As fate would have it, the musical-theater-loving (Shannon) met the athletic enthusiast (Tom) in a singles' softball league. Their first date was a pumpkin-carving contest at a bar in Chicago, Illinois. Five years later, on a rainy Halloween night, Tom carved his proposal into a display of pumpkins, each letter in a new pumpkin. He led Shannon out to see them. As she read them, he pulled a ring out of a pumpkin that he had carved into a sparkling solitaire.