How We Met
Jonathan and I met online. Jonathan moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from the Florida Panhandle for an amazing career opportunity in January 2015. I am born and raised in California and had been living in the Bay Area for just over a year in a town named Livermore. He moved to Concord, about 30 miles away. Jonathan also serves in the National Guard, and was assigned to a unit in Dublin, just 10 miles away from Livermore. I have a large family based in the Central Valley, and frequently made the hour-long trip home for family events on weekends. However, for the first time in three months, I stayed over in Livermore. Jonathan spent his drill weekend in Dublin, and we matched up.
We began talking and had our first date about a week and a half later. Funny enough, both of us left the date thinking the other was WAY out of our league and would never hear from them again. I left a few days later for a trip to New Orleans, and he continued to pursue me while I was away. Once I returned, we immediately became serious.
Meeting online may be a cliché in this day and age, but we believe fate brought us together. After one weekend in Dublin, Jonathan felt the unit was not a right fit and switched to another that would be located in the North Bay. I am also rarely in town on weekends, and with living in a metropolitan area of over 7 million people and being a good distance apart, it would have been unlikely that we would have crossed paths traditionally.
how they asked
Jonathan was offered a transfer opportunity with his company to Raleigh, NC. We accepted, and made the trek cross-country in April. We spent 8 days exploring 10 states in between California and North Carolina. We settled into the house we purchased together and began enjoying East Coast life.
We planned to visit Jonathan’s family over Fourth of July weekend. On the first day we were there, Jonathan coordinated a girls day for his mom, sister-in-law and I to get our nails done (clever man!) and enjoy lunch together. On Sunday (July 3), Jonathan said he wanted to take me to the beaches of Sandestin, take some nice photos together, and spend some time at the outlets. As we were driving down, we stopped at Okaloosa Island. Jonathan told me he had many memories at this beach: learning to kite surf, surfing, and numerous other Floridian activities. We walked along the water, took a couple pictures, and Jonathan led me up to the sand dunes.
Another couple was taking engagement photos, and about 10 feet away from them was a message in a bottle. Jonathan picked it up and asked the couple if the bottle belonged to them. They replied no, so he encouraged me to help him open it up and read the letter.
As I opened up the letter, I noticed it was Jonathan’s handwriting. Jonathan does sweet, thoughtful things all the time, so I thought it was another special thing he was doing for me. I continued reading the letter and it wasn’t until I got to the end of the letter and read “…after one look into your blue eyes I knew I was standing with my soulmate.” that I knew this time was different. Once I looked up, he was down on one knee with the biggest smile on his face.
I was elated to say YES to the man of my dreams.
After he put the ring on my finger, he pointed out the photographer capturing the entire moment. I had seen the photographer while we were walking along the beach, but I thought he was assisting the other photographer! He was a friend of Jonathan’s from high school and we took some more pictures near the dunes and by the water before heading off the beach.
That’s not all: we drove back into town and Jonathan said we were going to his mom’s house to swim and have dinner with his family. As we pulled around the corner, I noticed LOTS of cars in the driveway and parked along the street. Jonathan also planned a surprise engagement party, put together by his mother and sister-in-law, Kim! I was so excited to celebrate this special moment in our lives with our friends and family. It was the perfect day, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.