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How we met.......

Elisabeth's story:

The first time that I visited St. Mark's Parish in Vienna, Virginia, I went with my roommate, Eva. It was around February of 2006. I remember looking behind me as we were sitting in the church and seeing this really cute guy. In my head, I thought, I hope that I see him again. I kept seeing him for several months in a row and never had the courage to talk to him after church. Around the same time, I decided to join the church choir to play flute. I had one unselfish motive and one selfish one. I love to play in church and I wanted to give my gift back to God, but I also thought, maybe if I sit in front and play in the choir, maybe he'll notice me and we'll finally meet. It was a long shot.

I kept seeing "Church Boy" as my roommates and I began to call him, almost every week. One day, I looked for "Church Boy" in his usual seat and he was not there. Later on as I was looking around the church I saw that he had moved seats and was sitting right by the choir! I kept looking at him and I thought he might be looking at me, but I wasn't sure. We played this game for several more weeks. Then, one day, he stayed after to talk to the Choir Director, Joe. I saw them talking and I knew that I had to go and introduce myself. All I managed to say was my name and I found out his name was Luke and he had decided to join the choir.

So, every Sunday, I would see "Choir Boy" (name change) and we would talk a little more. Then one day, after talking, he said, do you want to go to lunch? I think I said yes as he was asking me. We went to the Four Provinces and talked for about 3 hours. Several weeks later, after going to lunch after church, he asked me out on a date. We ended up going to Old Town Alexandria for Spanish Tapas and then for a walk along the water after. Our second date was with my family for Thanksgiving and the rest is history.

How he proposed:

On our sixth month anniversary, May 17th, he planned a date for us to go to Old Town Alexandria for dinner. He wanted to recreate the first date in November. We had a wonderful dinner and then, as we had in November, went for a walk along the water. We looked for a place that we could sit and look at the view and settled on sitting right by the water on the rocks.

For our three month anniversary, near Valentine's Day, I had given him a journal to write down all the first stories down of how we met, where we went, conversations we had, etc. I didn't want to forget the little details and I wanted him to know what I was thinking. When I gave it to him, I had intentionally written on the right side and left the left side of the book blank, in case he wanted to write his own perspective. Over the next few months, he would write a an entry at a time and would let me read it. He had finished all of the entries except for the last and wanted me to read it by the water.

As I was reading, he kept asking me where I was on the page, constantly. After I was at the end of the last page, I noticed that on my side of the book, he had written a little note for me to continue my side of the story. I looked at him and thanked him for what he said, which was really sweet - then, I closed the book. His face had a puzzled look and he said that I hadn't finished reading everything and told me to open the book again. I did, but kept asking why because I didn't see anything and thought I was done.

Then as I was looking for the page, he stood up on the rocks. I asked him what he was doing and gave him a strange look. He told me again to open the page!!! As I turned the page, I read the last line: "Elisabeth, will you marry me?" As I looked up at him, he knelt down on the rocks and opened the black box with the ring. Then he asked me out loud and well, I think you know what I said!! Then, I thought, it's not really fair that the guy has to ask and not the girl, so I asked him back. I think we know what he said too....

I was so excited, but also puzzled because he had said that he wanted to ask my parent's permission first (in person) before asking me. We were supposed to go to Texas in July, so I said, "I thought you had planned to ask my parent's first?" Then he said, "I did." He then explained that he had flown to Houston three weeks before, stayed with my parents and asked their permission, all under the guise that he was on a business trip in New York City. My whole family knew by this point and had amazingly kept it a secret!

What we both found out later, is that my grandmother and grandfather, (Mary Jo Cheek and Bill Cheek) had met in Washington DC on May 17th!! Luke and I will be getting married in the same church that my Grandmother attended while she lived here and the same church that Mary and John were married in.

Luke's story:
I don’t remember the first time I noticed Elisabeth in church. When I did finally notice her, she was up in front, playing her flute with the 11:45 am choir. For quite some time, I tried to figure out a nonchalant way of introducing myself. I tried walking slow enough out of church so that she would be on her way outside as I made my way outside. However, what I didn’t know was that she parked in the back (which I didn’t even know existed at the time). Eventually I switched where I sat in church and moved closer to the choir in an effort for her to notice me. After a little while longer, I decided that I was going join the choir. And to be absolutely honest, I joined the choir for two reasons. One, to get more involved with the church. I wanted to do more than just sit in mass. And two, to create a way to meet Elisabeth.

After talking with Elisabeth after mass several weeks in a row, I suggested that we go get something to eat. She seemed up for it. We went to a lunch buffet in Falls Church and talked for several hours. We continued to do the same thing for the next few weeks after church. On about the third or the fourth lunch, I asked her if she wanted to get together on Friday. And there you have it.

As for the proposal story, I don’t think I can add much to what Elisabeth has written. She’s pretty much summed it up.