How We Met
Our Journey began in the fall of 2014. Shantay and I had a group of mutual friends that I met through working out at a local CrossFit gym in Muskego WI. Kristen and Katie are sisters, and lifelong friends with Shantay. One night while having a few drinks at a local establishment, Kristen and Katie came up with an idea that would change both mine and Shantay’s life forever. The back story is that Kristen, Katie, their husbands, and children were all going on a vacation to Mexico. They all had been trying to convince Shantay to go with them. But Shantay did not want to go unless she had a roommate to help split the cost of the trip with. That is when Kristen and Katie stepped in. While I was having a good time with Kristen, Katie and the gang, they invited me to come with them to Mexico. They said they had this friend (Shantay) who was looking for a roommate to go with. I was young, single, and carefree so I accepted the invitation without any reluctance. Meanwhile, Shantay is being informed by her friends through a text message that they found her a roommate. I think she was excited until they informed her it was a man that she had never met before. Shantay’s immediate response was “absolutely not”.
Throughout the next few days, they kept reassuring me that this was a “done deal” and that I’m definitely going with them to Mexico. Little did I know at the time, Shantay had zero interest in sharing a room with me. It wasn’t until she talked to her good friend and Cousin Mike, that she started to change her mind. I was also friends with Mike, and he reassured her that I was a good guy, and that I wasn’t going to “chop her into pieces and leave her in a dumpster” (yes, she actually said that). So by October of 2014 our trip was booked, and we were leaving for Mexico in early April of 2015. Shantay and I started to get to know each other via text messaging, phone conversations, and occasional run ins at the gym. But it wasn’t until December 5th, 2014, that I decided to meet her out for the first time.
It was her mom’s 50th birthday party, and I somehow managed to build up enough courage to meet her, and her entire extended family out at the “19th Hole” in New Berlin, WI. I still remember seeing her walk across the bar room floor to greet me with a hug. I knew by this time that I quite the crush on her. We immediately hit it off and had a great time together. So much so, that I ended up driving her home that night. Like a gentleman, I walked her inside and we spent the next couple hours chatting with each other like old friends. Then it was time for me to leave. But I couldn’t help but ask her for a kiss before I left. She sheepishly responded with “it’s been a very long time since I’ve kissed another man. Are you sure you can handle that?” I answered the question without a single word spoken… By the time our Mexico trip came, we were crazy about each other. I don’t think either of us expected that to happen when we embarked on this journey. But I think that’s what makes this such a perfect love story.
how they asked
The ring was bought, the date was set, and now all I had to do is pop the question! I told Shantay that I have been mandated to work the morning of July 22,2016. I’m a Firefighter, so “mandates” tend to happen quite frequently. So I got up that morning, packed up my things, and left to stay at my mother’s house until Shantay left for work. Shantay is a hair stylist, and was leaving to go do hair for a wedding late that morning. Once I had confirmation that she left for work, I came back home to “set the stage”. I put a letter of instructions for her on the front door, laid rose petals on the floor, and set up a video camera to capture the moment.
Prior to the proposal day, I spent countless hours creating a video slide show with the “story” of how we met. The plan was to have her best friend Jodi meet her at home so she wasn’t completely confused by what was all going on. Jodi also served as a great photographer! The rose pedals led her to a chair in the living room facing the TV. All she had to do was sit down, press play, and let the video sweep her off her feet. When the video was done, I walked through the front door, full of nerves, to pop the question. Needless to say, she said yes!! But that’s not where the surprise ended… I told her that I had the rest of the night planned for us. We were going to go to dinner at the same place we had our first date.
Prior to that we would go to the “19th hole” for a drink since that was the first place we met each other. Little did she know, I had arranged for our family and friends to meet us there for a surprise engagement party. I think she was just as emotional for that, as she was for the actual proposal. Needless to say it was a perfect day, in the midst of a perfect love story.