Perry had a rough start to 2015. A dedicated employee at Cerner Corporation, Perry planned to leverage her career as a road warrior into a trip home to Houston, Texas. She'd been battling severe abdominal pain, but surprising her mom on Mother's Day weekend and a little R&R in her home bed would surely ease the stress-induced pain. Wrong. Perry and her dad headed straight to the ER upon landing and would spend the next 12 days in the hospital being treated for a ruptured appendix. When she returned to work, an emergent situation called for her to go to Emory University Healthcare to turn around the learning program and strategy for the client.
I, on the other hand, had been embattled with my management about when I would be allowed to move into a leadership development program for which I had been accepted. After a number of hurdles had been cleared, I was asked to take on one more 3 month assignment before shifting roles - the client was Emory Healthcare.
We were introduced by the Project Manager on a random, sweltering Atlanta afternoon. Nothing more than a "Perry, this is Daniel. Daniel, this is Perry" yielded vastly different impressions. I thought she was gorgeous. I would later tell her what went through my head at that first meeting, "This is the girl I'm going to marry." She, too, would later tell me what she first thought, "This guy is incredibly cocky. Not going to deal with him." Unknowing to me, I was facing a ridiculous uphill challenge.
Interestingly, our relationship grew, not out of romantic intrigue but a mutual respect for the others intelligence and discipline to each other's professional craft. That mutual respect led to a need to vent about the job to a kindred spirit. That need to vent led to a genuine enjoyment of conversation, friendship, and shared bottles of wine and pitchers of margaritas. Fortunately or unfortunately, we were both too strict of professionals to risk our working rapport for anything else that may or may not be there.
Fast forward 3 months of long work days, many intense conversations, and one high school cheer reenactment in a hotel lobby and I was rolling off the project - a perfectly choreographed departure into a multi-week family vacation to Europe. It couldn't have been timed any better.
A week or so into the trip I missed those chats and cheers. I sent Perry a date request not so conspicuously intertwined into a "checking in on work" email. As we were not working together anymore and wouldn't be, it was now or never. She said yes! We spent my first evening home together and have shared nearly every evening since until she said yes once more.
Perry Cannon has a relentless attention to detail. Her friends and family reading this are currently thinking, "You didn't know that?" Don't worry, I did. What I underestimated, however, was the added layers upon layers of difficulty that would bring in proposing to the lady. Her close friend Jordan and I discussed many of options. Time with Jordan would underlay a detailed ruse leading to me, the man of her dreams on one knee at the end of a detailed journey. Didn't work. Every time Jordan and I would think we had something flawless, Perry would figure it out. Note to all the potential grooms out there - if you are still idea #1, she knows.
But then it hit me. Any potential trip/adventure with a friend would hit Perry's radar. She would be excited. Excitement would inspire curiosity. Curiosity meant risk. No. To make the perfect proposal I needed to... wait for it... irritate her like I've never irritated her before. Perry asks me mainly for one thing-- time. What is the one thing that regularly gets in the way of that? Work. So how could I combine work into a proposal? A last-minute work-required trip where she would make it her idea to travel along. Bingo.
For those that are not aware, I travel a lot for my job. My client is the United States Department of Defense. I waited and waited and waited. Then, the week I knew was "Proposal Week" I told Perry I had to travel on a Friday (after being gone all week) to Jefferson City, MO - 2 hours from Kansas City - to get my "DoD ID." She bought it. She will never stand in the way of my job, but that doesn't mean she likes me being gone either. When I told her of the journey, she immediately suggested she would ride with me. Perfection. We would leave on Friday after she got off work.
Pear was going to try and leave work early on Friday "if it worked." I couldn't push it, but I hoped to take her to our destination early and then move to a romantic dinner over a river at a winery. Because I scripted it, it didn't happen. Perry not only didn't get to leave work early, she was half an hour late getting out of the office.
At 5:45 on January 20th, 2017, we headed toward Jefferson City... or so she thought. In actuality, we were en route to the small town of Marceline, MO - childhood hometown of Walt Disney. News to no one, Pear is a die-hard Disney fan - the movies, the theme parks and the man. In reality, Marceline is an hour-and-a-half in the wrong direction of Jefferson City. Fortunately for me, Pear's attention to detail never spanned to Geography!
About 30 minutes into the trip, conversation about our days, work, etc. dried up. Pear started to look at restaurants in Jefferson City, MO. If we were forced to give up our weekends, we would AT LEAST have a nice restaurant out of it. Uh-oh. No way my plan was going to survive internet searches. I asked her several distracting questions (e.g. When is Houstons in Kansas City closing?) She was attentive to those. But after another half hour I ran out of good questions. I knew I was even deeper under water when, at a last grasp at distraction, I asked her what time the UMKC game was the next day... Think that worked? Correct. Not at all... She continued her restaurant search.
I was ruined. I'd have to tell her that I had a ring in my pocket, and we were not going to Jefferson City. If it hadn't been 17 degrees outside, I probably would have been sweating profusely. But she never realized we were 150 miles from Jefferson City. Unlike the rest of the world who would have used Yelp or Google Maps, I learned later that Perry used Trip Advisor to search for restaurants. Trip Advisor does not tell you how many miles away the restaurant was. I was in the clear.
Having survived this latest close-call, I grew confidence to block all future attempts at discovering my plans. "Why are there no signs for the Capitol?" It must be because Jeff City is a small town. Unlike Austin, you just see the building all of a sudden. Perry, Queen of all things Disney sees a sign for Marceline and asks if that's where Disney grew up? Of course not, that city is like 200 miles away! Finally, after 2 hours of ducking and diving questions and near disasters, we were there.
A couple miles down a road here, a left turn, a right turn and we had found the "office where I could get my ID." I pulled into a parking spot. We got out in front of a sign that said 107/109 Main Street, USA. Yes, "Main Street, USA" in Marceline, MO provided the vision by which Walt Disney designed "Main Street, USA" in Disney World. After she finally recognized where we were, I said something cheesily romantic about us being in the place where all of her fairy tales began and making sure all of her dreams come true. I got out down on one knee. Pulled the ring out, took it out of the box... I am dragging this part out because Pear PROMISES I was on the ground for a very long time... and asked her to marry me. Before I could fully get the ring fully on her finger, she pulled me up, hugged me, kissed me, then said yes and finally helped me get the ring on her finger. We were engaged.
We walked around the cute little town, took a few pictures in the dark of the night, overheard the entire community playing bingo in the town's recreational building and made out way back to the car to call our loved ones.
After we finished the important calls and texts, it was now about 10:30. My beautiful, river-facing winery was surely closed. We drove to the nearest town, Chillicothe, MO. We found the only restaurant open. It was a tiny, unassuming Mexican joint called "El Toro." We had margaritas and fajitas. It was perfect for us. She had a ring and an awesome proposal. And I had my bride.
Rachel is Perry's younger sister. While Rachel and Perry couldn't be more different, they share many of the same interests. They love their family, the beach house, and watching movies together.
Rachel and Daniel have a special relationship which is something Perry loves. The two love laughing and being goofy together. Rachel is finally getting the older brother she has always wanted!
Rachel is loyal, genuine, and a joy to be around. Perry is truly honored to have Rachel stand by her side as her Maid of Honor.
Allie and Perry met in Kansas City where they both began their careers in the same start group at Cerner Corporation. They were in the trenches together managing thousands of clinicians and consultants in technology implementations.
Allie and Perry are two peas in a pod. Boss ladies for life! The girls' favorite memories include epic Frankie Valli jam sessions and a trip to Maine. Perry is thankful for Allie's friendship.
Caitlin and Perry attended THE University of Texas. They are Alpha Chi Omega sisters…LITB! Perry would not have made it through college without Caitlin. They have wonderful memories together attending sorority events, going to the Red River Rivalry game and an Easter weekend in Houston.
The two share a love of reading, having interesting conversations, and watching thought provoking movies. Caitlin is such a loyal and selfless friend. Perry is thankful to have her in the wedding!
Jordan and Perry met at Camp Longhorn while in elementary school. They spent two weeks together every summer and even became junior counselors together.
Fate reunited Jordan and Perry after college. Perry had an interview with Cerner and found out that Jordan was employed by the company. They have enjoyed finally living in the same city after spending many wonderful summers together. Perry is thrilled to have Jordan on her wedding team. Attawaytogo!
Kathryn and Perry went to high school together…good ole HCHS! They were on the same high school cheer squad and have many fond cheer memories. The two have remained close throughout college and beyond. Kathryn thinks Kansas City is dumb!
Kathryn and Perry have many wonderful memories cruising around in Mary, having wine nights, frequenting Plato's closet, and infamous clean out parties. Perry is so excited to have you by her side!
Sabrina and Perry met in college at UT…hook em' horns! They are Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters. After joining AXO, they became instant friends.
These two share an interest and love for all things Disney. They both did the Disney College program and loved it. Let's just say that Sabrina is a close friend of Mickey. The girls recently enjoyed an adventure in Tampa. Perry is overjoyed to have Sabrina in her wedding party.
Perry and the girls are close family friends. It all started with Robin (Perry's mom) serving as Briana's PE teacher. The Love family and Perry's family have a special bond. They have shared weddings, graduations, and welcomed new additions (babies and spouses). Rachel was Briana's (Maddie and Emma's mom) flower girl when Briana got married. Maddie and Emma are sweet, precious, and will be the world's best flower girls!
Jimmy's is Daniel's youngest brother. They've literally traveled the world together and will never find a sporting event they won't attend together - even co-managing "Let's Throw Fire," a highly-mediocre fantasy baseball franchise.
Scott is the middle Thode brother. Daniel and Scott are the Jack Nicholson and Spike Lee of UMKC basketball and can be found courtside at nearly every game. Look for Scott cutting up the dance floor well into the evening.
Pat is Daniel's longest standing friend. The cousins are just over a year apart and have enjoyed many adventures from rides home from O'hara in a Honda that couldn't top 20 MPH to Cincinnati, Ohi-06.
Everyone has that one person who is always game whether or not its a good idea. Logan and Daniel have been friends since Kindergarten and the mischievous duo have encountered many close calls but are most known for their TOC legacy and lake house construction skills.
Tyler is the conscience of the group. Daniel and Tyler have been friends since high school. Daniel and Tyler put many miles on cars following Mizzou football teams around the Big 12 -- never coming away with a victory.
Chad and Daniel have been friends and neighbors since elementary school. Chad is the wittiest person ever to exist and the Captain of Funettick Bahlpahrck (Spelling changes every time). He also is quick to answer an authoritative knock at the door.
James is the son of Daniel's cousin (and Groomsman), Pat. He fortunately takes after his lovely mother, Jenny as the world would be in trouble with a little Patrick Martin replica running around. At last check, he was still single ladies.
For those active in social media, please use the above hashtag to post your pictures from our day. This will help us combine the photography skills of all of our friends and family! This way we won't have to hunt you down after the wedding night concludes.
Thank you to our family and our friends for all of your love and support during this special time. We are honored for all of you to be invoved in our big day!