Gina and Kellen
How We Met
“You fall in love with someone because the timing is right, because mutual attraction grew over time, because you share the same values and interests and slowly develop a romance.”
Kellen and I became friends our freshman year at Quinnipiac University. From the moment we met, we made an immediate connection. He gave me this indescribable, heart warming look every time we crossed paths. With his cute smirk and Canadian accent, Kellen always made a point when we passed each other on campus to stop and have a conversation with me. I loved when this happened, he was so nice, charming and very handsome!
We were around each other a lot freshman year. With Quinnipiac being a smaller sized school and both being student athletes, we were in the same environment one way or the other. Kellen was on the Ice Hockey Team and I was on the Acrobatics and Tumbling Team. We were both adjusting to the lifestyle of a college athlete and at this point, our connection was there but the timing just wasn’t right – we were too busy pursuing our own individual interests.
In a blink of an eye, it was junior year. I had spent all of fall semester in Rome, Italy and was excited to get back to school in January. Kellen was focused on hockey with Quinnipiac having its best year ever. On New Years Eve of 2012, Kellen texted me. I was completely caught off guard but couldn’t help but smile down at my phone. I had not seen or talked to Kellen in what seemed like forever. I thought to myself, “what could he possibly have to say to me?!” As I anxiously waited for his response, he wished me a happy new year and said he was thinking of me as he was driving down a road the two of us had walked down while coming home from a party together freshman year. The butterflies were officially back.
The new year was here and now I was really looking forward to get back to school. Ironically, both our teams had to be back on campus a few weeks before the rest of the QU students. This gave Kellen and I time to realize how compatible we really were. The next few weeks were filled with finding time in-between our practices to see each other. Our first real date soon followed. We went to a quaint bar in West Hartford Connecticut called The Elbow Room where we watched the first Bruins game after the NHL lockout. It seemed very appropriate, a small town boy from Canada was slowly falling for a Boston girl. One date led to another, and the two of us were inseparable. As things started to get serious, all my friends were excited to get to know this Canadian boy who had their friend smiling ear to ear. Kellen’s friends were just as excited. Everyone around us knew it was something very special, and so did we.
Kellen officially asked me to be his girlfriend a few months later on lucky Saint Patrick’s Day. It was cute, Kellen actually called me his “good luck charm”. It was playoff season, I attended more games and he started scoring goals left and right! Although we felt lucky at the time, looking back our relationship was far more than just luck, it was a blessing. A blessing to have connected with someone who is unlike any other, at just the right time. We slowly started growing into each others best friends. We soon shared our first “I love you” and cherished another year of college memories together. Quinnipiac holds a special place in our hearts as becoming the backdrop of our everlasting love story.
After College to present day, Kellen and I have been in a long distance relationship. Kellen decided to pursue his dreams to play professional hockey while I decided to move back home to Boston to build my career. Being apart has been challenging but incredible at the same time. It’s not easy to show love from a far but gosh, Kellen knows how to make me feel like the only girl in the world. These past three years have been full of anticipation, excitement and love, looking forward to and wondering when we get to see each other. This makes the times we do get to see each other extra special. We live for the off seasons, making the best of the three short months of summer together. Then once September hits, we go back to the well-known long distance relationship. But this year is a little different. We don’t know where our journey together may take us, but are excited to finally be TOGETHER.
How He Asked
As the holiday season approaches, I can’t help help but smile. It was almost a year ago, the most amazing day of my life thus far.
Kellen planned a special date night in Boston the day before Christmas Eve. He knew the holiday season was my absolute favorite time of year and for months I had not stopped talking about how badly I wanted to go ice skating on the well known, Frog Pond, located in heart of Boston Common. For the past few winters, this was something I always hoped to enjoy with him, but in the midst of hockey season it was nearly impossible to get him on any surface of ice other than for a game or practice.
Kellen called one day in early December and with excitement in his voice said, “G, get those skate sharpened we’re going skating together on December 23rd, I have the day off and I want to spend it with you in Boston!” Saying I felt like a kid on Christmas would be an understatement, all I truly wanted for Christmas was to have a nice date night and go skating with my boyfriend. As a Boston event planner, I naturally started listing places we should go to for dinner. Kellen knew I was busy wrapping things up at work before the holidays and insisted he would handle making the reservation and the plan.
After working all week and knowing we had a date night planned the day before Christmas Eve, I knew that morning before we went into Boston was the only time I had to finish get my gifts wrapped, run last minute errands, and of course get a mani pedi. We had early dinner reservations at The Top of The Hub, a fine dining restaurant with stunning 360 views of the city, located on the top floor of the Prudential Tower in Boston’s Back Bay. I was out of the house at 9am and left Kellen anxiously waiting for what I told him would be a couple hours. I got back to my house at 1:30pm – Kellen couldn’t understand what took me so long. It’s not my fault the nail salon was packed with women wanting their nails done before Christmas! I ran upstairs showered and got ready. With some curls in my hair, a cute winter hat and skates thrown over my shoulder, I was finally ready to go. Kellen bit his tongue but looked at me, smiled and said, “you’re lucky you’re worth the wait.”
Finally we headed into Boston. The car ride in was filled with nothing but laughs and bewilderment of why we were leaving two hours later than planned. We hoped to walk down Newbury street before dinner, but didn’t have much time. Instead we checked into our dinner reservation, grabbed a quick drink at the bar and “cheers” to our date night. Our table for two was next to a floor to ceiling window over looking the city. We couldn’t stop starring at how beautiful Boston looked from above with all the Christmas lights.
After enjoying a bottle of wine, delicious meals, and great conversation – Kellen pointed down to Frog Pond from above and said lets go skate! I tried stopping at various shops along our brisk walk to the Common, one being a coffee shop – what’s skating without a hot chocolate! As I tried walking in, Kellen grabbed my hand and rushed me along, it was getting late and we needed to get on the ice. He reminded me that his brother Connor and our other good friends were in town and we had planned to meet up with them after skating.
We arrived at Frog Pond and quickly laced up our skates. I remember skating ahead, Kellen gliding behind, grabbed my waist and kissed me on the cheek. With Christmas music playing in the background, I was completely lost in the moment with a smile pinned to my face.
After skating in many circles holding hands and Kellen coaching me on the snow plow stop, the Zamboni interrupted and kicked everyone off the ice. Assuming we would wait to go back on again, Kellen started untying his skates. I looked at him and said, “wait were not going back out?” He laughed and said, “Connor was wondering where we were and that he had a warm drink waiting for us!”
As we made our way through the Common, Kellen pointed me in the direction of the Boston Public Garden, just adjacent to Frog Pond. At this point, we were pretty chilly. Kellen locked my one arm and held me close, our other hands gripping the laces of our skates. Kellen led the way and as we got to a path along the water Kellen stopped, grabbed me, looked me in the eyes and said, “Gina, do you know how much I love you?” Before I could even react, he was down on one knee.
As he reached in his pocket and pulled out a ring box, I threw my skates on the ground next to me. With glistening eyes Kellen looks up at me and says “Gina the last 4 years have been the best 4 years of my life. From the moment I saw you I knew there was something special about you. You are the best part of my life and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you Marry Me?”. With tears in my eyes, I threw my mittens over my cheeks and said “YES!”
He wrapped his arms around me and brought me into a close hug. I starred at my beautiful engagement ring, I was one lucky girl.
The surprise wasn’t over yet. Kellen told me had hired a professional photographer to candidly capture the entire engagement. At this point, the photographer came over, congratulated us and took a few more pictures as we made our way towards the street. Kellen insisted we grab a drink just us to celebrate at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. As we walked through the hotel lobby, we were greeted with smiles, happy tears, and big hugs from our closest family and friends who were gathered there as a surprise. The night turned into quite the celebration. it was overwhelming but so unbelievably special!
This made for an unforgettable Christmas, I had a fiancé! Kellen’s parents and grandparents flew in the next day, and we got to spend the holiday with both our families together. I’m looking forward to this Christmas to reflect upon what was, and look forward to what’s ahead, spending the rest of my life with the man of my dreams.