How We Met
(by the couple)
In the Spring of 2009, Rebekah & Shawna met randomly at a Women’s Center function at Western Washington University, but it wasn’t until Fall 2009 that they saw each other again and began their unexpected (and amazing) journey together. Rebekah had just started graduate school, and Shawna was in her senior year of college. Before the school year started, they ran into each other in the Student Union and struck up a conversation. Later that same night, through mutual friends, Rebekah formulated a plan to meet Shawna out. After dancing their hearts out to Michael Jackson’s P.Y.T., Rebekah asked Shawna to coffee, to which Shawna responded, “I don’t drink coffee… but I drink hot chocolate!”
And the rest is history. Through wooing Shawna with a combination of homemade pizza and newly learned cribbage skills, they started on an adventure of a lifetime. After two years together, they decided to continue their adventure down to California, so Shawna could attend graduate school and Rebekah could start her career. 5 1/2 years later they are getting hitched!
Though they knew we wanted to spend our lives together, Rebekah was adamant that they would not have a wedding until they could legally be married. WELL ,Prop 8 (the anti-gay marriage bill in California) and DOMA (the federal Defense Against Marriage Act) were both struck down/overturned by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013, and Rebekah couldn’t wait to propose.
I always told Rebekah that I didn’t know if I wanted to get married. But secretly, I did. I just had some prerequisites. First, I told her that I needed to graduate from graduate school and get a job. Then, I told her I wouldn’t get married until my home state recognized same-sex marriage. Turns out all of these things happened in 2014. So I was prepared for the proposal, in some ways more than others. Every small trip we took, every event, every holiday, I was on the lookout. I had it all planned out in my head and told Rebekah exactly what I wanted it to be like. Turns out, I was wrong.
We planned a park day for Saturday, December 14th—reading at the park and hanging out all day. On Saturday morning we woke up very early (unusual for me) and decided to watch one of our favorite movies, “White Christmas” (the movie we watched when we first said I love you 4 years earlier), and prepared to go to the park. Rebekah told me to look nice and prepared our bag. Finally, we made it to the park, walked around, and finally agreed on where to lay our blanket down and have our little picnic.
After a bit, we started talking about our friends who recently got engaged. In the middle of our conversation I interrupted Rebekah and asked what was taking her so long to propose— actually I think I said, “so what’s your deal?” Rebekah said something along the lines that rings take time, etc. and not to worry. Though disappointed, I accepted her answer and went back to reading my book. Only a few moments later, Rebekah told me that before I got too upset, she had a gift for me and handed me a present. Pleasantly surprised, I opened it and it was “The Hobbit”; right when I turned to tell Rebekah “thanks, but you know that I own this book, right?” Rebekah was on her knee holding a ring box and asked me to join her in an adventure of a lifetime and marry her. Or at least I think she did. By then, I, the person who said I would never get married, was crying so loud that I couldn’t hear anything. So after saying a few choice words (apologies to the children playing soccer nearby) of surprise, I said “yes.” In the middle of the park we proceeded to call many of our family members and friends. We got some pretty good reactions from them, especially Rebekah’s sister Ruth who cried immediately and said that she wanted the same ring.
When we were deciding where to take our engagement photos, we knew we wanted to be somewhere colorful, outside, and in the heart of San Diego. There really is no better place than Balboa Park. Our photographers Jeff and Betsy of La Vida Creations were amazing at capturing us in our element- laughing and playing cribbage together. We couldn’t have asked for a better team to photograph us. Thanks Jeff and Betsy!