Hannah and Jacob

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How We Met

Jake and I met on the 4th of July 2008 – we were 13 & 14. Fast forward a year (filled with me running to my computer every day and sneaking out to it every night to see if I had any MSN messages or chain-mail emails from this cutie pie) and we’re at an amusement park with two of our closest friends who were dating at the time. We went on The Wild Thing together (iconic MN rollercoaster courtesy of Valleyfair), at which point he told me he was scared of heights (I found out years later this was a ruse), so I held his hand. The rest is history. A few movie nights with friends and some very slow-moving arm-around-the-shoulder action later, and he finally asked me to be his girlfriend on October 18, 2009.

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Even though we were only 14 & 15, lived twenty minutes away in small-town MN, and attended separate high schools (the horror, I know), we were inseparable. We bonded over our teeny-bopper loves of things like Linkin Park, Mario Kart (okay, this is an adult thing too, let’s be real), and books along with our mutual distaste of the country lifestyle (if it’s camo, please keep it far away from us), we just kept finding ourselves aligning on every level teenagers can. We went through everything together: four proms, high school graduations, dances, matching t-shirts, senior pictures, volleyball games, haunted houses, family trips to the Jersey Shore, movie nights, and even my braces (the first sign this was a done deal from the start).

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We hit rocky points along the way, don’t get me wrong. Loving someone from 14-23 – through all the changes, challenges, and chaos along the way – is a challenge. But the light and love always shone through everything else. Hell, one time I even came home to a CAKE on my doorstep (Pokemon themed, of course) because he knew I’d had a bad day and just wanted to make me smile. Before we even started dating, our friends would joke they were waiting for the day just because of the way we looked at each other. He loved me through my overly done eyeliner phase, my princess phase (hello all things sequinned), and every other imaginable concoction I could come up with. I loved him even when his hair was almost longer than my own. No matter what came our way, we always found happiness in each other. As we grew older, that happiness became home – a home that’s only growing larger and fuller every step of the way.

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how they asked

Alright, I hear you, you’d think after almost nine years of dating I’d be expecting a proposal. Well, you’re right and wrong. Here’s the thing, Jake and I have been talking about marriage for awhile, but with me taking a year to work in non-profits followed immediately by my M.A. program and him just scoring his first big-boy job, money was DEFINITELY an object (see what I did there?). And it was an object that, to be quite frank, we’d rather spend on traveling if we had any leftover. So, I figured we’d wait until after I graduated from my program this summer before taking the big step. Needless to say though, being from small-town MN meant the question, “Where’s the ring?” was beginning to sound like an awful, scratched, broken record (I literally had strangers come up to me and ask if we’d be having a wedding soon………STRANGERS).

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Then, this year, Jake’s family announces a massive trip to their timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Jake and I have been blessed enough to go there two years in a row, once by ourselves and once with a couple friend of ours. It quickly became my favorite place on earth (so far). Between the unreal sunsets, the unbelievable snorkeling, and the unlimited daiquiris, I was smitten. So, when I heard about this trip, I lost my mind. The itinerary was done weeks before we left, and the packing list was written even earlier (guess if I’m personality type A or B), and when the day finally came I was practically jumping out of my MN snow boots.

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Our first day and a half in paradise was just that: paradise. Swimming up to the bars, walking down the beach, and getting giddy over the sunset sailing and swimming with sea lions that we had planned for later in the week. I didn’t think things could get any better. Then, the next day, we had family photos. I’m sure you can see where this is heading – but before I get into it, here’s a difference you should know between Jake and me. My best friend and I always joke that we’ve been gifted with the “extra” characteristic. In other words, the bigger and bolder it is, the more we love it. Jake, on the other hand, loves the simple life (check his Instagram and you’ll see what I mean – I think his last post is from October). He’s happier sitting at home with a book in his hand and me by his side than any sort of activity. Meanwhile, I’m all about adventure. When it came to the proposal: he catered it to my personality 1,000%.

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Anyways, as we’re walking down the beach towards what I think are family photos, he calls out, “Hannah and I are taking photos first!” and runs down the sand. I follow him, professional photographer at my heels. She tells him to get behind me and put his arms around my waist, then, suddenly, he’s whispering all these lovely things in my ear. How he’s loved growing up with me, how we know each other better than anyone in the world, and how all parts of life are better when we’re together. I still didn’t get the picture…then he walked in front of me, and I knew what was coming. He got down on one knee – so flustered, he opened the ring facing himself. I was so excited, I forgot to even look at the ring before jumping into his arms. After all these years, it was still the most magical feeling in the world. It didn’t stop there though – after the celebration on Sunset Beach (my favorite location in all of Cabo), there were reservations at Flora Farm for dinner (Adam Levine got freaking MARRIED here, people). They had a sign congratulating us, champagne, and desserts all ready for my fiance and me. The whole week felt like one giant proposal – a massive celebration of our epic love story.

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It was only after the engagement that I found out he’s been planning this for nearly a year (shoutout to our best friends & family for keeping it a secret so long). He sweeps me off my feet especially after all these years, and I continually find my life full of the most loving surprises I could ever hope for courtesy of his big heart. He’s made fiance my favorite word, and “Where’s the ring?” my new favorite question. It goes without saying, but we’re ready for forever.

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