Kathryn and Michael

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How We Met

On July 4th 2011 one of my oldest friends sent me a last minute invite to come to a party at her cabin, almost two hours away from my home.  I had been enjoying a relaxing day tanning and laying out in our family pool, and the thought of a long drive didn’t exactly sound appealing, but a little voice in my head told me I should head out for a little 4th of July fun. It was a gorgeous day at the cabin, and I found myself surrounded by old friends and lots of laughter.  A few girlfriends and I swam out to a dive platform out on the lake to do a little sunbathing, and after a while, I noticed a group of guys had shown up, and were staring at us from the docks.  After a few minutes they all jumped into the lake and started to swim out to join us. I couldn’t take my eyes off of one of the guys as he pulled himself up onto the platform. Once he was up, he immediately looked at me, stuck his hand out and said “Hi, my name is Mike Kelley – how old are you?” (He swears this is NOT how it happened!) After laughing over his awkward introduction, we instantly connected.  We started talking, and didn’t stop – the day turned into night and the hours passed by, but we were oblivious to it all.  Everyone was getting ready to leave, but we stayed, immersed in conversation.  When it was finally time to go, we realized we had the same stretch of drive home, and made sure to find reasons to stop at all the various rest stops to see each other a little more. At the final exit before we had to truly go our separate ways, we said our good byes, but as we continued to drive the rest of the way alone neither of us could stop thinking about the other. We both knew that we had met someone special. The rest of that summer – we were inseparable – if we weren’t talking on the phone, odds are one of us was making the 40 minute drive to see the other – we were crazy for each other and by Fall, we knew this was more than just Summer love.  Mike officially asked me to be his girlfriend and we became a couple before heading back to college that year.

How He Asked

On December 23rd, 2015 both of our families were in town to celebrate Christmas, and we had decided to get everyone together at my Dad’s house for a little luncheon.  The morning was busy as we prepared for all the guests that were coming – cleaning needed to be done, food prepared, gifts wrapped, the usual holiday routine.  Shortly before Mike was due to arrive, my sister asked me to head downstairs so we could talk – I didn’t want to go down with her, as I knew Mike and his parents would be at the house at any moment, but she was acting upset, so I went down with her.  When we got downstairs, my sister started telling me how our Dad was really mad at the two of us for not helping clean and how she was worried it was going to affect the evening with our two families.  I was so confused! I thought my Dad had been in a great mood, so this was surprising to me, but she wouldn’t let it go and continued to go on and on, blocking the way for me to get upstairs and saying all these random things to me to keep me talking! Little did I know, she was creating a diversion for Mike and his parents to get into the house unseen.  I heard people walking upstairs and pushed past, already feeling rude that I wasn’t at the door to greet people.  When I got to the top of the stairs, I could see Mike’s parents standing at the end of the long hallway connecting our living room, kitchen, and front entry, and I started walking over to greet them with a hug.  As I was hugging Mike’s dad, I could feel all eyes on me, and looked in to our living room, where Mike was standing in front of the Christmas tree with the most adorable dalmatian puppy in his arms.

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My heart stopped, or as my sister likes to say, my brain stopped working and she could see the sparks coming out of my head, because I was in total shock at what I was seeing.  My dream in life was to own a Dalmatian puppy and the love of my life was standing there, with a puppy in his arms, waiting for me! I rushed over and he handed me our dog.  I started bawling, still in shock that this sweet little black and white piece of perfection was actually in my arms.

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Before I could get a word out, Mike turned to me and got down on one knee! He pulled out a gorgeous ring and said, “Now that I have made your dreams of a Dalmatian puppy come true, I am hoping you will make my dream come true, and marry me!” I felt like I could pass out from the excitement and bliss of the moment, but managed to say YES! through my tears.  It was the happiest day of my life – not only did I get my beautiful puppy, Eve, but I said yes to spending the rest of my life with the most incredible man I know!

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