A New Chapter

I’m going to need your help, everyone. We have to come up with a new name for Manfriend.

He’s decided that he’s sick of dating me. He no longer wants to be my Manfriend.


As a native Rhode Islander I’m strongly leaning towards Buddy Fianci, but that’s a bit of a mouthful. We’ll be taking suggestions. Hit us up.

We’d been talking about getting married for a while so I could put my Pinterest boards into practice we could take an exciting new step forward together. I knew it was coming soon. I knew that ex-Manfriend (which he will go by until we get something better into play so get your suggestions in soon) had talked to my parents for their blessing over Thanksgiving. Mostly because he is not subtle and I’m exceedingly nosy. We’re a fun couple. I’ve spent the last 3 months turning to him every time he tied his shoe and yelling, “Nicholas is this it?!”

Anyways, what I’m trying to get at is that I’m hard to surprise. ex-Manfriend gets a zillion bonus points for managing to COMPLETELY bamboozle me.

Because I honestly thought that he was visiting his grandma that morning, but would be meeting me at the barn afterwards to watch me ride. I honestly thought I had a lesson scheduled for 2, but would be going early to hang out. In case my trainer is reading this, you still owe me that lesson.

As I was getting ready to head to the barn, I got a call from my friend saying that she was taking Christmas pics of the horses because it was so nice out- we could take Frankie’s after my lesson, but could I come a little earlier to hold horses beforehand?

Here I am thinking I’m so slick, like HOLY CRAP THIS IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR HIM TO PROPOSE AFTER MY LESSON WHILE WE’RE TAKING PICS HE NEEDS TO CAPITALIZE ON THIS. So I picked my outfit with care. My favorite navy breeches. My favorite tech shirt. My Team Finals hat. Actual makeup. Like a real person.

I called ex-Manfriend as I was about to pull into the barn to ask him to grab a change of clothes for the pics- and being a skilled con-man, he said he would be there in 20 and probably had a blazer in the trunk or something. I was busy blasting some seasonal Mariah and in a fantastic mood, so I let the “probably” slide.

And then I pulled up to the barn and saw balloons.

Something you should know about me: I LOVE BALLOONS. Like, a lot. My dad always brings them to the airport when he picks me up because I always tell him that a reunion without balloons is just a meeting. Balloons are my favorite.

At this point, I’m thinking that someone has decided to take their Christmas pics with balloons. Because naturally, balloons are festive and lovely and who wouldn’t want that?! I’m ready to go help out this genius soul with their gorgeous balloon-inspired photoshoot.

And then I spot a bay horse. There’s plenty of bay horses at the barn, but this one looked pretty tall. And handsome. But it could still be any of the bays, really.

And then I turned the corner and realized that it was for sure my horse. And that standing in front of him was Manfriend in the blazer that he DEFINITELY HAD and holding roses.

Which apparently Francis tried to eat
My sweet sweet boys ❤
As I was pulling up, they spotted me.

Being a rational human being, I completely froze and considered driving my car past them to park.

I just sat in here completely frozen for what felt like a VERY long time.

Then I saw my friend frantically gesturing for me to get out of the car, so I stumbled my way out and said, “Nicholas you liar.”

Nicholas you garbage liar man

Sweet words of love.

To be fair, he retorted by mockingly saying, “Nicholas is this it?!”

I feel like we’re even.

I side-eyed my way over to him to listen to what he had to say. But real talk, I was on a major adrenaline high and the phrases that I caught were “love you so so much” and “want to spend my life with you” and then he was on one knee and I pretty much dive bombed him and then took the ring before he could give it to me and got kinda aggressive about it.

Step 1: say wonderful things and propose in an amazing way
Step 2: Try to breathe around the leech on your face
Step 3: Regain your footing


Step 4: give me the ring before I can nab it with my grabby raccoon hands (side note: fav pic of the day. All adorable and sweet and then BAM FRANCIS LLAMA FACE)
Step 5: omgomgomgomgomg

I swear I wasn’t crying, I was just…leaking. Mighta been sweat, mighta been tears, mighta been both. Francis joined in the celebration looking for scritches.

The first true family portrait

There were confetti poppers waiting for us.


There was champagne.


The balloon with words on it simply said, “You’re Special.”



We went inside and shared some bubbly together with Francis and some of my closest friends, as we started to share the news with friends and family.

In my favorite place with my favorite person
My face is now stuck like this, sorry not sorry.

What does one do when freshly engaged? Clearly there’s only one right answer here.

You ride the horse. Without steering.

Francis take the wheel
Less than 10 seconds after he sneezed his brains out from allergies.
brb obsessed with my new jewelry

Seriously, I could not have asked for a more magical day. I would’ve said yes no matter how he asked, but the fact that he came to my favorite place on the planet and involved my heart horse made it so far and beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of.

I’m so grateful for my friends who took all these wonderful pics to remember the occasion and helped Nicholas coordinate everything. I’m so lucky to have such generous, caring, hilarious, wonderful people to call my barn family!! My favorite little barn rat even captured the whole thing on video- including lots of her giggles.

Most of all, I’m grateful that I get to lock down this wonderful guy of mine. It’s gonna be a real awesome life together!!!



27 thoughts on “A New Chapter

  1. aliciatorres5990 12/18/2017 / 8:42 am

    Ok many things.

    1. Your license plate says Leg On and that is amazing
    2. So So So freaking cute!! I love all of this, especially your detailed play by plays.
    3. Please reach out if it’s a Rhody wedding…. I got married in Bristol this past September and know an unnatural amount about RI wedding venues.


  2. Bette 12/18/2017 / 8:46 am

    OMG!!!!! Ex Manfriend wins in the proposal department!!!!!!! Congratulations and best wishes to you guys!!!!!! Also love the ring … unique and gorgeous at the same time!!!! Basically you did find one of the best guys in existence … woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joanne O'Flaherty 12/18/2017 / 9:03 am

    I totally just cried at my desk in work. What an amazing, thoughtful proposal. Congratulations again! I’m sure you’ll be incredibly happy together 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Liz 12/18/2017 / 9:20 am

    Definitely a keeper. And Llama Face is freaking HILARIOUS. But my favorite part is your quips at one another “you liar” “nicholas is this it?” Ahahaha. Congratulations you two ❤ !!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Britt 12/18/2017 / 10:25 am

    So many congratulations headed your way! Happy wedding planning!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Centered in the Saddle 12/18/2017 / 10:31 am

    I’m just lightly crying tears of joy here at my desk. Totally normal.
    Love the ring!! I have an oval, too. Best shape ever in my non-biased opinion 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Centered in the Saddle 12/18/2017 / 12:03 pm

      ALSO. I totally relate to the whole “I know it’s coming OMG is this it? Oh, it’s not. How about now? Now?” feeling. My fiance talked to my dad/parents at Christmas last year, told me about it, then waited until the END OF APRIL to actually ask me and those 4 months were torturous! (Though he did ask at the event-formerly-known-as-Rolex so all was forgiven haha).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Stacie Seidman 12/18/2017 / 11:32 am

    So excited for you guys! What a perfect proposal, he really did think of everything!
    I mean you could just refer to him as your groom, but that could get confusing in some settings… Maybe you need an acronym. FUHU (future hubs)?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Karen M 12/18/2017 / 1:25 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!! This has been my mostest favoritest post to read all year! So happy for you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. carey 12/18/2017 / 4:33 pm

    Soooo soo sooooooo happy for you! I stalked all your facebook pics yesterday but my phone was being dumb and wouldn’t let me like my favs (which was wise since it was, like, all of them). I love the Francis photo-bomb, that is something Cosmo does on the reg…not photobomb engagement photos, but lesson pics of awesome jumping efforts by my friend and derpy Mo standing there making a face.

    Congrats again! The happiness shared between you two is CLEAR in all the photos!

    Oh, and also, is your license plate “LEG ON” for reals???????


    • hellomylivia 12/22/2017 / 8:49 am

      Haha yes that’s my real plate! I needed the reminder so often that I got this one- Trainer is hoping that eventually I’ll see it so often that it sinks in. Finally.


  10. Susan 12/19/2017 / 10:38 am

    Yay! Congratulations! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂 Manfriend did a great job! So sneaky!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Alex 12/19/2017 / 5:52 pm


    I definitely got some happy misty eyes there. The video is awesome. It totally captured your “omg what do I do” moment before you got out of the car.

    I don’t have any suggestions for creative names. I’m super traditional and just went with fiance for my guy.

    Isn’t it great how they surprise you with the time and details but it’s not a surprise that they want to ask? I was completely oblivious to when my husband was going to ask but it’s now one of my favorite memories.

    Super stoked for you and all you are going to have in your future. Planning is fun, don’t let it stress you too much and prioritize which parts of the wedding stuff matter the most to you. Otherwise, you’ll feel like you have to buy the expensive stuff for everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kelly S 12/20/2017 / 9:38 am

    YAY! Best wishes to you both!

    Your license plate is amazeballs. Your ex-manfriend could be called Horse Husband, MOMD (man of my dreams), or Groom (both in the horsey and wedding senses of the word!).

    Love that you stopped the car and just sat there – contemplating where to park.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Tracy - The Printable Pony 12/20/2017 / 10:10 am

    I leaked too! But in all seriousness, congratulations Olivia!! I am so, so happy for you and your entire family. Nick is gonna make a wonderful horse husband ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Karley 12/22/2017 / 7:50 pm

    I loooooooove that someone captured this!!

    Again so happy for you both! 💗


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