A Warm Afternoon in Boulder – Jessica Sebold
Couple’s Love Song: I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
It was a warm afternoon in Boulder, Colorado on the day Steve and I met – August of 2013. We were both students at the University of Colorado Boulder, pursuing music degrees at the time. I was playing music in the Vortex – a room named for the effect it had on music majors – when I should have been practicing my flute, I was drawn into the Vortex for it’s promise of relaxation and socialization, two things music majors never seemed to get enough of.
When Steve walked in, I immediately noticed him and felt suddenly very aware of myself, wondering if he was looking at me as he sat down. I pushed a lock of brown hair out of my face and took my single earbud out. He said hello, introduced himself, and for a few minutes we chatted about our day, just exchanging pleasantries. When he got up go leave, I wished he would have stayed longer.
A few days later, I had a notification on my phone from Facebook – Steve Vaughn has added you as a friend. I couldn’t understand why I felt so excited to see that little alert on my phone, but for the next days and weeks I looked forward to every message we exchanged.
Cooler weather rolled around and with the start of September, I learned that Steve had come down with a cold, and joked that it was too bad he didn’t have some nice girl to bring him chicken soup. He sent back a message – turns out he only would like a beautiful, flute-playing-brunette to bring him soup when he was sick.
Now, at this point, reflecting back on this exchange, it was pretty obvious that Steve was interested in me. However at the time, I was completely oblivious. During the next week of messaging back and forth, we were deep in discussion about how people make important decisions in their lives, Steve said ‘well, I usually listen to my gut when it comes to big decisions, and it’s telling me we should get lunch tomorrow.’ That lunch was our first date.
In between our first date and our engagement, we have shared so many happy memories. Steve works with my brass students at Gateway High School, who call him ‘Dad.’ Music is both of our passions and professions – we relish every chance to see a concert together or enjoy a night listening to music. I started my masters degree at Ithaca College and Steve began his doctorate at CU. Together we paid off all of our debts from college and signed on our first home together.
Flash forward to four years later, June of 2017. When I am not teaching high school band, our favorite pastime is enjoying the wonderful craft beer selection Colorado has to offer. Steve and my hands down favorite brewery is New Belgium, up in Fort Collins. We love it so much, we have even toured it. A lot. Eight times, to be exact.
We went on this eighth tour with big plans – we would camp that night at the Poudre River and white water raft the next day. Steve is a pretty quiet guy in a large group, so I was surprised to hear how many questions he had for our tour guide this time around the brewery. At our last stop, everyone was taking pictures of the facility, and Steve asked our tour guide, ‘Has anyone ever used the site as a wedding venue?’ The tour guide responded with yes, a few times.
‘What about engagements?’ Nope, no engagements. ‘Well…’ Steve placed one knee on the ground and took my hand. ‘I guess this is a first! Jessica – we have had so many adventures together over the last four years, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life adventuring – and drinking craft beer – with you! Will you marry me?’
After the proposal, we got to ride down a giant metal slide, enjoy plenty of free beer and congratulations, and finally head off for our weekend in the woods to celebrate as a newly-engaged, happy couple!