We bring you another super lovely installment in 'Love Stories' from a fellow blogger, Liesl. She has a faaaabulous blog about affordable fashion & also her unexpected love. You should definitely check out her blog, it's one of our top reads. Plus, she takes as many pictures as Megan so we love it! So without further adue, here is their story...
Originally, I had planned on joining them, but I was so tired and my feet were quite honestly killing me. So, my sister, being the understanding person she is, said I didn't need to go because it was her fiancé’s friend after all and they could just go meet him themselves. However, in the end, I decided to go with them because I would be able to visit with my friend who was working that night. We got there a little early, grabbed a table, and then, right on time this tall dark haired guy walks through the main door looking around a bit…turns out he was who we were there to meet. He sat next to me and we all chatted over a casual dinner before moving into my friend’s section in the bar area to grab a drink, sit and chat some more. At the bar we got to talking more and it was in this moment that I realized I was, as I continue to tell him to this day, "intrigued" by him.
Another friend of mine stopped by the bar to join us for a bit where we all continued to talk. Before leaving he ended up asking for my number since he was new to the area and didn't know many people in case we ever wanted to hang out, but secretly he says he liked me and that is why he asked! ;) Needless to say, the evening turned out to be a lot of fun, and one I was glad I decided to go out on!
Then, two days later, he contacted me while I was out with my parents doing some wedding china shopping with my sister and her fiancé. We began chatting, e-mailing and texting almost every day from then on before setting our first actual dinner date on July 14, 2009.
Turns out my friend who was bartending asked my other friend who stopped by the bar the night we met if we were on a date that night having no idea that we had just met an hour prior. She said she just saw something between us, and the rest as they say is history!
Our Dating Life:
My Unexpected Love, as I quickly started referring to him, and I started planning dates quite frequently. Many of them consisted of dinner and seeing different bands play in the area. We both love music, so this was a wonderful way to spend some evenings and weekends together getting to know each other better.
We quickly made our relationship exclusive. Plus, I don’t like to casually date and am more of a one guy dating type person. He was living in Pasadena and I was in Burbank, which is really only about a 15-20 min. drive without traffic, but in LA you often deal with traffic no matter what the time is. However, he was working down in Santa Ana, which required an hour and a half commute each was every day to go to work. So, during the week we tried to meet up for dinner after work a couple times during the week and then spend weekends together alternating between my area and his area.
I knew our relationship was something special pretty early on, and he was the first guy who was really truly making an effort to get to know me and see me. He planned things, and I’m a planner so this was a super plus, he always followed through with things, he surprised me from time to time with little goodies, flowers, cards, etc. simply just because. He was always on time, called when he said he would, responded to each and every e-mail and message, and even though he is more of a quiet person who doesn’t like being in large groups, he would always happily go with me to events and big gatherings because he wanted to be with me.
He got to meet my parents for the first time when we all went to a Yankee game in Anaheim together while they were in town visiting, which became the first of many outings together. I met his parents for the first time when we flew out to Indiana together, where he grew up, to attend his sister’s wedding. I felt at home from the moment I got there and was so welcomed by his family, which was a wonderful feeling!
He got to meet the rest of my family and some of my friend shortly after this at my younger sister’s wedding. We really have her and her fiancé, now husband, to thank for our meeting. However, would you believe that at their wedding I was the one who caught the bouquet and my Unexpected Love caught the garter! Crazy, but oh so true, and you know what they say that means! ;)
After about 10 months of dating he knew he wanted to go back to school for another master’s degree in order to help him get a better job in an area he enjoyed more. So, he began applying to schools mostly in CA because he wanted to stay near me, but I encouraged him to apply to UT in Austin, TX because it was the best school for what he wanted to do.
He ended up getting into UT, which I knew he would, but not only did he get in, they were offering him a full fellowship! I told him he could not pass this up, and after lots of talking we both agreed that we would make it work because it would be the best for us both in the future. At this point, we had been dating for just shy of a year and during the summer prior to his move to Austin, while he was back east with me for my best friend’s wedding, we were both faced a life changing medical emergency. It was unlike anything I would have ever thought we would be going through at our age and is when our families met each other for the very first time.
I have kept most of this private, and shall continue to out of respect for him and our families, but we are beyond lucky to still have him in our lives. During this time, and despite knowing that they say life is short, I realized that you simply never know what tomorrow might bring. Which is why it is so very important to enjoy and appreciate each moment you are given. Be thankful for what you have and never take it for granted. Although, I know this is often easier said than done and can sometimes be forgotten over time, which I think is only natural.
In the end, it brought my Unexpected Love and me much, much closer together as well as all of our families. We almost became family before we were really truly a family in the legal sense. I just know that I could not have made it through that time without my family, his family and our friends who are some of the most incredible people I know! After an emotional summer, he, his father, nephew and I were on a cross-country driving trip from LA to Austin to move him into grad school and his new apt. and it was such a fun adventure! We got to visit the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Valley of Fires, Rosewell, Carlsbad Caverns and more along the way while having endless hours of unique bonding time, which I just loved!
Now, many might think that being long distance could hurt our relationship, but in all honesty, I think it has helped to make us stronger. While also allowing us each to concentrate on what we want to do on our own during his time away. Plus we made a pact to visit each other at least every 2 months, and have pretty much stuck to just that! The distance ended up pushing us closer together rather than pulling us apart.
I always said while we were dating, whenever marriage might come up with friends or in casual conversation, that I thought it was important to be together and experience all four seasons together before getting engaged, just as my younger sister always told me.
Well, we had been dating for just about a year and a half, meaning we had made it through all four seasons and were half way through them again, when my Unexpected Love was out in LA for part of his Christmas breal from grad school where we spent our Christmas together a bit early. He then flew to Indiana to be with his family for Christmas itself while I spent Christmas with mine. Then, he flew back to LA to be with me for the New Year where we rang 2011 in together cooking our own yummy dinner, enjoying some of my mother’s Mexican layered dip I had made and champagne while watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve since we are more homebodies than out on the town type of people though we can do both.
It was a wonderful start to the New Year and little did I know, in the other room an engagement ring was sitting snuggly in his suitcase which he would have with him 4 days later on January 5, 2011 when he got down on one knee and popped the big question!
After the New Year, he suggested we go on another picnic on the beach in Laguna Beach, something we had done the year prior for Memorial day, and without suspecting anything I happily agreed. I was working the day before, so, he said he would take care of everything and get all the goodies for our lunch picnic and that I didn’t need to worry about anything,
Now, as mentioned prior, you know I love a plan, so, this in and of itself was a special treat and it was going to be a lovely day to be out and about. Well, it turned out to be much more than just another picnic on the beach with all of my favorite snacks when he told me how much I meant to him, how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, got down on one knee, pulled out my dream ring from Tiffany & Co. in a box and asked, “Liesl, will you marry me?” after having asked my parents the day prior!!!
Needless to say, this was one of the happiest feelings in my life thus far and it all happened just before the most magical, romantic and vibrant sunset on the beach, which made it all that more perfect! If you want to see all the pictures from his lovely picnic proposal and hear all the details, they are posted on my blog HERE!
Currently under construction…hehe!
We have been engaged for just about 6 weeks, which I still can’t believe, and are only in the beginning stages of planning our wedding together. That said, I have lots of ideas pulled, but what girl doesn’t, and have been enjoying the lovely feeling of being engaged while exploring endless wedding blogs and websites, which has been delightful!
As of now, we are planning for a September 2012 wedding and have plenty of time, but I also know how quickly time can fly! So, the most important thing right now is booking a venue since many in CA many are booked as much as 15 months in advance, and then the rest will all fall into place when it needs to. Since our engagement, my now Fabulous Fiancé has been so supportive during the wedding planning process, genuinely interested and helpful every step of the way. We are both so excited about the adventure ahead of us and I simply cannot wait to walk down that aisle and become husband and wife!
To be continued…
On a side note from Wegan, we nearly cried reading her proposal blog. So so so happy for them & we wish them all the best! Can't wait for the wedding pictures!
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