We first met when I was in 7th grade and Colby was a senior in high school in Boise, Idaho where we grew up. Although, I wouldn’t actually say we met—he was in my brother’s class and I gawked from a distance with my other girlfriends.

Years passed, life experiences came and went and 7 years later we met again. Colby and some friends were visiting my parents’ church one day in August and I walked in—late. To my surprise, my parent’s were sitting with Colby. In between quickly redoing my hair and rethinking my last minute outfit, I finally sat down. Colby says he noticed me and thought I was beautiful. After church, Colby was the first to speak bringing up some friends he thought we might have in common. Once the ice was broken, he casually dropped an invitation to a Nickelcreek concert that night. But, he never asked for my phone number so I wasn’t sure of how much he really wanted me to go. Of course, later, I found out that Colby was waiting for me to show up the whole time—and when I didn’t because of other plans I had, he thought I wasn't interested.

In October, my friend Judith and I decided to make a trip to Portland, OR for the weekend. While hanging out with a couple friends, I heard them mention Colby’s name. I was confused because I thought he was in Argentina for the year. Apparently I misunderstood our conversation earlier and Colby was going to nursing school in Portland. My friend Kami then mentioned that Colby had been talking to her about me just that week… I was shocked—and flattered. Desperate to play the matchmakers, my friends immediately called Colby to invite him to hang out for the evening. Despite their attempt, Colby did not answer his phone... I thought my second chance wasn’t going to happen. But luckily, later that night, Colby called back. We spent the evening playing Trivial Pursuit and Colby and I were conveniently placed on a team together (PS – we won!!). The night ended after much fun was had and we finally discussed hanging out over Thanksgiving break while he was back in Boise.

We made plans to spend the evening with friends at a Ray LaMontagne concert (awesome first date) and we were inseparable for the next week while he was in town. Between rock climbing, movies, skiing, and late nights playing guitar (he serenaded me with ‘Waiting on An Angel’ by Ben Harper) and long talks about life, we both knew we had found someone special.

But, since Colby was going to nursing school in Portland and I was working on building my career in Boise, we had to maintain a long distance relationship. We wrote many letters to each other and it was such a romantic time in our relationship After Colby graduated, he was accepted into an ICU internship in Salt Lake City and moved there—the long distance continued. And then in May of 2009, after three years of being together, Colby proposed while we were on a road trip from Boise to Portland. He is a very talented woodworker and he made me an amazing wooden book full of pictures and letters that we had written to each other—the ring was on the last page. He had designed the ring himself and it was and is still the most beautiful piece of jewelry I have every seen.

Our relationship has taught me many things, but the most important thing has been patience. I am so glad that we met and that we are now able to spend our lives together—especially in the same zip code…