On January 24th, 2011, Janelle started her first professional job, at a small-ish engineering and manufacturing company. Unbeknownst to her at the time, a coworker, Brian, was off that day, celebrating his 26th birthday.
Janelle's mom repeatedly asked her if "there are any young engineers" at her new job. To which Janelle always laughed and said no.
One day, a month or so after Janelle started, she was in the company's lab, observing a materials test. A young man (compared to the others at the company!) entered, and was clearly surprised to see Janelle. He barely kept it together while she introduced herself as the new employee in HR. The only words Brian manged to get out were "you work here?". Janelle walked away thinking that she'd now met the only person younger than her.
A few weeks after that, Janelle and Brian had their second encounter. Janelle was walking across the frozen parking lot, as Brian headed toward her. As fate would have it, Janelle slipped, and fell. Of course, there wasn't any type of romantic assistance. Janelle recovered and escaped with remarkable speed.
It is safe to say that at this point Brian was beyond intrigued. He began showing up in Janelle's office, awkwardly at first, because neither was sure what to say. Brian began asking Janelle to lunch with colleagues, and out to happy hour. At first both seemed a bit weary of a workplace romance. However, as time went on, it became obvious how easy the conversation and connection was between them. Both began to wonder if this could become something more.
In April, after the two had gotten used to each other, Brian invited Janelle to happy hour and then possibly to dinner. To this day, Brian claims he told Janelle it would be just the two of them, and Janelle claims she thought it was a group event. So, imagine Janelle's surprise when she realized they would be alone. After some conversation, Janelle was pleasantly surprised to learn that she was still enjoying Brian's company, even outside the safety of work.
A few weeks later, Brian decided to take it one step further and convinced Janelle to allow him to come over and go for a run. Run they did (5 miles, a first for Brian!), followed by lunch from Lloyd Taco Truck. Both ended the day happy and further convinced of their potential.
The relationship proceeded fairly slowly, with weekly dates for about a month or so. Janelle knew that Brian was special when he met her at 7 AM to go hiking. They DTRed (defined the relationship) while camping on Memorial Day weekend. Janelle moved in in August (officially October), and the rest is history.
This photo was taken while camping on Memorial Day.
Brian and Janelle get engaged on March 24th, 2012 in Japanese Garden at the Buffalo Historical Society. During the workweek, Brian asked Janelle if she wanted to go hiking at Iroquois Wildlife Preserve, a place they went to on one of their earliest dates. Being as they had already looked at rings, Janelle began to feel a bit suspicious.
Saturday morning was rainy and dreary. To delay, they went for breakfast at their favorite bakery. As they left the bakery it began to pour. Brian drove aimlessly while trying to decide what to do. They arrived back home just as the rain let up. Brian suggested a walk, and off they went, although not before Janelle put on her wellingtons and old clothes.
As they walked into the Japanese Garden (with the rose blossoms in bloom) Janelle begin to feel a sense of excitement, and Brian a bit of anxiety. They stood by the water and embraced. At that point, Janelle knew and could hardly listen to the sweet things Brain was saying. As Brian pulled out a box, Janelle was excited and afraid to look down. It seemed too good to be true.
The pair walked home, and took this photo to commemorate the moment.