April and Jack

How We Met: Mine and Jack’s story is completely nontraditional and out of the ordinary. We met freshman year of college at Indiana University and quickly became friends. Throughout the first three and a half years of college we watched each other date other people and consistently remained friends, frequently connecting with one another in areas where we felt like others didn’t understand us and confiding in one another on a level deeper than the weekend party.

Mid-way through our senior year, Jack and I grew closer when we both enrolled in a Bob Dylan class. We began studying together and realized that we both loved emo music from 2003 and that we had deep roots in our Christian faith. It was then that the butterflies started and I viewed him as more than a close friend.

Being on the brink of college graduation was a strange time and we never fully solidified our confusing relationship. When it finally came time for me to decide what I wanted my next move to be I abandoned my long term dreams of moving to New York City or Africa and packed my bags and followed him to Chicago. I didn’t know it at the time but I later realized that I loved him more than I loved those dreams.

The rest is history and we have happily called Chicago our home for almost four years now. Jack and I are so different but we truly make the best team. I’ll forever be grateful for that Bob Dylan class and the strong friendship that will always be the foundation of our relationship and love.

(This is our first picture together, taken sophomore year. We look like babies!)

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How He Asked: Jack’s parents have a home in Reynold’s Plantation on Lake Oconee in Georgia and it has always been a special place for Jack and I. Before we began dating we took a spontaneous road trip there our senior year of college which was the catalyst for our relationship. Over the years, we’ve shared unbelievable memories there with family and close friends.

Jack and I had planned a trip to be there over the Fourth of July holiday with his family. Despite getting manicures with his mom and sister and him barely holding his cool all day, I had no idea what was coming. Thursday night was going to be spent at our favorite place (on the dock of the plot of land where his parents were building their future home), doing our favorite thing (eating pizza, duh). Jack and I went to the dock separately with Kate, Jack’s sister, to set up for dinner. Midway through putting a table together Kate ran back to the car to “get her phone”. This is when you cue the music as Jack tells me, “Babe, this is it”….

 After convincing me that it wasn’t a joke, getting down on one knee, and saying romantic things that I would have to have him later repeat because I blacked out, I said yes and lots of happy tears were shed. Jack presented me with the most incredible ring, with the diamond being the same one that his dad gave his mom when he proposed over 30 years ago. Knowing that came from a marriage and love that I truly admire is the best good luck charm ever, even though we don’t need it! J

After Jack and I had a few moments to our ourselves, Kate appeared out of the woods where she had been snapping photos and Jack’s parents showed up with hugs and champagne. A few minutes later I was about to be shocked again when my mom and step dad showed up. When Jack had proposed the first thing that I said, with many tears, was, “Does my mom know?!” She got to hear that which of course melted her heart. We spent the night and weekend celebrating and being with the people most important to us- our newly merged family.

The fact that we will be able to grow old and show our future children where he asked me to marry him will be so special. Jack could not have planned a more perfect proposal. Until our wedding day, that will take the cake of being the happiest day of our lives.

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