They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and judging by the number of engagements that occurred over Christmas break, it looks like couples from NW would agree. I got the scoop on just a few and asked for some of the memorable stories.
Caitlyn Nerem and Logan Ogden, both seniors, have been dating since their freshman year at NW. Nerem fondly remembers the first time she saw her future husband, and immediately telling a friend that she was going to marry him some day. Little did she know this prediction would come true.
Ogden went all out to impress Nerem before popping the question. Updating a book Nerem had given him for their one-year dating anniversary called “Our Love Story,” Ogden added in pages, pictures and memories of their latest years together and wrote, “Nerem, will you marry me?” on the final page. She, of course, said yes.
The proposal happened on January 1, but Nerem reports that was simply a coincidence. Ogden was visiting Nerem and her family that day and found it a great time to ask.
Dan Laird and Rebecca VanDe Griend, another NW couple, also got engaged over the break. Laird set up the place for his proposal in a local coffee shop with a symbolic painting he had made of the two of them and a poem he had written. After reading the poem out loud to VanDe Griend, Laird got down on one knee and asked the question.
When asked what day he had proposed, Laird struggled to remember a date. He had wanted to ask VanDe Griend before she left on the Chicago semester and was not planning around a special holiday.
Anna Pitney and recent NW grad Joshua Roorda also got engaged around the same time. Roorda started the night by giving Pitney a series of envelopes that included directions for their evening. The directions included plans to go ice skating, advice on where to have dinner, funny conversation topics and orders to go to “The Passageway,” an enclosed alley in Omaha that is filled with artwork and was decorated beautifully for the Christmas season. Here, Roorda proposed, and Pitney didn’t hesitate to give her positive response.
The Beacon staff also celebrated over one of their own editors, LeAnn Johnson, getting engaged to her boyfriend, Clayton Hjelmeland, a senior at NW, this New Year’s Eve. Johnson reported that Hjelmeland designed a “creative, original and very sweet” skit full of inside jokes that they acted out together, ending with him on one knee.
For these couples, it looks like proposals were not an impulse Christmas present or a New Year’s Resolution as some might assume. Rather, so many proposals took place over break because people wanted to make the commitment to one another and found it to be a perfect time to do so.