Alyssa and Jon

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How We Met

Jon and I met through three things that we love: hockey, Top Gun, and working out. Both attending Drake University for school the first words he spoke to me were “really, a Blackhawks shirt?” I was filling up my water bottle getting ready to workout and had noticed the ridiculously cute boy sitting in the chair working in the gym. Stunned that he spoke to me, all I did was giggle. Afterwards of course thousands of funny comebacks flooded my mind as I ran on the treadmill, things like “why do you think I am wearing it to workout” or “ah your team must have lost to them this year!”. I finished my workout, took another glance at him “who is he? I have never seen him. Maybe he is new?” I walked out the door and life continued on for 5 months. I returned to Drake for my second semester and I hit the gym. And what would you know, there he was at the squat rack. At this point I still didn’t know his name. Not only was he ripped and extremely handsome, I could sense his kindness and generosity with every word he spoke to others around him. His smile and laugh were addicting, I caught myself picking treadmills close to him or walking by him just to catch a hint at who he might be. Then, the day came. Someone yelled “Hey Jon!”. Thank goodness I live in a world of social media! I booked it home after the gym and what did you know, after some time searching… I found him. I added him with no hesitation. This boy was special. But he was far from a boy, he was a man. A strong and courageous man. I looked on his past statuses and posts and found myself laughing and learning quite a bit about him. Especially the fact that he was in the United States Air Force, was 5 years older than me, and had a love for hockey. That was my in! We started talking over Facebook, Facebook turned to hellos and small talk at the gym, which turned to texting (after I gave him my number, and he gave me his incorrect phone number!). Life went on, but still there was something about Jon, I felt it in my heart. A huge believer in Jesus, Faith, Prayer and faithfulness i prayed every night for this man I knew barely anything about, except that he was an Uncle and was visiting his sister in Houston or completing his drill days at the Iowa ANG. I prayed and I prayed, I learned what faithfulness and prayer meant. I learned that God’s plan is greater than anything I had imagined for my life. With interactions and a lot of failed attempts for Jon to take me on a date or just hang out with me, the semester ended. I had an internship and decided to stay in Des Moines for the summer. There were moments that I almost gave up, I almost didn’t send that text or didn’t continually put myself out there. But I continued to pray about Jon, that whatever God’s Will is for us it would be completed. I took some summer classes, and who would you guess was in my Management class… Jon. We started doing our homework and tests together, meeting at the library and chatting at the gym. I lost all shame and would just walk up to him, start a conversation and we became really good friends. I grew as a person in this time. I was confident in who I was, the kindness I tried to portray and always asking how he was doing. That summer became increasingly hard for me as all I wanted to do was date him. I wanted him to hang out with me and see who I was as a person, someone I knew he would enjoy. I was scared that if I shared how I felt, I would scare him off. But he didn’t scare that easily, and I think he had known my feelings all along. The respect he had and I had for him not to enter into a relationship until we were fully ready is what has made us such an amazing team of Best Friends. We are the same person, so alike in so many ways. June 5th came and we went on our first date. I was flying home from a family vacation in Denver, nothing was stopping me from driving from Minnesota to Iowa to have that first date. I was exhausted, anxious and the butterflies in my stomach felt like giant moths.

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I got to his apartment and there he was, I stepped out of my car and he gave me a huge hug. Jon is almost a foot taller than me, my head fit perfectly on his chest. We walked to Dos Rios and had mexican on the patio in downtown Des Moines. This was my last first date. He asked me to be his girlfriend over Froyo and Watching planes at the airport. I am so thankful for the journey and months that lead up to us dating, it made us who we are as a couple and taught me so much about the tenderness of love. PS did I mention he is a pilot? And that he is going to Fly F-16 for the most amazing country in the world that so many take for granted, he changed my world.

I stepped out of my car and he gave me a huge hug. Jon is almost a foot taller than me, my head fit perfectly on his chest. We walked to Dos Rios and had mexican on the patio in downtown Des Moines. This was my last first date. He asked me to be his girlfriend over Froyo and Watching planes at the airport. I am so thankful for the journey and months that lead up to us dating, it made us who we are as a couple and taught me so much about the tenderness of love. PS did I mention he is a pilot? And that he is going to Fly F-16 for the most amazing country in the world that so many take for granted, he changed my world.

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How He Asked

In our time together we accomplished so much, we went on trips, we pushed each other to do better in school, in our jobs, at the gym, and to be better as a person. In August 2015 we found out Jon’s dreams came true, in turn my dreams came true. He was going to be an F16 fighter pilot and would have to go to officer school and flight training. We hugged and we teared up at the fact that life was happening. We were living in two different states seeing each other often. I began to fear that he would have to do this on his own, travel the country from base to base without me. I said to him “I want to go with you so bad and be there for you, but I will not be moving unless I am married to you.” thats how I was raised. To me that is a special thing for you and your husband to share, and I was sticking to that. He laughed and said “I know”. But did he really know? You never know with boys! A few months went by and he received his dates. My heart sank when I found out he would be leaving January 16th. January 16th for officer school I thought.. this can’t be happening. We don’t have enough time! It is October. But Jon knew my wishes, and that man bent over backwards so we could start our life together.

October 17th, 2015

Jon came up for the weekend and we had planned a date day! We were going to the mall then to dinner at Red Cow in the North Loop. Now, my parents still say to this day, ‘I can not believe you didn’t see it coming’. When I found of Jon was going to propose I promised myself that I wouldn’t think about it. How unfair to Jon and I that every time I see him I expected “a shiny thing” as he calls it. So I went on our date day… it was a great day. Getting engaged was the farthest thing from my mind, I reveled in his kindness and his love that day. It was cold that day and Jon was being weird about what I wore, it was the strangest thing! At the mall he tried to waste time, and bought me my favorite candy… Mike & Ike Jolly Joes. We went to dinner, he bought me my favorite drink. We sat in the bar area of a classy burger joint. That is who we are to the core, discussing life, eating food, and enjoying the time we are given with each other. Next is where the lightbulb should have gone off in my head, but I thank the Lord for keeping me calm and totally oblivious. We sat and watched a Texas A&M football game for 30 more minutes. We walked to the car just holding hands. We were so full! We are extremely self conscious eaters and avid workout partners… we called that our cheat meal but our stomachs took a hit! Next he said, ‘Let’s go to a bridge”. Bridges are extremely close to our heart. The bridge in Des Moines is where he told me he was falling for me, and where he told me he loved me for the first time. We found a parking spot right away which is unheard of for the area we were in! Now Jon tells me he wants to wait for the sunset, so we continue to sit in the car for 40 minutes watching people go by, talking about puppies and just having great conversation. I was itching to get out of the car and he finally let me at 6:15pm. Walking across the bridge I felt like the luckiest girl.

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He squeezed my hand. Soon he began to speak to me, we had made it 3/4 of the way to the bridge and he said “Alright lets turn around its too crowded down there this side is better anyway” agreeing we turned around. I will never forget the words he spoke to me. My heart sank and I thought “this is the moment, he is going to propose.” Walking next to me he began to talk “Bridges are so special to us. From I am falling in love with you, I love you, to right here.” He began to be silent. That was all he said! He was done talking? Maybe this isn’t the day. We continued to walk and he stopped by the ledge of the bridge. He hugged me so tight, I could feel the heart inside of him pounding. He dropped to his knee, through both our tears he said “Alyssa Joy, you are my best friend, I can not imagine my life without you. Will you marry me?” That is paraphrasing, but he pulled me into a hug both crying. All of a sudden, there was a man there taking our photos! It all made sense. The clothes Jon was worried about me wearing, the sitting and waiting in the car, the hand in his pocket all night. He gave me the most beautiful ring my eyes had ever seen, but more than that he is giving me a life full of love, adventure, seeking God, serving the country, and the rest of my life in the arms of the man I love. Jon and I get married in 44 days to be exact, March 11th. We will be separated for two months while he attends Officer school for the Air Force. Following that he and I will make our first home on Shepard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls TX.”Grow old with me, the best is yet to be”.

J+A Photos

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Special Thanks

Jeannine Pohl
Bellagala Photography
Rod Andrews
Photography