How We Met
After my sophomore year of high school I moved to live with my dad about 3 hours away from where I grew up. My close group of girlfriends that I made when attending my new high school, grew up hanging out with his group of guy friends (Derek went to the private school close by). Derek was 2 years older, and had moved away to go to school at Penn State just as I was moving into town. We randomly saw each other at pool parties and over the holidays while everyone was home from college, but never really hit it off or said much more than hi to each other. At the beginning of every year a large group of us gets together for a long and fun weekend at Wintergreen Resort. In 2013 my girlfriends convinced Derek to come even though none of his guys were able to make it that year. Derek and I hit it off immediately, and spent the whole weekend getting to know more about each other. There was something special about the way he made me laugh uncontrollably, and I just got lost in his blue-green eyes. When we were packing up to leave on Sunday, he asked me for my number, and we have spoken every day since. I lived in Richmond at the time and Derek lived in VA Beach, so we took turns driving to visit each other every weekend. In October 2013 he moved to Harrisonburg, VA for a new job opportunity. We continued to have a long distance relationship, until July 2014 when I moved in. I can honestly say that this past year, while living with him and our sweet border collie, Reiley, really has been the best year of my life!
how they asked
Derek and I both had a hot air balloon ride on our bucket list, and it is also something I had expressed excitement and interest in every time we saw one. Derek decided to plan one for mid-October because we thought the view of the leaves changing over the Blue Ridge Mountains would be beautiful from the hot air balloon. On Columbus Day we took a sunrise balloon ride through Charlottesville. Though it is all still a little bit of a blur, while in the air he got down on one knee and said something around the lines of, “As much fun as this balloon ride has been this morning, I really just want to spend the rest of my life riding through life with you.” It really was the most magical day ever, and I am still in awe and overwhelmed with excitement! From the perfect morning and balloon ride, to the most beautiful engagement ring I have ever seen, he really outdid himself! Derek made our engagement very special and so memorable, and I look forward to making many more exciting memories with him while continuing to go through life together.