Monica and Brandon
How We Met
Three years ago, I took my first job as a reporter in Rapid City, South Dakota. A huge climate change for this Texas girl! I was always searching for opportunities to go live on air and noticed the local hockey team was having an all women’s event to unveil the season’s clothing line.
I called the Assistant General Manager and asked for a live interview and set everything up. The next day, as I was coming up the escalator to the venue, a very sharp dressed man caught my eye, and all I could think was “Please be my interview.” He was! I interviewed Brandon for the news that evening, then hung around getting extra footage, hoping he’d talk to me again. Of course, all we did was stare at one another all evening! It would take him another month to ask me out.
Our first date was classic dinner and cocktails, and the Speakeasy we got drinks at would later become “our place.” I remember after he kissed me goodnight, I walked into my one bedroom apartment to my Pomeranian, Gidget, and told her “I’m in trouble.” That night, Rapid City had its first snow storm. MY first snow storm period. I drove to work in the snow, and when I arrived immediately burst into tears. I just don’t do cold. But as I got to my desk, there was a bouquet of flowers waiting on my desk with a note from Brandon saying despite the snow, he hoped the flowers brought a smile to my face.
He’s made me smile every day since then, and I know I’ll have a lifetime of smiles with him.
How He Asked
Brandon is not one to take photos. I’ve always had to force him to take a selfie or drag him to a photo shoot for holiday cards. Last fall, we moved to my hometown in Texas and between moving and new jobs, never seemed to slow down. That is, until Valentine’s Day.
I wanted to ensure that our Valentine’s Day was all about slowing down, relaxing, and focusing on one another. I’m a huge planner, (where my Type A people at?!) and started planning for the date in January. Much to my surprise, Brandon asked if I wanted to get professional couples photos taken. I honestly didn’t think it was necessary, but he insisted since we hadn’t taken any in over a year. The man had a point… so I started looking around at local photographers.
Not two days later, I found who I wanted to use and Brandon asked if we could do it the next day. I won’t lie, the “next day” photoshoot made me wonder if he was proposing. I texted a friend asking if I was being crazy or paranoid, and we decided I shouldn’t get my hopes up. Twenty-four hour plans is way too fast for an engagement! Brandon then sent me to get a manicure as part of my Valentine’s Day gift so I would have a fresh mani for the photos. (Another clue! I sat and stared at nail polished for far too long, the woman asked me if I needed to sit down or have a drink first!)
The next day I woke up thinking about how I was overreacting and needed to enjoy the day. We had a concert later that evening, so our photos were mid-day. We went and had lunch, then headed to the Winspear Opera House. We met up with our photographer and started with a few photos, but it was chilly, so Brandon ran back for my jacket.
When he returned, he was carrying a wrapped gift. I asked what he was doing, and he just looked at me with the biggest smile on his face. I unwrapped the present, and it was the most beautiful copy of my favorite novel, Pride, and Prejudice by Jane Austen. He told me to follow the bookmarks, he had a quote from Mr. Darcy describing how when a man loves a woman he has to tell her because it can’t be contained, then he had my favorite quotes underlined throughout. Once I got to the back of the book, he had written “Will you marry me?” and my ring was tied on the back cover.
He got down on one knee telling me he wanted me forever, then asked me once more. Of course, I said YES! As he placed the ring on my finger, I had my moment of ugly cry, but remembered we were taking photos and had to lock it up! Our couples shoot then became an engagement shoot.
He thought of every little detail, from my manicure, having it photographed, and using my favorite book. He set the bar pretty high!