Katie and Ryan

How We Met

Ryan and I met the summer before our junior year at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. At the time, neither of us was looking for a relationship but we got along so well and were so comfortable around each other. Needless to say, we began to date and fell more and more in love each day. We dated all throughout college and eventually both commissioned as officers in the Marine Corps upon graduation. Because we’re both in the military, we have to spend a lot of time apart and still somehow keep the love alive. So last year for Christmas, Ryan made me a jar of 365 notes, one to open every day of the year. Each note corresponded to a different theme: red was fun facts, purple was poems, green was quotes, and yellow was memories. He surprises me and shows how much he loves me every day for the past 3.5 years we’ve been together.


how they asked

Fast forward a year later, Ryan and I are both on Christmas leave (vacation) and are soon to deploy for several months. We decided to visit Annapolis for a couple of days since it’s where we fell in love and where we have so many memories. On the morning of Tuesday, December 22, I was supposed to drive home to New Jersey to spend a couple of days with my family, but Ryan insisted I wait to leave. Of course I agreed to stay longer because I wanted to spend as much time as possible together, considering we were both deploying.

We went to our favorite Thai restaurant for lunch with dear friend, and when she asked us what we had planned for the afternoon, Ryan told her we were going for a walk on the Naval Academy campus (news to me!). I didn’t think this was weird because we go for walks together all the time, plus he wasn’t acting any differently than normal. We drive on campus and start to walk along the sea wall, hand in hand. We stopped to look out into the water, and Ryan pulls out a yellow note from his pocket.

Image 1 of Katie and Ryan

I take the note, knowing it’s a memory, and see it says “That one time we were back in Annapolis, walking on the yard, reminiscing…and I dropped to one knee and proposed.” I looked up in shock to see the man I love with my whole soul drop to his knee and ask me to marry him.

Image 2 of Katie and Ryan

Image 3 of Katie and Ryan

Image 4 of Katie and Ryan