How We Met
Jim and I met the summer of 2009 when we were both working at a local pizzeria in Charleston, SC, called DeRoMa’s Pizza. Jim was working at his best friend’s family’s pizza shop as he waited to get orders to go to flight school for his training as an AH-64D Apache Helicopter pilot, and I was finishing up my senior year of high school. Over the course of months (and several slow Tuesday shifts), we began talking more and more, or as I like to say, I talked and he listened.
One day, I schemed up a plan to make the first move by covering his car with post-its covered with cheesy pick up lines and having a friend call him to come outside because someone had ‘hit his car”. Clearly, he liked my creative approach, and we began dating.
After several years of on-and-off long distance dating (his flight school, my masters program), I received the career opportunity of a lifetime to relocate to Seattle, WA, 3,000 miles across the country from both of our families. Without any hesitation, Jim eagerly agreed to start this new chapter of our lives together. We set off on a 10 day road trip, and happily adapted to our new home in the Pacific Northwest.
how they asked
On an unusually sunny Saturday morning in May, I woke up to Jim sitting on the floor of our bedroom playing with our 8 week old corgi puppy, Emerald. As I smiled and began to drift back asleep, he placed a ring box on the bed. I immediately became much more alert and asked “What are you doing??”. He replied “Just open it”. In the ring box wasn’t a ring, but a folded up post-it that said: I’m going to ask you to marry me today. He explained that I wouldn’t know where or when, but it’s going to happen.
I was in awe, yet calm, excited, and incredibly happy all at once. Right then, I decided that I would take in every moment and not share our day with anyone else (no texting my friends about how excited I was!). Jim then volunteered to make breakfast, which was unusual since I typically do most of the cooking. As we sat down to eat, he got down on one knee and took out the ring box. I once again opened it to find another post it, which read “Will you go to prom with me?” I laughed because 5 years prior I had asked him to my high school prom over pancakes.
Next, I decided to head to the mall to try to find a new dress while he worked on his project management course. I walked into the garage to find post its on my car that said: No, I’m not going to ask you to marry me in our garage. Thank goodness! After the unsuccessful mall trip and lunch, he asked if I was ready to continue with the day. Of course!
We drove up to Issaquah, WA to one of our favorite quick hikes, Rattlesnake Ridge. After running up the mountain, we got to the top and took in the breathtaking views. Jim once again handed me the ring box, when I opened it, I saw post-it #4 that read: This would be a beautiful spot to propose, but I’m probably sweaty and don’t want to drop the ring off of a cliff. As we headed back down Rattlesnake, he got down on one knee again and out came the ring box for post-it #5: I’m just tying my shoe. He would!
After heading home and getting ready for the “surprise dinner” he had told me about the day before, we headed into the city for what I thought was just the restaurant he had chosen. On our way into the city, Jim said that he wanted to go a few places before dinner. First we stopped at Gas Works Park, and we walked up onto the hill to take some pictures. He got down on one knee and once again I opened the ring box, Post it #6 said: This would also be a beautiful spot, but I wouldn’t want to propose somewhere with “gas” in the name. Funny funny! We then stopped at another park as well to take some photos and kept going with the evening.
At this point, I really had no clue where we were going next. We pulled up to the waterfront, and we happened to grab the very last parking spot. As we walked toward the aquarium wharf, Jim asked “Do you want to take a ride on the Ferris Wheel?”
As we bought tickets, the famous Great Wheel actually stopped moving, and little did I know, Jim started worrying. The issue was resolved quickly, and we boarded the ferris wheel onto our own private gondola. As the sun was setting and right when we reached the top, Jim told me to turn around and look at the boat behind me. As I turned back, I saw him down on one knee again with a post-it sticking out. I opened the box, picked up the post-it, and gasped when I saw my ring! He asked “Anastasia, will you marry me?” And I said yes!
In all of our excitement, we were off to celebrate with dinner at Aqua by El Gaucho. Jim had called ahead to let them know, and they brought us champagne and covered our table with rose petals. It was not just the perfect engagement, but the perfect day!
Ps. If you read this just to see our corgi pup, here she is!