Melissa and Anson

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AJ and I met 15 years ago when we moved in next door to each other. I immediately had a crush on him and our mothers would always joke about us dating. Throughout the years as neighbors, we would walk to the bus stop and play outside together. As we got older, we always kept in touch and he was always there for me. We both went to different colleges and moved to different places. We were still friends, but life and jobs took us different ways.

A little over a year ago, AJ contacted me and told me that he had always had feelings for me and that we should give ‘us’ a chance. Me, being the shy, reserved person I am, was shocked that he had these feelings or had even had them in the past. I couldn’t think of a reason for us not to give it a shot, so he booked a plane ticket to come visit me in NYC. The moment he arrived, it was like nothing had changed between us. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t given this amazing, kind, sensitive, funny person the chance a long time ago. We fell in love at that moment and I now cannot picture our lives any other way. Shortly after that visit and several visits between NYC and Michigan, AJ convinced me (without much convincing at all) to move back home.

After a year and a half of dating and a year of me being back in Michigan, we were headed to Grand Rapids, MI for a weekend getaway. We were going to stay the night at a hotel, check out the nearby famous Meijer Gardens, and then watch his niece ice skate in the morning. As the week neared, we hesitated going because we were expecting not only the first snowfall of the year, but seveal feet of snow!

The morning of the trip, we decided to leave early and go anyways. When we got to the gardens, the snow was falling fast and heavy, but that didn’t stop us from walking around the grounds. The way the snow had fallen was picture perfect and the park was nearly empty- leaving us alone. When we neared a waterfall, he told me to take my phone out to take a picture. Before I could reach in my pocket, he was down on one knee and proposing. I, of course, said yes (I don’t even think he had the chance to ask me anything). He had his friend photograph the moment and we shared a bottle of champagne in the park.

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When we got to our hotel later that day, my family was there to greet us! It was so sweet that he included them in our special day and that they were able to make it from Chicago.

I didn’t know at the time, but the weather really had AJ worried about how us, our families, and his friend that photographed the moment would make it out for the special day. Luckily, the snow ended up making the day even more beautiful! AJ’s planning and preparation for the day reflects exactly who he is as a person- kind and passionate. He’s the love of my life and my person and I could not be happier to spend the rest of my life with him!

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