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Ashley and Patrick

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Date of Proposal: January 6, 2018

Ashley Bloemhof and Patrick Knoblauch were well aware of each other on the first day of freshman enrollment at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. “We were in the same freshmen orientation group,” Ashley smiles. “But we were on campus for a full semester before he asked me out the next February!”

A family outing for dinner, a walk on the beach and a little subterfuge made Patrick’s proposal memorable. “January 6 is my dad’s birthday, so we dressed up to go to dinner in San Francisco,” remembers Ashley. “We were early, and then my dad suggested we go for a walk on Baker Beach. That alone made me curious.

“As we walked, I noticed my mom and dad, and then my sisters, trailing behind me, and then Patrick came up behind me and as we walked ahead, my heart started pounding. We soon stopped and he grabbed both of my hands, looking down into my eyes. He shared words of kindness and love, of wisdom and spiritual truth, and at the end Patrick got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and of course I said yes! After hugging and kissing, and hugging my family and laughing with joy, we circled together and prayed on the beach. It was an amazing moment I’ll never forget.”

Ashley and Patrick have built a strong relationship on commonalities and their unique differences. “Even though we met in Iowa and went to school there for four years, and even though Patrick is from the middle of Minnesota, we both hate the cold and aim to live in warm places as along as possible,” she affirms. “We have done long distance nearly our whole dating relationship, saying goodbye to each other at the end of the school year and texting and calling all summer. Even today, our jobs are so far away that we see each other only on weekends, as the distance to drive to each other’s house is too great to do in one night.” On the other hand, Ashley is the gas, Patrick is the brakes; Ashley is always looking for the next best thing, and Patrick is focused on making sure everything runs smoothly before moving forward.

The couple has set a wedding date of August 11, 2018. “Patrick and I will have guests from Iowa, Minnesota and beyond traveling to California for our wedding, and each of them has a special place in our hearts. It’s important for us to spend our special day with the people who matter most to us and who have helped shape us over the years. We also want to keep Christ at the center of the day, just as He should be at the center of our lives. We want our guests to have a good time and enjoy the evening, whether that involves dancing all night or indulging in the donut bar!”