We met for the first time five years ago when Carly was a junior in nursing school and Ryan was in his fifth year for his CPA. Carly and the pair’s mutual friend and bridesmaid, Vicki, were headed to the College Hill with a couple friends for a girls’ night. They ran into Ryan and his best friend and groomsmen, Garrett, sitting at the bar at Ginger’s. Vicki knew Garrett from accounting classes and Ryan interned under Vicki’s brother, Phillip. After Vicki introduced Carly to the two, Carly headed to the dance floor while Vicki stayed and talked. Carly remembers the night as Vicki talking the night away with Ryan and Garrett instead of hanging out with her. Naturally, Ryan doesn’t remember the night at all.
Throughout the years Ryan and Carly’s paths would cross through the occasional hang outs with the Eichenberger family. Ryan moved to Cedar Rapids after he graduated in 2016. Carly moved to the area in January 2017 after she graduated nursing school. May of 2017 was when the couple moved from being acquaintance. One night at Volley’s in Cedar Rapids Carly went to watch the Eichenbergers play volleyball and Ryan was on their team. Newly single, she remembers getting into the car with Vicki after the game and saying “Ryan is a lot cuter than I remember.” This led to Carly inviting Ryan out for some drinks one Saturday night neither of them had plans. Little did she know Ryan was going to ditch his friends in Des Moines and drive back to Cedar Rapids. The pair bar hopped around downtown, even getting told by a bachelorette that they were a cute couple. The entire night Carly and Vicki were texting trying to decide if the outing was a date. Later in the evening the couple shared their first kiss and Ryan asked Carly on a “real” date. To this day, we refer to this night as our half date. When later discussing what their intentions were Carly said she didn’t know if it was going to be the beginning of a friendship or something more. Ryan stated he never had intention of just being friends.
The couple started officially dating July 2nd, 2017. They moved in together May 2018 into an apartment in Coralville. On August 5th, 2019, Ryan bought them their first house together, which they currently still live in.
The week of March 16th, 2020 the couple had plans with two bridesmaids, Mariah and Nicolette, and their significant others to have a “progressive dinner” downtown Iowa City that Saturday. Unfortunately, this was the same week places started shutting down due to the COVID-19 virus. As a result, March 21st instead consisted of a game night at the Johnson household. After a competitive girls vs. boys game of Code Names, supper was ready. Carly got up to go grab some food the same time Ryan stepped into the living room and called her over. He started by saying, “everyone deserves to be happy, even in these crazy times.” That is when he got down on one knee and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him.