I'm from a small town in Wyoming and I joined the Navy in June 2014 to get out of that small town. I had a life plan and it was a good one! I was going to work my way up from the bottom ranks, I was going to travel, I was going to spend as much time as I possibly could on sea duty, and I was going to retire from the Navy and start a new career at 37. The most important part of this plan was that I promised myself I was not going to look for love, I promised myself absolutely no boys until I got myself set up and doing good at my first command. But life had other plans, and just like always, when you stop looking for something you find it. I found Nicholas and he ruined all of my plans, in the best way possible!
Nick and I had been in brother divisions in boot camp and had plenty of opportunities to cross paths, but we didn't actually meet until we got to school in Pensacola, FL. He always says, "They told me to stay away from the girls in boot camp, so that's what I did!" We were assigned to the same duty section, but he was in class during the day and I was stuck on night shift, so the galley was pretty much the only place we ever got to see each other. We had a couple mutual friends and were always bumping into each other at meals. He would wave, smile, and say, "Hey Engel!" and I would respond with a bigger wave and bigger smile saying, "Hi Hansen!" This went on for two or three months and I was totally and completely oblivious. Like I said, my plan was to stay away from boys, so I never picked up on the fact that there was even a small possibility he could have been interested in me.
One day in late November, after he waved at me in the galley, my friend told me she had heard that Nick talked about me ALL the time! With a giggle, we chatted about how cute he was, but I told myself we could only be friends. A couple of days later, my friends and I decided to go bowling. Hoping that Nick and I could become friends, I made our friend ask him to come bowling and he agreed. After spending the first part of the night talking, laughing, and having fun, my big life plan went straight in the gutter and I began to flirt! I knew there was something special about him and so I tried to get him to ask me on a date. I told this long, sad story about how I really missed seeing the sunset. I explained how beautiful the sunsets in Wyoming were and how, because I was on the night shift, I hadn't seen one in five months. I surely thought that this would be obvious enough, but NO, his response was, "You can borrow my car if you want." I felt so rejected, but I decided to give it one more try, and it worked!!
The next day, November 30, 2014, Nick picked me up for a surprise adventure to see the sunset. We ended up at the, supposedly haunted, Pensacola Lighthouse, where I ran (not wanting to seem out of shape) up 172 steps to the very top. We stood there together (out of breath) as the sun faded behind the trees joking, laughing, and me casually brushing his hand with mine with hope that he would hold it. As we made our way back down to the bottom, I felt something tap my butt, I jumped a little bit from the shock, then Nick giggled and said, "A ghost touched your butt!" To which I replied, "How'd you know it was a ghost?" When he didn't respond, I turned around to see a red cheeked, cheesy smiling, handsome man, and I knew he was the one for me.
Our very first picture together at the bowling alley.
From top of the lighthouse!
Our favorite picture from the first date, if you can't tell, it was WINDY up there!
You can find this entire blog series about Nick & I's road to marriage HERE!