Norman and Caitlin

How We Met: Norman and I met in July of 2012 in the small town of Warsaw, Indiana. We had both just graduated from college and had landed jobs in a sales training program for an orthopedic company. Moving to the mid-west was taking me out of my comfort zone, but luckily the new job included a great new group of friends. There were 11 fellow college graduates and we were all living under the same roof. Think along the lines of MTV’s “The Real World” and you’ll have a pretty good picture of what life was like! I was the only single girl and Norman was one of two single guys. Our first night in town we all went to a local Mexican restaurant to celebrate. There, Norman shared his opinion on relationships when he explained that “relationships are stupid and I’m never going to have one”. Needless to say it wasn’t love at first sight. It didn’t take long though, and after everyone got over his initial stubborn comment, he found his way into all of our hearts, especially mine. His passion for life and ability to have fun in any situation was contagious and attractive. His bright blue eyes and vibrant smile didn’t hurt either.

We spent the next few months having fun with each other and our friends in Warsaw. Neither of us were willing to talk about the relationship in any serious conversation and didn’t even call each other boyfriend or girlfriend. The end of our training program would bring about new jobs in different locations which was scary for a new relationship. Even with that looming over us, we were getting closer and more serious than either of us were willing to admit. Right before Christmas that year I accompanied Norman on a road trip from Indiana to Utah. We were driving through a mid-west blizzard when the car got caught in some snow and was pulled off the road. We were stuck in the middle of I-80 somewhere in Illinois. And that was when we both realized we were stuck with each other for the long haul.

The next couple months were a whirlwind and we somehow managed to both get jobs in New Jersey after our training program finished. Our lives haven’t slowed down since and the adventures have only gotten more exciting!!!

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How He Asked: Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be taking a trip to Africa to see Victoria Falls and go on safari in Namibia. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be asked to spend forever with the man of my dreams, my truest friend, in such a magical land…

August 8, 2014 was our first full day of our vacation and we were in Victoria Falls, staying at a wonderful lodge on a secluded island up river from one of the world’s natural wonders. I was overwhelmed with excitement from being in this new, exotic land. Our day was spent watching the sunrise over the African wilderness on the back of an elephant, touring surrounding villages by bike, and canoeing the Zambezi River where we got up close and personal to some hippos!

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Norman was constantly ready for the next activity and for the few moments in the afternoon where nothing was planned, he was anxious to fish right from our bungalow even though the staff urged him not to. This really isn’t that out of the ordinary for Norman, being active and fishing are two of his favorite things to do. In hindsight, he probably was slightly more energetic than normal as his nerves were practically eating him alive.

Dinner that night was to be on the water under a full moon. We rowed out to a candlelit boat with Norman’s sister and her boyfriend, who were with us on the trip. It was absolutely beautiful and everyone settled in to their seats with some South African wine and started chatting.

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Norman started talking about all of the adventures we had been on, starting with our cross country road trip from the year before. At this point, I felt some butterflies start to flutter around in my stomach, but Norman let the conversation turn a different direction with the rest of the group for a few minutes so I thought that I was just imagining everything. I’m sure his stomach was doing somersaults though, and after a couple of minutes, he grabbed my hands and said, “I want to go on every adventure with you for the rest of my life.” He got out of his chair, down on one knee, and as both of us teared up, he asked, “Caitlin Rose Fodor, will you marry me?”  I said yes and we both started giggling. We enjoyed the most delicious dinner, celebratory champagne, and each other. The affirmation that we would be spending the rest of our lives with each other gave us a natural high that still hasn’t left, months later.

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The next morning we woke up to the sunrise and enjoyed a quiet, peaceful, cup of coffee looking over the calm Zambezi as fiancé’s. Those moments are unforgettable. Later that day we saw Victoria Falls and got to swim in the tide pools at the edge of the falls. Don’t worry…the ring didn’t fall over!

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…I am the luckiest

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