How We Met
As Frankie would like to put it, I have always been ” the girl next door”. Truly, that’s exactly how our story began. We first became neighbors in 2004 when I just started high school. We both shared the same love for soccer and played on our school’s team. After long days filled of homework and practice, we found our friendship growing. He became my best friend, someone I turned to at my time of need day or night; he was there. He would sit through my endless hours of gossip, family issues, and even my current or ex boyfriend problems, always offering a shoulder to cry on or an open ear. Little did I know at this point in time, but he had already fallen in love with me. He had already sworn to himself that if he ever had the chance, that he would make me the happiest girl in the world.
But those feelings would stay silent and locked away tight for many years. This would continue to be our story until my sophomore year of college. It was that summer of 2010 when I returned home, that something was different when I looked out my window. Something was different about my best friend that I could not put my finger on. The next day, Frankie, my best friend Pam and I went to the beach. I shared these secrets with her while he was in the water and she replied “Lexi, Frankie is in love with you. He has always been into you!”.
I shook my head in disbelief and said that there was no way. She told me I should give him a chance to tell me his feelings and go on a date, that I had nothing to lose as we were already such great friends. So, I agreed and we ended up going on our first date and it was at the end of that date, sitting in my driveway that he let me know all of his feelings.
Of the years he waited for an opportunity to tell me how he felt, and how he cared, and how he was ready to take his chance to give me the relationship that he felt I deserved. And this was our beginning, which would add up to 6 years of obstacles; including Frankie joining the Air Force, 6 years of long distance, and 6 years filled of the best memories of my life with my best friend and neighbor.
how they asked
Frankie and his sister are both adopted, and every year their parents celebrate the anniversary of their adoption. So this year, Frankie told me that we would be going to a “fancy” dinner for the celebration, so to dress for the occasion. Since we don’t get to see each other often as he’s in the Air Force, I always like to take extra time to make sure everything is as perfect as possible- Type A over here for sure- so I spent over an hour doing my hair and makeup. After my hour long production, we started heading to the destination to meet his parents at the restaurant. Our 40 minute drive would lead us down a dirt road to what appeared to be a ranch; Rocking H Ranch to be exact. I was very confused and caught off guard when he opened my door to let me out.
He took me the by hand and led me toward a garden that had a table, three pictures, a hand written letter, and a rose. The first letter read ” Year One” “The Beginning”; he handed this letter to me to begin reading. This first letter was filled with many memories from our first year together, with each of the three pictures on the table being from that year.
At the end of each letter, there was a quote about love; something we used to end our letters with while he was in basic training, and a question, “do you accept this rose?”. As I closed the letter, he handed me the rose and took my hand. We started chuckling over our first memories together as we stared at the pictures.
After this, he grabbed my hand a little tighter and took me to yet another table, with the same set up: three pictures, a hand written letter, and a rose. I soon realized what was happening, he was taking me down memory lane. A memory lane filled with 6 years of love, laughter, and tears. Each of the first 5 letters ended with the same question, the three pictures, and a red rose that he would hand me. It was the final table, the 6th table that would stand out from all the others.
He led me through two double white glass doors down another path to the most breathtaking oak three I have ever seen. The walk way was lined with lanterns and my eyes locked with the most beautiful display, that looked as if it was out of a dream. Everything was white; my absolute favorite color, with roses and hydrangea’s decorating the tables. And again, there was the handwritten letter, however, it was tucked underneath an empty picture frame , to represent our new memory, this time. As I fought back tears to get through the end, I saw the quote but found myself reading something new now… The letter ended with “I now have two questions to ask you….” As he handed me the last rose, which was now white instead of red, he began to get down one knee.
I would be lying if I told you I remember every word he said. I was so overcome with emotion, I did not know which way was up or down, if it was day or night, all I can tell you was my whole world was right in front of me. I could not, and will never be able to, get over the look in his eyes. It was 6 years and one adventurous memory lane that led us to this moment, the moment he asked to spend forever with me by his side. I was finally saying YES to marry my best friend and the man of my dreams! And it was at that moment that I said yes, that both of our families came running from an area they had been secretly hiding in to congratulate and share this special moment with us!
It was a moment filled with so many tears of joy and laughs that we were finally on our way to become one. There was a photographer there to capture our special moments and we were able to have our own engagement shoot right after I said yes, since we are unable to see each other much! It was truly the most magical night of my life and I’m still in disbelief as I type this story, that it is ours to share!
I am still overcome with so much love and joy from this moment and am thrilled to share these pictures with you!
Lindsey Cassidy: Lindsey Cassidy Photography
Shawna Carpenter: 2 Sisters Events & Design
Angela Higgenbotham: The Rocking H Ranch
Kayla Bavender: Kiefer Jewelers