Every year I hear that right now is engagement "season". I've never actually looked at the numbers, but I' hear that many couples get engaged around the holidays, so sure, I guess that means it's engagement "season" haha. I personally never really planned to ask April to marry me around the holidays, but that's what happened last month.
Almost all my clients know April personally, she was probably my assistant at your engagement session, wedding, or portrait session. If you have not met her personally, if you have had a meeting with me or talked with me online I have mentioned her. She has been my girlfriend and now fiancé for over seven years, but to truly understand just how long I have had a crush on her we need to jump in the time machine. Grab some popcorn and your adult beverages because I'm about to tell you a love story fourteen years in the making....
Our story starts in eight grade at Ledyard Middle School. April was part of my class and at our middle school you would rotate to all your courses with the same group of classmates all year, so needless to say we saw a lot of each other. I honestly can't tell you how we first started talking in our classes, but somehow we became friends.
I was such a boy, I had no idea this girl liked me, I just thought "oh cool a girl want's to talk to me!" As the year went by I started to realize that maybe she liked me. If I remember correctly my best friends still to this day (all three of us have the same tattoo that we got senior year of high school) said to me something to the tune of, "dude, April likes you, you should ask her out!" In typical April fashion she asked me before I could muster up the courage to ask her.
One of our first dates was my Dad driving me to her parents house and us sitting on the couch watching TV. I remember being so afraid to put my arm around her as we sat alone in her parents basement, but again April made the first move and grabbed my arm and put it around her, I was shocked, excited, and scared to death..haha. As the year went by April and I went to dances together, gave each other notes in class, yes real notes, texting was not cool back then! She would steal my hats that I would wear and wear them around school. I was crazy for her, I wanted to see her all the time, and we would have long conversations on the phone when we got home from school. All our friends got along with each other, and honestly I didn't think life could get any better. Remember though we were 14 years old, young love never tends to last...
April and I dated through the Summer leading up to freshman year of high school, but I screwed it all up. I was a football player and loved every second of being one. I choose to ignore April once August came along and football season kicked into full swing. I didn't call her at all, and when the first day of high school started she confronted me at my locker demanding answers, oh and she decided to dye her hair blond (I still tease her to this day about that). That was it for my young self, I hated that hair, and honestly it was football season, I didn't have time for her anymore, and like an idiot I let her get away. We broke it off and like an immature boy I refused to talk to her and avoided her at all cost. She moved on and started dating someone else, and me, well I loved every second of being part of playing football and had no time for girls. In fact my Mom tells a great story about April and her best friend Tracy asking to help at the youth league stand that my Mom ran, and how I threw a fit about her helping and me having to be in the same room as April. My Mom basically said "tough, Tracy and April are coming to do community service for Girl Scouts and you will be working as well, get over it" (love ya Mom)! I actually didn't talk to her at the snack stand, and actually I wouldn't talk to her until the Spring of our Sophomore year of high school.
April and I were placed in the same math class sophomore year of high school, I had a different girlfriend and had grew up enough to talk to her again. We actually had a really good time in math class together with my best friend Ben. We were friends again, and a little part of me knew that having April as a friend was better than not having her in my life at all. As High School raced by April was the girl in the pack of my guy friends, we were all friends and to this day some of the best memories I have are from high school with that crew.
When college rolled around naturally we all went our separate ways, I went to Lyndon State College in Vermont and April went to Seton Hall in New Jersey. We both made new friends, but would still instant message each other once in a while at college. The Summer after our freshman year in college it was like the old days again and my crew and April all hanged out and had a great time. It was a party at my buddies house that made me stop and realize, damn I still like April and not as a friend! In fact our friends could see it as well, they always asked me, "man when you are going to get back together with her? It's only a matter of time bro." April had a boyfriend and I've always been a gentleman and would just say "if the time ever comes that we are both single I might ask her out."
Going into the Summer of senior year of college I was sitting at the desk at one of my summer jobs and my phone rang, it was April. Naturally I thought April was calling to say hi, but she had other intentions. She asked if I wanted to grab drinks, saying she had broken up with her old boyfriend, and then it hit me, whoa she was asking me out!
We went for drinks in downtown Mystic and had a great time. When it was time to go back to college she asked me if I felt something between us, I said yes, but we are going back to school, and you just broke up with your boyfriend. You should go back to school, go on some dates and if we still feel the same way at Thanksgiving break, lets see what happens. I don't think she liked that response, but I was so focused on finishing college and honestly didn't want to do the long distance thing at that moment in time.
The Fall of senior year of college came and went fast, April and I didn't talk to much, but once we came home for Thanksgiving break she told me she went on some dates, they sucked, and still wanted to date me, I felt the same. So our love story began again! During the last six months of college we spoke all the time, I called her my girlfriend to all my college buddies and we even made a point to go see each other when we could at each others schools. Graduation came and I knew I was going to be working at ESPN within a month of graduation back in CT and April was going to find a teaching job in Connecticut. I had no clue what the future held, but I knew I wanted her in it.
April eventually landed a job in Waterbury CT, just by dumb luck it was about 20 minutes from Bristol, CT where I was living and working at ESPN. She got her own place and we would spend time between the two. We would spend every moment we could together (I had a crazy schedule at ESPN). Our love grew stronger every day and eventually we decided to move in together. Our first apartment was actually my apartment. We lived there for about six months in what was an absolute shoebox of an apartment for two people until we had enough money to get a bigger place in near by Southington. That apartment in Southington will always be the place that I realized I wanted to marry April. We had some serious ups and downs at that apartment, not between us, but just life. Work, life in general, you know, all the shit your parents warn you about adult life, but don't care to listen to until you in it for yourself. That apartment is actually where I started my business. We had the best of times in that apartment and the worst of times but in the end I knew deep down in my heart I wanted to marry this girl.
It was a two year process of looking for a ring and finally asking April to marry me. Truth is Aprils sister got married in that time, and with all honestly I wanted her sister to have her moment and put off asking April for a year. It was all good, we moved back to the shoreline and I left my job at ESPN to run my business full-time, and it just never felt right asking her during that time anyway.
Let me tell you looking for a ring was stressful, I looked at every major, local, and online jeweler and could never really find the right ring. Funny thing is I started at Tiffanys Co. and ended up there in the end. Any man looking for a ring I feel your pain, it's a lot harder than it needs to be, the 4 c's, greedy jewelers, and overpriced dreams. In the end just go with your gut, if the women you are asking truly loves you, the ring is just the symbol of your commitment and she will love whatever you pick out.
All this brings us to present day, April and I always planned on moving back to the shoreline, we are from the shoreline and always wanted to come back. I knew I wanted to build my business here, our families are here, and honestly it's home to us. We now rent a great house in the cute little town of Niantic, CT within walking distance of the beach and just a short drive from a lot of our lifelong friends and our families.
It was a rainy Saturday in December and I headed out to Tiffanys Co. to finally buy the ring I always wanted to get April. Kim at Tiffanys was awesome, she didn't try to sell me on anything I didn't want (other jewelers I'm look at you), Kim showed me the ring I had in mind and honestly made the whole process fun! I knew I would not be able to keep a secret so I decided I was going to ask April at the house later that night. I made a nice dinner, hid some champagne in the basement, and waited for April to get home from work. Once home, we had dinner, a drink or two and were just our normal selves. I grabbed the ring from my office and asked April to come into the living room. I had her close her eyes, and I put that blue box in her hands and told her to open her eyes. April knew right away what was up! I asked her to marry me and that was it, she said yes! We drove around the next day telling all our parents, friends, and family we were engaged and as my grandmother said "THANK GOD, IT'S ABOUT TIME". Yup, that about sums it all up.
Seven years later April and I are about to go down the same fun, exciting and at times stressful path that my clients have gone down when it comes to getting married. I can't say enough about the women I'm going to marry, and to try to write down my emotions is impossible. All I will say is this "I love you April and can't wait to marry you and to start the next chapter in our own little love story."
Since I love to blog I will be documenting our wedding planning process over the next seven months leading up to our wedding in July 2015. So stay tuned for more April and I wedding blog posts!