Caroline and Ryan
How We Met: Ryan and I have a crazy story of how we met. I am originally from the San Fernando Valley, CA and decided to go to the University of Missouri-Kansas City for their Conservatory of Dance. Ryan is Kansas City boy, born and raised, he was a Jr. in college and I was starting as a freshman. In my first week of college, I met Ryan in the lobby of the dorm I was living in. He was an RA (Resistant Assistant) for the guys dorm hall, and a very VERY hot RA. We started talking in the lobby, and all I was looking at was his amazing smile! He was so kind and invited me to go and play volleyball with him and a bunch of the other people in the dorm but I had already made plans with friends, later on in our relationship he told me he was so bummed that I turned him down. The next day I went to a group on campus called Campus Crusade for Christ and it was their first meeting and we were getting to know everyone else in the group. And all of the sudden, Ryan was there. And not only that but he was one of the leaders! He came over to be as I came through the door and said how happy he was to see me, and so was I! Ryan started to speak in front of the group, and in my mind I said to myself “We are going to be together.” I just knew it. After the meeting, a bunch of them were going to play “capture the flag” on the giant lawn in front of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO, including Ryan (: We all went over there and started to play. Our eyes we meeting all throughout the night and we exchanged smiles all through the evening!
This is where the story gets interesting…
During the game, I was talking to one of my friends and out of NO WHERE, one of the girls playing didn’t see me and ran right into me! We both fell straight onto the concrete! Luckily we both were totally conscious right after the fall. And who came running straight over, my knight in shinning armor. He was the first person over there and helped me up. I was laughing when it happened because I was so embarrassed! When he helped me up I was crazy dizzy and a huge rush of blood came out of my nose. He used his shirt clean my face from all my blood. Ryan was so gentle as he was cleaning me up. He noticed a huge gash right on the bone on my nose. And said I would probably have to get stitches! Well at that point I wanted to cry because I have never had them! He couldn’t take me to the ER because he was “on call” at the University dorm but one of the girls there took me to the Emergency Room. Once we got there it took forever for me to see a plastic surgeon doctor to stitch me up. While my RA and I were waiting, she said that Ryan keep texting her and asking her if I was okay and what was happening. She asked me if I knew Ryan and I said I don’t know him that well but I know him and she said he must have a crush on you because he keeps on asking how you’re doing. That made me smile so much! Once we left the hospital, 9 stitches later across my nose, it was early the next morning. I couldn’t go to school the next day because I had a minor concussion and I was on major pain killers. AND I looked absolutely straight from a horror movie! I was all black and blue around my eyes and nose, my face swelled up 3 times as my normal size, and the black stitches stuck straight out from my face I could see them in front of my eyes. I wasn’t a pretty sight. But I wasn’t too much in pain to go to Starbucks of course. When I went there, I also got a gift card for the girl her took me to the hospital, and for Ryan because he was so sweet in helping me when it happened. He was working at the desk of the dorm when I came by to give him a card with the gift card inside. He thought it was so sweet that I had taken the time to do that. Later on I saw him, still at the desk and I was going to the cafeteria for dinner. He said thank you so much for the sweet note and the gift card, later on I found out that he doesn’t even drink coffee or go to Starbucks but he was so appreciative for it anyway. He then begun to ask me if I had eaten, I told him I was on my way to get something for dinner and he said that he was going to be off work in a couple of minutes and would like to take me to dinner. In my mind I immediately thought “pity date” because I looked absolutely horrible! And I said, “Ah, are you sure you want to take this out?” (pointing to my face), and he said he would love to. We then proceeded to go to the Plaza and eat at Tomfooleries. We had the best time talking and getting to know one another. We then went to the “scene of the crime” and he took my picture right in front of where it happened. A week later, he called my dad all the way in California to ask me officially out to a Royals game, at that point I had a strip of tape on my nose so I looked somewhat better. And exactly a month later from when we went to Tomfooleries we went to a Taylor Swift concert for fun that my mom bought me 2 tickets for months before I moved to Missouri for me and a friend I would meet in college, so Ryan came along! After the Taylor Swift concert, we hung out more and he asked me to be his girlfriend and then we had our first kiss and can I just say, there were fireworks!! The entire month before this that we were dating, I was guarding my heart so much and we were truly getting to get to know each other as friends and as a “brother and sister in Christ”. I was completely thrown when he had ask me because he was just everything I was looking for and prayed for in a man, he was out of my league and he says the same about me. He truly brings out the very best in me and we are always laughing and growing together as a couple in so much love! Almost 4 years later, here we are and my nose has healed extremely well!
Picture taken at a week after we met, notice the strip over my nose.
Oh also, dating an student in the dorms when you are an RA in the same dorm building was against the rules and we were able to keep it pretty low, kinda even though he came home to California with me and we were holding hands all the time. But eventually his boss found out and they fired him 2 weeks before the school year ended. He laughed and didn’t care one bit because then he didn’t have to go through the work of checking students out when they finished the school year. And I felt so bad but we laugh about it now!
Picture taken almost a year of us dating!
How He Asked: January 31, 2015 will always be one of the most magical days of my life. Let me say first, I had no idea that Ryan was going to propose. Of course we were dating with a purpose and have talked about getting married, but I had no idea January 31st was the day! Ryan had told me earlier in the week that he wanted to take me out on a “fancy date night”. We go on “fancy date nights” every so often and its when we get super dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant and go about the town. I was in my senior year finishing my senior project so I was stressed and he thought I could use a “fancy date night”, but never said where we were going. I felt like buying a new dress for it, which I am glad I did! Ryan wasn’t acting at all suspicious that week or even that day, so I had still no clue. He picked me up that night and brought me red roses, he is always bringing me fresh flowers, even just because, it’s the little things (: He still didn’t tell me where we were going he just wanted to be surprised when we got there. It turned out he was taking me to this amazing little Argentinan restaurant called “Piropos” where we celebrated our 1 year anniversary and hadn’t been back since. He had made a reservation and there was a table ready. We had such a lovely evening there, eating delicious food. Then he began to say after dinner he wanted to go downtown and just take fun pictures around the city. Which again wasn’t suspicious because we LOVE taking pictures and if anyone knows us they would say the same! I was all about it and so excited for it! When we left the restaurant is was pouring the rain and freezing! January, in the Midwest cold, it’s an uncomfortable time of year. We went to the historic Union Station downtown and walked around and took pictures. And then we moved on to our next location, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art where our story began. the rain was letting up a bit but we stopped by CVS to get an umbrella just in case. When walked around the Nelson outside on their grounds and then Ryan wanted to take a picture of us.
Ok pause. Every since Ryan and I started dating, instead of taking “selfies of us”, we prop our phones up, set the camera on “video mode” and press record and both of us step into the frame and pose. Then we go to our phones and watch the goofy video of us posing and pause the video when we see a good shot of us and then screen shot the video so it turns out to be an awesome still picture without the awkward selfie arm.
When Ryan wanted to take a picture of us and put up on video mode it wasn’t awkward at all and I didn’t suspect a thing! At that point there was a really soft rain and it was quiet and no one was in sight. When we were “posing” for the video I could tell something was up. I could just feel Ryan’s body language. He proceeded to say that he loved me more than anything and couldn’t imagine anyone else to live alongside with. All I could hear was his voice, our hearts beating, and the rain softly falling. It was straight out a scene from Pride & Prejudice. I was like thinking “Oh my gosh this is really happening.” And got super excited! I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him without a doubt! He reached into his pocket, pulled out a wooden box, got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride and wife and marry him.
And then I got down on his level too and threw my umbrella behind me. I saw this glistening diamond ring in his hand and we just hugged and kissed and cried. I have never felt God so present in any moment in my entire life, there was just a peace. He put this gorgeous ring on me and we stood up and he twirled me around. We were in such bliss! And minutes away from the moment he asked me to be his bride, it started to snow. The very first snow of 2015 and it was magical. I felt we were living a movie.
He took me to his car, put the seats down in the back, and put a blanket down. He pulled out this cooler that had 2 champagne glasses, drinks, and our favorite cheesecake. We kept the trunk door open and watched the snow fall. He wanted to pray over our marriage and ask the Lord for His blessing in our journey of our engagement. He couldn’t have planned a more perfect evening and it will be something we will always remember as one of the best days of our lives.
And here are some of our engagement photos!
Photos by Luke and Mallory Leasure