When we were kids, we had sleepovers where we would talk about the boys we liked, our dream weddings, and exactly what qualities we were looking for in a husband. That list looked something like, “Brown hair. Blue eyes. Really muscular. Loves Jesus.” Then we would write down all the names of the guys we knew who fit the list.
You may think I’m crazy, but my husband Jonathan was once on my list. However, I quickly crossed him off when I found out he was seeing someone at the time, and then he shaved his head so I was never adding him back. (Yes, really.)
Then we grew older and that list changed from physical qualities to character. (Example: I’m now married to a bald man, and he is one of the best things to ever happen to me.) Things became more serious when looking for a life partner when we started dating people. Suddenly those old lists didn’t matter anymore.
Rachel is one of my long time friends. We’ve known each other since maybe age 5? We were both homeschooled and attended the same church for most of our lives. Rachel and I even ended up at WCCC together for a year. After college, there were months that went by when we didn’t see each other, but that friendship was always there.
I found out she was job searching one day, and convinced her to apply at my Sheetz. It would be so fun to work together! My boss immediately hired her and I was able to train her! I remember one of those first days, where I was introducing her to people, and I said “This is Joe, our assistant manager. You don’t have to listen to anything he says.” (I’m really sarcastic at times.) She laughed, and I’ll just be honest, I had NO IDEA what was going to happen.
The Sheetz life is a big rumor mill. You hear things about coworkers on another shift, and you aren’t really sure if you believe it or not. Nevertheless, people talk. Someone asked me one day “So what’s going on with Joe and Rachel?” I was like, “Say what?” “Joe and Rachel are dating.” “Say what?”
Over the next few weeks, it became common knowledge. I was a little surprised. Out of all the people, I wouldn’t have picked those two to end up together. Let me tell you though, if there was ever a Sheetz couple that was meant to be, it was these two.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. Rachel and Joe dated for a few years. Of course, being a good Sheetz coworker, I constantly asked Joe when he was going to propose. (It’s my job.) He had a plan for when it would happen, it just wasn’t happening yet.
Rachel and Joe love the city of Pittsburgh. They frequently went to pirates games, steelers games, and had dinner at many of the amazing downtown restaurants. They even went out on the gateway clipper a few times. It was only fitting that Joe would pick the city to propose.
It was a stormy July day. They had dinner reservations at The Le Mont up on Mount Washington. They dressed up in their finest outfits and drove into the city. Rachel took one look at the menu and said “This is so expensive! How can we afford to eat here?” Joe said “Yeah, I know. But it’s worth it.” They ate their luxurious meals and ordered dessert. By now, it was pouring down rain outside. They paid the valet and got in the car. Joe drove a few blocks up to the Mount Washington Overlook. Rachel was confused as she thought they were just going home since it was raining. But Joe said “Let’s get out!” He pulled out his umbrella and they ran out to see the beautiful city. In the pouring rain while holding the umbrella above their heads, Joe got down on one knee and asked Rachel to be his forever. Newsflash: SHE SAID YES!
I was so happy for them! Then Rachel came over later that week and asked me to be their photographer!
We went back up to Mount Washington for their engagement photos, last October. It was raining that day as well, but they didn’t mind. We took some photos at the overlook, and in front of the Le Mont. Then we made a drive back down the mountain and into the city for a change of clothes and more photos at Point State Park! It was so beautiful out. The leaves on the trees were just starting to turn. We walked from the parking garage in the pouring rain to the fountain. On the way, we found a beautiful orange tree which we stopped at for quite a while. Then as we walked over to the fountain, the steeler game was just letting out. People were making their way back to their cars, and the gateway clipper ferry was transporting people across the river. It was perfect timing! Those photos are my absolute favorite as it perfectly shows off life in the city of Pittsburgh.
Rachel and Joe got to practice their dancing with “Dance Lessons by Ellen.” It was so much fun to see how in love they are.
They are getting married this Saturday at Stratigo’s Banquet Centre in North Huntingdon! I am so excited to have such a big part in their special day. It’s looking like rain again, but I’m sure these two won’t mind.
I can’t wait! Enjoy their photos!