Karissa and Freddy

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Freddy has been best friends with my older cousin (who is like a big brother to me) since they were kids. We had both been at the same place among the same crowds many times over the last few years but never quite caught each others’ attention (I like to tell him that it was just not time for our paths to cross back then). 5 years ago on Halloween he and my cousin invited my friends and I to a party they were hosting and that was the first time we officially met. I remember shaking his hand, introducing myself and in my head telling myself that I was going to make him my boyfriend (you can kind of say we’ve had an intuitive connection since that moment). We have spent every weekend together since – group dates, church dates, drinking and dancing, Netflix marathons in our sweats, baseball games, football games, family events, career/school milestones and everything in between. A few months after we met and a few days before the following Valentine’s Day, he asked me to be his girlfriend and it has been the most amazing 5 years of my life.

Every year I orchestrate the most elaborate Christmas pictures for the three of us: Freddy, myself, and our 4 year old Boston Terrier (it’s my one big project that I absolutely look forward to every year – outfits, location, props, photographer… you name it). However, this year was a little different. Due to Sparky’s unplanned surgeries we had to postpone our Christmas pictures until the day before my 28th birthday, November 5th. It was the only day our photographer could schedule us in for a session and seeing as all my previous plans for our pictures had not worked out the way I wanted them to, I tried my best to go with the flow and make the best of the situation. This year for my birthday I wanted nothing more than dinner and family time (and Christmas pictures) but Freddy had other plans.

We showed up to our Christmas picture location and everything that could possibly go wrong ABSOLUTELY DID! The dress I had ordered online (which hung in my closet for 3 weeks and I did not bother to try on) was too small, Sparky was shaved in random spots from his surgery a few weeks back and was trying to chase after every squirrel he saw, my sister had “forgotten” that my birthday brunch was the next morning so she couldn’t join us, and I just could not find mistletoe for a picture prop anywhere (not even Michaels). Needless to say I was completely over all of it by the time we showed up. We began by taking individual head shots, then family shots, and lastly some more individual head shots (or so I thought) While I wasn’t looking, Freddy had gone ahead and clipped a heart onto Sparky’s collar that said “he wants to know if you will say yes”. Sparky ran up to me and Freddy asked me to adjust his collar before our last picture. When I read it, in my head I was like “oh crap, is this what I think it is?” so I started crying (*insert ugly Kim K crying face here*) and I dropped to my knees next to Sparky & Freddy. (Can you guys imagine if he was really trying to ask me something else other than “will you marry me?” — A W K W A R D). By that time Freddy was on one knee and asked me to stand. My heart was racing and I could not stop crying or hugging him and I remember asking him “are you sure?” while he was still on one knee. At this point I had completely forgotten that his friend/our photographer was still there. It felt like time had stopped for what felt an eternity and it was just us in this perfect moment.

I’d like to say that this is where the surprise ends but there is more. After we were done with our pictures, Freddy’s phone was blowing up but I didn’t think much of it because I figured it was everyone trying to congratulate us but I should have known this amazing man of mine had more up his sleeve. We showed up to Freddy’s house to drop off Sparky before we headed out for my birthday dinner or so I thought. He asked me to walk Sparky to the backyard and at that moment I was greeted by 70 of our closest family and friends who yelled “SURPRISE” when I walked up to the back door. OF COURSE I started crying again!!! I cannot believe my fiancé pulled off the most wonderful surprise on the eve of my 28th birthday. It was the most memorable engagement/birthday party ever. We are very much looking forward to sharing our journey to the day we say “I do” with everyone who means the most to us.

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