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So we're kind of boring. We don't have a "moment." We've known each other since our days at Normandy High School. We can't tell you when we met. The earliest would have been 1998 when Lauren was a freshman, although she's is pretty sure it was sometime during Joe's senior year, 1999-2000. Joe played in the marching band, and Lauren did attend at least one band party. Joe also remembers playing in the orchestra for Normandy's production of "Sweet Charity" in which Lauren played Ursula. We don't remember when we started hanging out, however we do have some memories. There was an Indians game we went to with two other friends. Joe insisted on getting jalapenos on the nachos and no one else would eat them. Lauren's pretty sure he ate most of the nachos by himself since the juice ruined them (at least in her opinion). There was a friend's birthday party the summer of 2000 and Joe's graduation party. Lauren had a huge crush on Joe during these early days, and Joe knew it. However, he left to go to school at The University of Toledo in the fall of 2000 and we wouldn't really talk again for 10 years
On December 3, 2009, Lauren and Joe reconnected on Facebook (we know this because Facebook tells us. We're not THAT crazy). On September 10, 2010 (again, Facebook) Joe, who was still living in Toledo post-college, came into town and he and Lauren decided to meet up and have dinner. We met up at Chili's in North Olmsted and had a great evening. We talked throughout the week on the phone and via text. This was a big deal, especially the phone. Lauren could keep Joe talking on the phone for a lengthy 20 minutes! This was (apparently) a big deal. The following weekend, Joe came back into Cleveland and he and Lauren, along with fellow NHS Invader Jim, went to Dave and Buster's. From there, Lauren and Joe would start casually dating for the next two years. The pattern was simple, talk and get along for a couple weeks until one or the other pushed the other's buttons (sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose) to the point that they backed off. There were some fun memories during this time, like the time Lauren asked Joe to help her keep her ice cream cone from dripping so he bit off the bottom (She's still a little bitter about that one).
Joe had wanted to see Shania Twain live in concert for a very long time. With the announcement that her residency in Las Vegas was ending in December, we decided we needed to go. We booked our flights and bought our tickets to see Shania December 6th. Joe had asked Lauren's dad for permission to marry her (he's old fashioned that way) back in September, he had just been waiting for the right time to propose. Lauren was (im)patiently waiting for him to ask, although she didn't know that he had asked her dad. She and some friends had thought Joe would do it when we were in Las Vegas in April for Lauren's 30th birthday, but it didn't happen. Lauren knew Joe would do it on his own schedule.
Joe's parents ended up coming to Las Vegas to see Shania as well. The group met up for dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Spago at Caesar's Palace before the concert, and then headed over to The Coliseum at Caesar's for the show. Shania Twain still puts on a fabulous show and the concert was amazing! After the show the two couple split up to go do their own things. We decided to head up to the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel where we were staying.
The views from the top of the Eiffel Tower were breathtaking. At half the size of the real Eiffel Tower, you can see all of The Strip. One thing Lauren didn't count on when we got up to the top was that she would be able to feel the tower swaying. She is afraid of heights, and this was not a comfortable sensation for her. She wanted to get down almost immediately. However, one the Bellagio's famous water shows started, so we stood very, very still and watched from 460 feet above. Lauren was still ready to get down when the show ended, but Joe convinced her to go to the other side of the observation deck to see the south end of The Strip. Not very many people were standing on this side of the deck. As Lauren took in the views of The Strip and figured out where the Hard Rock Cafe was, Joe dropped to one knee. Much to Lauren's surprise, Joe held out a ring asked her to spend the rest of her life with him. Of course she said yes! As we went to hug after the proposal, Joe looked very relieved. Lauren was confused and asked Joe if he was nervous she would say no (no one thought she would say no!). Joe smiled. He said he knew she would say yes, he was just afraid he was going to drop the ring off the side of the Eiffel Tower.
We can't wait to celebrate one of the happiest days of our lives with all of our friends and family!