Katelyn and Dalton

How We Met

Dalton wasn’t the first DeLange man to catch my attention – his grandpa was! I was at the dance of a cousin’s wedding in late June. I was making my way to the outside patio of the resort to meet a friend when I was approached by a 65+ year old gentleman. He asked to buy me a drink in return for my phone number. It was at this moment that I paused. My mom hadn’t prepared me for this situation to ever arise. I couldn’t politely deny and excuse myself to the ladies room. So, naturally I giggled and told him our age difference might be a bit of an issue. He burst out laughing. So I did too! And nervously looked beyond this man in front of me and widened my eyes at my Auntie making her way towards me, giving her the look we as girls recognize effortlessly.

She closed the distance between us and put her arm around my waist asking, “Are you bothering my niece? You two look like you’re up to no good.” After catching his breath and setting his drink down on the nearest table, he proceeded to inform my Auntie that he was trying to hook me up with his grandson. She thought for a second and then looked at me with huge eyes and said, “Dalton”. I shook my head, answering her unspoken question. No, I didn’t know him. Should I? “Oh Kate, this is a good thing,” she said. “I know his parents really well. He’s a handsome guy.”

“Okay,” I nervously agreed. He whipped out his flip phone and handed it to me. I punched in the ten digits and saved it with my name. Handing it back to him, he flipped it back open and pushed the camera button. Steadying his hand, honestly, three inches from my face, he snapped a photo in the dimly lit banquet hall and said if an unknown number called me, I had to make sure to answer. Again, I agreed mostly because I was a little uncomfortable and also because things like this never actually happen. He smiled and nodded at me again before laughing and walking away. I stood there and looked at my Auntie again. She smiled, “I know. I know. But this is a good thing. I promise.” Okayyy, off to the patio I went to meet up with Meg….

Now fast forward a week to July 5th. I’m at home in Platte with my entire family. We’re sitting around the family dinner table playing some kind of a board game. It’s a Sunday evening. I hear my phone ding and I leave it for a bit. When I finally retrieve it, there is a message waiting for me from my another Auntie of min. It reads something like this: “Katie Bug, why don’t you get cute and make your way to Corsica to Leeker’s ball game. I’m sitting by DD and he looks pretty good if you know what I mean. I told him I was your Auntie. We’ve been talking about you. Fireworks after the game.” We’re having family time so I reply and tell her I won’t be able to make it. Go to a baseball game with no wing-woman to meet some boy i know nothing about?!?! I mean I’m brave but notttt like that.

Later that night, I explained the situation to my sister in law and she encourages me to just send him a quick message on Facebook in case Auntie said anything about me coming. So, I do. It was about 4 chats each way and ended with him giving me his digits.

He had my phone number initially. And now I have his. Is this actually happening? Mystery guy is becoming somewhat real?! Still skeptical. We chatted a little bit longer than this message shows. I was headed back to Omaha in the morning so we didn’t plan anything for this trip.

Fast forward with me again this time a month. I’m chillin’ in my apartment in Omaha with my roommate. I had just woken up from an 8 hour coma since I had worked the night before. I was rummaging around in the kitchen for anything that sounded good to eat, trying to tame my stomach which was rebelling against me since I had filled it with pizza the night before. I wasn’t feeling well. Plus, it was my birthday – August 5th. My phone is lying on the countertop. It starts buzzing. The caller ID reads: Dalton.

OH. MY. STARS.

Do I answer it?! I’m freaking out. I look back and forth from my roommate to the phone with big eyes and my stomach is now flipping back and forth in my abdomen. I miss his call and then stand there and look at my phone, wondering what I just did. MY roommate laughs and calls me an idiot. “Why didn’t you answer it?!”

I don’t know. I smile and shake my head back and forth. “I didn’t know what to do,” I tell her. My phone beeps again and it shows a 00:35 second voicemail from Dalton. “PUT IT ON SPEAKER PHONE!” MY roommate is now beside me as we listen to this voicemail.

He’s sweet. He’s wishing me a Happy Birthday. And he wants me to call him back.

Holy. Nervous.

MY roommate and I come up with a plan to call him back on my way to work in about an hour. That way if it goes bad, I can say I’m at work and I have to go but if it goes well, I’ll have about twenty minutes to chat. Okay, good plan. Anddd break.

I called him back. It went really well. He was very easy to talk to and again, very sweet. We chatted for around 8ish minutes and then there was a bit of a lull. I told him it was time for work and we ended our call. What a sweet guy. I texted him later that night to again thank him for the birthday call.

He texted me about once a week for the next couple weeks. He asked when I’d be home next. I told him August 27th for a classmate’s wedding and a cousin’s bachelorette party.

And then August 28th, he asked to take me out for dinner. I agreed. I was excited! My college best friend was coming for the weekend and I couldn’t wait to gush to her about this!!

 

How He Asked

I was in Alaska at the time doing a travel assignment in a hospital there. Dalton was planning to come visit me.  It was early October. We hiked in the morning and Dalton said he had a little surprise for me. My hints were: 1) it’s outdoor, 2) it won’t take long, 3) we can go whenever. He loves airplanes so I was positive we were going on a floatplane tour of Sitka, the city I was living in. But I let him think he was surprising me. (Little did I know…he WAS surprising me!) We got in my car and I was directed to the airport where we were escorted to a floatplane.

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Up, up, up we went!

But not above city. We were headed North. We were soon zooming through mountains and before I knew it descending. What’s going on here? I was oblivious to the fact that we were landing on the turquoise blue waters of a mountain lake called Rosenberg. The view was absolutely breathtaking. I was standing with the love of my life in a bowl of mountains. The pilot asked if we wanted our picture taken and of course I was in. I found a spot near the edge of the water and posed as I called for Dalton to come take a picture with me. As I turned to see what was taking him so long, my jaw dropped open and I was completely taken by surprise when I found Dalton on one knee with the most gorgeous diamond ring in his hand.

He promised me love, faithfulness, companionship, and a lifetime of adventure. “Will you marry me, Katelyn?” My response could not have been any more clear. YES!

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Special Thanks

John
Harris Air