Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Engagement Story

Today, Dan and I are celebrating six months of being engaged. Because of this, I decided to share our proposal story with everyone. I wrote this just a couple days after he asked me to be his wife. I hope you enjoy!

Dan and Janelle’s Engagement Story


To begin, Dan and I started dating on February 25th, 2009, after we met and became friends through Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity at the University of Central Missouri. Shortly after we started dating, Dan received his acceptance to the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs, CO. We had been dating for only four and a half months when he moved there to begin his five year journey. I was stuck in Missouri finishing my degree, but I visited Dan as often as possible in Colorado. In May of 2010, I graduated from the University of Central Missouri a week before Dan graduated from the USAFA Prep School. The following week, I moved out to Colorado Springs to be close to him and begin my teaching career. 

Now let’s get to the good stuff: 

The Proposal

Dan had the second half of second leave during the summer of 2011, so we planned a road trip for that time. We first went camping on an Indian reservation in southern Colorado. Then, we spent three more nights camping at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. After that, we spent a few days at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona, where Dan got to sit in on a training flight for an F-16—which caused us to get into our next destination (Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico) more than a little bit late. We didn’t get in until 1:30am, and Dan said he had a surprise for me, but we had to get up at 4:30. When the alarm went off, we were both tired and groggy from driving so much the day before, but I love surprises, so I excitedly got dressed and ready! He told me I had to wear tennis shoes, so I began growing suspicious. What were we going to do? He drove me to a Village Inn parking lot, where he said we were meeting some people. Doesn’t this sound sketchy? It was before I knew what was going on. A van pulled up with a weird looking basket on the back of it, but I still didn’t pick up on what was happening. We got into the van, and the guys told us we needed to sign a safety waiver, so I read it, and it was for a hot air balloon flight!! (During Dan’s prep school basic training, I saw a hot air balloon on my way home from work one evening, and I told him about it in a letter and how much I wanted to go in one… and he promised me that he would take me on one someday… I guess this was it!). I thought that was the entire surprise. I mean, come on! What a huge thing! I had no idea he had a ring in his backpack. When the hot air balloon pilot said that there were about 10-15 minutes left in our flight, Dan asked him to take a picture of us. We took one regular picture, and then Dan said: “Okay, one more pose,” and he got down on one knee. By this point, I was shaking (and ecstatic!) because I knew what was going on. He told me that I am the most amazing woman he knows and how he is glad that I am here to support him through the Academy and that there’s only one more thing he could ask for: for me to be his wife. I was in shock, but I said, “Of course!!!” Then he got into his backpack and pulled out a ring, and asked, “Janelle Vannice, will you marry me?” I couldn’t even speak, so I shook my head YES! The pilot got a few pictures of Dan proposing, and I am so glad that he did. I will cherish those photos forever! The ring is absolutely gorgeous—just what I wanted! He did a great job picking it out (with a little bit of help from Ellie), and it is just PERFECT for me! 

Our official date (as of now -- we all know the Air Force can change things) is May 30th, 2014, just two days after he graduates from the Air Force Academy! We plan on getting married at Farish Recreation Area in Woodland Park, Colorado, and we are currently exploring options for a reception venue. 

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