Kristen and Paul

How We Met

I first met Paul met at college. He had transferred into the school my junior year. The first time I met Paul we bonded over the fact we were both from New Jersey before realizing we were from opposite sides of the state! (North Jersey and South Jersey have a rivalry) We were friends for a little, staying up late talking about nothing. I had crazy commitment fear and just an overall fear of dating so when Paul asked me out on a date, I was taken aback and I quickly came up with the lamest excuse possible. I told him I was really busy. He bantered with me about how he didn’t even give me a time or date. I sheepishly told him I just had a lot to do and shut him down. Paul surprisingly was still my friend after this awkward conversation and we were good friends for about a year and a half. Slowly but surely getting closer and closer as each day went by. Paul played basketball at our college and I loved going to watch him play! I would go with my friends and we would make signs for Paul and put them up for him to see. We went to every game, and would hang out with him after. Without realizing it, I was growing more and more fond of our friendship and hanging out with him. I started to expect a call from him and was sad if I didn’t get to talk to him that day. Late February 13th of 2010, Paul had texted me saying he needed to ask me a question. I freaked out a little but was shocked to find that I was excited and not nervous. He called at 12:01 and asked if I would be his Valentine. I said yes! The next day, I saw him in the dining hall and we had breakfast with a group of friends. When we were done breakfast, we said by and I left and went to a friend’s dorm. Paul called about 2 minutes later asking me to come outside of the dorm. I couldn’t figure out why he wanted me outside, so I just kept asking him why do you need me outside? He kept asking her and finally I went outside. My friend’s dorm was on a hill. It had just snowed and everything was covered in white. When I started walking down toward the parking lot, Paul was standing outside his car with flowers for me! Our friends started cheering from their room. That started the beginning of a very sweet but seemingly new friendship. After that, we went to a spring banquet that year that our school hosted and we had gone as dates. I wondered if there was something more starting. Paul didn’t want to ruin the friendship and I was terrified that I was making things up in my head and that he really didn’t like me. We stayed friends during the summer, talked everyday on the phone for hours. Finally, when we came back to school, I realized I had to tell him how I felt. Paul asked me to be his girlfriend the next day. He became my first and only boyfriend I’ve ever had.

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How He Asked

Earlier in the week before the engagement, Paul asked me if I wanted to go to a nice restaurant for lunch. I work down at the beach in the summer so I don’t get to see him as often. I eagerly agreed to meet up! That Sunday, July 19th, Paul and I went to church.  After church while on our way to the restaurant, Paul casually asked me to remind him to return a book to the Eastern library. I didn’t think it was odd because he lives right near the college still and occasionally goes to take out a book. The restaurant was gorgeous and the views were incredible. I was just so excited to spend the day with him. I had worn an old dress that day, not thinking that he was going to propose. On our way back, I reminded him about his book. On our way to Eastern, Paul “accidentally” almost missed the exit. I quickly reminded him again. Usually he is more grounded and I was wondering how he forgot about the book so quickly. Not realizing it was his plan to go to a different part of campus. When we got there, we walked around and past our old dorm. Paul told me he needed to use the bathroom (or put the ring in his back pocket) as I was babbling about talking how we used to hang out here all the time. When we went past the outdoor pool, I saw one of my former students at the pool! I had just gotten a contract for teaching the year before and she was a part of my first official class.  We chatted with her family and her brother decided to soak us with water. At first it was just on our feet and soon enough we were soaked! It was one of the hottest days on record and I did not mind the cool water. My dress was a little too big for me so it started to feel lagged down with the water but it made my day to see her and her family. At one point, my student’s father asked Paul what book he was reading. Paul quickly snapped and said I don’t even know, I just need to return it. I was surprised by his answer and how quickly he stopped the conversation. Paul was worried we were going to miss his timing of things and did not know how to tell the family we needed to go. This was not part of his plan to get soaked right before we were engaged! We said goodbye and made our way to the library. On the way to the library is our dining hall which is actually an old mansion. It looks down on a beautiful lake and stream. As we walked past, we “ran” into one of Paul’s friends Dave taking pictures of Eastern. Dave is a photographer and he suggested he could take some pictures of us while he was at Eastern. I was giggling about how they would turn out because we were soaked and sweaty. I couldn’t stop laughing about how we were dripping wet. We took a few photos, and then Paul turned and got down on one knee! An odd noise came out of my mouth, somewhere between a squeal and a gasp. He reached into his back pocket and then I wondered if he was just tying his shoe or if he was really asking. Paul mustered out the words, “Will you marry me?”  as the ring appeared from behind him. I was shocked and couldnt even get the word yes out! (I did nod my head up and down feverishly though) I didn’t even know the right etiquette that the guy should put the ring on your finger so I took the ring and put it on my own finger excitedly. This is something Dave our photographer thought was hilarious. After that, I facetimed (video called) my parents and told them the news. What I didn’t know was that my family, my best friend, his family, and his old college roommates were waiting to come see us. We started walking toward the car and the pool to tell my student and her family the great news. When they got there we shared the events. As we were explaining why we left, a blonde blur runs toward us and almost knocks me over! It was my brother and behind him was our family and friends! At this point, I could not stop shaking. I didn’t think that they were going to be there or that I would get to share our news so quickly. I was in awe of the situation and had tears of joy. We all went to a restaurant and had a mini engagement party! It was the most unbelievably amazing day!

Engagement

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Special Thanks

David
Christenson Photography