Abbey and Kier

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How We Met

Kier and I met when I was 16 years old. He was a Senior in High School, and I was a Sophomore. We were in the school musical, Anything Goes, together and started dating soon after meeting. That was almost seven years ago. The best part, or maybe most surprising part is that we broke up five years ago and have only been friends ever since. As we went off to college, life started to pull us apart.

I went to work for The Walt Disney Company as a performer and he was an aerospace engineer with an internship at NASA. We always said that we would end up together, but it seemed like life was never going to let that happen. Kier jokes that I had to move halfway around the world (literally I now live in Shanghai, China and work at Shanghai Disney Resort) for him to realize that there was no leaving this to chance. He didn’t think he could leave it to fate anymore.

We took several trips together not as a couple. It was easy for us to remain friends because we made such good travel partners. This is us on a “backpacking” trip through Antwerp, Brugge, Brussels, and Frankfurt.

His senior prom was something to remember. I am so grateful we have seen each other grow up.

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I got to be a part of so many graduations and life moments already :) This is us when we rented a scooter in Amsterdam. It was so cold that day!

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How He Asked

So here it is. The story about how I went from single (for two and a half years) to engaged in less than a week. I’m aware of how that sounds. It sounds either romantic and adventurous or spontaneous and well, sorta crazy. Well, call me crazy because I have never been this happy in my whole life.

I should start by saying that I’m not usually one to openly talk about personal things, so forgive me if I don’t do a very good job of expressing myself. There is a video I made as well if you’d like to see it. Anyway, here we go!

About two months into my move to Shanghai, Kier and I started talking about planning a trip somewhere in Asia. We already knew we made great travel partners from our “backpacking” trip around Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brugge, Brussels, and Frankfurt in 2013. Not to mention our road trip in Florida in 2015 and Disney two years in a row. To other people, I could see how our friendship could look weird. And we were definitely not strangers to our friends trying to set us back up. Kier and I had dated twice before in 2010 and 2011 with sporadic other “dates” sprinkled in throughout the last seven years of friendship. But we were friends, best friends, and had mastered walking that very delicate line between friendship and dating, so we were okay with that. The only people who needed to understand us, was us. So we rolled with it and planned our trip to Bali, Indonesia.

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I would like to say that there were SO MANY TIMES I should have known or gotten a hint that he was planning this proposal… here is a small “pre-trip list” of things that should have set bells off:

Reason #1: My mom started asking too many questions…

My family loves Kier. In a lot of ways he became part of the family years ago, but when it comes to my mama asking questions that started slipping over the “friendship limits” I should have known something was up.

Reason #2: Then she stopped talking to me at all…

Yup. I found out later that she was scared she was going to ruin the surprise. So she cut off communication. haha. I pretty much didn’t talk to my family the two weeks leading up to the proposal.

Reason #3: Our Facetimes started hinting more and more at elopement in Bali…

It started as a joke. It was funny how we were basically planning a honeymoon. Romantic huts on the beach? Sunset Boat across the bay? Come on. So why not feed into the joke?! I thought it was funny and light hearted. He was a little more serious. haha.

Reason #4/#5: He slipped up twice… and I just let him get away with it!!!

The first time he said (in reference to our upcoming Dubai trip in January) “You will be able to hang out with all the OTHER wives.” *face palm*. The second slip up was when I was talking about how I would like to go on a cruise for my actual honeymoon and he replied with a casual “Oh yeah, we could do that.” hmm, should have caught on… Abbey, you fool!

Give me a break!! I never loved mystery novels as a kid. I didn’t think I would get married this young. And I never EVER thought he would bring a ring from 6000 miles away and propose to me!! But he did. He is the bravest person I know.

So, it’s getting time for him to show up in Shanghai and I’m so excited! I’m thinking this could be potentially the only friend I get to visit me the whole year and it’s KIER! My best friend:) I remember waiting at the airport (because I got there at least an hour too early) and I was finishing his book that he wrote thinking to myself, “wow, I love this guy! He is such a hard worker and so humble about it. I wonder how everything just works out for him in such a unique and adventurous way. It’s probably cause he love God so much…HE’s got his back. Which makes him the coolest of all!” And then Kier was there! Walking through the zig-zag of the international arrivals, but he wasn’t the usual Kier. Which leads me to “Other reasons I should have caught on to his upcoming plan to propose”…

Reason #6: Kier was quiet and nervous for 3 days in Shanghai!

I was thinking “oh no… we ruined it!” He is gonna say we can’t be friends anymore and he has a girlfriend and this trip is going to be a disaster. Yikes!

Reason #7: He wanted to stay in.

I’ve known this guy for almost 7 years and I have never known him to not want to take full advantage of exploring a new city. Instead he’s getting all couply wanting to make tacos at home. I mean, I was 100% okay with this… I’ll never turn down tacos.

Reason #8: He really wanted that “In front of the Castle” Shot.

I swear to goodness, if he would have proposed in front of all those people in front of the Castle that I work at… I might have said, “No, try again!” (he knew … not in front of the Castle) haha..

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We are matching and everything. Couply? I think yes!

Fast forward to when we are in Bali. Our trip went on without any problems which was a miracle with three flight legs and finding our transportation when we arrived. We got there and met our neighbors for the next two days, the craziest monkeys I have ever seen! It’s now less than twenty-four hours from when he is going to ask the question and it is still not even a little bit on my radar.

The next morning we wake up at 2a.m. Yes, you read that correctly. This is what I had been looking most forward to, we were going to do a morning hike up Mt.Batur. The trek included a 4a.m. start time, breakfast at the top of the volcano, and the most beautiful views I have ever seen.

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Less than seven hours left of being a single lady… which leads me to my last two reasons why I should have known.

Reason #9: That time he freaked out on the plane.

We were not sitting together on the last plane. He was sitting behind me. I wanted to get a snack, but he was asleep. I didn’t want to disturb him, so I thought I would just pull the backpack from under my seat through to my side. I have never seen him pop up so fast! haha. He was like “What are you doing?!? I’ll get it for you.” I thought it was so weird. I was thinking ‘I am perfectly capable of getting my own snack, thank you!’ Turns out he had stashed the ring in that backpack!

Reason #10: I secretly knew.

Deep down I always knew Kier and I were going to get hitched. I think a lot of other people probably assumed before I admitted it to myself, but I knew.

We had watched the sunrise, had our breakfast of banana sandwiches and hardboiled eggs, made some monkey friends, and now we were coming to the end of our hike. As weird as it sounds I was walking down behind this man and I was picturing him as my husband. Or boyfriend. Or something more than “Best Friend”. I couldn’t help feeling giddy with the idea. I even stayed back from our guide and Kier to take a picture to remember the moment…

Little did I know that I was actually helping set up the perfect opportunity that Kier had been looking for. As I trotted down the hill to catch up with them, I rounded the corner to a much different picture. Kier was there stopped in the middle of the dirt road with his hand outreached and his “serious look” on. I was thinking, ‘Okay. This is it. We are having ‘that talk’ the one where we he says we should get back together, or not, or something? I don’t know!!! Ahh! Stay calm, stay calm.’

*He starts talking*

(I’m not calm. I’m not calm)

*He’s reaching for something in his pocket*

(Maybe he got me like a necklace or something for us getting back together!)

*Pulls out box*

(NOT A NECKLACE. NOT A NECKLACE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. AHHH!!)

*Gets on his knee*

(no thoughts, just freaking out)

“Abbey, will you marry me?!”

(I have NEVER been this surprised in my ENTIRE LIFE. I can’t function.)

(…)

(…)

“YES!!”

(Weird surprised dancing. Making a fool out of myself. Smooching. More smooching. More Surprised walking. General hysteria)

*He puts the ring on my finger”

(I clap my hands and fist pump the air. Really? Yes. That really happened. 1:45)

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It was then that I realized that our guide was filming the whole thing! If I would have seen that when I turned the corner I would have definitely known the gravity of the situation. I don’t know how to really describe my complete emotions at that moment. I think I actually went into shock. Real, hospital worthy, shock. I do remember I said something like “Does this mean we can hold hands and stuff now?” And then we did:)

In the following days the surprise wore off and happiness set in! So much happiness, and love, and excitement! Because we still had our whole vacation ahead of us we decided to keep the secret to ourselves(for the most part) until when we got back. However, we had so much fun calling our close friends and family. Of course Kier had asked my entire family’s permission (even my aunt knew!) and told some of his friends his bold plan, but for me it was a complete surprise to EVERYONE! It was awesome.

I think I speak for both of us when I say that those days in Bali will remain some of the best days of our lives. I had told him once that if we ever get back together a third time it would be with the intention of getting married. I also said that I always wanted to be completely surprised when I got proposed to. I never wanted to turn into one of those girlfriends that was looking for the ring in backpacks on planes… oh wait… haha. No, I’m just so so grateful at the timing and circumstances that we came together. I see, now, that it was always meant to be this moment. We had to have the time apart to grow on our own. I truly believe God has used these five years as friends to make us better spouses for each other in the future:) I joke that we created our own modern version of “courtship” because we shared our first kiss in five years after getting engaged! LOL.

I couldn’t be more proud to call this man my fiancé. I know I already said it, but Kier is THE BRAVEST man I know. I can’t wait to marry him. I love you, Babe! I love our story.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in At the bottom of Mt.Batur Volcano in Bali, Indonesia.

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