How We Met
November 2015: New to Wisconsin, I was busy making new friends and new connections during my dietetic internship through UW-Green Bay, all while living in the very quiet town of Manitowoc. Meanwhile, Eric was working in Sheboygan, wondering if the Brat Capitol of the US was holding his 23-year-old social life back. Both single and ready to mingle, we met briefly (I’m talking, like, 5 minutes, maybe) at a bar, phone numbers were exchanged, and we went our separate ways, not knowing what, if anything, would come from the exchange.
Flash forward to December: We had the occasional text conversation or shared Snapchat, but that was it for about a month. I began a new internship rotation in Sheboygan, and on my first day, sent a Snap to Eric that I was in town. I thought nothing of it, but Eric was quick to take advantage of the situation. He called immediately, asking if I was still in town and interested in grabbing dinner. I smelled like a hospital kitchen and was wearing a blue uniform polo, but I nervously agreed, threw on a change of clothes, and hoped he wouldn’t smell the hospital-grade pot roast grease lingering in my hair.
Although Eric’s first choice of restaurants was unexpectedly closed that evening, we had no problem agreeing on Buffalo Wild Wings. And despite not kissing me at the end of the night, somehow, I was hooked.
Even though I had talked to him briefly before our first date, we really knew nothing about each other. So when people ask us when we first met, we both automatically think of that first BWW date, where I had no reservations about ordering wings in the white sweater I (thankfully) found in my car.
Several dates quickly followed, and it was clear we were on the fast track to being an “official” couple. I, however, still denied Eric on his first-round attempt to classify us as such. But eventually, I just couldn’t deny it: this Harry-Potter-loving, Jacks-pizza-eating goofball was everything I was looking for.
how they asked
Planning and plotting for months, Eric pulled of the most amazing proposal! I always asked for it to be a COMPLETE surprise, and despite several of our friends and family knowing what Eric was planning, everyone stayed hush and I was perfectly surprised, mainly because Eric regularly swore that we weren’t getting married for another 12 years.
With a busy summer of weddings, vacations, and full weekends, we knew we had only ONE free weekend all summer in late July, so we planned to spend it having a “just us” Saturday.
We planned on going to the Farmer’s Market, making breakfast together, getting massages, grabbing a fun lunch, getting dinner at the nice lakeside restaurant we had gone to for Valentine’s Day, and ending the night with a drink at Blue Harbor, the beautiful lakeside resort that makes Sheboygan, Wisconsin feel not-quite-so-“Sheboygan.” Eric, however, had a few more plans up his sleeve.
He mastered the ring-purchase so secretly that I had absolutely no suspicions. He brought parents along for their opinion, and once he and his mom found themselves fan-girling over the same beautiful setting, he knew he had found the perfect ring. While back in my hometown for a friend’s wedding, Eric had me under the impression that my dad and stepmom had asked him to join them for dinner at one of their favorite restaurants while I attended the rehearsal dinner for her friend. This was pretty normal considering my parents love hanging out with him, but sneaky Eric had not only planned the dinner himself, but he also invited my mom for a much more special dinner- one where he would ask for their blessing to take my hand in marriage (aw).
He brought his cousin Eli (Best Man) along for a helping hand in the ring pickup and proposal planning, which was falling together perfectly. And, despite my sweet grandma almost blowing it with a phone call inquiring about Eric’s intentions at his dinner with Dad (which I naturally dismissed to her being “old fashioned” and Eric joked about by saying “whoa, pressure is on from Grandma,”), the plan remained a surprise and was going off without a hitch.
The spectacular “just us” day went beautifully. The weather was perfect, we got flowers at the farmers market, had fabulous massages, stopped by a cute chocolate shop, and fancied up for our dinner date (which was a normal thing for our nicer date nights, so I remained blissfully unaware of Eric’s master plan). The only moment where the perfect illusion was almost shattered came when Eric made us return to our house after we had just left for dinner because he “forgot his card.” He was really going back to make sure the door was unlocked for my sister (Kendall, Maid of Honor), her boyfriend, and a group of our friends could bring their overnight bags in, before they headed to their positions. I was, thankfully, distracted on my phone as he turned around, and since the restaurant was just a couple minutes away, I had no reason to pay any attention to why we needed to turn back.
Dinner was fabulous, as Lino’s always is, and the wonderful owner made our soon-to-be most memorable night event better by bringing us Limoncello on-the-house, a happy surprise even for Eric, since the owner had no idea about the proposal. We then walked along the water to the Blue Harbor bar, On The Rocks, where ~I~ had suggested we go for drinks (again, no reason at all to suspect a thing). On our walk up the grand Blue Harbor staircase on the way to the bar, I caught a glimpse of my sister (who lives 5 hours south of us in Illinois) sitting at a table on the patio. Being caught off guard and clueless, I just waved at my sister with a confused look on my face while Kendall smiled a huge, dorky smile. As I started to notice that the table she was at also had chairs full of some of our closest friends, Eric put his hands on my shoulders and said, “I love you and I couldn’t wait 12 more years…” then dropped to his knee (!!!). I forget the rest of what he said (but I know he got in a solid “will you marry me?”), and most of what I said, and my voice went into a high-pitched, dog-whistle-like tone. But I knew from the moment Eric drunkenly tried to juggle some of my most breakable items to impress me 19 months ago, that I was going to marry this man, so I definitely do remember saying, in my surprised, squeaky voice, “YEAH!”
The amazing On The Rocks staff brought free champagne to the patio for us and I got to spend the rest of that weekend with some of my favorite people. There was also an adorable young girl sitting on the patio with her family who told me she wanted to be just like me one day and get a beautiful ring from her love at Blue Harbor. So of course, we had to snap a picture together, with her rocking my new bling :)
It turned out that Eric had invited several of our friends via a secret Facebook group to attend the proposal and party the night away with us afterwards, a page he would later share with me so I could enjoy every excited post it contained. It was a perfect plan, perfect weather, the perfect location, the perfect audience, and, of course, the perfect man!