How We Met:
Michael and I met at college in South Bend, Indiana. I attended Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame and Michael attended the University of Notre Dame. We were both in the Notre Dame Marching Band where I played the piccolo and Michael played the bass. During fall break in 2009 the members of the band were offered the opportunity to spend fall break on campus recording a rock band music video with the band, OK GO! During the week about 120 of the 400 marching band members rehearsed and recorded every day. Michael and I were placed in the same group, and happened to choose spots right next to each other in the middle of this huge, empty field where the video shoot took place. Michael took full advantage of flirting with me as much as possible, and I was (obviously) very flattered that this sweet, and very funny guy was talking to me. Throughout the week the two of us hung out at band activities and Michael asked me out on a couple dates. I even took a chance on impressing him with my cooking skills. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right? Apparently he was very impressed, because not long after he asked me to be his girlfriend. Our three years of dating have been jam packed with some crazy fun times. The craziest thing we did? Jumped out of an airplane at 10,000 feet for our 2 year anniversary! The fact that we both are very competitive, each other’s support system, and always have fun no matter what we are doing, could only mean one thing. We are meant to be together, forever.
How He Popped the Question:
Before I get to how he popped the question, some background information is necessary. I grew up a huge Notre Dame fan! My parents would always take me to Notre Dame games (even though they lived in Columbus, Ohio and were also Buckeye fans), and by the time I was in 3rd grade I decided I was going to attend Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s. One of my favorite things about Notre Dame’s campus was The Basilica of the Sacred Heart. I have dreamed of getting married in the beautiful church some day for my entire life. For those who are not familiar with the process to get married at The Basilica at Notre Dame, there is ONE day a year (in March) EVERYBODY calls in for hours and hours trying to get through so they can hopefully score a date. For those who are not fortunate enough to get through in time, there is a waiting list of over two years.
Obviously Michael and I are both Notre Dame fans, and for the first football game of this season the Fighting Irish played in Dublin, Ireland against Navy. For my birthday, way back in May, Michael gave me a number of items, one being a packet with itineraries and pictures of Ireland. Michael had planned a week long trip to Ireland to watch the Notre Dame football game, and explore the beautiful country. As I flipped through the packet I saw beautiful pictures of lush, green hills, quaint streets with lovely houses, and a couple different castles. I just figured these were some of the tourist attractions we would be visiting during our trip, but Michael quickly informed me that was not the case. Instead, the castles were the various places we would be staying during our vacation. I never said it out loud, but I couldn’t believe I had found my prince charming, and I was going to get to feel like a princess in an amazing country such as Ireland.
After the football game, which the Fighting Irish won, Michael and l traveled from the castle in Dublin to castle #2 in County Clare. Here, we spent a couple days exploring the huge estate. We enjoyed our time on the land, had a specially made romantic picnic on the grounds, took an archery lesson, walked through the forest with a falcon, and took a pony and trap ride around the estate grounds. During our last day in Ireland, Michael scheduled a full day tour along the West coast. This was my second time in Ireland, and during my short first visit I wanted to visit the Cliffs of Moher, but nasty weather kept me away. I was ecstatic that the Cliffs of Moher were one of the stops on the tour.
When the tour bus pulled up to the bottom of the cliffs, everyone got off, and Michael and I met up with a lovely older couple we had become friends during the trip. I didn’t know at the time, but during one of my trips to the ladies room, Michael informed the couple of his plan to propose to me and asked them to help him out by taking a picture of the two of us at the top of the cliffs. We all walked together up the path, and it could not have been a more beautiful day along the cliffs. The sun was shining, it was warm outside, the water was a deep blue color, and everything was greener than anyone can imagine. When we reached the top of the cliffs I told Michael to pose for a picture. Right after, the gentleman we knew said he would take a picture of the two of us together. Instead of just walking over and posing for the picture, Michael took both of my hands, looked me right in the eyes and began to say all kinds of cute, romantic things about how I am the love of his life and how he can’t wait to spend the rest of his life with me. At that moment, just as I began to grin from ear to ear, Michael dropped to one knee in front of hundreds of tourists, pulled out the box with the ring, and asked me to be his wife. After about 20 seconds of me saying “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…” I said “YES!”
Here is the ringer…..after I said yes, Michael then informed me he had called my parents, his parents, all of our aunts, uncles, friends, etc way back in March, and about 40 people spent their Monday calling The Basilica at Notre Dame until someone got through. Michael had booked a date at The Basilica at Notre Dame before he even proposed, because he knew it was my dream to get married there. I could not believe how much I was having to take in in about 30 seconds. The overwhelming amount of joy I was feeling was one that will be hard to match, but is one I hope everyone gets to experience at least once in their life.