Carlana and Joey

How We Met

I was out with my girlfriends at a restaurant and saw Joey standing with his friend at the bar. I recognized him from being my 100% match on Match.com. I mentioned it to my girlfriends and they were encouraging me to go up and introduce myself. I am typically too shy and not the type to just approach a man like that, but after a few drinks of encouragement, I went up and asked Joey if he was on Match.com. When Joey said he was, I said, “I thought I recognized you because you kept coming up as my 100% perfect match every time I logged in.” Then he asked me out!!!

We dated for a short week when Joey told me he was in love with me. I was still not ready for a relationship because I had divorced 6 months earlier. Joey said he did not want to continue “dating just to date,” but he would wait for me.

Three years later, I was in Cabo with my daughter for her 17th birthday and on our last day there, we were relaxing on the beach. I looked up Joey on Facebook and saw that he was single, so I sent him a friend request. Over the last three years, I had looked a few times and could tell that he might have been in a relationship, but this time it was obvious that he was not. I told my daughter, Carson, as I sent the friend request to Joey, “He loves me! He’s going to ask me out as soon as he sees this.” And he did! He asked me out for a cup of coffee or dinner – just like I knew he would.

My daughter and I got home from Cabo on a Monday and Joey and I went out to dinner the following Friday. We have been together ever since! We are best friends that are God-focused first. We remind each other how lucky we are to have come back together over the years and that this is truly the relationship God always intended for us. There is no one else for me and Joey has told me many times that there is no one else for him. We have a unique relationship that we pray others can also experience.

How They Asked

Joey, being the Vice President of Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip, was given the opportunity to travel to Nashville and decorate cookie cakes on the daytime show, “Pickler and Ben,” for National Cookie Day on December 4th. I was completely jealous. Not only was he going to meet a personal celebrity favorite of mine, Kellie Pickler, and be on TV, but he was going to do this in my absolute favorite city in the world – Nashville.

Joey kept trying to convince me to rearrange my work schedule to go up with him. I own a hair salon and I was completely booked up with six clients. I did not see how I could make it work. But he continued to ask me to get up there somehow. He told me if I were there in the audience, Kellie might ask me a question. I was sold!

Joey’s cousin helped up us get a flight with his airline miles. The lady said it was too late of notice to use miles, but she would bend the rules for us. I was still at work on Wednesday and had another client at 5:30 pm with my flight to Nashville leaving at 8:45 pm. My last client was sweet enough to let me cut her hair without blow drying it. I left work at 6 pm, went home to pack a bag, and had a martini in hand at the airport by 7:05 pm. God had parted the red sea. There were no red lights, no 6 o’clock traffic and no one ahead of me in security. God’s hands were truly at work.

We arrived at the “Pickler and Ben” set at 7 am the next morning. I helped Joey bring in all the cookies he would need for his segment. He got pulled away to go rehearse while I kicked back with coffee and snacks. Joey came back and told me he talked about me to Kellie and that they would mic me up while I was in the audience in case Kellie asked me a question. I was so excited that I might be on TV being asked a question by a celebrity! They had me sit in the front row of the audience. I started to work it out in my head of which camera they might shoot me from, how my posture was, if my hair looked okay, what question Kellie might ask me and what my answer would be. The show finally started and Joey came on set. He did great job promoting National Cookie Day! At the end of the segment, it seemed like it was wrapping up and I was bummed because I thought they ran out of time and I wouldn’t be asked a question!

But then Ben asked Joey, “Wasn’t there one other thing we wanted to do?” Joey replied back, “Yes, yes there is something else we wanted to do.” All of a sudden Kellie asked, “Is Carlana in the audience?” I had the biggest smile, stood up and waved. Kellie said, “Come on up here girl.” As I made my way up, I had to look directly down to maneuver my heels over the cables lying on the ground. All of a sudden Joey grabbed my hand. I thought he was just being nice by helping me over to the counter where they were decorating cookie cakes, but he started to pull me in the opposite direction. I thought, “Why is Joey trying to take over?

This is Kellie’s show and he is trying to take control,” but I just went with it. He then looked me in the eyes and said, “Carlana, I have loved you for a long time.” This is the only time I realized what might be happening. The audience started to cheer and roar so loud, and I started to break down and cry. I had prayed and hoped he would one day ask me and that we would commit our lives to one another. However, I never expected this to happen now and especially not in this setting on national television in my favorite city in the world. Joey got on his knee and asked me to marry him. Joey did a great job planning and keeping this from me. He knew he wanted to propose in a way that we would remember forever. He took advantage of the opportunity he was given, and I am grateful God allowed this to happen for us!

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