Peter and Orla
how we met
They say everything happens for a reason. What they really mean to say is that everything happens at the right time, with the right person, and all seems to magically fall into place. You could say that is what happened between Peter and myself as we started to write our love story.Peter and I work together at P.G. Chambers School., a specialized school that strives to provide the best, most comprehensive education and therapy programs for children with disabilities, from birth through 22 years of age.
At the time I met Peter, he was an Assistant Technology Teacher and I was just starting as a Teacher Assistant. Peter loves P.G. Chambers School for the same reason the rest of us do. The kids there are our life. We would do anything for them. As a teacher you learn more from the kids than we could ever teach them. Peter has the unique aspect of having to see many sides of the school. He was a student, began his career as an Assistant Technology Teacher where, like the rest of us, you are right in it with the kids. He taught the middle school students how to use computers and keyboards. Now he is a Development Associate who works to coordinate events to bridge the gap between our allotted funds and expected expenditures. He now has a different role, but still one that is just as important for the children.
As an individual who has overcome some obstacles of his own growing up, he loves to show people that despite the fact people think you may not be able to do something or they may count you out, you have the power over what you do. You see Peter was born prematurely and has Cerebral Palsy. He works his hardest to be the best version of himself. He has been doing CrossFit for 2 years. He uses his training to help him move to his best potential and can now move independently without assistant from his sticks (crutches). He loves that he has the power to bring awareness to people about disabilities and to also show them that there are no limitations unless you put them on yourself. His catch phrase is “Don’t forget to be Awesome.” Peter puts a lot of good back in the world, which is why he is so special. When we met, We both ran in the same circles of people, but somehow never interacted. I actually thought he didn’t like me much as he never invited me anywhere or talked to me other than a good morning or a how are you.
After working together about a year we would flirt talking about great movies during bus duty or other weekend activities. Then one day I decided that I would take the plunge and whether it was a hit or miss; I asked him out on our first date. Who knew that 2 years later I would be engaged to be married to the love of my life. What it feels like to be in love.The past 1.5 years with Peter has been unbelievable. I am so blessed to be able to know that he loves me just the way that I am and finds me to be the most beautiful girl in the world. I am so lucky because he tells me this all the time. I am so happy to be able to envision my future and know that no matter what the future may bring we will be taking it on together.
how they asked
Peter is now a Development Associate at our school and I am now the Adapted PE Teacher. Although his full time job is at our school, his real passion is within motivational speaking. Peter had accepted a job that week to speak at an elementary school to students about Individuals with disabilities. With our very busy lives, much of our time together lies within the weekend. With his opportunity to speak coming up we got breakfast and went shopping for some new clothes. We went to Bryan’s Diner for breakfast(our favorite place) and then headed out to Short Hills Mall to get him some new threads for his speaking gig that week. After a great day out we were on the way home and he said “let’s go to Denville Dairy!” (the best ice cream).
Little did I know that he had much more planned than our usual mint chocolate chip ice cream with rainbow sprinkles (I did get some that day, though). He said he wanted to go for a little walk around Denville before getting the ice cream. Naturally I was up for spending some time walking around the cute town. About halfway down the sidewalk he started to slow down, took my hands and was speechless. Yes, a man who speaks for a living suddenly had no words. As he started speaking little by little I started to piece it all together.
We were now standing in the spot where we had our first kiss just under 2 years ago. It was all coming together as he then got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him. I said Yes, absolutely, yes!We spent a couple hours enjoying the bliss and contacting our families to tell them before it hit social media.