Let's preface this by stating that Ella said she'd never date someone she worked with. Then came Ian, the import from Jersey to Madison, that cold January of 2017. The first few months were full of Ian's persistent attempts to coax Ella to the new mac and cheese restaurant, or the local whiskey bar. Ian was determined, kind and patient, which eventually ended up in Ella deciding to give this a shot. That first date in April developed quickly into us adopting our first pup and then that fall buying a house. It sure escalated, but we've always been pretty quick to make big and exciting decisions.
Two years after we started dating, we were lucky enough to get to take a trip to Ireland to visit Ella's sister, Gratia, who was teaching abroad. The whole family geared up for a two week trip traveling through the Maloney's home country. Ella had a feeling that Ian was thinking of proposing that year, but for some reason when he said he "was too broke" to buy a ring by the Ireland trip, she believed him. The trip started with a 5-day train and bus tour around the coast. Our day 5 stop was at the Cliffs of Moher - one we all were so excited to see. By this time, the whole family was in on what was going to happen at the Cliffs. Our bus driver let us know we would only be able to stop for an hour or so, so Ian knew he had to be quick. Ella is terrified of heights so she was content to get a few pictures from the visitors center and head back to the bus. Gratia and Ian were persistent in trying to get Ella to go for a walk beyond the visitors center, where there were no guard rails preventing us from plummeting to the rocks below (uh, no thanks). It took roughly 45 minutes of coaxing (and a lot of whining from Ella) to get to Ian's planned spot. Ella was still clueless and crabby. It took to about 10 feet to the spot before Ella knew what was happening. Ian had a photographer waiting as he got on one knee and Ella for forever.