How We Met
April 7, 2017, was the best (and last, whew!) first date of my life. Nat and I had both been on online dating apps for a couple of months by this point, each meeting several people but rarely going on second dates. When I first matched with Nat, she sat in my inbox for about a week before I messaged her (she was an hour away) — and it all started with, “Hi Natalie! How’s your week so far??”
Witty, I know.
She’s a high school teacher, so she was wrapping up a week of hiking around her parents’ house on spring break and was getting ready to go back to work and prepare her students for the upcoming AP test. Naturally, I had to ask what subject she taught (which she replied AP Physics and Chemistry), and I ever-so-smoothly called her a ‘nerd’.
From then on, we messaged back and forth almost on a daily basis, and her messages were seriously impressive — usually several paragraphs long (for which of course I had to do the same back, I think she was testing me). We agreed to meet for dinner in person, and our dinner date turned out to last over two hours and left me wanting to see her again.
Luckily she agreed to meet me again just a few days later, this time for a hike about halfway between us. We talked about our families, our careers, how we both love the outdoors, and how both of our favorite fruits are apricots (we also got down a pretty serious Harry Potter rabbit hole, but I’ll spare you the details). From then on, we saw each other at least once a week (several times a week during summer) and officially moved in together about a year later.
I’ve never met anyone like Nat. She’s kind, thoughtful and smart, but she’s also hilarious (she cracks herself up, which cracks me up), witty and sees life through a lens I admire more than anything. I love it, I love her.
How They Asked
I’ve been camping at Shaver Lake on family vacations since I was about 10 years old, so Nat came along in Summer 2017 and twice in Summer 2018. It’s quickly become the trip we look forward to every year, and it’s where we first discussed our relationship and our expectations for each other. It felt like the perfect spot to propose.
My family was going to be at the lake like usual in Summer 2019 but also decided to invite her family as well. We had the first few days to ourselves, and our families met us at the campground later in the week.
By this point I had already met with her parents to discuss the proposal, the ring was designed and made, and I had hired a local photographer to hide in the trees and capture our moment at one of our go-to beaches. All the boxes were checked.
Nat’s quick, so I wasn’t sure if she was expecting something (her mom and I were worried about accidentally saying something she’d pick up on), but all was clear — even when she saw the photographer at the top of the hill. She thought she was just a photographer taking pictures of “cute couples by the lake”.
We make YouTube videos when we do something we want to remember, so I set a GoPro on the sand to take a short video by the lake, knowing she wouldn’t think anything of it. This was the cue to the photographer, I dropped to one knee, and the rest is history!