Alexia and Corey

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How We Met

Seven years ago, Corey and I met on a family vacation. I was fresh out of high school and he had just finished his freshman year of college. Growing up, Corey was best friends with my cousin Chris, but because he lived in Buffalo and I lived in Raleigh, our paths had never crossed. I’ll admit, I had a massive crush on Corey that week at the lake, and even convinced him to take me out on a super-romantic (or so I thought) canoe ride in the rain (my 17-year-old self was slightly obsessed with The Notebook). At the end of the vacation, we went our separate ways.

Flash forward to last September, when my cousin was getting married. Corey was a groomsman, and I a guest. Of course I’d known that he’d be there, so I was excited to see him again. Little did I know, Corey was thinking the same exact thing. We hit it off immediately during the wedding weekend, and soon discovered that we’d both be in Washington, DC for work just two weeks later.

While we were in DC, we had our first date. The connection was undeniable, and while we both were apprehensive about the whole long-distance thing, we decided to give it a shot. For almost a year we dated long-distance, making frequent trips to see each other. Then, in June of this year, Corey moved from Buffalo to Raleigh. Needless to say, I was thrilled, and still feel like the luckiest gal in the world.

How He Asked

For weeks, Corey had been planning a surprise day-date to celebrate our anniversary. He wouldn’t tell me what was on the agenda, but knowing Corey, it would be sentimental and perfectly planned. The morning of our date, he gave me a book filled with photos of us, memories and hopes for the future. He told me that the book was my first gift, and my second gift would come later that evening. I teared up while looking at the book, but little did I know, it was just the first of many sweet things that would be given to me that day.

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The first stop was my favorite coffee shop, and when we left, Corey gave me a tiny pumpkin and a jar of matches that said “Perfect Match.” The pumpkin signified our next stop, and the matches, Corey said, would be used later.

Knowing how much I love fall (basic, I know) Corey had planned a pumpkin picking excursion for our second activity. After successfully picking the largest pumpkins we could find, Corey revealed the next stop, which was the State Fair. But, before we left the patch, he handed me a card with a love quote on the outside. Inside the card was a short note, and the number 9.  At this point, I naturally started to get a bit suspicious.

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While fried food, barnyard animals and carnival games might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the fair is special to Corey and me because it was one of our first dates as a couple. After thoroughly stuffing ourselves with fried Oreos and ham biscuits, we headed back home to to relax and get ready for dinner. But before we left the fair, Corey handed me yet another card with a love quote on it. Again, the inside of the card was filled with a note, but this time, the card had the number 1 written on it.

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Later that evening, Corey and I dined at a local restaurant we’d been dying to try. When we got into the car after dinner, Corey handed me yet another card with a love quote on it. The card again had a number (9 this time!), but I barely noticed it because of what the card said. “You have made me happy beyond my wildest dreams, and now all I want to do is spend forever showing you that same happiness.” *Cue all of the tears.

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Corey insisted that the date wasn’t over yet, and told me that we had to stop by our house to pick up the last gift. When we arrived at our house, a table was set up on the front porch. On it were candles, and a box that Corey had given me earlier in our relationship where we kept mementos from our travels and dates.

As we got closer, I really started to freak out… Corey calmly told me to light the candles using the matches he had given me earlier. Once they were lit, I saw that there was a combination lock on our box, which could be opened by the number combination written in each of my three cards (919 – the day that we reconnected at the wedding). When I opened it, I noticed a ring box tucked inside.

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It was then that Corey got down on one knee and proposed. Of course, I said yes! After taking a few minutes together on the porch, we went inside our house where my parents and brother were hiding, waiting to surprise and congratulate us!

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Even as I’m writing this, I cannot believe how much went into this special day. Corey’s thoughtful planning and attention to every single detail made this proposal so much more than I could have ever imagined. I am so lucky to love and be loved by him.

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