Kelly and Tyson

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How We Met

I met Tyson one fall semester when he applied to become an Orientation Leader(OL) at our University. I had been an OL for 3 years prior and was hired as a student supervisor for the position. We spent the first few meetings staring and smiling at each other from across the room, and completely shutting out the rest of the world, only focusing on each other at campus events. Eventually we took the leap and began seeing each other secretly; secret dates, secret texts, few trusted friends knew. It was stressful and intimidating because we weren’t sure whether or not publicly pursuing each other would risk our jobs; you see, OL’s are made to sign contracts saying that they will be a face for the university, no parties, no bad social media posts, and no inappropriate relationships. After a couple months we couldn’t stand it anymore; we wanted to be able to hold hands around campus, he wanted to be able to take me to his Fraternity formal, and we just wanted to enjoy being us with no boundaries. So we got the courage to confront our faculty supervisor who was thankfully very ok with our decision; she pointed out that we were both still students but we would have to make decisions to act maturely at work and avoid the drama that relationships can cause. We were in such relief, we focused on work and enjoyed the best summer of our life together sharing a passion for our University and helping students. The next year was full of adventures, celebrating his fraternity events and my graduation from nursing school, laughing everyday, and becoming one with each others friends and family!

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How He Asked

Over the course of our relationship we discovered that we were both huge history nerds, we would watch Netflix documentaries in our spare time and spout random facts at one another every day. So for over a year we planned the perfect trip to Washington D.C. on our University’s spring break. I had never been, Tyson had been a couple times before and was super excited to show me around one of his favorite cities. We booked a super cute apartment through Airbnb that was right outside the city and made an itinerary for everyday! As spring break drew closer, the day’s seemed so long but finally we set off on our 8 hour road trip. The first couple days were full of sight seeing and museums. When we go on trips we try to go out to a nice restaurant at least once, so he brought a nice suit and I bought a new dress and my favorite pumps. The day of our reservations Tyson suggested we leave a little early and try to stop by the Lincoln Memorial. He said it was his favorite nighttime spot and that it looked gorgeous all lit up so we added that to the plan. Parking in D.C. is terrible if people don’t know that, and getting close to a monument is reserved for taxis and school buses, I was in heels and could not make the mile long trek from the nearest parking garage, but he was determined to get there. I circled the area a few times, it started to rain, and we were getting very close to missing our reservation for dinner. I assured him that we could totally come back another day or even after dinner but he refused telling me that he wasn’t sure that they kept the lights on past a certain time or that we would be out late any other night of our trip. So I obliged to park illegally so we could get out and see the sight he was so darn excited about. We rushed over, snapped a few pics and I asked if he was ready to go. As I said earlier, we both love random facts, as he’s staring at the monument he said, “did you know that step right there was where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech?” I responded that I did not know that but how cool it was to be in that same spot. He looked at me, grabbed my hands and said “you know, I have a dream too. I have a dream to become a teacher, build a home with you, start a family, and do everything we’ve ever dreamed about.” At that point I was pretty sure what was happening and covered my mouth to helping from giggling and crying at the same time. He pulled me close and continued with, “but first I have to ask you something.” He dropped to his knee, and surrounded by hundreds of students and tourists, he asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes! With no one too interested in our super exciting moment, we grabbed a nearby school teacher chaperoning a group of students and asked him to take our picture. He obliged and I blurted out that we had just gotten engaged. He hugged us both, congratulated us and took those pictures that we’ll cherish for a lifetime! Before our trip ended that week, I was sure to buy all the Lincoln Memorial souvenirs I could to bring back to our families. D.C. will forever hold a special place in our hearts; it’s the place where we took another step towards reaching our dreams!

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