February 26, 2018

When I woke up on Monday, February 26th I had no idea what was in store.

Ben and I started dating when I was only 14 and Ben was 17. We were high school sweethearts! After dating for four years, I decided to go to the University of Alabama, and together we decided to take on the challenge of a 300+ mile-long distance relationship. It wasn’t always easy, but with graduation less than 2 months away I think it is safe to say we’ve made it.

On Sunday, I got a text from a friend, Julia, that said she got an internship for this summer and asked if Ben and I wanted to go get drinks to celebrate Monday at 4:45. I knew that I got off work at 4:00, and I wasn’t sure if Ben would even be interested in going. So, I didn’t respond for about 5 hours. (During these 5 hours, my friends and Ben were freaking out that I would ruin their plan). Anyway, I eventually agreed to the celebration.

When I got off work Monday, I came home and rushed to freshen up and change for drinks. I had on one of my favorite sweaters, but I decided to change last minute because I remembered the last time Julia and I took a picture together I was wearing the exact sweater. (Obviously, this is only a problem we would have in the 21st century with Instagram and all).

Anyway, Ben offered to drive and I thought it was just because he could tell I was flustered. He even asked for directions (even though he obviously knew where to go). At this point, I started asking my friend Jordan if she was there yet and where the best place to park was. I still had no idea what was about to happen.

Once we were near the bar, I told Ben where to pull in. He faked missing the turn very well. He said he would just make a loop and turn around. However, he parked in a spot the next block over, and this is when I started to get curious. He told me to get out and we would just walk there, but instead of walking towards the bar, we began walking towards Capitol Park (which I never even knew existed).

As we were walking he began talking to me about how long we have been together, the ups and downs, and how much he loves me. I began freaking out internally because I just knew this was about the be the moment I have been dreaming of for 7 years! As we walked onto the ruins of the old Alabama Capitol building, Ben got on one knee and said, “Kali Schmalzried, will you  marry me?”

Of course I said YES! He slid the most perfect ring on my finger, and I suddenly became the happiest woman in the world and a fiancé!

After wallowing in the excitement of being an engaged couple, I realized that we weren’t actually getting drinks and I became concerned that we were also not going to get the pizza I had been looking forward to all weekend. If you know Ben and I at all, you know we love pizza and we had planned on getting pizza for dinner Monday night. So, when Jordan asked what our plans were after leaving Captiol Park, I looked at Ben and really hoped that he said we could still get pizza. We did.

I posted this photo on my Instagram story. No one knew I was referring to the fact that I was engaged, not the pizza.

It was really the best day ever, and I can not wait to take on this adventure with my fiancé!

I want to give the biggest thank you to my friend Jordan who helped Ben plan the proposal, captured it all on camera, and gave me such a sweet engagement gift. You rock.

20 Fall Date Ideas

Let me start by apologizing that I have been non-existent in the blogosphere lately. With UA Homecoming thrown on top of my already packed class and work schedule (along with apartment and internship hunting), my last few weeks have been a whirlwind. However, the good news is: I am back (hopefully) and I have a lot of post ideas brewing.

During these past couple weeks my obsession and anxiety with the approaching season has not subsided any; it has only increased. The weather has finally started to cool down (it’s still a high of 80 almost every day, but that is progress), it is officially October, and I have hit midterm time.

The Tide is traveling to my home state, Arkansas, this upcoming weekend to face off against the Hogs. I am taking advantage of the away game and Ben (my boyfriend who lives 300+ miles from me) is getting to come visit! In preparation, I am coming up with some fall date ideas for us (and you too). Enjoy!

  • Pick out the perfect pumpkin at your local pumpkin patch
  • Drive around and have your own fall test tasting game – visit local coffee shops & bakeries to taste all of their seasonal specialties and rate them
  • Go for a hike somewhere new & take along your four-legged friend
  • Pick fresh apples at a local apple orchard
  • Build a bonfire & roast s’mores (live in an apartment? make s’more indoors)
  • Snuggle and watch a movie marathon (one of the best classic movies set in fall: You’ve Got Mail a.k.a my mom’s favorite movie)
  • Make homemade hot chocolate & don’t forget the marshmallows – want to get creative? Use this to create different  flavors!
  • Have a football watching party, just the two of you, filled with typical game day food
  • Do good: make a grocery store run to get your favorite canned goods and drop them off at a local food bank, visit the animal shelter and donate food / toys, or clean out your closet and donate the clothes
  • Create a shared fall bucket list – make it for all the fall seasons to come
  • Enjoy a picnic in the crisp fall breeze
  • Make caramel apples (from the ones you picked in the orchard)
  • Get the ingredients to make your favorite soup – or make a new soup that could be your favorite soup as a couple!
  • Carve a pumpkin (I always save this one for Fall Break)
  • Walk through a corn maze or haunted house hand-in-hand
  • Make a blanket fort – maybe even tell ghost stories
  • Bake – a pie, a cake, muffins, cookies, anything!
  • Go to a carnival or fall festival & don’t pass up the candy apples
  • Find a book in Barnes & Noble, grab a PSL, and read together
  • Fall in love

Okay the last one is cheesy, but I couldn’t resist! What are your favorite fall dates? Let me know in the comments below or personally through the contact page! Also, share this post with the photo below (it is perfect for Pinterest).