Keith and Chelsea are a special pair. The love and emotion wrapped into their proposal would bring any photographer to tears. Keith and Chelsea, I wish you all of the happiness in the world. What you have found within one another is a rare, beautiful find. I asked Chelsea to tell the story from their perspective. Take it away, Chels!
" It was nothing out of the ordinary when Keith told me he was planning a "day-and-a-half-cation." He wrote me a letter telling me what to pack and very little of anything else. The day started early with a couple's massage at the beautiful Chateau on the Lake, but I still didn't suspect anything because he had gifted me with the same thing about one year prior as an early birthday gift.
Next, we headed out on the road. It was about an hour or so later that I could see we were heading toward Kansas City. I thought nothing more than the fact that some of our friends live there, and maybe we were going to visit them. When we got to KC, Keith dropped me off at the stunning & ritzy Hotel Sorella where he told me to change for dinner. When he returned shortly after, we headed together to the brick district. We parked in a very empty parking lot and he said we needed to make a quick stop.
We walked to a store called "Restoration Emporium" (side note: Keith loves to build and restore things.. so again, this wasn't strange to me). We walked up the stairs and into the store and my oblivious self commented on how good the many, many lit candles smelled. The store was so incredibly charming in its mismatched way with hanging white lights catching my attention. It wasn't until I spotted a photo of us that I knew something bigger was going on. My heart was beating so fast as I struggled to put everything together. About a year ago, I had mentioned to Keith that my sentimental self wanted a memory print/shadow box like the ones he, his brother, his mom, and her siblings have.
There in the store was my very own print box that Keith handmade with the table saw and nail gun I got him for Christmas. The backing was painted with my favorite color and a cork board, made with corks from wine tasting in California, was adorned with our photos. Inside were seashells from our trip to Florida and other little treasures from our time dating. In the middle of the print box were hand-written letters. The first one was dated 12-09-12. Keith had written me a letter every single day that he was waiting for me. After seeing those I began to cry (I very seldom cry. I think it scares Keith).
Keith began to thumb through the letters and told me I could read them all later. He came to the back of the stack and pulled out a page that had Justin Timberlake's lyrics to "Not a Bad Thing" written on it.
"Now how about I be the last voice you hear tonight?
And every other night?
For the rest of the nights that there are.
And every morning, I just wanna to see you staring back at me.
'Cause I know that's a good place to start."
Cheesy? Maybe. But we would often sing/quote those lyrics to one another ever since the song came out.
Meanwhile, that song was playing over the sound system in the store. After Keith had me read out loud the second verse of JT's song, he took the page and tossed it on the ground. Next was a page with simply "Chelsea" written on it. He had me read this aloud and then he threw it on the ground as well. Each subsequent page had one word written on it, and they together read: "Chelsea Rene Hill I am in love with you." After throwing the last letter on the ground, Keith reached back to the print box and slid open a hidden section revealing a beautiful diamond ring. Getting down on one knee, he asked me to marry him. I obviously said yes, and we couldn't be more excited to begin this next chapter in our story!"