Dana and Zach
How We Met
Zach and I met in Beaumont, Texas in 2015. Zach is originally from Chicago, IL and graduated from Northwestern University in 2012. He accepted a job offer from ExxonMobil as a mechanical engineer and started working at their refinery in Beaumont shortly after graduating. I am a native Texan (graduated from Texas A&M University – whoop!) and accepted a job offer with ExxonMobil in Human Resources in Houston. After several assignments in Houston, I was asked about my interest for international assignments – yes please! Then one day my boss came into my office and announced that I would be moving to Beaumont. I was excited about the job opportunity, but less than thrilled about what this would do to my social life. I accepted the assignment and told myself I could do anything for 2 years, and I’d forgo dating until I moved back to Houston. Enter Zach…
Zach and I technically “met” a couple of times. The first time, I was invited to a pool party at a coworker’s house. There were a handful of people at this party, but Zach and I only exchanged hellos. He was also seeing someone at that time…and she was also at the party. The second time was at a super bowl party in 2015. Zach was across the room and wasn’t too chatty. Come to find out, he had the flu and wasn’t feeling all that great. I remember thinking he looked super cute, and I may have stalked his Facebook profile a couple of times after that day.
Third time’s the charm…on March 14, 2015 I was at dinner in Beaumont with 2 friends and we decided to head to Madison’s – a local dive bar on the west side of town. Patrick announces that he invited his roommate, Zach, to meet us. I am excited! He showed up to the bar, exchanged awkward side hugs, and started chatting. The rest is really history! We went on our first official date the next day at Crown Pizza, and we’ve talked every day since then!
How He Asked
Zach proposed in the early morning hours of December 18, 2017 under the Northern Lights in Alaska! It was so romantic! I had to travel to Anchorage for a work meeting, so Zach decided to join me on the trip. We took a week of vacation to explore Alaska. We had an awesome time chasing the northern lights, visiting the Chena Hot Spring, going to the North Pole, traveling into the Arctic Circle, viewing Denali from the Alaska Railroad, and dogsledding. Our first attempts to view the northern lights were a failure. It was just too cloudy.
At the end of the trip, we road the train from Fairbanks to Talkeetna to stay one night at the Talkeetna Roadhouse before departing for Anchorage to fly home. That night, we met our tour guide and another family around 11:30pm for one last attempt to see the northern lights. We walked away from the town in -8 degree weather with head lamps, hand warmers and about 5 layers of clothes. We didn’t have to wait long – we saw a sky full of starts and then the lights appeared! It was gorgeous! After the tour guide and the other family decided to call it a night, Zach asked if I wanted to stay a bit longer to keep watching the lights. After a while, it started to get extremely cold and I asked if he was ready to head back. (I was also a little scared of stumbling across a moose, and not knowing what we’d do!) Zach said he had one thing to ask me before we walked back. He got on one knee (yes, in the snow!) and asked me to marry him!
Since no one else was around, we asked our tour guide to take pictures for us the next morning in the daylight. It was just as beautiful in the daylight as it was under the northern lights! This is a photo of the sky right before we got engaged. It was full of stars! This is a photo of the sky when Zach proposed.
Proposal location the next morning.
Proposal location the next morning in the daylight. That’s Denali (mountain) in the background.