How We Met & How He Proposed

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I think this may be the best post I have ever published on Life With Emily! If you follow me on Instagram, then you know something extra exciting happened on Friday! Nick got down on one knee and proposed to me…. we’re engaged! I am absolutely over the moon to marry this man! I thought I would share how we met (for those of you who don’t know) and then share our proposal story! So let’s begin, shall we…


Nick and I met all the way back in 2004! I had recently moved to Greensboro and was starting ninth grade at a high school where I knew virtually no one. During my second quarter I had a math teacher that Nick happened to know very well. His class was right across the hall from mine, so he would come in every day and talk to my teacher, Mrs. Whiting. That’s where I caught my first glimpse of him. He was very outgoing and always making everyone laugh. Needless to say, I got excited to head to math class daily and talk to him. He would always leave notes on the board or on my desk for me. Eventually we took things a step further and went on our first date.

I always remember our first date because he came to pick me up (he’s two years older than me) and my mom was adament that if he didn’t come to the door and didn’t open my car door for me then I wouldn’t ever go out with him again!! Luckily, he not only came to the door and introduced himself he also opened the car door for me…and continues to 12 years later!We dated for all four years that I was in high school and then two years during college at Appalachian State. We ultimately decided to go our separate ways after six years, which was the hardest breakup I’ve ever experienced. While it was truly terrible, it allowed us to both date and explore other options and ultimately realize that what we had was truly perfect. There were times when we weren’t dating that I wanted to call him and tell him something exciting about my day, but couldn’t. We were apart for five years and fate put us at the same place almost two years ago.
I was at my tailor getting something altered when I heard a familiar voice. I shook it off thinking there’s no way it could be him. Turns out, it was Nick! He had just moved back into town the week prior and was getting his suit altered. We chatted for a few, later texted and decided to grab wine together later that week at a local wine bar. We spent four hours chatting over glasses of wine and everything just felt right. It’s not something that I can fully explain, but everything felt comfortable and 100% right.

A few days later we went on another date to one of our old spots, The Greensboro Science Center. It has an outdoor zoo area and an aquarium and it was a great place to walk and talk. The rest, I guess you could say was history…!


I’ve known all along that Nick was “the one.” When we started dating again in April 2015 it just solidified that. We moved in together back in August and the past four months have been wonderful living together. Nick and I had been talking about marriage and getting engaged a lot the past few months. We had gone to look at rings back in September to get an idea of the style(s) we both liked. He had been making sly comments around our friends & family that an engagement would be coming up soon. But, he likes to joke so I never took him seriously; or got my hopes up for when it would happen.For Christmas Nick and I decided to do a $50 gift and do “experiences” for each other instead of gifts since neither of us needed anything. Thursday night, Nick and I were at dinner talking about Christmas gifts and he told me I would be getting my gift early and would understand why once we got there. I’m nosey, so I instantly started guessing what I thought it was and where we were going. After about 20 guesses I figured out that we were going to the Greensboro Science Center to do a penguin encounter and that I would be able to meet and play with a penguin! He had done the encounter before and I was so jealous, so this wasn’t suspicious at all. I just thought it was really thoughtful and I was so excited to play with a penguin (which is one of my favorite animals).

We got to the science center around 9:45 before the penguin feeding began at 10. We had a prime spot and luckily there weren’t that many people there. There were two zoo keepers inside the exhibit feeding the penguins and one outside talking to the crowd about the penguins and asking questions. Towards the end, the announcer said they had one more question and that’s when one of the zoo keepers inside the exhibit displayed a sign that said “Emily- Will You Marry Me?” As soon as I registered what the sign said, I started crying and said “What!!! Are you serious?!” I turned to Nick, who was down on one knee with a ring asking me to marry him, immediately said “yes” through happy tears and an applause erupted! He totally surprised me (which I didn’t think he would’ve been able to do) and it was a proposal that was very much “us!”

Afterwards we did get to play with penguins for over an hour, which was just amazing! It was so nice to have that time together before we told anyone. I couldn’t stop smiling between petting the penguin and the proposal that had just happened! Below are a few pics from after the proposal while we were playing with the penguins (they’re just iPhone photos….and ignore my puffy eyes from crying, haha!). The rest of the day was spent calling, FaceTiming & texting our friends and family to tell them the exciting news! I think I told Nick 20 times how well he pulled off the surprise and how much I loved every aspect from our story down to the ring! It’s so funny because I thought he would never be able to surprise me and even the day of, I had NO clue! I didn’t wash my hair that morning, I wanted to wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt since we were playing with penguins and, even right before it happened, I had no idea! He was calm, cool and collected the entire morning. We spent the weekend celebrating with family & friends which was so fun! We ended the weekend celebrating at the wine bar where we had our first date!

Phew! Sorry that was so long! I just wanted to share it with you all & have it documented so I can always look back on this special day. Thank you all so much for the sweet comments, likes, messages and texts over the last few days. They meant the world to us. I can’t wait to share our new adventure with you all!

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    Erika Brockmann

    Congratulations!!!! That’s so sweet and what a cute story!❤️


      Thank you so much Erika! I appreciate you stopping by! XO


    Such a perfect post!!! It was beautiful and well written. So happy for you two!!
    xo elle //


      Elle, you’re so sweet! I enjoyed writing it to share with everyone! it will be nice to look back on years down the road, too!


    Aww, Emily! The story of you two is so sweet. It was definitely fate that you two were in the same tailor shop at the same time. Also, what an adorable proposal story! Congratulations again!


      Thank you so much Lauren! Wasn’t sure I believed in fate before then– but I became a believer haha

    Gentry Adams

    What a sweet sweet love story! So excited for you two & to see what the future holds! Lots of love!


      Thanks so much Gentry! I’m excited to share some of the process with y’all! XO


    Love it!!! So happy for you!!!


    Well crying again! I had no idea you all were such high school sweethearts!! So so happy for you two.

    Xo Jessica


      Hahaha I love you Jess! #PenguinBachParty #BloggersDoBach (?!?!?) 🙂

    Jess at Just Jess

    Congratulations! It sounds like the perfect proposal for y’all! Jess at Just Jess


      Thank you Jess! It was such a wonderful day!


    Seriously best proposal ever:) congratulations!!! What’s meant to be will always find a way!

    Dana Mannarino

    This was SO sweet to read. I loved hearing the history of your relationship along with your proposal…such an exciting time for you! Can’t wait to follow along, girl!

    Pink Champagne Problems


      Thank you Dana! I think I had only shared a little tidbit of our story on here, so it was nice to get a little personal & share it with everyone!

      I’m so excited to share bits and pieces of our journey as we plan our wedding! Now to figure out where to start haha #cluelessBride

    Jack and jeannie

    Congratulations… we are so excited for you. You will be a beautiful bride…

    Kristyn Royster

    This is absolutely adorable!! Thank you for sharing all the details. Nick did SO SO well!! Every detail was just so sweet. I’m so happy for you Emily!!! Can’t wait to follow your journey of wedding planning! Wishing you and Nick nothing but the best! Xo



      You are just too sweet Kristyn! I SO appreciate your kind words! I’m so excited to share our new adventure. P.S. I need to see you again before the next TBS con!


    I couldn’t stop smiling through this whole post Em. I am SO excited for you and know you’ll be the prettiest bride! Sending you the biggest hug from Atlanta right now!


      Thanks a million Ash! So funny how things turn out! Now send me all your wedding advice, please & thank you 😉

    Mary Powers

    This is so amazing!!! Congrats, lady!!! What a sweet proposal!


      Thanks Mary! It was a wonderful day that’s for sure.


    This post makes my heart happy! I am SO beyond excited for you guys and can’t wait to celebrate in January.



      Thanks Kim! I cannot wait to see y’all and celebrate!!

    Kari Kriewald

    Oh my goodness, what a SWEET story! Eeek! So so very happy for you two. Enjoy every second of engaged life! xo


      Thanks Kari! We are excited to celebrate with family & friends over the holidays!


    thats the cutest thing! I love his sign 🙂 Congrats you two!



    I love that he brought a sign! So cute. Congrats!



      Haha yes! It was in the exhibit and I kept laughing afterwards because the penguins LOVED it and kept trying to bite it ha! I kept the sign 🙂


    So so so excited for you!! He did a great job with the proposal too!

    How 2 Wear It []


      I’m SO excited! I was so surprised with the proposal! Now to navigate wedding planning! XO


    Congrats girl! I love hearing about how couples met and got engaged. Such a great story!

    Greta |


      Thank you! I do too, I’m so nosey- I love hearing how people met! 🙂


    What a sweet story!! So happy for you!!



    I teared up reading this! There is something so special about high school sweethearts and having gone through so many life experiences with someone. Such a sweet story! Congratulations <3


      Thanks Samantha! You are so right! We have basically “grown up” together & it’s been nice to have those special moments together! XO

    Ashley Matthews

    Congrats! I love your story!!


    Ahh congrats!! Penguins are one of my favorite animals so this is extra awesome!!


      Thanks Maggie! I was so excited, especially when I DID get to play with them afterwards haha

    Jenna Colgrove

    Congrats!!! Such a cute little story!! I was waiting for this!!

    Jenna from


      Thanks so much Jenna! It was quite a (good!) surprise! Xo

    Channing Morris

    THIS IS SO ADORABLE!!! Love love love it! ! Just knowing you found the ones is THE BEST feeling!




      Thanks so much Channing! It’s been a fun few days celebrating and *attempting* to figure things out haha! Let it all begin!


    What an amazing story!!! Just love it!
    And CONGRATS again x


      Thanks Caley! Really wanted to be able to look back on it years down the road.


    Congrats to both of you! –Like Hanna


    this is such a sweet story – i love that you both have known each other for 12 years, so special!

    Here’s The Skinny


      Thanks so much, Bailey! It’s been great to be able to share memories and “grow up” together!


    Wonderful story, thanks so much for sharing! Congratulations!


    I love this story! Congratulations!

    Meghan @ I'm Fixin' To

    What a sweet how y’all met story & a sweet proposal! Congratulations! xx, I’m Fixin’ To


    This is so precious! I absolutely love this proposal story – congratulations!