How We Met
On October 15th of 2011, I packed up 24 years of my life living in Stuart, Florida, and ventured about 3.5 hours north to Jacksonville, Florida, where I was going to begin a job working for a small software company. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. Everything was so NEW, but in my heart, I knew it was going to be the right move. The plan for my first few months in Jacksonville was to stay with a friend’s family until I got on my feet and got used to it all. By January 2012, I was apartment hunting.
First stop was this AWESOME place in Jax. It had a beautiful pool, really close to the town center, and literally was right across the street from my job. I had it in the back of my mind that this had to be the place, but wanted to keep looking. I continued to look, but nothing compared to the first place I found. After not too long of consideration, the choice was made and I signed a lease to move into The Wimberly at Deerwood Apartments on March 3, 2012. I was excited for the new adventure, and little did I know how perfect of a place this really was….
Fast forward to later in the year, I came home from a trip to an extremely HOT apartment one Sunday night. I hadn’t ever had any maintenance issues prior to this, so II tried to diagnose it herself.(Bad move…lol). I ended up going to Lowe’s to replace the air filter thinking that might help-NEGATIVE. I tried everything I knew before calling the emergency maintenance line, but I finally gave in. I left a message and was called back shortly after. It went something like this…
“Hello, this is Will from Wimberly maintenance calling. You have a problem with your AC?”
Me: “Yes, (explaining all she’s done so far).”
He runs through a bunch of questions including:
Will: “Can you check your breaker box?”
Me: “Where is that?”
Will: Laughing, “Should be in the kitchen on the wall…”
Immediately I remember I had a picture over it. It was a good laugh.
Will: Sighing, “Well, I guess I will come out there”
Me: “Ok thanks.”
Me *Thinking to myself*, “Is this guy serious? Isn’t this his job? Why is he so annoyed?”
30 minutes past..*Knock Knock*
The door opens, and there is Will. I am holding my dog trying to keep him from jumping on him. The first thing he asks me is if I have a flashlight….
To which I respond- “I have an app on my phone…”
We both again had a pretty good laugh, and the “grumpy maintenance guy” was a lot better.
Needless to say, this was the first time we ever “officially” met. Even though he couldn’t fix my AC until the next day, it was still the most important meeting we didn’t even realize at the time.
Fast Forward to May of 2013…….
I was BEAST mode in the gym. Living the single life, I was working & gymming almost every day, and limiting mysel to going out on the weekends. Kickball was my thing-it was a way to meet a lot of fun people, and got me out doing things. One weekend, I was dressed as Charlie’s angels with two other girls on the team. As the three of us walked through the bar area to the dancing area outside, I bumped right into Will. Immediately I said, “Hey, that’s my maintenance guy!”. I waved to Will, and kept moving.
As the night went on, I saw Will was getting down and dancing to the Wobble, the Wop, and all of the other group dances. Thinking to myself “Is he on a team? I’ve never seen him before.” Since we never really talked much before, we both just kept looking at each other that night, and doing our own thing.
The following week, I started seeing Will at the Wimberly’s gym when I was working out. One Saturday we were in there alone, he proceeded to ask me “Are you still dancing?” I laughed and replied, “Haha yeah-I am on a kickball team. Are you?” He said his friend was, which is why he was there that night.
I told him how fun it was and how they were trying to recruit for next season. I said, “Well, if you want to join what is your number? I will send you the details. Don’t worry, I won’t bother you for maintenance requests or anything.” We exchanged numbers (as friends;).
A few days later, I was at a baseball game and got a text from Will, asking me to go out with him that weekend. At first, I was freaking out. I was in a position of just getting over some stupid fling, and wasn’t sure how I felt about starting another possible “fling”. I thought Will was nice and cute, but immediately started overthinking everything as usual. I had plans to go out of town that weekend, so I couldn’t(Will thought I was blowing him off!) The following Tuesday though, we ended up in the gym at the same time. As we were leaving, we began talking…
The talk lasted an hour or so, until I finally asked if Will wanted to get Tijuana Flats. So, we headed there together as an unofficial first date. One thing I quickly realized, is how much I really loved talking with Will. It was easy. He was so sweet, and he had such an interesting personality that I was intrigued.
One day after work, I came home to an air filter sitting at my door. For some reason, something so simple, but cute, really filled her with happy emotions. I knew it was Will, since the night before he was telling me how to keep my AC clean. It was just the fact that he thought of me during his work day made me smile.
Finally, talking after working out became our routine. We would talk for HOURS. We were hanging out as friends all the time, Will joined kickball, and I started bringing him out. We all went to a club one night, and again, we talked for at least 3-4 hours after that. That weekend, I had to drive to Vero Beach for a funeral, but I did it in one day just so I could come back to hang out with Will that Sunday. I texted my cousin about this, and I still remember what she said-“That’s something really special to be interested in talking to someone that much all the time.” She was absolutely right.
That Sunday in June, we were at the pool in the morning and hung out until later in the evening. At this point, we were both sharing stories of good and bad things in their lives, and there was definitely a connection. We realized how many different interests we had and how opposite we were in a LOT of ways, but something felt natural between us. We were drawn to each other, and the absolute perfect complement to each other’s lives.
After casually dating for about a month, Will finally asked me to be his girlfriend on July 4, 2013 after a friend’s party. With fireworks and drinks in hand, it was the start of a great new beginning for both of us.
Our photo right before we became “official.”
First Kickball game as a couple, July 2013.
It was 3 years of some of the best years of our lives. From learning about each other, to staying strong during 1 year of a long distance relationship, the two of us can conquer ANYTHING life throws our way. This year(2016) has especially been important since they began to look at engagement rings for the first time in February. Will had a plan, and knew I was the one for him. It was just a matter of time before he popped the question……
how they asked
I had always dreamed of how the proposal of my dream would take place. I always envisioned this big production, ya know, the movie type of proposals? I even told Will, that would BE AWESOME if it happened this way. He took note in his head, but I also knew he would make it special in his own way, no matter what it was. As it got more serious between us, and we started the ring shopping, I knew doing it “BIG” was not as important to me. All I wanted was it to be meaningful, to capture us as a couple, and to be a complete surprise to me…..and I have to say, he NAILED it.
So, a little back story. Will asked my mom on October 2nd for the permission to marry me(super cute and traditional). I had a feeling I knew the night it occurred, only because he was at my mom’s on some random night when he wouldn’t normally be there, but I never said anything about it. His original plan was to do it the weekend we planned to go to Discovery Cove, originally October 8th! He wasn’t sure exactly how, but it was going to be that weekend. Well, mother nature called (queue Hurricane Season in Florida), and Hurricane Matthew ruined THOSE plans. I had to reschedule our Discovery Cove trip, which at first was October 29th, and once again finally changed to October 23rd(Sunday). There was no adjusting it after that, rain or shine, we were going! It worked out since we were already going to be in Orlando that weekend for Will’s daughter (Izzy’s) Tae Kwon Doe competition.
Fast forward to that Saturday, October 22nd, we were heading down to Orlando to the ESPN Wide World of Sports for the competition. I remember it was the most gorgeous day in Orlando! It was a little cool, but when it warmed up it was beautiful. We went to lunch with Will’s parents and Izzy at TGIF Fridays, and after we headed to our hotel at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, which was literally across the street from Discovery Cove. We kept debating on a restaurant and spent the afternoon looking at reviews. We finally we both came across “Delmonico’s”. It was a steak/Italian place. It had great reviews, it was unique, and somewhat fancy. Definitely our style and good for a date night out, but little did I know, this wasn’t just ANY date night out. ;)
Doing as I usually do, I took a selfie of me and Will near the elevator. Looking back, this picture meant so much. A, it was the last picture we would take as girlfriend and boyfriend, and B, Will had that diamond ring in his pocket about to ask a very important question. I couldn’t tell if he was nervous at all, and I don’t think he was. ;)
We arrived at Delmonico’s, and they sat us fairly quickly. The first thing I noticed is the table we sat was a little couch area, and instead of sitting apart from each other, we sat next to each other, which added to the romance. The waitress asked if we wanted any appetizers, and at the time I was on a low carb diet so I basically said, “No thanks.” The FIRST thing Will did after our waitress left was get up and say he had to use the bathroom, which I thought was strange(something he never does). Side note, I always have vibes for things that are about to happen. I can never pinpoint WHAT it is, but something felt different. Will came back, and shortly after, the waitress did too. She dropped off a plate and said, I have a small appetizer for you. Initially, I was thinking, “I said no appetizer”, but I looked down and it was a small box. I stared at it for a good moment, not exactly sure what was going on. In my head I thought, “Is it earrings?” Totally clueless, I actually open it. My jaw drops, and I freeze and just continually say “omg, omg omg”. I look at Will and he has his arm around me and starts talking in casual “Will fashion”: “Danielle, we’ve been together for a while. What do you think about being my wife…Will you marry me?” I say “YES, OMG yes”. We were both in such “euphoria” that we forgot what finger the ring goes on. Realizing, it’s the left, and the right is only a tradition in Europe, we fixed it. ;)
After, the waitress brought out champagne and we celebrated this awesome moment. It was one of THE best moments of my life, if not THE best. It wasn’t a huge production, it wasn’t caught on video; it was unique, private, and special. It was absolutely PERFECT. I texted all the close family and friends FIRST that I could think of at the moment, and called my Grandparents. Lastly, I posted it officially on Social Media. After dinner, we walked around the hotel’s fountain and talked about how this is real now, and how awesome it has been that we crossed paths. God put us in this path for a reason. We were destined to meet.
We enjoyed the night and the rest of the weekend. Discovery Cove was even more amazing the next day, as we both crossed something off our bucket list (swimming with dolphins!), and what better way to do it as a newly engaged couple.
I finally found my Mr. Wright. <3