It was a trying weekend. We made our typical journey to NJ this weekend for some family visits & way over extended ourselves. 95 is such a stressful/draining drive, and only made worse with a 6-week old & sleep-deprived toddler. None of us slept much and the icing on the cake was Evie getting carsick on the 4+ hour drive home yesterday. None of us were in good shape yesterday but at least we all mostly slept it off.
Enough about me, this engagement shoot is AH-MAZING! I am so pumped to get to share it with you guys!!
Kareen’s Version: It was my 2nd day at Brontech Institute in 2014, beat up by the snow, looking pale and sad as I walked to my classroom. I peeped into one of the other classrooms and saw a familiar face which caused me to reverse backwards and take a much clearer look, and there he was, a light skin guy staring back at me also trying to figure out the familiar face he had just seen pass by, that is how it all began for me. The whole time in class I kept trying to remember where I had seen that face before and it came back to me, it was on a group picture on Facebook lol funny, I never knew the guy.
Over the course of my school year, this light skin guy who’s name I found out to be Peter Ephanga became more of an acquaintance/teacher/mentor thought I would catch his little glances and stares at me every now and then. Gustav, a big friend of ours whom I was very close to would try to make little match make comments to us both and we would laugh and brush it off like we didn’t care meanwhile it was brewing within. One day after class, Peter offered to give me a ride home, when we got to where I lived, he tried to sneak a kiss on me and I hit my head so hard on the side glass trying to escape that kiss lol (such an awkward moment I will never forget).
Fast forward a year later, I needed a place to live in Philadelphia as I moved there for work and it turned out Peter was living in Philadelphia at the time. He was kind enough to take me in, the plan was for me to be there for a week or 2 while finding my own place. Well, we ended up living together for almost 6 months and our undeniable attraction for each other led us into each other’s arms and a romantic relationship pursued. It was however short lived as we hit some major lows and setbacks in our relationship that led to 2 breakups. While apart, we realized life with each other was all we both wanted and that brought us back together.
Fast forward again to 2017, Peter came to me with this idea of a couple’s trip to Tampa FL with his friends and their wives/girlfriends, a trip I agreed to and was excited about until he told me two weeks to the trip (after we already bought our flights) that he wasn’t going to make the trip anymore because of a work training they sprung on him at the office that coincided with the trip date. I didn’t think anything of this, but little did I know there was more to this trip than met the eyes. Two days to the trip, he came back to me saying the training had been cancelled because almost everyone at his job was going to Houston to volunteer at the post-hurricane relief, which meant the trip was back on for him. These were all efforts on his end to distract me from the whole reason for the trip. The excitement was all I felt and thought nothing of it still until we got to Tampa on Sept 4th, 2017, and while on a yacht, I turned around to find him on one knee, asking me to marry him. Biggest shock and surprise of my life that has led to my ‘forever-journey’ with this man I love. Of course, I said YES!!
Pete’s Version: My thirst for Kareen started way back in 2006 when I was in my 3rd year in the university, a quest that yielded no fruits until 2014. One fine morning as I was giving a revision class at our famous IT Institute (Brontech), I saw a fine light skin beauty walk pass my class. The face looked very familiar, as I stared at the door wondering who exactly it was, I noticed that she was peeking through the door, admiring the good-looking teacher in the class lol. At that moment all my attention was lost. I’m not exactly sure if I thought anything meaningful after the site of that light skin beauty, who would become the most attractive distraction I have ever seen.
It was no love at fight site, no cupid arrows flying but I always knew there was something special about her. Her smiles and laughter were captivating (the girl can laugh for Africa). She would challenge me with conversations and questions that made me admire her even more. I started going to Brontech to give revision classes more often than I usually did only to spend time with her, chitchat and throw my little flirt lines.
One afternoon after giving a revision class, I told her friend Mandi to go ahead and leave her behind, so she will need a ride home in which case I’ll gladly offer to give her a ride. And it went exactly as planned. Ones we got to her destination, as shy and scared of women as I am I couldn’t find the words to use so instead I reached out to hug her goodbye and she almost hit her head on the glass trying to escape thinking it was a kiss coming. Well It was not a kiss, but that told me that she was thinking it too. It was at that moment that I decided to preach the gospel according to Peter.
Fast forward a few months down the line she got a job in Philly and I offered to have her live with me while she got her own place. We got even closer as friends, but we could not resist the obvious attraction that we had and became romantically involved.
The situation was convenient and perfect, but the timing was wrong. We suffered two breakups but while apart it was evident our happiest moments were when we were with each other. Reading the Bible one day, I came across Mathew 6:21 a verse I will make me grow up forever and that opened my eyes one last time. Ones I grew up/manned up, I decided to pay more attention and start appreciating the gift of her that I had been taking for granted and now with her, that little boy has become a man and all my mistakes have turned into plans, plans to never let her go and make her the happiest I can by first making her the wife I only have dreamt of.