Shannon and Matt

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How We Met

Matt and I actually met while he was finishing a marathon six years ago. He was (and is) one of my brother’s best friends, so I was just there for my brother. We went back to his cottage and had a celebratory dinner. We did not speak. Fast forward three years, and Matt started becoming more a part of my life. He was a part of the same group of friends my brother and I were, so we didn’t actually know each other very well, but we knew each other’s names really well. Either way, we were some small entity of each others’ lives. Again, two years later, I was looking for a spot my brother and I could go on vacation on the cheap for my spring break. “Cheap” usually requires politely asking for someone to take you in and house you for four days, so our options were limited to family in Oklahoma or Alabama, until my brother mentioned going and visiting Matt in San Francisco. “Sure,” I say, “what’s the harm in going and visiting your brother’s best friend for for days?” Well, I soon found out that the worst that could happen was falling head over heels in love.

For a guy that lives 3000 miles away. Who also happens to be your very protective older brother’s best friend. But he lives in San Francisco, right? Wrong. He moves back to Michigan. Oh well, I’m going to move to Chicago soon. It won’t happen. “Hey Shannon, I’m moving to Chicago!” A quote from Matt two months later, at the housewarming party, for the house he just bought for himself in Michigan. Confused? So was I. We all started moving around and we were never in the same place, but Matt got offered a great job in Chicago the same week he closed on his house, and he didn’t want to pass up the offer. Being a very frugal guy, he didn’t want to pay the (inordinately expensive) housing costs in Chicago when he was only going to be there for half the week and fixing up the house he bought in Michigan the other half of the week. “Would it be okay if I crashed with you?” he asks.

Seeing as the only reason he wouldn’t be able to move into my apartment where I lived alone was that I was unrequitedly in love with him, but he didn’t need to know that. So he moved in, and never moved out. After five extremely tense months of will-they-won’t-they, but the cold spring night after the Cubs flew the W finally broke the ice, and we’ve never looked back. Our story is definitely not the “we just saw each other across the room and knew” stories, or even a story that makes chronological sense. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way; what makes our story unique embodies everything I love about us as a relationship and him as a person. Relationships don’t need to be neat to be everything you’ve ever wanted.

how they asked

Matt took me to a random office building in the north side of Chicago, telling me only 2 minutes before the start of “the event” that he had booked a deep-tissue massage for me. While I was getting my muscles wrung out like wet laundry and loving every second of it, he was FaceTiming with his sister-in-law, who is a professional photographer, and had secretly come down to capture the moments in process. He had also booked a hotel room on the lakeshore, claiming his mysterious bag he brought was “for work.” After my massage, we got on the train heading north, and hopped off at the Addison stop right next to Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs and current World Series winners (refer back to the “how we met” to know that this is what we consider our first date).

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Since half the stadium is under construction as of right now, we moved north and ended up by a statue there. There was a nice family there who asked for pictures, and I jumped at the opportunity to help them out. Afterward, they were all starting to pack up their stuff and I figured we were onto the next thing and started walking away. “Wait, let’s look at this statue some more,” Matt calls out after me. “Matt, it’s just a guy holding a baseball bat.

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Where are we going next?” “Yeah, but, who IS the guy on the statue?” “Harry Caray, it says right on the side.” “But who WAS that though?” Oh. Clearly I should shut up and let him do his thing. At this point, the family had finally packed up and left, leaving us alone next to the statue. “I wanted to take you back here, since this is where it all started,” he nearly whispers while holding my hands, pulling his left away from mine. “And this is where I wanted to ask you a very important question.” “Yes!” “Wait!

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I haven’t gotten the box out yet!” “Oh sorry.” The box peeks out of his pocket. “YES!” (Clearly, patience isn’t a virtue I follow closely.) “Wait!!” The box makes its full appearance. “Will you marry me?” Not surprisingly, I again said yes.

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My wonderful fiancee then proceeded to take me to dinner afterward with all my favorite people; my best friends from school, our friends that live in Wisconsin, my mom, his sister – it was the most perfect moment. I’m not usually one for surprises, but I’ll definitely make an exception for that one.

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Special Thanks

Katie Lyon
 | Photographer