Amber and AJ
How We Met
I had just moved to Arkansas from Chicago with my family two weeks after graduating high school. Believe me, I was NOT happy! It was a complete culture shock and I wanted nothing to do with Arkansas. Luckily, after a couple weeks of being there, I had freshman orientation for Oklahoma State University followed by a weekend program called Camp Cowboy. My mom traveled with me for orientation and then left me at OSU for the weekend. Camp Cowboy is an amazing weekend experience led by upperclassmen and designed for freshmen to learn about the university, its traditions and make friends before the fall semester begins. I had a met a group of girls at check-in and we ended up sticking together all weekend.
Once we arrived out to the campground, we split into our groups, found our cabins and bunks and settled in. The school had a full slate of programming for us for the weekend and it started with meeting our counselors. These were the upperclassmen that were our group leaders and were sort of like big brothers/sisters. They taught us traditions of OSU, school songs, gave advice (like not to walk up the front steps of Morrill Hall) and answered any of those goofy questions college freshmen have. After dinner, dancing was the activity for the evening. An instructor was brought in to teach us how to two-step. Now in addition to the counselors, there was another group called wranglers. These were the funny, obnoxious, outgoing, goofballs of the group that did skits, demonstrations and really kept the energy high all weekend. They were assisting the instructor in teaching us how to two-step (mind you, this Chicago girl still DOES NOT two-step!). After the brief instruction, we were told to pair up. I turned around and the girls I was with all had partners and I was standing there alone trying to find ANYONE to pair with. Enter AJ. He’s not a small guy by any means and definitely not quiet. He jumps off the stage and the first words I ever heard out of his mouth were, “I’m single and ready to mingle”! I immediately started laughing and grabbed him as my partner and figured it couldn’t be that bad, it’s just a short dance.
Well, I guess we hit it off! AJ hung out with my little group for the rest of the night and we had a great time just joking around. The next day, we had a program to learn about opening a checking account at a local bank in Stillwater if we needed it. I ended up answering a question and won a goofy frisbee. He stole the frisbee from me, grabbed a Sharpie and proceeded to write every mode of contact information on there (phone number, Facebook, Twitter) and the following: “You can quit drooling over my hot bod”! He threw it back to me and I was confused and laughing all at once. Later that night, I made the first move and ended up texting him. We chatted all night which turned into all summer. We reconnected at school a couple months later and quickly became best friends. It took him awhile to get me to come around and break him out of the friend zone, but he finally made it out in January of my second semester of college and we’ve been together since. I can definitely tell you one thing, I have done a lot of laughing over the last five and a half years!
How He Asked
So let me just start out by saying that my friends and my fiance are LIARS! A week before the proposal, AJ had told me he had four track meets the next week for work and wanted me to put them on the calendar (at least he knows I am OCD and need it written down). He was going to be all over the Metroplex throughout the week so it was nice to at least know where he was. On Tuesday, my best friend Jenna had asked me to go to dinner; we typically try to go at least once a week. So we are sitting there talking and we both know the proposal is coming sometime between now and mid-June when AJ and I are vacationing in Mexico. I had told her I was convinced it would happen in Mexico because WHY NOT?! As we are chatting she asks if I think I am going to cry and I told her no! I’m not an overly emotional person and don’t just cry for anything. She proceeded to say that she thinks he will have to totally catch me off guard or say something REALLY good during the proposal. We continue eating and she later asks if I had plans for Saturday because a friend of hers (who I haven’t met) was getting drinks with friends downtown at Klyde Warren Park and they invited us! I naturally said sure because AJ was scheduled to be an hour away at a track meet for a majority of the day. Fast forward to that Saturday. I was getting ready and actually had to dress cute. If you know Jenna and I, this is a STRUGGLE! We live in workout clothes and base all dining/activity decisions based on whether or not we have to dress halfway decent, but that’s beside the point. While getting ready, I got a Snapchat from a couple that we know saying they were headed to Klyde Warren to eat at the food trucks. I told Jenna we needed to call them and see if they were still there and meet us for drinks. She picked me up around 2:00 or so and we drove downtown. Once parked, she asked if we could walk the park first since she had never been down there. I said sure since I hadn’t either! We walk the majority and come to an intersection and I turn to head toward the restaurant, but she insists on going to the other side of the park so I obliged. Then all of the sudden she starts HAULING butt in her healed boots and I’m trying to keep up. Out of the corner of my eye I see this guy stand up and he resembled AJ, but I wrote him off since he was supposed to be an hour and a half away! I looked again and sure enough it was AJ. Then I see Chelsea and Brice (the couple from earlier) on either side of the pathway. One with a camera and the other with their phone and Jenna is now also recording. I immediately started freaking out and I asked him like seven times what he was doing there. I apparently also was backing away and Chelsea had to motion to me to stop because I was moving out of the frame. When I finally asked him again why he was there, he just smiled and INSTANT tears. He grabbed my hand, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I’m convinced I didn’t actually say the word because I was bawling, had my hand on my face and shook my hand, but minor details! Clearly he got his answer!
After the fact, everyone in the park was clapping for us. Hugs and high-fives ensued with the group. We ended up having Chelsea take a few freshly engaged pictures, we grabbed a drink and actually enjoyed the park like I thought we were there to do. As we started calling family and friends, I was amazed at the amount of people who knew the plan and didn’t spill the beans! After the excitement, we went back to the house to clean up and change and met a larger group for a celebratory dinner!
What really cracks me up is how well AJ played it off since he is typically NOT a good liar (needless to say I second guess my friends all the time now!). He had been leaving early every morning for those track meets and he left the house that morning at 7:30. He had packed a bag the night before and even snagged by nice Nikon camera to take so Chelsea could use it to capture the moment. He ended up going to work out with Chelsea and Brice that morning and then changed and went down to Klyde Warren to eat. They ate at the food trucks and he changed clothes again because he was afraid of getting food on his shirt! They then mapped out where Jenna and I needed to walk, where they would hide and just waited! He absolutely sold it and there even was a track meet that day in Bonham, he just didn’t have to be there! I literally had zero idea and am still puzzled on how he pulled it off without me questioning any of it.
And one of my favorite things that AJ actually gets to take credit for is our wedding hashtag. As a huge Disney and Beauty and the Beast fan, I about fell over when he told me. So excited that #BeautyAndBatiste will be tying the knot on September 15, 2018!