How we met: Greg and I both attended college at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio (Go BOBCATS!!). He was a freshman my sophomore year, and we were both members of the same Christian group. I remember the first time meeting him thinking he was so tall! Weirdly enough, I started off the year having a baby crush on Greg’s friend Bryan. One night in October, I was bored and I texted Bryan saying we should go shoot hoops at the recreation center, Ping. When I got there, I saw that he brought Greg with him, and the 3 of us shot around and played 21. I distinctly remember making Greg pinky promise he wouldn’t block me (he is 6’7″ and I am 5’8″), and then him blocking me later! We were flirty all night, and by the time I went back to my dorm, I was more than a little interested in Greg. As time went on Greg and I hung out more; we watched Disney movies and got to know each other. We found out our parents lived within 30 minutes of each other at home, and made plans to hang out over our Christmas break. We went on our first “official” date to The Franklin Park Conservatory, and our second to the Columbus Zoo for the Christmas light display. On December 13, 2009, we went to dinner with my family, and afterwards we made our relationship “official”, and decided to be exclusively dating. It was 2 months later at an OU basketball game that he first told me he loved me, and things only got better from there.
how they asked: Unfortunately for Greg, I’ve read just about every Nicholas Sparks book out there. When I was much younger, I read his book The Wedding, in which Mr. Sparks has the main character plan a gorgeous, romantic day for his wife, which ends with the two of them renewing their vows to each other. Needless to say; pre-teen Erika was hooked. Ever since finishing that book, in the back of my mind I had this vision of my ideal proposal.
Fast forward 10 or so years; I’ve met Greg, gotten to know him, and the “marriage” talks are flowing. If you know me, you know I am not the most subtle, so I basically straight up tell Greg about my impossibly high proposal standards. I would read stories online about girls getting engaged in my ideal fashion…and then send them to Greg. See, not subtle at all. After more than 4 years of dating (and plenty of pestering by me) Greg made all my dreams come true with the most wonderful proposal I could imagine.
I woke up this particular Saturday morning and went to breakfast with my mom, step-dad and sister (starting the proposal off with three of the people who mean the most to me!). When we got home my sister informed me that my first “clue” was waiting for me somewhere in our garage. I walked around looking, and we played the “hotter/colder” game, until I found a letter and rose in our basketball bin!
In this letter from Greg, he talked about how it was only natural for this to start with basketball, as it played such an important part in our relationship. Our first time we really “hung out” was with a mutual friend playing basketball at Ping. We went to many OU basketball games together and loved cheering on our Bobcats. The first time Greg told me he loved me was at an OU basketball game (and it was actually an accident – just slipped out; ask me about it sometime and I’ll tell you the story)! We even spent our first Valentine’s Day together watching the NBA all-star game. The letter went on to say my first stop would be going to see my horse, Liberal!
Alyssa drove me to the barn, where we took some pictures with Lib and gave him some treats! It was very touching to me that Greg included Liberal in the proposal. Horses are both a huge financial and time commitment, and one thing I love about Greg is his constant support in this passion of mine. There was another letter and rose at the barn, this one telling me that my next stop would be going to buy a new dress for the night! If you know me, you know I LOVE dresses, so this was very exciting.
We got to the store, and I picked out bunches of dresses to try on! In the end, I could not decide on just one dress, so I ended up getting two! (Again, if you know me, this should not surprise you!) Upon checking out, the cashier handed me another letter and rose. This letter told me I would be going over to my friend Mallory’s house!
Mallory is a Mary-Kay consultant and she spent an hour doing facials with me and doing my make-up for the evening! It was such a relaxing time catching up with her and knowing the my face would look flawless for the evening! After we were done I got another letter and rose, this one telling me it was time for an ice cream break!
I love ice cream. More than I love most things in this world. Lyss took me to Coldstonewhere we were surprised by my mom and step-dad! We enjoyed some delish ice cream, and there got the next letter and rose telling us next it was time to get a mani and pedi!
We went to a super nice salon nearby, where we spent two hours getting completely pampered! My nails looked gorgeous and I was so relaxed by the time we left! It was here that I received my last rose, telling me it was time to go home and get ready for dinner “at the place that started it all”. I knew then that we would be going to LaScala for dinner – the Italian restaurant we went to the night we started dating!
I went home and anxiously awaited Greg’s arrival. I knew the proposal was coming soon, but wasn’t sure exactly when it would happen! He picked me up and we went to the restaurant. We ordered our food and ate dinner (he ate very little – I later found out it was because he was nervous!), and still no proposal! After we finished eating Greg was very fidget-y, and kept looking over his shoulder. Finally he saw what he was looking for (my sister, there to capture everything on camera!), at which point he got down on one knee and asked me to spend forever with him! I of course said yes, and everybody around us clapped! LaScala then surprised us by bringing us congratulatory champagne, and we ordered some dessert (since Greg was now hungry!).
I was so touched that Greg took all of my “hints” to heart, and put so much thought and effort into creating the perfect day for me. I honestly could not ask for a better man to plan a life with. I will forever cherish the photos and memories from this day.