Sabrina and Riley

How WE Met

Our love story is so wild and crazy. We have always been against the norm, and in the last year or so we have thrown this idea of being “normal” out the window. Why be like everyone else, why be scared of what’s going to happen next, why not just make it happen, and be along for the ride. Our story started in high school, two young kids who dated for a short time but slowly broke up and thought that was the end. Little did we know, three years later we would rekindle ourselves and slowly get back together. When I say slowly, I mean because he wouldn’t ask me out for A LONG TIME. It all really took off the summer of 2015, he was a boy fresh out of high school who was determined to travel the world with a dog and I was a girl who had picked out the University of her dreams for the next four years and getting ready to apply in the Fall. Neither of us expected anything other than those dreams and thought there was no harm in a friendship for the summer. We started to hang out all the time, sneaking away because neither of us wanted to go to the others house, and growing our memories. From a silly high school dance, to exploring in the rain, to sitting out by the lake watching the stars. Every time we were together, we both fell more in love without even knowing it. I was itching for him to ask me out, but each time we were together, nothing.

Later I found out he kept telling his mom “I have a fish on the hook, just waiting to reel her in”. So cliché but now when I look back he waited till the perfect moment for us. It was a late October night, where we both snuck away and were out under the stars. Sitting in his old beat up truck under the stars, listening to the radio, and exchanging laughs. What we didn’t realize that night was heading into a whole different direction. I still remember it like it was yesterday. The song “Break Up With Him” by Old Dominion (I know weird) came on and I was just listening to the lyrics, when I heard “You know I can’t wait, just rip it off like a Band-Aid”. I looked at him and said “yeah I can’t wait, rip it off like a Band-Aid”, and in the moment he laughed, leaned in to kiss me, and said “you know you’ve been my girl since day one, but I’ll ask you anyways.” That is really where it took off and the memories only began to grow. It’s hard for me to even remember every memory because at the time, they were all just stepping stones to where we were headed.

The Spring of 2016 rolled around and we were about to put our relationship to a whole new test. He was taking a job in Minnesota and we weren’t sure what this would mean. It was just a couple months of him being there before he moved back home, but just in time to send me off to Illinois for the next four years, or so I thought. He begged me to stay, not to go; but it was all I could do. My dreams were in right in front of me but also in Illinois. I went and slowly realized I was wrong, these weren’t my dreams anymore because life had changed and my dreams were back home. After my first semester, I picked my life up and moved it all home. We took ourselves, just a young couple, and settled Into a low quality apartment, filled with hand-me-down furniture and dishware, living the life we wanted but just scraping by with bills at the end of each month.

Just 2 months into living together, he was laid off, and working out of town being away from me all week, I was juggling a full-time job and school at the same time. We felt like we were running in circles and just couldn’t catch up, there had to be another way to live life, although there is nothing wrong with the goofy, fun, loving times we were having. This is where it all changed for him, he though for months about what there was out there for him, for us, and about joining the military. Finally, one Friday he decided that’s what he was going to do. He wasn’t going to let something he wanted to do so badly just sit in his head and hold him back any longer.

That Friday was the weekend of Lifest 2017, an event we would be attending for the second year and now has become a tradition. He spent the whole ride down thinking of how he was going to make this happen, what was I going to think, what about our pets, the apartment, all of our belongings, what about all the people that wouldn’t understand, the people who would just scratch their head and ask questions. He told me that Sunday, he wanted to be in the military and he told me that would mean us getting married. Who was I to tell him anything other than to follow his dreams and I’d be there every step of the way, and that is exactly what I did. That week he went in and signed his enlistment papers. It was July and he was leaving in September, it was time to get everything in order and figuring out our plan. We packed up our little apartment and threw it all into a storage unit, I moved in with my future-in-laws, and he prepped to leave for the next four months. Before then though, he had one thing to take care of.

How They Asked

Late August he walked into two different jewelers, knowing only that he needed to leave with a ring. He found the perfect one, drained his savings to buy it, and took it home. He waited till I left for work, where he then began digging through old memories and putting them together. I came home and he told me to get in the car, we were going for ice cream, but little did I know there was more to it. We ended up downtown at the boardwalk, just strolling along. Every little bit he would think about stopping but then would say to keep going. We ended up on a bench next to the water, just looking at the stars, and exchanging laughs again. He looked at me and said, “I have something for you” and out he pulled a book, with addresses on every page. I was confused. He told me he made it for memories and I had to figure out what each of them were. I began to name them off, flipping through and reminiscing. I finally hit the last page, it was a Green Bay address but I didn’t recognize it. I looked up at him to ask for help and there he was, getting down on one knee and pulling out a box. There began the next milestones for us. A few short days later, he left for basic and this began our journey through the military. What kind of man gives the girl of his dreams a ring and then takes off across the country? The one who plans to give her the world and nothing less. Who knew four months would turn to almost six months, and a sudden change of locations. March 2018 rolled round and it was shortly after graduation. I had gone on vacation to visit some family when I received the call. I answered and he said to me “we are headed to Texas, I leave any day and I will need you there right with me”. Vacation ended and I day just a couple days to get all our things in line at home before I made the 20 hour drive to Texas. Finally, here we were in Texas, searching for our new home, and getting ready to settle into our new life; just then the news hit. In two months he was scheduled to deploy. What was I to do? We were just settling in, none of our stuff down in Texas, and everything still a mess. We prepared the best we could while those two months rolled around faster than we expected. It was time for our ‘See you soon’ and I wasn’t ready. He was leaving and we had this half put together life in Texas that I had to finish putting together.

Well, here we are, finishing up the last couple months of deployment. I have the homefront all set up and ready for his return. He promised me, with every bit of his big heart, that he was going to make this worth is for me. He already has and continues to every single day. 2019 will be the year we say our ‘I do’s’ and begin the next journey of our life with future deployments and trainings already scheduled.

Special Thanks

1416 Photography LLC
 | Photography
Bayshore County Park
 | Location