Michael & John

An adventure 18 years in the making!


John Steeby


Michael Cristancho

October 28, 2023

Pine, CO

How we met

Who knew a casual introduction would lead to marriage....18 years later!

I met John at a bar in Chicago where I was working. A co-worker pointed out John and said to me "what a good looking man". Minutes later, John was in line to order a drink and I whispered to my co-worker "I got this". John ordered a beer and I offered a shot to accompany his beverage. We had a small chat and John ordered two more beers from me throughout the night. He ended up writing his phone number on a napkin (I still have it). Our first date was the Friday after Thanksgiving; we watched a movie (who does that on a first date?) and really didn't get a chance to know anything about each other. It was a cold, rainy evening and back in 2004 Uber did not exist and our luck, no taxi available. We walked about a mile when finally a taxi drove by. Our second date was much better! Dinner at Caromio, our favorite Italian restaurant in Chicago. And as the saying goes, the rest is history!

Our Engagement

We know, it took long enough.

It was an unforgettable trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. We spent the time Hiking, snorkeling and taking in the incredible scenery at every turn. I spent the entire time with the ring in my backpack just waiting for the right moment and feeling anxious the entire time. A local bartender told us of a hiking path that only the locals knew about. We ventured out and it was hot, humid, muddy and perfect. The end of the path opened up to a gorgeous secluded cove filled with sea turtles lounging about. I knew THIS was the spot. The only other people were a young local couple. I ran over and told them I planned on proposing and if they would snap a couple pics. They were kind enough to distract Michael long enough for me to rummage around in the backpack for the ring. The next thing you know, Michael turns around completely stunned. I had the privilege of asking the man I've loved for so long to be my husband. We are so excited for our big day and to share it with family and friends that have been with us all through the years.