Samantha and Joe

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How We Met

Joe and I met in high school and NEVER in a million years would I have believed he would be the man of my dreams years later. He was one of my best friend’s older brothers and he wasn’t always the nicest or most welcoming. Fast forward to the summer of 2012, we both worked in wildwood and starting crossing paths. He told me the day I ran into his arms at his work out of the rain just to give a hug hello was the day he knew he was in love with me. I had been soaked from running in the rain and he offered me to wear his sweatshirt, in the hopes that it gave him a reason to talk to me when I wore it home. To his surprise, my best friend’s roommate also worked with Joe, so I had given him the sweatshirt to return to him and that plan went down the drain. Instead he had to actually ask for my number and the rest is history.

As soon as we started dating it was clear that he was my soulmate. In past relationships I had issues with jealousy, unfaithfulness, and always feeling like I was never enough. Joe showed me that true love and happiness isn’t something just out of a fairytale. Six months into our relationship when I had moved to work down the shore for the summer I found out I was pregnant. Scared and unsure how Joe would react I called him and his first words were “WHY ARE YOU CRYING?! We’re gonna figure this out!”

January 19, 2015 we welcomed McKenna Grace into the world and I watched the man I loved become the most incredible Daddy. Sometimes unmarried couples fall apart when they have unplanned children but for us it was opposite. Our relationship grew stronger when our beautiful little girl came into our lives and I feel so incredibly blessed.

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How He Asked

October 13 was our three year anniversary and I didn’t expect much just because we are saving for a house of our own and because we have a lot coming up. I knew we would be going out to dinner the next night which is the perfect anniversary present for us since we don’t get out as much without a pint sized ball of energy tagging along.

The next night I was getting ready for us to go to dinner. A few of our friends that we knew we would be meeting after dinner were over already just hanging out and Joe’s parents were watching the baby and having a few of their friends come over as well. Before we were leaving we were putting McKenna to bed and every night before bed we read her a bedtime story. I sat beside Joe and McKenna on the couch and Joe pulled out a book I had never seen before titled “My Family”.

I began reading her this personalized book Joe had made and it automatically brought tears to my eyes that for our anniversary he had gotten such a thoughtful gift that was for me to share with my daughter. I made it reading the first page when he had to take over. A little more than halfway through the book there was a page that said “But I know you worry Mommy that it may leave some confused that you’re Samantha Hersch and I’m McKenna Hughes. Family is family, love is love, a name is just a name, but whatever bothers Mommy bothers Daddy just the same.” As Joe read that page my heart was pounding and I kept listening and he finally turned to the second to last page where it says “It’s time for you to become a HUGHES and no longer be a HERSCH!”

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Hysterically crying and shaking of course I said yes and was shocked to find out that this has been planned for months and no one spilled the beans!

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When we walked upstairs my family his family and all of our friends were here to celebrate! I couldn’t believe that he not only just asked me to marry him in such a special way, but he got everyone together without anyone telling me! I was still crying and shaking and in such disbelief that I swore someone was going to pinch me and it was going to be a dream.

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Joe had gone to my grandfather to design my ring because he is a jeweler and my dad who passed away in 2002 was also a jeweler and I knew it would mean the world to my Pop to be a part of such a huge day in my life, especially since my dad couldn’t be. So much love and thought was put into my proposal and we have the story to keep forever. It is the truth when they say everyone loves a good bedtime story!

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