Brett and Jacki went on their first date on April 7, 2015, three days before Brett's birthday. Brett had messaged Jacki on OkCupid (yes, they're one of those online couples) commenting on Ohio State's superiority to strike up conversation, which of course worked because Jacki went into die-hard-Michigan-fan mode and responded immediately to refute him. They chatted for a while (well, Jacki was actually unknowingly mostly talking to Manju, Brett's best friend's wife, who was helping him craft witty messages) and the two hit it off right away. After clarifying that Brett did not go to Ohio State (because you better believe she never would have gone on on a date with him if he did! Brett insists otherwise), Jacki was intrigued and agreed to Brett's suggestion that they grab drinks at Canon, a famous whiskey bar in Seattle. Brett had taken her there to impress her: Canon has a swanky menu with an extensive list of whiskeys and fancy drinks that come out with elaborate presentation (e.g. dry ice, tea pots, blood bags). But, of course, Jacki stuck with drinking her go-to-drink, straight Jameson, a favorite from studying abroad at Trinity College. The date went really well - so well that they ended up staying for four hours. Jacki, always the planner, had ate dinner beforehand just in case, so she drank Brett under the table and went home to grade papers. Brett, taken off-guard by how much his date liked to talk and drink, ended up over-served at iHOP to eat as many pancakes as possible. The two went on some more dates - Jacki kept dragging her feet because she could tell this was going to be serious and she was in the middle of getting her PhD - but Brett was persistent (he even went to church for their second date!) and so dang lovable that Jacki couldn't resist him. By the time Brett's parents came to visit in May, Brett and Jacki decided to make things official. Over the next few years, they fell in love, became best friends, and decided they wanted to spend forever together. And so, three days before Jacki's birthday, on August 1, 2017, Brett took Jacki back to Canon for another date. Under the ruse that they were going to the Kendrick Lamar concert for her birthday present, Brett told Jacki to meet him at Canon for a drink before the concert. Jacki, per usual, got there ten minutes late to find Brett sitting at the bar, a few seats away from where they had their first date. She could tell something was up because Brett, oddly, did not get irritated about her tardiness and asked, "So, how was your day?" about three times in a row. Jacki chalked it up to him being excited about the concert and proceeded to try to enlist Brett's help in switching out her wobbly barstool, much to Brett's dismay, as he was hiding the ring box in the pocket of his shorts and didn't want Jacki to see it. After successfully navigating that obstacle, Jacki then unknowingly created another: she suggested that they get a different drink than their usual order, the "Transfusion," but Brett insisted. (Brett had worked it out with the bartender that Brett ordering the "Transfusion" would be his cue to suggest the drink that Brett had put on the menu for the two of them called "A Gentleman and a Scholar.") Thankfully, Jacki let Brett have his way, he ordered the "Transfusion," the bartender suggested "A Gentleman and a Scholar," and then a beautiful platter was brought out with the drink Brett had created: a bottle of Jameson Reserve, two crystal glasses, bitters, ginger syrup, ice, and - most importantly - a card entitled "The Scholar," which Brett had written for Jacki. Jacki read the card (and kept re-reading the card because she couldn't read Brett's handwriting, which made Brett super nervous) and then looked up at Brett, who blurted out something (that neither one of them can remember) about Jacki making him happy and how he wanted to stay happy, and then (this part they're sure of) Brett got down on one knee, pulled out the prettiest ring in the world, and asked Jacki to marry him. Jacki said yes. Very calmly. (Which also made Brett super nervous. But it was just because it was the easiest decision she ever made.) They hugged and kissed while the whole bar went wild. And, thankfully, Brett knew Jacki well enough to whisk her away immediately to the Fairmont so she could freak out and hyperventilate over the gravity of the situation and then they called their families, ate room service in their pajamas, and hung out with their (dog) daughter, Cameron Augusta. The next day, they flew back to Michigan (First Class! Thanks, Brett!) for a victory tour, celebrating with their families and friends. It was the perfect start for forever. We can't wait to celebrate our love with you in Detroit on 12.15.18!