The start of my journey from #MillstoGils
June 23, 2018.
My boyfriend of 7 months (and hot tennis pro), Ezequiel Gils, sent me on an epic scavenger hunt and promised a surprise at the end. Let me start with the morning of the best-day-ever before the excitement was even supposed to begin! At 10 am, I leisurely take a walk in the park with a new friend, Coleen, and in the park, we pass by a group of trees that are the perfect place to hang a hammock. Ezequiel and I had been here quite a few times before and think it's so beautiful (pictured below!), so I show it to Coleen. As we get near the trees, we notice a note, with a big fat heart drawn on it, tucked into one of the tree's overhanging branches. "I think that's a love note!" says Coleen. I look closer, and mentally start doing somersaults, because that note in that Ziploc bag looks a lot like it was made for me. I inch closer. That's Ezequiel's handwriting! Pacing, mind going 100 mph, Is today the day? No, it can't be, can it?! I hope it is! WHAT!!! Maybe it's a small surprise, no. It's definitely a big surprise. At this point, I exercise some serious self-control, as I leave the note *without* opening it. I knew I wasn't meant to accidentally stumble across this note. Not yet, so I continue about my day.
I met Ezequiel to play tennis at noon. Did I mention we like tennis? I acted completely normal, another act of self-control, and after we finished playing tennis, Ezequiel called me on the way home to tell me to look under my welcome mat once I got back. It's confirmed. That was Ezequiel's handwriting, that note was for me, and today is going to be the best-day-ever. The first clue under the mat tells me to call my parents, who gave me a couple of clues, including, get ready and wear the dress on the back of your door. What dress?! To my bring-on-the-tears surprise, three gorgeous dresses are hanging up for me (thanks to all three Dilliard's associates who helped Eze pick them out). The following clues send me to the church where we met, on a hike through the park in heels (to get that note I found earlier!), to Panera where we ate on our first date, and a lot of places in between. After an amazingly exhausting day filled with sweet tears, the last clue points me to the place, "Where we first knew we made a great team," brought to you by Cheesy Eze - the racquet club where he works. Blindfolded, he takes me through the club to the second story above the courts. After much anticipation, he removes the blindfold and tells me to open my eyes, where I see, "Will you marry me?" spelled out in tennis balls on Court 1. He dropped to one knee (and I mean dropped; he was ready) and asked if he could serve me the rest of his life. Pardon the tennis pun, "serve," not intended. After tears and yes-one-hundred-percent-I'll-marry-you and pictures and joy and this-is-so-crazy moments, we leave the club and head to my apartment to FaceTime our parents.
Before we headed back, I ask Ezequiel to get me Taco Bell on the way to the apartment as I pumped gas (I had literally been all over town at this point and needed to refuel). And even an overjoyed Hannah can be hangry, so when we each arrive at my apartment, and he is without the food, I hangrily ask, “WHERE IS MY CHICKEN QUESADILLA?!?!” Quickly, I realize the surprise isn’t over! My family, his sister, and his friends are there to celebrate inside! The celebrating goes on with food, laughter, more pictures, and fun. Then ended the best-day-ever.
Before the proposal. October 29, 2017.
Ezequiel and Hannah met at Shoreline Church in Knoxville, TN - soon after they both started going there. Eze, as his friends call him, saw Hannah across the room playing ping-pong, and being a tennis coach and player himself, he didn't shy away from taking on the winner of the match. Hannah took on Ezequiel next, and he had no mercy on her, occasionally yelling, "Dale!" with a fist-pump (they're not competitive, or anything!). Even though it wasn't exactly an easy match for Hannah (Ezequiel won 21-15, and Hannah is still trying to get payback), what was an easy match was Hannah + Eze. They hit it off with their tennis connection, and he asked her out to dinner and to play tennis the same week. This time, as doubles partners, and they haven't been apart since. Seven months later, Ezequiel won again as he put a ring on it.
Engagement photos by Summer Simmons.