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I fell in love with my husband during our first date as an official dating couple. I know what you’re going to say… “That’s too early to fall in love with someone,” but since we are approaching the anniversary of that day, let me tell you how it went down.

Niko and I started dating at the end of our freshman year of college. He asked me to commit to a relationship one week before summer break, when he would fly to Europe for a mission trip. It was incredibly bittersweet to begin a romantic relationship and then be apart for 3 months. Niko planned a surprise date to both kick off our relationship and say goodbye.

Three times that day, he left flowers on my doorstep. That evening, he led me to a gazebo on campus decorated with twinkle lights and 200 hand-cut stars. He had a picnic prepared with my favorite sandwich from Bagel Street Deli. After dinner, he projected Casablanca, my favorite movie, on a white sheet he hung up.

Don’t get me wrong, that was a fairy tale evening (an evening I could never deserve and will never forget), but it wasn’t the flowers, the lights, the dinner, or the movie that impressed me. Here are the things I learned about Niko that I treasured that night.

  • He listened well. Niko remembered all my favorite things – things I talked about in passing without giving a second thought.
  • He is an all or nothing kind of man. He puts everything he is and everything he has into the people he cares about most.
  • He is patient and thoughtful. Every little part of that evening required patience to arrange and thoughtfulness to dream up.
  • He works hard. I actually caught a glimpse of him while he was leaving flowers at my door, and he was drenched in sweat. As it turns out, hanging up 200 stars in the hot summer sun isn’t easy.
  • He is effortlessly Niko. He is unique and quirky in all that is he is and does. I’ve never met another human like him.

I love that my job is to share the beautiful intricacies of people’s love stories, but my very favorite love story is ours. Happy 6th year together, my sweet love!!

Ps. Shout out to Jenna Powers for this sweet portrait of us.


The Night I Knew I Met My Future Husband




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