Our Engagement Pictures | Surprise Proposal in Downtown Chicago

*Dusts off blog*

It’s been a while. It’s been nearly two years since I’ve hit publish on a blog post!

Nothing like coming back from my blogging hiatus and being able to share some big news. We’re engaged! It feels kind of surreal to be able to share my own wedding content on the blog. I’m always the one behind the camera documenting love stories as they unfold. Always the photographer, never the bride. Don’t get me wrong– I am not complaining one bit. I love my career! Working in the wedding industry is so fun, so joyful, and so rewarding. And now it’s my turn…

Before we get too far into this whole ‘I’m a bride’ thing, I need to introduce you to Corey. I have not formally introduced him here on my website. Let’s start from the very beginning.

Ah yes, the beginning.

Corey and I met in May of 2022 at our CrossFit gym. I remember the first day he came to the workout. It was a Monday and the workout consisted of snatching and running. If you are familiar with CrossFit, you know this is such a terrible workout to begin your CrossFit journey with. Ha!

There really isn’t much else to say about that day. We met, we worked out, we went home. He primarily went to 5am workouts and I went to 5:30pm. We didn’t really see each other much. I had recently gotten divorced and to be honest, was not even considering a romantic relationship at the time. I was focused on friendships in my life, my children, CrossFit, and my business.

Corey and I would run into each other at the gym from time to time and we’re both competitive, so we would try to “race” each other in the workout of the day. He always won, but I like to think I gave him a run for his money! (Maybe that is just wishful thinking).

It wasn’t until the end of January 2023 when I received a text that said: “Hey you! Do you have plans tomorrow?”

Well, of course I don’t have plans tomorrow if this handsome man is asking me on a date?! Is it a date? Surely not, we’re just good friends. My friend Adrianna assured me it must be a date and that I have to go. So, now looking back, it totally was a date. We went out for margaritas and dinner at Condado Tacos before volleyball (we played on the same co-ed volleyball team).

We put a title on things in March and I mean… the rest is kind of history (as cliché as that sounds). I think we both knew very early on that what we had was something special. Like the feeling of crawling into bed after you wash your sheets and they’re still warm from the dryer. Your first sip of coffee after waking up for the day. Or the sound of rain while you’re taking a nap. You can’t really find the words to explain it, but it just feels right. That’s how our relationship has felt from day one.

It was clear to me and everyone around me early on that I really liked him and vice versa, but I didn’t really know how to navigate introducing him to my kids. Proverbs 4:23 is one of my favorite Bible verses and it says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Protecting my kids’ hearts was my top priority, so I didn’t introduce my kids to Corey until we were together officially for about two months. Once they finally got to meet, they instantly loved him. I mean, what’s not to love? He is kind, patient, playful, funny, and energetic. Corey quickly became our favorite. We bought a fixer upper together last October and we’ve enjoyed renovating it and spending as much time making memories with the kids as possible.

**aaaaand for the sake of the length of this post, let’s fast forward to April of this year**

I received a text from one of my good friends and mentor Arielle Peters. She asked if Corey and I would model for her during a business coaching session she had in Chicago on May 23. The intent of the shoot was to have a stylized engagement session so she could show the photographer she was mentoring how she poses at sessions.

I mean, pictures taken by our favorite photographer?! In Chicago? An excuse to buy a new dress? It was a no brainer! Meanwhile, Corey and I had picked out a ring and I knew we would be getting engaged soon, but obviously I didn’t know when.

So May 23 came and we made our way to Chicago. I thought “hm, could this be the day?” But I quickly nixed that idea because Corey was acting so normal. Surely if he was going to propose, he would be so nervous that I would be able to read it. WRONG!

During the first few minutes of the session we were supposed to be models for, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. So the whole fake “engagement shoot” we were there for became a real one– OUR real one. :’)

Below are pictures from the photoshoot. I hope it makes sense now why we were so dressed up ;). May 23 is a day I will always be fond of- the start of a new chapter for Corey and I. A chapter that two years prior, I thought maybe I would never be able to read again.

Thank God for that awful snatching workout that introduced me to the love of my life, and the man who gets to be the step-dad to my kiddos in a few short months.

Because when you know, you know.

Photo credits: www.ariellepeters.com

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