Today I am sharing something pretty close to my heart, my own love story!
I have had numerous requests over on Instagram about this. You guys are always curious how the heck I ended up in Germany and how I married a German man – Manuel! So let’s start from the beginning….
Manuel and I met in Milwaukee, WI about two weeks after he arrived there for a 6 month work experience. I had moved to Milwaukee for work about 1 year prior.
We met in a bar and I was intrigued by Manuel’s unique (German) accent and he thought it was cool that I was drinking beer. We started seeing each other regularly but only with the intention of staying friends. Clearly that didn’t work out very well for us and within a month we had made our relationship official.
It was hard once we truly started falling in love because we both knew that our relationship was going to be a difficult one – since we had lives on different sides of the world.
However, when life gives you a chance at a love like ours, we knew that we would do whatever we could to stay together.
I knew I was in love with Manuel on St. Patrick’s Day 2014 when I had gone out with some friends to celebrate. Manuel was flying back in from New York and I felt very strange not having him there to go out with us.
We ended up picking him up at the airport later that night and I remember thinking, I hope we don’t have to be apart like this again (although he was only gone a few days).
I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to be with someone who made me miss them so much and that was the night that we first told each other that we loved them.
When the time came for Manuel’s work permit to end, he ended up extending his work permit another 6 months, Since he already had a return ticket bought to Germany, we decided to take a two week trip to see his family and friends (and see if I could see myself living there).
While there, the moment came that I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Manuel when we were with his friends. Although I couldn’t understand what they were saying in German, Manuel was translating: he said that his friend asked what we were going to do when Manuel’s work visa expired and he came back to Germany.
Without missing a beat, Manuel said that he would, of course, bring me with him. I knew right then that he was right and that we would do whatever necessary in order to stay together.
Making the decision to leave my entire life behind and move across the world was a really tough one (thank goodness for Skype!)
However, I can’t picture my life without Manuel in it. He always knows just what I need to cheer me up.
While in Germany, when I was missing my family and the US, he would always do little things to show me that he cares. One example is that he always played Froggy 98, my favorite radio station from my hometown (Lincoln, Nebraska) so I could hear all about what was going on there.
After about a year in Germany, Manuel and I had been discussing marriage for awhile. We knew that we both wanted to take the next step, we just weren’t sure when that would happen.
However, when we went back over the holidays that year to visit family in the US, Manuel asked my parents for permission to marry me. They were just as ecstatic as I was!
When Manuel and I returned to Germany at the beginning of January, it was all I could think about! I was ready to start planning and get the ball rolling. However, a few days went by, then weeks, and then over a month, until finally Manuel asked if I would go to dinner with him one Friday at a fancy restaurant.
I thought to myself that “this has to be when it is going to happen!” We went to dinner and had a great time, but he still didn’t ask me. (And I was a bit disappointed).
The next morning, I was reading in the living room when he came in and nervously got down on one knee (with Charlie our dog next to him) and asked me to spend the rest of my life with them. It was exactly one year after I moved to Germany.
Manuel kept searching for the perfect time to still have me be surprised and it be romantic.
He thought if he asked me at dinner I would be expecting it (which I was) and he wanted to make it special (hence the date).
The ring he selected is beyond perfect. It fits my personality and style and it is so unique! It is a vintage style, with 7 diamonds in a flower shape. I still can’t help but smile every time I glance down at my hand.
We tied the knot on July 8th, 2017 at St. Ulrich Church in Seeg, Germany.
This is the small town that Manuel grew up in, and where many of his family and friends still live.
The day couldn’t have been more perfect and the week leading up to big day was a blast! We had over 40 people come from the US to help us celebrate and the clash of cultures was super fun! Read all about that, and see the pictures from our wedding here.
Shortly after the wedding, we made yet another touch decision to move back to the United States. My dad was having health issues and I wanted to be closer to family because it.
It took awhile to make the preparations to move – I came in November 2017 and Manuel followed in January 2018. We stayed with my parents in Nebraska until we found out that Manuel was offered a job in Ankeny, IA.
It has been so nice to be close to my family, but I can see that Manuel struggles to be away from him. It makes it so incredibly difficult because one of us is always going to be away from family.
However, we do our best and we have created a lovely life together and honestly – home is wherever I am with him.
As for our future plans – we are constantly asked this. Who knows what the future holds? We are just trying to enjoy each day.