Rachael was in her last year of Family Medicine Residency, job-searching and planning to return to Boise for work after completing Residency in the following summer. Ryan had recently started a new job as a project manager at Bouten Construction and was in the process of purchasing a house. They both led busy lives without a lot of free time, but they were both ready to fall in love. They found each other on match.com and Ryan messaged Rachael first, referencing her love of skate skiing. The conversation flourished after that with many common interests. They soon decided to meet in person and Ryan recommended Iron Goat Brewing. Rachael had never been there before, but she definitely could appreciate a good microbrew. As she approached Iron Goat on that fall evening, she noticed a tall, lean, handsome strawberry-blonde with big blue eyes and a great smile. He warmly introduced himself and said that they might have to change their date location as it was trivia night and quite noisy in the brewery. They changed the plan and went to another small brewery instead. The conversation was easy and fluid, and Rachael was impressed with Ryan’s relaxed, laid-back, confident demeanor and loved how everything between them felt natural and right. Ryan was awestruck that he finally found a woman who was everything he desired and more- with intelligence, eagerness, kindness and beauty. On their second date they went on a beautiful fall hike, climbing for miles up to a peaceful lake in the foothills. They had several other dates in close succession and things took off quickly.
Rachael recalls being on-call for labor and delivery at the hospital, and trying to make a lunch date with Ryan. She ended up being a few minutes late to their date, wearing her glasses and scrubs and thinking, “well, if he doesn’t like me like this, then it just won’t work out”. He loved the scrubs and glasses.
Rachael went to Venezuela for a mission on cleft lip and palate a few weeks after they started dating. Ryan very graciously helped dog-sit for a few days and stayed at Rachael’s house. Once she returned from Venezuela (finally!) they never spent another night apart.
Their relationship continued extremely smoothly. They just understood each other; they were both on the same page, enjoying so many similar activities with their free time, and equally enjoying relaxing together. Things were uncomplicated between them and they were perfect together.
Ryan planned a proposal during their post-residency vacation to Belize. He decided to propose underwater while scuba diving, and Rachael had no idea he was planning this. The dive master eagerly helped him plan it out:
On their fifth dive, about 45 feet underwater on a sandy patch known as “The Garden”, Ryan picked up a conch shell with a laminated banner underneath it. The banner had been placed there moments prior by the dive master. Rachael initially thought this was a piece of trash, but to her surprise, Ryan unrolled the banner which read, in bold letters, “Will you marry me?” Responding verbally wasn’t an option but she nodded her head as bubbles rapidly flew out of her regulator, and made the “OK” symbol, reciprocated by Ryan. The dive instructor motioned for them to take out their regulators and kiss, which they did after a brief contemplation about their air supply. The dive resumed for about 20 minutes after this proposal with a beautiful wall of sea life and a large manta ray. They were greeted by the island’s resort staff who cheered as they got off the boat. The chef prepared fresh seafood that evening, and they sat under the palm trees enjoying an extremely memorable celebratory dinner together.