Nichole and Ian

How We Met

We first met when we were in preschool. However, Ian was not fond of my sister and I (I’m a twin). Our birthdays are two days apart (his is on the 25th of February and mine and my sister’s is on the 27th). While we were in preschool, his birthday just so happened to occur over the weekend. This meant that he did not bring in “birthday treats” so no one sang happy birthday to him. However, that following Monday, the “Hardt Twins” had their birthday and brought in their treats to celebrate with the class. Everyone sang happy birthday to us because of this. This led to instant jealousy and resentment and to this day, Ian still remembers how much he “hated the Hardt twins” because of this. However, these feelings didn’t last and we were great friends in middle school. Then in high school it led to more, and the rest is history…. Where we are in the first picture: Ian is on the top of the slide sitting (in the blue and white striped sweater), and I’m on the top right next to one our teachers with my super fashionable denim dress and curly short hair (once a teacher’s pet, always a teacher’s pet). The second picture is at my 15th birthday party (braces and all). We had been dating for about 4 months. The third picture is at the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the Washington Nationals Game. More recent. We’ve obviously grown up…

Proposal Ideas Algonkian Regional Park, Sterling, Virginia

Nichole and Ian's Engagement in Algonkian Regional Park, Sterling, Virginia

How He Asked

Ian proposed on October 26th, 2015. Exactly ten years after we started dating. I obviously had hoped a proposal was coming soon (I mean, ten years….HELLO), but was definitely surprised when he actually did it. Ian had it planned perfectly. The day before we had run our first full marathon (if you’re a runner and ever want to do a full marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. is a phenomenal race). Both my parents were down as well as my twin sister since she was running it with us. Ian’s father also came down to cheer us on and visit. So it’s the day after the race and we’re all pretty tired. Our families are getting ready to leave, but not before we go to breakfast and see this “look-out” that I had been telling my family about for months (we had recently just moved into a new place in Virginia right by the Potomac river where there were a lot of trails and overlooks). We decide to go to the overlook first to take pictures of the fall foliage and then go to breakfast.

As I am getting ready, I am talking to Ian and am like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so tired. I just want to wear sweatpants,” to which Ian replied, “Well, I’ll be wearing jeans since we’re going to breakfast afterwards.” Begrudgingly, I put on something decent to wear. Then I look at Ian and go, “Well do I even need to wear make-up? It’s just our families,” to which Ian replied, “Well, Amanda’s wearing make-up.” Again, I begrudgingly put on some make-up. Then I realize I have the perfect ring to go with my outfit which I excitedly tell Ian. To this, he starts laughing. I ask, “Why are you laughing?” He answers, “Nothing, you’re just funny.” I should have known something was fishy right then and there, but was totally clueless.

Once everyone is ready and packed up, we head to the overlook. We take pictures of the scenery and with our families; you know, the usual. Then everyone tells Ian and I to take a picture. This is nothing new to me so I’m like “Yeah, sure,” and we pose. All of the sudden, I can sense that Ian’s getting fidgety and literally can hear his breath catching and it hits me: THIS IS IT!! And wouldn’t you know, Ian is suddenly on his knee asking me to spend the rest of my life with him.

I wish I could remember everything he said, but I honestly cannot because I think I blacked out at some point during the proposal (Ian says the same thing happened to him as well). All I know is, that we are now engaged and ready to take on the next step together. I couldn’t be happier; Ian and I have grown up together, and now we get to grow old together.