How We Met
Bradley and I met our Freshman year at Grand Valley State University, go lakers! He was actually out to lunch with one of my girlfriends…I know what your’e thinking, “uh oh”. Not to worry ladies, turns out, she ended up being our perfect cupid. She introduced us and as I walked away from the lunch table I texted her (with freshman maturity), “If he’s not yours…PLEASE let him be mine”. It took only 1 week for our first date to be set up- nothing screams romance like a date at the library studying for finals. Study dates turned into lunch dates and lunch dates into dinner dates. Money was scarce at 18 years old, but pizza hut was cheap. Six months later Brad and I were sitting in that pizza hut booth when he first referred to me as his girlfriend.
We spent four years of college together, then he stood by me for two more years of graduate school at GVSU.
The night before my commencement ceremony, Brad asked me to be his love & Laker for a lifetime!
how they asked
Brad explains it as, “the proposal that she unknowingly planned”.
It was 12 days before my commencement ceremony and we knew it was about to be a family-fun packed weekend. My best friend was flying in Friday morning (from Arizona) and parents were to follow later that night. My two sets of grandparents planned to join Saturday and friends were to tag along after the ceremony Saturday afternoon. Little time was left for Brad and I to celebrate just the two of us. We decided that we wanted to spend some time together on Thursday night before the troops marched in Friday- dinner, my choice. I chose to have dinner in Rockford- our favorite date night location.
It was 5 days before my graduation and there wasn’t much fuss around our planned date night. Brad is the king at “keeping it cool”. Within the weeks busy schedule I scheduled out some time to get ready for graduation: hair done, nails done- the works. Graduation is a big deal! But (little did I know) not as big of a deal as our Thursday night date night-
I asked Brad if he would pick me up from work as it was on the way to Rockford and I love our one-on-one car karaoke time! He showed up with Starbucks hot coco, a scarf and a hat. He said, “incase we want to take our walk by the dam”- something we typically do when visiting Rockford. This time of year I knew the dam was sparkling head to toe with Christmas lights and the gazebo would be darling; the perfect winter wonderland. Looking at our car thermometer, it was 28 degrees. I told him we could only walk to the gazebo and back- for any other walk in the cold would have been too long (thank goodness I wasn’t too stubborn). The walk to the gazebo was all he needed! We talked about random things, the new shop down the road, the christmas lights, how I’d decorate my dream home. We got to the gazebo much quicker than I imagined and as I continued to be a chatty-cathy about decorations, Brad took my hands.
I couldn’t hear the words he was saying over the sound of my heart beat (and instant tears). He went down on one knee, and I went with him. I remember just shaking my head over and over, because I was unsure if actual words were coming out of my mouth. Then with full clarity in my heart and my words, I said yes. It took a few moments to step out of the “Brad and Michaelyn world” and realize we were surrounded by two photographers and two of our favorite couples (Kyle and Char, and Tyler and Jordan). The waterworks continued as we shared hugs and I showed off my….ring….we forgot to put on the ring! I turned back to Brad, and he was ready. Ring in hand, he slipped it on my finger and sealed the deal with one of his to-tight-to-breathe, feet off the ground, bear-hugs. As we hugged he whispered, “I have one more surprise”. He set me back on the ground, turned me around, and surprised me with my best friend, Brianna Fox, who flew in early to be apart of our special day. It was the best night “we” have ever planned.
Bradley, I love you. Thank you for making this night perfect for us. It’s my favorite story to share.