How We Met
When I first met Brad Woeppel, if someone would have told me that I would fall in love with him – I would have told them they were nuts! The last 9 years of our lives have certainly been eventful – but I would not change a thing. We have been through everything that is meant to tear a couple apart, and we have come out on the other side not only stronger but most importantly – together. While I knew that I wanted to marry Brad many, many years ago – it took him a little longer…and he was given a hard time about it often. I always said that when Brad Woeppel decides he is ready to marry me, and he decides he is ready to propose – it will shock me no matter what, because I will never ever expect it to happen. The photos that were taken during our proposal will tell you – I was beyond shocked!!!!
I met Brad Woeppel on July 4th, 2009, and was introduced to him by my older sister Lindsey. He and I became friends pretty quickly and remained friends until we started dating October 4th, 2009. We had both had previous relationships where we were hurt very badly and taken advantage of – therefore, the thought of actually having a serious and successful relationship was not something that felt like it could really exist. Brad was a very independent person, who was very strong-minded, yet was also very easy to talk to. We started our relationship off, only as friends. The more we were able to get to know each other, it was obvious that we both had an unbelievable impact on each other’s lives. I feel that Brad and I were able to teach each other so many things about life – and I know that I will forever be grateful. To say that I am lucky and blessed to spend the rest of my life with this man honestly puts a permanent smile on my face. I truly believe that God has brought this man into my life, to be my forever partner.
how they asked
The proposal day – was a whirlwind. To me, it started off as any other day. It was the final week for live horse racing at Oaklawn, and Brad and I took off a few days of work so we could go. Arkansas Derby Day was scheduled for Saturday, April 14th and I wanted to get my hair done prior to that day, so I scheduled to have it done Thursday morning at 8 am. Brad and I had planned to go to the races that afternoon, however – I knew that we were going to be late, and would at least miss the first race. We were meeting our friend Kristen there, but knew that she would be fine entertaining herself for a little while. I spent the morning with my hairdresser and friend Charla and by 1:00 I was leaving Bryant, Arkansas to make the 45 minute trip back home, to pick up Brad and head to the track! I got home, changed clothes and we jumped in the car and headed to Oaklawn.
We are members of the Oaklawn Jockey Club, where Kristen was already sitting at our table waiting for us. Once we arrived it was the first of the 5th race and Lou from Guest Relations came by our table and said that he needed our help – he needed someone to present the trophy to the winner at the 7th race because the person who was scheduled to do it was unable to because they were sick. Brad and I had sponsored races before and loved being able to watch the race from the rail on the track and being able to present the trophy to that winning jockey and owner, so I excitedly said we would love to! To me, this felt like any other day, and I was just excited to spend the day with the people I love. We ordered something to drink and eat and started looking at the races ahead. When it came time to go down to the track for the 7th race, Kristen decided to stay upstairs and watch from our table.
We went to the track and met Pam Mullenix there who is a friend of ours, who also happens to work for Oaklawn in the Operations department. She told us that she was going to go and watch the race with us and would take pictures. We went out to the rail, took pictures of ourselves and watched the race. We then were able to walk out on to the track to present the trophy to the winning trainer and we got our photo taken with them and the winning horse. It was all so exciting, and I as I turned around to hand my phone off to Pam, I remember seeing John Hopkins another friend of ours who is the Track Superintendent and wondering how he was able to get away to come down there. After presenting the trophy – I remember my eyes were drawn to the horse for a few moments, as he was a beautiful gray horse and I was in awe of him.
I remember then turning around and looking for Brad so that I could grab his hand so he could help me off the track. Once I turned around and didn’t see him at eye level – I was confused for only a moment as I vaguely remember seeing Pam with my phone in her hands, and hearing everyone around us cheering. I then see Brad down on one knee – and all I remember thinking was that he chose a really random time to worry about tying his shoe. Haha – remember me saying that I would be shocked no matter what?? I was not kidding!! So the words that came out of my mouth once I realized what was happening…..are not words that should be mentioned on here, but let’s just say – I wasn’t sure this was really happening, and once I saw the ring, I just remember taking it from his hand and staring at it wondering if it was real!
I saw the words “Pick me!” on the ring box and couldn’t help but laugh, as I gave it back to him, and put my hand in front of him so he would put the ring on my finger. It was then, that I realized that the track photographer was in front of us taking photos and asking us to pose for him….and I became overwhelmed with reality and started to cry.
I kept asking him how he did this without me finding out, and saying I couldn’t believe how perfect this moment was. Pam was, of course, capturing it all on video. Not only did all of the patrons see this proposal that day – but it was also aired Worldwide on the TVG network which is the horse racing network. We became Oaklawn celebrities for the day. : ).