Dani and Brian

How We Met

During my senior year of high school, I sent a 4th of July card to a service member stationed overseas, thanking them for their military service. The service member wrote back! We continued to write back and forth over the next several months. Then, one day during Christmas vacation while he was on leave, he surprised me by showing up on my doorstep and took me out on a date.

how they asked

We recently celebrated our 13th anniversary. Over the course of the 13 days leading up to our anniversary, I received a heart-felt, hand-written letter from him each day. In the letters, he told me what he loves about me, the things he loves about our relationship, and how all of the struggles that we’ve been through over the course of the past 13 years have made us stronger as a couple and how they’ve helped us grow. On the day of our anniversary, he gave me a hand-made, wooden chest, filled with flower petals and dozens of tiny notes on which he wrote things he loves about me. When I finally got to the bottom of the chest filled with flowers and notes, there was a parchment scroll, tied with a blue ribbon (my favorite color). The scroll read, “This anniversary, something special is planned. Get ready to pack your bags for four days away, just you and me. Plan to relax in a hot tub each night under a star-lit sky, while staying warm in front of a fire. Make sure to bring some warm clothes and wear something comfortable on Thursday, because we will be flying to Colorado. Bring a camera, because there will be some beautiful sights. There is more to come, but for now, that is all you need to know. I love you…happy anniversary.” He then handed me an envelope that read, “open me” on the front. Inside were two plane tickets. I was floored! He wouldn’t tell me where our final destination was…he said it was a surprise. We arrived in Denver Thursday afternoon and drove to Estes Park, where he had rented a beautiful cabin on the Fall River for four days. We spent Thursday and Friday in downtown Estes Park and hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. By Friday night, I was so tired from hiking all day, that after we got back to the cabin and ate supper, I was ready for bed. Brian suggested though that we go for a drive to look at the stars (stargazing is something that we’ve always enjoyed doing. He enjoys showing me the different constellations and telling me stories from his time at sea…it’s something we’ve always shared together). We drove into Rocky Mountain National Park, which was only a two mile drive from the cabin. He parked the car by a meadow that was completely surrounded by snow-capped peaks. The moon and stars shining in the sky were absolutely brilliant, illuminating the beautiful mountains that surrounded us. After enjoying the peaceful night for several minutes, Brian got down on one knee there under the stars, surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth, and asked me to marry him and to be his wife for the rest of our lives and to stay by his side forever. He then gave me an incredibly special engagement ring. I love snow…it has always made me ridiculously happy, and Christmas time has always been a very special time of year for Brian and I, because we both love it and it’s when we went on our first date together. So, he drew up a design for an engagement ring, incorporating intricate filigree snowflakes. He then took the drawings to a local jeweler, who custom made the ring that he had drawn up. It couldn’t have been more perfect! We are planning to return within the next year or two to take our vows in the same meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park, under the starlight.

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