How We Met
Cooper and I technically met my freshman year in college at Kansas State University. I was an Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi) and he was a Beta Theta Pi (Beta). Not only were our fraternity and sorority houses pretty much right next door to each other on campus, but we always wound up at the same parties on the weekends. Aside from college parties, Cooper and I were both really involved on campus and also love the sport of volleyball – we even played on the same co-ed intramural volleyball team throughout our four years at K-State. However, I was pretty much always in a serious relationship in college and it never crossed my mind that I would maybe one day date Cooper, let alone get engaged to him! Cooper was the type of guy in college that was always the “life of the party” and I was a little too serious for him, so I am glad it never worked out back then ;) Upon graduating from K-State, I instantly moved up to Kansas City where I took my first job right out of college. Cooper was a year older than me in school and after graduating from K-State, he ended up at KU for Law School for the next three years. After graduating from Law School in Lawrence, KS, he moved back to Kansas City where he grew up.
It took nearly three years for us to reconnect in Kansas City after leaving K-State, but I am SO thankful it did. Timing really is everything. The night before we “re-met” in Kansas City, my roommate’s best friend was over and we were all talking – you know, like girls like to do sometimes. I had seen Cooper out about a month before in Westport (a bar district in Kansas City, MO) and I had told her I had thought he was “cute.” Not knowing she would say anything to him that night before we finally reconnected, she had mentioned to him at a bonfire at his house that night, that I had mentioned this to her earlier! Without even knowing she had said this until much later in our dating relationship, I was out the next night at a bar in Westport and was thankfully ditched by my roommate and saw Cooper standing at the bar with my old ADPi House Boy and his NOW roommate, Keith. Thankful I found someone I knew well enough to hold conversation and drink a beer at a bar with, we instantly hit it off. The funny thing about this was not only would he tell you that he got that extra confidence from my roommates best friend telling him I thought he was cute the night before, but my Mom always told me that I would never find my future husband at a bar. The rest is really history from this point forward. Cooper had asked me for my number that night so he could take me out to dinner and I actually gave him a number that wasn’t one of my best friends or ex boyfriends digits. Looking back at that moment and that night, I am SO thankful that I did. And to this day, I can also tell my Mom that she is ALMOST always right ;)
how they asked
It was exactly ten months to the day of our very first date at The Oliver when Cooper asked me to be his forever. Cooper and I have never really done anything “by the (dating) book.” After just talking for a couple of weeks and going on numerous dates, Cooper asked me to be his girlfriend. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love when a guy knows exactly what he wants. I have always really appreciated that about Cooper. After making him wait a solid 48-hours (I kind of feel bad for that) for a yes or no answer, I told him I would be his girlfriend on October 28, 2017. We both are very open with each other and pretty much can talk about anything and obviously getting engaged and spending the rest of our lives together was something we were both looking forward to in our near future.
The only reason I know that the big question was possibly coming soon was because my Dad actually blew Coop’s cover when he was planning on asking for my Dad’s permission. Cooper was supposed to be in a trial that following week and my Dad had been in town that weekend before. Cooper and I are usually pretty busy on the weekends and he had planned a baby shower for one of our good couple friends that Saturday. From what I knew, Cooper was likely not going to be able to see my Dad that weekend because of the baby shower and trial prep that needed to happen. However, when my Dad called to try and see if we could squeeze in a last minute lunch before the party on that Saturday, he had mentioned that if Cooper couldn’t come “it was no big deal because he was taking him out to lunch tomorrow.”
I was obviously very confused by this because I had thought Cooper needed to be in the office all day for trial prep. It didn’t take long for me to connect the dots when I had heard my step mom in the background yell “Wayyyynnneee” to know what the lunch actually meant. Cooper and I have a history of planning surprise date days for each other and he had asked a while back if he could plan a date day for us on August 19. Without really looking at my schedule, I said “yes!” Little did I know, I actually had made a hair appointment back home in Wichita for that day that would kind of throw a wrench in his proposal plans. Most of my immediate family still lives back home, so when I go back for any kind of appointment, I try to spend the weekend there to see them. My mom being one of those family members who still lives there, is also one of my closest and best friends.
I hadn’t seen her for a while and I was feeling guilty of going all the way home and not being able to spend time with her because I needed to come back for dinner immediately following my appointment. I had asked Cooper if I could stay that weekend but he insisted that I come back because the place he got us reservations for was somewhere that he wasn’t sure we would be able to get back into. I not only thought this was weird because although Kansas City has AMAZING places to eat, with a little heads up, you are usually able to get it no problem. But the thing that I REALLY hung onto and that was weird was the fact that he wasn’t willing to give up the date for me to spend time with my Mom. Cooper and I are both really close to both of our families and we know how important they are to one another – one of the main reasons I love him so much.
So I just thought it was very weird that he was being selfish and not letting me stay to see my mom, who I hadn’t seen for quite some time. I held onto that for awhile but eventually let it go when everyone told me that I was “reading too much into it.” Little did I know that August 19, 2017 would be one of the best days of my entire 26 years. That morning I drove home to Wichita to get my hair done and the entire way down and back, I called all my closest friends to chat and catch up. Of course I had still thought that something might be happening but they ALL acted like they had NO idea and that they obviously would have been acting strange if they knew something was up. So at that point, I had just accepted that it was just going to be a normal surprise date night. After getting my hair done, I rushed home to get ready for our surprise date night.
When Cooper had come to pick me up, I noticed he was wearing the same outfit he wore on our very first date night. Cooper has always been extremely thoughtful and romantic throughout our entire relationship, so I didn’t necessarily think much of it. As we got to the Country Club Plaza, I put two and two together that we were going to The Oliver, not realizing it had been 10 months to the exact day that we had gone on our first date there. As we were being seated, the hostess sat us down in the exact same spot that we had sat in ten months ago. Again, didn’t think much at this point either because Cooper would do something thoughtful like that on just a normal date night (he’s seriously the sweetest). We continue to have an amazing dinner filled with rosè and really yummy food! When you get your receipt at The Oliver, they give it to you in a novel book. On our first date, Cooper and I had written “Don’t care go Cats!” in our very first book – I mean, what else are you supposed to write on a first date?
So this time, when we had gotten our receipt, we decided to write something a bit more sentimental of how our “Book of Life” and “Love Story” officially began at The Oliver ten months ago. So as we wrapped up dinner and began walking out of the restaurant, I noticed Cooper had pulled something out of his sport coat. He had pulled out a blue book. I soon realized that it was the first book from our very first date at The Oliver! STILL not thinking much of it (because Cooper would totally have remembered and found this book to celebrate our 10 months together) I had nonchalantly mentioned how sweet it was that he did that and began walking to the car to go to our post-dinner drinks spot. I soon realized that there was more that he wanted me to see when he began to continue talking (meanwhile his hands shaking uncontrollably).
It was FINALLY at that moment, that I had realized what he had been preparing for ever since my Dad spilled the beans of Cooper asking for his permission to spend his life with mine. As most girls would say, it all happens so fast and you can’t really remember everything they say but I do remember this: Cooper had mentioned on the first couple pages that this was where the first chapter of our lives began pointing to where we had signed the book on our very first date. And then he began to flip to chapter two of the book where I had noticed that he had glued all the pages together on one side of the book and had written “Will You Marry Me?” with the ring box placed within a cutout of the book.
He then got down on one knee and asked me the four words that every girl dreams of hearing from the Love of her life. After saying yes to the easiest question I have ever been asked, I soon realized that his sister had been there the whole time taking pictures of the proposal (along with some other strangers on the Plaza as well). I knew that our families would be involved with the proposal somehow, so after I saw his sister I began looking around for our families to pop out and celebrate with us. I was still in for one last surprise. After I began to come back from “blacking out” during the proposal, Cooper began to walk me around the corner down to another restaurant where he had said he had a bottle of champagne waiting for us. To my complete shock, he had coordinated getting all of our family (my Mom who had lied and said she was going to be in Illinois for the weekend) and friends to celebrate in our first moments as an engaged couple!
He had about 30 to 40 of our closest family and friends waiting for us and it was at that moment that I just completely lost it. I have never felt so loved in a single moment in my entire life until walking into that room. Coop, I have never been so thankful or lucky to have been ditched by a friend and to trust in giving a guy my number I had met at a bar. You are the sweetest thing on my best and worst days and I can’t wait for the day that I officially get to be called Kaitlin Anne MACH! Here’s to writing the rest of our love story and “book of life” together.