Lydia and Tanner

Lydia's Proposal in Conrad, Iowa

How We Met

Tanner and I have gone to school together since preschool, but our friendship really took off when we started 6th grade. We had a few classes together and always shared a love for music and old movies. We were each other’s first relationship in 6th grade, but like most 12 year old’s relationships, it lasted but a few days. We dated again in 7th grade, then again in 8th, and yet again when we were freshmen in high school. After that, we remained friends but got caught up in our own lives. We would have an occasional class together, but at that point I figured that he had moved on with his life. He always knew that he wanted to be a paramedic and he was working really hard to take all of the possible steps he could to achieving that goal, even as a high schooler. I on the other hand had no idea what I wanted to do with my life– I was spending all of my time socializing or playing sports instead of planning for the future.

After an exceptionally rough patch in my life, I had abandoned most of my friends, my beliefs, and my passions. I spent all of my time in the art room attempting to make the most of what time I had left in high school, and scrambling to make even a rough draft of a college plan. Through it all, Tanner was always there. We didn’t talk as often as we once had, but he was always the smiling face or funny comment that I needed when the rest of my life felt like it was falling apart. I asked him to prom “as friends”, but I knew that there was a part of my that had never stopped loving him from the very beginning. I knew that if I was given the opportunity to make it work with us, I was going to take it and run with it. And that is exactly what I did.

Lydia and Tanner's Engagement in Conrad, Iowa

how they asked

Throughout our last years of high school and into the summer before we went to college, we still had a somewhat strict curfew. We both lived on gravel with about 8 miles separating us. One night, we decided that a particular intersection was about half way for both of us (even though looking back now, it was definitely father than half way for him). From that point on, we always met at 310th street and Hawk Avenue. We would sit in one of our cars or stand along side the road and talk for hours on end. We would stay out too late, drive to fast, and constantly have to answer to worried parents about where we had been. We eventually started college and the rules gradually slipped away completely, and we didn’t need our halfway point. When we drive past the intersection, we still send each other a picture of the street sign, or make a comment about how we need to carve our names into the tree that sits on the corner, but we never take the time to stop.

Last Friday night we planned a date night to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants followed by a Christmas movie at our house when we got back. When we left home, Tanner said that he wanted to see if a house outside of town had its lights up before we went out to eat. We headed in the opposite way of the restaurant, and turned onto 310th street. Instead of driving by the house about a mile up the road, Tanner stopped in our spot and pulled out the ring instead. I had always envisioned what this moment would be like, but in that instant I thought back to all of the nights that we spent at that spot, and it became even more special to me. There is no better place that I could have imagined saying yes to marrying my best friend.