Kirsten and Nate met in high school when Nate was a senior and Kirsten was a sophomore. “She was playing trumpet in the pit orchestra for our high school’s musical and I was one of the male leads. One day during rehearsal, my friend Vinnie introduced us and I leaned over the stage to tell her that she had the most beautiful hair that I had ever seen.” Three months later, the two had gotten to know one another and began dating.
It didn’t take long for Kirsten to realize she had found her forever in Nate. “I knew that Nate was the one for me the summer we started dating. It was the night before he was moving away from Buffalo to go to college in Virginia. We knew that his last day in town would be difficult, but I didn’t know how hard it would hit me. We had a wonderful night and dressed up as fancy as we could to go to dinner and got tea at a local coffee shop afterward. It was a fun night, but looming in the back of our minds was how each minute passed was a minute closer to saying goodbye. After we returned to my house, we listened to songs that would later become the ones that mean the most to us and slow-danced in my living room. I remember that we couldn’t stop crying and when he finally had to leave for the night and start his drive out of town the next morning, my heart broke. Saying good bye to him that night was the hardest thing I have had to do. I knew that I never wanted to say good bye to him again and that I never wanted to go a day without seeing him. A year and a half later, he transferred schools to come back home, and we have barely gone a day without seeing each other since. Now, at the end of every summer, we go out on our annual “fancy” date and remember how thankful we are that we never have to say good bye to each other again.”
And for Nate, it was the same thing. Saying goodbye and leaving his true dream made him realize where he really wanted to be. “I knew Kirsten was meant to be my forever person when I was 19 and a student at Liberty University. We had only been dating for about 7-8 months at this point but I was experiencing a feeling that I never could have imagined feeling. At this time in my life I was just a freshman at Liberty and I was a student athlete on their snowboarding team. I had dreamed of becoming a professional snowboarder for years and finally I was at my first competition. It was around 11 pm. and we had just settled into our lodge that we would be staying in for the weekend. Kirsten and I had been talking all day and I remember feeling an immense amount of self conflict. I knew I should be excited because I was about to compete in my first college snowboarding competition, however I felt completely empty inside. It was that night that I realized that my dreams and aspirations had changed and I figured out why. I didn’t want to be a professional snowboarder anymore because I fell in love with the girl of my dreams and I wanted the opportunity to spend as much time as I possibly could with her. I thought being on the road and competing in snowboarding competitions would give me fulfillment, however after evaluating what gave my life true fulfillment and what truly made me happy, snowboarding wasn’t it. That night I made the decision that that season would be my last and I needed to come home so I could pursue my new dream. Four years later, I could not be happier with my choice as we are officially planning the rest of our lives together.”
Four years later, Nate thoughtfully organized the perfect proposal. “Labor Day weekend, Kirsten and I drove to Michigan to meet her family there for camping and a family reunion. The proposal happened during that trip on September 1st, 2018. It was an overcast day with a chance of rain in the afternoon. We started our day in Birch Run after a night of camping, and after several hours of outlet shopping, made our way to Cadillac – just in time for me to set up for the proposal at the outdoor pavilion downtown. After telling Kirsten that we were going to a nice dinner at the Clam Lake Brewery, our favorite restaurant in town, she was ready to go and the stage was literally set. We listened to our favorite, most meaningful songs on the drive to the pavilion and I made sure to take the long way, to ensure she wouldn’t get a sneak peak at my surprise. Once I missed the turn to the restaurant, she began to ask questions and we soon-after parked at the side parking lot of the outdoor theater. Once parked, I slipped the ring into my pocket and had photographers ready at a good distance. We started to make our way to the restaurant, walking along the lake. Shortly after, we approached the candle-lit, rose petal-covered stage overlooking the lake. Once there, I said “this is us,” and she gasped as we made the walk to the middle of the stage. From there, I professed my love to her, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me. Once she said a resounding YES, the crowd of people that had been watching in the distance burst into cheers, passing cars beeped their horns, and we entered a moment of complete happiness. After the proposal we had an hour long photo session to capture our excitement, and we ended our night with a dinner at the Clam Lake Brewery, as promised. We call Michigan our happy place and it was fitting to begin the rest of our lives together there.”
Kirsten and Nate have a special love for taking road trips together, as it gives them both time away from the world to simply be with one another. “…whether it is a quick trip somewhere local or a vacation in Michigan to visit my family. Nate loves driving and I hate it, so we have our respective seats in the car. If you pass us on the road, you will always see us holding hands. Driving gives us time to be removed from daily life and to relax, talk, and just be together. Nate’s truck sits only two people, so driving is a perfect way for us to literally get away and spend quality time together, singing along to our favorite songs on the radio and watching the scenery pass us by.”