How We Met
The first time I met will my hair was straight (it’s always naturally curly and CRAZY), my palms were sweaty, I was wearing makeup (which I never do) and I had nervous butterflies in my stomach…and none of it was because of him. It was because I was on my first grown-up job interview after graduating from college. Little did I know that this interview would change my professional life, and my love life. In 2013 I graduated from college and after a few months of taking a break from reality, I decided I was bored with wasting my potential and started the hunt for a “real job” At the time both of my sisters were living in Jacksonville. I didn’t want to move back to my hometown, so Jacksonville seemed like a good place to start fresh. While I was on a road trip back to Florida, I searched online for jobs and I found one that seemed too good to be true. You know how looking back you can oddly recall the details of the exact moment that changed your life forever. This was one of those moments. I was in a cheap roadside motel in South Carolina. I stumbled upon the job offer and got so excited because I felt like the job was made for me! It was in Jacksonville only a few minutes away from my sister’s house where I was planning on staying for the next week. I sent in my resume and said a little prayer that I would get the job before I fell asleep. The next day while I was getting gas somewhere in South Carolina I got a phone call from a Jacksonville number. Normally I don’t answer numbers I don’t know but this time I did. It was the job! And they wanted me to come in the next day for an interview.
My sister helped me pick out the perfect outfit for my interview. She let me borrow her makeup, and her car the next day. When I walked into the office I was so nervous and Will was the first person to greet me. He took me to the conference room and got me a bottle of water. I remember he was wearing a white shirt and had his glasses on. His smile and kindness instantly calmed my nerves. Obviously, I got the job! A few months later in January 2014, I had to attend surf expo in Orlando for work. I was the only girl in the office allowed to go and even though it was a privilege I was annoyed because I didn’t want to hang out with my lame coworkers all weekend long. It ended up being a freaking blast and Will and I started an incredible friendship that weekend. After a fun night of Buffalo Wild hot wings and arcade games, we bonded over some pretty heavy stuff and instantly became friends. That night we took this photo in our boss’s car on the way back to our hotel after dinner. Every year since then we recreate it! After that weekend Will and I spent every moment we could together. We would meet before work on the beach and watch the sunrise. We would meet after work at the beach with blankets and Starbucks. We would spend hours star gazing and learn everything we could about each other. About 2 months after we started hanging out we knew we wanted to be together forever. It’s really cliche but when you know, you know. Things were a little complicated at first since we worked together and because of a few other things, but everything worked out in the end.
4 months after we started hanging out Will moved in with me. We spent every waking moment together so it wasn’t logical in our eyes for him to waste money on rent when we could just split the rent at my place. 9 months after we started hanging out we got matching tattoos on our ring fingers…crazy I know, but I never once regretted it! And then 4 years after we started hanging out, Will proposed to me. A lot happened in those 4 years. We went from co-workers to best friends, to boyfriend and girlfriend, to travel partners, to business partners, to being engaged! We started a videography business together, traveled the world for business and pleasure and decided that we wanted to sell all of our stuff and live in a converted bus.(still in the process of this) It’s been an incredible journey.
how they asked
Each year for Christmas instead of giving each other material gifts we take a trip to somewhere new and exciting. This year we chose Belize!
On the day of the proposal, we woke-up to a very threatening weather forecast for the day. At 10 am as we checked out of our incredible Airbnb and relocated to a dingy hotel of the main strip of Caye Caulker, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. But according to AccuWeather we only had until 2 pm to enjoy this weather. We decided to take full advantage of our last full day of island living so we rented a double seated kayak from a local shop. Shortly after paddling out into the turquoise water we arrived at the split where we had to make a decision; go left, where there was clearly civilization and what I was certain was KOKO King, or go right into the unknown.
The swing with a view at Koko King!
In our usual adventurous spirits, we went right. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a pretty torturous journey with nothing much to see but pretty shallow waters littered with plastic, and sandy beaches that you couldn’t walk around in because the sand was actually plush mud. We paddled for an hour hoping we could get around the entire Island, but the end kept getting farther and farther away. Our arms were exhausted from paddling and eventually we surrender and turned back for the rope swing and tree jump we saw an hour ago. On the way back to pass the time and to get our minds off of how physically drained we were from paddling Will suggested that we sing 99 bottles of beer on the wall. We sang the entire song down to zero and it actually helped pass the time and even made us laugh a few times! When we finished singing we were almost to the rope swing. Once we got there we climbed up a sketchy tree that a huge iguana was hanging out on, and jumped out into the ocean. As we swam in the refreshing water I kinda forgot that we just paddled for almost 2 hours for no reason.
Feeling like Peter Pan jumping out of the tree at the Split.
We only had an hour left with or rental so we paddled over to what I thought was KoKo King. Turns out it was! I was super hyped on it but for some reason, Will kept insisting that we leave and try to find a more secluded area on the island. By the time we left we only had about 20 minutes left in the kayak. The sky looked dark and ominous and I told Will we better head back. He was super bummed about not finding a secluded beach area to capture this one shot he really wanted to film of us. I really couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic about it but luckily he listened to me. As soon as we returned our rental it started pouring rain. I mean pouring!
You can see the impending doom in the sky that was headed right towards us.
We took shelter in a little pizza and gelato shop at the Split. Which was perfect because I assumed the reason why Will was so upset about the kayak adventure was that he was HANGRY. The little restaurant was perfect for waiting out the storm. The pizza was homemade and delicious. We both ordered veggie slices and then I had the pistachio gelato and Will had the hazelnut. The rain slowed down a little so we decided it was a good time to run to our new hotel and officially check-in. After checking in to room 17 (that’s Wills lucky number) …we were a little disappointed. The photos online definitely portrayed a much nicer hotel room. The rain had kinda slowed down so we decided if we should take advantage and go film some b-roll and get coconuts to drink. Plus, we were looking for any excuse to not hang out in our hotel room.
After about 30 minutes it started raining again so we went back to our yellow hotel. We hung out in our room for a few minutes and waited out the rain. Will suggested that we should go rent bikes because there were still a few shots he wanted to get before the day was over. I hesitated because I knew it was going to rain again, but he was really adamant about it and I didn’t want to rain on his parade (any more than the rain was already doing) so we went and rented bikes.
The night before we found this awesome little area on the back side of the island where you could watch the sunset. Not many people knew about it because you had to hike some trails to get there. We went there because Will said that would be a good spot to film the last shots he wanted to get.
At the spot the night before. We had a really nice bike ride over there, the sun was shining, we saw a flock of beautiful pink birds and it even looked like there was going to be a sunset. But, as soon as we pushed our kickstand down at the spot it started raining. We hurried and got one shot we wanted and then it started pouring! I told Will we better hurry up and head back so that his camera gear didn’t get wet but he said that he still really wanted to get a shot of us dancing in the water. It looked like the rain might pass so we waited it out under the umbrella of some trees nearby. Once the rain slowed down we went back to our spot and we were greeted by these terrible biting gnats that show up in swarms like locus from time to time on the island. If you watched the video you can see us rubbing them off of us during the proposal! (We laugh about this part now.)
We jumped in the water and we playfully danced like idiots for a minute and then I was like “okay, I gotta get away from these bugs.” And Will said. “Wait, one more time.” I wanted to make sure he got the shot he wanted so I went back to dance with him. As we were dancing he spun me around and when I turned back around he was down on one knee. Only, I thought he was trying to do a silly jumping dance move so I went down to meet him but then he didn’t come back up. Confused I said, “What are you doing?” And then he had a nervous speech prepared. He said that he loved me and how he’s loved adventuring with me over the last 4 years, even through the rain and asked me if I would marry him. I was smiling and laughing so hard and kinda still in shock because I was totally surprised. I obviously said yes and then I told him that I loved him but I had to move because I was getting destroyed by bugs. Ironically, when we got out of the water the bugs disappeared from the spot so we had a chance to take a few photos.
I guess all day Will was searching for the perfect spot and hoped he would find it on our kayak adventure, then we got rained out, then the spot we went to the night before that was perfect and bug free all of a sudden was infested with bugs, and we got rained out again, but he didn’t give up. It was as if all the elements were against us and that is a great metaphor for our relationship. Because we are no stranger to obstacles, and together we always overcome them hand-in-hand and come out dancing in the end. The proposals day was a perfectly imperfect adventure – just like our love.