How We Met
The night I decided to wear my overalls out to the bars, was the night I met my future husband. I had waited for months for the weather to be warm enough to cuff the bottoms of those babies, and take them out on the town sans-jacket, so when the forecast for that fateful Saturday read, “HIGHS IN THE MID-SEVENTIES”, I knew what I had to do. I walked into the local bar feeling cool and confident; a relatively well-known Omaha singer/songwriter crooning beautifully over the hum of the busy locale. A friend and coworker of mine had graciously agreed to come out with my overalls and I to celebrate the demise of a horrible, too-long relationship, and she was doing her best to keep up with my activity requests (Pizza! Karaoke! Music show!)
Upon entering the bar, my friend waved hello to someone, and just like in the movies, the crowd parted, and there he was. Tall, self-proclaimed emotionally unavailable, and handsome. After quick introductions, Django and I found ourselves in a speed date of sorts, each of us desperately trying to find a disqualification. “There is no way we are going to be compatible,” he told me. He was also recently out of a long term relationship, and (I discovered later) had given up on finding anyone who could hit all of his compatibility marks. But guess what? I passed. Even better – HE passed.
We agreed on everything from politics to religion to dogs. I felt comfortable talking to him, and for an overall-clad introvert, that’s a really big deal. I felt so comfortable talking to this stranger, that the bar began closing around us, and my friend was begging to leave. I managed to snag his number, and waited until I got home to send him a text. I convinced him to come over and walk to a nearby park to set up a hammock I’d never used. After fumbling around in the dark for what felt like hours, the hammock was secure, and we awkwardly maneuvered ourselves into it. Cue the downpour. Yes, really. Django walked me home in the middle of the night from our “first date” in the rain, gave me a kiss, and drove away after telling me, “I really liked your overalls.”
how they asked
To be honest, we had made proposing to each other a casual, fun, daily activity for several months leading up to the real thing. However, it seems all the practice in the world can’t stay the nerves involved in that moment. It was the single-most important piece of one-on-one communication I’ve ever experienced. You have to be clear. You have to be honest. This isn’t “I guess I’m ready to get married now and, well, you’re here.” You have to mean it. This is it.
I knew she was the one just a few months into our relationship. Our partnership isn’t great because “we never fight about anything!” It’s great because we respect and appreciate each other enough to fight fair and with shared goals in mind. So when our biggest fight happened the week I planned to pop the question, I looked at myself in the mirror and said “man, I ain’t shook.”
Here’s how I did it. Anyone who knows me knows of my passion for night sky photography. A few years ago, I bought a Pixelstick, which is a 5-foot-long, 200-LED light stick that can essentially paint or print graphics in mid-air. All you have to do is snap a long exposure photo and walk in front of the camera letting the Pixelstick do the rest of the work. Jailyn has operated the Pixelstick for me a number of times, so I knew she wouldn’t think anything was strange if I incorporated the device into the proposal. I brought a Bitmoji graphic of me proposing to Jailyn into Photoshop and prepared it so it would work properly with the Pixelstick.
Shortly after I figured out how I would propose, we got a group text from Jailyn’s childhood best friend from Minnesota suggesting we meet her (Laura) and her person (Luke) in Badlands National Park for a camping weekend! I was so pleased that the trip wasn’t my idea as I wanted Jailyn to be surprised. We stopped at the visitor’s center as soon as we got to Badlands and I encouraged Jailyn to buy all the stickers and patches they had! Our plan that first night was to get some night sky photos with the Pixelstick, but Jailyn didn’t know what graphic she would be painting. I think the rest can be explained in the video below!