Courtney and Ryan
How We Met
Ryan and I met in 2005 at our Freshman high school orientation. He was the tallest guy in my new class and at that age, that seemed extremely important. We exchanged phone numbers and the ever so popular AOL instant messenger screen names and even agreed to go to homecoming together…..we moved rather quickly, I know. Weeks of hanging out, hours upon hours of phone calls and instant messaging passed by and in typical teenage girl fashion, I grew bored and moved on. My 14 year old self was POSITIVE there was going to be someone better out there. I was seriously mistaken. High school flew by in the blink of an eye. We remained friends throughout, after all his house was my go to for after school tater tots. We graduated in 2009 and and our hangouts became fewer but he never failed to show up for me anytime I needed him, even if it was to install a new IPod hookup in my car with 20 minutes notice. Fast forward to 2012 and we began to see each other more often, typically in groups with our remaining high school friends. Towards the end of that year, I found myself needing a roommate and he found himself needing somewhere to live. I didn’t think twice before asking him to move in with me, and he didn’t seem to think twice before agreeing to it. He moved in January 4, 2013. Mid February came and we arrived home late one night to a 50 degree house, our furnace had stopped working. We immediately ran out in search of space heaters and/or heated blankets. Target and Walmart were the only places open at the hour and neither had heated blankets, there had been only one space heater left between the two stores. We bought it, got back home and figured I had a king size bed so it would be totally fine to share it for the night and it wouldn’t be weird at all. I was finally drifting off to sleep when he swiftly leaned over and kissed my cheek. Panicked, I figured my best option was to ignore it and pretend it never happened. I went out to breakfast with my dad a few days later and we began talking about relationships. What did I want? What kind of guy was a looking for? What qualities are important? I ran down a list and practically constructed my perfect dream man with the help of my dad over some stuffed french toast. Suddenly, my dad was chuckling and shaking his head. Why? I thought my list was reasonable! When I inquired as to why his reaction was as described, he smirked and said “You know you just described Ryan right?”. Just like it happens in the movies my life with Ryan flashed before my eyes and I realized I’M IN LOVE WITH RYAN! The following evening we went out with two of our friends for dinner and to a country bar. Wanted by Hunter Hayes came on, Ryan pulled me in for a dance and within seconds, once again swiftly kissed my cheek. I turned, kissed him back and told him I loved him. He reciprocated the sentiment and we have been together ever since.
How He Asked
On an evening much like many, we had had before, we got into bed, kissed each other goodnight and fell fast asleep. Little did I know, that would be my last goodnight as just his girlfriend. A few short hours later around 1:50 am, I woke up with a pounding in my chest and an intuitive feeling something was about to happen…I convinced myself it was due to the caffeine I had consumed much too late and attempted to fall back to sleep (to no avail). In the moments to follow, my now fiance had slithered out of bed, was fumbling with his phone and was creeping towards our closet. Suddenly, the lights turned on and a familiar voice filled the room. It was Mickey Mouse, and he was my wake up call: “Up and at ’em Pal! Oh boy, are we glad you’re here! Big doin’s going on so let’s get started! See ya real soon!”. I was immediately presented with a box containing our magic bands and our luggage tags, WE WERE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD.
I was given two hours to get both myself and my luggage together to head to the airport for our flight. Prior to this Ryan and I had visited Disney World together 8 times in the 5 years we had been dating, and I had gone countless (and I mean countless) times prior but none of them had felt like this trip, none of them had been a surprise. We landed, took the usual magical express route to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and checked in. The day was business as usual until the time for the fireworks was nearing. I was ignorantly exploring the shops on Main Street USA while Ryan “Talked to guest services about our Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets”. He met up with me and informed me that we were granted VIP viewing for the new fireworks show Happily Ever After that we hadn’t yet seen. Caught up in the magic, I just assumed there had been an issue with the tickets and Disney just did what Disney typically does and offered us some extra pixie dust to make up for it.
We made our way to the VIP area, got checked in and sat down in front of one of the beautiful fountains complete with a statue of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket in the foreground. As the show began, Ryan stood behind me as he always does during fireworks. I became fully immersed in this brand new show I had yet to see until this moment. Tears of happiness and awe were already flowing. The show was drawing to an end, the finale had begun and lyrics from one of my favorite songs were being sung: “Just look up and reach to the sky, we all have the courage to fly”. Ryan leaned into my ear and with a choked up voice asked if I would be his Happily Ever After.
He got down on one knee and I vigorously, with my whole entire body, nodded yes. We Kissed, we hugged and when I finally caught my breath we turned around and a Disney photographer was there to capture our magic on film. In addition to the photographer, there was also a group of amazing women that Ryan had typed a note on his phone to, to let them in on the surprise. They truly gave us the video of a lifetime. I could not have even fathomed a more perfect proposal than the one I was so lovingly given.