Hi.

Thanks for visiting Joy42. Follow along on my adventures as an American Expat. I hope to encourage you to seek out the little joys in your life.

Our Story

Our Story

How We Met

Luke and I met in Birmingham, England on May 16, 2016, exactly 10 months ago. I was on a weeklong trip to visit Birmingham and London and we met in a pub my second night there while out playing pub quiz with mutual friends. I was waiting in line to order a drink when I saw him behind me and I completely froze up! Normally I’m pretty good at talking to strangers, but I literally couldn’t speak. I went back to my table, beer in hand, only to discover he was pulling up a chair at the same table. I decided to introduce myself to him and his friend, also named Luke. Later, we split into two teams, but he kept popping up behind me to peer at my answers from over my shoulder. Before he left that night, we talked about Game of Thrones and how jealous I was that they were leaving to watch the episode and I had to wait until I got back to the States. He said I wouldn’t see him again until Thursday, but he ended up showing up the next night as well and I talked my way across the room until I had no one left except him. I struck up a conversation about football–but he had just come from field hockey–and told myself that I was being crazy because I knew how badly I wanted to talk to him. On my final night in Birmingham, we spent about 3 hours talking about anything and everything. Imagine finding yourself on the perfect first date–like you stumbled right into it. I was sad to say goodbye that night, knowing I’d probably never see him again and secretly wishing he would ask me out for a drink so we could keep talking.

Once I got back to my room, my friend convinced me to send him a message on Facebook. I typed it out and convinced myself to hit send. Later he told me that he had horrible service in the his office building the next day so he actually left work early to find me on Facebook, but instead found that I had already sent him a friend request and message! We talked every time I had WiFi while I was in London, but I brushed it off as good tourism tips and believed we would stop talking once I got home. But we didn’t! We kept talking on Facebook, which is both of our least favorite ways to communicate, so you know it was serious. We spent the next two and a half months talking almost non-stop while we were both awake. Eventually, we decided to become official over the phone. Almost exactly a month later, he came to the States to visit and we went on our first date and had our first kiss in Boulder, Colorado in August of 2016.

How He Asked

On my first trip to visit him in England, we decided to take a short holiday to Copenhagen, Denmark. I was pretty certain the question was coming on this trip because I knew he had asked my dad’s permission over Christmas and we had been ring gazing (not shopping, just looking). I had borrowed a friend’s GoPro for the trip, so we had been filming since we got to the airport to leave for Denmark. On February 16th, 9 months to the day after we met in that English pub, we got engaged. We were walking through a park and Luke was looking around, turning around, craning his neck, peering over my head. “What are you doing?” I asked him. “Just taking in the sites,” he replied. He finally settled on a spot he liked and asked if we could take a picture together. Of course I obliged and he set up the GoPro in a tree.

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Now, keep in mind we had only been filming up to this point, not using it for photos, so I was pretty sure what was about to happen. He snapped a picture or two from the app on my phone and then exclaimed, “You’re wearing your gloves for the picture?!” “Do you want me to take them off?” I asked. He said yes, so I peeled them off and slipped them into my pocket. I saw him switch the GoPro from photo to video before dropping my phone into his coat pocket. He turned to me, grabbed my hands, and launched into a beautiful speech about how much he loves me and our future together. He got down on one knee and pulled out a ring box (that he had been carrying in his pocket since the day before I landed). “Will you marry me?” he asked. “Of course I will!” I answered. Almost immediately, it started misting and got even chillier. Since we were already on our way to lunch when we started through the park, we decided to carry on. We had a delicious lunch and then decided to spend the afternoon inside watching La La Land at the cinema, even though we had “seen it together” before. (We went by ourselves to our respective cinemas at the same time one weekend afternoon and then hurried home to talk about the film over Skype, one of our many versions of a long distance date.) He had booked a delicious 3-course dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant, where the waitress noticed my ring, to which I responded, “Thanks! I got it today!” She replied, “I got mine four weeks ago,” so we congratulated her and she walked away. Ha! I tell Luke if I could sum up our engagement in one word, it would be subtle. ;) But really, it would be perfect.

Professional photos by Brianne Haagenson Photography
Ring from ROX
See our submission to How He Asked

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