Yuliza and Thomas

Image 1 of Yuliza and Thomas

How we met: Tommie and I went to high school together. We had a lot of the same teachers, shared a handful of friends, but never exchanged a word those four years. It wasn’t until a couple years after we graduated when my best friend Rachel and I took a trip to San Francisco and while walking the streets of Chinatown she said to me out of the blue, “You know who I think you’d really hit it off with? That Tommie Segobia guy…” I responded with, “That tall guy with the curly hair?” Yup. That’s the guy she was talking about! I laughed it off because I didn’t even know him but for some reason when we returned home from our trip I couldn’t get the thought of him out of my head.

It was on a Wednesday when I figured what the heck, and I asked him out for coffee. Three days later we officially met for the first time and what do you know? I really liked this guy! For about two months there were church dates, dinner dates, drive-in movie dates, and Disneyland dates galore when one day he tells me that he’s just not ready for a relationship. Just like that it was over as quick as it had started. I drove straight to Rachel’s home and cried my little heart out; man did that hurt.

Fast forward almost a year later, after we dated and split up a second time, cut off all communication for a couple of months, where he moved to San Francisco and along the way we mended our friendship. I even spent my spring break visiting him up north where I realized I might still have some serious feelings for him but a long distance relationship was out of the question. He moved back home from San Francisco and that was it, we were inseparable. Third times a charm, right?

how they asked: We were supposed to spend New Years in Canada but due to some issues with my passport we had to rearrange our plans. He had gotten me a Disney pass for Christmas and I had gotten him tickets to a Ducks vs. Sharks games (we’re Kings fans but they weren’t playing on NYE so we had to compromise). Disneyland has played a special part in our relationship from the beginning and hockey grew to be something we both enjoyed so we planned for both on New Years Eve! After the game we headed back to Disneyland for the midnight fireworks and I spent the whole second half of the night extremely upset because all I wanted was some hot chocolate and came up empty handed. We spent an hour roaming around California Adventure and another hour at Disneyland on a quest for it. The first two places we went to didn’t have it, the third was out of hot drink cups, the machine was out of order at the fourth place, and we didn’t even make it to the fifth place because did I mention that we were there on New Years Eve and Disneyland is at capacity on that day? Oh, Disneyland is always packed you say? Call me a passholder snob but we’re used to 10 minute wait times and days so empty we ride everything within two hours. This was like trying to swim upstream in a river of molasses. The whole time he’s making comments about how he’s sure the fireworks will make up for me being upset, that they’ll cheer me right up. I was over it when he suggested we try one more place. A quarter ’til midnight we were standing in quite possibly the longest line ever. Completely defeated, I came to terms with the fact that hot chocolate was just not meant to be so we headed to the firework viewing area. He assured me once more that once we saw the fireworks that I wouldn’t care too much about the hot chocolate.

The clock struck midnight, the fireworks went off (they actually did cheer me up), Tommie kissed me and wished me a happy new year and I couldn’t believe that another year had come and gone. He positioned me in front of him and I figured he was doing it so that I could get a better view of the fireworks. Due to the fact that he’s 6’3″ and I’m 4’11” it made total sense. I heard him say my name from behind me and when I turned around there he was down on one knee asking, “Will you marry me?” My mind went blank and the first thing to come out of my mouth is “SHUT UP” He laughed and asked if that was a yes. “OF COURSE!”

Image 2 of Yuliza and Thomas

Image 3 of Yuliza and Thomas

As I sit and type this I look at the ring on my finger and think of what it symbolizes. The man I am unequivocally in love with, my best friend, my biggest advocate, is promising to love me for the rest of my life. I couldn’t be more thankful.

Photography by Jenna Petersen