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Christie and Derek at Disney World     Christie and Derek will have been together for just over a year when they get married on June 25, but it didn't take long for them to realize that they belonged together. The couple has the internet to thank for bringing them together as they met through the dating site eHarmony. Christie was only on the site for a week when she noticed a match for an incredibly handsome man named Derek. Derek couldn't stop looking at the smiling face from this new contact and the two of them were quickly exchanging emails. It took under a week for those emails to turn into a first date and the couple met for the first time for brunch at Egg Harbor in Naperville on Sunday, January 24, 2010. From there the two saw each other every week. They saw the stars of Back to the Future (sans Michael J. Fox) at a screening of the movie in February, spent a weekend in Madison during March, went to the NCAA Championship game between Duke and Butler in April, traveled to Champaign so Derek could run the Illinois Marathon in May, and did lots of running over the summer from cross country Endurance Camp to the Quad City Bix 7-mile run at the end of July. There was also a trip to San Diego in there and that doesn't even mention the trips after their engagement to Disney World, Houston, the Bears/Packers game in September, and a Blackhawks game from a skybox.

Christie and Derek's Engagement     Derek proposed to Christie on July 26, which was the Monday after the Quad City Bix race. He met her at Peck Farm Park, where Christie was working over the summer, to give her some flowers and take a walk before Endurance Camp. During the walk Derek received a text message (thanks to his brother Adam) that told him that Endurance Camp was cancelled because of the heat. This let Christie and Derek continue their walk around the picturesque preserve. Derek had two places in mind for the proposal. The first was the dock on the lake, but when they arrived at the dock there were two teenagers there smoking cigars, which didn't make for the most romantic moment. That led to the second location, which was the butterfly house. Outside of the house Derek got down on one knee, pulled out the ring, and somehow managed to ask Christie to marry him. Christie didn't really say anything for a long time after that, but the tears and hugging told Derek that the answer was "yes." Derek and Christie went to Christie's parent's house in Geneva where both families were waiting. Christie's brother had come in from the Quad Cities and both of Derek's grandmothers were there to congratulate the couple. It was a great experience to begin a new life together.

Peck Farm Butterfly