Natalie and Joey
How We Met
Joey and I met in high school. He was on multiple sports teams and was friends with everyone. I was quiet and focused on my friends and my grades. Our high school love was challenging, exciting and not what you call a perfect love story but it was certainly the start of one. I still remember the butterflies I had wearing his jersey to his football games and cheering from the sidelines. I remember waiting anxiously at my window for his obnoxiously loud truck to come trucking down the road to pick me up for our dinner dates. He definitely had my heart from the start. After graduation from high school, Joey went to school 6 hours south of our hometown to continue his baseball career. This 6-hour hike was less than ideal for our relationship. I did, however, learn how to make a 6-hour car ride into a 5 hour and 2-minute drive (no bathroom breaks, lead foot, and a full tank of gas). With each trip, our love became a little sweeter but that’s not to say it was without struggles. Thankfully Joey met some of the best people we’ve ever known (you know who you are) who supported him through our long-distance arguments and welcomed me with open arms with every visit. While Joey was away I joined a sorority, worked my way through nursing school and leaned on my friends (old and new) (you also know who you are) and my family (thanks mom.) Shortly after Joey’s graduation we were back in the same state and adjusting to being able to see each other more than once every couple of months. Joey continued to impress me by starting an incredible job with Target Corporations, buying a house, building a garage, building up his relationships with his family and friends, and loving me. My love for Joey certainly didn’t happen all at once. It grew and evolved as we grew together. What started as a complicated high school love turned into a friendship and partnership that I am eternally grateful for. Joey is the most thoughtful, caring, selfless person and he is kind to everyone he meets. Every day he strives to make my life better and more joyful. I’ll never forget when on a trip to Myrtle Beach to visit my best friend Joey had picked up the clothes that I had inevitably thrown around the room and packed my suitcase for me so I could say goodbye to my friend and still make our flight on time. That was just one time where I thought “I am going to marry this man.” I realized that our love story wasn’t about the big moments at all, It was the small moments that made our love story so incredible. We started our story as two kids and grew into adults together. I believe by the experiences we had and what we learned throughout those years, we can conquer anything together. All of this leads us to a snow-covered road and a very important question.
How They Asked
My 25th birthday was on December 27th. Prior to that day, Joey and I had talked about how after almost 8 years of dating we really didn’t have many pictures of the two of us besides selfies. We talked about getting some professional pictures done so we could hang them on the walls of his new house. Fast forward to my birthday Joey’s gift to me was a photoshoot with Mallory (a classmate from our high school who is INCREDIBLE behind a camera.) Little did I know Joey had much more planned then photos. On our way to our pictures, Joey had managed to sweat through two shirts. I was nervous about being behind a camera too so I just chalked it up to that. After taking a couple of pictures, Mallory suggested we drive down the road a little further and take a couple of pictures right in the center of the road. Mallory suggested Joey put his vest on for a couple of photos. She then asked me to turn toward the side of the road. After a few seconds, she told me to turn around and look back at Joey. At this point, he says “Hey babe?” And I reply “Hey” still not having any idea what was about to happen. It wasn’t until I noticed the tears forming in his eyes and his trembling hands that I realized he was about to ask me the question I had been dreaming about for 7.5 years.
Unfortunately, at this point, neither of us remember exactly what was said. I do know that there was a “Will you Marry Me?” and I muttered “Are you sure???” shortly after. He obviously was sure because he slipped on the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. After this, we finished some photos in our hometown. Joey, knowing how important the roles of our families were in our relationship, had planned to spend our evening celebrating with each of them. First, we stopped at his Grandma’s. She immediately smiled and said, “Are you guys getting married?” After this, we went to see my grandparents who hugged us and gave me tissues for all of the tears I had been crying.
We snapped some pictures and then Joey took me to our favorite bar. We had a drink and then FaceTimed all of my best friends and called family that lives out of town. We then headed to my house where both of our families were waiting. We ended the night with our favorite people in the world at one of our favorite restaurants. I am so beyond blessed. I cannot believe I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. I love you, baby- we are just getting started!