Our Epic Wedding

Love is patient


Dean Hoover


Janice Ryan


March 18, 2023

Grand Prairie, TX

Our Story

We met in the summer of 2008 in Oceanside, CA on September 2, 2008. We had been chatting online for about a month before we decided to meet for our first date. He picked me up at my apartment that I shared with Lisa. She got to meet him before we went on our way. We drove around and went to the beach and talked and talked all night. It was a nice first date. Dean had recently been laid off from his job when we met. A month later, I would be laid off from my job as well. What were two unemployed people to do with all this free time?! We decided to take a trip and meander up the California coast heading north. Along the way, we stopped to visit Mimi and her family in Clearlake. We had a great visit with Mimi and her family, then kept heading north. We ended up in Eureka, CA just on the border to Oregon and while having dinner at an Applebee’s some guy announced to the restaurant that his company was demolishing a Mervyn’s department store just down the street and needed some help. Dean met with the man and we stayed in Eureka for a few more days to earn a little cash on our trip. We made our way home afterwards and saw some fun places, ate some good food, and stood around some really giant trees, too. In late 2010, we made the decision to move in together and share expenses. We got really lucky and found a great 2bedroom/1bathroom apartment (1100 sq ft) with a one-car garage with laundry space and one covered parking space for $1100.00. We traveled together close to home, had a lot of fun trips to Vegas, and even managed a trip to Hawaii to visit with my brother. Mom joined us a few days later in Hawaii and we spent time all over Maui and Oahu. Sometime in 2014, we started to look for a home but we were outpriced. We talked with Mom to see if she wanted to move in with us or look for a home together, but we were still outpriced. At the time my work had a few satellite offices - Colorado, Texas and I can’t remember the other location. We thought Colorado would be too cold for us, so we thought we might find a nice home in Texas. We decided to take a vacation together and travel to Texas and see if we liked it and look at a few homes while we were there. We looked at over 40 homes in a few days. We had our top three picked, so Mom and Dean told me to choose the house we would place an offer with. A home in Irving a few miles from my work, a home in Duncanville, and a home in Grand Prairie. I chose the Grand Prairie home, the offer was accepted, and the day we had the home inspection, we headed home because Mom had received an offer on her home to close quickly in a few days. We helped Mom get moved out of her house and into our apartment while we waited for our closing. The greatest news from the purchase of the home was the appraiser appraised the home for around $20,000 less than the listing price, so we negotiated a bit and got a much better deal on our home. We moved into our new home as a new family in August 2014.

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We rescued our first dog, Apollo, in May 2015 when he was about 2 years old. He’s a mix of Lab and Rottweiler or Pitbull mix; the adoption center was not sure. In January 2016, we rescued our second dog, Pebbles, when she was about 4 months old. She’s a mix of Husky and German Shepherd according to the adoption center. In February 2016, we rescued our third dog, Jasmine, when she was around a year old. She’s a Husky according to the adoption center. We have been blessed with these dogs as they are full of love and for the most part are well-behaved and lucky that they are not bothered by thunderstorms or fireworks. Our two girls no longer get along in the same shared space, so we do keep them separated to avoid any fighting between them. We have also cared for parakeets in one of our sheds turned into a giant birdhouse. At one point we had around 13 parakeets freely flying and living a great life in the big birdhouse. We started mysteriously losing our parakeets and we don’t know what was getting into the birdhouse, but we saved around half of our birds and kept them in a big birdcage that we keep in the house or bring outside in nice weather. Currently, we are now down to 2 as others have died of old age. Living together in Grand Prairie has been fun. We’ve meandered around the neighboring cities together on day trips and enjoyed the sites. We have had a membership at Six Flags Over Texas a couple of times over the years and enjoyed the rides and food there. We’ve driven back to California several times for family events. We had a couple great big roadtrips. One to Tennessee to visit my brother and his girlfriend at the time (they are married now), and the other to Florida where we spent time at DisneyWorld and Universal Studios and also got to visit with Lisa. We’ve had some scary moments along the way, too. Mom had a couple of heart attacks and on a trip to the Philippines, she had her gallbladder removed along with a gallstone the size of a golf ball. Sometime in the late 2010s, maybe 2016 or 2017, I went to the Urgent Care for having trouble breathing just walking a short distance. They told me to go directly to the ER due to an enlarged heart and high blood pressure. I was admitted to the ER and after a few days in the hospital, I was released with blood pressure medication. I was never given a diagnosis, but there was paperwork for congenital heart disease. In 2018, just after our 10 year anniversary, Dean was having pain in his chest, so we took him to the ER and he was treated for blockages in the arteries to his heart. In September 2021, Dean was having trouble with no bowel movements for five days. We took him to the ER and after some tests, they found a tumor in his colon, which was causing the blockage. At the ER, they performed a colostomy and he had to wear an ostomy bag into the new year. In March 2022, they reversed the colostomy, and he started his chemotherapy. After 7 treatments and a colonoscopy, they did not find any measurement of the cancer. In June 2022, I was diagnosed with type2 diabetes, and placed back on the high blood pressure medication, too. We are all working to make better habits to continue to keep having fun and make new memories.

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Dean surprised me this year when he started talking about marriage in our future. It had been my hope that he would change his mind on that topic and after 14 years together he did. When he seemed more serious about it, we went ring shopping one day. It was pretty neat and a little overwhelming, too (costs and selection). A few months later, we tried ring shopping again and we found rings we liked. It would take another month or two to have them made and ready for pickup. Well, I told Dean he had to be the one to pick them up, so he can properly propose to me. He agreed with that. I then asked him on our way home when he was going to tell his family that we would get married. He said he wasn’t going to tell them until I picked a date. I told him I didn’t want to pick a date until he proposed to me. Well, knowing that we were a few months away from getting the rings and he didn’t want to wait very long to get married, I picked a few dates and we landed on March 18, 2023. That day, he called his family and let them know and everyone said “Finally!” or “It’s about time!” It was funny to hear him get all the teasing. Not that my friends didn’t say it either, but it was all on him for sure. On December 21, 2022, Dean took Mom and I out to dinner and then suggested a walk around the pond where the City had decorated for the holidays. As we made our way to a cluster of decorated trees, one being large enough to walk through, Dean got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Mom captured the moment for us. He had been asking me to go walk around the pond with him earlier in the week and I didn’t want to go for a late night walk in the cold. So, I delayed his plans I guess unknowingly, but we are now officially engaged! We cannot wait to be married and see what the next chapter in our lives brings us!

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