Jennifer and Carl

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How We Met

Jenny: Carl and I had gone to the same high school in the Chicago suburbs from our freshman to junior year. We both knew of each other but never formally met until the first day of senior year when we were in the same lunch hour, at the same table, sitting adjacent to each other. My friend introduced us and I immediately thought he was cute but didn’t think too much into it. The next day, a friend that had been sitting next to me was late for lunch so Carl swooped in and asked if he could sit next to me. I said yes with a smile and for the rest of the year he had that seat claimed.

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Carl: I knew of Jenny and thought she was incredibly attractive. So of course, when one day at lunch I saw an open seat next to her, I had to shoot my shot.

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Jenny: I had no idea that he liked me. When he tweeted something, basically, about having girl problems, the next day in lunch I was like “oh my God, who’s your tweet about?! Is everything okay?!” and he was like “uh, uh…it’s about this girl from my lake house” when really it was about me. I was so oblivious to him liking me that even when a girl on my cheerleading team told me repeatedly (because he told her to) I did not believe her at all. He had planned to ask me to homecoming but missed his chance when someone else beat him to it (I then helped him ask girl to homecoming…no hard feelings :)). He finally asked me out on a date to Oberweis for ice cream (smart guy) and that’s when everything changed. We just clicked and the rest is history! High school sweethearts. We will be dating for five years on December 3rd and I fall more and more in love with him everyday.

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Carl: I was surprised that Jenny wasn’t getting the hints because I was making it so obvious that I wanted to date her. We had a mutual friend that cheered with Jenny who I had known for a long time, and I kept having her drop hints to jenny that I was crushin’ hard on her. Homecoming was coming up and I told my good friend that I was thinking about asking Jenny to homecoming and he strongly encouraged me. Little did I know, later that day another one of my friends would ask me to help him ask Jenny to Homecoming that night. So I did, no hard feelings at all (she helped me ask my homecoming date that year too). After homecoming we started hanging out so much more, and that’s when our relationship took off. I fell so in love with her so fast, and the rest is history. She is my best friend in the whole world and I can’t imagine spending my life with anybody else.

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how they asked

Jenny: I had graduated from college in May and to celebrate, Carl and I had planned a big California road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. Needless to say, we were so excited and had been planning for almost a year! Anyways, for every trip we take together, we plan one fancy, dress-up dinner date to a nice restaurant. This time we had planned to go to Sutro’s at the Cliff House for dinner (which has beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean) and then drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to find a spot to watch the sun set. So that’s what we did – we ate dinner and had a glass of wine at Sutro’s and then drove over the bridge to a spot called Battery Spencer which had a perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Something that we didn’t expect from San Francisco was how COLD it would be even in the middle of summer. So the walk up to the look-out point was cold and windy and kind of miserable, not going to lie. At this point, Carl had been sitting with the ring box in his back pocket during the half hour drive to the restaurant, for an hour at dinner, and then another twenty-minute drive to Battery Spencer. He always says that he thought he was going to develop scoliosis because it was that uncomfortable! C: It was seriously SO uncomfortable. Anytime my back hurts me to this day I blame it on the ring box. J: When we finally got up to the lookout point, I took a picture of the bridge and was like “okay, let’s go back” because I was so cold! Looking back, I can’t even imagine how petrified Carl must have felt in that moment but I had no idea what he had planned! I still feel bad for that. But he stayed calm, cool, and collected as usual, turned me towards him and said, “after this” and in my head I was like “huh?”

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Then he started his speech that I remember none of. The whole time I was thinking “omg omg omg OMG omg omgomg OMG” because I knew that the moment that I had been dreaming of since I was a little girl was currently happening and I couldn’t get myself together. Though I tried to soak in every moment and remember everything that he was saying, my attempts were not met with victory so it’s a good thing that he had it all written out for me to read later on! He finally got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and of course I said “YES!!!” and got all jumpy and pulled him in for a big hug and kiss.

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After we had our moment and the ring was on my finger and we were officially ENGAGED, he pointed over at a girl with a very large camera and said, “oh by the way, that’s Catie – she’s been taking pictures this whole time!” and then I ran over to her and gave her a big emotional hug for being a part of such an amazing moment for both of us. Side note – Catie is the SWEETEST ever and took the most amazing photos that even made Karl the Fog look dreamy and amazing.

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Carl: It was terribly hard keeping the ring a secret from Jenny. I hadn’t made such a large purchase in my life up to this point, so I was insanely excited because the ring was ridiculously gorgeous. Another hard part about keeping the whole thing a secret was that Jenny hates surprises. She will do anything she can to find out secrets, and I had known this from the beginning so I knew I had to be very careful about all the texts, emails, and receipts I kept. Everything went very smoothly, and the secret was kept a secret; leading to a very, very surprised Jenny. At this point I had been talking to Catie for about a month or two, and we had everything planned out; from the time we would be at dinner to the minute I would be getting on one knee! I was honestly pretty upset about how foggy the weather was because I had an image in my head of how the pictures would look: me kneeling in front of Jenny and the Golden Gate Bridge, beautiful sunset, beautiful San Francisco Bay, etc., etc.; but Catie was in the perfect spot because she made the pictures more beautiful than I could ever imagine.

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I am eternally grateful for the work that she put into it; especially putting up with the gloomy weather on that day! J: When we were done taking all of our pictures and soaking up the moment, we started walking to our car. I said to Carl, “we have to call my parents! Your parents!” to which Carl said, “well, we need to Face Time both of them because they’re all at your house right now!” This made me SO happy. He had made a point to have our parent’s together, celebrating and drinking champagne, while this was all happening. It made the whole amazingly wonderful experience that much better. When we Face Timed them, they were all champagne-d up and crying (except our dads, of course) and so excited for us. In that moment, along with all of the texts and snap chats from friends, I felt so much love coming our way and it felt like the perfect start to our journey in life and love. I cannot wait to spend forever with my best friend and the absolute love of my life!

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Special Thanks

Catherine Leanne
 | Photographer