Felecia and Brian

How We Met

Brian and I met January 9, 2012 at a local sports bar watching the college football National Championship game between Alabama (My Alma Mater…#RTR) and LSU. Ironically, we were both there reluctantly due to the game night being on a Monday. He walked into the sports bar where I was already seated with some mutual friends and associates, decked out in Auburn University paraphernalia. If you don’t know about SEC football, Alabama and Auburn are HUGE rivals. This made for a very interesting first encounter. We riffed one another most of the night but I could tell that he was interested. So with a few minutes left in the game, he grabs my phone and calls himself so that he has my number and I have his. Pretty clever right? Admittedly, we were vibing. I found his boldness and fun personality really attractive, second to the fact that he was fine! Ha!

As the night came to an end and everyone walked to their respective cars Brian hung back to see where I was parked. He’d parked on the opposite side of the bar so I offered him a ride to his car, which he gladly accepted. Once we made it around to his car he sparked up more conversation and we soon learned that we had a lot in common. We share the same hometown (B’ham, AL), were raised by our grandmothers and we both have a daughter named Olivia. The similarities didn’t stop there as we talked into the wee hours of the morning.  Although we both had to work Tuesday morning, neither of us wanted the night to end. It was unlike any first encounter I’ve ever had. I knew then that he would be a special and significant part of my life.

How He Asked

I am really BIG on birthdays, especially my own! My birthday is Dec. 9th, which this year fell on a Wednesday. Brian took me to dinner for my birthday with the intent to continue the celebration the weekend following. However, due to Christmas parties and my daughter’s Christmas cantata and ballet recital that weekend he suggested that we plan it for the weekend of the 18th instead. Ok, no problem. As we get into the following week I start asking about his plans for us. Are we going away, are we going out, what are the plans? I hate not knowing! Drives me absolutely crazy and he knows it. In hindsight, maybe he was being intentionally vague. By Wednesday I’m expecting some specifics to be given and that’s when he starts talking about his car and all the things he needs to have repaired, thereby superseding the plan to “keep the party going” for me. While I was disappointed, I understood and told him not to worry about it. With Christmas within a week, I could not be too mad.

On Friday, Dec. 18th he calls me early and asks if I can still get away for the weekend and I tell him yes! Saturday morning, Dec. 19th we leave for Callaway Gardens where he has booked our stay at the cutest little B&B, The Holly House. We stayed in The Walton Romance Suite. The innkeeper shared a beautiful story about the history of the house. It was built by an attorney back in 1880 as a gift to his young wife. Once we were settled in, we decided to get out and see some sights. With plans to have dinner later and see to the Fantasy of Lights display at Callaway we had several hours to explore. We visited the Little White House, in Warm Springs, GA, home to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was a really nice tour and we enjoyed it. With nothing close to our B&B, we decided to head back to get changed for dinner. We had dinner at a seafood restaurant upon the recommendation of Judy, our innkeeper. Dinner was nice and the food was delicious but I was anxious about getting to Callaway for the Fantasy in Lights display. The lines were insanely long, but thankfully Brian had gotten tickets for our trolley ride for a designated time. We walked around for a bit and very quickly decided that something hot would be required. Although we were well layered and I’d brought a blanket for the trolley ride, it was 29 degrees!!! Freezing but very romantic.I love Christmas and Christmas and cold weather go hand and hand, so I was still happy.

Finally, our trolley hour rolls around and we board the trolley with about 20 other people and the ride starts. It was a very nice light display with great narration. Soon we approached what had to be the MOST BEAUTIFUL part of the light display. It was themed, Winter Wonderland. Imagine, beautiful white lights hanging from every tree, sheets and sheets of lights well into the woods. Just beautiful. Suddenly the trolley comes to stop and I see the driver walking back towards our row. She says that someone lost a phone and she needs us to step off so she can look for it. For a moment, I thought it was an odd request but Brian and I got off. Then I noticed that we were the only two who’d gotten off. Everyone is looking around wondering what’s going on and the trolleys behind us are stalled until we move. Brian pulls me closer into the woods and says, “they’re stopping for us.” Time froze and I watched in what felt like slow motion as he got down on one knee, pulled something from his pocket and began to speak again. He asked me to marry him in the span of about 15 seconds, I said YES! And he placed the most gorgeous ring on my finger. Everyone on the trolley cheered and we reboarded to finish the tour. In the shuffling, Brian had given a passenger his phone to take pics and they actually turned out really good and definitely captured the moment. It was the most memorable late birthday/early Christmas present ever!

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Special Thanks

The Holly House
Bed & Breakfast
Callaway Gardens
Fantasy In Lights