How We Met
Aaron Kurcz and I first met at Panera Bread Company over a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie on December 17, 2015. Just a few weeks before, I had been approached by a close friend who wanted me to meet Aaron. He told me that Aaron was a really great, Christ-following, handsome guy, and on top of all that, he was currently playing professional baseball. Growing up in a sports driven family, I was immediately interested and thought, “What the heck? Why not?!”. At the time I wasn’t currently looking for a relationship but didn’t mind the idea of meeting someone new. I remember being extremely nervous leading up to the coffee date. I drove around the parking lot of Panera Bread wondering how I was going to introduce himself. I called my best friend paranoid asking her, “Should I hug him? Shake his hand? Neither?”. When I finally managed the courage to park and walk in, all nerves disappeared as Aaron approached me with a hug, introducing himself.
We then placed our order and sat down to talk. The conversation was incredible. There was never an awkward moment and I felt more than comfortable sharing my life with him. We stayed there for 2 hours and when we finally parted ways for the night, I remember thinking, “I really hope he wants to hang out again soon.” From then on, I grew fonder of him every day and it was only 2 weeks later that he would ask me to be his girlfriend. The most incredible part of our story is that there were numerous times before this day that I could have met Aaron. Not only did I grow up playing soccer with his cousin but I went to high school with his best friends now wife. Needless to say, there is such thing as “perfect timing”.
how they asked
The day of the proposal, from Ashlea’s perspective… The day started out perfectly, Aaron had coffee waiting for me as i was getting ready for our bike ride. We had plans to go on a bike ride to Red Rock. I wasn’t exactly sure where we would be biking, but i knew it was somewhere new, and I was excited. So we left his place, and started the drive up to Dunkin Donuts, a spot where bikers are known to park their cars before rides. We grabbed some donuts and started unloading the bikes. Once we had finished the donuts we, were on our way. As we were biking, I pointed out that Calico Basin was coming up soon (where we had taken Christmas Eve pics).
Aaron asked if we should exit and head to Calico Basin to check out the area again, I said “sure,” thinking nothing of it. So we stopped off at the Basin picnic and hiking area and decided to lock up our bikes. We started walking the zig-zagging path up the meadow, talking and laughing together. We came up to platform sort of overlooking the meadow. Aaron got off the platform and into the long grass and insisted that i take a picture of him laying in the grass, posing as my sister once did for her maternity pictures. I obliged, and took a couple quick, goofy pics of him laying down in the grass with his stomach out.
He got up and then reached for his backpack, and at the same time i reached for a stick that was laying next to me. I started breaking some of the branches off of the stick, and when I turned to look at Aaron he was holding a small black box and starting to get down on one knee.
As soon as i realized what was happening I went into shock. I think i said “what the heck?!” Cant even begin to describe the feeling i had that very moment. I couldn’t believe it. Aaron was going to propose! I immediately felt like i was in a dream and the world just stopped around me.
It was such a surreal moment. After the shock wore down a little, Aaron started speaking as tears welled in his eyes, he said ” I love you Ashlea Andrade. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I can’t imagine you not being in my life, so i want to ask, will you marry me?” I immediately said yes like 10 times. He then opened the ring box and I lost it. The tears began to come and I just couldn’t believe how beautiful the ring was.
It was more beautiful than i could have ever imagined. He took the ring out of the box and placed it on my finger. I couldn’t stop looking at the ring!
We hugged and kissed and then there was a loud “YEAAA!!!” from the rocks near us, I looked up and saw my brother Carter. He had been taking pictures/videos of us the whole time. He made his way down, we took a couple more pics and then started to make our way back to the zig-zagging path to leave. As we neared the top of the path, we looked down and both our families and friends were waiting for us near the picnic tables, cheering as loud as they could.
There was a huge “Congrats” sign, 2 fat heads with our faces on them, and once we got close enough to them, my dad started spraying champagne up in the air. I was so overwhelmed at the fact that our families and friends were there to congratulate us! We all talked, took pics, and just enjoyed the time together. I couldn’t stop smiling and looking at my ring. Everything was so perfect in that moment and i felt so incredibly blessed and extremely loved!