Julie and Gavin

how we met

4 years ago, I moved from my hometown, Miami, to New York City. I wanted to meet motivated and interesting people and challenge myself in the most exciting city in America. If nothing else, I thought it would be an adventure…

I showed up for work at an accounting firm eager to make friends, but when I was first assigned a quiet corner seat with a different group than I’d be working with, I felt new and nervous and questioned why I had left the sunshine back home. Luckily, a sweet girl from my new team pulled some strings to get my seat moved to within our group, which happened to be right next to this guy named Gavin.

Over the next few months we underwent an exhausting tax season of working late nights and long weekends. What started as just two people keeping each other sane during tax season turned into a real friendship as he started to really care about my health and well-being. He would suggest I chug water instead of Redbull, encourage me to go home earlier when possible and ask if he could help with anything even though he had his own work to do. This co-worker of mine suddenly cared about me – a lot – and seeped his way into every corner of my mind. And as he would later tell me, he was pretty sneakily trying to win me over too; he updated his Facebook profile picture to one of him hiking with a dog (He knew that would check a couple boxes) and he read up on the latest Bachelorette episode so that we could chat about it the next day. After a few months, perhaps going against his better business judgement, Gav asked me out to drinks at Jules Bistro in the East Village and we haven’t looked back.

how he asked

3 and a half years later, after new jobs, a home together in Brooklyn and a kitty rescue, Gavin has become the color that makes my life fuller than words can describe. He is my one constant, my every-night slumber party, my peace of mind.

I was approaching my 30th birthday and was ready to embrace it. Gav had asked me to take the Monday off after my birthday weekend, so I incorrectly assumed he was taking me on a surprise getaway for my big day! I didn’t make any other plans, I was sure of it.

On Saturday morning, I again asked what and when I needed to pack, and he said “just trust me, you’ll know when you need to know!” We started the perfect fall day with breakfast at our donut spot and then moved on to drinks nearby. It was 11:30 AM and mango margaritas were flowing. Afterwards we set off towards Prospect Park and Gavin mentioned that “in hindsight, all the places we go today will make sense”. At that moment I thought ‘Bingo – This is a scavenger hunt and we’re getting closer to finding out what our destination is!’ My mind was running – why did we go here, and there, and why this order?!

As we walked through the park, Gav led us away from the crowd that had gathered for a Halloween party. We walked a quiet path overlooking a lake and paused at a sunny clearing with no one around where Gav paused and said, “I think now is a good time for your next clue.” (Time to find out where we we’re jet-setting to!) When he turned to dig into his backpack, I saw a little black box and my heart sped up while the world slowed. He got on one knee and asked if I would be his partner, teammate and wife. I couldn’t even articulate a yes. I was in shock and in tears from the moment I saw the box.

I was laughing and crying the entire walk back while Gavin played celebratory songs off a speaker he had packed into his backpack. He mentioned that he had thought of a good way for us to tell our families together (FaceTime, I thought? Wrong again!) and walked me in the direction of a bar to first grab a celebratory drink.

When I walked in, I first saw Gav’s friends, and then in slow motion I saw his parents, and then my parents and friends, including one of my closest friends from out of town, and then Gav’s grandparents, uncle, and sister. They all had made the trip for a surprise “30th Birthday” and were all just as surprised to learn we had just gotten engaged! I was totally overwhelmed with love and excitement – I cried for MOST of the party while I shared the story and realized that I was becoming part of his family and that he was becoming part of mine, and what this ring on my finger meant.

After an incredible day, I was physically drained but emotionally complete. The day was summarized when Gav’s sister asked me how it feels. Without a chance to process I answered “It feels like my whole life has been figured out.”