Celebrating the Fourth: Our Love Story from Both Perspectives

In light of my husband and my wedding anniversary being on July 3rd, I thought it might be fun to share our meet-cute story. It is one of fairytales and butterflies where the stars aligned in the craziest way for us. People always tell us it’s a story out of a movie so instead of reading your regular romantic novel, here you go! I have to admit, we both wrote these down a while ago to remember how it happened, but it was so casual and jumbled I had to use AI to “improve our writing”. So the story is from us and the sentences are fluffed by AI. Either way, I hope you enjoy and are inspired by love. I love my husband to the moon and back. He is my best friend, my safe place, and my biggest fan. I’m so thankful he has supported me so deeply on my journey of becoming a photographer, his wife, and now mother.

Lauren Case and Connor Case, how we met and fell in love

HOW LAUREN FELT AT FIRST SIGHT

The day I met you, I was with the family I was staying with. They mentioned going to a dinner and invited me along. Hoping for some fun, good food, and interesting people, I decided to join them. We carpooled with an amazing family who told me we’d be stopping at someone’s house from their Bible study group.

We arrived at Stacy’s house, and as I walked in, I scanned the room, noticing several families. Then, I saw you standing outside with a few other boys. Unsure of your age but finding you super cute, I thought to myself, “Just my luck if he’s 19 and super hot, and I make an effort only to find out he’s younger or not my type.” To avoid potential awkwardness, I instinctively decided to steer clear of you.

After being introduced, I ended up chatting with your mom for about 30 minutes. She was so kind and reminded me a lot of my own mother. Talking with your family felt incredibly comfortable, especially since you were all from Michigan.

After avoiding you for most of the evening, I learned we were leaving, and I felt disappointed that I hadn’t talked to you. I hoped we’d return to pick up the younger boy, giving me another chance to muster the courage to speak with you.

We went to dinner, but then I discovered we wouldn’t be going back to pick up the little boy. I was so bummed. In my head, I thought, “Just another lesson for Lauren—should’ve said something sooner.”

Of course, just as I was about to put on my pajamas after returning from dinner, Susan Bush called my name from a few rooms away, shouting for me to come quickly and exclaiming, “You won’t believe it!” For the next ten minutes, she explained how the cute boy at the house had asked his aunt if I could come back because he thought I was cute and wanted to talk to me. His aunt then called Susan to relay that his mom had never seen him so taken with a girl before, and that I needed to come back.

I was so nervous that my hands were shaking, and I hadn’t even decided to go back yet. Susan and Blaine spent the next fifteen minutes with me, debating whether it would be weird for me to return. Susan practically threw their car keys at me, insisting I go back. Ultimately, the decision was made for me to go, even though Susan and Blaine were going to bed and I would be returning alone. I was freaking out—no guy had ever done something like this for me before, and I felt immense pressure, with my heart pounding in my chest.

Driving back was a challenge, as my hands were sweating and I thought I might have a heart attack. I did breathing exercises in the car to calm myself before going inside; I didn’t want to be heaving when I arrived, as that wouldn’t make a great first impression. When I finally knocked on the door, no one heard me at first because everyone was in the middle room. I couldn’t believe what I was doing, considering I had only met these people that day and they all knew why I was coming back. AH!

I stood at the door for a few minutes, hoping someone would walk by. Finally, your uncle passed by and opened the door. I walked in and immediately greeted the dog, which felt most comfortable to me. Hahaha. Your aunt Stacy then grabbed me by the arm and almost dragged me to you, essentially saying, “Here you go.” We shook hands for the second time, and you had this grim smile on your face that I still remember.

We then went to play shuffleboard for three hours, chatting about everything under the sun. I can’t believe we talked for so long! My contact for you in my phone is still “guy I destroyed in shuffleboard” 🙂

You were so nice and calm, and I felt at ease talking to you—it was different from anything I’d experienced before. Having just gone on the worst date of my life a couple of nights prior, I was super nervous about being in a similar situation. I didn’t want a repeat of that, but I had a good feeling about you. At the end of the night, I knew I had to get your number, so I put it in your phone and hoped you would text me when you got back. I just wanted to talk to you more. When you did, I was so happy.

We quickly decided to hang out the next day and drove an hour to meet your family at a bar to watch the Michigan basketball game. LOL at my directions, though—I accidentally drove to a bar an hour out of the way and had to drive an extra hour to get to the right place. Oh well, it was worth it! I listened to music and enjoyed the drive. The bar was so fun, and your family was so nice. I loved sharing a pizza with your mom and tasting beers with you. Walking around the shops with you and your mom felt so normal.

You had been a bit shy the previous nights, but I felt a strong urge to get to know you better, almost like my heart knew there was more to discover about you. When your aunt asked how long we had been dating and your mom said, “uhhhh 7 HOURS,” it was hilarious. Your grandma was so nice, and we talked about living abroad.

After that, we went to your uncle’s house and played Euchre for about an hour. I ate so many lemon bars, probably enough to equal my own weight—they were SO GOOD! I wanted to kiss you when we were alone with the dog before everyone arrived. It was adorable seeing you play with the dog, as I’m a huge sucker for them. Lincoln was adorable, and it was so fun.

I was sad to leave for plans with my friend Megan, but I knew we’d talk or see each other again. The next day, my car was having issues, and since it was Easter, I decided to stay another night. Not solely because there was a chance to see you again… well, maybe partially 🙂

I was so nervous, but having nothing to lose, I asked if you wanted to meet up before you drove back to base. I kept thinking I had to see you again before you left. When you said yes, I couldn’t have been happier. The nerves started all over again, but this time, they were more comfortable than shaky.

You had me meet you a bit farther away since the first location seemed a little sketchy. We met up and walked for hours on the beach in Long Beach, talking and listening to the eerie sounds of squeaky boats. I really, really liked you. Every time you used the exercise equipment along the path, I was in awe of your strength and thought, “Can you do that like 50 more times while I sit here, be weird, and watch?” I was so attracted to you and wanted to kiss you badly but was nervous because I wanted to ensure it was real. As much as I wanted to, I’m glad you didn’t because it showed me that you cared about my personality, and the physical part didn’t matter as much. My heart was over the moon that night, and I didn’t want it to end. I’m pretty sure I rambled about many things just to prolong the moment. I also got super nervous driving away because our cars were next to each other, and I almost hit someone, making my heart race. Saying goodbye was so awkward; I kept saying, “Soooo yeah! Haha…. Yeah. Okay, well uhhh… yeah!! Talk to you soon? Haha okay, sounds good. Yeah. Okay, yeah.” Afterward, I thought, “For sure, he thinks I’m crazy and super awkward, great.” But apparently, not too much, because look where we are now!

Lauren Case and Connor Case, how we met and fell in love
Our first baby came on 10/10/23!

WHEN CONNOR FELL IN LOVE

The first time I saw you was at my Aunt Stacy’s house during a family gathering. I was quite excited since it was the first time that side of my family had gathered in a long while. A few hours in, my aunt’s friend came over to say hello, bringing along Lauren (you) for spring break. I instantly thought, “Oh man, I hope she isn’t one of my cousins.” You wore a white off-the-shoulder top and jeans, and I was immediately drawn to the tattoo of three birds on your shoulder and your stunning blue eyes. I knew I had to talk to you.

Unfortunately, I was caught up in a conversation when I heard you were leaving for dinner with family friends. I was slightly devastated. About twenty minutes after you left, a few beers and a margarita later, I asked my Aunt Stacy to text the person you were staying with and tell her I thought you were super pretty and wanted you to come back. Luckily, the moms coordinated, and soon you were back at her house.

I was pretty nervous because I hadn’t planned that far ahead. “Oh shit, now I have to actually talk to her,” I thought. Fortunately, I had a lot of liquid courage. We played a game of shuffleboard while asking each other questions, and I learned you were a senior in college at St. Mary’s near San Francisco. We got along well, making each other laugh.

The night ended, and we headed back to my uncle’s place. Luckily, I got your number and invited you to watch the U of M Final Four game the next day. You ended up driving to the wrong Rock ‘n’ Brew, about an hour away, but you finally made it. We had drinks, ate food, and watched some good basketball. You met my family, who really liked you. Later, you, my mom, and I wandered around shops before heading back to the restaurant. We then drove back to my uncle’s and played with Lincoln. You taught our family to play euchre, and we indulged in lemon bars. The entire night, I had this warm, fuzzy feeling in my chest. I could be myself around you, and you laughed at all my bad jokes. You were so pretty, and I couldn’t believe you took the time to hang out with a goofy guy like me and my family.

Apparently, you had plans with your friend and had to leave early. I was super bummed because I had to leave for work the next day. You were so pretty, nice, and easygoing. It was super fun hanging out with you, and I really wanted to get to know you better.

The next day, as I was on my way back to work, you sent me a Snapchat saying I should come down and hang out for a bit. (Side note: I am a very schedule-based person and have been for a long time. My schedule said I would get back at 9 PM to do laundry and clean my room.) I pulled over immediately and drove to Long Beach. I was dressed like a bum and worried you’d judge, but we ended up walking around the docks in Long Beach until late at night, hitting up little workout stations along the path, walking the beach, and talking about each other’s lives.

I really wanted to hold your hand as we walked and kiss you under the moonlight, but a part of me is glad I didn’t because I got to know you very well in those few hours. I still couldn’t believe this gorgeous girl wanted to hang out with me late on a Sunday night. I ended up getting to my room at 3:30 in the morning, and I was so happy—no regrets.

Lauren Case and Connor Case, how we met and fell in love

I love you, Connor. May our story be passed down for generations to come. Happy anniversary my love!

imagery by Lauren Case | site design by foil & Ink