We can't quite call it love at first sight...
We apparently met each other several times, but neither of us recall these meetings (there is photographic evidence of the official "first" meeting--a New Year's Eve party at the Mohr's Magestic house ringing in 2003, right before Heather went on Semester at Sea; after that: a drive-in movie showing--Heather remembers Liz, Kathy, and "some guy"; and dinner out in Denver before the group of friends went to an REM concert).
It would be another two years before we "meet" each other during another New Year's celebration, this time up in the mountains (same valley as the wedding!) ringing in 2005. Later that year, we got to know each other during a trip to Ireland. A great friendship slowly grew until neither of us could deny that we "really liked" each other.
The "Long Distance Relationship".
We started out "long distance" with Heather living in Colorado and Jon in Iowa. Heather moved to San Francisco in the fall of 2006 and Jon followed shortly after, arriving in the Bay Area in the spring of 2007. Needless to say, we were thrilled to end the series of quick visits, long flights, and sad good-byes at the airport inturrupted by the security guy insisting the driver needs to move on.
In July of 2011, Jon took Heather up to the Russian River for a surprise weekend escape. Among the vines at one of our favourite wineries, he got down on one knee and proposed! Heather was completely surprised (even though Jon was convinced she was on to him the whole time).
He had apparently been searching for the "right" stone for several months, working with an Irish jeweler in Berkeley. He didn't want a diamond, which thrilled the boys in Berkeley ("Great! We like dealing in weird things."). After looking at several shades of sapphire, ruby, and a few stones that change color in indoor lighting vs sunlight, Wilfy decided to show Jon a green diamond, even though it was a diamond. The stone came from Australia, which adds an extra layer of sentimental attachment for Heather. Jon was sold and the ring was ready right around our 5 year anniversary.
It seems this has been a long awaited event for many friends and family. During a summer vacation in North Carolina with Heather's extended family and Jon's brother and sister-in-law in 2010, Uncle Tom was (not-so-subtly) harrassing Jon after hearing the story of how Jon's brother Kris met his wife Sandy (when asked how long it took for Kris to propose, Sandy's response was "Too long!")