Our Love Story

It’s February, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. So I’m linking up with From Mrs. to Mama today to share our love story.

How did you meet? What’s your love story?

We met in a research lab in Hershey in April of 2007. Nick was a graduate student, and I was there to produce a magazine story for Penn State. I had a media bag slung over my shoulder and a tripod tucked under my arm. He hovered above a microscope in a crisp white lab coat. Our eyes met, and we smiled, and conversation came easy.

I told my parents that night that I had met my McDreamy — curly locks and all. And he told his parents about the girl with the beautiful blue eyes.

We “courted” via email every day for two weeks before Nick drove two hours to State College to meet me for coffee. Our first official date was just days later and included a trip to my favorite microbrewery, followed by sushi and a tour of the state capitol the following weekend.

After just two months, Nick invited me to Lake Anna in Virginia where he told his best friend: “I’m going to marry this girl.”

{our first photo together}

How did he propose?

Nick arrived at my apartment on a Friday night in October, a year-and-a-half after we met in the lab. He had planned the perfect weekend for us — complete with brownies, bottles of wine, and a trip to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Of course, I was totally unaware of the stunning diamond ring that was tucked into his backpack!

Nick decided, though, that the park was too crowded and the setting not quite private enough for the perfect proposal. So we headed home to get ready for dinner.

We returned to the microbrewery — the site of our very first date. And Nick said: “I’m excited to return to the place where it all began.” This was the only point during the weekend that I was slightly suspicious. But nothing out of the ordinary happened while we enjoyed our favorite beers and mango habanero wings.

We returned to my apartment around 10 p.m., and while I was in the bathroom, I heard commotion coming from the living room. I walked out and into a candlelit room. Nick took my hands and told me to close my eyes. I heard him get down on one knee, and then the tears started to fall. When I opened my eyes he said, “Emily Jean, I want to spend a lifetime of perfect days with you. Will you marry me?” He slid the ring onto my finger as I nodded my head vigorously and dropped to the ground to join him. We hugged and kissed before I realized I hadn’t yet said “YES” out loud. It was a personal and perfect proposal.

How long have you been married?

On August 28th, 2009, we stood in a garden on the banks of the Susquehanna River and promised to love each other in sunshine and in rain. And then we celebrated with family and friends over pit-style pork and German sausages, microbrews, and a tower of cupcakes. (More from our wedding.)

{photos credit to Robert Winton}

Do you have any nicknames for one another?

Turtledove. It comes from Die Zauberflöte, which we saw at The Metropolitan Opera in 2007.

What are three things you love most about your honey?

He’s ambitious and generous and makes me laugh on a daily basis. He’s basically everything I wished for.

Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?

He’s a fancy dinner at home kind of guy. Risotto with wild mushrooms and pan-seared scallops. Chocolate hazelnut lava cakes. Homebrews rather than champagne. Strawberries if they’re covered in chocolate. Of course, he also knows how to spoil me with jewelry, camera accessories, and kitchen gadgets.

Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop in a movie in and relax on the couch?

We had the most memorable sunset dinner on the beach on our honeymoon in the Riviera Maya. We feasted on duck ravioli with brown butter sauce, spinach cream soup, rack of lamb, and mahi mahi over risotto.

But these days we’re more likely to curl up on the couch with bowls of soup and a plate full of chocolate chip cookies. We couldn’t be happier, though, now that this little guy is in our lives.

What is one thing you’d like to do together? If you could do anything? Go anywhere?

Fortunately, we did a lot of traveling together before we became parents: from California to Canada to Germany.

A few of the many places still on our travel wish list: Portland and Seattle (to drink beer and eat seafood), Paris (because we’ve been there separately, but not as a couple), and Greece (to hop the islands, of course).

What are you planning to do for Valentine’s Day?

Sam and I are going to bake cookies for Daddy, and then we’ll likely enjoy a quiet evening at home — just the three of us. Perhaps Nick and I will go out on a date later in the week while our aunt and uncle watch the munchkin.

Share one piece of advice on keeping a relationship strong and full of love.

There’s humor in every situation. No matter how stressful a day or how honest an argument, we always end up laughing on the other side.

Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Now it’s your turn! Share your love story and link up with From Mrs. to Mama.

12 thoughts on “Our Love Story

  1. Aww I love this, you guys remind me a lot of my husband and I…especially your mutual love for food! 🙂 You definitely have to visit Portland, it’s such a foodie town and the breweries are incredible. My husband is originally from there, so we go back a lot to visit his family and are hoping to end up there eventually…I’m definitely going to be linking up for this later on in the week! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. What a great story! Portland and Seattle are definitely two great places for food and beer- let me know if you have any questions about them! My husband and I dated long distance between Seattle and Portland at the start of our relationship- so it was fun to split our weekends between both cities!

  3. Ahh, such a sweet post! I recently learned about the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon from my coworker who’s from up around there — fun to be able to put it together with your story! I love that you have nicknames derived from the Magic Flute.

    I’ve got a lot of travel plans for me and Jon as well — next up is Portland and Vancouver (maybe a stop in Seattle, time allowing), and the year after is Germany, if all goes to plan. It seems we both have excellent taste in travel destinations!

    Sam is so precious. Happy valentine’s day to y’all!

  4. Love this 🙂 Your little man is just precious. Such a small world, huh? We are up in Rhode Island, have been for almost 4 years now but my family is still in Hershey so we get down there from time to time!

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