Sarah and Jake
How We Met
It was basically inevitable that we would fall in love. Jake was a ballroom dance instructor in a student org at our university, UW Eau Claire. Even though I joined his club, neither of us really noticed the other for a whole year. After that year of learning, I became a student instructor too. At one of our first events of the new academic year there was this really creepy guy that freaked out all the follows. We confided in the leads and when the creepy guy asked for another dance, Jake swooped in and said we were done with the dance. That was the first time I actually noticed him, because he had puffed out his chest a bit and was ready to protect us. He drove the girls home and made sure we were safe.
As instructors, we were together at least twice a week dancing and bonding. We were also both physics majors and hung out in the Physics Seminar Room most days between classes. Then we flirted for a while with “accidental” kicks under the table, sharing earbuds, and other quirky simple gestures. At a holiday party, he asked to go to lunch with me; I already liked him so I was very excited! He was so intentional about getting to know me after that because he’s the kind of guy who wouldn’t pursue someone unless she could someday be his wife. We talked about our faith and aspirations and were texting during all our spare time. The next semester we had a class together and were study partners. We spent every day together dancing, studying, or just hanging out.
There were a lot of bumps, bruises, and mistakes that we made, but we worked through them. Now I know that God strengthened us through the hardships both as individuals and together. The challenges showed us how good we are together and how we build upon each other more than I ever dreamed.
How He Asked
Jake just got a new job and was finally moving back from Oklahoma where he started graduate school in physics. He came over to Eau Claire to celebrate and we planned to go to a nice restaurant. The morning of, I decided I wanted to pick a different restaurant for our fancy lunch. He didn’t mind at all and lost any hope for engagement that day. We lazed around all afternoon and I practically had to drag him off the couch for lunch (at 4pm). After the steaks, we decided to go take a walk (I know, so uneventful!) so we went back to my house because there is a pretty park nearby. We had walked to Mt. Simon Park before so it had kind of become our spot. We decided to check out a trail we had never been in. We doddled around for a while until it started getting dark. I kept prodding for us to go, but he kept hanging behind. Eventually it was actually dark and I could barely see the ground so I had to really focus on not tripping over a rock.
When we got to the entrance of the trail, there was a trellis with twinkle lights on it, a large rock had a white table cloth over it, there were wooden signs saying “I Love You to the Moon and Back” and “I Love You More”, and “Best Friend” by Jason Mraz was playing in the background. As soon as I saw it I said “Oh no! Someone is having a really romantic moment here and we are going to ruin it!” so I started walking faster. It didn’t occur to me that it was my romantic moment and these things didn’t just happen to be personal to us. Jake took my hand and said, “No. Sit down.” I immediately understood what was happening as he got down on one knee. Jake says I was smiling the biggest smile he has ever seen and tears were running down my face. He told me how much he loves me and why he would be so happy to marry me and then asked. I choked out a Yes and giggle/cried for the next 20 minutes. I couldn’t have been happier that the man beyond my dreams had asked me to be his wife.