Kristen and Chris

How We Met: Well I can give you the first and second time we met, haha.  I was a freshman in college in Columbus, Ohio and Chris was a senior.  He had initially gone to the same school that I had for his first two years and then transferred to Ohio State for his remaining two years.  Since a lot of his best friends still went to my university, he would hang out there A LOT. Mid-fall his best friend, who had a crush on my roommate, decided that 2 A.M. on a weekend was the right time to pay us a visit.

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This of course is a great story to bring up and poke a little fun at them for roaming the girls dorm that late at night.  We hardly talked at all, I honestly didn’t even think he remembered by name.  We became friends on facebook and that was pretty much it until about 5 years later.  I had been going through a hard time in my life where I had contemplated moving back to my hometown in Northeast Ohio.

After about 6 weekends of going to see my parents in a row, I finally decided that this Saturday night I was going to go out downtown in Columbus and spend time with my friends that I had missed.  They were going to a Justin Timberlake concert and I was going to meet up with them afterwards.  My friend had said they should be done around 10:30 or 11pm at the latest.

I figured I would miss post-concert traffic by getting down there before the show let out.  Unfortunately, the concert didn’t end until nearly midnight.  So I sat in my car for over an hour waiting; as cheesy as it sounds I knew I had to be out that night so I didn’t mind waiting.  Finally, I met up with my friends at a bar in the upstairs section.

Another girl we were with was texting a guy she knew, who also happened to be friends with Chris’ best friend Taylor (the one from freshman year).  They were meeting up with us and in behind the first couple guys walks Chris.  I immediately recognized him and was hoping he remembered me too, but it was so long ago I didn’t know if he would.

His face immediately lit up too and he walked over and started talking to me.  From that point on we spent the remainder of the night talking about everything off in a corner by ourselves. It had never been so easy to talk to another guy like that who I hardly knew at this point.  Chris is a very open, honest, and blunt person.

Midway through our conversation he looked at me and goes “So are you seeing anyone right now?”. I smiled and said, “no I’m not, are you?” The answer was no and he immediately followed up with asking me to go out with sometime which of course I agreed.  What felt so soon after that, him and his friends were leaving so it was time to say goodbye.

I was really bummed that they were deciding to leave so soon but about two minutes later, my friends informed me the bar was closing so it was time to go.  We had talked for about 2 hours without realizing it.  He asked me out for the following weekend two days later and we have been together ever since.  We always talk about how close we came to not reconnecting. If I had waited to hear when the concert was over I would not have driven downtown at midnight to meet up with my friends.

How He Asked: Flash forward to a year from that weekend. Chris and I moved in together Labor Day weekend of 2014 and could not be more happy.  Chris usually works weekends so trips away on the weekend are hard to plan without him taking time off.  This means that we don’t go up to my parents place as often.  Ahead of time he said he could take the last of his personal days for a weekend and we could go somewhere.

Rather than splurging on a trip right before christmas, he suggested we go see my parents that weekend and spend some time with them which I of course was excited about.  A couple weeks before I realized this coincided with our one year anniversary which was Sunday November 16th.  We figured we would plan time up in Cleveland nearby to have a day to ourselves while still getting to see them.

A little backstory: Chris gets really excited about surprising people and almost can’t keep the secret because he loves seeing people light up at his gifts.  He had spilled that he had bought a ring but that it was on back order and wouldn’t be coming in for awhile.  At one point he spilled that it would happen before the end of the year, then changed it to the end of January.

I joked that he was going to propose on New Years, but he said he wasn’t cliche enough to do that.  I had put it out of my head because I wanted to still be surprised. We knew pretty early on in our relationship that we wanted to spend our lives together so I was just enjoying everything and knew it would come eventually.

That Friday we were set to leave. I had told Chris the night before that I was already going to leave work around 3pm that day but would try to get out at 2:3o so we could get a head start on our drive, since rush hour is usually so bad. He said to not worry about it and 3pm would be fine.

The next day at work we had planned to get lunch together since he had the whole day off and we don’t usually get to go out to lunch with our conflicting work hours. He surprised me at work with flowers and an anniversary card which I was so so excited about and made me feel so special.  I thought he seemed a little weird at lunch but didn’t think anything of it.

Later at around 2:10 that day he texted me asking if I could get out of work a little earlier so we could get a head start on the road.  In my head I was like “didn’t I say this yesterday?” and chuckled to myself but I was done for the day so I packed up and got ready to drive back to our apartment. *I later learned he had gotten to his location way early and was too nervous to wait much longer* I called him to let him know I left and he was giving me really short responses and one word answers.

Lots of long awkward pauses which is uncharacteristic for him, we are both talkers LOL. I was wondering if anything was wrong so I asked him if he was okay and he responded, “Yeah! I’m just really excited to see you”. So I said okay and told him I would see him in about 5 minutes then hung up.

We live in an apartment building downtown so I pulled into the garage and walked inside to our place. On the door, there was a note that said “Kristen, Meet me between the Audubon center and the water tower for your anniversary surprise! P.S. Check under your passenger seat before you meet me”. The Audubon center is a beautiful metropark right downtown and is conveniently located directly behind our building around the block.

We go on walks here all the time and also want to have our reception and ceremony here.  At this point, I’m curious and wondering what’s going on. Part of me was thinking this could be it since he had been acting a little weird during the day. I get out to my car and check under the seat. In a bag, he had hidden a book he had made. The front said “How Much I Love You, The First Year of the Rest of Our Lives”. I started tearing up as I opened it.

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On the first page there was a note about our first date, where we went, and how he was so nervous when I kissed him on our first date that he spilled his water everywhere (which I thought was adorable). He then went on to say that the last year of his life has been the best year he could have imagined and a start to a beautiful life together.

The next page had the most romantic note ever written to me from him telling me how much he can’t wait to spend the rest of his life with me and how I’m the most beautiful girl in the world.  At this point I’m bawling my eyes out and shaking like a leaf.  The rest of the book are pictures from our first year together with the final page blank except for “Now there’s only one more picture left to take…”

I sped around the corner to the park, without a seatbelt. The spot he specified we walk across all the time. It’s a little dock that goes across the wetlands and the pond. I see him off in the distance so I started walking to him.  By the time I got down there I was still crying and smiling so big. The first thing I did when I got to him was collapse into him.

He started telling me his speech about how he was a wreck when we met, since he had gone through a rough year before that. He said how great his life has been this year and how amazing he feels everyday. “So I have a question to ask you and I’m hoping you’ll say yes.” The most wonderful man I know pulls a box out of his pocket and gets down on one knee to get halfway through his question before I shouted “YES!”.

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Chris is my best friend and the sweetest guy I have ever known. Every day with him is filled with love and laughter. It is so surreal that I get to be with him for the rest of my life. November 14, 2014 was definitely the best day of my life so far, that is until the day I get to say “I do”. :)

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Note- Pictures of the “proposal” were staged afterwards since it was just the two of us which could not have been more perfect. His wonderful mom came down immediately afterwards to take pictures of us to remember it by. Hence why he originally didn’t want me leaving earlier than 3pm. Fun side note- After the proposal he admitted that his original plan to propose was going to be on New Years when we would be in Pittsburgh, but that I ruined it :) Oops!

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Then as if the proposal wasn’t already amazingly thought out and special we got to go up and spend the weekend with my parents and brother and sister in law to celebrate and see my best friend from home.  All of whom I never get to see. He is the best planner in the world :)

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