We're Engaged!

Photography: Misty Winter

Even writing that title is so unbelievable to me! As I am writing this I can't help but stare at my ring and feel so crazy about this past weekend! Our proposal was featured on How He Asked but I couldn't wait to share the story with all of you from my perspective! 

Saturday, June 3rd, started out like any other Saturday morning. We got up, made breakfast and just hung out for a bit watching the news before I was heading out for a massage that Kollin got me for my birthday that was on May 31st. 

Since my birthday was in the middle of the week, Kollin told me that we would be celebrating with my family the following weekend with dinner in the city. I woke up on my birthday and he gave me my certificate for the massage and said I would get the rest of my presents when we celebrated Saturday. 

I go to my massage and start heading back to the apartment (across the street) to eat some lunch and hang out before we had to leave for dinner. I get off the elevator and go to open the door only to see that it is locked. I found this weird because Kollin told me he would see me after. I unlock the door and as soon as I walk in I see rose petals covering the hallway all the way to our bedroom. 

I follow them into our bedroom and find two envelopes on the bed marked #1 and #2. I open the first letter to find a note from Kollin explaining what was going on - I was going on a scavenger hunt. Clue one said I would need to head up North back to where our Chicago journey began, our first apartment.

The rest of the letter said I needed to leave at 2:30 so I would make the dinner reservation by 4. My massage ran late and I only had about 20 minutes to get ready! I had gone shopping the night before for a birthday outfit and thankfully had everything in mind of what I wanted to wear! I scrambled to get ready trying not to cry from the realization of what was happening and ordered an Uber to take me to the first spot. 

I arrived at our first apartment and walked inside to find our favorite doorman standing with my cousin, Kate. We hugged, laughed and reminisced about living in the building and what had changed. Kate handed me clue two and it described a bridge near the zoo with a fantastic view of the city. I immediately knew the place as it was one of the first places we visited on move-in day. We jumped in the car and headed to Lincoln Park. 

We arrived at the bridge and I made my way through the several bridal parties there taking photos (it was perfect weather and so many people were out). At this point, I knew I should be looking for someone, but didn't know who it would be or where on the bridge they'd be standing. As I got closer, I saw my sister, Ashley, standing in the middle of the bridge holding clue three. We hugged and read clue three together after taking some pictures (the view is too good not to!). Clue three described a place not too far from the bridge that was very special to us and contained beautiful flowers. I immediately knew, the Lincoln Park Conservatory.  I was hoping this destination would be on the scavenger hunt, as Kollin and I loved coming here to escape the city and just enjoy some alone time.

Ashley and I walk into the conservatory to go to the orchid room where clue four was tapped to the back of a bench. We get to the room where he said the envelope was and start looking behind benches (there were four!). We found the envelope and inside was a penny taped to the letter. Kollin said to take the penny and make a wish in the pond I was next to and the next surprise would appear (I totally wished to get engaged!). 

I threw the penny into the pond, made a wish and turned around to find Kollin walking through the door. He came over to me, grabbed my hands, said the sweetest words and asked me to marry him and spend our lives together. 

After a few moments I realized there was a photographer standing by the door capturing the entire moment. After the proposal Kollin said we were going on an engagement shoot before heading to dinner. We went back to the bridge I was at earlier and then headed back to the apartment to take some pictures at our new home on the terrace with the skyline. 

We headed up to our apartment to wait for the photographer to arrive and I FaceTimed my best friend, Lindsey. I wanted to call everyone, but my sister said the photographer was here so I'd have to wait since the photographer was on a time crunch. We head downstairs to go to the patio and Kollin says, "I have one more surprise for you!" In my mind, I thought it was that Lindsey was in town and joining us for dinner. We walked across the patio, up the stairs and down a hallway (I had no idea where we were going!). Kollin opened a door and what came next blew my mind!

So many of our closest friends and family were there to celebrate us, several driving up from Kentucky! We spent the rest of the night having dinner, drinking champagne and catching up with everyone. To say the least, it was the best day of my life and we both felt so incredibly loved! 

I later found out that Kollin had been planning all of this for six months! An entire Facebook page, tons of messages and a lot of sneaking around! I had no clue that starting from the night before people were coming into town trying to avoid being seen by me! Kollin had a schedule of where I would be and what would be happening by the hour (I only went off schedule once after work Friday to go shopping so you could say I'm predictable! lol). Everything went off perfectly and we had such a memorable and special weekend with everyone! I cannot wait to marry my soul mate! Thank you so much for reading, I can't wait to share wedding details and planning with y'all!