Lauren and Mike
How We Met
I guess you could call me and Mike “high school sweethearts,” yet we didn’t technically know each other when we were both wandering the halls of Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Conn. You see, despite being a three-sport varsity athlete, I was in the marching band, Mike was an upperclassman football player—and we all know how that story typically plays out in the box office.
Our paths finally crossed, however, in the spring of 2007…
I was 17-years-old when Mike, a college freshman, strolled by me to shoot hoops on the courts of our town beach, The Surf Club. I clearly remember him being shirtless with a basketball casually wedged under his tanned arm—although he swears otherwise. Regardless, I’ll never forget asking my friend, “Who was that?!”
The next day, I received a Facebook friend request/private message from Mike, which lead to texting on our flip phones and ultimately escalated weeks later to a meet up at the local diner for a chocolate milkshake. Yes, “a” shake…we split it with two straws. (Note: I was sporting my lacrosse uniform on this our impromptu “first date” and you’re correct in thinking that ice cream wasn’t the best idea pre-game but Mike was cute so it was worth it.)
We’ve been together ever since…
Mike and I went on to the University of Connecticut, where our love continued to flourish through big lecture hall classes, the inception of Mike’s first full-length documentary, my Delta Zeta-filled calendar and multiple internships in the Big Apple. Though it may sound crazy, through it all marriage was always the mutual, ultimate goal. Having “forever” in mind kept us grounded and focused on building a life we were proud of—as a couple.
Mike and I both landed our dream jobs in Manhattan after graduation and soon called the hustle and bustle of Hell’s Kitchen our home with fellow roomie, Russell. Just shy of two years later, we relocated to Stamford, Conn., which is where we have been ever since.
Over the almost-decade we have been together, Mike and I have celebrated birthdays and graduations, welcomed into the world our niece and nephew, taken more trips to my family’s ski house on the backside of Okemo Mountain than I could ever count (hint, hint: more on that to come!), have endured puppyhood and, most recently, learned how to surf.
It’s atypical these days to literally grow up with your soulmate and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. (I can confidently say that Mike would agree with me on that, too.) Having soon-to-be ten years under our belts pre-nuptials has made us stronger as individuals and together as one dynamic duo. I simply cannot wait for what the next chapter has in store for us!
how they asked
I wondered for years how Mike would propose and naturally had come up with a plethora of dreamy ways to be prepared for whatever was in store. Given Mike’s career as an edit producer/his passion for film and storytelling, I somewhat expected that he would edit a mash-up of video and photo highlights. I also had a hometown hunch in that he would get down on one knee while surrounded by our family at The Surf Club, where our love story began (see above). Let’s just say that I completely and utterly underestimated him. Our engagement couldn’t have been more perfect—more us.
Now I’ll be honest, Mike admitted that something sparkly was in my 2016 future so I was on high alert for what ended up being 8 months of the past year. In March, we went on a surfing trip of a lifetime to Costa Rica. Like most gals prepping for a potential proposal, I got a killer haircut/color and my nails done in a pretty pink. You know, just in case…but there was no ring. Come June, I went through the same beauty regiment for a Bermuda getaway with his family yet—you guessed it—”the question” was not popped. All of other seemingly “expected” opportunities came and went, leaving my head spinning and questioning if 2016 was “the year” after all with his busy season quickly approaching. There was still a glimmer of hope, however. We had one last summer getaway planned: A Vermont trip with our best friends, Mandi and Brian, up to my family’s ski house on the backside of Okemo Mountain.
I have to preface that weeks before we drove up to our “happy place,” Mike made it a big-to-do for me to ask my father about hiking trails. His goal: To “fly his drone” from Okemo’s Summit. Mike was super nonchalant about the whole thing, putting the ball ultimately in my court and as a fitness guru, I was beyond stoked that he was taking the initiative to sneak in a sweat sesh. I called my dad, got the go-to spot directions—including a “you should definitely check out the gorgeous 360-degree views from the water tower” advice—and relayed the rundown to Mandi and Brian of what the weekend itinerary was shaping up to look like. It was going to be the ultimate laid-back, end-of-summer excursion filled with grilling, adventuring, relaxing and maybe the Wine & Food Festival happening on the mountain to cap things off right.
Let’s fast forward to Saturday, August 6. After putzing around the majority of the morning, the four of us piled into the car to hit the open trails as planned. Everyone insisted that I got behind the wheel, which in retrospect should have been a dead giveaway as I’m notoriously a terrible driver. Regardless, I safely got us up the steep, winding road just before 11 a.m. We wandered around, spotting the infamous water tower my father mentioned was a must-climb and together we shimmied onto a ski lift for a photo op despite warning signs.
Mandi then mentioned that they needed a good photo to display at their upcoming wedding so Mike offered to snap one of the gorgeous couple. Mike then handed the camera to Brian, asking him to take one of us. “Let’s look out at the horizon,” he said, suggesting that Brian take a photo admiring the view. I can’t remember if I verbally said, “That’s so corny” but I know that’s what I was thinking, yet I followed Mike’s lead as he put his arm around me and gathered me in close. I heard the click of the camera’s shutter and as we turned to face our friends, Mike was down on one knee. “Laur, will you marry me?” he asked through an excited chuckle. All I remember is grabbing his face for a big smooch and almost catapulting us off the ledge of the mountain in pure excitement.
My hair was pulled back in a pony/doused in dry shampoo, I was sweaty sans makeup and my nails were periwinkle blue (A.K.A. I was not what I had considered to be “proposal-ready”) yet my “will you marry me” moment could not have been more perfect. For nine years, we had climbed easy and difficult terrain to get to that peak. Everything had all lead up to that one question…a day I will forever cherish alongside the company we shared it with. And it’s only up from here!