How We Met
Barbara and Ernest met in New York at New York Sports Club training gym. In Barbara’s search for health and fitness tips, she was introduced to Ernest by Lenny, a sales consultant for the gym who felt that Ernest was the best person at the gym who could guide Barbara in the right direction. After many trips to Whole Foods Market, weekly runs and long nights talking and debating, Barbara and Ernest took their friendship to a new level and started dating. Now almost five years later they are still very much in love and can’t wait to get married to become the Smiles family!
After racking my brain over how to propose and watching countless YouTube video proposals, I decided that the best place to propose would be on my home turf in Detroit to help with my nerves. I shipped the ring to my mom in Detroit and now I just had to figure out a way without being corny to propose. I decided that Thanksgiving weekend would be great because we normally alternate holidays between families. This year was Detroit so she wouldn’t think much of it.
Before leaving from New York, I thought it would be best to script my proposal into a poem so that I could remember it and make it special. I called my mother and told her that it was all going to happen immediately after we got off the plane so I needed her to bring the ring to the airport. I also contacted my best friend and cousins to inform them that I was officially ready to take the plunge, and if they wanted they were welcome to come to the airport and witness me sweat bullets. Of course they couldn’t resist and some of them even beat my mother to the airport to witness the proposal.
After we arrived in Detroit I sent out a text to let everyone know that we had arrived and would be coming their way. I had to make sure that none of them were spotted, so my cousin Emil suggested that they hide in the coffee shop across from baggage claim.
Coincidentally, my future wife had to go freshen up before we made it to baggage claim which gave me time to call her dad (since he wasn’t there) to inform him that the proposal was about to happen. About two months prior I had already asked him for her hand in marriage and it actually turned into a joint request because her mother and grandmother were around. Luckily for me everyone said yes to my request. I felt like I was on X Factor and one no would send me packing.
Finally arriving at baggage claim I made up a story about needing to go to the restroom and sat Barbara down and told her that I would be back. I rushed over to the coffee shop to retrieve the ring and returned with everyone in tow. I dropped down on one knee and said those magic words, “Will you marry me?” and she said yes.
I knew that Barbara was the one for me because I used my logic and proposed a question to myself, Would I be fine if she were to somehow get away and never return? My answer to self was that it would be the biggest mistake of my life. It has now turned out to be the greatest decision I have ever made and now I can’t wait for our wedding day!
I love you with all my heart Barbara Furlow and can’t wait to be called your husband.
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I get a call from my Father saying these exact words, “your soon-to-be husband is a class act.” It was mid-September and I had no idea what he was talking about. Everyone in the family knows that my Father and I are like twins. If anyone was going to spill the beans on a surprise it would be him. My response of course was utter shock and excitement. I stopped him in mid-sentence and told him to not tell me anything else. I was satisfied with hearing that my ultimate dream was about to come true to the Man that was truly God sent.
Ernest and I are both family oriented people and I knew he would involve our families someway. I honestly thought that he would propose during Christmas, because we were spending time with my family in Maryland and spending time with his family in Detroit for Thanksgiving. So I waited anxiously dropping little hints and trying to dig to no avail.
Fast forward to our Thanksgiving trip, I noticed before the flight he was serious and on his blackberry the entire time. It was a bit unusual because we usually chat and listen to music before every flight. This moment was different, because he was intently focused on his blackberry and not saying a word the entire time as we waited for the flight. I thought to myself, I hope this is not a nightmare holiday trip, so I was upset on the plane ride and ordered a drink to calm my nerves.
After we landed I headed straight to the restroom to get myself together before meeting his family. He proceeded to baggage claim without me and then disappeared for 10 minutes. Now, I’m really heated wondering what was wrong with him. Did he not get enough sleep? Did I do something wrong last night? Those were all the thoughts in my head as I see Ernest approaching me with a crew of people with roses, balloons and champagne.
At that moment I was in utter shock because I saw his Mom and my good friend, Elaine with him and I started to get nervous. Before I could utter any words he was down on one knee proposing. The airport proposal wasn’t the only surprise of the evening; unbeknownst to me, Ernest rented out an executive suite at the MGM Grand Casino and invited friends and family to celebrate in our new engagement. A party isn’t the same without my family, so Ernest coordinated with my parents for a surprise in Atlantic City after the Thanksgiving Holiday for our second engagement party.
I knew that Ernest was the one for me when I realized being with him for this lifetime wasn’t long enough. I want to be with him forever and am so glad I waited for the MAN OF MY DREAMS! He truly is my greatest answered prayerJ
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Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"