Once upon a time (circa 1994), I found a newsgroup called alt.music.nin. Little did I know it would change my life!

I met two people (amongst many others!) on a.m.nin... Jim and Donna. They became two of my favorite people. (As a side note, they too met on the same group and are now married because of it!). From what I'm told, the first time Donna saw my high school senior picture (which was taken in 1993, but it must have been in early 1996 when she saw it), she said "My brother is going to love her." Boy, does she know her brother or what?

So, every year Jim and Donna run a convention for the people who have met through a.m.nin called NinCon. In 1996, I first met Donna and Jim in person, as well as Donna's brother John (and 50 or so other people). I probably couldn't have cared less. I was dating someone else, John was off doing his own thing... whatever. A year went by, and we hung out at NinCon 97. Again... whatever. Then, Donna had a birthday party for me on August 16, 1997. (As another side note, that's the day my sister and brother-in-law got engaged!) The party had started early, so by the time we started watching Elivs Pop-Up Video, I fell asleep on John! Then later, in the romantic glow of the television, listening to the sweet music of Arnie's voice (ok, so we were just watching Total Recall, but I'm trying to make this sound romantic!), we had our first kiss :*

John and I didn't see each other again until the weekend of August 30, 1997 (Labor Day weekend). Between August 16 and that weekend, I bought myself a crystal wand that I used to wear around my neck every day. The combination of the crystals is supposed to bring the wearer unconditional love. Sure enough, by the next time I saw him, there was no question in my mind that this was going somewhere! (We consider August 16 to be our "anniversary" though. Most likely because my birthday is August 15, so he doesn't have to remember too many dates ;).

I visited him soon after at school. At the time, I had just graduated from college, and he had a year left of college in Boston. He cooked me this AMAZING dinner with pasta and seafood and artichoke hearts. Now, these weren't any ol' artichoke hearts... he bought FULL artichokes and PEELED them. Considering I can't cook to save my life (John once hid a birthday gift from me in our oven... for about a month!), I knew this relationship was meant to be!

So, for the next 8 or 9 months, I flew to Boston every other weekend or so (thank you USAir Shuttle service!!!). At this time, I was applying to law schools. I got into a bunch of schools, including Pace University School of Law. I soon realized that not only is it conveniently located in Westchester County (I'm from Long Island... or shall I say "Lawn Guyland"), but it also has an AMAZING environmental law program, so I decided to go to Pace!

John originally wanted to be a rock star, but he eventually cut his hair (before I met him, not that it would have made a difference) and got his degree in music business instead. (He cleans up nice though, doesn't he? ;) Because of his career choice, he wanted to get a job in NYC. So, one day at dinner, I broke the news to my parents that John and I were going to move in together. Needless to say, since I am their little girl, they were less than thrilled! (Picture not taken at the time I told them, but it seemed appropriate... let's see dad less than thrilled one more time!) But, they finally realized it was for the best, considering I'd want to see him all the time, and I needed to study for law school and all.

We got a great apartment in White Plains, got a couple of kittens named Sage and Boone, watched them grow up over the years along with Bruce, the female bearded dragon, gone-but-not-forgotten Spike the chinchilla, and most recently, Boo! the chinchilla.

...And that brings us to December 21, 2000, and The Proposal.