents’ permission to marry me over Christmas. My mom didn’t talk to me for all of January because she was afraid she’d tell me, so I thought she was mad at me for over a month.)
When we got home, all of my roommates and friends were there to surprise us with a super cool banner (which was used for every roommate’s engagement thereafter, btdubs).
We spent the rest of the night telling the story to everyone and laughing and just being in such disbelief. We were engaged for 5 months and did some long distance planning for a PA wedding.
July 23, 2011 was the hottest day in PA in 70-something years. And we were getting married outside. I got so dehydrated and spent the majority of the day sick, but we ended up married, which was the goal!
Our almost 7 years of marriage has been a rollercoaster. Those are for another post as this one is already quite lengthy, but I have never stopped being so grateful that I said yes 7 years ago. I absolutely love our life together, and I cannot imagine living it beside anyone else. I will forever be so glad he asked me to be his, and I will never stop saying Yes to him.