Mary and Joshua
How We Met
Josh and I met our freshman year of college at Northern Illinois University, but it was definitely not love at first sight! I moved to Josh’s residence hall, Grant Hall, the weekend after Christmas break. The people on that floor were really close, so I was nervous that I wouldn’t make friends I forced myself to sit in the lounge and introduce myself to everyone who walked in. He says he remembers being extremely confused when he saw me, since he did not recognize me, he thought he was on the wrong floor! The first full conversation we had occurred a few days later. I asked him where he was from and he jokingly said California. I believed him -because I had no reason to not believe him- and he thought it was so funny. I didn’t understand the joke (I still don’t to this day) and after that I decided I was not a fan of Joshua. It was not until the end of the semester where we began to bond over Walmart trips with our floor mates. By the end of the semester, I decided he wasn’t all that bad.
Our true connection started the summer after freshman year. Josh posted on social media about having strep throat and I messaged him to see if he was okay. It was the first time we ever texted and it turned out he was great at conversation! We ended up talking to each other every day since that summer day. We quickly became best friends, sharing gossip from our floor and confiding in each other about hardships. Since we were both scared of rejection, it took a year and a half for us to confess our feelings for each other. One day our junior year, I took a risk and told him I liked him and a few months later, my best friend became my boyfriend!
how they asked
The night before Josh proposed, I slept over one of my sorority sister’s house. We actually talked about me getting engaged that night, because I had a feeling that Josh was gonna propose soon. Little did I know that she knew I was getting engaged the next day! The next morning we were talking and I was waiting for one of my other sisters to pick me up so we could go to lunch. I expected her to text me when she was outside, but she walked into the room. I was very confused, because she was with 2 other sisters and was holding a brown crate. I stared at them for a minute before it dawned on me that today was the day! I excitedly looked into the crate and found a dress with tights, an envelop, and an “open me” card. The open me card explained that I was going on a scavenger hunt. At each location someone from our life would give me a clue and a personal letter that I was not to open until further notice.
The first clue said Josh was hidden in “a sea of knowledge” where we have studied together in the past. Instantly I knew he was referring to the library that I work at. Two of my sisters and I walked over to the library, where Josh’s brothers, cousin, and his cousin’s girlfriend were waiting. They each gave me letters and my second clue. The second clue said he was where we spent a summer night walking around chasing pokemon on Pokemon Go.
I instantly remembered walking around one area of campus looking for Pokemon. Josh has an amazing way of making me feel so carefree, even though I’m normally stressed out by nursing school. My sisters and I walked over to one of my favorite parts of campus. When we got there, no one was waiting. I was very confused, because I was confident this was the right spot. It turned out that the next people weren’t alerted to be in place. About two minutes later, 2 of Josh’s closest friends walked up. I was excited to see them because they are so accepting of me and constantly keep me laughing. The third clue said he was chilling with some of my closest friends, where we were chased away by Josh’s biggest fear, and had the same thing stolen, twice!
I knew instantly he was talking about the apartment complex I used to live in with 3 close friends. We moved because it having a roach problem, which is Josh’s biggest fear. Initially, I couldn’t remember what was stolen from us, until my sisters and I were in the car. It hit me, that Josh and kept getting grills stolen from us! We went through two grills before we gave up buying them. My sisters and I had a laugh about that as we pulled up to my old roommates. They lived on the same floor as Josh and I freshmen year and had seen the best and worst of me through college. I was so excited to see them, that I ran to hug them. The fourth clue said he was relaxing with geese at a spot where we had a picnic and I sent him there earlier that year on a scavenger hunt when I asked him to my formals.
He was referring to the lagoon on campus. A pretty area where we would take walks and avoid geese. I was curious as to who could be at this spot waiting for me. When we showed up, my brother was relaxing at a bench. I was surprised, because he attends a university 3 hours away and was not able to visit very often. I excitedly hugged him and we briefly caught up before he gave me my next clue. Clue number 5 said Josh was at the start of it all, where he first laid eyes on me, and where I decided I hated him.
Grant Hall it was! At this point, I thought that he was gonna propose. How perfect would it be to propose where we first met and where our friendship bloomed. With much anticipation I walked into Grant and found many of our old floor mates waiting. After a little bit of disappointment, I excitedly hugged each one of them, and opened the sixth clue. He said he was at a field that is normally really crowded before a game and one of my favorite people was waiting for me.
He was referring to the football stadium where we tailgated together. Upon arriving, I was overjoyed to see my best friend. She is indeed one of my favorite people. We have been friends since second grade and she has been there for so many events, good or bad, in my life. She gave me the 7th clue which said Megan and I were to find Josh in a windy city. This could only mean Chicago, the windy city! I was curious as to which location we were going to.
I got into the car and Megan told me that I could read the letters that everyone had given me throughout the day. I appreciate these letters so much and tears were definitely shed, especially when Josh’s brothers referred to me as their future-sister. Those letters were probably the second best part of my day and I will treasure them for years to come. We were about 25 minutes into our drive when Megan told me to put a blindfold on, because the rest of the trip was a surprise. I was already confused, because she seemed to be taking back roads to Chicago, which was abnormal. For the next 20 minutes I was filled with anticipation, curiosity, and excitement. I could not believe this was all happening and I was so anxious to finally see Josh. When we finally parked, I was more confused than ever, because I could not comprehend how we got to Chicago in less than an hour. Megan guided me out of the the car and through a series of side walks. I was trying so hard to use sounds and smells to figure out where we were. Finally she told me to stop walking and I felt the blindfold come off. I opened my eyes to see my handsome Joshua standing in front of a covered bridge. Instantly I knew we were in downtown Naperville, a cute suburban town where we frequently adventured. Josh got down on one knee and I’m not really sure what he said. I was so overwhelmed with love and excitement, that I just said yes whenever he stopped talking.
After putting on the ring and thanking him for a wonderful day, I turned around to see both of our families, Megan’s mom who is like a second mom to me, my roommates, several of my sisters, and Josh’s friends all around us beaming, crying, and taking pictures. I immediately started crying, because I did not know they were there. To be surrounded by so many people we loved who were celebrating our love made my heart burst at the seams. After a champagne toast and pictures, we headed to Red Robin, a favorite spot of ours, and celebrated the beginning of our journey down the aisle!