Natasha and Schuyler

IMAG0881_1How We Met: Schuyler is an officer in the Army and was stationed in Ft. Benning, Georgia which was 40 minutes from where I went to undergrad at Auburn University.

There was always a plethora of army guys at the bars, and one night a mutual friend introduced us. I was about to graduate and commission as an Officer in the Navy, and move out of state shortly after, so I had no expectation for anything serious to start.

After a hilarious first date where he scared me to death as he was giving me directions to his house by saying “You may be going through a rough neighborhood, but don’t worry, I live in a nice place”, he took me to a restaurant that was closed, and we had to go to a place across the street (which became one of our favorite spots).

Schuyler also attempted to swoon me over his home made keggerator and his classy craft beer selection. After we got back from dinner, I was sad to end the night, because I didn’t think he was going to talk to me again. After all, I was moving a few weeks later to Florida to start my Navy career.

Schuyler felt I was cool enough to pursue, to the point we spent almost every single day for the next few weeks together. I even talked him into taking me all the way to Birmingham, AL to see Dave Mathews Band! We went white water rafting, and shooting, which is where he deemed me his “adventure buddy”. Shortly after, he helped me move down to Florida, and we started officially dating.

IMG_8870

We did the 4 hour commute almost every weekend to see one another. We knew eventually Schuyler would have to go to Army Ranger school and then move to North Carolina, and I was waiting to find out where I was going to be permanently stationed as well. We talked about our wedding at the first wedding we attended together that summer, but it was so early on in our relationship, that I had no idea how the military life and our relationship was going to balance out.

During Ranger School, we were only able to write letters. I was a state away, and I was only allowed to write him for 141 days. I was going bonkers! Luckily, he had a two week break during Christmas. Right before we spent the holidays together, I found out the Navy was moving me to Italy for the next two years. I was so scared to tell Schuyler over letter, that I waited until I saw him, not knowing what his reaction was going to be. He was extremely supportive and so incredibly excited for me. At that point, I knew he was the one. That no matter where the military takes us, he would always be my #1 cheerleader and my rock.

We earned a decent amount of frequent flier miles, travelling all over the US for our various training’s just to spend a weekend with each other. I just had no idea when we would see each other when I moved overseas, and how we would continue with the 6 hour time difference!

How He Asked: After I moved to Italy, we would try to Skype or text as much as we could. Then when Schuyler found out when he could take a few weeks off in the summer, we started planning his trip to visit me all the way here in Italy! All of our friends were anticipating an engagement before I moved, and honestly I was a bit bummed to not be engaged. But I had an inkling he would do it on this trip, since we have no idea what other military duties we both may have and the next time to visit one another, and we knew we wanted to get married. So I planned this elaborate vacation for us both through Italy and Greece, and was anxiously awaiting a visit, and hoping for a ring!

Finally, the day came where Schuyler was on his way to visit me! I was headed back from my early birthday weekend trip to Paris, and he would meet me at the airport! I was so excited to see him, but there was some bad news, he couldn’t get on one of the earlier flights, so he wouldn’t be at the airport to pick me up. I was pretty frustrated at that point, because I was anticipating a big bear hug from my adventure buddy at the airport. But it didn’t bum my spirits too much, because I was so excited to spend two weeks exploring with Schuyler!

On the first day together, he told me to look nice for dinner. So I did, and I was so worried about walking in my wedges because my neighborhood is all cobblestone! As we were walking to dinner which was towards the port, we passed by an old Roman Coliseum that is a few blocks from my place.Schuyler, being the history buff that he is, was intrigued to go inside and luckily it was open.

SchuylerTash-5

We walked around, he nerded out, and when we got to a little garden area in the back of the amphitheater and he got down on one knee and proposed!

SchuylerTash-1

He even coordinated a photographer to catch the moment!

10986505_10153300527970659_8361492243689308142_n

I was so shocked and impressed that he managed all of this from the states! I still can’t believe that the guy I forced to take me out to dinner, will now be taking me to dinner for the rest of our lives! We truly are adventure buddies, for life.

Photos by: Keyhole Photography