Ivana and Jordan

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How We Met

I first saw Jordan my sophomore year in college while watching a University of Texas football game with my best friend Mayra (he was a freshman linebacker). Of course, I wasn’t the type to ever go up to a guy, and tell him I was interested in him, so I just waited and hoped that one day we would cross paths. Well, that ‘one-day’ came, 2 years later. And yes, I still had the biggest crush on him! It was fall of my senior year at UT when I met one of my dearest friends, Lydia. After class, Lydia and I would sit at “our” picnic table to catch up, and small talk about life.

One Thursday afternoon, Lydia and I were mid conversation when I noticed my dream boy walking by. I immediately cut her off, and said “oh my gosh, I’ve had the biggest crush on that guy over there!” Lydia said “who, Jordan?” and I said “yeah!” Little did know Lydia knew him very well, but hadn’t seen him in a while. She calls him over, and I was so nervous thinking she was going to tell him about my secret crush. Fortunately, for him (and me), she didn’t. We briefly met and that was it. Two days later, Lydia came up to me in class with a huge smile on her face and said, “Guess who was asking me about you?” And the rest is history!

How He Asked

Jordan, and I booked our trip to Turks and Caicos in January of 2016, and it was a vacation I was so excited for. We had been long distance for about a year and a half because he works in Philadelphia, and I live in Austin. Because of this, time alone is very precious to us. A few days before the trip, Jordan casually brought up the idea of renting a boat to visit the different islands around Turks and Caicos. When we finally got there, after a couple of days of rest and relaxation, he acted like he called and made the reservation for our private boat adventure. Little did I know, it was already booked and planned out!

Sunday, June 26th started off as a “normal” vacation morning. We took a run on the beach, had a nice breakfast, and had a morning swim. When it was time to go, we took a taxi to our boat where Captain Tim, and his “crew member” Jon, greeted us. As soon as we got on the boat we were so happy to see that Jon had brought his two dogs to tag along for the ride.

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I love dogs with my entire being, so they were the perfect addition to our adventure (and pictures).

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Jordan and I quickly get comfortable on the back of this amazing sailboat. We began to talk about life, and how blessed we are to be able to experience these beautiful places together. We asked Captain Tim if we were going to see ‘JoJo the Dolphin’ and he said, “It’s rare to see JoJo. He knows the boat very well, but you never know when you’ll see him.” We then sailed off into the bluest of waters to find the most beautiful parts of Turks and Caicos.

As we were taking in the breathtaking scenery, Captain Tim tells us we’re about to pass what many believe is the most beautiful island in Turks and Caicos.

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All of a sudden, Jordan gets up to refill his drink. When he returned, I looked up at him, and he stood me up. At that moment, everything around us froze. I immediately knew what was about to happen; the most-magical moment of any girl’s life! He looks into my eyes and says, “Baby, I love you so much!” My heart began to pound and so many emotions went through my body.

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He got down on one knee, and because he’s so nervous, he says, “I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life with you.” Haha! Of course, I black out, and really don’t remember much after that; just that I stood there in awe of what was happening. When he asked me, “Will you marry me?” I looked at him with adoration, and said ‘yes!’ Immediately after he put the most beautiful ring on my finger, I hugged and kissed him.

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Jon the “crew member” came over to reintroduce himself to me as “Jon the photographer,” and Captain Tim popped open some champagne to celebrate this perfect moment. The setting, time, and place were all better than I could have ever imagined!

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Afterwards, we stopped on different islands to take pictures as newly fiancés, a complete photo-shoot.

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As we were approaching the last island, not a soul or boat in sight, Jordan had his arm around me and said, “It couldn’t get more perfect than this!” Two seconds later, he turned his head towards the water, and yelled, “There’s a dolphin!” We both jumped up, Captain Tim and Jon rushed over to say, “That’s JoJo!” We couldn’t believe it! The water was about 4ft deep, and there he was swimming around the boat. As JoJo began to swim away, we quickly pulled the anchor back to follow him. When we finally caught up to him, we were surprised to see three more dolphins swimming alongside JoJo. Captain Tim told Jordan, and I to quickly change into our swimsuits because this was truly a once in a lifetime experience. We jumped into the water with quite a bit of hesitation, not knowing what to expect. The hesitation quickly turned into pure adrenaline as we swam next to these incredible creatures. They eventually swam off into the sunset and afterwards we did the same.

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The Turks and Caicos Islands are truly beautiful! Everything from the turquoise waters, to the white sandy beaches, and the perfect weather made this day so incredibly special to us. June 26th will be a day I’ll never forget! I am so blessed to walk through this life with you by my side, Jordan, and I thank the Lord for making me your other half.

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Special Thanks

Jon Nickson
Photographer