How We Met
Matt and I both attended St. Ambrose University, however we never crossed paths when we were both on campus taking classes. During my freshman and sophomore years in college I lived across the hall from, and became friends with, Matt’s sister. I didn’t meet Matt until he had already graduated and came back to visit his sister and friends. Through his sister we became friends who would see each other every once and awhile and send each other the occasional text message discussing hockey or sharing jokes. We kept in touch when I moved to Milwaukee for grad school and eventually decided to attempt the long distance dating.
how they asked
We were on vacation in Daytona Beach. It was my first time in Florida, and my first time at the ocean. After a day at Disney and a day of relaxing on the beach, he decided Tuesday night would be the night we would go out to a nice dinner to celebrate vacation. When it was finally time to get ready to go I told him I didn’t want to get all dressed up and would rather go out to eat the next night since I was all sunburned and tired.
He would not let me stay home, so I gathered my energy to walk out to the car. He was wearing sandals and carrying his dress shoes, intending to put them in the car while we went for a walk on the beach before leaving, but he “forgot” the car keys inside and just carried them down to the beach instead. It was almost sunset and the beach was nearly empty. I noticed a photographer taking what appeared to be senior pictures for a girl on the beach.
When we started walking Matt told me he had a surprise, and that the photographer I saw was going to take vacation pictures for us on the beach. I immediately became upset and teary as I didn’t want my photograph taken when I was sunburned and tired. Wiping away my tears, he assured me it would be OK and if they turned out bad we could try again another night. Why I believed this or didn’t suspect something funny was up, I don’t know! I think it must have been the exhaustion from the Florida sun I was feeling. We introduced ourselves to the photographer and I told her I wasn’t expecting this and asked if maybe she could edit out my sunburn.
We posed for a picture or two when Matt said he had another surprise. He walked over to his dress shoes he had set down in the sand, and pulled out a tiny white box. I think that’s the moment I lost it. I realized what was happening and was overcome with happiness and surprise as the tears came back and I could barely speak. I could also barely listen, I guess, because the rest of that moment is pretty much a blur.
I know he told me he loved me, and I know he asked me to marry him. I don’t know if I said yes, or just nodded, but he slipped the ring on my finger and we were engaged! Thank goodness he had the wonderful photographer to capture the amazing moment!