Abby and Mauricio

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How We Met

Mauricio and I met in 8th grade through mutual friends. It was the age-old story, he picked on me relentlessly and I avoided him at all costs, completely naive to the fact that he had a crush on me. It wasn’t until the summer before high school when our friend Maggie forced us to hold hands at the movie theatre that my eyes were open to seeing him as more than just the boy that picked on me.

We dated all through High School and vowed to stay together through College, certain we could make the long distance work. He received a Soccer scholarship from the DePaul University, in Chicago, and I was attending my Dad’s Alma Mater – the University of Missouri. We made it work for a while, but eventually it became too tough. We were both missing out on valuable experiences and eventually decided to part ways.

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For months there was silence between us. It was just too tough to be friends after all that we had been through together romantically. It wasn’t until the months leading up to my brother’s wedding that I finally reached out to him. He had been a part of our family for so long that we just couldn’t imagine him not being there. I eventually worked up the courage to ask him to be my date, he accepted, and from there it was fate. The moment we saw each other at the wedding we both knew the feelings were still there. We laughed and danced all night and have been inseparable since…. well, figuratively.

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how they asked

Fast forward to April 6th, 2016 – our 24th birthday (yes we have the same birthday). Mauricio received the news he had been waiting for since he graduated almost 2 years ago. He was accepted into a very prestigious Private Equity firm in Boston, H.I.G. After sharing the news with our friends and family the only thing left on my mind was ‘he HAS to be proposing soon’.

In the weeks leading up to Memorial Day Weekend my eyes were pealed for signs that the question was coming. And oh boy were there signs. For starters, my older Sister and her family were flying in from Chicago for the weekend. My mom was acutely aware of my manicure schedule, my sister-in-law was curious what I would wear for my brother’s birthday dinner.

So, it’s the Tuesday before Memorial Day Weekend and I bravely confide in one of my best friends, Andrea, that I think Mauricio might pop the question. Foolish mistake. Of course, she promptly called Mauricio and told him I was on to him. After that I was doomed. Everyone was completely throwing me off my game. Everything that I had first predicted was a tale-tale sign, they completely negated. And they did it well. It was like that Friends episode where Chandler tricks Monica into thinking he’s not ready.

Little did I know that EVERYONE was in on it… even the masseuse.

That Saturday he took me to a spa in Highland Park, which he knew was just a short drive over to Flippen Park where he would eventually ask the question. Little did I know, I was getting a massage all by myself. The Spa was in on it and I was completely in the dark. As I was getting my deep-tissue massage Mauricio was running around with the photographer setting the stage for the proposal.

The next morning we wake up to an absolutely beautiful day so Mauricio asks me if I want to go on a picnic, which I of course say yes to. He casually suggests that we may not have time to come back to change so I should wear whatever I’m going to wear that night for my brothers birthday dinner.

We pull up to the park where we are going to have our picnic, and I start laying out the blanket and setting everything up as Mauricio just stands there completely un-helpful telling me I’m not setting it up in a good spot. Finally he stops me and suggests that I move over closer to him. I started giggling and said something like “ummm… what are you doing?”

His response: “In my life there was meeting you. Falling in love with you… Then I turned 15, and there was everything else. Abigail Kristine Darlington, will you marry me?”

I of course say “YES!” And around the corner comes a stretch limo filled with both of our families ready to celebrate.

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As the youngest of three siblings, and the youngest daughter at that, I will never forget the words my father said to me in that moment. With tears in his eyes he looked at me and said “Abby, that boy loves you SO much. You will never know how much thought he has put into making this day perfect for you.”

After countless congratulatory hugs and kisses, we all board the limo and head off to dinner at St. Ann’s, a restaurant I had requested we go to earlier that weekend but Mauricio convinced us not to… sneaky!

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After an amazing dinner, and several rounds of drinks I might add, we all got back in the limo and headed to my parent’s house to continue the celebration. Little did I know that all of our best friends were already there waiting with a surprise party decked out exactly as my Pinterest board suggested.

We spent the entire night laughing and celebrating with our loved ones and I could not be more excited to spend the rest of my life with this man who cares so much for me. It was an unforgettable evening that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

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Special Thanks

 | A Sea of Love