Kalena and Jacob

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How We Met

We met at Purdue where we were both studying Engineering. We were both in this class called “How Stuff Works”, where we learned exactly what the title says. Each week, we would get to take apart something, learn how it works, and then put it back together. For the final project, we got to choose our own teams and take apart something more complex. I was the only girl in the class (typical engineering class), and randomly paired up with a few guys. I volunteered my microwave for the final project. My microwave had already been broken, so I figured we could dissect it before tossing it out. When we started working on taking the microwave apart, we were instructed to try and not break anything, so we could put it all back together.

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We quickly discovered that the sheet metal case of the microwave is held together with special screws, with the intent that no one should really take apart a microwave at home. But we wouldn’t let that stop us. Someone suggested checking with the student racing teams to see if maybe they had a screwdriver that would help. Before we could even leave the room to go find a screwdriver, one of the guys asks if we really need to keep the microwave intact, and then promptly rips the sheet metal from around the screws. The microwave was already broken, so why would we really need to put it back together? And that is how I met Jacob.

We started talking to each more even after the project was over, and we found out we had so much in common! He often introduces me as the female version of himself, to which his friends and family laugh nervously at the thought of two crazy Jake’s together. After he graduated, he found a job near my hometown, even though it was 5 hours away from his hometown. When I graduated, I also found a job near home, and now we actually both work at the same company! We are double-trouble!

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How He Asked

We were closing in our 2 year anniversary and he said he had just a little surprise for me that weekend. I figured a nice dinner and night downtown, something we had talked about before.

Flash back to a few weeks earlier: While visiting his parents, Jake told them that he was planning on proposing sometime in the upcoming spring. They were so excited for us and we went to a jeweler to look at adding a new stone to an old family setting, and asked the jeweler if she could hold on to the ring until the spring when he would have the money. Turns out his dad approved of him using his savings and he bought the ring while they were out running errands later that week.

Flash forward to the day of our anniversary: The night of our 2 year anniversary, I had a home hockey game and he finally decided he would go with me to watch. We never have many fans in the stands because our games are late and the rink is not very comfortable for spectators, so it was great to see someone there. During the game, I noticed he kept going out to the lobby and returning every so often, but figured he was just taking phone calls. My parents showed up during the game and I figured they just stopped by after work. When the game ended, we shook hands with the other team and I went to grab my water bottle from the bench. That’s when I felt someone grab my hand and I turned to face him. I immediately knew what he was up to and said “Oh no, not now!”. I was sweaty and gross, and completely surprised. As he guided my numb feet to center ice, he told me that his parents had come in for this and my family, including my sister and grandma and best friend, were here as well.

He jokingly asked if I could help him get down on one knee (I am the better skater) and he pulled the ring out of his pocket.

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I dropped my water bottle and stick and gave him a huge hug as soon as he stood up. Some random people from a previous game cheered for us and rattled the glass loudly. My teammates were so excited for me and rushed to my side to pat us on the back. As we pulled off our helmets to kiss, the guy running the scoreboard hit the goal horn multiple times as my teammates saluted with their sticks.

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I turned and hugged one of my teammates, and the referee offered the services of his ordained ref buddy to “just get it done right here”. We skated a lap around the rink holding hands and Jake told me he has never felt more confident on his skates. It was truly a perfect hockey proposal for this hockey chick and I couldn’t ask for anything better!

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