Kellie and Lee
How We Met
One hot July morning, a few days after I moved back to Georgia from New York, my dad asked me to breakfast. Since I was just meeting my dad and it was 6 A.M., I didn’t put much effort into my appearance. Yoga pants, a slept-in t-shirt, unkempt hair– honestly, we’re lucky I brushed my teeth. But this wouldn’t be a very interesting story if there wasn’t some twist of fate. Somehow I got persuaded to stop by the job site my dad was working on and dragged to meet his new “right hand man, Freddie Lee Arnold from Bristol, Tennessee”. Of course I was face-to-face with the nicest smile I’d ever seen. And I thought I couldn’t be more embarrassed, looking like I’d just rolled out of bed. But I could be more embarrassed, as my dad excitedly forced Lee to feign interest in my recent photo op with Hillary Clinton. If you’re familiar with the Deep South, you know there aren’t that many people who are interested in Hillary Clinton. But Lee did a good job of pretending to care, even offered up some jokes, and was exceedingly polite. The next week I found myself at lunch with my dad and Lee and by the end of it I knew I wanted to know him better. Thank goodness for Facebook; I “added” Lee one evening and he “messaged” me the next day, and the rest is history!
How He Asked
Lee started asking for me to show him around NYC almost as soon as we started talking, but after about six months of dating he became very adamant that we needed to go soon. We finally got our schedules aligned a couple months later and ended up in NYC on Valentine’s Weekend. I had my suspicions that he was going to propose when we were in New York, but he’d recently made some efforts to throw me off. Lee wanted to make sure that we got to the Brooklyn Bridge almost as soon as we got off the plane, and he wanted to make sure my best friends were there (one of which happens to be a wedding photographer). As we crossed the bridge Lee told me he needed to get photos to send to his mom, so I handed my phone over to my friend Colby and asked if he could get a shot of us, but the light was bad and Lee asked Colby if he had his professional camera with him, and, wouldn’t ya know, he did! As Colby snapped a couple of photos I felt Lee pull away from me (which annoyed me a little because these photos were his idea and now he was messing them up!) and when I turned to see what was going on he was down on one knee! He and my friends had planned the proposal, so we had wonderful photos capturing such a special moment, and a tiny bottle of champagne to really set the mood. It wouldn’t have been a perfect New York proposal without the biker who rode by and yelled at Lee for proposing in the bike lane. In all seriousness, I feel so lucky that Lee put so much effort into making the proposal so special. I don’t know if I believe in fate, but I know that since our chance meeting in July, loving him has been the easiest thing I’ve ever done and I’m so excited to build a home and family with him.