Lauren and Ian

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How We Met

Ian and I met when we were 12 years old. A mutual friend introduced us and we were each other’s first dates. He showed up at the pizza restaurant, sporting a smile and a fresh hair cut, and I, nervous as could be; so nervous in fact, I brought a friend to buffer the potentials! Ian held the door, paid for our meal, and I felt stirrings of what I believe to be love, that at the time, I was fearful of approaching.

The truth is, we were far too young at the time to grasp the magnitude of the bond that we were embarking upon. It would be years before we allowed ourselves the gift of true vulnerability with one another. Ian dated others, as did I, but our friendship withstood every relationship in our respective lives. I lived out of state in New York City, but my family was local. I ventured down often and there was Ian, to wait with me at the bus stop in the rain on his birthday. There was Ian, to ring the doorbell of my mother’s house when I had bronchitis, there to simply hold me until I fell asleep.

Here we are now, in our 30’s, engaged to be married! We have survived in no particular order; a pandemic, unemployment, 2 grueling years of long distance, a flood, and more, and we’ve survived and overcome the trials and tribulations of life together, as a cohesive and beautifully oiled unit. Our relationship has seen light and darkness, beautiful and ugly, and we have remained invested and deeply in love with each other.

How They Asked

So, here is the story. Our story.

The day started as most do when you’re nestled in the Catskills; on the porch of a cabin with a cup of hot coffee and crisp autumn air. We dressed for the day and drove the winding roads through Woodstock, New York to enjoy a fabulous brunch outside. After breakfast, we wandered around the Woodstock flea market, sharing lattes and mutual love for trinkets/treasures that all carried their own story. Antiquing followed shortly after, and then it was off to a few overlooks hidden within the Catskill Mountains.

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As the oranges and pinks of the evening sky began to paint the horizon, we were seated by a fireplace, to watch the sun bid us farewell. Sharing honey nut squash carbonara and Cacio de Pepe, we talked into the evening about our most cherished memories from the trip.

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Ian opened the car door for me and off we went to the Deer Mountain Inn. He asked for a table by the fireplace, giving us the whole back room to ourselves; we shared coffee, vanilla bergamot tea, and a hazelnut praline cake from their guest chef who was in from the big city.

I turned my head for just a moment and when I turned back, there we were; Ian on one knee, and me, in complete shock.

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Tears soaked my cheeks as he held my hand gently, but with deep purpose, “It has been almost 6 years, will you please marry me?” Now, what I said initially is more pg-13, there were some holy sh*!’s and a thousand “oh my god’s”, so I will tell you this: The moment you say yes to the person you love will be unforgettable and also, hard to remember. It is a blur, a rush of the deepest and most pure emotions you can imagine, rolled into one absurdly fast moment. The moment is fleeting but it simply blows the roof off the house in which you thought the ceiling couldn’t get any higher. Pure Bliss.

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Ian held me, placed the ring on my finger, kissed me as if it were the first time; eager, respectful but powerful.

For a moment, it was just the two of us. Again, on the brink, momentarily unable to fully grasp the magnitude of the bond that we were about to embark upon, but this time, we would remain right next to one another.

The general manager came over to ask if we would be needing anything else and with his presence, came to a sort of grounding. I’m ENGAGED! I exclaimed, and with that, he moved our table and drinks to the grand fireplace to set the scene.

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As he stoked the fire, it billowed before us, and we cozied right in. Ian held my hand, tracing the ring upon my hand as the gentleman took photos of us. The big dipper acted as our guide, glistening above the mountain road back to our cabin. As we walked the path to the door for the night, neighboring cabins were setting off fireworks; vibrant pinks, greens, reds. Magic was all around us.

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In the morning, we enjoyed a pit stop of coffee and donuts, fuel for the long ride back to the city. Before we left the beautiful mountains that opened doors and chapters in our adventure through life together, we drove the road up to inn where Ian had asked me to be his wife. The property grounds were seemingly sending us off in style. The trees were dressed in their autumnal best, yellows, oranges, reds, we both stood in silence for a moment, holding one another, grateful for this moment, all of the ones we’ve shared together, and the ones to come.

Always choose love. Magic is all around us.

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