Elisa and Lance

How We Met

Lance and I met our Junior year of college at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Our love story began as friends and classmates, then evolved to something more. I had signed up for a Comparative Politics course with one of my dearest friends, Meghan, and on the first day of class, we sat in the second row near the lecturing podium to make a great first impression on the professor. Two minutes or so before class started, this handsome & confident young man walked in and took the seat directly in front of me in the first row. I glanced over to Meghan and said, “Dibs.” Little did we know, that my invoking the power of “Dibs” would lead me to my forever. Over that semester, Lance and I worked on multiple projects, group quizzes, and study sessions together. We’d bump into each other at the gym, at the library, or even the grocery store. We’d meet up with a group of people and hang out together, but it wasn’t until a day in early April that our relationship shifted.

I had been having a horrendous day and complained to a few friends how I would wish it would restart. Lance, who heard from those friends about my bad day, remembered a conversation we had about my profound love of double stuffed Oreos. I arrived to that class on time, sat down, and without missing a beat, Lance opened his backpack and handed me an entire box of double stuffed Oreos. After class, we walked around campus eating Oreos and talking about everything under the sun. I ended up asking him to be my date for my sorority’s formal a few weeks later and he accepted happily. By May 2012, we were dating and inseparable. We have been together now for five years, growing as individuals and also as a team in our relationship. After graduating in 2013, Lance left for the Army and was gone for years of training. I supported his goals and we lived long distance- him in Arizona, Georgia, and Oklahoma, while I lived at home in Northern California working and saving money- until November 2016. Blessedly, we moved in together and we have been loving every minute since.

How He Asked

When Lance and I were first dating, we discovered this old town in the Sierra Foothills- Murphy’s, California. The quaint Main Street, the picturesque wineries, and the friendly people who lived there made returning worthwhile. We took every opportunity to visit Murphy’s the past four years and since we moved in together, we’ve been to Murphy’s at least three or four times. So when Lance asked if I wanted to do a day trip to our favorite little town on Sunday, May 28, I did not suspect a thing. My sister, who recently graduated nursing school, asked if she could join us. We both agreed (but little did I know she was in cahoots with my future Fiance the whole time!!!), and I even offered to take graduation photos of her at Ironstone Vineyards because of how magnificent the grounds were.

The day arrived and we packed the car with Sara’s nursing props- her stethoscope, scrubs, etc- and headed to Ironstone Vineyards. Upon arrival, we toured the grounds for the perfect spot. We tested lighting, backgrounds, poses until Sara declared she loved the stone path by the pond. “This is IT!!” Sara took the camera and said “we need to test the lighting. Stand over there!” I did as I was told and Lance, who had been helping hold the props and equipment, put everything down and joined me for “a picture since we both dressed up.”

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Thinking nothing of it, I smiled. Then I felt him move. He got down on one knee in front of the pond and asked me to be his best friend, his love forever, and to marry him. He opened the box with the most stunning ring I had ever laid eyes on inside of it. It was romantic, it was in “our” place, it was PERFECT. We cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together. And if the proposal was any indication, our lives are going to be pretty grand.

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