Kim and Connor
How We Met
In the summer of 2014 I took a rotational management internship with a country club in Mamaroneck, New York. Mamaroneck is a wealthy boating town on the north side of Manhattan, and (being this was my first summer away from home) I couldn’t wait to explore the world outside of Minnesota. At this same time, Connor was arriving in Staten Island to begin his first professional season playing with the New York Yankees. For Connor, this was a huge time in his life full of new beginnings, bittersweet endings, and optimism. It was also during this time, that a new app called Tinder had just become popular and mainstream. Both Connor and I were on it one day, and of course out of the blue, we matched. As we began talking, we both wanted to meet up in the city, but after a week or so of it going no where, our conversations began to die off. We would talk one week and end up not talking the next. It wasn’t until one night in July, my co-workers and I were in the city taking a long needed night out. I texted Connor telling him that I was in the city if he wanted to meet up with my co-workers and I. It just so happened that Connor was in the city that day with his teammates. When Connor and I talk about the night we met I realize how close we came to never having met at all. So many things that night needed to go right in order for us to connect. After receiving my text, Connor looked at his teamate Brady (who was the only teamate left with him in the city at the time) and asked him if he were willing to go meet up with a girl and her friends. Graciously, Brady accepted, however, Connor wasn’t so sure about meeting up with me. He was tired, he was hungry, and he questioned whether he should call it a night or not. As the Subway car back to Staten Island pulled up, and the doors to the subway train opened, Connor looked at Brady, and something inside him told him to meet with me. Minutes later I received a reply saying we were going to meet up at Tonic bar in Times Square.
When I arrived at the bar, all I could think was that Connor was way more handsome in person than he was in pictures. I had always heard about “the feeling” when you’d meet your soulmate, and I had hoped one day it would happen. Well it did, right then and there, something told me this was my future husband. Before I could even finish saying hello, it was Connor’s turn for Karaoke. He sang “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” by The Script and absolutely blew me away with his singing voice (little did I know he was in five different choirs in high school). All the while, his friend Brady kept yelling at me over his singing screaming, “THAT’S YOUR MAN!” At the time all I could think was that I barely met this guy, but truly I was falling in love with him that night. We spent the rest of that night talking, and dancing, and eventually sharing our first kiss at an Irish pub a few blocks down from where we had just met. Every chance we could find, we made our way into the city to see each other. Often times, the two of us would sit in random bars across the city just talking until five in the morning. After numerous random occasions of meeting up in the city, we finally got enough time off for our first formal date. We both way over dressed for having to take the subway everywhere, but none the less we felt fancy. After a gorgeous steak dinner near wall street, we visited a few rooftop bars, ultimately ending at our favorite rooftop bar The Refinery Rooftop. It was here, while over looking the empire state building, that Connor and I said I love you for the first time. We spent the rest of that summer spending every moment we possibly could with each other. Connor met my parents when they came out to visit me just weeks after we met. We knew that we would have to endure a long distance relationship (with me being from Minnesota and he being from California) , but we didn’t care. The connection we had with each other was unbreakable and I knew that I was madly in love with this boy. Over the next year and a half we survived a long distance relationship. He would come see me for a few weeks, then I would go see him. At first, we would go months without seeing one another. Everyday not being together seemed to feel harder and harder. Finally, in Connor’s second off season from baseball with the Yankees, I decided to go live and work in California with Connor. What a sigh of relief it was to spend everyday with him for a few months. However, it only made life that much harder when we had to begin distance again during his third full season with the Yankees. I struggled through work that summer back home in Minnesota and he went on with his season. We decided after that summer we were through with the distance. I moved back out to California with him this past off-season and planned to travel with him this upcoming season.
How He Asked
Connor surprised me with a trip to NYC back in August for an anniversary present. I was so excited to get back to where we had met, and to see one of my favorite places during Christmas time. After a few discussions, I had a few thoughts that a proposal would be coming when we went back, due to the fact that we met there, but I didn’t want to psych myself up for any disappointment. We arrived in NYC on the 1st in the evening and went back to the bar we met at and explored a few of our favorite places. The next morning we were scheduled to see Santa at the Macy’s display; but of course, me being me, we were running a bit behind schedule (but for some reason Connor let me take the time to get ready that morning ?.) We saw Santa and did some shopping and some more exploring that afternoon. That night we were scheduled to ice skate at Rockefeller Center.
Our skating time was from 4:30-6pm and knowing it was super unnecessary to skate for that long, we planned to get there by 5:15. Well, if you’ve ever been to New York during Christmastime you’ll find out otherwise that you can barely walk around Rockefeller Center because it is crowded with people… After fighting and begging our way down to the warming house, we encountered another LONG line waiting for skates… Suddenly, though, we were VIP and were given our skates in front of everyone else and pushed onto the ice as quickly as possible. (This is when the light really started flickering in my head..) So we skated around and reminisced about many of our firsts in New York and adventures since, but 10 minutes before 6, another gentleman got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend!! Connor then replied, “Remember when I was going to do that stupid idea..?”
(Backstory: Connor visited NYC back in high school during a choir trip and fell in love with the rink at Rockefeller Center, which he actually shared with me during our first date and said he always thought it would be a spot he’d propose to his future wife.) How fitting that we ended up meeting there. So knowing this, I started freaking out, thinking this guy might have just ruined Connor’s moment… 6 o’clock rolled around and they started clearing the ice. Connor suggested we take one more lap because we still hadn’t taken a picture. The majority of the people had cleared the ice and Connor had an usher take a picture of us in front of the tree. Suddenly, “From the Ground Up” by Dan + Shay started playing and it was really happening…? He explained that he shared a moment with God the time he was there back in high school and knew it was the spot he wanted to propose.
That was about all I understood because I was bawling my eyes out. He got down on one knee and then it hit me that we were surrounded by hundreds of people again. Did this really just happen?!
There was someone that seemed to be just a bit more excited then the rest of those hundreds of people and I turned to see my best friend Lauren run onto the ice. (You REALLY have to be kidding me… this definitely isn’t happening!) Connor, also so in the moment almost forgot he coordinated with Lauren and her boyfriend, Bryton to come surprise me! Because he hired a photographer, we took pictures then were treated to champagne at one of the Rockefeller restaurants and celebrated at the bar we first met again. Needless to say, of all the hopes I had when that moment came, he outdid them 500%.