Amanda and Bryce

engagement

How We Met

Bryce and I met back in high school; he was in the marching band and I was on the soccer team. Little did he know, he caught my eye from day one. My brother was in 8th grade and had just joined the marching band. Much like myself, my brother is shy and reserved. You can imagine how intimidated he was being surrounded by seniors in high school! Then there was Bryce. He (and his group of friends) took my brother under his/their wing(s) and made him feel so welcomed and apart of the band. Let me tell you, I know that met the world to my brother, but it absolutely warmed my heart as a sister. Not only did we have this connection, but our grandmothers have been best friends for 12 years; how crazy is that? Bryce was one guy that I always “admired from afar” as a like to call it.

We were always in relationships with other people- never single at the same time. I can remember my mother telling me back in high school “Bryce is the type of guy you need to be with.” Boy, was she right! I’m not going to lie, 2013 was a rough year for me, especially after the passing of my grandmother, but one of my best friends was working behind the scenes (yeah, that’s you, Chad). I have known Chad since preschool and is one of the truest, selfless people I have ever met. He was even Bryce’s roommate in college! One night over Christmas break, we decided to get some friends together and a friend’s house. As I was pulling in the driveway, I saw Chad leaving. Naturally, I sent Chad a rapid text message asking where he was heading.

He then told me he was going to pick up Bryce. “WHAT?!” I thought excitedly to myself. “Why would Bryce be coming?” Then it all made sense. Me being my shy, reserved self, I hardly said a word to him! Knowing me, I probably got so blotchy when I actually did speak. From that night on, we went on a few dates. On our first date we actually went to see “The Wolf of Wall Street”.. talk about AWKWARD! Anyway, Christmas break came to an end and he headed back to college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania to finish his degree in Chemistry, and I headed back to California University of Pennsylvania to finish my Bachelor’s in Communication Disorders (AKA, Speech and Language Therapy).

We had no idea what was going to happen between us, but we always kept in contact and would periodically see each other when he came home. Once summer hit, our relationship escalated. I still remember the night that he told me that he loved me- June 29th, downstairs on my couch. He was wearing black and red basketball shorts, a teal “Brew Thru” t-shirt from the Outer Banks, and a Dave Matthews Band hat on backwards. Yeah, I can’t help but remember little details like that. From that moment on, our relationship was filled with the truest, unconditional love. I fell in love with him. I fell in love with every detail about him. I have never met a more genuine, selfless, and gregarious individual. Everything that has happened in our pasts led us to one another, and it was not until I met him that I became SO thankful that “God blessed the broken road” because it led me straight to this incredible man. I know it was my grandmother working her magic up in heaven. I will always believe that. Thank you, Nana. Thank you.

How He Asked

Back in early November, I was having a rough Wednesday morning. I taught preschool with six other graduate students, and it was just a crappy day! After preschool ended, I rushed to conduct a speech therapy make-up session, and then rushed to class. When I arrived to class, my best friend, Morgan, stated “I have something that is going to make your day.” Once class ended, she told me that her boyfriend, Nick, bought tickets for the 4 of us (Me, Bryce, Morgan, and Nick) to do a penguin encounter at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh on December 10! I was SO excited! Bryce was off that weekend! Then I realized.. CRAP. I work that weekend. I had requested the previous weekend, so I was extremely reluctant to request the following weekend as well.

Being the stubborn woman that I am, I would not request that day off, due to the fact that I would have felt SO bad to put that on the manager to find coverage for me two weeks in a row. When I came in to work a few Saturdays later, my manager told me that if I wanted December 10th off, she had it covered for me! I was thrilled! I just thought that one of my coworkers had mentioned it to her. Flash forward to the afternoon of December 10th. We met Morgan and Nick at the Aviary and began an exciting expedition through the different areas. NOTE: Condors are NOT fun to walk by! Once 2:30 hit, it was time to do our penguin encounter. The guide took us into a private room where we met the one, the only, DISCO DAN! Which, by the way, pooped right by Bryce’s foot. As Disco Dan walked around, the guide was answering our questions. We then had the opportunity to pet Disco Dan and take some pictures.

We let Morgan and Nick go up and get pictures first; after all, it was all Nick’s planning, right!? Then, it was our turn to go up to the table and pet him. After a few minutes, the guide asked if we had any final questions. Then, the most incredible moment of my life (thus far) happened. “I do, but mine’s a little different though. It’s actually for you” and Bryce pointed to me. Me being the future Speech-Language Pathologist that I am, I thought he was going to ask me a question about a penguin’s voice box! HA, wrong. He then reached into his pocket, pulled out a silver box, and there it was: “Amanda, will you marry me?” Of course I said yes! Accompanied by shaky hands, a blotchy chest, and a full heart. We then went outside, and as the snow lightly fell down upon up on us, we shared our first kiss as an engaged couple.

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Bryce had planned the whole day down to the very last detail. He contacted the Aviary, invited Morgan and Nick, set up a private encounter, contacted my manager to make sure I had the day off, MADE SURE MY MOM TOLD ME TO PAINT MY NAILS, everything. Most importantly, he asked my father for his blessing, which was HUGE. Bryce is my other half, my soul mate, my best friend. He is my biggest fan and my biggest blessing. I am one fortunate woman to be able to call him my fiancé and future husband. Here’s to us, sweetheart!

Where to Propose in National Aviary, Pittsburgh