Dan and I were at the baby shower of a mutual friend on May 3rd, 2008. I noticed him, he noticed me. I left for dinner plans before he had a chance to approach me. He asked our friend for my number and we connected on myspace a week later. About a week or so after that, we went on our first date to Cheesecake Factory. He was kind and quiet, nothing like his tough exterior. I didn't realize it at the time, but he skipped school on Tuesdays to take me out. We went out for dinners, mini-golfing, and went to see the baby that brought us together.
In July, we became exclusive, and were pretty much inseparable by then. We spent weekends hanging out, seeing friends, and enjoying falling in love. We celebrated his 24th birthday with dinner and cake at home and exchanged our first "I Love You's." I had a calm sense about knowing that he was just the right guy for me. Everything about my relationship with him was different from everything else to that point, in the best possible ways.
For our first Christmas, Dan came down from Phoenix to Tucson and spent about 3 days with my family, hiking, going to see Christmas lights, and just hanging out. It really impressed me that he was willing to come spend a whole weekend with people he barely knew and that he did that for me. On Christmas night, we went to look at lights in a neighborhood that goes all out with decorating. One of the homes in the neighborhood had a wishing tree. Strips of paper and a stapler were set out and the idea was to write a Christmas wish on the paper and then staple the strip onto the end of the chain. As neither of us is good with secrets, we shared ours. Mine: "to love him always." His: "win the lottery and be with her forever." That was the first time we'd talked really long term, and we spent the rest of the evening whispering about what it meant for us. We knew we wanted to get marriedand it was so exciting to talk about the future.
Dan proposed exactly a month later on January 25th, 2009 after asking for my parents' blessing the evening before. We were in our pajamas. We made dinner and shared a bottle of our favorite wine. After we ate, he asked me to dance - right there in our living room. After dancing slowly for a few minutes, he looked deeply into my eyes and got down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and of course I said "yes." We were so excited. We called our parents and siblings, then sat back in our excitement and just enjoyed this new chapter in our lives.
We set a wedding date of October 16th, 2009. As cheesy as it may be, we liked the idea of saying "I Love You Forever" on the anniversary of the first expression of our love for each other. We planned a wedding that was uniquely us, yet still traditionally and fully heartfelt. We both thoroughly enjoyed wedding planning, I think, and had fun meeting with the DJ, tasting cake, and finding ways to put our personalities into the day. I did a lot of it myself, and really enjoyed doing the favors, programs, and other little details. Over the next few days, I'll show you pictures from our wedding and show how it was just perfect for us.