We both were studying journalism at Southeast Missouri State University. We were selected to co-host our university's live stream of the solar eclipse in August 2017. We met briefly during the pre-production meeting, but our first big interaction was during the eclipse. I was then asked to work with Matt more for sports broadcasts for the school, plus we had a class together that semester. We became official on October 17, 2017.
My boss had paid for mini family photo sessions with our daycare photographer as part of an ownership anniversary present, so I signed us up for one. I asked the photographer, Meredith, if I could bring King and she said yes. Sometime before our session, Matt reached out to Meredith about proposing during the photos. He met with her the Wednesday before, gave her the ring to hold on to, and they made a game plan. We get to the photos early on Saturday, November 19, 2022. I looked at Meredith's list because I couldn't remember what coworkers signed up. There was a note that read "surprise" next to my name. She smirked and said "I don't know" when I asked her and Matt acted like he had no idea. I figured she just meant King was the surprise. After a pose or two, Meredith had me stand at the window and told Matt he was going to give me a big bear hug. As I'm setting up, she goes to give King a treat, and that's when she handed the ring off. He was already on one knee, but I barely noticed since he was next to King. She said go, and I expected a tiny pause then he'd ambush me. He was taking too long so I turned around to see him on one knee with the ring and a happy King next to him. Meredith was snapping pictures and got video on her phone. I wasn't even suspicious of her phone because she posts video reels of some of her sessions on social media. I told him "you were supposed to give me a bear hug" and he said "can I give you this instead?" Even with all of the hints I should've picked up on, I still was completely caught off guard and it was the best surprise!