Sylvia and Justin
How We Met
Justin and I’s story goes back- wayyy back.
In the late ’80s, our parents were neighbors in Indiana and our moms quickly bonded over their love for horses and became close friends. Shortly before either of us were born, his family moved to Florida where his dad received a job as a football coach. Our moms continued to keep in touch and visited each other on occasion. I vividly remember in the fourth grade his family joined us on a Walt Disney World vacation and I faked sick (at the happiest place on earth!) because I did not want to spend the day with him! I remember feeling “so annoyed” he came to Disney with us….I think I was going through the “boys have cooties” phase. Lol. His family would send us yearly Christmas cards and my mom would joke that she thought we should date.
Fast forward fourteen years and we reconnect again, this time as adults, over Facebook. On an October Sunday in 2016 I was walking to my car after church and he had sent me a direct message. At that time, he was playing baseball in Arizona and I was working in Illinois. After 18 days of non-stop texting, I hopped on a plane traveling halfway across the country and we had our first official date in a cute brunch café in downtown Scottsdale. After a fun weekend together, I called my best friend as I was waiting at the airport and told her I was in big trouble, he was either going to break my heart or I was going to marry him. Now I’m happy to report it’s the latter!
How They Asked
On Friday, July 12, 2019, my family and Justin’s flew to New York to watch him pitch against the Yankees in the same stadium he made his MLB debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018. That night, he pitched a perfect inning of relief. Unknown to me, Justin and my sister, Olivia, had big plans underway. Justin wanted to propose in Manhattan because he knew NYC was my favorite city. They had reserved a proposal location & videographer/photographer with the contingency that Justin would stay in New York for the Saturday game. It wasn’t until around 11:00 pm Friday night that they were able to tell everyone involved in the proposal that it was a GO! Olivia said Justin was SO happy when it was official for Saturday.
Mid-Saturday morning on July 13, (while Justin was already at the field) the proposal planner informed them that she booked a rooftop from 1:00-2:00 pm that day in Midtown Manhattan. This would not have worked because Justin’s game was at 1:00 pm. Olivia was visibly stressed during Saturday’s game (I originally blamed the NY heat/lack of sleep) but now I understand why! Fortunately, the proposal planner was able to book another rooftop location in Manhattan with a view of the Empire State Building at 6:00 pm. Even though this rooftop wasn’t their first choice location, it ended up being the greatest blessing considering the original proposal location in Midtown was blacked out after the power outage and our new location was not affected even though we were only a few blocks away!
Saturday evening at 8:00 pm, we had tickets for a Broadway production. Olivia insisted we leave the game by 4:00 pm because she did not want to get stuck in New York traffic and wanted the two of us to take photos in our Broadway dresses at the Empire State Building. Honestly, at that point, the last thing I wanted to do was walk through the Empire State Building in my long dress and heels but I went along with it (after a little complaining and some extra encouragement).
Meanwhile, the ball game that was supposed to end around 4:00ish was still playing at 5:00 pm! It was the bottom of the 9th, 2-1 Blue Jays. The Yankees were up to bat with 2 outs, 2 strikes, and batters on the corners (1 & 3). Olivia said the families were praying for another strike to end the game and prevent extra innings. The families were worried Justin would not make the commute from the Bronx to Manhattan in time for the proposal. I could sense everyone was slightly on edge but didn’t understand why (now it all makes sense). As soon as the game ended, Justin rushed to shower and tried to request an Uber to the proposal location but Uber’s were not allowed at the field after the game. Justin told the clubbie “get me a car, I gotta propose in an hour” and hopped into the last available car service of the night! Miraculously, Justin was able to make it from the Bronx to Manhattan in just under an hour.
After Olivia and I took some sister photos at the Empire State Building, she asked if I wanted to spend our free time before Broadway shopping….so off we went! We only walked two blocks down the street to the rooftop location where a doorman, anticipating our arrival, greeted and escorted us to an elevator. When the elevator doors opened, I walked onto a private rooftop with a beautiful view of the Empire State Building. Justin was standing in the middle of dozens of roses in the shape of a heart and there were large, block, light-up letters spelling “MARRY ME” behind him. It was undeniably and undoubtedly the easiest “YES!”
I’ve ever had to make. Shortly after the “YES!” nearly all of Midtown lost power. Thankfully, our new proposal site was a few blocks away and not affected by the blackout. After a few intimate moments with J, both families joined us on the rooftop for photos and congratulatory hugs. We weren’t able to attend the Broadway show due to the blackout but we did get to see Justin pitch another 1.1 perfect innings against the Yankees on Sunday, so I chalk that up for a W.