Once upon a time there was a boy. This boy was a vivacious, passionate and sweet little boy that grew into an amazing man. He was smart, funny and had a heart so full of love to share.
Once upon a time there was a girl. This girl was a tenacious, spunky and sweet little girl that grew into an amazing woman. She was caring, dedicated and too, had a heart so full of love to share.
This man and this woman had been living separate lives for the first 30(ish) years before their paths would cross. They experienced joy and love before they met. They experienced heartbreak and pain. And then…. Then one fateful evening, they finally met and deep down, they knew they were meant to have been together all along.
On October 6, 2014, I answered one of the most important questions of my life. I said yes to the man that has become my world….my everything… my heart. I said yes when Ashley Richard Whitlock asked me to marry him and spend the rest of our lives together…. for the second time.
The first time Riche asked me to marry him was during the now famous Atlanta Ice Storm of 2014. We were stranded in the house and he came back into our living room with his high school class ring. He got down on one knee and said that he wanted to marry me but didn’t have a proper ring yet and would I hold his class ring as a place holder until he could find me the ring that was best for me. Of course I said yes but with a quick, “do I actually have to wear the high school ring?” HA! It’s been sitting safely on my night stand ever since. How lucky am I that I now have two engagement stories to tell from the man that I love so very much?!!??
I went on my first date with Riche on October 9, 2012. He almost didn’t make it to date number two but that’s a story for another time. HA! In all seriousness though, when we first met and got to dates number two and three, I knew this man, who could always make me laugh but also make me feel like the center of his world all at the same time, would be the man I would spend the rest of my life.
Yesterday started out to be just a normal day…with the exception that it was Riche’s birthday. As any barre3 devotee knows, you get a free in studio class on your birthday. Our dear friend and barre3 Atlanta South Buckhead studio owner, Katie Schrier, had contacted us weeks before reminding Riche of this prized benefit and after some discussion; Riche thought it sounded like a great idea. We made our reservations and I didn’t think another thing about it. As I was getting my workout bag ready for class, Riche reminded me that we had joked previously about wearing our matching barre3 “sexy puma” heart tanks since I’d received an extra one. At first I thought he was joking but quickly realized that in addition to his beloved (by both Riche and the rest of us in class) purple toe socks, he really wanted to wear our shirts. Riche’s sense of security and ability to be lighthearted is one of things I admire and love most about him.
Class started like most Monday’s usually do but this time with a special birthday burner from Katie to Riche! We did “sexy panther” (or “sexy puma” as we like to call it since Riche has referred to me as his puma from the beginning – since I wouldn’t let him call me a cougar) and threw in some water ski’s, bridge lifts and some fabulous core work. We were quickly approaching the end of class and one of my favorite parts with our three closing breaths. I stood in primary position and closed my eyes like I do every time and then I heard the gasps of air from the women standing around me. I opened my eyes and that’s when I saw it… this strong man…. my love… down on one knee holding the most gorgeous princess cut solitaire diamond and with the help of my friends and family, asked me to marry him.
This is all still so surreal to me and I feel like I’m floating on a cloud. Riche has been planning this most amazing experience for over a month now and I still can’t believe that no one let it slip! He has the biggest heart and created this amazing experience for me… for us. Even my parents were there to celebrate along with our friends and then our Atlanta family with his Uncle Don and Michael with a post engagement celebration at their house. This has been just simply…. amazing.
Do you want to watch it happen live? Click here!!!
I just don’t even know how to put into words how much I love this man. He has literally and figuratively been my strength through some very difficult times in my life. When my health wavered…he stood strong. When my career was unsteady…he supported me. When I had to say goodbye to my beautiful Winnie for the very last time, he stood right by my side. Through all of that, he’s also the person to make me laugh. He’s the first person I want to see in the morning and the last person I want to see at the end of the day. He’s the first person I want to share good news with and the only person that I want to spend the rest of my life with…and so I said yes. I said yes to this amazing man not just once…but twice and my heart is so full with love. Happy anniversary my sweet Riche. Thank you for making me the happiest woman in the world! I’ll love you forever and for always!