Shannon and Nastassia

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How We Met

I’m not really sure I remember my life before Nastassia walked into it….in fact I’m not sure I was ever truly living until the day our eyes first met. In all honesty, the journey still brings tears to my eyes. People speak of soulmates and this idea of true love that invokes every inch and corner of your heart body and soul but to be honest I had given up hope that there was any such thing. Before we had known the other existed we dealt with our own demons in other relationships. Today and now I’m thankful for every fire that I walked through because it led me to the love of my life. I’m here to tell you it’s real – that kind of love does exist – never lose hope my friends. I took a risk in May of 2016 – online dating was not something I had ever even given much thought to. We’ve all heard the cat fish horror stories and well I didn’t want to be “that girl” however I had a few friends that it really worked out for and I thought to myself why not and I’ll just test the water a bit.

I joined “HER” which was solely for women seeking women. I received the typical messages here and there but with little to no interest on my end. I remember scrolling through pictures and the little things people had captioned and then…it happened. I saw her. First things first – it was the eyes – something was genuine and pure and real about her eyes. However, cliché it may sound the eyes are the window to the soul. I wasn’t looking for a hook up – I was looking for a connection and something inside of me was pulling me toward her. To be blatantly honest she was also without a doubt the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my entire life. I know that’s a bold statement but I truly couldn’t even look at just a picture without feeling my heart sink into my chest. After heavy contemplation, I sent her a message and from that moment on we haven’t ever stopped pouring our hearts out to one another. It was instantaneous and I hadn’t even met her which seemed absolutely crazy to me. After over a month of endless conversations we decided it was time to meet. I felt so many emotions – excitement – fear – nerves – happiness. The day came and I met her at the US border.

Nastassia is Canadian and Bolivian born. I myself am a US citizen. I live only 25 minutes from the border so as I arrived and our eyes finally met – time actually felt like it stopped. I saw nothing but her – sounds had disappeared – people were non-existent. We began then and I remember nothing before. We fell so madly, deeply, and irrevocably in love and it just continued to get better. The first kiss to the very first “I love you” and everything in between. We talked about life and creating a family together – children and our passion for our dreams. It was November 3rd 2016 and we had a commanders call at the 158th fighter wing. I’m a member of the United States Air Force and I was informed that we had 3 weeks before we were being deployed to a war zone to help defend our country. I felt so numb and scared – not because I had to fight or because I may lose my life but because I had to leave her. Her face is what popped into my mind. I went home that night and had to do something very difficult – which was telling my family and the woman that I love that I had to go. It was a night filled with tears and worry. I knew though that no matter what I would come home to her – nothing would stop me from getting back home to her. For three months, she was my strength every day. I woke up and fought for her – for our future – for love. In February of 2017 when our plane landed and families and the state of Vermont were on the strip cheering and waving flags the only thing I saw was a sign that I knew she was holding and I sprinted to her and once again I was finally home. She was my home. I knew at that very moment she was who I would spend eternity with.

How They Asked

From that point on I started planning. Nastassia’s family is from Bolivia and I knew they wouldn’t be able to be here for my proposal but I needed them to be a part of it. I wanted their blessing and for her to know that they were there in spirit. I had an idea to make a movie of all of her family as well as mine and all of our friends and loved ones giving us their blessing and explaining why they love us as a couple.

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The movie took months to create but it was worth it. I knew I didn’t want to buy just any ring off a shelf for her – I didn’t care if it was Tiffany’s – Nastassia was unique and I wanted something created that fit who she was – something vintage and classy – so I did just that.

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All good things take a bit of time but the result was phenomenal. My idea was this – I wanted her to believe that we were going to a family dinner on July 30 2017. She showed up at my friends restaurant on Lake Champlain and entered looking for me – only to find a rose, champagne, and a note from me to enjoy a boat ride across the lake where I would be waiting for her.

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My wonderful friends brought her to the boat and played the movie for her which brought her to tears. She had no idea what was waiting for her on the other side. As the boat docked Nastassia was blindfolded and walked down the dock where myself and all our friends and family awaited. As she got closer to the marina my wonderful musically talented friend started playing one of our songs and signing “turning page” as she got to the gazebo – I had hundreds of pictures of us hung – the balloons – lanterns- and decorations – rose petals guiding her down the path and then her blindfold was removed. As her eyes gazed forward there in lines were all the people that supported us along the way – each of them holding a rose for her in their hands.

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At the end of that line was me under an arch and vines waiting for her. After she collected all the roses and the song ended I took her by the hands and explained to her exactly why I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

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We cried and kissed and most importantly – she said YES Taylor played to make you feel my love by Adele to end the proposal and we all celebrated with dinner on the lake as the champagne bottles. It was the greatest day of our lives and if I could do it all again just to see that sweet smile and love in her eyes – I would – 1000 times. Here’s to growing old with the woman that makes me the best version of myself – better than I ever thought possible.

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