Claira and Ryan

Image 1 of Claira and Ryan De

How We Met

Ryan and I met coaching high school Track & Field are Whitnall High School. He was the sprints coach, I was the distance coach. Today we still coach together where I am the head coach now and Ryan is still my sprints coach. We began our love story while coaching high school track and field together. He coached sprinters while I coached the distance events. We continue to coach together are excited that next season there will be two Coach De Valks!

how they asked

The day after Christmas we were celebrating with his family in the freezing tundra that is Northern Wisconsin. After dinner, we went outside to light paper lanterns together as a family to celebrate the holidays and make a wish for the new year. Unfortunately trying to light paper lanterns in negative 5-degree weather can be challenging! We were finally able to light one, a purple lantern; we watched it float up into the air romantically when suddenly a cold biting wind sent it flying into the neighbor’s 25-foot tree! Luckily it was too cold for the tree to light on fire although several leaves caught fire only to fall to the ground frozen before they hit the ground. We stood there laughing; his kind mother told us to make a wish anyway. Ryan asked me what I wished for. I smiled “I wish for a long and happy life together.” He leaned down and whispered in my ear, “You want to know my wish- will you marry me?” He then got down on one knee opening a tiny red box with a ring that sparkled under the stars. I jumped up and down proclaiming yes yes yes!! I’m not sure if my teeth were shivering from the cold or from excitement! We are so excited to plan our wedding together with our family as well as spend a lifetime of making warm wishes on beautiful cold winter nights.

Image 2 of Claira and Ryan De