Emily and Nick
HOW WE MET
Nick and I met all the way back in 2004! I had recently moved to Greensboro and was starting ninth grade at a high school where I knew virtually no one. During my second quarter I had a math teacher that Nick happened to know very well. His class was right across the hall from mine, so he would come in every day and talk to my teacher, Mrs. Whiting. That’s where I caught my first glimpse of him. He was very outgoing and always making everyone laugh. Needless to say, I got excited to head to math class daily and talk to him. He would always leave notes on the board or on my desk for me. Eventually we took things a step further and went on our first date.
I always remember our first date because he came to pick me up (he’s two years older than me) and my mom was adamant that if he didn’t come to the door and didn’t open my car door for me then I wouldn’t ever go out with him again!! Luckily, he not only came to the door and introduced himself, he also opened the car door for me… and continues to 12 years later! We dated for all four years that I was in high school and then two years during college at Appalachian State. We ultimately decided to go our separate ways after six years, which was the hardest breakup I’ve ever experienced. While it was truly terrible, it allowed us to both date and explore other options and ultimately realize that what we had was truly perfect. There were times when we weren’t dating that I wanted to call him and tell him something exciting about my day, but couldn’t. We were apart for over five years and fate put us at the same place two years ago.
Two years ago I was at my tailor getting something altered when I heard a familiar voice. I shook it off thinking there’s no way it could be him. Turns out, it was Nick! He had just moved back into town the week prior and was getting his suit altered. We chatted for a few, later texted and decided to grab wine together later that week at a local wine bar. We spent four hours chatting over glasses of wine and everything just felt right. It’s not something that I can fully explain, but everything felt comfortable and 100% right. A few days later we went on another date to one of our old spots, The Greensboro Science Center. It has an outdoor zoo area and an aquarium and it was a great place to walk and talk. The rest, I guess you could say was history…!
HOW HE PROPOSED
I’ve known all along that Nick was “the one.” When we started dating again it just solidified that. We moved in together back in August and the past four months have been wonderful living together. Nick and I had been talking about marriage and getting engaged a lot the past few months. We had gone to look at rings back in September to get an idea of the style(s) we both liked. He had been making sly comments around our friends & family that an engagement would be coming up soon. But, he likes to joke so I never took him seriously; or got my hopes up for when it would happen.
For Christmas, Nick and I decided to do a $50 gift and do “experiences” for each other instead of gifts since neither of us needed anything. Thursday night, Nick and I were at dinner talking about Christmas gifts and he told me I would be getting my gift early and would understand why once we got there. I’m nosey, so I instantly started guessing what I thought it was and where we were going. After about 20 guesses I figured out that we were going to the Greensboro Science Center to do a penguin encounter and that I would be able to meet and play with a penguin! He had done the encounter before and I was so jealous, so this wasn’t suspicious at all. I just thought it was really thoughtful and I was so excited to play with a penguin (which is one of my favorite animals).
We got to the science center around 9:45 before the penguin feeding began at 10. We had a prime spot and luckily there weren’t that many people there. There were two zoo keepers inside the exhibit feeding the penguins and one outside talking to the crowd about the penguins and asking questions. Towards the end, the announcer said they had one more question and that’s when one of the zoo keepers inside the exhibit displayed a sign that said “Emily- Will You Marry Me?”
As soon as I registered what the sign said, I started crying and said “What!!! Are you serious?!” I turned to Nick, who was down on one knee with a ring asking me to marry him, immediately said “yes” through happy tears and an applause erupted! He totally surprised me (which I didn’t think he would’ve been able to do) and it was a proposal that was very much “us!”
Afterwards we did get to play with penguins for over an hour, which was just amazing! It was so nice to have that time together before we told anyone. I couldn’t stop smiling between petting the penguin and the proposal that had just happened!
The rest of the day was spent calling, FaceTiming & texting our friends and family to tell them the exciting news! I think I told Nick 20 times how well he pulled off the surprise and how much I loved every aspect from our story down to the ring! It’s so funny because I thought he would never be able to surprise me and even the day of, I had NO clue! I didn’t wash my hair that morning, I wanted to wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt since we were playing with penguins and, even right before it happened, I had no idea! He was calm, cool and collected the entire morning. We spent the weekend celebrating with family & friends which was so fun! We ended the weekend celebrating at the wine bar where we had our first date!