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our story so far

Chapter One: Molloy College 

Rockville Centre, NY: 2012-2016

February 2011, Ben and Anna meet for the first time at the Molloy College Scholarship Dinner. Anna instantly knew he was not from New York and Ben was convinced that they had met before. Through classes together, AR lunch dates, car trips into town and late night sing alongs they quickly became good friends. Anna was not shy in telling her friends that she was going to marry Ben Norton (she even wrote him a poem in Philosophy 101 first semester freshmen year telling him that exactly). Ben celebrated Anna's family birthdays together in Selden and Anna excitedly to took the Amtrak up to Vermont during the Summer. 

Chapter Two: Official 

Rockville Centre, NY: 2016

In March 2016, Ben's Gram passed away during their Spring vacation during their Senior year. Anna drove up to Vermont to not only support Ben during this time but to say her goodbyes to Joanie as well. The night before the memorial, Ben and Anna were snuggling when Ben asked her to be his girlfriend. Anna jokingly responded "Are you gonna call me?". The next day, Anna met a large amount of Ben's loving extended family and family friends. She continued to introduce herself as his friend, while Ben was introducing her as his girlfriend. It wasn't until hours later when Anna was preparing to drive back to Long Island that she mentioned how "silly it was everyone was asking if I was your girlfriend" when Ben responded "well you are". He flipped her claddagh ring, and sent her back home with a kiss and a phone call that night.

Ben and Anna spent the last semester of their senior year celebrating their graduation with friends, performing senior recitals, traveling to Vermont together and watching How I Met Your Mother. It was a natural transition from being friends into being a relationship. They enjoyed one more Ferring's breakfast sandwich together as they drove to Jones Beach for a chilly graduation and started the next chapter of being long distance.

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Chapter Three: Long Distance

Wallingford, VT & Selden, NY: 2016-2018

Enter the era of Facetime, being long distance had their highs and lows but Anna and Ben were dedicated to see each other as often as they could. The longest they ever went was three months apart. They got comfortable sleeping on an air mattress in Anna's childhood living room, learned the spotty areas of service while Ben drove home from work on 140, attended four New Year's Eve parties in one night so Ben could see all of their college friends, and discovered the best rest stops while traveling from Vermont to Long Island and back. 

During this time, Anna (after three attempts) became a board certified Music Therapist, adopted her tabby cat, Billy, and moved into the Linden House for a month and then into 201 with her college friend, new friend via roommate ad Gabby and Gabby's cat Tiffany. While visiting, Ben needed to help Anna break into her apartment, not once but two times because of forgetting her keys. Ben continued to work at his beloved childhood camp, Camp Downer, and outside of camp season worked at Neurofeed Back Clinic and The Emporium on the weekends. He took over his boss's clinic in Willimgton, NC while she was on vacation and busked for the first time. His love for Asheville, NC grew and proposed the eventual idea to Anna. They are still hoping to move to North Carolina.

Chapter Four: Roomies

East Meadow, NY: 2018-2020

In 2018, Ben moved back to Long Island to live with Anna in their new apartment 410 with college best friend Eitan and new coworker Ryan. Here they learned to cook with each other, attempting Whole 30 at two separate times. They hosted silly themed parties, with their Twisted Disney Halloween party being their favorite. Ru, their rambunctious little kitty cat, joined the crew in November of 2018, very quickly after moving in together. They worked four separate jobs, occasionally seeing each other at home on the weekdays from 9pm-11pm. But all that changed in February of 2020, where four separate music lessons or sessions were virtually happening once. 

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Chapter Five: Vermonters

Wallingford, VT: 2020-2023

In June 2020, Ben and Anna moved into his late grandparents' cabin (some would call it a lodge) on the same property of his childhood home. They had a proper Vermont Winter where it snowed once a week from Halloween to Mother's Day. Ben prayed to the Winter Gods and was ecstatic to have a "real Vermont Winter" for Anna's first Vermont Winter. 

They hibernated together, Ben tried to show to joy of mud season and Anna was amazed by the Vermont Fall colors. A new chapter of their relationship started by them living together with just their little family.  

Chapter Six: Living Mas

New York City, NY: Dec 2021

December 18, 2021: Anna and Ben drove into Brooklyn to explore an artist market and then drove into the city. They found the dream parking spot and walked down memory lane at the Winter Market in Bryant Park. After some arepas, they started walking down to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. As the sun set, it became incredibly foggy. They stopped to watch the light show on Saks Fifth Avenue, another nostalgic memory from their NYC Christmas visits from college. The two of them were reminiscing of all the memories they made together when they arrived at the Rockefeller Tree. After a few pictures, Ben surprised Anna by getting them tickets to go to the Top of the Rock. It's now later in the evening and a Top of the Rock employee was explaining outside that there will be no visibility due to the weather. In their words, "Do not go up to the Top of the Rock, you will be disappointed". They decided to go up anyway, and because of the weather and time they were practically the only visitors in the building. They explored the inside, made conversations with the tenants after the elevator and made their way outside. With all the fog it looked like a white walled room versus actually being outside. Once they were alone, Ben grabbed Anna's hands got down on one knee and asked to start their next adventure together as husband and wife. After a lot of happy tears and a few selfies, they ran through the inside of the exhibit showing all the employees that they met a moment before that they were not engaged. Not realizing there was another level of outside viewing, they took the escalator up to meet a sweet older employee who greeted them and apologized for the lack of visibility due to the fog which they quickly dismissed because they were engaged! He quickly asked for their phone so he could give them a photoshoot. While taking pictures the employee waxed sweet poetry about love and marriage and a security guard on the final level shined their light on the newly engaged couple for extra lighting for the impromptu engagement session. They floated down on a cloud back to Rockefeller Christmas Tree and Ben had his New York moment of running into the middle of a crowd and yelled "Hey New York, she said yes!" followed by cheers and claps. They walked back to their car, every other block exclaiming "we're engaged?!" and both were ravenous. Many restaurants were closed or fully booked so they decided to go to the Times Square Taco Bell. Best Taco Bell they ever had.

Chapter Seven: To Be Continued

Selden, NY: 2023-now

In January 2023, they moved their little family back to Long Island, NY to live with Anna's family for more work opportunities. Between moving, two national tours, and changing wedding plans they're finding their routine back in New York. Wednesday night movies, Friday night Drag Race nights, going out with friends and folk mass mornings on Sundays. 

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