Kaitlin and Thomas

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How We Met

Thomas and I met at SIU Carbondale when I had just transferred in for my Master’s program, and he was finishing up his undergrad degree and completing ROTC. We met through a mutual friend, and we decided to hang out one night. That night did not end very well, and we didn’t speak for about 2 years. When he deployed to Kuwait with the Army, we got back in touch and talked the entire 9 months he was there. When he got home, I had planned a visit back home to see my parents (I lived in Louisville, KY at the time) and he asked if I wanted to grab dinner with him. I didn’t realize it was a date. He asked me out again the next night, right before I headed back to Kentucky and he went on a guy’s trip to Vegas with his 2 best friends. We talked every day–even though I told him not to feel obligated since he was with his friends, but he still either called or texted every day. We became ‘official’ when I asked. I still remember the conversation a year later: “Every pretty girl deserves to go to a ball.”–him “I’ve never been.”–me “Well, if we stay together, you’ll go to plenty with military balls”–him “Oh so we’re together? I like the sound of that”–me “Yeah, it has a nice ring to it”–him. Since then, Cloud 9

How He Asked

The week before Christmas, Thomas told me he wanted to have a date night. It had been a while since we had had one, and things were about to get crazy with Christmas with 2 families and then a trip for New Years in Branson, just the two of us. So we had it planned for that Wednesday, but then had to change it to Tuesday at the last minute because we had family Christmas with my aunt and uncle’s family. He told me that day that he wanted to give me a Christmas gift early, and I spent all day trying to figure out what it was. His friends had even told me I wasn’t getting a ring for Christmas, so I wasn’t even thinking that. So we went out to dinner for sushi and when we came home, I got under the tree to figure out which one of his I wanted him to open, and when I turned around, he was down on one knee. He was so nervous he had written down what he wanted to say: “Kate, you are my everything. The past 6 months have been the best of my life. I love you more than you will ever know. You are the sweetest, most amazing girl I’ve ever met, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. Kaitlin Mackenzie Sweitzer, will you marry me?” I nodded and then realized he was waiting for a verbal word, so I said ‘yes’!!!!!