Britnei and Joel

How We Met

Joel and I met on OKCupid. His first message said, “We are an awful match. My lighting is horrible. I hate sweaters. I don’t throw away dress shirts on snow angels. But I’d slow dance you in the kitchen and sing Michael Buble.” My response: “I don’t know aboute an awful match. I think you’re pretty cute. I love beer. I have a pizza stone and know how to use it. Michael Buble can help a girl look past a lot of things.”

Our first date was at an Afghan restaurant to test how adventurous my palate was. He still hasn’t sung Michael Buble to me in the kitchen, but there’s always time.

how they asked

I knew Joel had gotten my great grandmother’s diamond when we were home for Thanksgiving, so by January I was expecting it at any moment. Whenever we left the house my hair was curled, my nails were done – he might do it while we’re walking the dog, right? But as I was packing to leave for the Hope Express, a 140-mile overnight run from the Hershey Medical Center to the Penn State Dance Marathon to raise awareness for the Four Diamonds Fund, the proposal was the last thing on my mind. It was record cold that weekend, so the day before our Team Captain emailed us to tell us that all of our relay legs were changing, and we’d be running twice the number of legs each with half the mileage as originally planned. Joel seemed pretty concerned but I figured it was because he was worried about it being so cold. I set off on my fourth leg at around 3:30am Friday morning, having no idea Joel had been racing through the mountains to catch up with our team. When he woke up at 1:30 one of my teammates let him know we were about an hour ahead of schedule and he was off on a mad dash to make it before my leg ended. My next leg was in the morning and he needed to reach us in the dark. As I neared my handoff, I could hear my teammates cheering. Because it was so cold, only a few of us had been getting out of the RV at each handoff but everyone was outside – I’m thinking to myself “I must be running SO FAST!” In reality, Joel had called them about ten minutes before and said someone take pictures, I’m going to propose! I handed off to Brit, ready to go inside, when our coach pointed behind me. I turned around to see Joel walking towards me. Suddenly he switched on his sign (I’m a lighting designer so I had a special appreciation for the fact that it had a switch) and dropped to his knee. The first words out of my mouth were “Oh my God, shut UP!” I walked over to him and honestly can’t remember anything he said except that I said YES!

Image 1 of Britnei and Joel

Image 2 of Britnei and Joel

Special Thanks

The Hope Express
 | The Hope Express