Stephanie and Zachary
How We Met
My older sister, Sarah, sent me a link to join a kickball league in spring ’15, trying to get me to meet new people. Not knowing anyone else playing, I was reluctant to join at first – not to mention I haven’t I played kickball since grade school. So I enlisted the help of a friend to serve as my social crutch.
We ended up getting put on a team of random “free agents.” Before the first game, an email went out ( I can’t recall from who) for the team to meet up and grab a drink before the game. As my friend and I walked into the bar, St. Stephen’s Green, we walked over to a group of people who looked like they were dressed to play kickball. When we approached the table, this guy turns around to say hello and my heart stops, my face flushed with excitement and my stomach instantly filled with butterflies. As the group started to get to know each other, I felt a sense of belonging that I’ve never felt before. I always heard of people talking about “that feeling” when they’ve found “the one” but I never believed that feeling actually existed until that moment. Although I didn’t know this guy’s name or who he was, I had that feeling in my gut that this was someone special looking right back at me. And so I was right, Kickball guy (yes, I had him under my phone as “Kickball Guy”) was the man I prayed to God about every night that would hopefully be placed into my life.
Not only did I find the man of my dreams but I also made a group of lasting friends, who still play the occasional game of kickball, celebrate birthdays, go to concerts and get together for Friendsgiving. Oh yeah, and remember that friend I convinced to join the league with me? She’s currently dating another guy from that same team. Who knew kickball could be the Tinder for the digitally impaired.
How He Asked
This year is my golden year birthday, turning 28 on the 28th! I always looked forward to this golden birthday milestone. Therefore, Zach and I planned to celebrate with my family on my birthday and then have an early celebration with just us two the day before.
Zach made reservations at an exclusive cooking class in town called La Cucina and said he was going to take off work a little early so that we can get the dog fed and get ready for the night. It was Monday after a long day at school, not to mentions the first day back from Thanksgiving break, and I came home to find a note with a single rose on the kitchen table. The note read, “Happy Early Birthday – Surly and I are upstairs waiting for you!” Not thinking much of it as we usually take the dog up to the terrace for fresh air, I headed up to find them. As I enter the terrace I see Zach turn around, holding a dozen roses and Surly running around behind him. I still hadn’t put it together as I was thinking Zach was just being romantic for my birthday. As I approached him, he says “Stephanie I have one more surprise for you.” That’s when the man of my dreams got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I don’t remember what exactly he said or what I said, all I remember is jumping up and down and crying.
Zach’s family lives in Minnesota so we instantly called them to share the good news and decided not to tell my family until the following night at my birthday dinner. Although it would be very hard for me to keep such a big secret from my family and co-workers, Zach urged me that it would be more special if we shared the news with them in-person.
So it was time for us to head out to our cooking class, which at this point included a whole new level of excitement. As we arrived, I walked into the room and to my sheer disbelief, my entire family and friends were there waiting for me with a loud, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” I had no idea but Zach planned a this surprise party for me and used my birthday as a cover for our friends and family. As I covered my face in surprise, everyone noticed the ring and immediately the room erupted in cheers and tears. I will never forget November 27th, the day before my golden birthday was a day and night full of surprises that I will cherish forever.