Grace and Donte

How We Met

It was my first year at college and we had first met just hanging out and playing volleyball in the sand courts of our student living area. Over the months, our friend groups became more and more intertwined so we were spending more and more time together. I always thought he was this really friendly person who made everyone feel comfortable. I could tell that he loved serving people when he invited my friends and me to his dorm where he cooked a whole meal for us- this is also where I fell in love with his cooking, he is EXCELLENT in the kitchen! We all came in and sat around eating and laughing, he made us all feel so at home at that moment. In October that year, we took a trip to Walmart one night because he needed groceries and wanted someone to go with him. I volunteered and it ended up being one of the most fun Walmart trips I’ve ever taken. We talked about our lives, learned all about each other as we strolled up and down the aisles, I remember him saying ‘the next girl I date, I’m going to make sure she’s the one I want to marry.’ We were just friends at the time but that really resonated with me. After a few months of getting to know each other more, him listening patiently to all of my problems, my friends constantly saying how we need to just date already, Sunday night viewings of the Walking Dead and one night in January he finally asked me on a date. It didn’t take much longer after he’d asked for me to tell him yes! Then as he was walking me back to my dorm, we stopped on a street corner- in the middle of the rain- and we shared such a sweet kiss. Whenever we’re back in our college town and we see that corner, we get so nostalgic. From that moment, there was dates and adventures, trips to hometowns, thousands of hours spent binge-watching our favorite show- One Tree Hill, we would get together with our friends play lacrosse and volleyball, have scary movie nights, Sunday morning church together and so much more. He has been my best friend, my confidant, the person who I trust with my whole heart. He has shown me so much kindness and love, he has helped me to grow and constantly challenges me to be better, prays for and with me, he is everything I could have dreamt of and more.

how they asked

After my 22nd birthday at the end of November, Donte had organized a whole dinner outing with our friends. We all got dressed up and headed out to the restaurant. A twist awaited me as we began heading in the opposite direction of the restaurant we originally said we were going to! I started asking questions and honestly getting a little annoyed that no one, not Donte not our friends, would tell me where we were going. We traveled all of about 45 minutes to our location which just so happened to be the same restaurant, in my hometown! I was so confused but I thought, ‘well, we’re here now and I’m hungry let’s go!’ When I walked in, I had to do a double take because my family was sitting in there as well.

I thought it was such a coincidence until they told me Donte had invited them. We sat down to dinner and it was so wonderful having them all there, one of the funniest moments of the night was when Donte got a purple drink spilled ALL down the back of his shirt, which honestly helped ease his nerves because I could tell he was jittery but I didn’t know why until later that night. After dinner, we went to go take pictures near this giant Christmas tree that the park puts up every year, it’s so bright and beautiful! I took pictures with all my gal pals, and then as I was taking pictures with Donte, he says he has one more gift for me. He hands me a little blue bag and inside of it is a Dunkin’ Donuts box, this is extra wonderful because I happen to be a big fan of theirs, with two boston kremes inside; one with a ring drawn in icing and the other a question mark.

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In my stupor, I didn’t understand until I looked up and him and watched him drop to his knee! I honestly couldn’t remember what he said to me because of all the emotions swirling in my head and all the happy tears pouring out of my eyes, in between crying and smiling and managed to say ‘YES!’ I was soon swarmed by our friends and family who were also tearing up. It was so perfect just to be surrounded by people I loved, in a quiet little spot, next to a beautiful tree with the man of my dreams!