Katy Allen: Media (Part 1)

Katy Allen, The High School Sweetheart  

Homecoming Queen and the "coolest chick on the planet," according to Kris
Inviting Arkansas Magazine

Katy O'Connell Allen, daughter of Peggy and Peter O'Connell, was born into a military family, who moved to Arkansas when Katy was three years old, moved away for few years, and then back to Arkansas when Katy was nine. She was a very involved young lady, was on swim team and took gymnastics and acting classes. "I just had a well rounded and happy childhood," Katy says, "and I'm grateful for that."

While attending Mills High School, Katy remembers falling for Kris. "We were in the orchestra together. He played the viola. I played the violin. We started really liking each other n the All-Region orchestra trip," she recalls. "He was 16 and I was 15, and we just had special connection." Early in their courtship Katy remembers Kris playing and singing for her. "He was into the band Creed at the time and one of the first song he ever sang to me was 'With Arms Wide Open.'    He was just as incredible then he is now."

"Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
Totally should check out the lyrics, and tell me you MUST not imagine about their story, how Kris sang it to her....(yeah, let's cue the AWWW) - edited
After graduating from Mills, Katy made her way to the University of Arkansas in pursuit of degree in Marketing. She enjoyed collage life and made her mark on campus when she crowned homecoming queen in 2007. "It was a great experience because you are chosen for your involvement and the impact you make on campus," she says. "The university was looking to expand sorority life and had several national chapters come and make presentations. They chose Alpha Omicron Pi and along with some great girls I helped colonize the U of A chapter."

Kris and Katy continued dating while in collage, and from the beginning pr their relationship, Katy just knew they belonged together. "We grew up together and even though we had from time to time, we just knew."

and about a month later... THE PROPOSAL
WHEN WE GOT ENGAGED November 15, 2007  
HOW IT HAPPENED Kristopher's proposal was absolutely perfect. I figured he might ask me to marry him sometime after Christmas, so I was completely shocked when he did it on a random Thursday. He enlisted the help of my best pal Leeanne and asked her to take me to the square in Fayetteville. I thought that he was in Central Arkansas that night and had no idea that he had driven up that day. Leeanne told me that we were going to the coffee shop in the square to see one of her friends, but she pulled into a parking spot by a bench before we got there. She told me to go look under the bench and that she was leaving me there. At first I was a bit freaked out, but I eventually obeyed her strange request.
Under the bench I found a letter with a number one on it. I sat on the bench and read the letter. It said "do you remember when" and talked all about when we first got together. The end of the letter told me to go to the next bench where I found another letter full of memories and instructions to move to yet another bench. This went on until I finally got to the 5th bench.
When I opened the 5th letter it said "Do you remember when it was November 15th on a cold night in Fayetteville, AR and I asked you to marry me?" The next thing I knew Kristopher was walking towards the bench with his guitar. He sat down and started singing a song that he had written for me. The song ended with "will you marry me", and then he got down on one knee an asked me in 'non-singing' words. I of course said yes and he gave me the most beautiful ring. We took a few pictures and then drove home in the middle of the night to tell his family.
"We got engaged on the Fayetteville Square. I planned it and it was a surprise. She was going to school in Fayetteville, and she had no idea I was going to be there. A friend dropped her off at the square and I had all of these notes taped under the benches -- each one about a different part of our relationship because we had been together for seven years, and so it was very cool. She read all of them and at the last one, I was there." -- [Kris in Celebrate Arkansas Magazine, July 2009]

After graduation Katy joined Kris in Conway and began career at Axicom. The couple was engaged and making wedding plans when the whirlwind of American Idol entered their lives. "The first audition was in July, then round two in August," says Katy. "We were married on September 26th, and he headed to Hollywood week after we returned from our honeymoon." Life changed overnight and once it was obvious that Kris would make his way as a member of the top 10 finalist, Katy moved to Los Angeles to be with her husband.

There were many highlights for Katy during American Idol journey. One that stands out most is when Kris made it to Top 3 round. "Being there that night and hearing them call his name was the best feeling," says Katy. "We were there with close friends, and we wanted Kris to be able to come home to Arkansas for hometown visit." Katy conveyed that she doesn't cry often, but this particular moment was emotional for her. Watching the competition in the audience week after week, Katy reveals that when Kris won, she was speechless. "I felt I couldn't breathe. In my head I kept saying 'he won the whole thing' The entire experience was surreal."

Life after Idol hasn't slowed down for the newlyweds. Now planted in her home away from home, Katy is spending summer with friends she meet during the show. "Kris is rehearsing and co-writing from morning until late at night," Katy says. "In the evening's we spend time together. This type of experience teaches you to live for the moment, because you really can't make a plan for future," she concedes. "I've always been a big planner and letting go of that has been good." Living life in the Hollywood spotlight can present challenges, but Katy is solid and unaffected. "I'm focusing on the positive and spending my energy on productive things."

In addition to spending time with friends, Katy is honing her acting skills. "I performed in plays at the Arkansas Art Center as a child,'' says Katy. "I continued that path in high school and collage, and it is a dream I've had all my life." Walking in the red carpet before the final show, Katy cinched the look of Hollywood starlet. "I've always joked that my goal in life is to play Reese Witherspoon's sister in a movie," she revealed. She is smart, beautiful, articulate, and chances are she'll achieve any goal she sets.

Watch out Hollywood! - Inviting Arkansas Magazine

Full snap/scan from the magazine go here (thanks to @krispics)



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