Erika and Mike

Image 1 of Erika and Mike

How We Met

I was interning in New York City summer 2013 before my final year at The University of Texas. My friend Julia was in town visiting me during my first week in New York and convinced me to go out the night before my first day of my internship. We had no idea where to go and somehow ended up in the Meatpacking District at STK. My eyes first met with Mike in an elevator as we headed up to the rooftop. Mike bought us a drink and then we walked over to the The Standard Biergarten and had a beer chugging contest before we exchanged numbers and split ways for the night. A few days later Mike asked me out on a date and I was taken aback by his genuine personality, intelligence, and his taste for good wine and a good cocktail!

As our first date night was coming to an end, we were passing some wine event and decided to crash it – so much fun! We saw each other almost daily that sweet summer and I loved every moment with him. I was so sad to be leaving back to Texas to complete my final year of school. We continued to date long distance and he would visit me in Austin and fly me to NYC. Upon graduation, Mike asked me to move to Chicago with him and I said YES!

Image 2 of Erika and Mike

(our first pic the 1st night we met!)

how they asked

Mike travels for work about once a month and this time he was traveling to Austin,Tx for a work conference. He asked if I wanted to join for the weekend and of course I did since Austin is where so many of my friends from college live. The entire weekend had thunderstorms in the forecast so we didn’t get to do as much as I had planned. When Mike first visited me in Texas I took him to one of my favorite parks in Austin, HOPE Outdoor Gallery. I knew it had evolved quite a bit from what it was over 3 years ago so we had plans to go back and check it out before dinner with his friends on Saturday night. However, there was no way he was getting me there because it was pouring cats and dogs! Literally, 30 minutes before our dinner reservation, not far from the park, the clouds cleared and the rain STOPPED.

He convinced me to go even though I knew it would be muddy. When we got out of the cab, his hands were clammy and he seemed confused as he led me in different directions. He walked me over to one of the walls of the park and that’s when I lost it and saw ‘Our Eyes’ as one. Mike got down on one knee and was choked up telling me how much he loved me, that I was so beautiful, and he wants to spend forever with me.

Image 3 of Erika and Mike

I was ugly crying by this point and I could just hear people in the distance clapping and cheering. I heard a camera clicking to my side and turned and saw one of my sister’s snapping away! I looked up in confusion and saw my entire family cheering for us and it was just magical. Mike commissioned a very talented artist @StarkeyMiles to graffiti art a mural of our eyes with a saying we made up “YAML”=”You are my Love”.

It turns out there was no “fine dining” dinner reservation like he had said, and not even a work conference. Apparently we were going to go to the park “rain or shine” because my entire family had driven over an hour to join our special day. We had dinner with my family after and celebrated all night. It was truly magical how the rain stopped for our special day. Mike executed my dream proposal flawlessly. I feel so lucky to know I will spend eternity with him!

Image 4 of Erika and Mike

Our Video

Special Thanks

Starkey Miles
 | Painted 'Our Eyes' Mural