Hi, we’re Dan and Emily Purcell! Thank you for reading our blog. As the first post on the blog for Get Your Marriage On!, we want to introduce ourselves.

Our story of coming together was unexpected and serendipitous. And a big blessing from heaven.

Emily and I met in middle school. She is very cute, beautiful, confident, had a great circle of friends, smart, and talented. Because we lived relatively close to each other and hung out with a similar crowd of mutual friends, we got to know each other pretty well in high school. We even went on a few of the dance dates together, but never dated seriously back then.

Fast forward a few years after high school. I returned to college for my sophomore year after taking a break for two years serving as a voluntary missionary for my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in Japan. This mission experience strengthened me in many areas. I grew to love the Lord and the people of Japan, and not a day goes by I don’t find some blessing from that service.

As that sophomore year came to a close, many of my summer plans fell through. My default plan was to go back home for the summer and hopefully find a job. It didn’t seem nearly as exciting what my other friends were doing — internships, studies abroad, and the like. 

Emily had a similar experience as her Junior year came to a close. Her summer plans fell through too, so she went back to her “unexciting” default plan: go home and hopefully find a job.

And oh how wrong we were — it turned out to be the most exciting summer of our lives yet!

Our first Sunday back in town, we met at a church function for young single adults in our area. Seeing a familiar face among strangers was really encouraging. We didn’t expect to see each other there. And as Emily had just gotten out of a relationship and had sworn off dating for a while, and I too was tired of the dating game, we both didn’t expect a lot out of each other besides just being friends. 

It’s just that we spent nearly every day that summer together! Emily quickly became my best friend (a very sexy and cute best friend too, might I add). Our friendship deepened and romantic love began to blossom. By the end of the summer we were engaged to be married. We were married the day after Thanksgiving in 2003.

Six children, a few house moves, career changes, and many ups and downs later, we’re happier together now than we’ve ever been. In my next post, I’ll share the unusual circumstances on how we got into the strengthening marriage space.

Read Part 2.

What’s your story? How did you meet your spouse? Share in the comments.