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Just Engaged: Kendra and Rick's Engagement Story

Rick spotted Kendra in the halls between college classes and was so mesmerized he just had to track her down. When he finally found her again, he made the moment count. Now they’re altar-bound!

The Lucky Lady: Kendra Y. Mims, 33, Writer

Her Leading Man: Rick D. Applewhite, 32, Chief Executive Officer of Exercise Life Inc.

The Big Day: October 12, 2014

Location: Geneva, IL

Where and how did you meet your man?
I first met Rick at a community college we both attended. He spotted me one day in the hallway and said he used his “investigative skills” to track me down. He showed up at my class one day and pretended he needed directions when he really just wanted to have a conversation and ask for my number.

What happened next?
I met Rick in 2002 and we dated until 2005 before we decided to part ways and stay friends. Rick and I eventually lost contact and he assumed I had moved to Charlotte with my family. It wasn’t until I became hospitalized with a ruptured appendix in 2009 that Rick realized I still lived in the same area. Although we hadn’t spoken in years, he was the first person to send me flowers and he also came to visit me. I was touched by his kindness and I realized that I still loved him. I knew that God had brought him back into my life for a reason. We started dating again a few months after that and have been together ever since.

Were you looking for love at the time?
I was not looking to date anyone at all.

What was your first impression of him?
I thought he was very attractive and nice. He was also very persistent. I still joke about him tracking me down like a stalker, but I found his confidence and persistence attractive. 

Did you play hard to get?
I did play hard to get. I was at a point where I wasn’t feeling the dating scene and even though I found him attractive and he seemed nice, I wasn’t sure if I should take him seriously. I wasn’t ready to give him my number, so I took his instead. I actually called him with my number blocked as private for almost two weeks before I gave him my actual number and agreed to go out with him. Due to past experiences, I was being extra careful and had to feel him out first.

Describe your most romantic date ever?
It was our first Valentine’s Day together after we reunited. He took me to The Signature Lounge at the John Hancock Center and then we went out for dinner. He treated me like a queen the entire night and made sure I had everything I wanted. The entire evening was special.

Who said “I love you” first?
Rick said it first. He is very affectionate and open about his feelings. I was happy to hear him say it. We had been dating for a while when he told me, which made me feel like he really meant it and it wasn’t on a whim. It didn’t take too long for me to say it back.

Did you have a hunch he was going to propose?
I had a feeling it would happen sometime last year, but I was thinking closer to Thanksgiving or Christmas. We had looked at engagement rings the year before, so I really didn’t know when he planned to do it.

How did he pop the question?
Rick proposed while we were visiting my family in Charlotte during our summer vacation. My entire family was in on it. During dinner he asked my dad for permission to marry me and then told me the ring would come later on in the year (he thought I knew what was going on and wanted to throw me off). After dinner, we took a walk and when we came back my family was gathered on the porch. When I turned to look at Rick, he was on his bended knee asking for my hand in marriage. He had the ring the entire time! It was a very special moment and I’m blessed that my family was there to be a part of it.

Photos: Llove Studio Photography