Nicole and Mason
How We Met
Hers: Mason and I met my junior year at UConn. I was studying for winter finals with some of my friends and teammates in the library when Mason stopped by to drop off a book for friend. From the second I saw Mason with his long blonde hair and lacrosse bag, I thought “Wow that guy is hot! Can he come back here?!” Needless to say, Mason ended up studying with our group later that night and we hit it off right away. From college, to moving to Chicago and starting our life together here, we have been through a lot in the past 6 years. Mason is my best friend and he supports me not matter what. He still makes me laugh as he did the first time we met. His: Nicole and I met my Senior year (her Junior year) at UConn. I was a day or two behind on studying for finals, and rushing to the library to find a study table. A friend asked to borrow a book, as I went to drop it off, I saw him at a table full of athletic, beautiful women. I knew I wouldn’t study at all if I stayed, so I dropped the book and left instantly. Little did I know, that my fate had already been sealed. Nicole asked my friend to call me back up there, so a few hours later I headed back to that table. When I walked her out of the library that night, I didn’t know it then, but I had met my soul mate. A few years later I moved to Chicago, where she is from, and our adventures have never stopped. She is my rock, through good times and bad. She always helps me seek out greatness in my life…and she tolerates my relentless Dad-Jokes.
How He Asked
Hers: This has been a special year in many ways. I finally finished grad school to get my Masters in Nursing, passed my boards exam and was about to start my new job as an ICU Nurse. The Blackhawks have been a part of my life for such a long time. I grew up playing ice hockey, and was the reason that brought me to U Conn to play there. I have been apart of the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew for 4 seasons now. It has been an amazing experience where not only do I get to skate on the ice during Hawks games, I get to do it with some of my best friends. While my nursing career is just getting started, I decided that my time with the Hawks was coming to an end and I am ready to hang ’em up and start a new chapter of my life.
Leading up to the end of the regular season, we all knew the last home game was against the Boston Bruins. From our Stanley Cup matchup in 2013, to my roots back on the East Coast (and Masons home team!), this game was big. It was also the last home game of regular season, and the last time to be on the ice with my friends to experience this. Honestly, I was already feeling emotional going into the game. Yes, it was the possibly one of my last times working a game, but I knew that my parents were coming to the game. My mom has been battling breast cancer for the past year, and I was so happy she was strong enough to come to the last home game. I was so happy to be with my friends and family, preoccupied with the game and other place, the last thing I was thinking about was a proposal.
When the game ended, it is tradition for the girls on the team that are retiring to take a picture on the ice. It was such a bittersweet feeling. I thought about the past 4 years, the friends I have made and the amazing times we have had together. We were posing for our picture when out of the corner of my eye, I was our mascot, Tommy Hawk skating towards up. I was so excited to see Tommy, when I was Mason standing next to him, I though “Mason! Hi!! how cool is this?!” It took me a few seconds to register what was happening. Mason walked up, took my hands and told me that I was his best friend, and he can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together. When he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, I was overwhelmed with happiness. Of course I said YES!
The even bigger surprise was that Mason arranged for 20 of my other friends and family to come to the game and were able to run down to the glass to see the proposal. One friends was even able to FaceTime Mason’s parent, who live in Connecticut, to see the proposal. He had also planned our engagement party at our favorite restaurants, Tufano’s that night where all of my friends and family came together to celebrate with us. I am still amazed that all of my friends and family were able to keep this secret and make the proposal a huge surprise. Thank you again to all of my teammates, especially my sister Jackie, who was able to pull this off. I am overwhelmed by all the joy and love that surrounds us.
His: The most challenging part of this moment was keeping it a secret. Nicole is usually pretty perceptive, and inquisitive, so ensuring that she didn’t catch wind of anything was hard! Nicole’s identical twin sister, and her friends helped me arrange and plan the surprise proposal. We arranged to have a lot of friends and her extended family meet afterwards at a restaurant that was special to their family – Tufanos.
It was overwhelming how many of them all decided to come to the game, to be there for the special moment. When I came out on to the ice, it was clear that she had no idea it was ever coming. I got down on one knee, right there on the ice, and asked her to marry me, she said yes! We were overcome with happiness, surrounded by the people who meant the most to us. After everything had calmed down after a few minutes, I explained that we were all going to dinner together and she couldn’t believe that either. “It’s all perfect!” were her exact words.