Monday, February 25, 2013

My Love Story

Matt and I in New Orleans, Dec. 30, 2012.
Matt and I first met at the start of my junior year of college. He played on the university's baseball team and we shared a few mutual friends on the team. He spotted me at a party and asked his friends who I was. His friends told him I was dating other people, so things never really took off.

Several months later, the two of us were hanging out with a group of friends. At the end of the night Matt volunteered to walk me back to my dorm room. During the walk back, the conversation seemed to flow effortlessly. Once we arrived at my room, I thought he would come in so we could hang out a little bit longer. Instead, he said goodnight and left. (Later, I learned that I was apparently giving him "strong vibes" that I wasn't interested.)
It was another couple months before we hung out again. We were at a baseball party and he asked me to dance. I didn't see the harm in it since we were clearly just friends. We ended up hanging out the entire night. This time I was not about to let a couple more months go by before getting to see him again, so I took matters into my own hands! I took his phone and put my number in it.

My aggressive approach must have worked because we started hanging out on a regular basis. In April, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes and things went really well...for about two minutes! I decided I didn't want to commit to something that close to summer break, especially since we lived in different states. Thank goodness for Matt's patience! We continued seeing each other and right before we left school for break, I told him I wanted to at least try a long-distance relationship. I had to do a little bit of pleading (I couldn't blame him for being cautious), but he finally agreed.

Fast-forward through about three years of laughter, struggles and love....

In December 2012, Matt and I celebrated the holidays with each of our families, and agreed that we would spend New Years Eve together. Several days before we were supposed to hang out, Matt told me that we were going on a trip, but he wouldn't tell me where he was taking me. Most girls would find this gesture romantic; I freaked out and told him I couldn't go because I didn't know what to pack. Once again, thank goodness for Matt's patience! He told me what I would need for the trip and that it was okay for me to bring as many shoes as I wanted. (A girl has got to be prepared for any situation.)

Early the next morning, we hopped in his car and started our journey. The first stop of our trip was Atlanta. After giving me several options of things we could do, we decided to leave the city and go hiking. We started the hike by climbing a waterfall. The view from the top was breath-taking...that may have had to do with the thousands of stairs we had to climb to get there! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting Matt to propose at the top of the falls. To my disappointment, it didn't happen.

Matt did a great job picking out my ring!
The next morning we got back in the car and headed for our next destination. Once we made it to the  "Welcome to Louisiana" sign, I knew he was taking me to New Orleans. We didn't have time to explore the city because he had made dinner reservations. After eating the most delicious meal, he told me there was somewhere he wanted to take me. Knowing how well I took the last romantic surprise, he told me the spot was on the way to Cafe Du Monde, where I wanted to stop and get a beignet.

We walked down Bourbon Street to Jackson Square. There was a little park in the center of the square and I thought this has got to be where he'll propose. Then we discovered the park was locked at night and was surrounded by homeless people asking to read our palms...not exactly the picture of romance!

Thankfully, Matt had a backup plan. At the edge of the park there was a large Christmas tree at the edge of the water. Lights from ships lit up the Mississippi River. I could tell that Matt was nervous because he was fidgeting. He dropped down on one knee and pulled out a ring, and to be completely honest, I have absolutely no idea what he said or even if I said yes! I just remember jumping on him and taking the ring. Later he informed me that I had agreed to marry him. We celebrated the engagement on Bourbon Street the next day, and concluded our trip on the beach in Destin, Florida.

That is how our journey began. I said what?!

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