Ashleigh and Stephen
How We Met
Stephen and I met through my older brother. Stephen had moved to Georgia from Florida September of 2015 and was working with Matthew at the church at the time. Matthew (my older brother) would come home talking non-stop about this new guy who would be a great fit for me. Me, being the independent young woman, turned down every opportunity to meet this guy — I was just fine on my own.
Fast forward to January and my brother and two friends of ours went to a conference down in Atlanta. To bypass paying for parking at our hotel, we decided to carpool to the MARTA station (Atlanta’s kick at public subway transportation). I parked my car at the church and off we went to our conference. Stephen was at this same event, but we due to the size of it, we never saw him.
When it was all said and done, we packed up our things and hopped on the next MARTA back towards my brother’s car. By the time we got there, we realized the keys were nowhere to be found — we had left them somewhere in Atlanta. We were supposed to meet Stephen for lunch, but he hopped in his car and picked me up so I could grab my car and drive those who came with us back home.
Those first 20 minutes with Stephen were seriously the best. I never felt so comfortable with someone in my life. I’m shy and awkward at times but talking to this tall, blonde that my brother had been raving about was completely natural.
We texted non-stop after that. We met in person a few times (I basically begged my brother to go to work lunches with him just so I could see this guy again) but texted every single day. February came around and he took my dad out and asked him if we could start a dating relationship.
Turns out losing your keys isn’t the worst thing in the world.
How He Asked
I never wanted a crazy proposal. I didn’t want the flash mobs, billboards, or even an elaborately planned evening. I asked him to keep it on the down-low whenever he wanted to do it.
I work at a little local boutique up in North Georgia. My job is fun because sometimes I run the store, sometimes I paint furniture, sometimes I run errands for my boss. On one particular Friday, I was going to be working all day and my boss and I would flip the store from fall to Christmas.
That week, I felt like Stephen was totally distant. In fact, the day before the proposal, I spent all day just so mad at him for not making time for me all week. Before I went to bed, he called me to tell me he would be picking me up and taking me to work and staying all day to help. “That’s fine, whatever.” Were my exact words, I’m pretty sure.
Sure enough there he was at 8:00 the next morning, work clothes and all. After having a tiff with my parents (who also didn’t know what was happening), I begrudgingly got in his car and we went to work.
We worked in silence for about an hour, moving everything around. I went to the back to put something up and got called back to the front of the store by my boss. I walked up to the store and remember starting the sentence, “Did you call me?” but being interrupted by locking eyes with my boyfriend who was on one knee in front of me. In his hands was the ring I had been eyeing for months, complete with a diamond gifted to him by his late grandfather.
After backing up and nearly falling to the ground, I said yes!