Julianne and Alex

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How We Met

I was attending The College of New Jersey and in Spring 2010 I began my student teaching requirements. I was assigned to a wonderful 6th grade classroom with a fantastic teacher (who happened to have a son my age). About a month into my student teaching her son, Alex, was home for Spring break from Johns Hopkins University and he came in to teach a lesson on ancient Rome to the 6th graders. He introduced himself to me and we spoke briefly. The next day he came back to his mom’s school just to “hang out.” Everyone was a little confused because what college student wants to spend 2 days in a row of their spring break at their mother’s work?

That second day he asked for my number in the hallway in front of all the 6th graders. I gave him my number and then nervously called my mother wondering if this was “OK” since it is my mentors son. My mom, also being a teacher, just laughed and said of course. Alex and I kept in touch throughout the year. In the fall, I traveled to Johns Hopkins for a soccer game and he came out to watch the game in the freezing cold. We had our first date shortly after that game during one of our school breaks in Princeton, New Jersey. We walked for hours around the town and campus that night.

We continued to text and talk on the phone during the year and then once we both graduated in 2011 we started a relationship! It was the summer after graduation and we were both living at home in New Jersey excited to start our next adventure. However, the only problem was that in a few months I would be moving to New York to start a graduate program in psychology at Columbia University and he was moving to Nashville, Tennessee to start a new job. Despite the distance we fell in love that summer and knew that we would stay together. Alex would fly to New York a couple times a month (a lot of these trips were surprises and very spontaneous!) and I would travel to Nashville during my breaks from school. He would send me love notes in the mail, have surprise dinners delivered to me, and was always having flowers sent to my door. He knew he wanted the distance to work and was constantly showing me how much he was thinking about me and loved me despite being miles and miles away.  We did long distance for 2 years until I graduated from my program and then he moved to New York. We have been living in New York together even since and enjoy every moment of living in the greatest city in the world.

How He Asked

Alex was away for work all week and was coming home late Friday night. We were planning to go home that weekend to visit our families in New Jersey. Alex told me that since he would not get home until very late on Friday I should just go to New Jersey after work so I could get up early to run with my dad (which is something that he knows I LOVE to do). I agreed that this would be a great idea. Then, he would get in to New Jersey on Saturday and I would pick him up from the station and we would drive to see his parents. On Saturday, I was about to leave to pick him up from the station when he called and suggested that we stop in Princeton to grab food before we see his parents. Again, I thought this was a great idea and it was nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, he even suggested a picnic, which REALLY got me hooked. I picked him up and we head to Princeton.

Alex had a backpack (with the ring in it) and he knew I would be curious as to why he is carrying around a backpack. Therefore, before I could even say anything he told me that he needed to take his backpack because it had all the stuff for our picnic. I did not question this because we go on picnics all the time and he always is the one to carry the picnic supplies. We park and start to walk around Princeton. He tells me that he is not quite hungry yet and wants to show me a garden that he used to go to all the time as a little kid. As we are walking to the garden hand in hand, he is being very romantic and this is when I start to get suspicious. We reach the garden and it is absolutely beautiful.

We have the entire garden to ourselves. As we walk in there is a big wishing fountain. Every time I see a wishing fountain I make Alex stop and he always happily gives me a penny so I can make a wish. I always make the same wish (that we will get married) and he always tells me “YOU CAN’T TELL ME YOUR WISH OR IT WONT COME TRUE!” This time, Alex pulled out 2 pennies from his pocket, and we both throw the pennies in the fountain and make a wish.

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He then got down on one knee and my wish finally came true!

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As soon as he got down on one knee, it began to down pour. He said the sweetest words to me and we were both in tears. After the shock wore off we realized we were getting drenched and ran for cover.

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I immediately called my mother and she told me ” you must be soaked, go to the museum to dry off.” Alex agreed that this was a good idea and we ran in the pouring rain to the museum. When we got there both of our families were there to surprise me. Everyone was dry (except my uncle who unbeknownst to me was hiding in the bushes taking pictures of the proposal). We headed to Mediterra Restaurant to celebrate with our families, champagne, and food. After the celebration Alex and I walked back to the garden and he had 2 more pennies to throw in to the fountain to make a brand new wish (since I have been making the same wish now for over 5 years!). The next day, Alex planned a beach day at Asbury park with my best friends so I could celebrate with them! We are still on cloud 9 and cannot wait for the wedding!