Amanda and McKlane

Image 1 of Amanda and McKlane

How We Met

I could go all the way back to our childhood but I will do my best to condense this story… Both of us grew up in a relatively small town and most would say we should have formally met a LONG time ago! McKlane’s sister and I shared the same group of friends over the years. We both knew of each other but never really got to know each other. They would later move to a different school in another town a few minutes away. During middle school all the same mutual friendships we shared were kindled. It wasn’t until my junior and senior year of high school when I actually met McKlane’s sister, McKenzie when she came to our high school’s prom. We were friends on Facebook and never really interacted after that.. A little more than 3 years went by until one day at my local Cross-fit box McKlane came to workout with one of my good friends Alyssa. Little had I known Alyssa had been setting the stage for both of us to meet! A few weeks went by and McKlane would come to the gym at the same times as me but he never seemed to show an interest in me or even make small talk! Time passed and I dated another guy from the box that thankfully ended soon.

Image 2 of Amanda and McKlane

Image 3 of Amanda and McKlane

It really opened my eyes to see who I was dating and really protect myself before I put my heart back on the line. A year would go by without any word from McKlane, until one day out of the blue.. I got this message on Facebook that went like this “Hey, how are you? I’d like to get to know you better. I was wondering if you’d like to hang out next weekend?”. We laugh about it every so often because of how funny and awkward it sounds when you actually read it! On the first date he picked me up at my house, also meeting most of my immediate family in the process.. Everyone liked him and most of my family knew his relatives, so that helped with the introductions. What really stood out to me that evening was how genuine of a person he was taking the time to talk to each of my family and ask about their lives. Our date that night consisted of dinner, Top Golf,and a non stop conversation about our lives and dreams. By the time we said goodnight and hugged goodbye I knew this was the start of something sincere..

Image 4 of Amanda and McKlane

Image 5 of Amanda and McKlane

how they asked

McKlane had actually told me to clear May 13th for him a few months before, of course this just made me naturally curious and I would bug him every week until that day.. As it got closer and closer I would ask him if it was something for my birthday (which was the next week May 17th). The only replies I could ever get out of him were, “I’ll let you interpret it when the day comes”. The week before May 13th he finally told me what outfit I could wear with the instructions to wear an outfit that I would go hiking in.. Of course I was wondering what it could be because McKlane likes the outdoors and always wants to go hiking which is not my cup of tea! All week I had my mom and best friend help me try and probe him for more information about this surprise day.

Image 6 of Amanda and McKlane

On the morning of May 13th I had to be at his house no later than 11, the whole day was set up to be a surprise with only McKlane knowing the schedule. Our first stop was at Kenny’s Woodfire Grill in Dallas, after one of the waiters brought out a wonderful birthday dessert I began to think this was all for my birthday. Our next stop was in the area and halfway there he told me it was the Peroet museum in downtown Dallas. McKlane is really into science and I have always wanted to go to this particular museum so it was a good pick for the both of us. We spent maybe 2 hours in the museum which was quick, because McKlane said we had to kill another hour and a half before we could go to the next location. Now I was getting really anxious because he had said to dress as if we were going hiking that day and our only locations had been in the city.

Image 7 of Amanda and McKlane

Well the time came and McKlane said it was time to go, the total drive to Midlothian, Texas was 45 minutes. When we were 15 minutes away he told me to pull out his binder that he carries with him everywhere. In his binder he carries my bucket list in the front pocket along with various notes and emails for the week and other little momentos. When I opened it he told me to read the first thing on my bucket list which was to ride in a hot air balloon, of course I asked why did he want me to read it to him. Next he said to read the email behind my bucket list, on the top of the email it said HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE… at first I thought this was some cruel joke he was playing. I didn’t believe him for a few minutes and he reassured me it was real. My dream has always been to ride in fly-away hot air balloon and McKlane was making it happen right before my eyes.

Image 8 of Amanda and McKlane

Once we met up with the pilot and I saw the basket for the balloon I was beyond ecstatic and tickled with joy! When we rode in the chase car to the take off area, McKlane was on his phone in the front seat the whole time which was weird because he hates being on his phone when we’re together (Later that night I found out he was texting the photographer because the intended take off location changed 3 times). After changing locations we helped the pilot unload the basket and unroll the balloon, then McKlane came and hugged me from behind while we waited for the fan to blow up the balloon some more. I took some more pictures of the balloon and took a selfie together, then he asked me if I was nervous.. And the next thing he said as he turned me around was “I’ve got one more big question for you..” I turned around only to see him on one knee and pull a small box out of his pocket!

Image 9 of Amanda and McKlane

I immediately began to tear up and backed away from him to see if I was really seeing what I thought I was. Getting proposed to in front of a hot air balloon that we were getting to fly away in was actually happening!! I walked back up to him as he proceeded to ask me to marry him. Being all nervous I gave him a little shove on the shoulders and went to give him a hug and a kiss replying with a resounding “YES”! At that time I realized McKlane had hired Whitney Wall to photograph the whole event just out of my view!

Image 10 of Amanda and McKlane

Image 11 of Amanda and McKlane

Being up in the hot air balloon was such a breath taking experience. On the way down, we actually landed in someone’s backyard! We had to wait about 15 minutes to get the owners permission to bring the chase car back to the field to take us back to our staging area. While waiting I discovered that McKlane had his Grandparents, Gram and Pop following the chase car as well to watch!
Once the balloon was all packed and ready to go, we ended the flight with a traditional champagne toast! In remembrance of a successful flight the pilot gave me the cork from the bottle as a keepsake.

Image 12 of Amanda and McKlane

When we got back to the staging area I got out of the car and saw my Mom, Memaw, and Billy waiting and then noticed that my Dad, Kim, and Nana were there too! My dad had drove all night from a job out of state to celebrate with us; which was definitely a surprise because I thought he was out of town for two more weeks! To finish the evening we all went to dinner afterwards and ate at Pappadeaux’s. This will forever be one of my favorite adventures with McKlane!

Image 13 of Amanda and McKlane

Special Thanks

Whitney Wall
 | Photographer