Marina and Erik

How We Met

I’m not even sure where, to begin with, my love story. I think 7th grade would be a good place to start, the awkward middle school years and the year I first met Erik. The small blue-eyed, blonde-haired guy that, at that point, I was much taller than. He hardly remembers me from middle school but I still, to this day, remember the day I gathered up enough courage to ask him to sign my yearbook. I know, silly right? My 7th grade crush for Erik continued into high school, where we both ran cross country and track. I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone how much I liked him but somewhere along the way my brother and close friends could see it.

In 2011, thanks to my brother and best friend sneaking around behind my back, Erik found out I needed a date to the homecoming dance, he ended up asking me to go with him, and I was thrilled! I had a cross country meet the morning before the dance and set a personal record because I was so excited to finish the race to get to the dance!! We had so much fun that night and a month later Erik asked me to be his girlfriend. That same year, the cross country seniors awarded each girl on the team a superlative, can you guess what mine was? “Most likely to marry Erik Greenwell”! I was so embarrassed that I went home and hid the award in a book. Fast forward to 2018, and we’ve been dating for 6 years now…

How He Asked

It’s 2018 and we’re in the country I consider my second home, New Zealand! I studied abroad in New Zealand for almost 4 months and decided it was time I made a trip back. So I offered my brother and Erik to join me on “the trip of a lifetime”. We spent two weeks traveling the south island and ended our trip in Kaikoura, my “home” town. On the last night there, Erik, my brother, and I decided to go to the beach with two of my friends and watch the sunset…with some wine and chocolate, of course.

As we danced around in the warm sun my brother snapped funny pictures of my friends and I. Erik kept bugging me to take more couple pictures with him, to which I huffed and puffed but agreed to do. As we stood looking at the mountains (for what I thought was for a picture) he put his arm around me and whispered that he brought something with him across the sea and around the south island and now it was in his back pocket.

I looked at him nervously and thought to myself, “wallet? phone? a note?”. After that, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was so shocked my first words were, “Is this some kind of a joke?!”.

It, of course, was no joke and I still get butterflies thinking about that moment and how lucky I am to marry my best friend and high school sweetheart!! He is the best. :)