Sara and Kevin
How We Met
Kevin and I met in college at Radford University. We had a lot of mutual friends, he worked on maintenance for the company that leased both of our apartments, and he also worked backstage in the theatre, a great place to find dancers, should you ever need to. We got to know each other over a period of a few months at the beginning of my sophomore year. We had a lot of fun building our friendship and learning about each other. Kevin used to come to my apartment for spaghetti nights, and we would hang out on weekends when we could.
Eventually, we both started to like one another, and that made us nervous. We very nearly stopped hanging out entirely. However, our dear friend Mike Barbour helped us admit our feelings to each other. One night, following a spaghetti night that Kevin hadn’t attended, Mike asked me if I had told Kevin how I felt. I hadn’t, of course, so Mike marched us right over to Kevin’s nearby apartment. Kevin answered the door and then nervously told us he was going to bed; we didn’t believe that for one second. Mike came in with me and sat with Kevin and I while we talked it out and eventually realized what he had known all along – we both really liked each other.
After that night, we started going on dates and eventually, Kevin asked me if I would like to go to the pumpkin patch at Sinkland Farms on Halloween. I agreed immediately, and we began planning the date. Kevin asked frequently if I was still able to go (seriously, you’ve never seen a man so excited about a pumpkin patch) and when Halloween morning came, he was more eager than ever!
When we arrived at the pumpkin patch, much to Kevin’s dismay, it was closed. Crestfallen, he muttered “Who closes a pumpkin patch on Halloween?” and began to drive away. However, he recovered nicely, and a few days later, he took me to a gorgeous spot by the river in Bisset Park and asked me to be his girlfriend.
The rest is history. We’ve been through many years of college, a couple of rough jobs, a couple of better jobs, and a couple of hard times. We’ve made wonderful memories, taken amazing trips, and adopted the best hound dog you’ve ever seen, Tuck. We’ve celebrated Christmases and birthdays and graduations and we’ve celebrated smaller things too, like hiking up mountains or finding great apartments or making real paychecks. We’ve toughed out the ups and downs and have come out stronger every time.
Kevin is my best friend and my soul mate, and I am so thankful that he has been by my side for nearly 6 years now! (even if we do always celebrate our anniversary on the wrong date. I think it’s November 3).
How They Asked
We both love New York City very much, and over the years we’ve taken multiple trips there together.
On our first trip to NYC, Kevin surprised me with the best Christmas present ever – tickets to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. He told me an elaborate story about meeting his grandparents at a museum, dressing up, and being on time. I bought it and away we went, until we got right next to Rockefeller Plaza and he pretended to be lost. He handed me the “directions” out of his jacket pocket and the pages turned out to be tickets! BEST. SURPRISE. EVER. Or so I thought.
Several more years and another snowy NYC trip passed by, and we finally got the chance to visit in the summer. We took time off of work and carefully planned our vacation for the few days following Kevin’s grandparents’ anniversary celebration. We enjoyed the New Jersey Transit ride in (as much as one can enjoy that), braved the subway, and then spent a delightful evening exploring Battery Park and grabbing dinner in the long-lasting sunshine.
The next morning, we woke up ready to roll and spent a little while shopping in Manhattan. We took a subway ride to Brooklyn to meet a friend (Hi Dani!) for brunch at a great little spot and did some open air flea market browsing. Kevin’s family, meanwhile, was looking at NYU and Columbia University with Kevin’s younger brother, Jake. Kevin let me know that we were planning to meet them later for dinner.
As brunch wrapped up, Kevin seemed stressed about meeting his family. He told me we needed to go back to our hotel first to drop off my shopping (turns out he didn’t bring the ring to brunch and still had to go get it!). We hurried back on the subway and got to the hotel around the time we were supposed to be meeting his family in Central Park.
Kevin got more stressed as the time ticked by and began frantically texting Jake and his sister, Dara. I told him to have his parents meet us at dinner so he wouldn’t have to stress about them waiting for us at the park, but as you can imagine, he wasn’t very keen on that idea. While this was happening, some fuzzy and confusing subway announcement was made, and we (I?) decided we should get on an express train that was apparently making local stops so we could get there faster. The train did indeed make every local stop from where we got on until 59th street.
Then, it stopped making local stops and went through the next 7 stations without so much as tapping the brakes. Kevin looked like he wanted to throw up.
When we finally stopped again around 125th street, I was highly amused. Kevin was not, so much.
We got off and turned around, and I urged him again to not stress his family out making them wait for us, but he was adamant. Once we arrived at the proper Central Park Stop (72nd, if you were wondering) we began hurriedly walking through the park. At this point, I had a feeling something was up, but I didn’t even know where we were meeting his family! After trotting along quickly for some time, we rounded a corner and saw his family. They were waiting beside the Bethesda Fountain, one of the most beautiful places in the park!
Kevin’s parents didn’t know anything exciting was on the way, and were ready to move on for dinner once we got there. Quickly, Kevin suggested we take a photo by the fountain before leaving. As Jake took pictures of us and Dara began to video, the moment I had waited nearly 6 years for unfolded.
Kevin posed for a picture, then looked at me as he held my hands on one side and fumbled in his pocket on the other. We said a few mushy things about how we were thankful for our trip and loved each other! Then as I began to realize what was really happening and caught a glimpse of a box, a few seconds stretched out into minutes. Kevin held on to me before kneeling down to say, “Well, it’s been six years. Will you marry me?”
I, of course, said YES while nodding vigorously and leaning in for a kiss! He stood up and we hugged again before his parents and siblings began to process what had happened and started to cheer. There were a couple of tears and clapping from other onlookers, and then we put on the ring and began our engagement!
We face timed by parents (my mom was in the grocery store!) and shared the news with our closest friends and family members as we walked to dinner on the Upper West Side with Kevin’s family. We ate at a delicious Italian restaurant called Serafina. They had the best “LOVE” sign, and we took a photo before celebrating!
Afterwords, we ventured around some of the more touristy spots in NYC, including Rockefeller Plaza, where I received my first NYC surprise from Kevin many years ago, The Rockefeller Center, where we imagined what it would be like to be fancy enough to ride the elevators up to a production office, Grand Central Station, where we whispered to each other about being fiances across the whispering gallery, and Times Square, where we watched the Wallenda’s walking along tightropes high above the packed sidewalks. It was a magical evening.
The next morning, we enjoyed some delicious bagels and then immediately went to Levain for massive and delectable chocolate chip cookies. We explored a bit more before heading back to Battery Park for a tour to The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Both were delightful, and we spent several hours in the museums at Ellis Island learning and experiencing history. We even took a selfie in the Statue of Liberty museum that was displayed on the video screen and emailed to us!
We concluded our trip with a long drive home where we dreamed about our future, talked about our past, and made many plans for our wedding and for forever!