Liz and Erik

meganwelker-liz&eric-6Erik and I originally met at the beginning of freshman year at the University of Kansas. My sorority was paired with his fraternity for Homecoming. We don’t remember exactly when and where we met, we just only remember being friends. Over our time at KU we became really good friends, having a blast every time we were together. Even though we dated each others friends, we never thought about dating each other. One night at a party his fraternity was hosting, for a reason nieiher of us can remember, Erik proposed with his high school football State Championship ring. From then on I jokingly referred to Erik as my husband.

After graduation, I went off to Chicago to chase career dreams and Erik went off to the Marine Corps. Distance and life got in between us and we sort of drifted apart. Then, one day in November 2013 Erik texted me out-of-the-blue. I had moved back to my home state of Minnesota and he was stationed in southern California. He started making aimless small talk while I simultaneously was texting my friends asking “what’s he want?!?” Eventually, Erik got to his point: he needed a date to his Marine Corps Ball in Las Vegas. Fresh off a breakup I thought a weekend in Vegas with a bunch of Marines sounded fantastic!

We spent the weekend catching up and enjoying the festivities. Things were kept amicable and when I returned home I still wondered what his REAL intentions were. Around Christmastime he finally decided we needed to go on a real date… in California. After MUCH deliberation with my friends about whether this would ruin our friendship, blah blah blah, I booked a flight.

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Since that trip, we talked constantly, visited each other any chance we could get and decided that the only thing left to do was date! Erik left on a six month deployment and even though we were thousands of miles apart, it brought us together more than ever.

When he got back from his deployment I stayed in California for a few months to spend time with him. We both realized that I needed to move out there for this to keep going like it was. So! I found a job, packed my car and drove across the country. As soon as I got to California I started planning little weekend getaways so we could see the state we now called home. Catalina Island was one of the first trips I wanted us to take. As I was planning I didn’t know that Erik was also doing his own planning. Before I had moved out there he came to Minnesota to help me pack and he snuck away to ask my father for my hand. He told my Dad, “to keep an ear out for our Catalina trip.” Basically everyone knew but me that this was going to be more than a weekend getaway.

IMG_3873Skip to our trip. We went out for a nice dinner in Avalon and Erik suggested we take a walk on the pier to see the city lights at night. Like a dork, I thought it would be a cool photo so I agreed. At the end of the pier we turned around and took in the view. I started babbling about whether or not the city had police and what the schools were like. Erik was silently freaking out. He finally got me to stop talking, dropped to one knee, said (I am told as I was in complete shock and couldn’t tell you what he said), “I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” Initially, I thought it was a joke, because he had already “proposed” and had been my “husband” for so long. Eventually, I figured out this was the real deal, said “yes!” and then proceeded to giggle the rest of night out of pure happiness and shock. I couldn’t believe the frat guy I jokingly called my husband was now going to be my future husband.

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Engagement Photos by Megan Welker