Cincinnati Engagement: A Born-and-Raised Cincinnati Relationship …

… The only thing I don’t have for you is which high school it went to.

I digress.

What started out as bonding over music (mostly Walk the Moon and Childish Gambino) and baseball, flourished over our mutual love and respect for our great city, going on adventures, sports, and each other. (Fine, and beer, too.) Brandon is my most trusted confidant; my best friend and partner in crime.

Our Great City

I am so thankful to have a companion with whom I can explore this great city. He is always up to try a new restaurant, check out a park, walk a route in a new neighborhood, peruse a museum, or drink a beer at a brewery in town (fine, I got that love from him). In fact, this blog was started in 2013, a mere six months after we started dating. Brandon motivates and inspires me, and it is because of him that this blog was created in the first place. Without him, I probably wouldn’t go on as many adventures and be a tourist in my own city.

Adventures

Whether near or far, Brandon loves an adventure as much as I do. We love different cultures and cuisines, and especially learning more about both. We have been afforded the opportunity to not only take a deep dive into our own city and neighborhood (East Walnut Hills), but we have also explored other cities across the country. (We admittedly have a lot of work to do and we expect to expand our adventures abroad soon!)

Sports

Sports have always been something Brandon and I have had in common. We met at a Reds game, first started “talking” while the Reds were playing in New York (I was in New York for the occasion), had our first date at a Reds game, and have celebrated a couple of anniversaries at Reds games. We also went to Denver in 2013 to watch the Reds play. We both love soccer — he as a spectator and me as a player, and we’ve been to three US Men’s Soccer World Cup Qualifiers (2012, ’13, ’16). Before we started dating, I wanted to start watching the Premier League, so thankfully he came along before I officially took up fandom with City (what can I say, their kits are the best colors). Instead, our relationship intervened and I now fully support Liverpool, where we watch nearly every game with LFC Cincinnati at Rhinehaus and who we got to see during their 2014 US Tour in Charlotte — the team that has instilled in me that You’ll Never Walk Alone. We even have season tickets to Xavier men’s basketball and FC Cincinnati. I’m especially thankful for his being a trooper as far as seeing the NY Yankees play a Spring Training game in Florida (2015); the 2015 US Women’s Gymnastics P&G Championships in Indy; and for buying us tickets to see the Indiana Hoosiers play at Assembly Hall this past NCAA basketball season.

We love sports and what’s even better is loving them together.

Each Other

We started dating in June 2012. We moved in together in September 2014. We got a puppy in 2015. In July 2016 we got engaged. Here is the story:

About a month ago was Amazon Prime Day. I was all excited to get a new electronic toothbrush (because adult) and Brandon was excited to get some “surprises.” My first question was, “Is there anything for me?!” (Because adult.) His response: “Kind of.” When our goods arrived, he tried to keep one box a surprise, but me being the pushy human I am, I got him to open it. A GoPro with a harness for the dog! We’d recently gone to Hueston Woods and he’d been talking about how much he wanted a GoPro, so I thought nothing of it. Fast forward to the week of our engagement, I’d been asking him to get it out and give it a try. So when he had a half day on Friday, July 29, I suggested meeting him and Franklin at Washington Park after work and — again — thought nothing of it when I walked up and Frank was wearing the GoPro. Instead, I said, “Franklin is wearing the GoPro!” and even tweeted about how excited I was. Little did I know that, in a few short minutes, Brandon’s sneaky plan to buy a GoPro and propose at Washington Park in front of Music Hall would come to fruition — all while Franklin, the unknowing accomplice, got it on video.

I’ve always loved Washington Park, but this Cincinnati institution is even more special to me now that it is the place where we got engaged. I love this city and the best part is sharing it with the best person I know.

[Picture details: date to see Walk the Moon at Madison Theater in November 2012; on a date at one of our favorite restaurants, The Rookwood, in 2014; after a hike at Devou Park in 2014; Walking Cincinnati book we got in 2015, as pictured at the CAC; picture from our visit to the American Sign Museum in 2013; Brandon pictured at The Woodburn in 2016; Brandon at Ei8ht Ball during Cincinnati Beer Week in 2014; our neighborhood (and DeSales Corner), East Walnut Hills, in 2014; me in New York with a friend and Drew Stubbs, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce, at the MLB Fan Cave (2012); photo from the Southgate Bridge on our walk from Newport to the Reds game on our first date, 2012; USA v. Mexico World Cup Qualifier at Mapfre Stadium in 2013; YNWA tattoo I got in 2015; picture from our season ticket seats at the 2015–16 Crosstown Shootout; photo from one of our marches to Nippert Stadium with Die Innenstadt, an FC Cincinnati supporters group, 2016; USA Women’s Gymnastics P&G Championship in Indianapolis, 2016; picture I snuck in to commemorate one of our early dates at The Lackman, 2012; picture from our neighborhood, 2014; Brandon and me with Franklin, February 2015; engagement photo from Smale Park, 2016; Franklin swimming at the dog beach in Hueston Woods, 2016; me tweeting about Franklin wearing the GoPro; Brandon and me with Franklin during one of many visits to Washington Park.]

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