How We Met
Justin and I met freshman year of high school when a mutual friend introduced us. I remember an immediate connection as we both blushed saying hello walking the hall on the way to class. Sadly, it was the end of freshman year with only 1-week left until summer break and we failed to exchange phone numbers. I spent that summer dreaming of “the cutie in the hall”. Little did we know that fate had its own plan. Two weeks into sophomore year Justin’s schedule was changed, which meant now we would have the same 3rd block Spanish class together. Our teacher Mrs. Leggett placed Justin in the only desk left in class, and it happened to be the desk in front of me! This class quickly became the highlight of both of our days.
I spent my days constantly finding ways to get his attention, (quietly of course being the respectful student that I was)! One day Justin tricked me! I can still picture this exact moment like it was yesterday. I would always kick the back of his chair but this time he caught my foot, took off my shoe, and threw it across the classroom! Immediately Mrs. Leggett yelled at him, “Pablo! Llama a tu mama ahora!” Justin stood up and called his mom to tell her what he did and in front of the whole class he said, “I can’t help it mom, she’s so beautiful!” The next week we began officially “dating” after he asked me, “can I call you mine?” We quickly built memories that will last a lifetime, weekend camping/horseback riding with his family, beach days with our friends, Friday night football games as he would play and I would cheer, 2 high school proms, even the special title from our graduating class announced as “best couple”. We have an extremely rare relationship that we both cherish each and everyday.
how they asked
The day Justin proposed was the best day of my life and more than any dream come true. One Sunday morning around 8am I was woken up with a kiss on my head, a tray placed on my lap filled up breakfast goodies, and my mom saying, “cheese!” I was so confused with a bright flash in my eyes being that I was half asleep and before I knew it Justin and my mom stole my phone and ran out of the room! There I was left with homemade buckwheat pancakes, strawberries, blueberries, orange juice, coffee, water, and 3 white/gold sparkly envelopes labeled “1A, 1B, and open me when finished eating.” The envelopes were even sealed with gold hearts! Still puzzled at this time, I get excited and start opening the first 2 cards to find each had instructions full of careful thought and full of love.
The moment I read in the 2nd card, “have you ever woken up with that feeling knowing it is going to be a good day” (as it went on to mention how Justin wanted to wake up with me and have that feeling forever) I freaked out with excitement and shoved a whole pancake in my mouth!
I couldn’t’ wait to be done eating to read the next card! BTW those pancakes were delicious! “Is this really happening?” I thought to myself, “It’s a random Sunday no way this can be happening. OMG what if it is?? Calm down Brittany-don’t get all excited for nothing!” So I finished my breakfast with the biggest grin on my face (which by the way has still not left) and hopped in the shower as the next card had instructed me to do. My mother greeted me with the 4th card around 10 am after showering.
I did not know this until later but Justin had apparently given her written instructions for the entire day as well, her instructions had phone numbers, addresses, and everything she needed including the times (down to the minute) of when she was supposed to give me each envelope! I was so happy my mother was in town and Justin chose her to be the one with me throughout the entire day to witness these special moments with me- that in itself just shows all the little things he thought of to make this day as special as it was. The next envelope was full of cash and gave me instructions to “pick out an outfit” with a “P.S. think flowy and breezy”. THAT’S WHEN I KNEW HE WAS GOING TO PROPOSE THAT NIGHT! AHH! I was jumping with joy; he was making me feel like a princess!
I started to cry just imaging the day; my mom was just as emotional as I was! We were laughing, crying, jumping, I was even skipping a few times throughout the day! So off we went to Tampa International Mall and entered the first store we saw- BCBG. We couldn’t believe it- the very first dress ended up being the one! The perfect dress! The only dress I tried on, the only one left of its size and color, which happened to be my XXS size, AND it matched my nails! It was meant to be! Oh, by the way, it is also Justin’s favorite color on me! We were so excited I had to calm my mom down on the way home; she was driving like a race-car driver swerving through 4 lanes as we danced and screamed in happiness! HA-HA! (If you know the 2 of us you can picture that exact moment perfectly).
When we got back home the next card informed us that the next place would be a suite to get my hair done! Talk about feeling like a princess! And guess who gave me the next card? My awesome hairdresser gave me it when she finished! Justin knows me like a book because at this point it is about 3 pm I could not wait to see him, and the card mentioned we’d be going back home to await instructions but he would not be there. We had 2 hours of downtime before we had to get on the road so I wrote in my diary to catch the memories and special details of the day, did my makeup, and then received another card! My mom and I both cried for this one it said, “You can find me at one of our favorite places where the land meets the sea”.
My mom informed me we were going to the North Beach at Fort De Soto (it’s our favorite beach). We left the house prompt at 5:15 pm.
The last card was given to me as we parked that said; “I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time, come take a walk with me”. Oh man, I was nervous, excited, confused, just speechless! I wanted Justin in my arms!
I literally had no idea what was about to happen- neither did my mom. I started walking and saw the first wooden sign that stood about 3 ft tall and was custom designed/painted. It had an arrow and said, “this way to happily ever after”. If you’ve ever been to this beach you’d understand the walk is approximately 1/3 of a mile to get to where we sit where the beach comes to a point. So I started walking. It was the most beautiful evening; the ocean was calm as the waves hit the shore right at sunset. I noticed all kinds of people, some were starring at me, some were telling me I looked beautiful, some were telling me I was so lucky and congratulations, some I could hear hugging my mom a few yards back, some were even crying! I’m still so baffled at this point in my 4-inch heels and lovely dress.
Then I see the photographer and another sign; now I feel at home. As I see the 1st sign I quickly realized there are about 20 something more custom designed signs (all about 10-15 feet behind one another) full of pictures and memories with words from Justin’s heart. Each had a red rose on the ground beneath it that I picked up, as I would read each sign. Memories, some making me laugh, some making me cry, and they just kept going. I was squinting trying to see where Justin was- all the way down at the point of the beach- at the end of the beautiful signs, by the time I got to the last sign that read “will you marry me”.
I dropped my roses and ran into Justin’s arms! I have never been so happy as a heart carved in the sand full of rose pedals and candles surrounded us. He got down on 1 knee, pulled out a custom treasure chest box with the most perfect ring I could ever imagine in it.
Jumping with love and joy, I SAID YES!
Soon after both of our families and close friends came running out of the dunes to congratulate us! AHH! The photographer got more pictures and Justin told me we had another surprise waiting for us.
After the sunset we left the beach and went to our next location at our favorite rooftop bar called The Canopy, which overlooks Beach Drive in downtown St Petersburg. Justin had rented out a canopy for us where more of our friends/family waited to congratulate us! I truly wish I could bottle this day up and save it forever, I haven’t stopped grinning since.