Alyssa and Ethan

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How We Met

I transferred from a college in Maryland (where I’m from) to a college in Florida in the fall of 2012. I met Ethan at a Relay for Life event in 2013 at our college, the University of South Florida. He was the MC of the event and I was a team captain. After the relay event, I had reached out to one of his roommates (who at the time, I didn’t know was his roommate) and asked if I could ride with her to the Relay wrap-up party. She said absolutely and told me how to get to their apartment! Well, it turned out that they lived in the same apartment complex as me and when I knocked on the door, Ethan answered. I was very surprised to see him and then I realized that Andrea was one of his roommates!

Image 2 of Alyssa and Ethan

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We all went to the Relay for Life wrap up party and Ethan and I spent the majority of it talking to each other. Andrea invited me over afterward to watch a movie and play Uno. I ended up staying at their place until the wee hours of the next morning just talking with Ethan. A few short days later, we ran into each other on campus and he asked to see my place and meet my roommates. After showing him my apartment and introducing him to my roommates, we talked until the wee hours of the morning, again. When we finally parted ways, I asked him what he was doing the next day and he said: “I’ve got to go to work and then I’m taking my girlfriend on a date.” I was so heartbroken because I thought that he had a girlfriend and he had been talking to me! Turns out, that was his way of “asking” if I would be his girlfriend. We went on a date the next day and the rest is history!

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how they asked

We began dating in April 2013 after we met at a Relay for Life event at our university. Within 4.5 years of dating, we had endured more than the average couple. Everything from a college relationship, to long distance when Ethan joined the military, to moving around the country together, and learning to function in the adult world. Our most recent military move planted us in New Orleans in May 2017. Fast forward a few months to right around Thanksgiving, I found out my parents had decided to drive all the way from Phoenix, AZ to spend the holiday with us! I had been training to run the Stennis Space Center Marathon two days after Thanksgiving.

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Running races has always been my thing. I began running marathons at the age of 15 and have always said that I do them for those who can’t. I was so excited that my parents were going to be there for the race, little did I know, they weren’t the only ones that would be there! Ethan had reached out to six of our closest friends and they all made arrangements to be at the race. As I ran 26.2 miles, they were all working hard to make sure the finish line proposal went off without any hiccups. I was running to my own proposal and had no idea! As I approached the finish, I saw a banner, which I assumed was just the race banner.

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It turns out it was a banner of pictures Ethan had made & it was being held by all of the surprise guests and my mom while my dad was videoing the entire thing! I crossed the finish line and Ethan put the race medal around my neck. I heard our song playing and realized what was probably happening! After saying the sweetest things, the love of my life got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

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I promptly responded with “Heck Yeah!” We all got to celebrate after the race with dinner and a bonfire! I was so surprised and it was hands down the most perfect day I’ve ever experienced in my life. We’re planning our wedding for November of 2019!

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