Claudia and Ryan

Image 1 of Claudia and Ryan

How We Met

When I was seven years old, my family moved to Warrenton, VA to be out more in the country. One day when it was snowing, my little brother Kade and I thought it would be fun to go sledding down the hill we lived on. All of the streets in our neighborhood were covered in snow, making it nearly impossible for any vehicles to go up or down, so Kade and I decided to take a walk down our street to see if there were any others kids playing outside. That’s when I met Ryan. He and his brother Zach, were having a snowball fight in their yard and they asked us to join. From that day on, were were inseparable. Every day after school, my siblings and I would go down to Ryan’s house and we would play flashlight tag, kick ball, and capture the flag until our parents called us home. We spent years growing up in his yard and in that neighborhood together. Ryan and I built such a great friendship and we didn’t think anything more of it. During my middle school years, Ryan’s parents decided to move to a new neighborhood. It wasn’t the saying me for awhile, as my siblings and I couldn’t just run down to his house to play with him and his brother anymore.

Image 2 of Claudia and Ryan

Image 3 of Claudia and Ryan

We all eventually grew apart because communicating became more difficult. Flash forward to my sophomore year of high school, I was walking into the school and I spotted Ryan! We hadn’t talked in a few years so we weren’t exactly sure where to start! We spent our mornings before the bell rang, walking around school together reminiscing on our childhood memories. We eventually exchanged phone numbers so we could continue hanging out outside of school. At this point, we still hadn’t thought of each other as anything more than friends. On the Friday leading up to homecoming was spirit day, and there was a football game that night. I went with my girl friends and he went with his guys, not knowing that the other one of us was there. We didn’t go to a large school, so it was bound to happen that we would run into each other, and so we did! He and I left all of our friends to spend some time together. The more we talked, the more we realized that this was developing into something more than a friendship.

Image 4 of Claudia and Ryan

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He asked me if I was going to homecoming the following night, which I was, with a group of my friends. I kept waiting and waiting for him to ask me to go with him….but he never did! :( The night of homecoming, I spotted Ryan in the corner with a group of friends. I went up to him to introduce myself to some of his friends and talk with him for a bit. I told him that I was going to go dance with my girl friends but that I’d come find him later. About half way through the dance, I had built up the courage to ask him to dance with me, and OFCOURSE the next song was a slower one so we slow danced together. I could tell he was so nervous because the palms of his hands were sweating! We kept locking eyes every few seconds and would smile and laugh. There was never an awkward moment between the two of us. At this moment, I could tell that I wanted to be with him. The next few weeks we spent going out on actual dates together to explore what was becoming more than a friendship and on October 18th, 2011, he officially asked me to be his girlfriend and we have been together ever since! :)

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how they asked

On Saturday December 3rd, 2016, Ryan brought me all over town to celebrate my birthday, since the next day, which was actually my birthday, we would be spending it with my family. I was always so good at guessing his surprises before they happened so I knew that he would be bringing me to my favorite diner for breakfast and then ice skating. :) On our way back to the apartment, he told me to get dressed up for dinner. I didn’t think anything of it because we were celebrating my birthday so it made sense for he and I to dress up. He said he made reservations for 7:30, but that we had to go by my dads house, (which was my childhood home), to pick up my birthday present. He hid my birthday gift at my dad’s house because he knew I was good at finding out his surprises! As we were pulling up my road, he spotted his childhood home and said to me that it looks like they put up a swing on the tree we climbed up as kids!

He asked me if I wanted to go take a look and swing on it, but I told him we couldn’t do that because he doesn’t live there anymore! Little did I know what was about to happen…. We pulled up to his childhood home and we got out of the car and started walking over to the tree with the swing on it. He asked me if I wanted to swing, but I told him to go first in case the homeowners came out so I wouldn’t get yelled at, HAHA! I then sat down on the swing and looked up and saw there was a mistletoe! I immediately broke down into tears because I knew what was about to happen. He started telling me this is the exact spot he saw me for the first time over thirteen years ago and how he found his best friend and soul mate at such a young age. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

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OF COURSE I said yes! I had been waiting for this moment for so long!

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It was surreal! Ryan’s brother, Zach, was hiding behind a tree taking pictures of the whole proposal. The homeowners came out cheering and congratulating us! Later on, I found out that they knew about it all along! Weeks leading up to the proposal, Ryan had went to his childhood home to ask the new homeowners if he could propose to me under the tree we climbed as kids. He told them out story of how we met in their yard and they wanted nothing more than to be apart of this special day! Ryan then built the swing from scratch and hung a mistletoe on it! It was the most amazing day of my life! Little did I know that I would be meeting my best friend and future husband at seven years old on the corner of Panorama Court :)

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