we first met on august 14th, 2010 at a to write love on her arms gathering at the dodd farm in cocoa, florida, when we were beginning work there as interns for the non-profit. i was diving in without really knowing anyone, and kraig was wearing nerd glasses. we became insanely close – working side by side, responding to difficult emails, and he played a lot of jokes on me at the office. our nights were spent doing nearly everything together – grocery shopping, going to the ocean, going for longboard + bike rides along the inlet and spotting porpoises, and hanging out in the intern house, the bungalow. we talked about everything and shared stories we didn’t share with anyone. we played and played and were side by side in all things.
but neither of us ever thought we would date. kraig finished his year of intentionally not dating while we were in florida, but he was girl-crazy, and i had my crushes. he was from alberta, and she from michigan, and we both just assumed it would never happen, not to mention twloha has a strict no-dating policy.
leaving each other in florida was way harder than we could have thought. it felt wrong, our hearts ached, and it was different than leaving any other friend… we kept in touch with skype dates and instant messenger, and six months later, in may, kraig was on tour with his band the red threat, and asked me if his band and him could crash at my house in clarkston, michigan. i said yes, with so much excitement and joy to see my good friend. It was as if nothing changed, and we thoroughly enjoyed those couple days together in michigan. the last night, we stayed up late talking, and we both knew it was clear we weren’t just friends.
kraig left for ontario, and i decided that i had one chance in the near future to see him again and to discuss if maybe we were more than close friends. so i drove to ontario a couple weeks later, and it became clear that there were feelings on both ends. we talked about it, and left ontario with no decisions made. after a difficult and exciting few days, we decided to officially go forth and explore this new aspect of our relationship, and we began dating during a phone call on may 18th, 2011.
the next three months of dating long-distance consisted of us going from skype date to skype date and then kraig being at camp and me nannying and waiting in anticipation for the next phone call.
we eventually saw each other for the first time as a dating couple in august 2011, when kraig came for my birthday.
we spent september-october 2011 together, exploring alberta for my first time and meeting much of kraig’s friends and family. we went to banff, waterton nat’l. park with nana and papa, and i got to see countless important places of kraig’s life – from the coronation dance studio to avenue theatre.
kraig was able to stay at my house with her family in clarkston for january-february 2012, and in this time, we adopted our kitten son, banjo. kraig also had some good QT getting to know my family and a michigan winter.
i got to go to alberta for a week in april 2012, joining kraig and the red threat on tour. on the third night of being there, we had our first chance to have some time the two of us, and while all i wanted to do was have some DQ and a movie on a laptop, kraig had other plans. we left ty’s house for dinner because kraig had made reservations, claiming to be a “reservations guy,” which we all know just isn’t true. =] he took me to a delicious, vegetarian-friendly Indian place off whyte ave in edmonton, and we enjoyed our food and our time together, catching up on tour and life in the past week. honestly, i have a pretty awful sense of direction, but on the way back to his car, i asked if his car might be in the other direction, and he quickly discarded that idea. we walked across the street toward a white gazebo, and i thought i saw our friend evan from the red threat playing his guitar. then i saw brent, and then knew exactly what was going on when i saw tyson. the proposal was about to happen. !!! we walked into the gazebo and they opened up into an arc, playing “home” by edward sharpe and the magnetic zeroes, which has the lyrics, “home is wherever i’m with you.” we held hands and swayed to the song, and then kraig got down on one knee and said, “lauren shahly, will you marry me?” to which i said, “yessss,” of course!! he put the ring on my finger – a perfect, art deco ring from etsy, and we went across the street for blueberry beers with our red threat friends and began sharing the joyful news. =]