Yesterday evening was something special! I wish I could close my eyes and re-live it all over again. On this exact day four years ago, I graduated from college. Today, I’m soaking up the joy, magic, and excitement of the sweetest proposal, which means I’ve also graduated from boys.
So yes, surprise! I’ve been in a relationship. And now, I’m engaged.
I anticipate some light “interrogation” considering I’ve never posted about my relationship anywhere, so let’s get to some frequently-asked questions:
How did y’all meet?
The Meet Cute
Jacob and I met through our mutual best friend Logan in 2017 when we were both attending UT Austin. Logan was in my engineering study group. Jacob and Logan were old friends from high school and college roommates of three years.
After a study session one afternoon with our group, Logan suggested we eat at local Italian food truck called Patrizi’s. We bumped into Jacob who also happened to be ordering food, and Logan introduced us to him.
At first impression, I thought Jacob was quite peculiar and strange. He had long hair at the time. He also told us that he frequented Patrizi’s so much to the point the wait staff was on a first-name basis with him. He even brought them cookies during the holidays.
How did a college student have time and money to visit this food truck so often?
But he seemed helpful. Before leaving with his food, he told my group that if we visited the nearby sno-cone stand and said, “Mr. Meatball sent me,” the staff would give $1 off an order.
I came to learn that “Mr. Meatball” was a code name for Patrizi’s.
I thought Jacob was Mr. Meatball.
A literal meet cute. Meat cute.
The “First Date”
A couple months later, I met him again at an event hosted by the small business, May Designs, I worked at part-time. I invited Logan plus any of his friends, and we all got talking about our favorite places to eat in Austin. (The easiest way to get me chatting.)
I still didn’t know his name, but somehow, we exchanged numbers. (I saved his name as “Mr. Meatball”.)
Throughout the rest of our last year at UT, Logan, Jacob, and I got together monthly to try new restaurants around the city. In the spring, we all chose to eat at Better Half Bar & Cocktails for dinner.
I’m not sure how or why, but Logan didn’t end up showing up. He left the two of us at the cafe, and we instantly connected. He walked me home that night to my college dorm room, Scottish Rite Dormitory (SRD).
How come we didn’t know?!
Relationships can get messy, and the thought of posting about one all over the internet the way I do with other parts of my life didn’t feel right for me. I’ve had a tumultuous history with social media (and boys…), and this relationship was very precious to me. I didn’t want to squander it with strangers/acquaintances poking and prodding about how/when things would move forward when all they see is what I choose to post. I personally catch myself doing it with friends.
If I could do it over again this way, I would!
Tell me all about him!
Over the last few years, I’ve learned that Jacob is truly good at everything I’m not. He’s patient, even-tempered, level-headed. He’s equally intelligent as he is caring. Skeptical and spontaneous. A great listener and very thoughtful. He also has very refined taste (which I appreciate, because he doesn’t get upset when I splurge on my favorite things here and there!) He’s the 5 to my 7. The INTP to my ESFJ.
How did he propose?
Before the Evening
The week before leading up to the proposal, he requested to eat at a very specific place for dinner on our weekly date night: Better Half Bar & Cocktails. We typically only eat there once a year, and we hadn’t been yet in 2022. Not so strange. He also offered up the idea of visiting SRD and possibly peeking inside, since I hadn’t been back in a while.
That felt strange.
I love SRD, and he knew that. I lived there my entire time at UT, and it’s one of my favorite places in the whole world. But I hadn’t been back since I graduated in 2018.
Okay, it must be happening.
But he did mention a scenic date night next week?
And he said he needed something in his mailbox that hadn’t come yet?
He’s throwing me off.
The day before our weekly date night, I asked what he would be wearing. He said, “Jeans and my stripe-y blue and white buttondown.” He knew I had a matching seersucker dress, so I figured I’d wear it and polish my nails Olive & June BP to match.
We had a normal dinner at Better Half. (We sat at the bar, my favorite.) Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but when we finished up at the restaurant, he had us walk to the same spot he parked his car the first time we had dinner there.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
We took a quick drive to SRD and parked in front of the building.
“Maybe the front door is open. Let’s check,” he said.
“No way. No one is here. All the girls probably moved out already.”
“How about we go around to the back? Maybe the maintenance guys will let us in.”
I figured it couldn’t hurt, so we walked around to the maintenance exit. The girls only used it after hours. Jacob eagerly waved to the guard in the maintenance building. When he came out, I sheepishly asked, “I was a resident here a few years ago. Would it be okay if we peeked in for a couple of minutes? I totally understand if not.”
The guard said he would check with the dorm mom, Paige. Once he gave clearance, he told us to wait near the exit where Paige would meet us. When she came out of the building, I instantly recognized her. We lived at SRD at the same time! She even mentioned she bought clothes from my “Graduation Clothing Sale” I hosted a few years ago.
The three of us walked slowly through the halls together. Paige caught me up on all the renovations, and I reminisced over all my favorite spots: the dining hall, my favorite study rooms, the comfy couches, the old mailboxes. So many memories came flooding back!
Then, I caught a glimpse of big, colorful balloons out of the corner of my eye in the library.
What kind of events are they throwing for the dorm girls these days?
When I walked in, I got a closer look at the balloons and shrieked! There was a big, shiny, diamond ring balloon. A beautiful bouquet of fluffy flowers. And a cheese & charcuterie board.
Oh, this is definitely for me!
When I turned around, he was already kneeling down with a beautiful ring in a tiny box.
“So what’s your answer?!”
I laughed and told him, “You didn’t ask me yet!”
We both laughed and I said yes. My hands were shaking! The ring slipped perfectly on my finger, and I sat down realizing that he really planned all my favorite things in one place: celebratory balloons, gorgeous flowers, and cheese. The card inside the cheeseboard read: I hope you don’t mind a cheesy proposal.
He’s not a “planner”, but he organized everything with Miss Mary, the director of the dorm, and Paige. Even the maintenance guy was in on it!
We called my mom immediately afterward. Funny story is that my little sister just got engaged last week, so we have some happy parents here!
Did you suspect a proposal was coming?
It was more a matter of “when” than “if”. We’ve been talking about getting married for a couple of years now. In fact, we completed pre-marital counseling last year with a licensed professional counselor recommended by one of my closest girlfriends. We also threw around some potential wedding dates for 2022 before formally getting engaged!
These days, engagements feel more like mutual agreements. I’m surprised to hear if someone is actually shocked about getting engaged. Enjoying a fun surprise like this was just the cherry on top!
How did you/he decide on the ring?
Jacob and I looked at rings together late last year after we finished pre-marital counseling. We visited one store, and I liked one ring: three stones set in a yellow gold band. I requested the main stone be an oval. I thought I’d make it easy for him.
He told me after the proposal that he really wanted to do the due diligence to support a local jeweler that specialized in ethical, sustainable fine jewelry. He ended up finding a similar ring to the one I liked at Austin-based Identity Diamonds, and I love it even more because of its beautiful setting.
When is the wedding?
We’re holding a simple, intimate ceremony on July 11th this year. Yes, a very short engagement! Both our birthdays are in July, and we figured 7/11 is an easy date to remember because you know…
It’ll guarantee snacks every year! After watching multiple friends get married over the last couple of years with big, beautiful weddings, we realized that we’ve never romanticized tying the knot in the same way.
I myself have priorities right now with my business and some other life plans. We’re both looking forward to keeping it simple and personal. If all things go to plan, we would love to celebrate with a larger reception in the next few months!
I’m a firm believer that a relationship doesn’t define my being. “Wife” is a great title, but I don’t want to let it solely define me. Aren’t there other interesting things?
For a long time, I thought I needed someone to make me “feel whole”, but I’m in a place in my life now where I’m fully independent in my finances, emotions, and faith. I now get to fully appreciate how partners in life can balance, challenge, strengthen, and celebrate each other.
You’ll probably see him a bit more on social media, but it’ll mostly still be my interests, hobbies, and little joys.
I’m so thankful to my family and friends for helping me navigate this part of my life. “Forever” sounds scary, but I’m comforted knowing that I have accountability with my support system and a great partner to do this life with. I look forward to sharing the next chapter with you!