How We Met
Matthew and I had been long time friends. Unfortunately, we had become distant amidst our 20’s when I began attending college locally, and he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. Fast forward to November 2014; me, just scrolling through Facebook and coming across a post from Matt, backed by Marist College. Matt (who had returned home the prior summer to attend Marist college after deployment to Afghanistan and fulfilling his contract with the Marine Corps) had posted a GoFundMe account, looking for donations to adopt his Specialized Search Dog Gulliver out of the Marine Corps once Gulliver was retired. Needless to say, this clearly struck a cord. I immediately felt drawn to the cause, Matt and Gulliver’s story, and reached out to Matt. It’s all history from there…
Matthew was able to raise enough money to fly to California, to pick Gulliver up from Camp Pendleton and fly him back in the plane, and not in the belly. After all, with 2 deployments under his collar, Gulliver is a war hero! There was even money left over from the GoFundMe to aid Gulliver in his retirement. Naturally, I fell in love with both Matthew, and his counterpart Gulliver, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them!
how they asked
We were vacationing in Disney World with Matt’s family. We had an absolutely wonderful dinner at the Palm Restaurant, and one of the things that I was really looking forward to was Epcot’s fireworks! Well, thanks to a few very special people, we ended up in a VIP room called “The Attic” at our resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Villas. The room was beautiful – reminded me of a beach side cottage. Outside of the room was a large, private balcony that overlooked the lagoon in front of the resort and in the distance, you could see the Epcot Sphere. Breathtaking! Florida in January… not cold, but with the wind, a bit chilly. We stood outside on balcony and watched the fireworks over the lagoon. We hugged, I took a pre-engagement selfie (unbeknownst to me at the time); all was right in the world. The fireworks ended and I felt a tap on my shoulder followed by an, “Alex….”. I turned around, and there he was, down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring that I’ve ever seen. I literally could not have done better if I picked it out myself. I looked up to see his family standing behind him, and my parents on Facetime to share in the moment. If I’m being honest, the rest is sort of a blur. I hugged him, we got emotional, and he couldn’t get the ring on my finger fast enough. I felt like Cinderella and my ring was the glass slipper. Perfect fit!
We hugged again, I said absolutely yes, and we went back inside to warm up. Matthew had arranged a bottle of champagne be delivered, along with delicious chocolate covered strawberries, and the cutest white chocolate Mickey Mouse that I ever did see! We cheer’ed, we laughed, we cried, we celebrated. Happiest day of my life, ironically in the Happiest Place on Earth!