Updated: February 12, 2015 11:28 AM ET | Originally published: February 11, 2015 4:24 PM EST

The bride-to-be says her fateful night began at the zoo.

The Lincoln Park Zoo lights festival in Chicago, to be exact, which is where, on a very cold night, her boyfriend said he wanted to give her an early Christmas present.

“Seriously, right now? Are you crazy?” she recounts on HowHeAsked.com.

But he was serious, and he wasn’t crazy, and so he handed his future fiancee this flip-book made by The Flippist.

“Of course, I started bawling,” she writes of the surprise ending. “I almost got frostbite afterwards because I refused to put my gloves back on!”

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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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