How We Met
Brad and I met 4 years ago exactly at Murray Sate University. I was in my second year of Graduate School working as the Grad Assistant Athletic Trainer for Womens Volleyball and Baseball. Brad had just transferred to Murray State that year from Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City. It was a very normal day and we had just started our indoor winter practices. At the end of practice this player comes up and says “I’m having a problem with my sciatic nerve, perhaps later you could give me a deep tissue massage.” For the movie buffs out there, you may recognize that line from the movie Heavyweights…I however had only seen that movie once many years before…so I took it seriously and then was less then pleased when he told me it was only a joke. Fast forward several months and Brad and I had become quick friends. We had a lot of similar interests and sense of humor and just enjoyed being around one another, as harmless as it was. Not too long before the season was coming to an end, we realized that we had developed feelings for one another and no longer liked the idea of being apart. Brad started asking me to hang out with him outside of baseball but I turned him down time and time again. I took my job seriously and was trying to keep focused. Looking back now, I am so grateful that Brad stayed so persistent and never stopped asking until I finally agreed to hangout but “only as friends.”
As much as I had gotten to know little things about him, his sense of humor, his lighthearted attitude but dedicated approach to everything, it was that night that he convinced me that he was different. We sat watching TV, casually talking and sharing things about one another and then at some point in the conversation I realized I had been talking to him the way you talk to an old friend. It was easy and I trusted him with everything I was saying without the fear of being judged or laughed at. Prior to all this I had grown to feel very alone in Murray with all my friends and family all the way in California and very little interaction on campus with the exception of the athletic department and my roommates. That night as I was explained this to him, he finally said, “I just kinda feel like you need a hug.” That was EXACTLY what I had needed for MONTHS! And he knew it, without me ever saying a word! We we started dating officially in March of 2013…our first date was Easter actually and we spent the day on Kentucky lake, playing on the swings, walking around the park, and playing various rock throwing and skipping games down by the water. We went to Panera in a nearby town (because honestly I was too afraid of anyone we knew seeing us.) And I text my dad a picture of Brad sitting across from me…I wanted to tell him all about this amazing guy that had literally walked into my life. We were practically inseparable (secretively) at that point, seeing each other every chance we could but also keeping our games faces on so to speak when it was time to go to work. My parents came to visit just before graduation and I could not WAIT to introduce them to Brad and vise versa.
After I graduated, the season ended, and we were finally able to be together publicly, we were even more inseparable and seeing the faces of mutual friends when they found out was hysterical to say the least….these are also the people however that celebrated with us and really liked the idea of us together. We took a trip to Louisville where we visited Churchill Downs and several Louisville spots…it was our first trip together and I remember on the way back to Murray we started talking about our future…I was due to leave Murray for good the following week. It was on that trip that we decided that we were both in this relationship for good, no matter what was thrown at us, and we also decided that after Brad graduated the following year, we would move to Kansas City, a city Brad loved, and a middle point between our two lives. We spent that summer traveling to one another, Brads first time in California, my first time in Wisconsin. And we never stopped working at it…we had promised “forever & always”…it became our sign-off every night. Just a few weeks after we left Murray was my 23rd birthday and Brad mailed me my gift, a promise ring with the words “forever & always” inscribed inside the band. He made me promise I wouldn’t put it on unless I knew exactly what it meant. I didn’t even have to think about it.
how they asked
Just a little after a year after we moved Kansas City we planned to take some new pictures outside of the city for our blog. Our good friends Nikole and Marcus had previously come with us on shoots as Nikole is our AMAZING photographer and dear friend and Marcus, her boyfriend is one of Brads good friends from Maple Woods and the one who helps keep our shoots light hearted (and keeps Brad entertained). We had initially planned to shoot the prior Sunday but Nikole and Brad had worked together to convince me that the following weekend would work better…Brad had been sick…we weren’t going to have much sunlight…ect. I had picked the location for our pictures a few days earlier. Nicole works in Zona Rosa and wasn’t scheduled to be off until 4. In order to make the most of the daylight, I picked a park not too far from her work…we had never been but it looked promising for the kind of background I was hoping for. We had also decided that the four of us would go on a double date afterwards. Brad suggested Taco Republic, a personal favorite of his and Marcus’ and though it was backtracking for us from the photo location, I thought nothing of it. That morning I went flower shopping with a friend who was asking me when I thought we might get engaged…naturally I said I thought it may be on its way but I wasn’t worried, I knew it would come. I even shared that I thought there was a very slight chance he might do it at Christmas because I am a Christmas nut! I got home and Brad and I started getting ready. He had gotten a haircut to “look good for the new pictures” and I decided to repaint my nails as I had the extra time and thought they would look better in pictures. I picked our outfits and finished my hair. We left a little bit early for the photo shoot so we could scout the park for picture locations and thank goodness because I got us pulled over on our way but the very nice cop let me off with a warning (phew!). We didn’t sit in the car too long before our friends arrived and we started walking into the park. Nicole started shooting, just as normal as ever and began instructing us on smiles, lighting, poses, etc. She would tell us “I’m shooting some up close, so these won’t be full body”…to me that was just her communicating to me what she was doing, to Brad that was her way of telling him “not yet.” We moved to a few more spots and then in one in particular Nikole tells us that she love the lighting and says the pictures were “perfect” to which Brad asks, “perfect, perfect?” and I thought he was just being silly. Suddenly I could feel Brads heartbeat through his hands and I before I could even look at him I could sense he was nervous. Suddenly he grabbed my left hand and started to take off the promise ring he had given me for my birthday 3 years earlier. He said “I think it’s about time we upgrade” as he got down on one knee, pulled the ring out of his coat pocket, and asked “will you marry me?”
I was so choked up all I could do at first was nod yes and he kept saying “yeah? yeah? yeah?” with a little more excitement and infliction in each question. I finally said “yes” as he slipped the most perfect ring onto my finger. We stood there hugging in that perfect emotion filled moment. The rest of our photo shoot became engagement pictures and I don’t know that either of us have ever smiled that big. As we wrapped up, we headed for the restaurant and called family and friends on our way there to tell the the good news! We arrived and Brad headed to the covered patio…when I asked if we could sit inside he assured me that the patio was perfect and that there were plenty of heaters. I agreed and then all of a sudden noticed that Brad was helping the staff finish setting up a table for 15! He had planned a whole dinner to celebrate with all of out local friends who started arriving shortly after! It truly was the most perfect day…and I planned it without even knowing it! He pulled off the most amazing surprise engagement and I am SO grateful to the beautiful moments captured by and spent with friends that night.