How We Met
The first time I met Nick was in our 8th grade English class. He walked in with his black Vans zip-up hoodie and sat in the desk in front of mine. I immediately thought he was the cutest boy in our class…I’m not sure if it was his auburn curly “Nick Jonas” hairstyle or cool-calm-and collected attitude, but that’s when the crush began! Fast forward to high school freshman year, Nick was transferred to my English class after the school year had already started. He strolled in wearing a pair of bright blue skater jeans and sat in the desk in front of me once again. We texted back and forth and throughout summer break before freshman year, but I hadn’t seen him since the last day of 8th grade…so I got extremely nervous when he turned around to greet me. I could feel my face turning red as I choked up the words, “Hi Nick” back to him. As the year progressed, we made small talk and soon enough I was helping him with assignments and papers; after all, English was my strongest subject! We became fast friends and were constantly texting each other on our flip phones. The next year, Nick and I became really close, so close that he decided to ask me to our sophomore homecoming dance! During lunch one day in September 2009, Nick stood up on the round chair at the lunch table and asked me to be his date. His voice was shaky and his face was beet red. (I’m 90% sure he lost a bet to his friends and had to ask me in front everyone, instead of in private like he originally planned). Of course, I said yes! October 17, 2009, rolls around, the night of our homecoming dance, and it was everything I’d imagined it would be as a 15-year-old girl…cheesy I know, but it was perfect! We went to the dance with our friends, ate delicious food and danced the night away. On the drive home, Nick reached over and held my hand for the first time. My stomach filled with butterflies, the same butterflies I got when he asked me to be his girlfriend and kissed me for the first time later that night as we sat on the trampoline stargazing in my friend’s backyard.
We spent the rest of high school together and decided to end our relationship the senior year before going off to college; I was devastated. I remember sitting with my dad after the break-up happened…he told me, “if it’s meant to be, he’ll find his way back to you, I promise”…those words have stuck with me over the past 9 1/2 years. I spent all of our senior years trying to get over him, and hanging out with my friends before we all separated for college in a few months. I deleted all of our pictures, texts, and his number from my phone so I wouldn’t contact him (the more distance, the better). We didn’t speak for months, let alone make eye contact in our classes at school. Fast forward to the summer before our freshman year of college. Nick reached out to me through a drawing game app on our phones (kind of like words with friends, but drawing with friends ha). He sent me a text message apologizing for a weird drawing his brother sent me through the app. I immediately knew it was him, but decided to play “hard to get” and said, “I’m sorry I don’t have this number, who is this?”. He responded with, “It’s Nick…” and I took it one step further, “Nick who?” just to mess with him a little bit haha. To no surprise, this did not deter Nick. I was continually short and dry the entire night, and he would not give up. He was “spittin’ game” as he would say and threw out one-liners that I don’t even think the internet had at the time. It was enough to lighten the mood and we agreed to hang out as friends over the summer. Summer came around and we started talking again and became super close when he lost a loved one. Over time, we started making weekend visits back and forth to see each other at our college campuses (he was in Galveston and I was in College Station). Initially, Nick came to College Station for Aggie football games and crashed at my apartment, and then our trips became more frequent and we visited each other constantly. Our relationship rekindled at the end of our first semester of freshman year, and it was even better than before. We’ve been inseparable ever since! At the end of our sophomore year of college, we both transferred back home to the University of Houston to finish out our degrees. Since then we have moved in together, I have completed my master’s degree, and Nick has been busy working. Nick has been by my side for the hardest moments I’ve experienced in my life. Through my parent’s divorce in high school, losses of loved ones over the years, the ups and the downs, bad haircuts, braces, and so much more. He is my rock, confidant, and very best friend, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without his love and support over the past 9 1/2 years.
How They Asked
This has been the craziest month ever! I graduated with my master’s degree in the second week of May and we went to celebrate in the Dominican Republic the week before Nick proposed. All of my friends checked in during the trip asking, “did Nick do it yet?!” and I responded, “no, I don’t think it’s going to happen here!” After leaving the Dominican, we landed in Austin, TX to drive to Nick’s family lake house the following weekend for his annual birthday celebration. We have been going to Canyon Lake since 2009 for summer vacations and weekend getaways, it holds a special place in our hearts. This year’s lake trip was a big one! Nick turned 25, so we had tons of close family and friends there to celebrate all weekend…little did I know that there would be even more to celebrate!
Hello, Nick here! Courtney and I have been talking about this day for quite some time now and I wanted to make it as perfect as she had dreamed it to be. She always gave me two stipulations for this big day: first, someone should be there to document it and second, she wanted to be presentable with her nails done. My plan fell apart a couple of times over the weekend and instead of proposing on Saturday, the day I originally planned for, I proposed on Sunday, my 25th birthday. We spent the day on the lake with our friends and family, then headed back to the house to get cleaned up and head over to my grandma’s house for dinner. I walked into the kitchen as Courtney is taking off her nail polish over the sink and start to panic! She had 2 rules: document and nails done…what was I going to do now!
I went outside freaking out to my parents and they reassured me that if the timing feels right, just do it and the little details won’t matter (of course, they were right). My mom helped set up a plan to get everyone together for a group picture, and then everyone would break up into smaller groups for photos, eventually leading to the moment I had been waiting for. As everyone came outside to sit on the porch after getting cleaned up, Courtney walked out in her Austin, TX tie-dye t-shirt, makeup-free, and no nail polish. I, on the other hand, was dressed up in a polo collared shirt and tan shorts; so unlike me. It’s like the roles were reversed that day! Courtney seemed to notice that my mom and I were dressed up for my grandma’s, so she decided she was going to go upstairs to change into another top before the group photo. Several minutes later she came downstairs in the same outfit she had on and said, “ah everyone else is in comfy clothes, so I want to be in comfy clothes too!” I ignored the fact that she was in an obnoxious shirt (that she’d regret wearing later) because she looked more beautiful than ever.
After our group photos, it was finally our turn to take our picture, just the two of us. I goofed around, as usual, to make her laugh and feel comfortable. She had had enough and began to walk away, so I grabbed her hand and pulled her in towards me. My eyes immediately filled with tears as I tried to speak. She looked up at me and said, “Is this really happening? OMG Nick, I’m in tie-dye!” We both laughed as I reassured her how beautiful she was and tears started streaming down her cheek. I pulled her tight, kissed her forehead, and told her how special she is to me and how special this place is to us. I could only get about 10 words out before I lost it and started bawling my eyes out. The world disappeared as we stood there staring into each other’s eyes. I got down on one knee and said, “Courtney Blake, will you marry me?” and she cried out, “YES!” All of our friends and family cried and cheered as I slipped the ring on her finger. Although she wasn’t in her best dressed like she would have hoped, we got a great hashtag out of it ;)… #TieDyingTheKnot
Best birthday present ever!