Shaheen and Amit

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How We Met

We met while we were both studying at the University of Texas. I spent my first year of college at UNT and I used to call one of my girlfriends every day. She would always mention how she had found the perfect guy for me down in Austin. While I trust her, I doubted she found the man of my dreams. When I arrived at campus the following year, I met him a few times since he was good friends with all my roommates, but nothing came from it. It wasn’t until I came home one rainy evening from class that I saw a note on the door to my room. I was in school getting a degree in education and he thought the best way to ask me out was to relate back to our childhood and my love of kids. On the door to my room, he left a note written in crayon asking, “Do you like me” with check boxes for yes, no and maybe. I remember getting butterflies in my stomach and feeling a bit relieved since I had no idea how he felt about me. He wrote his number and a sweet note about how he would like to get to know me better on the back of the paper. I put a checkmark next to maybe and from that point on we started talking. Over time we realized how similar and different we were at the same time. We had a lot of common interests and just as many different passions which has led us both to pursue our dreams and build new ones. I’ve started to pick up on Amit’s passion for the arts and I’ve pushed him to use his own creativity. On the other hand, he’s picked up on my love for traveling and challenging ourselves to compete in marathon running.

Before I left for home at the end of my first semester he took me to a scenic view on Mount Bonnell so that I could “study for finals with a view.” As I was shuffling through my notes I noticed a paper fall out which was again written in Crayon. When I opened it, I saw that it was from him again asking to be his girlfriend, with the same checkboxes and crayon in his hand–of course. From that point on we have been together for 7 years and counting from college to living in Dallas and Houston respectively after graduating. It’s been a blast and one of the best adventures I could ask for.

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how they asked

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If you ask anyone about my favorite place and time, they would say the holiday season and visiting Disney World. I love the holidays with the cheerful atmosphere, the music, and cold weather. In the past, we always tried celebrating Christmas together by having Christmas themed weekends in various cities in Texas such as Houston or Dallas. In preparation for his proposal, he asked me if I wanted to go watch the Nutcracker in Austin and visit some other holiday events around town. Of course I agreed since it was the city we had met in and we had been planning on spending a weekend there soon.

He told me he got tickets to the Nutcracker and that we should dress nice and have dinner with friends after the show. He had timed the day down to the minute coming up with a believable excuse for me to get dolled up and coordinated with my sisters to match our outfits without my knowledge. By the time I was ready he told me we were too early for the play but he found a Christmas gallery near the performance hall that featured artwork from artists around town. I was interested in seeing it and imagined a giant hall with Christmas lights and a ton of people. When we pulled into the parking lot of the gallery it was pouring rain and dark. He asked me if I still wanted to go in and I said we might as well since we were already there. Once we walked in though, it was completely empty. We navigated through the empty halls of the building and as we got closer I could hear faint music playing. Once I walked into the room I saw a camera flash and saw our photographer capturing the look of surprise on my face when it all hit me.

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The music playing was a playlist of our favorite songs and the entire gallery was decorated with tables displaying some of the most important parts of our relationship such as our love of music, running, and a scrapbook I had made of our relationship along with a red crayon reminding me of all the times he had wrote me a note. As we walked down he explained the significance of each table and as we came to the end of the hall I noticed that the paintings on the wall were pictures of us throughout our relationship. The biggest difference was that the pictures all had a Disney twist with each image portraying one of the classic Disney princess movies such as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid. In total, there were six paintings with art labels describing his favorite moments in our relationship. In the middle I saw a canvas, drawn in crayon, with “Will You Marry Me” written on it. I looked at Amit in shock and saw him down on one knee with a ring box in his hand and the rain pouring just as hard outside as it was the day I first saw that note on the front of my door 7 years before.

After proposing, Amit had planned for us to change outfits and head over to our Alma Mater for some UT Tower pictures under the beautiful night sky. Although with my family, rain is always a sign of good luck, we decided to stay dry and enjoy the warmth and coziness of the private gallery.

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Special Thanks

Amanda Pomilla
 | Photographer
Troy Campa
 | Gallery owner - helped a lot with the set up
Meredith Jones
 | Illustrated the paintings