Kelby and Nick

how they asked: EEK! It was the best day of my life!!! The Fourth of July is already my favorite holiday – and Nick made it ALL the more my favorite this year! I thought I was on to him a couple of times in recent weeks – but I thought he was doing it the weekend before he did! He had cancelled coming to the lake for the pre-fourth weekend, which was odd. So, I thought for sure he was surprising me and going to come up to the lake with a RING!

But, Sunday arrived … and he was definitely still in Indianapolis. One of my best friends, Megan, hosted a “run-bike-ski the lake and then brunch” party at her house … when she and I were running, she said, “look Kelb, last weekend at the marina party, someone asked Nick if he was going to propose, and he got kind of defensive about it and told them he felt really bad because he didn’t want you to be disappointed and let down on your favorite holiday.”

GAH. I was so sad at this comment. So sad! I proceeded to go home and text my sister, Haley, what Megan had said, I told her how let down I was, and asked for a “sister talk” later (little did I know that BOTH Megan and my sister knew Nick’s plan!). … she texted me consoling words and calming thoughts, and did get out of the “sister talk.” (The next week, she said she was doing all she could to not have to talk to me voice-to-voice about it on the phone, because she didn’t want to spoil anything!). I had also mentioned Megan’s comment to my mom, who had to do her best (and did do her best!) to hide anything she knew.

So, Friday came just 5 short days after these conversations with Megan, Haley, and my mom. I was basically over the idea that it could happen over the fourth weekend because we had lots of friends coming in and out, a lot planned, and were overall just super busy! On Friday morning, Nick got up very early, which is odd. It was about 6:15. I didn’t think anything of it, as he is training for a marathon and wanted to get his long run in before Brian and Zibby got to the lake at 9.

We stayed in bed and talked and snuggled for about 30 minutes, while Miranda slept in the bottom bunk. Nick left, and I went on with my morning. I slept a little bit longer, hung out with my mom and sister, and then Haley and I went on a bike ride around the lake the girls. It was so fun! In the afternoon, Nick and I went surfing in Keegan’s boat with a lot of our closest lake friends – later I found out that EVERYONE in the boat knew what was coming later that afternoon!!!

I was lying on the back of the boat with Megan and said “this is just the best day ever” – I was having so much fun with some of my very best friends on the lake … it was perfect. The girls said later that they wanted to scream “YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!!” (:

Keegan dropped us off at Nick’s house after we went surfing. He and I jet skied to the island to meet our families there – my family had left, but his was there. My sister rode over on the jet ski and we just hung out in the water with a cocktail and chatted – it was great weather! We hung out for about 45 minutes and then all headed home.

Nick went to his house because Joe and Sarah had just gotten there. I decided to go home and get ready for cocktail hour at Megan’s at 6:15 with all of our friends, followed by All American TGIF at the Yacht Club. I was so excited!

As I was getting ready in the basement, Haley came down to see what I was wearing. I told her I was going to wear my red shorts with my red/white/blue flannel – festive for the fourth! I told her I had considered a dress, and I knew Megan was wearing one (she had told me like 5 times that she was wearing a “nicer dress” and needed an opinion if it was too much … such a hint to get me to wear a dress – I was totally MISSING it!). Haley ALSO had on a dress, and totally took the opportunity to get me into one, too.

I told her that Megan was wearing a dress, and asked if she was wearing the one she had on– she said yes. I told her I had some dresses, and that I could “wear that white one I bought a few weeks ago that I told you would be really awesome for engagement pictures SOME day when THAT happens, with my red/white/blue sperrys, to still be festive!” She obviously said “yeah, great idea, do that … really lake-ey, that’ll be cute.” So, needless to say, for our proposal pics, I have on a white dress. (:

Nick came to pick me up about 6:10. My mom did hug me goodbye and stuttered a little when I said I’d see her at the yacht club around 7. I WAS SO NAÏVE! I thought nothing of it at the time. I walked out to the golf cart with blankets for the fireworks at Kristin’s later that night … it was just Nick (Joe and Sarah were supposed to be with him). He had the story ready …

He told me that Joe had to take a call for work and that Sarah was really upset. Joe truly was going to India the following week for work, so Nick told me that he had no choice but to take the call, that Sarah was waiting for him, and that Rick was going to bring them over to the yacht club for dinner when they all came over at 7. Nick filled conversation with how Joe and Sarah didn’t seem to be doing very well, it was awkward, and he just didn’t know if they were going to make it. Again, SO NAÏVE! I totally went with it.

Image 1 of Kelby and Nick

When our right turn off of marina road came up, Nick turned left and said “do you mind if I show you something real quick I saw on my run?” I said sure … at this moment I thought “could it be?!”… but quickly changed my thought process because, let’s be honest, I’ve thought that a time or two before in our 4.5 year relationship, and it’s never actually happened. (; Nick stopped the golf cart, and pointed back at the white fence/house behind us – he has always LOVED this fence/house … I always give him a hard time about it because it’s in the country about a half mile from the lake … and I love the water!!!

He said, “so, you know I’ve always loved this fence and this house …”. Then, he looked at the field in front of us, and said “and you might remember snowmobiling across this field when we first started dating …” … and then he grabbed a ring box, looked at me, and said “why don’t you join me over here?” GAH! I think I almost passed out right here!!!

Image 2 of Kelby and Nick

He walked me in front of the golf cart, off the side of the road, with the gorgeous view around us. He told me that this was where he first knew he was going to marry me, which was the month we started dating, 4.5 years ago.

Image 3 of Kelby and Nick

Then he got down on one knee, said amazing things that I wish I could remember word-for-word, and asked me to marry him!!!! I was SO GIDDY! I can’t remember if he told me the following things in the midst of being down on one knee or in the aftermath when he and I were talking/celebrating, but this is the gist of what he said:

“I don’t know if you remember, but we had ridden snowmobiles to Club Paradise with your parents, and on the way back, we came through this field. That’s when I knew I was going to spend my life with you. You were bopping around on your snowmobile in front of me, and I thought ‘what am I doing? She is the perfect girl. She has the perfect family.’”

He then mentioned how he had come to Indy the following weekend to spend it with me (Valentine’s Day) and how just thereafter we were official “boyfriend and girlfriend.” (Our anniversary is February 24!). I knew ALL of these things very well, minus the fact that he knew from that day that he was going to marry me. GAH!

Image 4 of Kelby and Nick

I was SO EXCITED – he actually had to say, “babe, put it on!!” about the ring. I couldn’t believe this was real life!! He then turned me a little bit, and I saw Rory and Kate hiding in the trees – filming and taking pictures of the WHOLE THING!!!

Image 5 of Kelby and Nick

They came out, the four of us celebrated in the street for a while, they took some fabulous pictures at the engagement site (which just so happens to be about a half mile west from where my dad proposed to my mom, and about a half mile west of where my sister and Eric got married – kinda cool!!), and then we dropped them off at their car.

Nick told me how everyone had known all day, and that the plans were on him tonight. (: We were heading back to his house for dinner with our families. (: (Oh, and Joe and Sarah are happy as ever!!! He was sure to tell me that was all made up!).Image 6 of Kelby and Nick

We got to walk into his house with all of our families excitedly awaiting our arrival! It was all talk, cry, smile, champagne, and happy! We took pictures on the dock, retold the story a million times, and celebrated being in LOVE!

My mom and sister got me the COOLEST ‘just engaged’ wine glass and Cathy had “the girls” and “the guy” photo frames! We had brats and turkey burgers and just enjoyed every last second. (:

After dinner, Nick, Haley, Eric, Joe, Sarah and I took the golf cart to the yacht club. Most people were gone, but our friends were still there!!! IT WAS AMAZING!

We popped champagne in the yacht club yard and then we headed to Kristin’s, where we got to celebrate with even more people! Kara, Megan, and Kristin had a “SHE SAID YES!” banner hanging on two chairs on the beach, and the hammock had a “reserved for the future Mr. and Mrs. Johnston” sign hanging on it, with bride and groom tervis tumblers, an ENGAGEMENT card, a veil headband, case of beer, and bottle of champagne.

IT WAS SO AWESOME! The fireworks came and went, but we were just too excited to watch them. Most of my bridal party was there and there was just TOO MUCH TO CELEBRATE!!! The night was full of being excited and taking pictures and telling our story to everyone who stopped in!! It was Seventh Heaven.

Image 7 of Kelby and Nick

After Kristin’s, we dropped Haley and Eric off, and Rory and Taylor came over so we could watch the video and look at pictures. SO COOL! Rory, Taylor, Joe, Sarah, Nick and I looked at all the footage in Johnston’s kitchen. We picked out 11 of our favorite photos, and then called it a night. We slept in the main floor bedroom – I COULD NOT SLEEP!

I kept waking up and thinking about marrying my best friend!!!! At about 6:30 Saturday morning, I left to go to my house and look through my bridal magazines. (: Nick was so tired and was going to sleep for a couple more hours, and I just couldn’t do it!!!! I had to be up and be talking and doing things!!!!!! Saturday was the fourth … we spent the day at the island sharing our engagement with our families and closest friends.

Image 8 of Kelby and Nick

He gave me the world on Friday. He is everything I have ever wanted, and he is mine – I get to keep him for forever and always! He made the proposal everything and MORE than I ever thought it to be. I cannot wait to be his wife! <3

Image 9 of Kelby and Nick

Photos: Rory Kramer