A little planning goes a long way! Celebrating love with this V-Day Proposal #ontheblog #ValentinesProposal #engaged
You’ve all been through it! People begin to treat you differently the moment they find out your man is a professional athlete. It’s the same old routine. So if you don’t know yet, planning a wedding--as a fiancee of a professional athlete--can make things 10 times more difficult...We’re here to give you the best tips on how to navigate through the wedding planning process as a WAG.
This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the beautiful, smart, and funny Amber Miller. Amber was a personal training client of mine last year but we have kept in contact since, sharing similar interests in staying fit and supporting our NFL-playing men. Amber and I used the interview as a chance to grab a bite to eat and chat in her new home! Read what this Southern bride-to-be and high school teacher had to say about career and football life below...
NFL WAG Stats
Name: Amber Miller
Fiancé: Kevin Cone
Fiance is Rookie or Veteran: Going into his 5th season [Falcons, Dolphins (pre season), Arizona (pre season), Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Dolphins (pre season), Currently in CFL (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)]
NFLWAG: Going on 5 years
Cities You've Lived in with NFL: I've never moved.
Off Season Home: Atlanta
Favorite Food: Macaroni and Cheese is my favorite dish and lemon peels.
Music on your iTunes: I don’t have iTunes. I don’t listen to music besides Sirius XM. Right now it's on The Heat (Hip Hop). It’s nice to listen to trap music on the way to your professional job.
Hobbies: I love to paint and read. Generally, I use acrylic paint on canvas. I’m reading Charlaine Harris currently.
Interesting Facts: I was the first person in my family to graduate from college (Georgia Southern) and get a Master’s (UGA). I have a MAT in Science Education. I currently teach Biology to Freshman and APES (AP Environmental Science) to Juniors and Seniors.
Oftentimes, people want to define you based on what your significant other does. You can’t define me by someone else’s merit. - Amber Miller, NFL Fiancee
LM: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?
AM: I was born in Decatur, Ga but was raised mainly in Stone Mountain, Ga. I got to where I am now through hard work and tears. I had to figure it all out by myself being a first generation college student. After I graduated from college, I moved back with my parents and worked at Home Depot in the electrical department. I would cut your wire and teach you how to install 3-way light fixtures. Then I realized that wasn't exactly what I wanted in life. I always felt most comfortable and safe at school. I attributed that to my teachers because they always made me feel special. Eventually, I arrived at the idea of teaching so I applied to UGA. I graduated from UGA in May 2011 and I've been teaching ever since.
LM: How did you and Kevin meet?
AM: [Laughs]. My sister and his sister are best friends. The first time we met, we went to the Stone Mountain laser show with our sisters. Ironically, our parents live in the same neighborhood but I didn’t meet him until my first year at UGA. Growing up, Kevin attended private school and I went to public school so I didn’t know he existed. My mom didn’t really let us leave the house so I wouldn’t have met neighborhood friends.
When we did finally meet, he had a girlfriend but I wasn't feeling him like that anyway. When he graduated from Georgia Tech, he invited me to his graduation party since we lived in the same neighborhood. We connected at his party and exchanged numbers afterward. I should mention here that things didn't work out with his girlfriend. I was still in school at that time and Kevin would be at home working out and training. He cooked lunch for me almost daily. I would walk to his house, eat, then go to school (UGA). That's how you get me! You get me with food. We really started off as friends because I like to eat. No romantic situation there. It progressed from there.
LM: How long have you and Kevin been together?
AM: Officially since August 9, 2011.
I read somewhere that the top occupation for NFL women is teachers.
LM: You are recently engaged! Congratulations! How did he propose?
AM: Well, the trip started off simple enough. We had planned to go to Niagara Falls, Canada for a long weekend before I had to start my summer Gifted Endorsement. I flew to Cleveland (where he was playing at the time) and we drove to Niagara Falls from there. SIDENOTE: Who knew it was so close! We got there and had a great first night sightseeing.
The second day we woke up early, drove across the border back to the states (New York) to do the Maid of the Mist boat tour. It was amazing, beautiful, wonderful, great...all those nice words. We drove back across the border to Canada afterward and I was ready for a nap. Turns out Kevin had made plans for lunch so instead of a nap I had to shower and change clothes (we were soaking wet from the Falls). We went to Skylon, a rotating tower similar to the Sun Dial here in Atlanta, and had a great lunch. Okay, so now I'm tired from the boat trip and from a huge lunch. I need a nap! As we're leaving, Kevin insists that we need to keep sightseeing instead of napping, as to not have a wasted trip. I reluctantly walked with him back to the Falls and I am semi-angry the entire way- full, hot, and miserable. We get to the sidewalk near the Falls and I proceed to get my tourist on, taking photos and enjoying the scenery- not paying Kevin any attention.
He calls my name and I respond without looking. He calls me again, so with my attitude (like we discussed earlier) I swivel around and say, "WHAT?!"...and there he is on his knee. Honestly, I thought he was tying his shoe so I turned back around. He gets me to look at him again and there he is with a little box. I didn't know what was going on for a second and then it hit me. Accompanied by some lovely words, he asks me to marry him. I'd completely blocked out all of the other tourists and people around; I swear the world was muffled for that moment. I could hear my heartbeating so rapidly.
Talk about speechless! All I could do was hug him and eventually got out the word, "YES!" The crowd went wild, and people were clapping and cheering.
I later found out he was walking around with the ring box in his sock (since lunch), and hired a photographer to follow us around and take pictures! Yes, the photog has pics of me being grumpy! We immediately took some professional engagement photos in a nice park across the street from the Falls. After the photos, we walked back to the hotel where I was finally able to take my nap! It was so unexpected as we said we would talk about marriage AFTER football. What I envisioned as just a nice weekend getaway turned out to be something super special that I'll never forget .
LM: Wow! What a great story! That attitude is too funny. I'm sure many women can relate. Sounds like a magical weekend. Let's get into what your days are like in Georgia. What is a typical day like for you?
AM: I wake up at about 6:30 a.m., play with my cat Sheldon for five minutes, get ready for work, and go to work. I have five classes (30-ish students in each class). From there it's Ms. Miller and serious face. School gets out at 3:30 p.m. and I’m not done yet. There’s always some sort of meeting after school related to my students or emails from parents and colleagues. There’s always something for me to do. I get to school early and I always stay late. I’m always there 2 to 2 1/2 hours more than I’m contracted to be. If I don’t work those extra hours, I’ll be behind and the kids won’t get what they need. That’s not fair. I’m there for the kids! Outside of school, I have meetings with students and parents, grade papers, make copies, and set up lab. I may spend 30 minutes to an hour daily grading papers. I get emails through the weekend. Parents will email me at 11:30 p.m. and all kinds of crazy hours. This semester I have 161 students. It’s stressful sometimes because you have to be cordial to everyone no matter what. I read somewhere that the top occupation for NFL women is teachers. I thought that was interesting because I don’t see teachers and football going together. They don’t match.
LM: You two recently moved into your new home. Congratulations! What were some of the factors you both weighed when deciding where to live?
AM: We want to have kids within the next two years so we looked into good school systems, enough bedrooms, and an area with low crime. I was living downtown in Vine City and that's one of Atlanta's high crime areas. I recently got a new teaching job so our new house is close to my job and in a good area.
LM: What are the pros and cons of being engaged to an NFL player?
AM: Cons right now would be the distance. I live here in Georgia and he’s in Winnipeg, Canada right now but he could be anywhere. The pros would be…I think it’s just his personality. He’s understanding of the demands on me. I understand that his work is demanding and he understands I have stuff to do and we’re both okay with that. I don’t work a 9-5. It’s whenever parents and students need me.
LM: What is your love advice to women?
AM: Always be kind even when you don’t want to be. I have a temper and can be moody sometimes but I have to step back a lot and think about if I would want someone to say that to me. Be mindful of what you say. If he asks you to send him banana bread 1000 miles away, just go ahead and do it. He texted me the other day and said, "Babe, I think that banana bread really made me do good in practice. You gotta send me some more.”
LM: Oh, that's funny! Nice of you to do that though. What do you think are the common misconceptions about NFL WAGS?
AM: Overall, most people on the outside looking in think we’re spoiled and kept women who can’t or won’t do for themselves. That’s a big misconception! Even my students will say, “If he’s in the NFL, why are you here?” and I’m like, "What do you mean, 'Why am I here?' This is my job!" Oftentimes, people want to define you based on what your significant other does. You can’t define me by someone else’s merit.
LM: Talk about what the NFL has meant for your family.
AM: For me, a lot of what it's meant has been financial. We were able to purchase this new home. Other than that, it’s meant traveling and getting to hang out in new cities for the Summer and Spring Break. Kevin is really big into charities, especially the team community outreach. He is the first one to sign up for those events and if he can bring me, he will. That’s always nice. We enjoy the events with kids (reading books to elementary school kids, etc). It’s nice to see the business side of it (banquets, donations, etc).It’s also been a lot of headache to coordinate my work schedule with Kevin’s. I know it's selfish to think this way but sometimes I wish he had an easier schedule.
LM: What would you like people to know about you?
AM: I am strange at times but it’s okay to be strange. You don’t have to try to fit into somebody’s box. That’s what I try to teach my students. Don't go out and do crazy stuff but if you’re within the law, it’s okay for you to be yourself and relax; don't be so uptight.
LM: What type of activities, specifically, do you do with your fiancé?
AM: We like to travel. We travel stateside mainly but if I have some time off , we’ll go anywhere. We like to go to vineyards. We’re part of wine clubs. We love to go out to restaurants. I’m not a big cooker but Kevin is. Kevin loves lists. His phone has a lot of lists. We use this app called Couple where you and your partner can create lists to view. Kevin makes lists about everything. He has lists titled, “Things I love about you” and “Dates we need to go on” for example.
LM: What are some of those date ideas he has?
AM: Apple picking, fishing, hot air balloon ride, Star Wars movie marathon, and making our own bread
LM: Has he mentioned what he would like to do in the future?
AM: I could see him being a PE teacher with little kids or working at a vet’s office. He’s a dog whisperer. It’s crazy! He wants to do some internships with the NFL. He wants to start up a nonprofit working with kids and sports. Right now he’s getting his Master’s at Georgia State (MBA) during the off season. He took 2 or 3 classes during the season when he was with the Falcons so that was hard. He always takes classes in the off season though. He’ll drag me to some of his group meetings when they do projects and it’s cool to see him in that element. Whatever he does, it’ll probably involve owning his own business dealing with kids, sports, or both. He did work for Westinghouse. He worked as an engineering intern with nuclear power plants. His possibilities are endless.
LM: What is Kevin’s degree in?
KC: His degree is in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He’s super into Math and all that.
LM: Impressive! What about you? What are your long term goals?
AM: Ideally, as far as work goals I want to work for the County as some sort of professional development coach or educational coach for teachers. I want to help teachers teach students. I don't want to be in the classroom forever. I want to be a classroom teacher for at least ten years though. I’ve been teaching for five years already so I'm halfway there. I also want to learn how to do nails even if I don’t apply it as a career because I love nails. I want to be a mom and raise decent people.
LM: Anything else you would like to add?
AM: I LOVE my cat Sheldon. He’s my first child.
Hilarious! What a fun interview! I'm excited to catch up with Amber later in the season to see what the Canadian Football League experience is like.
This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the beautiful, intelligent, and ambitious LaKisha Gunn. LaKisha and I were introduced by our significant others, who played together while on the Panthers and remain good friends today. I'll never forget when I was dating my husband, LaKisha's fiancé Captain told me, "Just make sure I'm invited to the wedding." A short time after that day, these two attended our wedding in Atlanta. I enjoyed catching up with LaKisha on her way to her nursing gig in Minnesota. Read more on career, weddings, and a fab proposal with this busy bride-to-be!
NFL WAG Stats
ame: LaKisha Gunn
Fiancé: Captain Munnerlyn
Fiance is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. 7th season (Carolina Panthers for 5 years, 2 years with Vikings)
NFLWAG: 1.5 years
Cities You've Lived in with NFL: Charlotte and Minneapolis
Off Season Home: Charlotte
Favorite Food: I love seafood although I have a slight allergy to it. Crab legs are my favorite!
Music on your iTunes: The last thing I bought was Tyrese’s album but I have a wide variety of music from Lil Boosie, Adele, J Cole, Journey, Beyonce, Anthony Hamilton (my favorite), and of course Gospel music.
Hobbies: I enjoy reading but haven’t read anything recent due to working and planning the wedding.
Interesting Facts: I have been an RN for over 10 years. I went to Danville Regional Medical Center School of Nursing and then Winston-Salem State University in Winston Salem, NC to get my Bachelors (BSN). I am a little shy at times but easy to get to know.
Being that far away from family and friends is kinda hard." - LaKisha Gunn, NFL Fiancee
M: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?
LG: I’m originally from Danville, VA. When I was 24, I decided it was time for me to leave my small hometown and I moved to Charlotte. I had a friend who lived in Charlotte and felt it was an up and coming city so I said why not? I was offered a job and within about three months I made the move. I’ve been in Charlotte six and a half years now.
LM: What’s your schedule like as a nurse?
LG: I’ve worked with the same long term care/ rehabilitation facility for about five years in Charlotte. My schedule was pretty flexible but once Cap [Captain] was acquired by the Vikings, I had to quit my job. That was tough for me because I had been there five years and had gotten attached to the families, patients, and my coworkers. Now that we’re in Minnesota, I am currently the Director of Nursing for a home care agency and my schedule is very flexible. I am able to make my own schedule and work from home some days. I’ve been able to work with some great people and climb the ladder. I’ve heard those words, “Your resume is so awesome. Can you start tomorrow?” It’s been a blessing. God has been so good to me. Moving to Minnesota meant putting my career on hold and essentially starting over but I’m able to find work wherever I go.
LM: How did you and Captain meet?
LG: We met three or four years ago at a night club in Charlotte. He tried to talk to me and I wasn’t having it. Unfortunately, due to the stereotypes, I was not trying to talk to a football player, plus I was in a relationship at the time. I told him, “I know how you guys are and what you say.” He was like, “Just give me a chance!” I was pretty firm and said, “Nope. Not doing it.” We didn’t exchange numbers or anything that night. Almost two years ago I ran into him again in a nightclub but this time I was single and my cousin was with me. Cap talked to my cousin and said, “I’m trying to talk to her and she won’t give me the time of day.” My cousin insisted that I should give him a chance and I finally gave in and exchanged numbers with him. The rest is history and it all kind of happened fast. Cap tells me he respected the fact that I didn’t care who he was.
LM: When you know you know! What was the transition into the NFL lifestyle like for you?
LG: For me, coming to Minnesota has been totally different from Charlotte. Being that far away from family and friends is kinda hard. One of Cap’s old college teammates is on the Vikings and his girlfriend is here and she’s from VA as well. We became really really close friends. Having her here helped me out and vice versa. It’s just easier when you know someone going through the same thing you are.
LM: How did your fiancé propose?
LG: Cap proposed on my birthday last year. I was working on my birthday and when I got off work, he had invited friends to a restaurant where we all met up.
Let me back up. Before we went to the restaurant, Cap was getting all cute and I was like, “Why are you looking so cute!" (lol) You know I had to change [clothes]. I felt like something was different because people were calling me all day who would usually text. I was thinking I’m turning 31 so it’s just another year. He had called my parents and asked for my hand in marriage so my dad was being all sentimental and I wondered why.
hen we arrived at the restaurant, a photographer snapped photos of us as we walked in. Cap’s response to the photographer was “Oh yeah, that’s what this restaurant does close to Christmas.” So the photographer is snapping photos the entire time and our friends are there. Captain has all the gifts by the table and he's giving our friends signals with hand gestures (which I didn't notice at the time). I’ m going through the gifts and the last one is a Chanel bag. I was so excited and thinking to myself he has made this such a special day for me.I’m such a simple person and Cap knows that. At this point, the whole restaurant was quiet. He said, “You have one more gift,” and bent down on one knee to propose. After I said “Damn Right” LOL (the non-typical answer…I still can’t believe I said that), we danced in the middle of the restaurant. I was shocked and there was so much going on. It was a surreal moment! It was awesome. He did great.
LM: I love it! Great story. How’s wedding planning going? What’s been your wedding inspiration?
LG: To be honest, I could have a small wedding. I could have a destination wedding or go to the courthouse. Captain is the one who really wants to have a big wedding!
LM: And you have to plan it!
LG: Yeah, and I have to plan it! I want it to be nice. I just want it to be beautiful for us and our family. There hasn’t been any weddings in a very long time on either side of the families. This is really huge for us both.
LM: Do you have your theme or colors?
LG: Yes, we’ve chosen our colors. We are going with my favorite color which is purple, his favorite color of blue, and a hint of silver. We set a date. Our wedding is June 25th, 2016.
LM: Nice! Our wedding was June 26, 2015. Seems like most football couples get married around that time.
LG: Yes, because of football season! That was the only date that really worked. Originally, I wanted to do something with a date of 10 because both of our birthdays are on the 10th but it didn’t work out that way.
LM: Oh, football! What’s a typical day look like for you?
LG: Typically, I wake up and head to the gym. After the gym, I go to work and get home around 5 or 6. Cap usually gets home right after me. I cook dinner. I check emails and straighten the house. Currently, I’m taking care of two houses since we still have one in Charlotte. We’re working on plans for building a house next year in Charlotte as well. It’s been pretty crazy and my days have been full! In the middle of all that, I’m taking care of Cap.
LM: What are the pros and cons of being engaged to an NFL player?
LG: The pros: It’s a blessing having financial stability. Cons: A con for Captain and I both is not being able to spend time with his two children: ages 4 ½ and 2. Football is a tough game and sometimes it comes with injuries...the name of the game is staying healthy. You have to be there as a support system for your guy and stay prayed up at all times. Also, going back and forth from Minnesota to Charlotte during season and offseason can be a lot; We close up one house to go to another house and then do the same routine all over a couple months later. Lastly, sometimes the fans and the women don't have any boundaries.
LM: What do you and your fiancé like to do for fun? What was the last movie you watched together?
LG: Captain and I like to watch movies. He loves the movie Friday so we watch that a lot and Bad Boys. When he has down time he likes to relax so we’ll watch Fresh Prince and Martin, classic shows that make us laugh. We have date nights too. We go out to dinner and movies. Straight Outta Compton was the last movie we saw in the theatres. We enjoy bowling even though I’m not that great at it. Cap is so competitive so it’s always, “I’m gonna beat you! Let’s see who can get a strike!”
LM: What are your long term goals?
LG: My long term goals are to have a healthy relationship, a great marriage, and eventually more kids. He has two children but I want one more I think. I want to open up my own home care agency. One of my fears of post-football life is living paycheck to paycheck. We both make sure we have other stuff [outside of football] going on. Captain has a trucking company he’s working on. You have your financial advisors but you still have to prepare yourself.
LM: What is your love advice to women (or women in the NFL)?
LG: My love advice…hmm…Well, I make sure I tell Cap every morning before he leaves that I love him and give him a kiss. I always say, “Have a great day!” Keep God first in your relationship. Pray for him every night. Pray together every night before bed. Don’t go to bed mad at each other. Those are things we try to incorporate in our relationship.
LM: Great advice! Talk about what the NFL has meant for your family.
LG: The NFL has provided us with a blessed life thus far. We are able to provide for ourselves, and ensure the children and family are taken care of. The NFL has afforded Captain the opportunity to live out his dream of playing pro football. I love watching him out there every Sunday becoming a beast on the field.
LM: What would you like people to know about you?
LG: I would like people to know I’m humble and down to earth. I’m true to myself. I don’t let my surroundings dictate what I do or make me become something that I’m not. You see different things in the NFL but I’m just always me.