It all started about two and a half years ago. I first met Kelly on December 14th, 2002. To say that we fell in love at first sight wouldn't exactly fit the bill. If you ask Kelly, she might tell you that she didn't even like me the first time we met. Our first meeting was short-lived; we both were at a party hosted by mutual friends. Kelly would tell you that she wasn't attracted to me because I was a little drunk and acting dumb, but I prefer to think that I wowed her and won her over instantly with my ghetto fabulous act (see photo).
Well, the next day, I talked to my friend Kate (who is one of Kelly's bridesmaids for good reason), and said that I kind of liked her one friend Kelly. After about three days of convincing from Kate - because I am just a nervous and shy guy - I finally got up the nerve to call her. And I was lucky enough to be granted a date for that Friday night! (Let me emphasize the word lucky, ...I still think I look pretty good in that picture!) Kelly's mom sure was surprised to find out that Kelly had a date. She had asked Kelly on Sunday if she had met anybody at the party, and Kelly had told her no!
Anyway, for our first date, Kelly and I dined at the Olive Garden, where I discovered the craziest of scenarios - someone else on this planet refuses to eat vegetables and salad! Shocked I was, and looking back, this definitely had to be a sign that Kelly was the one for me. For those of you that don't know, both Kelly and I are incredibly picky eaters. We managed to have the same favorite foods - pizza - even from the same restaurant - Donatos Pizza!
Continuing on our first date, after dinner Kelly and I went to the Cincinnati Zoo for the Festival of Lights with two of our friends. That was definitely a choice location, because it gave me the perfect opportunity to get nice and close to Kelly during the show, since it was below freezing outside. I did my best to keep her warm but I doubt I was very successful since I'm definitely not the muscleman. Following the zoo we went back to her house (on the first date!) and watched the movie Lilo and Stitch. Trying to wrap up the date on a successful note, I attempted to give Kelly a small good night kiss. However, just as our lips were about to touch, my cell phone rang. Thanks again Jason...lucky for you, you are still a groomsman...or should I say groomsboy (click here to see the height difference between Jason and another groomsman, Craig).
I've certainly never claimed to be the smoothest guy out there, that's for sure. Thankfully, Kelly didn't penalize me too much for that disastrous end to a first date. In fact, I must have made a pretty good impression on her, since she broke her cardinal rule of dating - not to call the guy the next day - and called me asking if I wanted to come help her baby-sit. Of course I said yes, and was very excited! We had a great time on our second "date," babysitting with Kelly and then back to her house to watch another movie and stay up late and talk. Apparently too late - Kelly's mother and my soon to be mother-in-law may remember calling Kelly's cell phone in the middle of the night telling Kelly to get that boy out of the house!
Ever since, Kelly and I have been inseparable. And I don't exaggerate when using that word. Everyone who is close to Kelly or I know that's for true. During the school year, we would rack up thousands of cell-phone minutes per month - much to the chagrin of Kelly's dad, when she would go over - sorry! And I probably made more than fifty trips to Ohio University to make sure that we could see each other every weekend. And when Kelly was in Ecuador, I don't know that we ever went two or three days without hearing from each other - I easily racked up $100 in long-distance calls during her two months there. But nothing compares to when Kelly surprised me coming home one week early from Ecuador - that has to be one of the best surprises in my life! I know that was the happiest I had ever been, at least until then.
Let me fast forward two years. It's an October weekend at OU. I arrive Thursday night, because neither one of us had a Friday class, and meet Kelly who is out with some of her friends. A little while after meeting up with Kelly and her friends, I told her that we needed to get to sleep at a decent time because I had plans for us early the next morning. Well, it took some prodding and convincing, but she obliged early enough for us to get a few winks in. The next morning, we awoke bright and early, and my surprise swept her right off her feet (well sort of). We went on a sightseeing flight on a tiny four-seater airplane out of the Ohio University Airport! I even got to steer the plane for a little bit! After the airplane ride, we had a bite to eat for lunch, and then I told Kelly that her surprise wasn't over yet. Next up was a horseback ride at the Smoke Rise Ranch Resort. It was a lot of fun, although a little bit scary for me, since I had never ridden a horse before, unlike Kelly who rode horses down mountainsides in Ecuador...needless to say I looked like a fool most of the time, but it was definitely a lot of fun! After the horseback ride, we had to head back to OU because Kelly had a meeting at 4 PM. Perfect. While Kelly was gone, I filled the floor of her entire apartment up with rose petals and waited for her to arrive.
I'm sure you can all guess what's next. When Kelly came back, immediately tears were in her eyes. I had her sit down next to me, and began telling her how she means more than the world to me, that life with her is better than I could have ever imagined, that she is the most beautiful person in the world, and that I love her with my entire mind, body, and soul, and that I want to spend my life with her. I then got down on one knee, and asked, "Kelly, will you marry me?"
Of course she said yes (wouldn't you after all that?!!!)! As you can tell, I consider myself so incredibly lucky to be marrying such a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, kind woman. And just as much so, that both of our families have been nothing short of amazing in welcoming us into each other's families. I know I feel like the Klocke house is a second home to me (hopefully they aren't too annoyed when I'm there...), and Kelly feels right at home at my house. Both of us have been blessed with wonderful parents whom we cannot thank enough for everything that they do. Mom and Dad, I love you!!
That's our story, at least from my point of view. Thanks for reading!