Mackenzie and JJ

How We Met

I was 15 years old and heading into high school, JJ was 18 and heading off to the Naval Academy. We were introduced that summer through a family friend and I thank God everyday for that summer and that special weekend. We exchanged numbers and added each other on Facebook but it would be 6 years until we would see each other again. I was now a junior in college at Central Michigan University and he was in flight school in Pensacola FL. We were always single at different times but we were finally both single and one text from him turned into months of talking. He finally booked a plane ticket to Michigan and attended my sorority formal that spring. The night of my formal, we walked down the stairs in his white Navy uniform and it was all over at that moment for me. We spent weekends flying back and forth to each other after that. I was offered a job in East Hampton and we was sent to San Diego so we decided to try and do our own thing. That never worked. 7 years of admiring one another and we always came back to each other. After my summer in New York, he came to visit me in Michigan and that weekend visit turned into the week we finally started dating. I was finishing my my senior year of college and he was busy flying helicopters in San Diego. We powered through those 6 months of long distance and the last day of college JJ surprised me and flew to Michigan– days later we packed up my car and drove it across country to start our adventure in San Diego. 7 years and we were finally going to be in the same state and together.

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how they asked

JJ and I have lived together for about a year and a half in downtown San Diego and one of our favorite things to do is plan surprise dates for each other. It was the night we were catching a redeye flight back to Michigan for Christmas. JJ told me he had planned a date night for us before we were going to be with our families for two weeks. I didn’t think anything of it because he is so romantic and loves taking me on surprise adventures. We went out for a great dinner and then he took me to Balboa Park. Balboa Park is one of my very favorite spots in San Diego and was one of the first places JJ took me on a date when I was still in college in Michigan. The driver dropped us off, JJ acting so calm and cool, he started walking me over to my favorite spot in the park. A set of stairs that JJ and I had sat together two years prior tailing about what life would look like if I moved to California with him. As we started walking towards the stairs I saw candles lining them and rose petals scattered everywhere. It was the most beautiful scene I had ever seen and I was still not putting it together that the man of my dreams and the greatest friend I have ever had was about to get down on a knee and ask me to be his wife. And yes, my knees buckled when he asked me.

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Special Thanks

Studio Sequoia
 | Photography