McKenzie and Sean
How We Met
I had just arrived in Key Largo after a long road trip from Colorado with my dad. I was moving to the Keys because I received an internship with Rainbow Reef Dive Center. The internship was several months, filled with lots of hard work and training within the SCUBA diving industry. At the end of the internship program I would be a certified Open Water SCUBA Instructor, my greatest dream (or so I thought). While in the Rainbow Reef retail store signing paperwork, a tan, blue-eyed boy walked in the door with wet, curly, dark hair hanging past his shoulders. He had on board shorts, no shoes, with a towel draped over his shoulders. It’s funny that I remember that moment so clearly, since at that time I had a boyfriend in Colorado.
It turned out that the intern apartments were above Rainbow Reef’s retail shop and Sean (that blue-eyed boy) offered to help me unload my car. Sean was already at the stage in his internship where he was instructing. A fun-loving energy radiated off of him; he really was something special. I gravitated towards him, and he became my closest friend in Key Largo. We went on countless adventures together, and in my 22 years of life I have never had so much fun with one person. I remember Sean joking that our days spent hanging out were in fact “dates”. After relocating to Key Largo and the way I felt about Sean, I ended my current relationship.
Sean and I had our first kiss in 2015 on Christmas Eve at an outdoor bar called the Clevelander on South Beach. It was all butterflies and fireworks, and from that point on I knew I was forever going to love that beautiful, blue-eyed boy who stole my heart on our island home. I went to Key Largo in pursuit of what I thought was my biggest dream. Turns out I was wrong; Sean was my greatest dream come true.
How He Asked
In December 2016, Sean and I were offered jobs in Australia to teach SCUBA diving. We were ready to leave the Keys and pursue a new adventure. While I was home in Chicago preparing for our big move, I found out that I was pregnant. Instead, Sean left the Keys and moved to Chicago where we would have our baby. Lana was born on July 29th, 2017 (her due date of all days). We were living our best adventure yet.
It’s fall and that means pumpkin picking! My favorite. This fall was especially exciting because it would be Lana’s first trip to the pumpkin patch. We woke up early Saturday morning and got ready in our matching t-shirts that Sean’s mom sent us. Mine said “Mummy”, Sean’s said “Deady”, and Lana’s was a onesie that said “I’ve Created a Mummy”. We grabbed a few drinks (Sean loves to have his beers), and headed to pick up my mom who was coming with us. On our way to the farm Sean was holding my hand and being as sweet as can be; he always is. A tractor ride took us to the pumpkin patch where we hopped off and started searching for the best pumpkins. We were drinking beers and stomping through the dusty patch, we had the whole place to ourselves.
After we had picked a few, I told Sean that we still needed to find the perfect pumpkin – big, round, and a little wrinkly. A few minutes later, Sean yelled over to me that he found the perfect one. He bent down and looked as if he was breaking the stem so we could take that one home with us. When I turned to face him I saw that he was in fact on his knee and holding a ring over the pumpkin. I blacked out. I was holding a beer, my nice camera, and a gourd I picked up. One by one I dropped each item I was holding. All I could think is that I wanted my hands free to jump into his arms. Then came the tears. Sean said he found the perfect one, that he knew from the moment he saw me, that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and that he loved the life we had already started. He asked me if he could make me McKenzie Schnitzer and if I would marry him. I couldn’t say yes fast enough. With tears streaming down, I hopped up on the pumpkin and jumped into his arms as he fist pumped in the air and said “I got the perfect one”!
Sean had a bottle of champagne in Lana’s diaper bag. We popped the bubbly and drank right out of the bottle while we waited for the tractor to pick us up. I had just bought a new video camera (old school) so I could film Lana as she grows up. My mom filmed the whole proposal and did a clip of us celebrating after. Thank goodness for that, because I could relive that day over and over. Sean told a few of my close friends about the proposal so they could meet up with us for drinks that night. We had cocktails and then headed to a dive bar in my home town for beer and pool. It was the perfect proposal from the most perfect man. I can’t wait to start forever with you, Sean.