How We Met
Nolan and I have known each other for a very long time. We both went to the same school district, but only the same school building since 5th grade. We always crushed on one another and for a brief time in 8th grade we ‘talked’. All through high school we had classes on and off with each other and one day he decided to ask me to prom and we’ve been together ever since!
how they asked
We had been dating for four and half years. Every year over the summer we make an annual trip from our hometown of Webb City, MO to St. Louis, MO to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball. We’re big fans! This year, about July, he mentioned to me that he entered a raffle at work for a free Busch Stadium tour as well as a free Brewery tour on the same day. I was excited for him, but had many doubts about him actually winning because I do not have good luck with things like that, I just don’t win things.
So a few weeks later in August he told me that he actually did win, which was hard for me to grasp seeing as I do not and never have won anything before. I decided to be happy and bask in the glory of what winning felt like for a while! I casually mentioned to my family that we were going on this trip and my mother and grandmother both (at separate times) responded with “WHAT?! We don’t know winners, tell him to enjoy it while it lasts because this family never wins!” I giggled knowing they weren’t lying and went on with my day. Knowing the trip was soon, I was getting antsy and wanted to have a set schedule so I knew what to pack. He wouldn’t give me many details about the trip other than what I already knew (the two tours) and that we would go to a nice dinner.
The day finally came that we were set to leave for St. Louis (the Friday before the tour), and I was ready to go! A nice labor day weekend spent in a city I love touring the places I love. I was excited! The next day we woke up and were getting ready for the tour. I had little thoughts, hoping that this weekend would be the weekend we would finally get engaged, but with his plans and my family acting so calm and not giving anything away, I decided that it wasn’t going to happen. This meant I packed holy jeans and a baseball T-shirt to wear to the tour, because you can’t go to a baseball stadium and not wear a baseball shirt! Shortly after we got ready we left and walked the few blocks from our hotel to the stadium. The whole time I was complaining about how hungry I was because in all of (his) excitement we forgot to eat breakfast.
Our tour was at 10 a.m. and when we arrived at 9:45 I noticed a sign that had tour times on it – 9:30, 11:00, etc. I asked him a few hundred times at least if we were there at the right time and if he was sure it was at 10. He insisted it was at 10, he even pulled up the “receipt” on his phone. I asked to see the ticket, and he handed one to me – one that he asked the tour guide to print off and mail to him before the trip because he knew I would want to see proof! Once he showed me the ticket I realized this was a real tour and all thoughts about a proposal went out the window.
The tour guide met us and said that his company booked a private tour for the winners and congratulated us on the win. She took us through the whole stadium and gave us an amazing tour, we even got to see the owners suite, the game announcers box, the champions club, and the field! We actually got to go stand on the dirt part of the field (the grass is VERY valuable and off-limits to civilians). As we were standing behind home plate – on the dirt – we were getting one last ‘tour’ picture taken when he grabbed my hand and turned me toward him. I was in shock watching him pull a little silver pouch out of his pocket and just remember everything going blurry and me saying, “No you are not!” in disbelief.
Nolan and the tour guide both had to tell me to look up at the screen, because there was a large message up there next to a picture from another trip we had taken over the summer that read, “Rylee, Will You Marry Me?”. I immediately broke down in tears and turned back to the love of my life and watched him – in what now seems like slow motion – get down on one knee with the most beautiful ring I have ever seen in hand, and heard him say, “Will you marry me?”
Of course I said “YES!” and at that moment the photographers he had planned jumped out of the dugout and started snapping away. To say that it was a surprise is an understatement. EVERYONE but me knew for a few months in advance that this was happening so they were all waiting impatiently by their phones to hear the good news! I had found out that this in fact was not a raffle he had won but something he had been planning for MONTHS. I could not believe how amazing the proposal was and that I was actually going to get to marry the man of my dreams after four and a half years of being together. The whole weekend could not have gone more perfectly!