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A Little Back Story on Me & the Hubs: How We Met

This month is the 15th anniversary of when hubby and I first met and to celebrate, we’re sharing how we met and our engagement story.  And if you’re interested in reading further, you can also find links to our wedding story and more at the bottom of this post. 

How We Met

I was working at a local amusement park for my second summer in a row when I met my husband.  Like usual, I was making my rounds, taking surveys of local guests, in order to find out what they did or didn’t like about the park.

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While walking, I always saw lots of thirsty co-workers in booths in the hot sun.  Many of us were rarely provided with breaks or water, so I would often take water to people if they were thirsty and if I was passing by anyway.

One day, the person that I gave a water to just happened to be my now husband.

He was both surprised and grateful, and after that, he would always search for me from his booth in hopes that I would stop by to bring him water again. If he didn’t see me on a particular day, he would usually try to find me before or after work to chat and crack jokes.  He never did have the courage to ask me out before the season ended, but every now and then, we would see each other through a mutual friend.

Finally, after several months of talking on the phone and going out among friends, I asked him to go with me to a family function. I picked him up at his house and told him that we would be going trick-or-treating with my little niece and nephews at the mall.  Afterward, he asked me to come with him to a party at his friend’s house in return. I decided to go.

When we arrived, his friend immediately started teasing him and pushing him to ask me out.  Basically, if he didn’t do it, his friend would do it for him…lol.  After a little push from his friend, he got down and one knee and asked me to be his girlfriend…yes, on one knee…lol.

I’m guessing the point was to impress me and prove that his intentions were good.  Looks like it worked.  

How We Got Engaged

This story is best told by hubby (he remembers every detail!), but for now, I’ll do the telling.

The hubs had been preparing to propose to me for quite a while.  He just had to work up the nerve and save up for a ring. Little did he know, I was totally in the know and his game wasn’t the least bit a secret…lol.  Ladies, when your man wears his heart on his sleeve, it’s not hard to tell…for the record.

He took me out to dinner at Olive Garden (one of my favorite restaurants at the time) for a wonderful meal and I could tell that he was trying hard not to seem suspicious.  As dinner was ending, I remember telling him what a beautiful sunset there was outside, to which he responded by gently hurrying us out of the restaurant.  We had got caught up in conversation and he must have lost track of time.  He said that we needed to be somewhere for the sunset and he was nervous that we would miss the light.  He didn’t tell me where were going, of course.

After a short drive, we arrived at Heritage Landing. It’s a beautiful little spot on the lake in Muskegon with a gazebo covered bridge and an amazing sunset view.

I could tell that he was nervous about the sunset fading away so quickly and as he stumbled to get something out of the trunk, he asked me to walk up to the bridge alone.  I waited patiently on the bridge as the sun faded into the deep blue sky.  It was a rainbow of majestic beauty and all I could do was wonder why in the heck he would be going into the trunk if he was proposing…lol.  I was just hoping that my feelings were right and he really was going to propose to me.  I mean, I can’t image what else we would be doing.

Finally, he started walking up the bridge and there was nothing visible…no ring…no tire iron…nothing.  I was confused, but excited to see what surprise would come next.  As he came near the top of the bridge, he asked me to turn around and face the water while he did something behind me.

I waited, half-patiently, until he asked me to turn around.  When I did, I saw him down on one knee with a sparkler in one hand and a ring in the other…yes, a 4th of July sparkler.

There is a backstory to the sparkler.  We had talked about it a few months back and I’d had no idea that he was really listening when I said how much I love them.  I remember mentioning that I loved them so much that I would rather have one on my birthday cake than a candle.  But who knew that they were perfect for wedding proposals too?  

With all the nervousness in his eyes and a look of truly not knowing what I would say, he asked that question.  “Chantilly — {my full name} will you marry me? “

It was beautiful.  His innocence and vulnerability at that moment was touching and of course, I said yes.  I got down onto both knees with him, hugged him and told him how much I loved him and that I would love to spend the rest of my life with him…

…and the rest is history!  

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This story was first published in December 20, 2011.

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  • Maria Adcock
    December 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    What a beautiful story of your love. Thank you for sharing our personal story …so sweet!

  • Leslie_Limon
    December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Awwww! What a sweet story! I think this type of sweet and nervous proposal is a million times better than the more elaborate proposals that are becoming so popular.

    • chantillypatino
      December 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      @Leslie_Limon Thank you! It was simple and sweet! Just my style! ;)

  • MommyMaestra
    December 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I love this story! It is beautiful. Sounds like you have a wonderful husband who loves you to pieces. So happy for you guys. :)

    • biculturalmom
      December 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      @MommyMaestra Monica, thank you! He's usually pretty good…lol! ;)

  • UnknownMami
    December 20, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Beautiful love story that is still being written.

  • UnknownMami
    December 20, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Like the commenting system, but wondering if people can comment as just “guest” without using any other type of account.

    • chantillypatino
      December 20, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      @UnknownMami Something else cool…I didn't even have to reload the page to see new comments! =)

      • UnknownMami
        December 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm

        I ask because I have non-bloggers that read and comment and I like having a guest option. Also where you able to import all of your pre-existing comments that you had gotten via Disqus? I guess I could just go look and see. @chantillypatino

        • chantillypatino
          December 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm

          @UnknownMami Yes, it did let me import all my previous comments, but I don't see a guest login…so that's something I need to look into too!

    • chantillypatino
      December 20, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      @UnknownMami I was wondering about that too. What I see is that you either have to log in or create an account with Livefyre. Hmmm…I’ll have to see if it says anything about more options on their site. Good point!!

  • jenmardunc
    January 2, 2012 at 5:01 am

    I am glad that you had the courage and confidence to step outside of the stereotypical gender-roles and ask him out first! I'm sure it gave him a good idea about your strength as a person early on, and it didn't freak him out! :-P So sweet… Sunsets and sparklers–very romantic! You make a very wonderful couple, Chantilly and Ricardo! <3

    • biculturalmom
      January 2, 2012 at 5:50 am

      @jenmardunc Haha! Thanks Jen! He definitely was attracted to my strength and independence. ;) We've definitely had our rough patches, but there's too much good to adore to dwell on the negative. Besides, every marriage has it's adjustments…since you're two very different people at first. <3