The proposal

Adam & Renée had recognized their love was meant to last and had been talking about engagement. While visiting Renee’s parents in Richmond around the holidays, they took Mr. & Mrs. Petrina out to lunch and asked for their blessing. Adam’s mother also approved. Now it was time to get a ring.

Being a modern couple, they designed and ordered the ring together. It was shipped to Adam’s house and Renée refused to even see a photo of it – she wanted to see it at “the moment.”

When you live a few states apart and your girlfriend ordered the ring with you, it’s hard to set up a surprise. But this was Adam’s great coup. He likes to say that in order to surprise Renee, he’d had to surprise himself. Which is exactly what he did.

They had talked about getting together for a special Valentine’s Day dinner and Adam getting down on one knee to make a special memory, but that ring was burning a hole in his pocket! He looked at flights online.

He knew Renee and her sister were planning to spend time that weekend at a museum outside DC. Late on a Friday night, he called Stephanie and told her he was thinking about flying out there. She wasn’t so sure about this crazy idea, but Adam bought the ticket after midnight and was headed for the airport a few hours later. He texted Steph that he was on the way. “Alright, let’s do this thing!” she replied.

Steph, Nay and others arrived at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar Hazy annex on a cloudy, chilly day. While Renee ran around obliviously taking photos, Steph began scouting for good locations. She texted Adam that there was a seven-story observation deck. He landed, got a rental car and headed for it.

Later, Steph suggested going up to said observation deck. As everyone crowded into the elevator, she nonchalantly asked Renée to borrow her camera. The older sister handed it over. She had NO idea what was about to happen. When the elevator doors opened, Adam realized the time was coming, and darted to the other side of the area to hide and prepare.

Meanwhile, Steph started testing the camera, bringing you this awesome picture of an angry-looking sister.


About a minute passed when Renée saw a very familiar red sweater on a very familiar looking man who peeked around a corner. It was Adam. This is when the shock kicked in.

“What are you DOING here?” Renee said, about 20 times.

There were very big smiles. Everyone started crowding around while Steph snapped photos.

“What are you DOING here?”

(At this point Renee’s hands are off her head and she’s hugging Adam.)

Adam gets down on one knee.



Somewhere in there we have a yes. And we have some smooching.

The shock is still there, and everyone is smiling and laughing.

Nicole, who was there when the couple met on Skype, is pointing and shrieking. Renée and Adam are both a little shaky still, and Adam keeps opening and closing the ring box.

Stephanie fesses up to her involvement, and the whole backstory comes out. Then the girls remember to take a cell-phone picture to send to Mom & Dad, and the whole smiling group continues continue the day.

That evening, everyone went out to dinner, where Renée asked Steph to be her maid of honor.