How We Met
The setting is Fall Semester 2000, at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, and my future wife would move in to a dorm room just around the corner from mine. It was only a few days into the Semester and I had managed to meet everyone on the floor, but it took a little while to get to know Amanda, and fully appreciate how great she was. Luckily for me, each time passing by her dorm door I was greeted with a cat-call whistle, making it impossible to not stop and talk with her. These short visits and chats before leaving for class were always filled with smiles and laughter and led to spending more time together, learning just how much we truly enjoyed each other’s company.
Rider Hall at the University of Northern Iowa was an all-male dorm until the Fall of 2000. My roommate and I were lucky enough to be among the first group of girls who would get to call this dorm home. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the blonde-haired boy who worked at the sandwich place on campus was living just around the corner. The year before, my roommate and I had secretly admired him from afar and now I had a chance to get to know him. Mike was so outgoing that it wasn’t long before we would find ourselves being introduced and chatting. One of my favorite things about Mike was that fact that with a little teasing, he would easily blush, and so whenever I would seem him walking by on his way to class I would let out a loud cat-call whistle, prompting him to blush and of course, stop by to talk. It didn’t take long for us to realize how much we both enjoyed that ritual.
Knowing that I wanted Amanda to be my wife was an easy decision! Planning a memorable, yet surprising way to propose to her was not as easy. I took a lot of care and time to design a ring that matched up with her style, personality, and career. Thankfully, with the help of some friends I was able to achieve the ideal ring for this wonderful woman. With the ring created, my focus turned to finding the perfect place, setting, and time to ask for her hand. Amanda and I had hiked the trails at Devil’s Lake State Park numerous times and always enjoyed the peaceful beauty of a certain spot, on the top of a rock cliff overlooking the lake. The ascent to the top of the cliff takes about ninety minutes, so when you arrive at the top you are ready for a break and to sit and enjoy the view. After admiring the scenery, Amanda and I got up to start the voyage down the hill. I then dropped to one knee and asked her to marry me. She said yes, and then remained in shock for the entire hike back down the hill!
Mike and I loved to hike around Devil’s Lake. We would usually take the long, steep and rocky steps to the very top of the bluff to get to see the beautiful view. On a chilly November day, we decided to do take this hike, and at the last minute decided to hike to the bluff using a different route. It was a great walk and we only encountered a few people on the trail. As we started to approach the top of the bluff I noticed that Mike was fairly determined to find just the right overlook. After finding the right spot, we sat down to admire the view. After several minutes of silence, I got up from our seat and made a joke about how klutzy people like myself shouldn’t sit so close to the edge of a cliff. I felt Mike grab for my hand and thought he was just agreeing with my klutzy comment when I felt him tug. When I turned to face him he was down on one knee. My heart was instantly racing! Of course I said yes to this amazing man! After several minutes of catching my breath and hugging Mike we began to walk down from the bluff on the rocky path. Mike was laughing almost the entire way down because I had to keep stopping to take breaks as my legs were still shaking!