Buckle up, this is a long one ♥
Tuesday, September 8th, 2015 was a stressful day for me to say the least. I began a new job that morning and then had to go to grad school orientation for my MBA program that evening. Outside the door to orientation, I was still on a work call, slightly overwhelmed, pacing and arguing with the poor soul on the other end. I wish I could remember him walking by and seeing me for the first time, smiling, but I was in my own world. Taylor will tell you that he fell for me at first sight.
Flustered, I walked into the large orientation room into another stressful situation: I had to choose a partially-full table full of strangers to sit at. Scanning the room, I found a mostly empty table at the front with two guys talking sports. Bingo. I could zone out and finish up work on my phone without being bothered. I walked up to the scruffy guy in jeans and a polo, and asked, “do you mind if I sit by you?”. I later learned this was Taylor Casey: quarter- Puerto Rican and musician, (thank you ice breaker activities).
My plan backfired in the best way possible. Taylor began chatting me up, asking about work, where I lived, ya know, small talk. I ended up having a great time chatting with him, and in true nerdy corporate fashion, he asked if he could add me on LinkedIn.
School didn’t end up starting for a couple weeks, so I resumed my everyday life working and going home to my cat, Max. A few days before school started, I got a ping from LinkedIn: a message from Taylor Casey. We exchanged a few messages about how nervous we were, and how we promised to save each other a seat in the classroom. I was so relieved to have made a friend.
The first day of school had arrived. I’ve always loved school, so I had nervous/ excited energy and chose a seat in the front row. A few minutes later, a tall, dark, and handsome, clean-cut Taylor walked in with a tucked-in button down. I hardly recognized him without his signature scruffy beard. Class came and went, and a couple people decided to grab a drink at the nearby bar to celebrate. Taylor now says he was so annoyed it couldn’t just be the two of us, but the next class day it ended up just being us at a table on the patio.
I was a little nervous to be alone with him; what the heck was I going to talk about? This guy is into sports and Jim Nantz impressions from what I’ve gathered. I needed to do something with my hands. I pulled my hair back into a hurried, messy bun, and he said, “wow, I love seeing your face.” We ordered two beers, and I remember very clearly the moment when Taylor grabbed the beer from the waitress and poured it into my glass for me. Woah, I thought, he likes me. Until then, he had just been a friend; now, he was a gentleman.
I’ve never had a better conversation in my life. We talked about everything, and I opened up to him about things I never had in the past. At one point in the evening, we were talking about how all of his friends were engaged or married, and he was always “the single guy”. He said, “my friends always ask me, who’s going to be the girl that marries Taylor Casey?” and a bold, certain voice in my head screamed “ME!”. I was taken aback. Ally, you just met this guy. But I knew right then. He just gets me.
After that, we were completely inseparable, (and still are). About two weeks later, we went on our first “fancy” date to Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead, a favorite splurge for both of us. It’s one of those restaurants you can only get a reservation at 3 months in advance, but Taylor pulled every string he had. We walked in, and he said, “follow my lead”. The hostess said, “Mr. and Mrs. Casey, welcome! And happy anniversary.” I was rolling laughing. I couldn’t believe that’s what he had to do to get us this reservation, but it couldn’t have been more fun. The meal was unbelievable, and they served us a “happy anniversary” dessert.
Me, the cautious rule-follower, leaned over to Taylor and said, “they HAVE to know it’s not our anniversary”. To that, he replied, he hoped it would be going forward. It was October 3rd, and it was official.
Then it was a whirlwind.
Taylor swept me off to Asheville, NC two weeks later for our first weekend getaway. It was a sunny road trip singing along to The Beatles, and I was falling in love.
We went to the Biltmore and to a waterfall we didn’t have to hike to, (he knew me well already).
In November, we went to Savannah, GA. We celebrated Thanksgiving, Taylor’s birthday, and Christmas. We spent a sleepy, cold week of Christmas vacation curled up watching Netflix and ordering pizza.
In February, my beloved cat passed away and Taylor was there to carry me through the whole, horrible heartbreak.
It had only been a few months, but we decided to move in together in March. We built a home, cooked every night, and started going on weekend trips to the beach. Wedding season came and went.
In the fall, we decided to add to our little family and get a puppy. He came home in January 🙂
Chewy started growing so fast, and the need to move started becoming more and more pressing. We needed a big, fenced in yard for his wild butt, so we began a home search. Just a couple weeks ago, we found a perfect house for the three of us, and we’re planning on closing next week.
Last weekend, it finally happened.
We were celebrating our 1.5 year anniversary a little early on Saturday, April 1st, and we had the foresight to book a reservation at Chops a month in advance. It was such a special treat for us to go back and re-live the beginning of our relationship. Full from lobster, steak, and mashed potatoes, we went home to let Chewy out. As we were walking on the path behind our house, Taylor got down on one knee and said, “this isn’t an april fools joke…”. In that moment, I couldn’t even process what was happening, I just kept saying, “yes, yes, yes” over and over and hugging him.
I’m obsessed with my ring if you couldn’t tell.
We couldn’t be happier, but first things first: we’ve got a new house to settle into before wedding planning begins 🙂
There’s a lot happening behind the scenes here, but I promise, as soon as I get into my bright, spacious new kitchen, the recipes will return. Until then, i’ll leave you with this…
Love you Taylor, I can’t wait to become a Casey ♥