how we met

We met in July 2015 at Dev Bootcamp (DBC), a program that teaches people to code in ~18 weeks. We spent a lot of 10+ hour days together toiling over programming exercises and challenging new concepts. Those long days, more often than not, ended with a group of us finding respite at one of the only dive bars in downtown Chicago, Shamrock Club. The two of us typically (and strategically) outlasted everyone else, and we spent many late nights sharing laughs over a pitcher (or three) of Daisy Cutter.

Despite the obvious attraction, it took a few months for us to become an item. In fact, it was October, DBC was almost over, and Dana was moving back to Missouri to find a job. A few days before that move, we went to Michigan together for the first time. It was a short weekend trip, but it really solidified that our relationship was going to be more than just a casual fling. We decided to do whatever it took to make the indefinite long-distance thing work.

Of course, Dana was now very motivated to look for jobs in Chicago. She found one after a couple of months and moved back to the city.

Since then we've grown closer, moved in together, traveled, adopted a second cat, and attended tons of weddings. Now we're having our own--we're so thrilled!

how he proposed

We were in Michigan, as we often are. We love to drive up for long weekends or trips whenever we can, and it's become a very meaningful place for us.

Though we've been to Michigan more than a dozen times together, we had never ventured out to Mackinac Island--an idyllic little place that doesn't allow cars or motorized vehicles at all, just bikes and horse-drawn carriages. We rented bikes and started down a path around the island when we came to Arch Rock, a natural limestone formation that looks out over Lake Huron. Brian was planning to propose at the top, but there were too many people and also a lot of bugs. :|

We walked back down to the trail and Brian said he wanted to take a selfie in front of Arch Rock which was now above us. Dana knew something was up because that was the first time in our entire relationship that he had suggested taking a photo. We took the selfie, and afterward he got down on one knee and proposed.

As we were celebrating, another couple was biking past and yelling out their congratulations. They initially rode past us, but turned back to ask if we wanted some photos to document the moment. They had a fancy camera and we had a little impromptu photo-shoot next to the lake. It was perfect timing!

We spent the rest of the day exploring the island and obnoxiously calling each other fiancé.