Teressa and AJ
how we met
I had just ended a long relationship, and my mom encouraged me to do something positive for myself. She recently joined a new workout program in our local town and couldn’t stop talking about it, so she convinced me to join her one day to. (Little did I know, my mom had an alternative plan, and wanted to introduce me to the cute trainer that led the workouts) I remember walking into the class that day and seeing him for the first time. At 6’7 he was inevitably hard to miss, but I immediately found myself trying extra hard to impress him and make him notice the new girl in class.
Clearly wooed by my cute new trainer, I continued to join my mom every day that week, and actively try and catch his eye. My plan worked, and after the few weeks, AJ worked up the courage to ask me out to dinner for our first date.
Our first date turned into a second date, and we became inseparable ever since that first dinner. I guess you can accurately say it was a “Mother’s Intuition,” that led me to AJ. We soon learned that our moms, new workout buddies at the time, had our whole meeting planned.
I had never felt this way or been connected to anyone before like this. I have a colorful personality and bring out his fun and playful side, while he keeps me grounded and pushes me to be the best version of myself.
After two years of dating, AJ received a job offer he could not refuse based in Atlanta. This was a major test to our relationship as we grew up in New Jersey and were extremely close with our family and friends there. But I knew in my heart that AJ was the man I wanted to be with, and if we were going to one day start a forever with each another, we would have to make sacrifices along the way. So, I made the decision to put my relationship at the forefront, leaving everyone and a new job behind to start our journey together. While scary at times, it was the best decision I ever made. We grew (and continue to grow) stronger together every day, and appreciate one another so much more as we tackled this new city and new opportunities together.
how he asked
A few months into our new lives together in Atlanta (on Halloween!), I was taking a nap on the couch and AJ woke me up to let me know he booked in an early reservation at a really nice new restaurant he has been dying to try. This wasn’t anything new or out of the ordinary for me. He was always looking to experience the city in new ways and try new things, so after some groggy grumbling, I picked myself up and got ready for the night.
Unbeknownst to me, AJ had been planning this night, and this day for a while. A month earlier when we ventured home to NJ for the weekend, he had asked my parents for permission to marry me when I was out with my friends. Then, a week before he was ready to pop the question, he contacted my dad and told him that it was time. After my dad gave his blessing again, he hired a photographer and mapped out exactly in his mind the way he wanted the day to go. While I was getting ready, he attached my ring to his key ring to not have me suspect anything unusual, and we took a cab to the restaurant a bit earlier to “take a walk in the nearby park.”
When we arrived at Centennial Olympic Park, we started walking around, and AJ then quickly started to speed off ahead as I trailed behind in heels yelling at him to slow down! But then we arrived in front of these beautiful fountains and took in the scenery around us. As we were looking around, a local photographer walked by and asked to take our photo for an Atlanta magazine story on “local love.”
Always one for a photo op, I immediately agreed and started posing away. In the corner of my eye though, it looked like AJ was on his phone and I took a step towards him to tell him to pay attention and stop being rude! As I looked closer though, he was fumbling with his keys, and as he shifted a key to the other side, I saw the diamond ring dangling. That’s when I immediately knew what was happening. Emotions began to flood my mind and without hesitation I jumped in to help him get the ring off of the key chain.
Once the diamond was in clear view, I took a step back, not believing what was about to happen. At that moment, everything was surreal and it felt like we were the only two people in the universe. AJ got down on one knee, and asked me to spend forever with him. I immediately answered YES and embraced my best friend, my rock, the love of my life.
Our family and friends were immediately called, and I was so surprised that he kept it a secret…from everyone! It was the happiest moment and the greatest day, and a moment between the two of us that I will treasure forever.