Annissa and Evan

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How We Met

We met in the summer of 2010 at Camp Daniel, a summer camp for people with disabilities. There is where my heart has always been and always will be. I was volunteering at camp for the summer and Evan was a counselor for a week. We became friends and were interested in each other instantly, but being so young we didn’t pursue anything. After the week was over I didn’t see or hear from him for a year. The next summer at camp he came again, and this time we did want to pursue having a relationship. We were high school sweethearts.

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We are each others homecoming and prom dates, we went toilet papering together, we distracted each other from homework, we motivated each other, I cheered at his soccer games, and we watched each other graduate. It was a beautiful ride. Then we went to college, in two different states, and we were long distance but this made us grow in so many ways. In those four and a half years we dated, we grew closer to each other, God, our families, and our friends. And we knew we wanted to be with each other forever.

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How He Asked

But my proposal doesn’t start there, it starts those four and a half years ago when I use to day dream in classes. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always loved ice-skating and I have always adored Chicago. When I started dating Evan I started dreaming about the future, I had come up with “the ultimate” dream proposal. I wanted to get engaged in the middle of the ice-skating rink in Millennium Park in the winter. Winter is such a romantic season, Chicago is picturesque, skating with your love is adorable, and being surrounded by people is just fun! This is what I had ALWAYS wanted. I told people about this dream of mine, I obsessed about it for years, and I never thought it would actually happen. Until February 5, 2016.

At the end of my Christmas break my father nonchalantly asked me if I wanted to go to Chicago with the family for my birthday, so obviously I answered yes and was excited. (Little did I know it was just an elaborate scheme to get me to Chicago) We didn’t talk about trip much until about a week before, figuring out rides and such. The winter Chicago proposal crossed my mind but I knew Evan was refereeing hockey that weekend in Minnesota and wouldn’t have been able to come anyway.

Plus he had asked me about a week before if I was sure if I wanted a “gold” engagement ring, so irritably I had thought he hadn’t even gotten as far as picking a ring out. So I thought I knew for sure it wasn’t happening. After arriving to the Windy City we spent the day in the Chicago Art Institute, strolling around the city, eating and having a good time. In the evening mom suggested that we go ice-skating. My Mother and I skated around the rink for a little while.

Eventually the song “Close Your Eyes” by Michael Bublè, one of my favorites, started playing. I leaned over to my Mother and said “Awhh, I love this song!” Then she lightly pushed me into the middle of the rink…where Evan was standing, with his skates on, and the biggest smile on his face. My heart almost flew out of my chest. I knew at that moment that THIS WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING! I skated toward him and kept talking. I tend to talk too much when I’m nervous. I was absolutely shocked, and so excited. He started giving me his proposal speech as we faced each other and I started to tear up I had tunnel vision, I could only see and hear him, nothing else. He got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him.

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And of coarse I said YES! I kissed him and the crowd cheered and clapped. And then the tunnel vision cleared and I took it all in, and it was just as beautiful as I imagined.

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My 13-year-old self was so happy that my dream came true and my 19-year-old self was so excited to spend the rest of life with the love of my life.

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The man that truly makes me a better person, accepts me for who I am, grows with me, seeks God with me, fits into my family, the man who loves me unconditionally. It was truly a beautiful moment in our relationship, and it made me realize again how what we have is so rare, and that I am truly blessed to have him. #ourordinaryadventure #happytobeahartwig

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