Hannah and Mark
How We Met
Years before we met, I babysat his nieces and nephews in Minnesota. He lived in Pennsylvania and knew nothing about me until once he flew out to Minnesota to visit his family and we played broomball with a youth group when I was 13. He didn’t notice me in braces and my Minnesota winter gear. Later, multiple people in his family kept joking to both of us, across the country, that we should meet. Finally, his sister-in-law set us up when he flew out to Minnesota on Thanksgiving in 2015 where we formally met. Not so formally we started talking, which turned into dating in January of 2016 and ended with him moving to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. His family was shocked and so was I but I knew the first week we started dating I wanted to marry him. Mindlessly I said, “I want to end up with you,” as we warmed up next to a fire after ice skating. He looked shocked and said, “I think I want to end up with you too.” I laughed nervously and that moment has turned into a funny story we love to share. Mark is so funny and laughing together is one of my favorite things about our relationship.
How He Asked
By June of 2017, it felt like everyone in the world was getting engaged and I truly believed I would be forever dating (which isn’t the worst thing in the world but I was ready). Weeks before, Mark had mentioned all the things we should do this summer, including a trip to Duluth, a fancy date night, and a trip to Taylors Falls. Knowing how curious I am, he did this to throw me off the scent. It worked! We got ready for a trip to Taylors Falls to get away from all the craziness and we hiked in our happy place.
The day before, I had asked if we should invite some friends to go with us knowing that he would say no if he was going to propose. Mark said yes and it confirmed that nothing was going to happen on this trip but our friends couldn’t go last minute. We sat on a cliff that overlooked the St. Croix River and a couple behind us was celebrating their engagement from minutes earlier- my heart sank. Mark took my hand and told me to have hope and to never stop dreaming. So we decided to hike back on the trail to this one bench in a nook of the woods that rested on a cliff. I had jokingly named it the engagement bench a year before when we hiked to that spot.
Totally clueless, we sat there for a while laughing and telling stories. I squinted my eyes and said, “I have a hypothesis. You’re gonna wait till after I pass my nursing boards to propose.” We both laughed and moved on talking. We were getting up to leave when he grabbed my hands and said, “I’m going to say something you’re probably not going to remember but you’ll really like it.” I thought he was just going to tell me how much he loves me and how thankful he is that I trust him with our timing. He kept talking and I asked him why he was shaking, I was so confused until he pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him. I sobbed a yes and hugged him.
Slipping on the most perfect ring I’ve ever seen, photographers came out from behind the trees and congratulated us. I was SO shocked. We had hiked all day, were sweaty covered in sunscreen and bug spray and my hair and nails were less than done but it was perfect. It was so true to who we were and the photographs captured that. I am so excited to end up with this Pennsylvania boy forever.