Marlayna and Dane

Proposal Ideas Christmas White Elephant Party!

How We Met

Dane and I are from completely different parts of the country and the fact that we met felt like destiny. I am from Carlsbad, California and he is from Winner, South Dakota. Our lives couldn’t have been more different, but an acceptance into the same nursing program changed us forever. I had never lived in the snow, let alone anywhere outside of Southern California, but I took a chance and applied to this program in the mid-west and I am sure glad that I did. We were both looking to go back to school for a 2nd degree in Nursing, and fate brought us to do that in a program of 30 people in Aberdeen, South Dakota. I noticed him on the first day of class when he was the only one who didn’t have a laptop, as everyone else was vigorously typing notes. He told me he was “waiting for his computer to come in the mail”, which I found funny and kind of endearing. About a week later we had an assignment that I was really nervous about and Dane and I got to talking about it. We exchanged phone numbers and he mentioned that a group of people was getting together to study the next night so I said count me in.

After the study session, Dane asked if anyone wanted to grab a beer and I happened to be the only one who said yes. We met up with his sister at a bar nearby and time flew by that night. After his sister left, it was just him and I and the conversation was effortless, fluid and absolutely amazing. We instantly clicked, and it scared me and excited me all at once. The following week a few of us, including Dane, were studying the classroom on a Friday night. As the night went on, the group dwindled and then it was just Dane and I. We got off track from studying and started talking about random things like auras, and horoscopes and then we shared a moment that night that I will never forget. Dane said, “I read once that it takes just 10 seconds to look into someone’s eyes to feel emotionally connected.” I laughed and replied by saying “Oh yeah? Let’s see.” We looked into each other’s eyes and it instantly felt electric!

Marlayna and Dane's Engagement in Christmas White Elephant Party!

After that, we became inseparable. We fell in love quickly and deeply. There were so many emotions in that first year, from having new feelings of love to having major stress from our intensive program. Also, being from such different places and not knowing where this was going to take us, created a lot of hurdles for our new relationship. We leaned on each other though, and it made us closer than I could have ever imagined being close to someone. He became my best friend, my study partner, my confidant and the love of my life. Truly, the decision to move here for this program was the best decision of my life.

We graduated together in the winter of 2015 and decided to pursue our first careers as Registered Nurses in a brand new city for a brand new adventure. We moved to Boise, Idaho and it was amazing being in the real world together and falling more in love than we already were. Moving brought a new array of challenges, but we worked through these together and grew individually and as a couple. We came to love traveling, hiking, camping, and skiing together and we let our relationship flourish. We started talked about marriage a lot, and I was hoping we would be taking that next step soon, but definitely didn’t see it coming the way he popped the question!

How He Asked

We were at a Christmas party this past December surrounded by all of our friends, who are all nurses too. My white elephant number was one of the last ones to go, and there were a lot of people there so this game took awhile and it seemed like hardly anyone was paying attention. It was super loud and everyone was talking and laughing and just having a jolly time! Finally, it was my turn to pick a white elephant gift. There were 3 gifts left, one was the gift I had brought, so I narrowed it down to two, one of which caught my attention because the “Master of Ceremonies” nudged it out from behind the tree.

I decided to go with that pretty green box, and then everyone in the room went silent. It dawned on me that something was going on. I untied the red bow, opened the gift and looked down at a ring box. Then Dane stood up and walked toward me, and I felt like my heart was going to explode! I instantly started crying but he grabbed my hand, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the easiest question in the world to answer, and after I said “of course!” the crowd literally went wild! It was the most magical and surreal moment of my life, and we cannot wait to get married!

Our Video

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