Sara and Bladen | Baseball-Inspired Proposal

6How We Met: Bladen and I met through a youth conference we both went to when we were Juniors in high school. I remember I walked through the doors of our home church and saw a kid sitting on his suitcase, and I thought to myself “Who the heck is that kid? I’ve never seen him before in my life”. Our youth group was very small at the time, so I knew everyone that came except for Bladen. I honestly didn’t think much of it as the days went on at the conference, I was there to focus on God! However, on the last day of the conference there was a dodge-ball tournament that every youth group could enter and play as a team and we entered because who doesn’t love dodgeball?!

It was CRAZY hot that day, and I remember sweating my butt off waiting for our games to start (I was a hot mess), and they had some radio station calling out random trivia questions about Mizzou sports and what-not. They asked a really random question that no one would know, but I heard a voice call out the answer behind me (it was Bladen) and he was actually right. The first words I ever said to him were “How the heck did you know that?” and he replied “I love Mizzou”. We started talking the rest of the day on and off getting to know one another and he was making me laugh the whole time with the stories he was telling me about himself and his life. I left the conference that night and thought there was no way I would have a chance with him, he was cute! So I just let it go.

A week later I was with my best friend at one of our friend’s birthday parties. It was a Wednesday night which is when we have youth group at our church, but I missed it for this birthday party. I had told my best friend about a cute boy I had met at our youth conference but I told her I didn’t know where he lived or anything and that he was too cute for me. Later on in the night, I got a text to my phone from a number I didn’t recognize and when I opened it, it read: “Hey! This is Bladen from Antioch youth conference. I got your number from Jena, I hope you don’t mind that I’m texting you and I hope that you remember me!” And that’s where our story truly begins.

We were on and off through high school and our relationship hasn’t always been picture perfect. You know how it is when you’re in high school, you’re trying to find who you are and what you want in life and we were both scared and weren’t really sure if someone could find the one we were meant to be with in high school, so we broke up a few times. However, we had decided that we would give it one more shot at the beginning of 2012 and we’ve been together ever since!

Here are some photos from the beginning years!

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This one is from our junior year prom, crazy!

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And then Senior Prom!

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My high school graduation

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How He Asked: Well as you all know, or now may know, we’ve been dating basically for almost 5 years! Of course since I’m a woman I have been wanting to get married for probably a year now and let me tell you, Bladen sure knew it! It hurt my heart to be away from him all of the time when he had to leave to go home and vice versa, so we had been talking about getting engaged for a while. I am a full time nursing student so I knew that we would only have a small window of time to get engaged and get married or else we would have to wait until after I graduate because of how rigorous the program is. As time passed on, I wasn’t really sure if we were going to be engaged like I wanted to be so I surely thought I would have to wait for a year or maybe even two!

I can recall countless times telling him I wouldn’t be surprised when he asked me to marry him because we had both made it clear to one another we wanted to spend forever together. Boy, was I wrong! Little did I know the plans he had made!

Bladen works out of town a lot during the summer months with his step dad so when they get to come home it’s a big deal to me and to his family. I had gotten a text from him on Friday saying “We’re coming home Saturday to surprise mom for Mother’s Day and we’re going to be having a BBQ at my house and I want you there!” So naturally, I was excited that he was coming home since I don’t get to see him too much right now. On Saturday morning I got a call from his mom and she told me that she was going to be taking pictures of me and my parents and then printing them off and surprising my mom with it on Mother’s Day so I needed to look nice for the pictures. I didn’t think anything of it, because I do like to look nice when I have my picture taken so it made perfect since for her to say that!

I thought Bladen had been sleeping all day because they work nights and had gotten off early in the morning and drove 2 hours from Nebraska, so it only made sense for him to be sleeping because I hadn’t heard too much from him all day. However, he was picking up a ring and getting food with his family for the BBQ the whole time!

I got to his house around 5:15 or so Saturday night and he was already awake sitting with his mom in the living room which I thought was odd because I expected him to be asleep but I didn’t say anything. We all talked for a while and watched the news because there were tornado warnings all around the areas close to us.

Bladen started talking to me while we were sitting in his living room, telling me that their company is taking a new job even farther away in Nebraska and it could last for a lot longer than a month or 2. Hearing the news that I would have to be away from him even more made me really upset, and I was sad that he had to tell me that when I was around all of our family.

Eventually the bad weather had passed a bit and we were all able to go outside. One of Bladen’s younger brothers, Justice, and his girlfriend showed up and he had asked me to play catch with him. I was not in a good mood at the time and really didn’t want to play catch. At all. I had just gotten news that Bladen would be gone even longer than I expected him to be and I was just upset. They had begged and begged for me to play catch for about a good 10 minutes when I finally told them I just didn’t want to play.

Bladen came up to me and handed me his glove and said “Here, you can use mine”. I turned my head away and didn’t say anything. Then I heard him say “Sara?” and as I turned my head back to look at him, he was down on one knee with the most gorgeous ring ever inside of a baseball that had been cut in half and he asked, “Will you marry me?” I couldn’t believe it, I was shocked and frozen for a second because I couldn’t believe it was real! I laughed for a few minutes and said “Are you serious?!” and then I finally said “Well yeah!” (I know, not something typically said but I couldn’t believe it was happening!)

Needless to say, I was completely surprised! It was more than I could have imagine in a proposal with my best friends and some of our closest family there! The sun even came out in time for pictures! I’m so blessed and can’t wait to be Mrs. McAdams!!!

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Playing “catch”

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Isn’t he the cutest?!

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This is my “What is going on?!” face. Classic.

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Bladen knew better than to not include my two best friends, Kate and Sara into the engagement plan! They hid in the bushes next to their house for 10 minutes before the proposal happened. I attacked them after I saw them!

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Trayvon loves his uncle Bladen, of course he was part of his special day!

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The bling!!

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Bladen’s Plan for the Proposal: Baseball is something both Sara and I enjoy and we love to watch it and go to Royals games in the summer. I was going to propose to her on her birthday when we went to a Royals game but it would’ve been hard to get her parents there and she would’ve been suspicious! So I thought it would be a good idea to put it inside of a baseball so it could still be incorporated into the proposal. Sara was supposed to play catch with me and my brother for a bit, where I had the ring inside the baseball inside the pocket of my shorts. I had planned to switch out the balls while she wasn’t looking and say “Woah, Sara look at this ball it just split open.” And then that’s when I was going to ask her to marry me. Of course, that didn’t go as planned. I had to improvise because her best friends had parked in the driveway next to my house and from where she was standing she could see the cars in the other driveway so I knew I had to do something. That’s when I went up to her and tried to give her my glove. I just went with it and it worked out just fine!