Mackenzie and John

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How We Met

I met JJ through a family friend whom I was visiting one summer. I was 15 years old and I had just met the most kind and beautiful 19 year old guy who was leaving for the Naval Academy in just a few weeks. To say I was smitten is a complete understatement. After meeting that weekend we exchanged numbers and over the next 6 years we crafted a really beautiful friendship. Due to the age difference and the difference in lifestyle (I went on to college and JJ went on to flight school for the Navy after graduating from the Academy) we always checked in on each other but nothing beyond friends. We dated other people but always circled back to each other. Let’s just say JJ was the guy that was always in the back of my mind. Finally after 6 years of staying in touch we were both single and started flying back and forth to visit each other. That first weekend with him I knew that one day I would tell him I loved him.

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His schedule as a military pilot wasn’t easy and I was wrapping up my senior year of college. It took us over a year to start dating and once we decided that, we packed up my car and drove across the country to start a new chapter in San Diego where JJ was stationed.

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That leap of faith with him has been the greatest adventure I have ever embarked on.

How He Asked

Ahhhh!! The best night of my life! The night he proposed we were catching a red eye flight home to Michigan. JJ was set to deploy in a little over a month so we had scheduled some important family time before he left to serve for 6 months. That Sunday morning he told me he was taking me on a special date night. I really did not think anything of it because I knew the next two weeks back home were going to be busy and very emotional as he said goodbye to family and friends. The night started with a beautiful dinner in our favorite San Diego neighborhood. Great food, a bottle of wine, and my favorite company, a perfect start to the evening.

There was one point in the night I started wondering if he was up to something because he was smiling too much. After dinner he told me we had to be somewhere at a certain time. It was around Christmas time so I thought maybe we had tickets to a show. We jumped in a car and the trip ended at Balboa Park. My stomach started to flip because this is one of the most special spots to JJ and I. It was where he took me on our first San Diego date and the place where we sat and he asked me to make the official move across the country and move in with him.

It was where our “San Diego beginning” started. We got out of the car and started walking, his hand holding mine tight as he guided me to my very favorite spot, a special set of stairs. As I looked up I saw the most beautiful scene; candles lining the stairway and rose petals scattered everywhere.

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JJ led me up the stairs.

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And before I could even breathe, the man of my dreams was down on a knee asking me to spend forever with him.

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