Liz and Erik met at Abbott Middle School, where they are both Science teachers. Liz was new and her classroom was right across the hall from Erik, who welcomed her and the two quickly became friends.
We found that we had a lot in common and we just clicked. During that time I was personally going through some really difficult times and Erik was always there for me as a friend. He always had me smiling and laughing even on my worst days.
As the two got to know each other, they realized they had very similar hopes and dreams for their future. They talked frequently and had hung out a few times outside of work, but there wasn’t really a specific moment when they started dating.
One night Erik planned an “official” first date for us. Before our actual date, Erik took me to our school parking lot and told me he was sitting in this exact parking spot when he realized he loved me.
He was watching me in the parking lot and said he just knew. He also gave me a card with flowers and in the card it said that he had never been on a first date with someone when he knew that person was going to be the one he married.
Their relationship is unique since they are coworkers and Liz has two kids. Working together allowed them to date each other every day—they had the same lunch period so they would either eat lunch together or sit in the science office and just talk.
That is the place we really got to know one another and figure out if this was the real deal or not. We both love that part of our relationship because we were able to really get to know one another on such a deep level in a much quicker way than most couples because of that time we had together.
Liz loved that she was able to get to know Erik this way because she did not want to introduce her kids—Ryan (6 at the time and now about to be 8) and Amelia (1 and a half at the time and now 3)—to someone as a boyfriend unless she knew he was the one.
Liz knew that Erik would be a wonderful parent to her children. Ryan and Erik are inseparable with their love of comic books, basketball, the Cubs and being goofy together. And Amelia has Erik wrapped around her finger!
We quickly fell into being a family. We would spend a lot of time doing fun family activities and still have alone time so Erik and I could date one another. It was definitely a unique experience for us to date each other with children involved. But we made that a priority to still have alone time together.
Erik and Liz love to try new things like salsa dancing and hiking volcanos and love to go on adventures. They travelled to California, Vegas and Guatemala together in just this past year!
One thing that I love most about our relationship is that we always try to keep God at the center. I feel that is why we have such a strong relationship and have been able to get through all the difficult things we have encountered in our relationship.
Liz’s favorite thing about Erik is how loving and kind-hearted he is.
He loves people and genuinely cares for others. Erik has the most amazing personality because he is so fun to be around. He always has me laughing with something completely ridiculous that he says. And in the next moment he could be saying the sweetest thing to me. I also love how much Erik loves God. He keeps Him at the center of his life and always tries to honor Him in all things.
Erik’s favorite things about Liz are all related to how she keeps him on his toes and that life with her is never boring.
Liz always lets me be myself, even when it is hard. I love living a life of adventure with Liz and discovering new things about her and new things about myself through our relationship. When I am around her, I never want it to be the end of our time together; this despite the fact that we have our qualms like any couple and work across the hall from each other. For us, there is never such thing as a time I do not miss her. We share many of the aspects of life together, our love of God, our passion for family (I love raising Ryan and Amelia with her), a desire to be genuine and giving people, our excitement for new things, our comfort in old things and our passion for the youth.
All in all, she makes me a better person. Her kind heart, beautiful smile and thoughtful mind are things that I look forward to treasuring and discovering more about until the end of our days.
Erik proposed to Liz while they were visiting his brother Kyle in San Diego. While staying with them, Erik made plans to go to a restaurant overlooking the beach. It was Father’s Day and they wanted to give Kyle and his family some time alone. Liz and Erik wanted to finish their dinner so they would be able to walk along the beach during sunset and take in the romantic evening, but service was slow and it was looking like they’d probably miss that walk. While Liz was bummed, Erik was a little panicky.
I kept trying to tell him it was ok we could watch it from our table still and it would be just as nice. I wasn’t quite getting why he was so upset.
They ended up finishing dinner just in time to make it to the beach for the sunset.
We started walking around and taking pictures. There were these little tide pools with rocks around that we were standing on watching the sunset when all of a sudden Erik got down on one knee and proposed to me. I also did not know that Erik had planned to have his brother come and take pictures of him proposing either. It was truly one of the most romantic experiences of my life.
Liz was very surprised because she did not think he had a ring with him on the trip. It turns out Erik shipped it to his brother so that Liz wouldn’t find it!
We came home from the trip the next day and when my mom and the kids picked us up from the airport and we told them we were getting married Ryan began to cry hysterically because he was so happy. He just kept saying, “I am so happy I can’t believe this!” and had a huge smile on his face while crying. It was one of the sweetest moments and one I did not anticipate. I still wish I had videotaped telling him. Amelia had no idea what was going on, but loved looking at my ring and trying it on!
When it came time to find a place to celebrate their wedding, Liz and Erik were only looking at The Haight to use it for about an hour to have the ceremony.
When we went to go look at the space, we both fell in love. We just felt like we could have an intimate and fun time here; neither one of us wanted to have a wedding in a banquet hall, or something like that. We just wanted something where we would be able to enjoy the company of our guests to share in this special moment with us.
We just loved the vibe of The Haight and felt that we could still have an intimate wedding here and decided to do a full-blown wedding. We are so incredibly happy that we chose to have our wedding here and felt that everything was perfect!
The best part of the day for Liz was the ceremony and the time after with just Erik and the kids. The two of them took measures to make sure their day was very personalized.
We wanted our ceremony to reflect that not only Erik and I are making a commitment to one another with God, but a commitment to Ryan and Amelia too.
Erik and Liz wrote their own vows and on top of that, Erik wrote vows to Ryan, giving him a key chain, and Amelia, giving her a promise ring. The four of them put together a puzzle as a family instead of a unity candle.
After the ceremony we went back into the bridal suite the four of us and just had a moment together and Ryan began crying because he was so happy we were a family. It was very special to have those moments together the four of us. After that Erik and I left to go take pictures at our school and for the two of us to have that time just us between all the craziness was also very special to us because we were just uninterrupted.
For Erik, the best part of the day was all of it! If he had to pick a single moment, however, it would be when Liz and the kids started walking down the aisle.
I started bawling like a baby. It was a moment that struck me straight to my core and was a culmination of everything that I had been through in my life up to that point. It was a gift, just for me, and that moment, and its significance will never be replicated in my life ever again. It was perfect.
Liz’s advice for newly engaged couples would be to decide what you want and let your day be authentic to you as a couple.
I would also encourage couples to make sure you spend your wedding day together. Erik and I made it a point to make sure we were never apart for long on our wedding day. We wanted to soak in every moment of our wedding with each other and with our friends and family.