Janelle and Chase

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How We Met

Chase and I met in January 2011 at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. We were both juniors at the time, and a mutual friend of ours knew I would be at that party that night, so he brought Chase along to introduce us. A crowded party isn’t the best way to get to know someone, but we talked throughout the night and before I left with my friends, Chase asked me for my phone number. One or two days later, after we had been texting back and forth, Chase asked me out to dinner for our first real date. We spent the rest of the semester hanging out, and right after we both left school for the summer, we decided to officially start dating.

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How He Asked

Chase and I had been dating for over four years and I knew it was about time we got engaged. I even dragged Chase to look at rings with me in the hopes that if he knew the right ring to buy, he would be out of excuses for why he wasn’t proposing! He still kept saying he just needed a little more time, so I decided I was just going to have to trust him and stop asking.

For Christmas 2014, we were both staying with our own families, but our parents had made arrangements that we would all get together at my family’s house for brunch on Christmas morning. Knowing that both our families would be together on Christmas seemed like the ideal time to get engaged to me, but Chase hadn’t said or done anything that made me think he was planning to propose, and my parents were acting so normal that I figured nothing was going to happen.

On Christmas Day, my sisters and I have an annual tradition of waking up early and going to Starbucks to get everyone their favorite coffee to sip on while we open gifts. So, just like every year before, we got in the car at 8 AM and headed over to Starbucks while my parents got ready for us to unwrap our presents.

We returned with our coffee and began opening presents, a little bit quicker than usual, but I assumed it was because Chase’s and his family were coming for brunch soon and we had to still get ready. Finally, after all the presents were opened, my dad said there was one last gift for me, but it was too heavy to bring upstairs so we all had to go down into the basement.

I was pretty confused at what this mystery gift could be, but since Chase and I were moving in a few months, I thought maybe it was a piece of furniture. My dad ran downstairs and we all followed, and standing in the middle of the basement was Chase.

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I was pretty confused and stunned, but as soon as I saw him holding a tiny box, I completely lost it and started crying. Chase got down on one knee in front of my parents and sisters and told me he wanted to make this Christmas really special. He then asked me to marry him and I of course said yes!

I still couldn’t believe that Chase has been inside our house all morning (my dad helped him sneak in while I was out at Starbucks with me sisters!) and the poor guy was waiting in the basement for over two hours while we were upstairs opening gifts!

A few hours later Chase’s family arrived and it was the most special day being able to celebrate our engagement with both our families. It was certainly the best Christmas I’ve ever had and one that I will never forget.

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Special Thanks

Sam Stroud
Engagement Photos