Kelsey and Chad

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How We Met

The year was 2010. I was a freshman in college, and with the expectation and excitement came the normal amounts of nervousness and anxiety of a new beginning. I played volleyball in college, and I knew that my schedule would be packed, so I was honestly trying to avoid any romantic relationships altogether. However, I was sitting in the on-campus chapel waiting for the service to start, and as the strum of the guitar began, a man walked in and sat behind me. He has a few people with him that I had met before, so I spoke to them. Then I looked at him. “You have pretty eyes.” Talk about an awkward first impression. But his eyes. They are the most beautiful mixture of green and blue. They were chilling and distant, but warm and familiar at the same time. I didn’t even know his name, but I felt connected to him. We didn’t really speak again except the casual “hello,” and time moved on as we did.

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Fast forward to January 2012: I suffered a season-ending injury and was going through a dark time emotionally, and the bright green light of his eyes came back into my life. I agreed to attend a basketball game with some friends, and Chad rode with us. We had our first real conversation that night, and as the weather turned colder, my heart grew fonder. We went on our first official date on February 14, 2012, and I can remember almost every detail of that night. We were both so excited and nervous that we left 45 min earlier than we originally planned to. He wore a blue shirt. The hostess at the restaurant had a pink carnation waiting for me. We sat in the parking lot of the movie theater just talking for almost an hour. He walked me to the door or my door building. It was simple, but magical. Four weeks after our first date, I knew he was going to be my husband.

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How He Asked

Fast forward almost five years to 2016. I moved home after college, and Chad followed. He got a job in my hometown, and I began my teaching and coaching career. He is originally from the Atlanta area, so moving to small-town North Georgia was a big risk and change of pace. He took it in stride, and after learning how to fit in and adapt to his new life, Chad was ready to make my greatest dream come true. It was Christmas time in the Smoky Mountains, and he knew how much I loved Christmas lights and the Holiday season. So, he let me plan a trip to Rock City’s Enchanted Lights. He invited two of his best friends and their ladies to join us, so I made the reservation.

Little did I know that I was planning one of the most exciting nights of my life (he knows me so well. He knew that if he could figure out a way for me to plan the moment without knowing its significance, then I would never suspect anything…and it would be exactly how I wanted it) He’s a genius. So we walked through the entire lights show, and we came to the final walking path. There was a giant tree full of ornaments and lights. It was beautiful. Chad suggested that we take some pictures, so I begin photographing the other couples as Chad runs to the bathroom. He comes back and starts talking to Charlie and Tyler, then joins me by the tree.

We take a few pictures, then he turns to me and says something along the lines of, “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time….I love you so much. Kelsey Michael, will you marry me?” as he drops to one knee (the actual quote is a blur, but the moment was perfect. Of course I said yes!! The witnesses began cheering, many of whom I didn’t even know. It was such a magic moment that I’ll cherish and remember every time I look at a Christmas tree.