How we met: I will never forget the first time I met Jackson (even if I tried!). I was a senior in college and we were at a “soccer house” party. Jackson arrived late, but made quite the entrance… He busted through the doors, holding a full bottle of Jack Daniels and yelling. Love at first sight, right?! Jackson did not go to our college, but our soccer friends were mutual.
Throughout the rest of senior year, we continued to meet through our mutual friends and get to know each other casually. Soon enough, it was graduation, and most of our friends moved away. I decided to get my Masters at the same school, so I was staying behind for another year. Since Jackson already lived in the area, we started to hang out more. We were both in other relationships, so it was purely platonic, but we just enjoyed hanging out together. We’d grab a beer or pizza together, watch Arrested Development, or just chat about life. We became good friends quickly.
Since I didn’t have a chance to study abroad during my undergrad years, I decided to do so before finding a job here. Once I graduated with my Masters, I chose to spend the next year teaching in the Dominican Republic. The decision put a strain on all of my relationships– family, friends, romantic, platonic– but I knew I had to do this before I could “settle down.” Jackson was super supportive and even helped me pack! We said goodbye, and that was that.
While I was living in the Dominican Republic, a lot changed– I grew up, I experienced life, and unfortunately, I did a terrible job communicating with my family and friends in the states. Jackson was one of the few people that I did manage to chat with once in a while, and I knew that was a testament to how meaningful his friendship was to me.
When I returned from the DR, I was offered a teaching position back in my college town and jumped at the opportunity! I slowly started to reconnect with friends in the area, including Jackson. I was so excited to see him; I remember jumping into his arms the first time I saw him again! That same night, he shared with me that while I was gone, he realized his feelings for me had surpassed simply friendship… It took a while for us to navigate how to evolve our friendship into a relationship, but now I can say without a doubt that our story is only this strong because of the journey.
how they asked: One Sunday, Jackson was very adamant about going on a hike at exactly noon. We usually take our pup, Malu, on walks, so this idea wasn’t out of the norm. However, if it’s even sprinkling outside, we quickly change our plans to stay indoors. So, it was strange that Jackson was so determined to go on this adventure, even though it was clearly raining outside…
We walked around this beautiful park near our house. It has a 5 mile loop that is surrounded by beautiful tall trees and is right along the Puget Sound. The scenery was gorgeous, and I was deep in a conversation about how it reminded me of the Hunger Games. Sooner or later we got to a viewpoint that looked over the water. We stopped to take in the scenery and before I knew it, Jackson said some words (that I can’t remember), and he was down on one knee!
Right after the ring was on my finger, I turned to the side and saw my two best friends (since we were 9 years old!) jump out of the bushes next to us. They had been hiding in there with their boys and were taking pictures of the proposal!
They brought champagne and these cute, sparkly glasses for us to celebrate with. We hung out enjoying the view and celebrating the day. I am so thankful for the thoughtful proposal that Jackson planned. He had already spoken with my family, his family and included my two best friends. The proposal was intimate and meaningful, and will be a day I will forever remember as the beginning of the best part of my life.