The Story of Us: How We Met + Where We're Headed
I was a freshman, and Tyler was a junior at Wartburg College in 2016 when I decided to try out for the dance team.
I quickly found out I needed a male dance partner for a co-ed dance. One of my friends mentioned that her boyfriend lived with a guy who might do it.
"Is he weird?" I asked.
"He's pretty cool,” she laughed.
A few days later, she made me meet Tyler. I couldn't help but keep sneaking glances at him while my friends and I hung out at the house.
Looking back, Ty says he felt nervous, but was trying to play it cool. He was excited to get to know me.
I showed up right when he needed me.
Tyler agreed to be my dance partner, and our dates started with the dance team practices. I was nervous around this hunky football player I barely knew while Tyler was excited to show off his moves in front of me (although he was nervous too).
A month or so passed with more dance team practices and a couple more dates before the big grand finale of the dance at the half-time of a basketball game. Football guys filled the stands to cheer on Tyler and his new lady friend. This was also when I met Tyler's parents and Tyler met mine.
Shortly after on February 14, 2016, Tyler asked me out to East Bremer Diner and greeted me with an opened car door, an array of chocolates, and a dozen roses. We enjoyed our dinner and walked out of the restaurant, but before I got in the car, Tyler ran around in front of me and rested my head in his hands.
"So... I got you chocolates... and... I got you flowers... and... I took you out to dinner... and... Cobblestone Inn & Suites!!" he said nervously as he pointed towards the hotel behind me.
I laughed, "What??"
Tyler shook his head. "Will you be my girlfriend?" he asked.
I laughed again, hugged him, and said, "Yes!"
(He was so nervous that he was just pointing out random things :D I never let him forget Cobblestone Inn & Suites)
It wasn't long before Tyler and I sat across from each other at Olive Garden, celebrating six months of dating. That didn't come without some bumps in the road, however. We grew a lot that summer and really figured out what we both wanted. The rough patch saved our relationship from ending, as it forced both of us to put Christ at the center.
I then spent the fall traveling around with Tyler's parents to attend every single one of his football games.
Soon Tyler and I were back at East Bremer Diner - this time celebrating a one year anniversary. I walked into Tyler's room at his house and saw a dozen pictures from the past year as well as more chocolates and roses that Tyler surprised me with. I surprised Tyler with a book of memories from our first 365 days.
Soon it was time for Tyler to graduate from Wartburg, so he got a job while I continued at Wartburg. Our relationship continued to grow as we enjoyed camping, concerts, ice cream runs, fun nights with friends, pumpkin patches, and our first NFL game.
We celebrated our second year anniversary once again at East Bremer Diner (yes, there were more flowers, chocolates, & door holding). I also started this blog Bound Blessings and launched my book a couple months later!
Fall rolled around in 2018, and Tyler had been waiting for the right time to ask the question. He knew four things:
1. He needed to surprise me.
2. My family had to be there.
3. My nails had to be done.
4. The moment needed to be captured.
We had been going to the same church for almost a year at this point, and Tyler wanted to propose to me at a place that had so much meaning to the both of us. Our faith has laid the foundation for our love.
It was on a windy day on October 28 when I was chatting Tyler's ear off on the way to church. Tyler wasn't saying much, and I was questioning if he was even invested in the conversation. We went to service, and with shaky hands afterwards, Tyler tried to fill his bottle up with water to buy time. He had hired a photographer to capture the big moment, and he just saw her leaving to head down to where he would propose.
On our way out, I opened the front doors of the church and looked very confused as I looked out and saw our families standing on the front steps. I turned around to find Tyler who walked up to me and reached for my hands.
He told me how much he loved me and got down on one knee. I said yes and was so excited that I forgot to put the ring on right away!
Tyler had made reservations at... you guessed it... East Bremer Diner for both of our families to celebrate. I couldn't stop smiling.
Tyler and I have set our date for August 17, 2019 and are so excited to begin our life together.
Although it’s been really hard, we have also decided not to live together until we’re married. We want it to be two becoming one. We want this separation to better signify what our marriage means to us. It’s not what society says should happen, but for us in our hearts, we know we will be blessed through it.
We know that with God at the center of our lives, life may be messy, but it will always be beautiful.
We can't wait to see how God will use us in our life together.
And as Tyler said in the recent newspaper article that featured our story, “We want to make an impact on people, just the way an impact has been made on us from the people that have helped us. We have God at the center, and we want to think outwardly towards others and think about what we can do to help other people find that joy.”