“Will you marry me?” Sammy asked with a smile so wide I could see his back teeth. There was no nervousness in him, no indication that it was coming. Just good conversation turned down-on-one-knee. Instantly I was leaning down, grabbing him by the face and planting my M.A.C. Red lips all over his.

You think about the day you’ll find your person, they day you’ll get engaged, the day you’ll get married. You don’t have the slightest idea it’ll be THIS MUCH FUN! That it’ll feel THIS special.

December 11, 2014 was just another Thursday. I threw on black pants and heels that morning and headed to the salon for a ten hour day. We had dinner plans that night that I almost kind of dreaded because frankly I couldn’t wait to get home, throw my hair up in a messy bun, wash my face, and costume change into some Lulu. But we had a commitment, and I wouldn’t bail on my girl.

Lindsey is a creative lover of life whose passion projects from behind the lens. She is a food and lifestyle photographer, but most importantly one of the most amazing people in my life. The week prior, Lindsey asked Sammy and I if we would be a part of one of her restaurant shoots. She said she just needed shots of our hands eating dessert at the end of a Bavette’s dinner. Bavette’s is my favorite restaurant, so of course we were excited to help out.

Sammy met me at the salon and we walked over to dinner together. When we arrived, our favorite hightop in the back corner was reserved. Complete with two glasses of Malbec.

Lindsey came to our table within minutes and explained that we could order whatever we wanted for dinner, and she only needed to shoot the dessert portion. She said she had to go back to the kitchen to shoot some entrees, and that she’d be back once our dessert came out.

Nothing was out of the norm to me. I didn’t question the authenticity of the situation at ALL. Linds and I are always working on projects together, this was no big deal.

Dinner was fantastic. Conversation even better. Simple, normal, “How was your day?” and “Did you see who the Nats traded?”.

After dinner, two tooprettytoeat desserts came out. Followed by Lindsey, ready for the shoot. She arranged the spoons and our hands and took some ariel shots of the food. Signature @eatprayphoto shots.

“Ok guys I’m gonna have you stand in front of the table for a couple shots.”

That was weird, I expected only our hands to be in the shots, but I shook it off.

“Just talk amongst each other.”

I turned to Sammy and said, “Ok, lets pretend like we’re talking.” And he started talking…

“Can’t wait for our trip tomorrow! It’ll be so fun to see your family and let loose for the weekend. But I wouldn’t feel right about going without asking you something first…”

I felt like I stepped into a sauna. Instantly hot all over. I knew.

AND BOOM. Down on one knee. “Will you marry me?”

The restaurant burst into applaud and strangers were recording the moment. I wish I’d have asked them to send it to me! Bavette’s gifted us champagne and I’m pretty sure I drank it in one gulp!

Needless to say there was no dessert shoot, Sammy asked Lindsey to document our proposal at my favorite restaurant. I still can’t believe I had no idea.

I couldn’t wait to get out of there and call our families! I only had one bite of dessert, grabbed my coat and we headed home.

Sammy secretly recorded me calling our families in the taxi home. Watching the video I realize what an absolute spaz I was that night!

We walked into our apartment and I saw balloons and gold rose petals. Then a LOT of champagne, and a huge banner that said #WelcomeToThePalace.

Then two by two, starting with my sister and her boyfriend, some of our closest friends started pouring out of our bedroom. I was still in shock from the proposal, and all I could do was cry to see our friends gathered together to celebrate this new adventure.

Whiskey Gelato
Bavette's Bar and Bouf
Emerald Cut
Surprise Party
Surprise Party

Thank you to everyone who was involved in such a magical night, and to Sammy Palace, for making me feel like the most special girl in the whole entire world.

Love, AJ

Love is everything.

zzoloAs I type this, my suitcase is at the door, I'm in those perfect yoga pants I mentioned yesterday, I'm drinking David's Tea, and I have butterflies Pterodactyls in my stomach.

I'm headed to Columbus, to see the love of my life. By 5:00 EST today, I'll be whole again.

Being in a long distance relationship isn't always easy, but neither is living in the same place or under the same roof as the one you love.

Many question how I trust Sammy, or how we maintain the excitement, communication... normality. How do YOU? Near or far, relationships are work. It's about finding that person who is worth it to you. And more importantly, you're just as worth it to them.

It's not always glamorous being in a long distance relationship, but lemme tell you, for me it's a HELL of a lot better than settling for someone in my zip code. Sure I could date someone in Chicago... but they're not Sam Palace, therefore, I am not interested.

It's hard to really put the memories into text, but before Sammy, I thought I understood love and commitment. I thought I knew security and what it meant to share a life with someone. In a sense, I really did. I was in a long relationship, five yeaaaars long. I didn't realize until being in a healthy relationship, how UNhealty that nasty one really was. Believe me when I say... I was a product of some stupid verbal abuse. I was foolish! We had a joint bank account, (judge me, you should!). We moved across the country together more than a couple times. We had something that could have been the real thing. I hoped for it. I worked for it. BUT HEAR ME! It wasn't IT. This isn't easy to document. I'm absolutely embarrassed. BUT. There are more of the "old me" out there. You MIGHT be reading this! And IF you are... IF you're in that... IF you know a girlfriend who is... you have the power to end it.

There is such a thing as that IT! IT is REAL. I am in IT. I know I am young, I know I have so much to learn, and I know that there is that chance that I am wrong. I am not naive to the world and today. But I am undoubtably with the most amazing match for me.

Life is so stinkin' short. We are only given one shot you guys. We aim to get married one time...

I'm so thankful for being with such a remarkable human being. The guy I can't help but fantasize about being the perfect dad. The boy with the most beautiful family. The soul that my family accepts and appreciates. The one who cherishes ME.

Long distance isn't always glamourous. But it isn't about distance at all. It's about loving and being IN LOVE with YOUR PERSON.

You have the power to be picky. To really want nothing less than your dream man...


If you do... you've just decided that at some point, you'll start over. Let's end that. Lets wait it OUT. Lets be patient for THE ONE.

Love LOVE. It's so magnificent. LOVE IS JUST EVERYTHING. It's not something to downplay. Or need to  justify. It IS PURE, but flawed, and deserves to be reciprocated.