How We Met
We went to High School together and during my Junior year (her sophomore) she caught my eye. Her older brother JP is my age and we were friends so I had always known of Emma. She was a cheerleader, I played football, and we had some mutual friends. I thought she was unbelievably beautiful and I had to be with her. I reached out to her and we began talking and soon enough we were “dating”. I like to refer to this little jaunt as “fake dating”. During this time I certainly liked her and she liked me but it was High School and the idea of being in a relationship sounded glamorous until it didn’t. I was her first kiss while “fake dating” and then after about a month, she texted me to see if I wanted to get ice cream. Sure enough, I smiled and said absolutely because who doesn’t love ice cream and cute blonde girls. I drove happily over to her house to pick her up only to find out that her plan was to break up with me in the driveway. She was saddened by this but she felt like it wasn’t God’s timing for her to have a boyfriend. She cried and broke the news to me. I don’t remember much about what was said since my 17-year-old-self was shocked. I got back in my car and headed home.
Many people at this point would write off this girl and move on, but I was not going to give up that easy. I decided if I couldn’t date her I wanted to be best friends with her. I decided to start hanging out at her house with her and her siblings and over the years became very close with everyone especially her brothers. I became so close to her and her family that I began working for her father at his business.
Emma and I both had several relationships in between with other people and always seemed to stay best friends during all of that. She would always come to me during tough times with others and I would always do the same. Throughout this time though, one thing remained, I still liked Emma. There was a point where I accepted my position in the friend zone and was totally fine with JUST being friends even though it was so hard to subdue my feelings for her.
In the Summer of 2016, I was working at the Shop for her father and Emma was also there working as the receptionist. Lucky for me we got to sit right next to each other for several weeks. We talked a lot and this is the time where she claims to have really begun to start liking me again. At the end of the summer, with the approval of her family, she asked if I would be able to go on their family vacation to Florida. It was there in Florida, at night, on the beach, where I knew that I loved her. We went for a night walk on the beach and inevitably ended up holding hands and I had major feels for her. We exchanged a kiss and I knew what I felt deep down for so long was true and real. I had to play very cool and realize that we were still friends because right after we kissed she told me that she couldn’t date me. I didn’t care because I got to kiss the most beautiful girl I had ever seen and I knew I had a fighting chance.
After Florida, I immediately flew to my Uncle Gary’s house in Washington and I had lunch with him and explained how I loved her and I knew I wanted to be with her but I didn’t know what to do. I plotted ideas of typing out letters to her anonymously to see if she could fall in love with me not knowing it was me. The crazy ideas faded and she ended up ignoring me most of the Fall 2016 semester because according to her now she was very scared. I continued to try and hang out with her and communicate but nothing was working.
My big break was when I was supposed to fly to Venezuela for a wedding. I did not have the right Visa due to recent and unknown law changes so I had to fly home. This was during Thanksgiving break so I was able to hang out with her unexpectedly. She seemed very excited that I was able to hang out despite my previous plans. I remained calm and kept playing it cool in friend mode.
Christmas break of 2016 rolled around a few weeks later and we were able to hang out very consistently for about 10 days for 12 hours per day. This is really where traction was gained but mentally I was still in friend mode. I actually ended up taking another girl out to dinner one night over the break and during that whole day Emma kept asking if I wanted to go ice skating. I explained that I had dinner plans. Truthfully, I was not playing any games and trying to make her jealous, my mind was purely in friend mode. I, of course, liked her but always wrote off the chance to be with her. She was just my dream girl that seemed unreachable. My dinner plans that night ended around 12 and Emma Facetimes me on the way home. I answer and she asks if I want to come over. I happily say yes.
The big moment: That night we stayed up til about 5 am talking and she finally told me that she liked me but she couldn’t date me but she didn’t want to see me with anyone else. I left her house very very very confused but excited that I had a shot. I left for 3 weeks two days later and it was the longest 3 weeks of my life. I returned and took Emma on our first official date and never looked back since.
Fast forward to present day. January 2018. after a little over a year of being together. It has been the most fun time of my life and we have gotten to share so many memories together. This past year has been only a forecast of what life may hold and boy does it look very sunny with a chance of love. I have never been so certain of something in my whole life. The Lord has confirmed so many times to me that I am supposed to be with her. We have had challenges and hardships along the way but what I know is that I love her to the fullest definition of Love. Even when I don’t like her, I love her. Even when it is hard I choose her every day. She is my best friend and my partner for life. I want you all to be a part of this special moment where I ask her to be my Wife and to join me in a lifelong journey of laughter, adventuring, pain, struggle, and love. I want you to be my witness so I can tell the world how I feel about this girl.
how they asked
I had been planning this for months on end starting with talking with her parents, then arranging the ring to be made, and finally picking a date. I told her friends 2 weeks before so they could begin to help me start planning the actual logistics of it all and then a week before I made a private Facebook event. The day was January 27, the stage was set, I was ready as could be. I drove to Waco, Texas to pick her up after she casually got brunch with her friends. They luckily had all dressed nicely and that was taken care of. She had gotten her nails done the day before with a friend. Once I picked her up around noon everyone else began setting up the after party and then going to the Proposal site to set up the magical scene that I had conjured up.
We had about 5 hours to kill as I needed to be on a knee at about 5:30 since sunset that day was 5:59. I had to be precise for the perfect lighting so that I gave our photographer the best opportunity to capture this magical moment of pure joy. We went to the zoo which I had allotted 2 hours for and within 30 minutes she was ready to leave. LOL. We then went to go bowling and they had a private event all day, I had also allotted two hours for this. So 45 minutes into my 5 hours that I had to kill I was left with almost no plans. So I did what I do best and I completely improvised. We had such a fun day! We got acai bowls, we went to the mall, and we went to a winery!
After the winery wine tasting, we proceed to the park that is lakeside and had the beautiful winter hue to it. Everything was set in place and ready to go. She had no idea because we had been to the lake before and she thought we were just going to hang out. My elaborate plan was coming into full effect. I had selected 15 pictures in chronological order to all be put in envelopes along a pre-mapped walk. It was set up by her friends and family who were all waiting in the woods and watching from afar. We came up to the first envelope that was just sitting in the park under a rock and I questioned, “What is this?”. I proceeded to open it and pull out a picture of us in high school and she looked at me and with tears in her eyes and whispered, “I am so nervous, is this happening?”.
We continued on along the path and I told her why every picture that I had picked was so special to me and why every moment captured in those photos was crucial to our relationship. I told her why I loved her through every moment. She was in utter disbelief. We came up to the last picture which was a picture that had just been printed. It was a picture of a custom gazebo that my best friend made for us that was decorated by her friends and family. The picture was of the scene in front of her and I explained to her that we were going to make a new memory in this picture.
We walked towards the gazebo that was wrapped in lights and flowers and sprinkled with rose petals. I grabbed her hand and brought her up on it and opened a box that was attached to the railing. In the box was the ring and a letter. This letter was very special because it was a letter I had written almost a year prior. It began, “If you’re reading this you are we are engaged”. I read it aloud to her and went through the words that I had written long ago. They had only gotten more true and real. I explained that “I knew I was going to marry you (her) from the moment we started dating”. She was crying throughout the letter. I reminded her how much I loved her and cared about her and opened the ring box. I asked with full joy, “Emma Hope Hennessey, will you marry me?”. She proclaimed, “Yes!”.
She cried and we hugged for a long time. I placed the ring on her finger and then everyone ran out from the woods with so much excitement! She cried and hugged everyone and was surprised by the people that were able to make it. After taking several pictures we went to her house and had a party with over 100 people there that were so excited to celebrate us! What a magical day! I love her, for the rest of my days.