Debra and Brennen

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How We Met

Our sophomore year of high school, Brennen and I had every class together. All semester he was just the cute boy who I had every class with (and occasionally flirted with). We had all the same friends so naturally we began spending more time together. We immediately became best friends, but that’s all it was. I was very adamant about just remaining friends even though he was telling everyone he wanted to date me. I stuck to my word and remained just friends, telling everyone he ‘wasn’t my type’ (because at 16 you have a type) or that he ‘was too clingly’ (even though I secretly liked it).

He played basketball and I was a cheerleader so when he started waiting to surprise me after cheer practice was finished I couldn’t help but start falling for him. Fast forward to my 17th birthday when he made me a mix CD (cheesy I know, but they really work boys) and I finally realized how much he liked me! After that I didn’t just see him as my friend, but instead as the sweet boy who was crazy about me! New Year’s day 2012 he asked me to be his girlfriend and I had never been happier!

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We dated for our junior and senior year until the talk that all high school couples dread, the ‘Are We Going To Date In College’ talk. We were going to separate schools so it was decided that we would take a break in order to fully experience our first year of college. As you can guess that didn’t last long. Within the first month we were back together and trying to make long distance work. I still remember the first time we saw each other after going away to school. He had been messaging my roommate and together they planned for him to surprise me when I came back to my room from class one day. Planned visits, daily phone calls, and surprises are what got us through these last 4 years.

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Long distance has definitely taken a toll on our relationship at times, but it has taught us so much. We have learned the importance of communication, learned to be more understanding, and to cherish the quality time we get to spend together. Although I wish we had been in the same town the last 4 years Brennen has been so comforting and has made the long distance manageable!

How He Asked

I love Christmas! My favorite tradition is going to pick out a tree with my family, and this year was no different! My sisters told me that we were going to a Christmas tree farm to get a family picture for a holiday card, little did I know that was just a distraction! Brennen told me he was going to help his grandparents in the morning and would have to meet me there, when really he got there early to set everything up. As my family and I walked through the trees they told me to go find a good place to take our family picture. So I kept walking only to see Brennen peak around from behind a tree.

I was so surprised! Over the course of our 4 years long distance he has put together a lot of surprises for me, so I just assumed he had finished helping his grandparents early and decided to hide and surprise me. I had no idea that he was about to pull off the biggest surprise yet! As he walked me to the other side of the tree I was telling him how happy I was that he was able to come so early. Then I saw the tree that he had decorated with ornaments and a sign saying ‘Marry Me’.

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I was speechless! He took my hands and started crying, he is not a cryer so this made it impossible for me to hold back my tears. The words he said next will forever be engraved in my mind. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!!

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With tears in my eyes I immediately yes! Then I turned to see my whole family and his waiting between the trees taking pictures.

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I could not have asked for a more perfect day!

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Special Thanks

Christina Danzi
Photographer