I signed up for ChristianMingle with my best friend as she was ill in the hospital.  We were ready to jump into the dating world, but didn’t know how to best go about it. We both started messaging a few guys and went on some dates.  It was fun to talk to each other about our experiences on ChristianMingle.  However, very unexpectedly, my best friend passed away.  So, while I was turning to God and my family for healing during this tragic event, I let the dating world go for a while.  One day, I felt like I was ready to check my ChristianMingle account and BOOM, Dereck’s picture popped up on my page!  It was a picture of him and his dog, and I love dogs!  Dereck and I immediately started talking to each other on IM on June 14, 2012. When we were comfortable enough, we exchanged phone numbers!  The next morning, I texted him and then later that day he called me. We talked on the phone for about six hours!  We shared stories, laughed, etc.  He explained to me that he had just returned from a six month M.E.U (Marine Expeditionary Unit) in Okinawa, Japan and was visiting his parents in Texas.  I asked him when he would be coming home to California, and if he had a ride home from the airport.  He told me he would be coming home on Saturday and he didn’t have a ride set-up yet.  I offered to pick him up from the San Diego Airport, and he was thrilled!  That Saturday, I picked Dereck up from the airport and that is where we first met!  I met him at baggage claim and my eyes locked onto him immediately!  We hit it off so perfectly!  We had so much fun that we hung out the next day too!  I invited him to my house and he met my parents.  Both of my parents immediately thought he was a genuinely amazing man!  After hanging out all day, he drove back to San Diego so he could be back on his base for work the next morning. 

On June 22, 2012, he asked me to be his girlfriend.  For the next year, we alternated driving back and forth to each other’s house every weekend.  In June of 2013, we traveled to Virginia to visit his family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins). It was so much fun for me to meet all of them and they were so amazing! After a week in Virginia, we flew to Texas to visit his parents!  Dereck and I both love each other’s parents!  After we returned to California, Dereck and I finished preparing him to deploy to Afghanistan.  While he was in Afghanistan, he proposed to me via Skype on October 16, 2013!  It was such a sweet and perfect proposal!  The deployment went smoothly and we never missed a beat; we utilized all methods of communication.  I am so proud to be the fiancé of a United States Marine, who bravely protects our country!  Dereck returned from Afghanistan on January 30, 2014!  I will never forget his homecoming and seeing him walk off the plane.  I jumped into his arms and the feeling that he was home and safe will never be forgotten! 

Our love continues to grow for each other every day.  Having him home and planning our wedding is so fun, and it is such a special time in our lives!  Our wedding will take place in Huntington Beach on May 24, 2014!


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