It was my first year teaching at Neidig Elementary School, and it was Coen's first year working on the Maintenance Team for Elgin ISD. He worked on every campus in the district, so we would only see each other every couple of weeks. I flirted with him in front of my fifth graders ONE TIME, and that's all it took. Any time he was at Neidig doing routine yard work or fixing equipment, my students would practically cat-call him for me in hopes that he would notice their teacher, me. Their bold attempts went on for a few months. One day, Coen was fixing one of the swings during my class's recess. My co-teacher called him over and then "had to go check on students," so we had our first official conversation. That day he came back to "check on the swing" two more times, including after work when he was already off the clock. After a few more visits, my co-teacher was fed up with our relationship not going anywhere. She marched right up to him, asked him if he was single, and then gave him my phone number. I was so nervous that I nearly ran over to my students and told them to pretend they were hanging out with me. He texted me that afternoon, and over the next two weeks, we would stand at the playground or parking lot just talking for hours. We only went on a couple of dates before making it official. When you know, you know. Now we've dated for 3 1/2 years, shared two dogs, a cat, a duck, and some fish until he popped the question on June 27, 2020.
June 27, 2020 Coen's original plan to propose at a family reunion was foiled by darn Covid; but he, with some help from close loved-ones, quickly planned a new proposal. We went to Piney Creek Chop House in Bastrop, Tx under the pretense that it would be our first time at a restaurant since things shut down. We ate a delicious steak dinner (my favorite) and had a great evening. After dinner, the waiter asked if we wanted dessert and brought us menus. That was Coen's cue to drop down on one knee and hold out the ring. Unfortunately for him, I am incredibly food-oriented and it took me an embarrassing amount of time to even look away from the menu and notice that he was proposing.... As soon as I said yes, waiters came out with chilled champagne, dessert, and a vase of beautiful red roses and sunflowers. He then told me how he had secretly asked my parent's permission the day before and planned the entire evening in about 24 hours. We ecstatically called family members over the next couple of days to share our happy news!