Kayla and Shawn
How We Met
After freshman year of college, I wasn’t happy with my school or my program. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next so I decided to take a semester off. Towards the end of that semester off (December 2010) I went to visit my best friend at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. It was finals week. I was in the library with her and her boyfriend (both of whom I had grown up with) when a boy came to our table to study with them. They called him “Tex” because he was from Texas. I remember sitting there, staring at him, chatting my best friend who was sitting next to me on the computer asking for any and all details I could get on him. His smile and charm had me hooked from the get-go. That night, we all got together in his dorm room for a party, and “Tex” and I hung out all night. We were best friends at first site. I ended up spending the whole finals week at Plymouth just to keep hanging out with this boy. We have been a couple ever since.
How He Asked
It was the week of my 25th birthday. It was also the week that I finished my Master’s degree in Elementary Education. Needless to say, it was a week to celebrate. I had been working full time in Marketing when I made the decision to go back to school to pursue my passion for teaching. 60 weeks of a full-time job and a full-time master’s program was tough to manage, but I could see the end in sight. As soon as we knew my school ended on the same week as my birthday, Shawn told me that he would plan a big celebration for that weekend, but it would be a surprise. I didn’t argue with this, partly because I had no time to worry but mostly because I love surprises. Finally, my birthday came, on a Thursday. I went to work for the day, and went to grab drinks with friends and family after work. Shawn told me that night my “surprise” starts on Friday.
Friday morning, I woke up to an alarm at 5 am. Immediately after I heard the alarm, Shawn handed me a note with “Good Morning Love” written on the front. It was so early and I was so confused, but I opened the note to find a picture of the two of us and a message inside. The note said “Good morning my love! I hope you slept well because today we are going on an adventure. Yes I know, you probably have a million questions but trust me, I got this!! Throughout our adventure today, you will be handed various cards giving you hints about our next stop. This being said, you cannot ask any questions because that’s what the cards are for. So in order to go on an adventure, we must first get ready. Why don’t you hop in the shower and get ready for the day. Yes, I know you’re probably wondering what we’re doing and what you need to wear, so I’ll give you a little hint! You will need to dress comfy but look nice as if you were going out in the city for the day. Make sure you get that makeup on and hair done right. Hope this helps and meet you at the kitchen table when you’re done! Ready….GOOO :)”
From this note, I was given a series of 13 additional notes all explaining the next stop of our adventure that day. We got into our car in Boston, and ended up in my favorite place on earth, Stone Harbor, New Jersey. My grandparents live here, and since I was 2, I have never missed a summer on the shore. All through college, for 5 summers, I spent the full summer down there working. It holds such a special place in my heart so I was beyond excited that this was our destination. Once we got to Stone Harbor around 1 pm (a 6 hour drive), each card took me to a place that Shawn and I had been together, each with a picture from that place and a note of why it was special to us. It was the most fun day, but it was pouring rain. Luckily he brought our rain jackets so walking around outside was still possible. Around 7 pm, we wound up at a new bar in town where we grabbed a beer and tried to wait out the rain. Miraculously, at 7:30, the rain stopped and the sun came out. That’s when the next card came, telling me that we were going down to the beach on the street that my family always beached on every summer. Once we got there, the sunset was truly unbelievable. It was the beautiful kind of sunset that happens only after a rainstorm, with the clouds still scattered throughout the sky but the colors vibrant as ever, creating magic. As I was staring in awe and taking pictures of the beauty, Shawn got down on one knee. My heart stopped. I could never have imagined this moment being so perfect.
Post proposal, I received one last card titled “Poppin’ Bottles”, directing me to head to our favorite bar for a celebratory drink. Shawn asked that I wait to call our family and friends until after we had one drink together, so I waited. We walked into the bar, and as I turned the corner, I see a table consisting of my very best friends, and my grandparents. THIS was truly a moment that dreams are made of.