Else-Marie and Alex Westman Engagement Announcement

Else-Marie Nelson, daughter of Kenneth & Marcella Nelson of Brookfield, WI, has become engaged to Alex Westman, son of Eric Westman & Deanna Ness of Minot, ND/Sawyer, ND.

Wedding Date

Friday, October 5, 2018


We'd been talking about marriage for over a year by this point. Heck, we had even tossed some dates around. My family had known for awhile that this was in the works. He had told his parents maybe a month prior. This was still fresh news for them.

We went and picked out my engagement ring - I showed him what I liked at least. That was some time in February or March if I remember correctly.

My sister and her best friend, Paulina, were visiting me in Minot for their spring break during the first week of April. Right after Easter. They all knew that I enjoy painting, like canvas painting. I do it for my stress and it helps sometimes. They wanted to have an evening of painting while they were there with me and Alex.

Normally, painting is a stress relief for me. Well. It wasn't on this night. My painting wasn't turning out and I'd had a crappy day at school and work. I was in no mood. For anything. Alex was sitting across the table from me and wouldn't show me his painting. I didn't think anything of it. I was too busy working on my own and thinking of other things. I finished my painting and went to the kitchen to get some water. My back was turned to the painting table. Alex called to me, "Hey Els, come here for a second." I said, "No. I'm getting some water." He persisted, "Els, come heeeeere." I was annoyed by this point. I said something to the effect of, "No.You'ret going to have to wait." Eventually my stubborn self turned around and came to the table to see what the big deal was. He had painted a canvas asking, "Will you marry me?" He was sitting in his chair with the canvas in one hand and the ring in the other.

At first I didn't see the ring. I thought he was joking. I honestly thought it was a hypothetical like...will you marry me eventually...well. This was not that. This was it. This was the real deal.

Of course I was dressed in painting clothes. And old see through t-shirt and his sweatpants. Greasy hair and the biggest zit I'd had in months, right there on my chin. Romance is not our style. Clearly.

Sidenote. He never even asked the question. He just hoped the canvas would do the job. I remember he asked me shortly after what my answer was...as if he didn't know. I said, "You never really asked me the question!"

But I guess the obvious question was obviously answered. We went from friends to something more.

How They Met

Every couple has a story. Full of cute moments and frustrating moments and tales that are oh-so-fun to revisit in the moments of "Remember when?" Well. This is ours.

I give Camp Metigoshe, near Bottineau, ND, credit for a lot of things in my life. My friendships, my faith, and three summers of Adventure Anchored in Christ. And now, I guess Camp still gets a bit of credit for helping me find the man I'm going to spend the rest of my life with.

Kyler Roteliuk joined our summer staff in 2016. We got to know each other a little bit during staff training and were assigned to a day camp together at First Lutheran in Minot, my home church. For one of our nights off, she invited me and the other two staffers on our day camp to her hometown of Sawyer for a BBQ and bonfire. We had dinner and we were sitting with her family when this fellow came strolling up the road in exercise clothes. He was "out for a run" apparently and the Sawyer thing to do when people are gathering is to invite yourself to join. I guess. So he sat down and joined the conversation. I knew his name. Alex Westman. My sister Johanna's dear friend had worked with him several summers ago at the Scandinavian Heritage Park in town and I'd probably met him once or twice back then but obviously didn't think anything of it. Kyler and I drove back to town and my phone buzzed. Mr. Initiative had added me on Facebook.

Fast forward to the start of school in the fall at Minot State. I was very involved with Lutheran Campus Ministry at the time. We had worship every Wednesday night and another camp friend, Kaitlin, started bringing Alex. First time he came was "Prayer Around the Cross." Whole room is dark and there's candles everywhere. Little intimidating for newcomers but there he was. And he stayed! Our group of friends, including Alex, would come to my apartment afterwards at Beaver Suites for tea or other means of socializing. Alex would come to these gatherings and would always seem to "forget" something at my place. I would text him and he would come over to retrieve it and we'd hang out and he would and "forget" something else. Clever boy.

We were texting nonstop. Mostly memes and silly stuff, but the conversations became deeper. He came to my apartment almost every night. We'd sometimes see each other two or three times a day. Within a month of school starting, we were almost inseparable. He met my family at Høstfest...unsupervised. He found my younger sister Ingrid and then met my parents from there. AND THAT DIDN'T SCARE HIM OFF. We like to think of Høstfest 2016 as when our "dating" began. In a public setting, at least.

Two weeks later, we were standing in the parking lot of Beaver Suites. We had just taken a friend home from the bar and it was pretty late. In traditional Alex fashion, he was rambling on about something. Not that I had even a smidge of experience with things like this, but by this time had been "together" for just over a month and I, being the details person that I am, really wanted to know what we "were" exactly. I got his attention somehow..no easy task mind you...and said, "Alex Westman, will you be my boyfriend?" I only found out later how insanely terrified I had made him in that moment. He froze. "S'pose I could be..." he replied. And that was it. Rose petals and romance to the max. On October 15, 2016 at somewhere between 2 and 3am in the Beaver Suites parking lot, we became a couple.