Let me start off by saying - this proposal may have been the most widely known engagement (not by me of course). I giggled as I found out, friend after friend after family member who knew he was proposing. Here’s the kicker - I DIDN’T. If you know me, you know this is shocking because I am a sneaky one and I love to search around for hints of a n y t h i n g.
A few months ago someone close to me shared that she knew her proposal was coming but she wished she could go back and it would have been more of a surprise. That resonated with me and so I knew I needed to drop all suspicion and worry and I realized the pure surprise would be much more fun...and it was. So a tip for all the single ladies...wait it out!
Alright, details Morgan, details. It was our third day into our trip (12.28.18). Keep in mind, something my family has always done for years when in Siesta Key is to watch the sunset as many nights as we can. My dad has always had a fascination with how few people truly see a sunset in their lifetime. Remember this whole sunset thing...important detail!
The day of the proposal was SO low key. Between Connors’ parents and my entire family (11 people in total) it is really hard not to make plans for your day ahead of time. So the only thing I knew we were doing, was going to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner.
Nothing that entire day stuck out to me as odd. Nothing made me think - “Is Connor going to propose?”. Now, I have to admit my sweet little Gogo did question my first outfit choice and also asked me if I would put some gel in my wet hair for fear of explosive frizz (my hair does nothing good in Florida). I just thought her remarks were coming from a genuine place of telling me I looked bad (lol).
All of us went to the beach that day, we hung by the pool and got a little sunburned. Later in the day, Josh (oldest Orlando) asked Connor and I if we wanted to go out for happy hour to which you all know my response. I had 2 pina coladas and we all chatted at our favorite happy hour spot, Daiquiri Deck. It was nearing time for sunset and we had all made plans to catch it before dinner.
Still - nothing strange, no weird feelings...nothing. No proposal in sight. When we got back to our house which is just a short walk to the sunset I remember thinking, “Oh, my hair is dry maybe I’ll straighten it because Gogo said it looked rough”. So, I ran upstairs, did my best 2 minute straighten-job and met my parents, his parents and Con downstairs. My mom had told me that Jake, Jaxon and Gogo were already in town (where I had happy hour) and were going to meet us at dinner.
Josh even played into the night acting clueless and said he was going to take a shower and ‘catch up’ with us later. So now, I am certain Connor wouldn't propose without my siblings there!
The walk to the beach had officially begun. Connor was not sweating, he was not shaking and he was not nervous talking. Josh did in fact catch up to us by doing a ‘light jog’ which he later told us was actually a dead sprint until he knew we’d see him and get suspicious (lol). At this exact moment we all laid our eyes on a beautiful bride and groom who had just been married on the beach! This was when everyone lost me. You could have said anything in the world to me at that moment but I was fixed on watching this couple on their wedding day.
I tried to snap out of it by asking Con what he wanted for dinner. I asked him this question 3 times all with no response - just a blank stare. I knew he wasn't as captivated with the wedding as I was. He was holding my hand, but not speaking. It was then that I looked ahead to see where his eyes were wandering and to my surprise, I saw, what I thought was the isle way to the wedding that had just taken place.
It wasn't 30 seconds before I took a bigger look around and saw Jake, Jaxon and Margot hiding in a little bush on the beach. I looked slightly to the left and the lady who I thought was the bride and grooms’ photographer had full blown pointed her camera lens at Connor and I.
I thought - ya know, for a girl who is ready to be engaged this sure is a teaser of a sight. I also was about to tell the photographer we weren't guests of the wedding, so no need for photos. Suddenly, Connors’ grip on my hind was softer, he pulled me closer toward the isle of roses and paper lanterns. My family and his drifted back in the distance and suddenly it was just Connor and I standing there on the beach.
He took me to the center of the heart made out of roses (that Jake, Jax and Gogo set up hours before). Next thing I knew, we were looking each other in the eyes, hand in hand living out a moment people remember for the rest of their life. Connor reflects by saying he got half way through what he wanted to say and then didn’t know what he was saying (which cracked me up because he hadn't shown nerves all day).
All those times I was asking him what he wanted for dinner he couldn't answer because he was rehearsing his speech in his head.
Rest assured, he told me all of the right things. That moment took me through flashes of our past 7ish years together. (Connor and I’s relationship dates back to high school). Little did we know that that freshman boy who drove up to a girls house on a golf cart to borrow a fishing pole and bb gun would turn into that girls best friend and biggest companion. Two high school careers, two different universities (Go Vols / Go Cats), a professional baseball career and an official job in Cincinnati plus so many more obstacles and cities lived in - we were finally looking at the same thing, our life together moving forward as one.
Connor and I always emphasized how important it was for the other to grow as their own person. We knew that the long distance relationship mixed with a high school sweetheart flare was no easy road - but we knew it was necessary. We are two strong willed people who crave personal success and genuinely chase our passions. Luckily, through all the changes, growing and developing one thing stayed the same and that was our desire to be with one another.
The night ended with a huge beach photoshoot (photos we will cherish forever). Connor took charge and directed the sweet photographer on every shot he wanted to get before the sun went down! We got a pretty sweet sunset to come out later which we thanked his papa and my grandpa in heaven for. We popped bubbly, ate cake and now...I AM BRIDEZILLA. Just kidding, but you better bet I already had a custom wedding journal made.
Thanks to all for your sweet cards, gifts, well wishes and texts! Mostly - thank you to my best friends (my siblings) for helping connor with this day. (Connor asked each of my siblings for permission as well as my parents to marry me, which turned into some pretty sweet stories and reflections on the love my family has for him). Sass and Doc (Connors’ parents) made the trip to Siesta just for this occasion and have embraced me in their life for our entire relationship. I can not wait to be mending as one family with the McVeys! Lastly, to my mom and dad who cried, toasted and have celebrated this huge life milestone with us and have been nothing short of role models for who Con and I aspire to mimic in a marriage - THANK YOU for who you are to me as a daughter and for loving Connor like I do. <3