Toni and Jonathan

How We Met

Jon and I met through our very good friend Cory on August 15, 2013 at Stooges Bar and Grill in our hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. My best friend Meagan and I had gone to the Alan Jackson/Gary Allan concert at Freedom Hall earlier that night and met up with them afterwards. Cory had messaged me about meeting Jon and said he was “one of the best guitar players in Kentucky” (which couldn’t be more true!) and that he wanted to see about playing music with me (I am a singer). We met that night and hit it off. He was such a sweetheart. We hung out for a couple of months after that but I was scared…he had recently gotten divorced and I had been independent for so long that I wasn’t sure if I was ready to give that up or not.

When I decided to finally tell him how I feel, he had already started dating his now ex-girlfriend because it seemed like I wasn’t interested. I was devastated. We remained good friends over the next year. However, in October of 2014, his ex-girlfriend made him delete me off of Facebook. I was again devastated because I wasn’t sure what or why it happened at the time. When they broke things off at the end of January, he re-added me on Facebook and we began talking again (as friends, of course).

On February 9, 2015, when Cory and his girlfriend Leeanna had their baby, Jon called me out of the blue to ask if I wanted to go to the hospital with him. I went and we had dinner with friends before going there. We texted every single day. We had our next date on February 20 at Heine Brothers Coffee off of Bardstown Road in the highlands, where things began to really look promising and I was given hope that this wonderful man and I would be together. We also had several Walking Dead nights at his apartment after that and I had begun staying over. On the night of March 8/9, he came over to my place where we played Mario Kart on my Super Nintendo (we are both huge nerds) and cuddled and he ended up staying the night. Right before we went to sleep, I asked him, “So my mom keeps asking me if you’re my boyfriend…what should I tell her?” He replied, “Well I would hope you would say yes.”

…and the rest after that is history.

How He Asked

Over the next few months, things were magical. We both said “I love you” for the first time (even though I wanted to say it long before that!), we started talking about buying a house together and our future, and we went on our first road trip to the beach with Cory, Leeanna and their kids. During that trip, we both made the decision that we wanted to start a family and I threw away my birth control. I was so excited, but never nervous as I knew that this is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.

On November 1, Jon and I played at the Kentucky Center for the Arts and went to Qdoba with some friends afterwards. After Jon left for work and I got home, I had been feeling slightly unwell, but chalked it up to something I had ate. I wanted to unwind with a glass of Bourbon (one of my favorites!) but decided to take a pregnancy test first to be sure it wasn’t early pregnancy. We hadn’t been trying per say, as in we weren’t tracking cycles or anything, but we weren’t doing anything to prevent it either. I took the test and laid it on the counter and walked away for a few minutes to wash some dishes that were in the sink. When I came back, I saw two lines! They were very faint but they were there! I told Jon when he got home from work the next morning and we both cried with joy.

Fast forward to February of this year- we had just found out we were having a baby girl! My brother Craig and best friend Meagan were planning our gender reveal party, although Jon and I had some say in it. We held it at the Hillview Community Center across from the apartment we were both living in at the time. Our plan (or so I thought) was to blow up some pink balloons and place them in a guitar case. However, Jon had different plans.

My father had passed away in 2010 from a horrible car accident. He always loved woodworking and converted our garage into his shop. He had begun making a wooden toy chest prior to his passing but it never got finished and sat there for the next 5 years. Jon had seen it and my mom had messaged him and wanted to work on getting that finished for our baby girl. Very sneakily, and with the help of my mom and brother, Jon finished my dad’s toy chest (he even left some of my dad’s pencil markings on it). When it was time for the reveal and everyone went outside, Jon had my good friend Amy distract me by having me go to the bathroom so that it could be carried out. When I walked outside, my friends and family were standing in front of it and when they stepped away, I bawled like a baby. I was blown away that the man I loved did this and managed to keep it a secret. He knows how much my dad means to me and how close we were.

After I finished crying (for the moment), we walked over and completed our reveal. We opened the chest to reveal the pink balloons!  I was so overjoyed that everyone finally knew that I didn’t notice the ring sitting in the bottom of the chest. When I saw Jon grab it and get down on one knee I was shocked and began crying again. I walked over to him where he said, “I love you so much. Will you marry me?” Of course I said yes!

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