Cecilia and Nick

How We Met

I remember not being able to sleep the night before I started high school.  As I was tossing and turning in anticipation of my first day at an all girls school, I couldn’t stop the rom-com fan inside of me from thinking how utterly fantastic it would be if I were to meet my future husband at the all boys school next door.  Fast forward nearly fourteen years and I can tell you that is, in fact, where I met my future husband – he was literally the boy next door.

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The first time I saw Nick, I assumed he was a senior because he was so tall.  Luckily for me, we were both freshmen and soon became friends.  I know everyone says they married their best friend, but I sincerely mean it when I say I am marrying mine.  From the moment we officially met, we clicked.  I thought so highly of Nick that at one point I actually tried to set him up with my best friend (and now bridesmaid), Amanda. Thankfully, neither of them were too interested in the idea.

We went to college in separate states but remained exceptionally close.  We were in nearly constant contact; we talked on the phone for hours at a time every single day, and when we weren’t talking we were texting.  We got together during each break from school.  Nick even visited me in Austin on more than one spring break, and senior year I finally made it up to St. Louis to visit him during mine.  People always asked me what was going on between the two of us, and the truth is even I didn’t really know.  Until…

The year was 2008.  The night: Fourth of July.  I vividly recall getting ready before Nick came over so the two of us could watch the fireworks together.  Just before he left to meet me, Nick sent me a text asking if I was nervous.  Full disclosure: I was nervous before I got his message, but reading that text made me exponentially more so.  I think we both realized our friendship was about to change.

That summer night, on my balcony above the lake and under a gorgeous display of fireworks, Nick leaned in and kissed me for the first time.  I could live another hundred years and I would never forget that kiss.

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How He Asked

I left Australia (where we live) at the end of September for my cousin’s wedding.  As this was our second trip to the states in just two months, we decided I would stay in my hometown of Houston through the holidays and have Nick meet me there around Thanksgiving.  A week before he was scheduled to arrive, my car started acting up. I didn’t want to ask anyone for a ride, so I decided to order an Uber.  In Australia, Nick and I use Uber all the time; in Houston, I rarely use Uber because the city is so spread out.  On this particular day, I decided to use Uber in Houston.  I got out my phone, downloaded the app for our shared Uber account, and immediately received a notification saying my Uber was on its way. Thinking I had accidentally pressed the request button, I hit cancel and started laughing with my friends about how I had just ordered an Uber to Australia.  A few seconds passed and another Uber was on its way.  I cancelled.  It happened again.  Confused, I opened the app and saw that this time there was a trip in progress – a trip to the Brisbane airport.  I called Nick and asked if he was on his way to the airport.  He hesitantly said yes, and when I asked why, he said he’d call me back.  A few moments later he called back and admitted he was coming to Houston early to surprise me.  I excitedly told my friend, Michelle, who was there with me that Nick was on his way to Houston!  She seemed irritated and when I asked her why, she simply said, “I’m not good with surprises.” As it turns out, Michelle is actually quite good with surprises, as she was in on it the entire time.

I later found out she wasn’t the only one who was in on the proposal secret.  Nick had enlisted the help of another one of my good girl friends and her husband several weeks earlier, talked to my brothers in law months beforehand, taken my father to lunch to ask for my hand, and even asked my mother for her blessing as well.  Nick and my mom bonded over the proposal planning, and though I wasn’t able to witness any of that, my heart swells imagining it.

After I unknowingly ruined yet another proposal (I ruined three previous proposal attempts over the course of about a year), I got ready for what I thought was just an extra week of fun with my boyfriend.  We went to the ranch, spent time with my grandma, ate lots of Mexican food, and everything seemed par for the course.

One afternoon, two of my friends whisked me away to look at Christmas decorations.  I was happy to tag along and actually got pretty into it.  As soon as we left, Nick arrived and began setting up the proposal.

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After a long while, I told them I needed to get back because Nick was picking me up to meet my cousin and her husband for dinner.  I had a cute outfit, heels, my makeup bag, contacts, and a curling iron waiting for me in Nick’s car.  I never actually got to change or make myself presentable.

We pulled up to Michelle’s family’s store, Blue Leaf, and she asked me to run in and check if the alarm was on.  I opened the door and all I could see were roses and candles.  I immediately closed the door behind me and yelled to Michelle, “Something’s going on in there!” to which she yelled back, “Go! Just go!”

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I poked my head back in and followed the path of rose petals and candles as me and Nick’s song played overhead.

Believe it or not, I still wasn’t entirely certain of what was going on.  I mean, I had never gotten engaged before and I didn’t want to be presumptuous!

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Plus, my birthday was only two days away!  I walked through 240 roses to the outside courtyard where Nick was standing dressed so handsomely in a suit, underneath a chandelier, surrounded by even more roses and candles. It was seriously like a scene from The Bachelor, y’all. He took my hand and said some beautiful things as he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. After I said yes, our families and friends popped out of hiding to celebrate with us! I was so genuinely surprised and elated, I couldn’t have designed a more perfect evening.

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I thank God for giving me a thoughtful man who would go through all of that trouble just for me, family who support me, and friends who would spend $700 on Christmas ribbon just to ensure that everything went off without a hitch!

Special Thanks

Stillsmith
Photography