Mackenzie and Erik

Mackenzie and Erik's Engagement in Port Orange, FL

How We Met

Erik and I met in high school in Fort Lauderdale, FL through mutual friends our sophomore year. We began dating January 3rd, 2009. Erik played baseball and I played volleyball so our schedules were very different and our time together was limited due to traveling, games, and being away every other weekend.

Prior to graduating in May 2010, Erik committed to playing college baseball at a University in SC; I had chosen to go to school in Tallahassee, FL. A couple weeks before we graduated we talked about whether we would break up and go separate ways or give long distance a try. We chose long distance and although it was challenging at first being 9 hours away, we are now thankful that it has made us into the couple we are today. After my high school graduation, my family moved to Port Orange, FL. This meant that when Erik and I were on school breaks, we would be traveling to see each other for a few days at a time. Over the 4 years of college, there were many road trips to visit each other, watch his games either in person or online, Skype dates, and planning weekends that worked with our schedules for visits.

When we were both close to graduating college in 2014, we were thinking about the next step: who would move where. However, Erik ended up getting drafted and played baseball in the minor league program for a few years. Even though this meant more long distance, we knew we could make it work again, and we did! After 3 years in the minor league program, Erik had the opportunity to become an assistance baseball coach at a University in NC. Initially, I did not want him to move again because I was ready for him to be in one place so we could move forward with our relationship but we talked about the pros and cons of this coaching opportunity and together decided he should do it. We agreed to give the coaching gig a year so I could work full time while he could get some coaching experience, save money, and eventually we would make a decision about who would make the jump: me moving to NC or Erik moving back to FL. All along we have had great communication and trust (thanks to being long distance) so after the year went by, I decided to make the jump to NC in July 2017 and I do not regret one thing!

Where to Propose in Port Orange, FL

How He Asked

Erik and I had been together just one month shy of 9 years. After about 7 years of being together, I was ready for an engagement (or at least I thought I was) so I started looking at rings for fun. Then, being together for 8 years comes around and I was sure he would pop the question at some point. With an engagement in the back of my head, I began dressing nicer when I saw him (which was once a month) during date nights as well as making sure my hair and nails were done. But after a few months went by, nothing happened so I stopped thinking about the engagement too much.

During Christmas break, Erik went home to Fort Lauderdale to be with his family while I stayed with my family. Since we were living with each other at this point in NC, we drove his car to FL which mean he would have to pick me up on the way back to NC. On the 28th, Erik came back to my house in Port Orange before we got on the road to head home. When Erik arrived at my house, my parents wanted to make dinner plans and decided on a restaurant that no one really enjoys eating at except they have a beautiful view of the water from their dock. So, I became sassy and confused as to why we were going there when there were better options to chose from. Overall, I was being very difficult. My sister went into the restaurant to put our name on the “waiting list” and came back outside saying we had a “30 minute wait”. It was cold, windy, and I was getting hangry. Erik and my sister decided that we should get pictures on the dock while we were waiting but since I was in a mood I said no. After some persuasion, I caved and we went on the dock for pictures. I took a picture with my sister then walked away to go back to the restaurant but then Erik said “Kenz, let’s take a picture together”. Anyone that knows Erik knows that he has a strong dislike for taking pictures so I looked at him confused and said “wow, since when do you want to take a picture” while laughing. I stood by him, took our picture, started to walk away until he called me back again, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him! Yes, my nails were done and my hair was cute and done until the wind. However, at that time and that moment, nothing mattered. Once he put the ring on my finger, my parents and his parents (who were hiding behind a bush) came around the corner cheering and crying happy tears. I had no idea his parents were there which made that night even more special. It may have taken almost 9 years for that day/night to happen but it was well worth the wait and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with my high school sweetheart and my one and only!!