Bjorn and I officially met during sophomore year at Bethel University in St. Paul, although we technically had a class together freshman year! During our second year at Bethel, my roommates became friends with his roommates. Since we all lived in the same big dorm, we girls often found ourselves upstairs in “the guys’ room” for movie nights and game nights! I thought he sure was handsome – and funny – but that was about it. For then.

He and I became close friends because our schedules happened to overlap sophomore year. Every Tuesday/Thursday, I’d be content to eat lunch alone in the Dining Center until… one day, that guy Bjorn walked up and asked if he could eat with me. We enjoyed our chat so much! That was the first of many fun lunches together! We had great, long conversations talking about all sorts of things, and we’d walk back to our dorm together afterwards.

We stayed in touch that summer and when junior year rolled around, we spent more time together. More lunches, more grocery store runs, more coffee, more chats in between classes… Before I knew it, he had easily become my best friend. It was truly like we’d known each other our whole lives! He made me nervous in a heart-fluttery way – yet I felt so comfortable around him! This was quite different from the couple high school boyfriends I had had. We went “just as friends” to Bethel’s guys-ask-girls event called Gadkin that November…although I was beginning to admit to myself (and eventually to persistent friends) that I may have a pretty serious crush on him.


Well, it turns out, he had liked me for quite some time! I suppose he had hinted of his interest but I never really let myself believe it. One evening in December, we were walking up to the house he shared with “the guys” for a game night with friends, and he paused, said “Han, c’mere,” and grabbed me and kissed me. It was out of character for us to be so spontaneous, but it was darn romantic AND just plain felt right – like a scene out of a movie! 🙂 We decided very shortly thereafter to start dating. 🙂

I studied abroad that January and we managed to stay in touch via Skype while I was in Cambodia. The summer after junior year was a blast – I spent several weekends down in southern MN getting to know and love his family, and he also spent some weekends up near the Twin Cities with mine.

Senior year at Bethel brought its challenges with student teaching (for both of us) and more, but Bjorn was an incredible steady constant in my life when it got crazy. We have many fond memories of making dinner together (he made it for me more times than not!) and even grading papers together. 🙂

Bjorn proposed on a Tuesday night during my last week of student teaching in college! That’s a whole other story in itself.


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We were engaged for about 10 months and were crazy enough to plan a wedding during our first year of teaching!!

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We were married during the school year – March 29, 2014. And here we are, happily married to our best friend – a dream come true. Crazy how time flies!!


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So apparently Hannah and I had a history class together when we were freshmen, but I don’t remember being in class with her. I think it has something to do with the fact that I used to sit in the front of the class and the professor will attest to the fact that I was the only person who discussed things in the entire class (that’s the nice way of saying I was a know-it-all). Because of Hannah’s lack of participation in class I did not know about her until one night the beginning of sophomore year when she and a couple of her roommates came into my room at Lissner. I attribute most of our introduction to luck in the fact that my roommate Josh was interested in Hannah’s roommate Lauren. So technically those two are what brought us together (but don’t tell them that). 🙂

I’d like to believe it was love at first sight, but being that we had been in a class together already and I was too preoccupied playing Xbox, that was not the case. For the next couple weeks we knew of each other but we were not what I would define as “friends.”

At the beginning of second semester sophomore year, Hannah and I were lucky once again and this time it was because she had been allowed into a ballet class that was already full. The teacher was nice enough to say that one more student wouldn’t be a problem. Because of ballet, (no I was not in that class) Hannah and I both ended up having classes that got out at the same time (note: not the same one) – 11:20 I believe, which is what many Americans define as lunchtime. As I walked into the Dining Center and looked around, I saw Hannah. In an effort to not eat lunch alone I asked her if I could eat with her. She said of course and we began eating lunch together every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:20 until we were finished, which many times drew into the 1-1:30 time frame.


We talked about everything from our hopes to our dreams and surprisingly they were very similar. Over time we got to know each other more and more and by the end of the year we were close friends. We left school and then we started texting a ton over the break. By the new school year we were best friends and it wasn’t long until one night in December we were about to go into my house and for some reason I just grabbed her and kissed her right there on the porch. I’m lucky she didn’t freak out. Turns out we had both been feeling the same way for some time.

That’s how it began, if you are looking for the whole story then ask Hannah, and/or read the above post.

And the rest is what we social studies teachers like to call “history.”



Hannah Elise Photography