Emily and Benjamin

How We Met

Ben and I met our Sophomore year of high school through a leadership group sponsored by a college near our hometown, Drake University. We both went to different high schools but became instant best friends through the leadership group. We spent so much time together on group retreats that all our friends started saying we were “practically dating.” The leadership group had a strict “no dating policy,” which prohibited members to date each other, so to play a prank on me my friends all got our leader in on the joke and told her to come up to me and explain why we have these rules in place and how I need to stop dating Ben. I was so embarrassed and almost started crying. Even that didn’t stop Ben and I from spending all our time together.

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Eventually we both graduated high school and went off to separate colleges, Ben to play football at Central College and I to study Journalism at The University of Iowa. We ended up only keeping in touch every once in awhile, but still valued our friendship and the time we spent catching up. Flash forward to the summer between our freshman and sophomore year of college and Ben asked me to hang out. I picked him up and we drove around downtown Des Moines catching up like old friends, sharing a chocolate shake from Zombie Burger, and even a walk around Grey’s Lake. Little did I know Ben thought this was more of a date than just old friends hanging out. We continued to talk more and more and started hanging out everyday of summer. He asked me to be his girlfriend on July 22, 2013 and from there we returned to our separate colleges, and struggled with all things long distance. Ben ended up transferring to The University of Iowa his junior year because he quit football and changed his major. We were together at last, and the adventures were just beginning.

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How He Asked

On November 28, 2015 Ben texted me at approximately 3:30pm and told me he was going to pick me up at 4:15pm to go to dinner with his Mom and sister. His mom immediately texted me and told me she and his sister were running a few minutes behind and would just meet us there. As I finished getting ready Ben told me we should just go downtown and walk around to kill time before dinner, I agreed. We drove downtown singing christmas songs the whole way. He parked at the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge that overlooks the Des Moines River and the skyline of Des Moines.

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We had visited the bridge and taken a walk even before we started dating almost two and a half years ago-and we hadn’t been back since! We started walking and Ben motioned for me to follow him. We turned the corner on the bridge and there was a large blanket laid out with a bouquet of flowers and a book.

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Ben led me over to it and picked up the flowers and handed them to me. He then opened the book which turned out to be a scrapbook of every memory we’ve ever had together. Concert ticket stubs, Photo Booth pictures, letters we sent each other when we were at different colleges, and pictures from our leadership group where we first met.

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On the very last page, there was a tiny picture of a ring, and Ben got down on one knee and asked me to spend forever with him. I don’t think I’ve ever yelled as loud or jumped as high as I did in that very moment.

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I am so excited to spend forever with my very best friend! Here’s to a lifetime of happiness, adventures, and following Jesus hand in hand with the the sweetest gift God has entrusted to me! Benjamin Daniel, I can’t wait to be your wife!

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