Julie and James

How We Met

James (Jimmy) and I met in THE summer of 2015. I had just graduated from nursing school from Temple University and he had graduated from Penn State University a couple of years before. Although we lived just a town over from each other growing up, we never met. We had very similar lives as well but basically lived in two different, parallel worlds.

Although our paths never crossed through the years, we did come to find out that we knew so many of the same people. We officially met in Sea Isle City, NJ where we would make so many memories to come. We met through mutual friends. A friend and I had gone to SIC to visit some friends from college. They graduated about two years before me so we lost touch. I am a beach lover and like meeting new people so I was happy to go. We were only supposed to go Friday night but decided to stay another day. If we had left, I never would have met my fiancé!

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The first time I saw him we were on the beach that same weekend. Turns out he went to preschool with one of the guys I knew from college, and their families have been friends ever since. He was wearing an umbrella hat (don’t ask) and telling a story, all eyes on him of course. His nickname was “JK” for Jimmy King. So that’s what I first knew him as. I thought he was hilarious and I wanted to spend more time with him.

So we went to a sand bar/restaurant after a day on the beach to get food. All the guys we hung with were always coming up with new jokes. So it’s only fitting that our first real conversation started with him telling me a joke. I found him hilarious and fun to be around. We were inseparable for the rest of the day. He made me laugh and was kind. I could tell we were very similar people. He had a genuine heart and loved his family too. We just clicked and I immediately wanted to hang out again. We balanced each other out perfectly. Our first date wasn’t soon after that and then we were back to SIC for the weekend. It just felt like we were meant to be together and being around him made me happy. He made me a better person.

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My birthday was not long after we started dating. The week of my birthday he was in North Carolina for a vacation with his family. So this amazing guy “JK” drives literally eight hours all the way from North Carolina to Wildwood on my birthday, comes into the condo my family was renting with a bottle of wine for my mom and meets my parents for the first time. He was obviously a keeper!

From there we have spent three summers together in that same beach town. When it wasn’t summer or the weekend, we spent time in our home towns and in the city of Philadelphia, with family and friends. It just felt meant to be. He fit into my family perfectly and I fit into his. We each got apartments with friends, me in Northern Liberties and him in Manayunk. We went on vacations with families. Went through loss, adventures, tough times, happy times, and grew as a couple.

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Our relationship is so much more than the beach town of SIC. Our love story is about understanding, accepting each other, making each other happy, making each other smile, laugh and feel loved. It is also about helping each other grow, supporting each other, learning from each other, and learning from our experiences. But, hands down the best part about our relationship is that we are best friends that fell in love.

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How They Asked

Over three and a half years, our relationship grew and we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We decided to start saving money and start looking for an apartment together. Meanwhile, it seemed like everyone was getting engaged and married! We always talked about our future together, our goals, and had the same vision for marriage but I never knew when our time would come!

This Christmas, 2018, we decided to go on a trip together as our gift to each other. He got us a trip to Clearwater, Florida and we saw the Phillies play in spring training. The trip was at the end of February, and it was truly amazing! We met so many great people, the sunsets were beautiful, the beach was perfect and we cannot wait to go back someday. I still had not suspected that I would be getting engaged soon.

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We got back late Friday night on March 1st, and we were exhausted. I had not gotten my nails done for the trip, which I normally do. So, my mother asked me to get lunch and our nails done the next day, which is a normal thing for us to do. I had not seen her since vacation so was excited. Jimmy had said he wanted to spend the day with his brothers and his family too. Little did I know he was getting the ring with his mother instead!

Jimmy asked my parents on New Years Eve, going into year 2019. We started a tradition of getting dinner and drinks with just us and our parents every New Years Eve. But this past year Jimmy rode with my parents on the way back from the restaurant and I rode with his. I had no idea he was asking my father and mother for my hand in marriage during that car ride.

Sunday Mach 3rd, 2019 was the day we got engaged. Jimmy planned a family get together at a bar in Fairmount called, Cherry Street Tavern. We go to this bar a lot and had been wanting to get our families together, which we do from time to time. His brother was home from college on spring break and his other brother was off from work so it seemed to work out great! He then asked me to get brunch with him before meeting them later to “keep the vacation going and have some time just the two of us”. I loved this idea and we love going to brunch and getting coffee! He made reservations at a restaurant inside the Philadelphia Art Museum which was so cool. The restaurant was called Stir, and we loved it!

After brunch, we decided to walk around to the Art Museum a little and go to the steps to take some pictures/look at the skyline. Thank god we remembered to grab an umbrella! It started raining but we decided to go for it anyway. We finally get to the top of the steps and take a few pictures. At this point we are chilly and wet but still enjoying our day. So Jimmy decides to take a panoramic picture of me facing the skyline. As I have my back to him he starts “taking the picture”- little did I know he was actually fumbling to get the ring out of his pocket! He starts talking and I soon realize what’s going on. My jaw drops, I slowly turn around and see him on one knee, tears in his eyes, and holding an open ring box. I felt like I was in a movie scene. I immediately say yes, kiss him, hug him, and start crying. I can’t stop staring at how beautiful the ring is, its perfect.

Back at the bar- everyone got to see the proposal LIVE! I had no idea that Jimmy had been filming a live video on my Instagram! All of our family and friends got to see the proposal and my reaction. Although we didn’t have the video ourselves we had something even better.

Finally, both under the umbrella (poor Jimmy with pink lipstick all over his lips and one soaking wet knee), we start to take in our surroundings and hear voices. Four bystanders taking a video of the skyline caught the proposal on camera by accident. All I hear is “oh my gosh he just proposed!”. The reactions in the video are priceless and I am so thankful that they were able to capture it. They were kind enough to take pictures of us and send the video to us as well! Thank you to whoever you are!!! We are so grateful!

The night ended with us meeting our AMAZING friends and family at the bar for a celebration! Thank you all so much, we would not be here today without your love and support for our relationship! You and Jimmy made this day so special, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. xoxo

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