Love Story Winners

First off, I just have to thank each and every one of our enteries. Dani and I loved reading your love stories. They made us laugh, cry, and cheer on the power of love. It was such an incredibly hard job choosing a winner. We finally had to enlist the help of a panel of judges to make the decision with us. We just wanted everyone to win. We totally appreciate the response to our contest!


we would like to introduce the winners:

Mariah and Gabe

here is there story, we hope you all enjoy it as much as we did:



I love you…I mean you’re wonderful.


I love it when people ask us how we met; it is truly my favorite story to tell. Gabe knows how much I enjoy talking about our first few weeks so he usually just lets out a bit of a chuckle and gives me the nod to go ahead. It is not that there are extraordinary events to recall or even a magical first encounter; it is just the simplicity of it all and the fact that I fell so hopelessly in love so gosh darn fast.


(Friday night)

It was my second week of college, his second year. He came strutting into the lobby of Beckman dorms looking from some “hot” freshman girls to invite to a party. I was talking to the “hot” wrestler R.A. on duty and who just happened to be one of Gabe’s friends. He came up to us and asked me if I wanted to go to a party. I told him I was just picking up pizza for my friends back up on the fourth floor but maybe after that. Truly, I had no intention of attending a party with a random college boy I didn’t even know. Well, I had some pizza and was in my room brushing my teeth when I get a knock on the door and Gabe asking me if I was ready to go. I really couldn’t believe it. At first I thought, how the heck did he find me, but then I noticed how cute he was and I stopped caring about his stalker-ish qualities. Then when we got to the parking lot and he opened the door to his cool looking old Ford Bronco my stomach did a little flip. So now not only was he cute but he also owned a cool truck. I was infatuated that first night and the poor fool had no idea what kind of girl he had just picked up.


(The party ended up not being that fun but there were a lot of other cute guys there and maybe that is why Gabe ended up asking me if I wanted to leave early to go watch a movie. We spent the rest of the night talking and then Gabe walked me back to my dorm.)

(Saturday morning)

The next morning I woke up on a mission. I knew Gabe would be going to the football game that day and I wanted to see him again. I couldn’t remember his last name and didn’t have a phone number so to avoid looking desperate or stalker-ish, I decided to play it cool and searched the campus directory for this freshman guy I had met the night before and asked him if he wanted to go to the game. I ended up going with this guy Manuel. I really am not the kind of person who uses people but I have come to see that I did in fact use poor Manny to get to the game, sit with the wrestlers and anticipate Gabe’s arrival. Although, Gabe did not show up until after half-time I will never forget his arrival. The poor guy had been shaving and nicked himself a good three or four times. He had little pieces of toilet paper stuck all over his face and hadn’t gotten around to taking them off. I felt so bad for him but I couldn’t help laughing.

(It was that small little incident that started to show me his true character. Needless to say, I ended up leaving the game with Gabe. )


(Sunday evening)

Sadly enough, I spent the afternoon planning my wedding with my new college girl friends and agonizing over whether or not he would call. It was about 5:00 o’clock when he did. He asked if I needed to get any groceries because he was heading to Walmart. I quickly made up a list of much needed items and said I would love the ride. We had a nice time shopping; I picked up some lotion, Dum-Dum suckers and chocolate chips. He apparently needed bottled water and chips.


(Although it may seem obvious to you that we both made up our lists, it took us two years to reveal the truth to each other.)


(Wednesday night)

Another party and our first kiss, WOW J


(One week later…)

Gabe was over at my dorm hanging out and we were snuggled up on my roommates couch when the following scene took place.


Gabe: “Mariah, I just want to let you know that I really like you.”

Mariah: “I love you… I mean you’re wonderful.” (hug and change subject)


(Gabe pretended he didn’t hear and he did admit later that he was pretty freaked out but my charm was inescapable and three weeks later he revealed his love.)

We ended up dating for six years so there was no need for a long engagement. Besides having another chance to tell our “how we met story”, the real reason we would love to have this photo session is: (1) a four month engagement didn’t give us time to have engagement photos taken (2) and although we decided to go with a photo booth instead of a photographer at our wedding, some professional photos taken by you two would truly be a gift we would always treasure.



Again, we want to thank ALL of our enteries. The time you took to send us your stories made us smile. You all rock!