Anna and Brian
How We Met
Our story actually began on Skype! Anna was working as an au pair in Luxembourg during the summer of 2013 after graduating from Michigan State University, just as I did the year before. During her search for a Special Education teaching job, Anna decided to interview with the school at which I was teaching. I was asked by the administration to convince Anna to come and work at his school–our Skype session was supposed to be short, simple, and related only to work. We talked for close to three hours about almost anything other than work–we realized that we shared the same love of travel, taste in music, and passion for working with people who have intellectual disabilities. Eventually, Anna had to leave that initial Skype call, as it was nearly 4 am Luxembourg time. We knew that day that we had both found someone special. Oh, it might be good to add that Anna got the job :). And so, beginning in the fall of 2013, Anna and I became not only great friends, but also supportive colleagues who worked with the same students within the same classroom, with our desks separated by only a few feet. I realized that everything that he had sensed about Anna during that initial Skype call was true–she was the most positive, caring, genuine, and passionate person he would ever come to know, not to mention an amazing instructor who always put the best interests and needs of her students before her own. Anna, too, sensed a strong connection with me–she noticed my ability to connect with each and every student on a personal level, always encouraging them to find their voice, confidence, and passion in life. I showed Anna during those first few months that, in addition to teaching, as an educator, it was okay to serve as a student’s mentor, teammate, and friend as well. We began dating in November of 2013, although neither of us know the exact date. :) Since that time, we have truly fallen in love. Over the course of the past three years, we have traveled the world together (visiting the likes of England, Ireland, Hawaii,
and Italy, just to name a few), cheered their Spartans on to victory, jammed out to Dave Matthews Band on the lawn of DTE, pursued Master’s degrees in Special Education and Global/International Education, and “wished upon a star” at Walt Disney World.
How He Asked
For those who know her, Anna is a travel fanatic, so I knew I wanted to pop the question in a destination that was not only romantic, but also relaxed, rustic, and beautiful. After completing my Master’s degree in July of 2016, I knew that the time had come to propose to my perfect woman–after researching a few West-Michigan cities, I landed on Saugatuck. The plan was booked quickly and with great excitement, and the journey began on Thursday, August 4th. After spending an amazing evening at the quaint and timeless Victorian Inn (where we met some awesome people!), Friday the 5th rolled around. We began our day with a simple breakfast before kayaking (one of Anna’s favorite activities) the Kalamazoo River into Lake Michigan. At around 3 pm, we embarked for Oval Beach, where they planned a picnic accompanied with Dave Matthews’ Dreaming Tree wine. I was a nervous wreck at this point, but I finally worked up the courage to do what I set out to do. After handing Anna a handwritten letter, I got down on one knee and asked her for the honor of her hand in marriage. We finished the weekend with great meals, drinks (at more than one brewery), and laughs, complete with smiles that never left our faces. The weekend concluded with a surprise party at Anna’s mom’s house– we were so thankful to finally be able to celebrate with the family and friends that we both love so much. (Side note: Anna caught the bride’s bouquet at my brother’s wedding one week before I proposed). Anna and I continue to love and support each other through good times and bad, and truly cannot wait to get married!