On the first non-scorching day after two weeks of hot, muggy weather, I met up with Rachel and Matthew at the Knoxville Zoo where he had proposed. Even dressed in layers, Matt was cool, calm, and collected with this lovely woman by his side. We traipsed all over the zoo and ended at the elephant enclosure–the spot of the proposal. The zoo had the misters on, and it made the two of them look like they were standing in a fog.
We met through mutual friends on Memorial weekend 2013, for me I knew pretty quickly he was something special, everyone was sooo excited about this Matt person showing up, they couldn’t wait, I was very curious to see what was so great about him. The minute he walked in every one in the room lit up, I saw him and I was hooked, luckily he sat next to me and the rest just fell into place. He is stationed in SC while I live here, I was in college studying microbiology when we met, so our entire relationship has been long distance and then he was deployed for 9 months, we have had to deal with a lot of time apart, however this forced us to talk more and learn to trust in one another constantly being apart. We are homebodies and our friends tease us often that we would much rather stay in and relax than go out, we are very easy going and just try to go with the flow. The quintessential description of our relationship is him being goofy and me just laughing at him, haha. I absolutely love elephants and for our first real date he took me to the zoo, so when he returned from deployment he recreated our first date ( unfortunately for him it was pouring rain!), I couldn’t understand why he was so desperate to make it to the zoo. When we got to the elephants we walked inside the building there and I saw my mother and father and his mother and sister and I just started crying while he got down and proposed. It was the perfect moment for us.