To celebrate their second anniversary, Blake Bullinger built a jewelry armoire almost as tall as his girlfriend, Carly Stene. He then filled it up with treats — but saved the best goody for the very last drawer.
It was a small box she nearly missed amid a mass of Twix bars. Inside was an engagement ring.
Once Stene opened it, Bullinger dropped to one knee, declared himself the “happiest guy in the world,” and proposed.
The entire scene, recorded by Stene’s mother, has caught fire since it was posted on YouTube a day after the October 9 proposal.
“I was so thankful they were videotaping it because I really don’t remember from opening the box until five minutes later,” Stene told TODAY.com.
The couple, both college seniors in Kansas, only get to see each other about twice a month. Stene, 22, is spending the school year doing clinical lab work at a Kansas City hospital, while Bullinger, 21, attends school about two hours away in Pittsburg, Kansas. Both will graduate in May.
A steady stream of tears flowed down Stene’s cheeks from the moment Bullinger unveiled his handcrafted armoire.
“I just got really emotional because he put so much thought and work into it. He was so considerate in taking into account what I actually needed and might like,” she recalled. Because of the numerous moves she's made in the past year for school-related work, Stene has been been transporting all of her jewelry in numerous Ziploc bags, she explained.
“I also know Blake doesn’t have a lot of free time, so I appreciated what it took for him to make this all come together," she said.
Stene said she and her now-fiance still have trouble understanding how popular their engagement video has become.
“We just put it up because we knew our family would want to see it,” she said. “If our friends wanted to watch it, that was cool. But we had never thought it would do anything like this.”
Strangers and friends alike have commented about how much hope the couple has inspired in them.
“I would love it if people can watch this and be like, ‘Oh, there’s hope for me to find that guy, who will go the distance to put me up on a pedestal,’” Stene said. “I’ve already received a lot of comments like, ‘Oh, I hope I find a guy like that someday.”
The couple plan to marry sometime in July 2015, she said.