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May 1, 2020

I Love You and Blacksburg

So, our story, continued…. (you can read part one here)

Chris came home almost every weekend his Freshman year (sans home football/basketball game weekends). He loved Virginia Tech, Hokie sports, and all things Blacksburg (and to this day, still does). I visited for a football game weekend and was instantly hooked, too. I had visited other campuses and just never felt “at home”. Blacksburg just has a certain electricity to it – ask any Hokie and they’ll tell you.

I applied for early admission, was accepted early December, and basically checked out of high school – mentally. I was at school my high school senior year just enough hours of the day to get my college credits for my dual enrollment classes, and that was pretty much it! I moved to Blacksburg in August 2007 for a wild but fast 3 year ride.

Our Hokies got a bid to the Orange Bowl that season, so we planned a trip with our best friends to Miami. I’ll have to write an entire post on that one day, but for now, here’s the important part: Chris bought the tickets to the game as my Christmas present that year.

On Christmas Eve 2007, we exchanged gifts. A little anticlimactic, since I already knew what mine was. We had been bouncing around to different family engagements that night, so by the time our gift exchange time arrived it was almost midnight and we were pretty tired. He handed me a Christmas themed bucket full of oranges and I mockingly laughed at his punny gift.

I sat the bucket down.

Chris insisted I eat an orange.

I did not want to eat an orange at near midnight. I wanted to exchange gifts and go. to. bed.

He still insisted despite my objections, so I obliged and grabbed an orange. Under the orange laid a small gift, wrapped in paper. I unwrapped the gift, and an even smaller, black velvet box sat snuggly inside its outer gift box. I couldn’t get the black box to come out, so naturally, I vigorously shook them to separate the two pieces as Chris cringed beside me.

I opened the velvet box to reveal two circular objects, laying on their sides. Then, I looked up and saw that Chris had moved from beside me and was now in front of me and on one knee.

Confusion ensued. You can’t propose with earrings. The gift of two circular pieces of jewelry laying on their sides was CERTAINLY hoop earrings. Chris picked up one of the said “earrings” and slid it on my finger.

Ok. I was wrong.

Not an earring.

I can’t remember the exact words he said, but I do know that he asked me to marry him. I also know that I never actually said yes. He had caught me so off guard that I repeatedly said things like “are you kidding?” and “what?” and “are you serious?”.

He had also set up his computer beside us prior to this with “our song” ready to play at the press of one singular button, but I had done something on his computer and totally messed up that plan. This, coupled with my not-so-tender opening of the box that shook its contents all out of place, made for quite an amusing engagement story.

Side note: Chris bought me an engagement ring/wedding band set, so there were two rings in the box. That’s why it looked so much like hoop earrings when I made them fall out of their place in the ring box.

A little bit later Chris brought up the fact that I never actually said yes to his question, and I quickly said yes, of course.

The next 2 years were full of college classes, concerts, football, tailgates, downtown Blacksburg, and ring dances. I attempted to find some photos of this time to share, but all I came up with were completely ridiculous and inappropriate ones I don’t plan to show with the world (haha). Here are a few – and yes, we generally always act like total fools. >insert laughing face emoji<

Chris finished his engineering degree a semester early in December 2009 and got a job back home. I was set to finish my Bachelor’s an entire year early, thanks to my dual enrollment classes in high school, a few summer term classes, and carrying 18-21 credits each semester. My final semester felt similar to my senior year of high school, with the two of us living 2.5 hours apart and Chris visiting me each and every weekend when he was off of work.

We all walked for graduation together in Lane Stadium on May 14, 2010. I started my Master’s program two days later, and we said “I do” that very next weekend.

And we’ve pretty much kept that same rapid pace of life ever since.

-Nikki

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