When Mine Auelua bought Patriots tickets for her boyfriend Anthony Momoemausu for his birthday, she thought she would be the only one creating surprise after surprise. Mine secured tickets to the Patriots game against the Jets, planned a trip from their native New Zealand and even scored on-field passes to watch his favorite team warm up.
And yet, Anthony still managed to pull off the biggest surprise of the trip: a proposal.
"I had always planned to propose to this beautiful, talented, loving Samoan woman on our America trip, but it was always a question of when," Anthony said.
Before the Patriots game, Anthony booked a helicopter ride over New York City. There, he popped the question, much to Mine's shock.
"To be honest, when we left Wellington, I didn't think this was going to be the trip he would propose," Mine said. "We have had a tough year with a lot of family things popping up and he's always providing for others. I'm normally good at anticipating surprises, but this one totally caught me off guard, which made me love it even more."
With one last surprise of her own, Mine wanted to ensure Anthony's first Patriots game was one he would remember.
As they stood on the sideline watching the Patriots warm up, they were able to celebrate their commitment in the most fitting way. Robert Kraft greeted the couple and a friend who made the trip from Canada to be with them.
This year has held personal trials, Mine said, so to be able to give Anthony this moment was special. And to be able to do so now as his fiancée made it even sweeter.
"He is always putting others before himself, moved back home after university to look after his parents, always helping the local youth of his community to ensure they succeed in life, one of the leaders at his church and just someone I aspire to be everyday," Mine said. "He has a heart of gold and he really deserves the world. I was hoping he was going to be able to meet Tom Brady but I think meeting Mr Kraft that really made his trip."