AnnaLina and Justin

Image 1 of AnnaLina and Justin

How We Met

On January 5th, 2013 my life changed forever when the blonde hair blue eyed boy I had been crushing on came to meet my parents and pick me up for a surprise date. Justin and I had known each other and been friends for years prior and my senior year was quickly coming to a close. I was pleasantly surprised as he so smoothly got along with my parents, opened my door everywhere we went, and took me to a romantic dinner before sunset to talk about anything and everything, where we could both felt the spark and the natural connection. After dinner he told me he had a surprise. He lead me back to the car and asked if I trusted him, to which I nervously and giddily laughed yes. He told me to close my eyes and that he wanted to bring me somewhere special. Within a few minutes of driving we arrived at our destination. When I opened my eyes we were looking out at the ocean as the sun was setting, it was so beautiful. He took my hand as we walked off to the beach and started looking for seashells and sea glass. As it was started to get dark I had walked ahead and shortly after heard him yell to me that there was something in the sand where he was standing. When I turned around and ran over to look written in the sand was, “Will you be mine?” I gave him a smile, laughed, and said yes as I jumped into his arms. I knew that this was the beginning of an adventure.

how they asked

Fast forward to July, 2013, our six months. My father’s side of the family has a tradition of going to Fort Myers beach for the week of Fourth of July and this year my parents happily told my siblings and I that we would be participating and we were over the moon. I quickly realized that the trip would go through our six month dating anniversary and although disappointed explained the tradition to Justin and told him the news. The morning we were about to leave my parents told me that they had a surprise for me. Justin was outside by the car with his clothes packed and was coming along for the vacation. I couldn’t believe it! My parents have always been old fashioned and we never have brought friends or family on vacation with us to I instantly knew this was a big deal. We enjoyed the week on the beach as he got to know and meet all the family and set off fireworks all night long. The next morning, July 5th, Justin woke me up and told me he wanted to take me down by the water to give me a gift for our six months. We walked along the beach till we found a little wall to sit on. He told me that there was two parts of my gift, one for now and one for in the future as he handed me a little black box. When I opened it there was a beautiful promise ring which was funny because I had gotten him one too. We proceed to promise to each other that we would always be faithful and be there for each other. To my surprise Justin then pulled out an envelope, which was the gift for the future. He explained to me that he wanted me to promise to carry this envelope with me everywhere we went together, every date, every trip, and that no matter what I could not open it until he told me to. I promised that I would do exactly that.

Fast forward to this Thanksgiving 2015. Over the last two and a half years since we made that promise our relationship saw its challenges, I went to University and Justin joined the United States Marine Corps. Yet through it all we kept falling more and more in love with each other as the days went by. Thanksgiving was going to be our first big holiday together since Justin had joined the Marine Corps to my mom gave me the idea to reach out to his family and try to surprise him by having them all come down so we could celebrate together. Everything fell into place perfectly and I was so excited and happy when I saw his face that day as both our family’s came together for a beautiful holiday, we were truly thankful. Right before dinner as our families are all catching up Justin pulled me aside and asked me if I still had that envelope from years ago. I told him of course as he rushed me off to go get it. When I came back into the room he pulled me into the family room, had me sit down, and sat right on the arm of the chair beside me. He looked down with a grin and told me to open it as one by one all our family members started to file into the room from the kitchen and living room. I opened it with shaking hands to find a typed out paragraph he had written me almost two and half years ago. In the letter he wrote

“I knew from the very first date when I asked you in the sand to be mine that you were different from anyone else that I’ve ever met. I fell in love with you from the very beginning of our relationship. You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met and the gorgeous smile that is growing on your face as you read this letter, I love it. I love you more than anything. There’s one more thing AnnaLina…”

Image 2 of AnnaLina and Justin

I quickly looked up at him as he knelt down on one knee in front of both of our families and asked me to marry him. I immediately started crying tears of pure happiness and said YES to the rest of my life with the man who is my everything.

Image 3 of AnnaLina and Justin

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Image 7 of AnnaLina and Justin