Emma and Don

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How We Met

The first time I saw Don was when we were 12 years old playing soccer at a Summer camp. He was friends with my older boy cousins and I remember thinking he was so hot. When I had my 13th birthday party I told my cousins to bring him. Mind you, I never actually met him, just admired from afar. It was a back yard bbq style party and all the us kids were inside the house dancing and playing games. He asked me to dance with him and I was overly excited. I’m not a very  shy person. I’ve always been an outgoing person so when the song was finishing I said, well it’s my birthday where’s my kiss? As shy as he was, he gave me a little peck hahaha. We started talking on the phone a lot and hung out a lot that Summer when we saw each other at the soccer fields. When I got to high school, we went our separate ways because we didn’t go to the same school. We always stayed in touched and saw each other in passing.

When I graduated high school, I left our small little island of American Samoa for college in Seattle. Don ended up at UC Davis in California. Our first Winter break back home we reconnected and decided to give our relationship a shot. We did long distance all throughout college and that was the hardest thing I had done. After college, we both moved to San Francisco for work. Don was applying to law school at the time and shortly, after living in San Francisco he asked me to  move to Washington D.C because he just got into Georgetown University Law Center. I was so nervous and thought maybe I shouldn’t be following this guy all over and stay put. I decided to move anyway because another long distance would have been so much harder now that we got a feeling of what it’s like to live together. Somehow, here we are 81/2 years of dating, 15 years of knowing each other, we’ve decided on forever.  It’s crazy how young we were and somehow managed to stick by each other all our lives, but I truly believe that he is my soul mate and that’s why I met him at such a young age.

How He Asked

Our families were coming to Washington, D.C for Don’s law school graduation. We wanted to do a graduation trip to Europe since neither of us have been but when I told my mom she said she wanted to join. The more I planned the trip the more people wanted to come. Two of Don’s aunts, a friend from college and one of my family friends wanted to join. I thought it was just a nice family trip. Our itinerary included London, Paris, and Rome. But one of the days in Rome was a national holiday so some of the tourist sites were either closed or open half day so we decided to take a day trip to Florence.

It started off to me, as just another location we had to cover on our European adventures. When we arrived at the train station, Firenze Santa Maria, I had no idea what we were doing. We just thought we’d walk around and see how beautiful the place was. Little did I know, Don and my family had everything planned. We walked through city center and saw The Duomo. It rained so hard we all got soaked and had to wait out the rain. That didn’t stop us from seeing Florence. Don suggested we’d take a taxi to see the Piazzale Michelangelo which had the most stunning views of the city. When we got there, I thought this was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen.

It’s like something you see in the movies.

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We had a reservation for lunch but we missed it due to the rain and we clearly didn’t want to walk into a fancy restaurant soaking wet. So after we saw the view from the Michelangelo Plaza we walked down to a near by area for lunch. My mom and Don snuck away to buy the champagne. Don had originally booked a gondola ride for us that evening but since it rained they had to cancel on us because the Ponte Vecchio was overflowing. At this point it just seemed like our day was getting shorter by the minute. Since a lot of our plans fell through, Don said we had to go check out the Boboli gardens because it had the most spectacular views of the city and that’s where Kim and Kanye got married. Being a fan girl I happily said yes. As we walked through one of the largest and most elegant gardens in Italy, I just felt so much love and happiness. Our Aunty Daleen had the camera and kept telling us to pose here, pose there. To my surprise she was actually capturing all the moments leading up to our engagement.

When we reached the top Don took my hand and asked me to take a photo with him overlooking Florence. As we stood there admirning all that this city has to offer, he hugged me and whispered in my ear, “I love you.” In that moment I knew what was about to happen and I tried to reach out for his hand but I couldn’t feel him. I turned around and there he was on one knee, crying himself and couldn’t get his words out.

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I cried and cried and all I remember was, “will you marry me?” Of course I said yes!!! My mom popped the champagne and everyone around us was cheering us on. 

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