Kayley and Paul

How We Met

Paul and I met almost 7 years ago now and hit it off right away. He had expressed interest in me to a friend of mine who happened to be dating his best friend. We started talking until he finally took me out on the best first date EVER. He didn’t tell me where we were going or what we were doing, only that it was outside. We pulled up to a beautiful outdoor castle on the ocean in Ipswich, MA to sit on the lawn with a picnic and listen to a Beatles cover band (I am obsessed with the Beatles!). We dated for months and finally we ended up taking a long weekend together in Saratoga, NY for the races and we now go every year and even plan to get married at Saratoga National (big hats will be a must!). He was everything I had ever looked for in a boyfriend. We could sit and do nothing for hours but laugh and enjoy each others company. We couldn’t keep our hands off of each other. We were in absolute bliss. About 3 years into our relationship Paul became terrifyingly addicted to prescription pills. I tried everything in my power to help him and drove myself insane tracking phone calls, following him around town, and showing up at his drug deals before we eventually tore each other apart.

Kayley and Paul's Engagement in Abruzzi, Italy

Having lost both my brother and father to drug use I decided I needed to get out and we went our separate ways. It took me about 6 months of working on myself to be able to slowly let him back into my life to see how he was doing (he also admitted he had rescued and was caring for a puppy which helped in getting me to go see him). When I finally saw him again he seemed to be doing great. He was in terrific recovery programs which he attended weekly as well as meetings. He admitted he hadn’t even been drinking alcohol for at least 4 months. Slowly but surely he regained my trust as each day of his sobriety passed. Its funny, you get really creative trying to find sober activities, and they’re actually really fun! I was super supportive of his decisions and made sure to put his feelings and sobriety first until it got to the point that he was so comfortable and HAPPY being sober that he didn’t even miss it.

Proposal Ideas Abruzzi, Italy

He blossomed not only as a person, but as the most amazing man a woman could ever gain as her partner. After being sober for a couple of years he got his electricians license and began making really great money. We decided I would move back in and I would go back to school. He loved supporting me. He loved our little family (with Coco our little pittie). He loved being able to provide for me. He always asked about my schoolwork (which exhausted me being a med student) and always made sure my studies were coming first. In his mind, he was repaying me for all the time I had lost in the destructive relationship. He was the same great man I fell in love with years ago with a clear head, a great job, and happiness consumed the two of us. We have now been together for almost 7 years!

How He Asked

After a year of biomed school Paul asked me if I would be interested in planning a trip to Europe with another couple we are very close with. I had just come back from a year in France and he had just come back from backpacking all over Europe when we met but had never done a trip like that together. I told him there was no way I could afford it bartending once a week but as soon as I graduate we totally could revisit the situation. Two weeks later Paul slapped down a month long itenirary in front of me with reservations of all our flights and rebooked activities. We were to begin in Sweden to visit our friends who had just had their first child, fly to Italy, and end in Switzerland. Since we were traveling with another couple we each decided to pick one thing we really wanted included in the trip. Paul’s was that he wanted to drive hours into the middle of nowhere to see the little village his entire family is from. When we got there it was like a scene out of a movie! Elders doing their laundry in the central fountain and farm animals everywhere. Parts of the village were even crumbling down and the population was said to be about 90 people!

We met with his cousin who showed us to where we were staying and we unpacked our things. Paul told us it was supposed to rain tomorrow and that he really wanted a good picture of the two of us in front of the village’s church for his family. His grandparents and great uncles and aunts were all married there and he knew it would mean a lot to them and of course meant a lot to him. We walked to the church and the couple we were with took a couple pictures of us in front of a very quaint, little Italian church. We took some great shots and just as I was about to walk away Paul grabbed my hand. He was shaking and tears filled his eyes and all of a sudden he was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.

He couldn’t stop crying to get the words out but he didn’t have to because I was already pulling him up and exclaiming “YES! YES!”. We all got a good cry in and went back to the bed and breakfast. The trip wasn’t even over. Not only did I just get engaged in the most romantic setting imaginable but I still had two weeks left in Europe!!

That entire month I was living in a fairy-tale. The engagement kiss in front of the church! The first dinner as an engaged couple in Rome! The next week in the Swiss Alps!