How We Met
On November 18, 2017, I had plans with Jason to go to dinner for our first date. He picked the restaurant but wouldn’t give me any hints as to where we were going. We planned to meet at 8:00 pm after he coached his travel baseball team. He kept asking me to come out to the game to watch him coach, but I figured the humidity would have destroyed my hair before dinner. Jason continued to work on me and I finally gave in.
I showed up to Silver Lakes park to watch him coach, and he had a chair and a bottle of water ready for me. Unfortunately, his team was not playing too well that day. During the game, Jason would walk over to where I was seated and make small talk, and he told me that talking to me actually kept him calm. Despite losing the game, I’m really glad I went to watch Jason coach, because I got to see him interact with the kids, witness his compassion when one of his players got hit by a pitch, and I got the opportunity to see how passionate he is about baseball.
After the game, Jason and I nervously hugged for the first time, and I chuckled as an assistant coach told me I need to stick around so I can come to another game to watch how this team could really play. Jason quickly got ready for dinner, and had me follow him since I had my own car, as he would still not tell me where we were going for dinner. We showed up to a charming Italian restaurant, where we ate too much fried calamari and drank too much Pinot Grigio. We talked for hours and laughed a lot, especially when the wobbly table almost fell over. As the night came to a close, Jason walked me out to my car and invited me to meet his family on Thanksgiving (which was five days later). You could say it was a successful first date, and the rest is history.
From the day Jason and I met, baseball became a huge part of my life, as it has been for him since he was two years old. We spent a lot of time traveling to games and tournaments near and far for his travel team. I also gave my best effort to come to his Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school games, where he was the pitching coach.
Life was perfect, until February 14, 2018. I was sitting in a professional development course for my career as a public school teacher. Jason and I were just texting back and forth, discussing our dinner plans, being that it was Valentine’s Day. That’s when I got the text, “There’s a shooter at school.” I didn’t register what he meant, at first, until other teacher’s phones started going off with news alerts that there was an active shooter situation at Stoneman Douglas high school. The room full of teachers that I was in suddenly became extremely frantic and tense. Fortunately, I was able to hear from Jason that he was okay and in a safe place. That was the last I had heard from him and I began to become frantic, as I was driving home to try and get in front of a television. All I could think was that there was no way I was going to lose him now. I finally heard from him. I headed up to Parkland with his father to get Jason, since he couldn’t get back on to campus to get his car, as MSD was still considered a crime scene. I don’t think I ever hugged him tighter, and that was the first time I ever saw Jason cry. I knew in that moment that he was the man I was going to marry.
The following months were hard, but we were grateful for a great deal of support from family, friends and colleagues. Even to this day, there are still moments of sadness, as is expected, but we continue to move forward.
Fast forward to August 2018, we closed on our first home, and began major renovations! It took about three weeks and then we were finally able to move in. Being that Jason coaches a lot at night, I began feeling lonely at home by myself so I convinced him to let me get a cat. We went to the Humane Society looking for a cat, and not only did we come home with the best cat ever, we also came home with a rambunctious 14 week old puppy. Maybe not our smartest move considering all the brand new furniture, but our little family now felt complete.
How They Asked
Over the Christmas holiday break, Jason’s sister, Amanda, and her boyfriend Danny came down from Pensacola, with their two dogs, Cooper and Dakota. Amanda texted our group chat that we needed to set up a puppy play date. On the morning of Christmas Eve, Jason told me we were going to Silver Lakes baseball park to bring the dogs, since he knew I was not a big fan of dog parks. I really didn’t think much of it, I was just getting hungry on our car ride to West Miramar, and saw Chick Fil A so Jason stopped to get us breakfast. When we got to the park, Jason ran out to Field 2 with Bailey, and in my head, I was reminiscing because this was the same park and same field where we first met.
We got all the dogs out on the field and let them run around and do dog things. We took a short walk outside the baseball field on a trail by the water. When we came back to the field, Amanda and I were taking pictures of the dogs. A few minutes later, I noticed Danny is now recording us on his phone, and I figured, “Well, that’s strange”, until I turned around and saw both of our families by third base holding up a large yellow banner that read “Allison, Will You Marry Me?” Cue the ugly cry! Jason walked me over by the pitching mound and got down on one knee. I continued to cry but managed to get a “yes!” out. Up to this point, I thought Chick Fil-A had been the best part of the morning. Boy, was I wrong.