Kristin and Albert
How We Met
Albert and I met on a snowy night at Press Grill in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus, OH. We owe our love story (or at least the beginning chapters) to match.com – yup – we’re a real life success story! After both of us ordered Stellas for our beer of choice at the bar, we talked about our families, life aspirations, and the fact that I had just moved to Columbus a few weeks prior to pursue a new job. The evening was great but definitely left me wondering, “Does this guy like me or no?” I’m a true extrovert and wear my heart on my sleeve, and as luck would have it, fate brought me the perfect balancing act to my outgoing personality. The man of few words I met that night definitely caught my interest and I wondered if I would see him again.
Thankfully Albert answered this question with a text the very next day asking me to dinner the following night. Since the holidays were right around the corner, we expedited our “first dates” as we definitely wanted a foundation between us before going our separate ways for the holidays.
We both found ourselves texting one another on NYE, each of us in a different city and wishing we were together. This would be the last NYE we were apart. :)
How He Asked
For our two year anniversary, Albert surprised me with the best night of my life, but it did not start that way. The evening before our anniversary, Albert handed me an early Christmas gift which was a Scottie dog ornament that opened up… and of course I was like, THIS IS IT! THERE’S A RING IN HERE! But no. Instead there was a note that said he was taking me the next night for a staycation at the Blackstone Hotel the next day to celebrate our anniversary. The Blackstone is crucial to our story because not only did I grow up coming to this hotel with my girlfriends for many a NYE, but it’s where Albert and I stayed when we were searching for our new home in Chicago. It has always been my “home away from home.”
I woke up the next morning and called my Mom with one eyebrow raised, “Should I go get a manicure Mom?” I asked trying to be sly. She essentially (and admittedly effectively) ignored me and said, “It’s your Saturday – go do whatever you want!” So I went and I got a manicure, slowly accepting the idea that although this was our anniversary, this was NOT our engagement day.
Coming home from the nail salon, Albert suggested we go downtown, drop off our overnight bags at the Blackstone, grab a Starbucks, and go walk around Millennium Park. THIS IS IT, I thought in my head as I excitedly slipped into my new pink J.crew coat. Ever the girly girl, I had bought this coat with visions of engagement photos in my mind. But again, no. I kept one eye peeled at any foliage or Christmas decorations a photographer could be hiding behind… but the park was simply full of people enjoying their Saturday.
Next on the agenda, Albert had planned an anniversary dinner at our favorite restaurant, Cafe Ba-ba-reeba! in Lincoln Park where we live. Walking to dinner, my heart was clinging to the idea that maybe, just maybe Albert had a surprise party waiting for us to celebrate an imminent proposal. However, dinner was just the two of us, which ended up being perfect. We had an incredible conversation about our past, present, future, and the home we found in one another. As we walked out of the restaurant that night I thanked God for sending me the man of my dreams. We hopped in a cab back to the Blackstone Hotel and Albert asked if I wanted to grab a glass of champagne to toast to the next years together. I loved this idea and agreed.
Well folks, after a day of trying to guess what was around every corner (and failing) Albert caught me by complete surprise. This man blew me away with what he had waiting for us. Upon arriving at the Blackstone, we walked in on all my friends and family waiting for us with iPhone cameras raised and ready to capture the moment. Albert proposed in front of everyone that night at the Blackstone Hotel and this is exactly where we’ll be married this October.