How We Met
Max and I met in July 2016 in San Luis Obispo, CA. We had both attended Cal Poly SLO and graduated, and we had many mutual friends but somehow had never met throughout undergrad. I was still living in the area working as a graduate student to get my teaching credential, and Max was in town just for the night. He had stopped by on his way back from Santa Barbara, where his Marine Corps Officer Selection Office is, because he had to do one last physical fitness test before officially leaving to Officer Candidates School in Virginia with hopes of become a Marine Corps Officer, and a pilot. He was pretty sure he was going to leave in September of 2016 to begin his journey. So that night in SLO, I was out at my least favorite bar with a friend who Max knew. He somehow decided to walk into that bar (which he also hates) at the exact moment my friend and I were leaving. We ran into him, she introduced us, and we spent the next hour or so hanging out. He asked for my number, and eventually asked me on a date to an Oakland A’s game, our favorite baseball team which no one else seems to love quite as much as we do. Despite the fact that he was inevitably leaving, I went and had an incredible time. The A’s won in the bottom of the 11th and I broke my 3 year streak of always seeing the A’s lose whenever I attend a game! I knew I was in trouble when he told me the following week that, miraculously, Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA was accepting him but couldn’t take him until January 2017. We ended up continuing to date and falling in love very quickly, not worrying about what might happen come January. In September of 2016 he took me to Catalina Island where we fell in love with a quaint, beautiful city called Two Harbors, where we told each other “I love you” for the first time at sunset by the harbor. Two Harbors and Catalina Island became one of our favorite places in the world and we would always talk about it our memories there when we couldn’t be together.
The next year brought many hardships, with sporadic amazing memories. He left in January, and we couldn’t talk for 10 weeks other than writing letters and they sometimes got their phones on Saturdays for 24 hours. We like to think we are Facetime’s #1 couple! After OCS, Max graduated and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps (picture from his graduation below!)
The next 6 months after that were a mix of him starting The Basic School, an intense 6 month program that all USMC officers are required to graduate from, and me finishing my teaching credential in CA and starting my first year as a teacher, teaching high school math. We sporadically saw each other, usually about 2-4 days, one time with him surprising me and coming home for the Fourth of July! I think that the majority of 2017 being spent apart really helped us to grow as a couple and to lean on each other for support and love and laughter, even when we were 3,000 miles away and couldn’t communicate. I am so incredibly proud of what he has accomplished and I wouldn’t want our crazy story to go any other way!
how they asked
Fast forward to Max graduating TBS (The Basic School) and moving to Florida to begin flight school.. he was able to get 10 days off of leave to come home for thanksgiving, which I had off as well since I am a teacher. He had planned a trip for us to go back to SLO, and then continue south to Catalina Island where we would finally get to go back to Two Harbors for a night, and then spend a couple more nights in Avalon on the island. He got us a beautiful lodge on the top of a hill in Two Harbors. We had planned to go and watch the sunset at the harbor just like we did the previous year, and then go back to our hotel for wine and cheese hour. He was wearing a suit (not rare), so I got dressed up as well and we headed down to the water. There was NO ONE else around- something we love about this amazingly gorgeous city. We walked for awhile to find a *perfect* spot, and eventually came across a bench on a cliff where someone was sitting. I wanted to leave the girl alone as she seemed to be pretty into the sunset and there was literally no one else around except us 3, but he told me it was fine and we should go up there anyways. As we are watching an incredibly breathtaking sunset in our favorite city, Max gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him and I immediately started bawling.. I couldn’t even see what the ring looked like for a few minutes! But it didn’t matter, because the moment was perfect (and the ring is stunning by the way!) At some point I realized that the “random girl from the bench” was up and taking photos on a nice camera, and I realized Max had arranged for a photographer who lives on the island to come out and capture our moment- such a sweet idea and I am so happy we have those memories to cherish! When we went back to our lodge, he had arranged for a bottle of champagne to be ready for us and the other guests all knew and congratulated us. I really couldn’t have imagined a more perfect proposal and we are SO excited to begin our lives together- starting with me moving to Florida in January :) I can’t wait to see what life has in store for us!