Ryan and I met in highschool when we attended the same week of summer camp one year. I thought he was the cutest guy I'd ever seen, and he doesn't remember meeting me! Several years later, we met again in college. Ryan was a couple years ahead of me, and I was in class with his younger brother. Through my sisters' and my friendship with his brothers, we all spent a lot of time together the summer before my senior year.

A couple months later (November 2006), I was given tickets to a Clemson football game. I called Ryan's brother who was busy that afternoon, but gave me Ryan's number and suggested I call him. Ryan, a huge Clemson fan, was more than happy to have a free ticket to the game. We had a great afternoon together. I came home and told my parents that he was exactly the kind of guy I wanted to marry someday. He thought I didn't have a good time because I didn't talk as much as he did.

In early December, Ryan invited me to his office Christmas party in downtown Greenville. We started dating in January 2007, and had some amazing trips and experiences during that time. We are especially thankful that both our families live in the same city (and are at the same church) as that provided many opportunities for all of us to spend time together and get to know each other.

On December 1, 2007, Ryan and I had lunch with my family. Mom asked what our plans were for the afternoon, and Ryan suggested we spend the last warm Saturday of the year by taking a drive up to the mountains in NC. While we were driving, he casually asked if I had been to the Biltmore Estate and said it wasn't too far away if I'd like to see it. Of course I did, and was a little surprised when he produced two tickets from the glove box as we stopped at the gate. I didn't think any more of it, and we enjoyed our tour of the gorgeous home which was already decorated for Christmas.

Ryan suggested we walk to the gazebo facing the house. At the top of the hill, he completely surprised me by pulling a ring box out of his pocket, getting down on one knee, and asking me to marry him! A couple minutes later, he told me his dad and brother were there as well; they had been hiding in the trees next to the gazebo and taken pictures of us! I'm so thankful to have pictures of the actual event. They were able to take a few pictures after the fact as well.

Next, Ryan took me to the Grove Park Inn for a romantic dinner at one of the nicest restaurants we've ever been to. One the drive home, we had the best time calling our family and friends to share the news with them. Ryan asked if we could stop by his house to see his family, and surprised me again by having my family there as well! We enjoyed an incredible evening together. When I got back home, Ryan had a dozen red roses waiting for me. The perfect end to a perfect day!

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