Audrey and Andrew
How We Met
On a beautiful spring day my freshman year, a good friend asked if I wanted to go buy a popsicle in downtown Athens from her guy friend (“who was older and very cute”). I was confused about the popsicle idea, but I went because I rarely say no to sweets. Andrew worked for King of Pops, and had a cart set up on the street corner. I was introduced to Andrew, got a pop, and let my friends chat while I sat down and enjoyed the chocolate sea salt goodness. I then interrupted their conversation to buy another one because I liked the first one so much! This apparently was intriguing to Andrew, and while I didn’t think much of our interaction, I found out later that he asked my friend about me later that day. To which she responded, “She has a boyfriend so don’t even think about it.”
We had other brief and funny interactions like that in college, but nothing that seemed very meaningful. The crazy thing is we both remember every single one of those interactions in specific detail. Andrew still says he remembers what I was wearing when I bought those popsicles, which is mind-blowing considering that he met hundreds of people during his time slinging pops.
After Andrew graduated two years later in 2014 our lives crossed paths on a summer night in Atlanta celebrating the birthday of the same friend who introduced us, and we finally got to really talk for the first time. He asked how my summer had been. I was honest and vulnerable; it had been a difficult one. I told him I was missing the encouraging community I had during the school year in Athens. While I thought nothing of it, that conversation was a crucial one. Up until that point Andrew, although intrigued since the double pop day, convinced himself that I probably was not his type. I guess the authenticity in that first “real” conversation was refreshing to him.
We talked more the rest of night than we had in the two years since meeting. He asked for my number that night but I didn’t hear much from him in the coming months. I had had a relationship end a few weeks before that night. Andrew knew what that was like so he made the decision to give me space and time to, in his words, “fall in love with who I was created to be.” During that window of time I was a little antsy. My heart would race when I saw his name pop up in my phone, and I was on edge whenever I knew he was in town. I didn’t understand why I was so intrigued by him all of a sudden. I just knew I had a serious crush on him. I wanted to know him. Yet I always tried to act like I wasn’t interested and that I didn’t even notice him when he was around. Way to play it cool, right?
Finally after six months he called and asked me on a date. That first date was incredible… It was nerve racking and so easy all at once. We went to dinner, ice skating, star gazed with our feet hanging off of a railroad trestle, and found ourselves laughing a whole lot. Seemed that both of us fell for one another really quickly. From the early stages of our relationship we felt a sense of security, openness, and freedom to be who we truly are with one another. It also was so full of excitement and adventure. We were so pleasantly surprised with how many shared interests we have when we had initially thought we were so different. Our relationship obviously took effort, but it always felt so life giving and well worth our time. It was the first relationship that I was in where there wasn’t an underlying question of “Is this right?”
It was amazing to watch our stories unfold and see how much everything just made sense. Andrew got a great job in Athens which enabled us to live in the same town and date during my senior year. Then halfway through the year, I got a job in Athens as well. The way all of that worked out combined with the confidence we both have in our relationship propelled us into thinking more seriously about marriage in our near future.
How He Asked
After a year and a half of dating, and just two weeks after my college graduation, Andrew asked to take me on a date out at the lake. He told me he wanted to have one last fun date before I left this summer to go work in British Columbia for a month. We took the boat out around 6 pm and went to a restaurant on the water. We had a great time, but Andrew did some funny and uncharacteristic things at dinner like forgetting to pay for a drink, then spilling some of it on his pants, and turning the boat off too early so it was drifting straight in to the dock. It all makes sense now knowing that his mind was clearly somewhere else!
After dinner the sun was about to set and it was absolutely beautiful out, so he mentioned that we should go on a “sunset cruise.” We enjoyed a slow 15 minute cruise until he unexpectedly said, “let’s go home, this is it, right?” As we pulled up to the dock I questioned him and asked why we were going home when the sun was about to set. He replied, “Let’s go see what your brother is up to.” I was slightly disappointed that this date was ending so soon.
As we stepped out onto the dock, he grabbed my hand and led me away from the grass and instead towards the other side of the dock. I noticed there were 5 or 6 guys sitting in a boat at the dock next to us, and I blurted out, “What are you doing? Look at these people watching us!” But Andrew blocked them out and soon I forgot they were there too. He looked at me and started talking about how special this spot is for us. It’s the exact spot that he told me he loved me for the first time about a year ago.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I listened to the rest of his words, which ended with “I’ve been on incredible adventures in my life; I’ve climbed huge mountains and I’ve been all I’ve over the world, but nothing compares to the adventure of loving you. Audrey Suzanne Anderson, will you marry me?” With tear-filled eyes I exclaimed “YES” and I was so overjoyed and ecstatic just looking at his face that I forgot to even look at the ring.
He had to gently grab my hand and ask, “Can I put it on?” As we talked through it later he told me that his main concern was not dropping the ring into the lake! Once he put it on I then heard an uproar of cheers and looked to see a mob of our friends and family standing in a yard across the lake sending Chinese lanterns over our heads.
It was so beautiful and overwhelming all at once that all I could do was laugh, point at the lanterns, and ask questions like “How is this happening?!” and “How do you have this ring?!” Then the last thing I finally noticed was our best friend Jeff who had been photographing us the whole time. It was a wild and exhilarating moment, which led in to one of the sweetest nights of my life. Andrew had arranged all of our friends and family to be there to welcome us in to the house and have a party that night. There were candles covering the front porch, fun music was playing, and the house was stocked with food and champagne. Our parents first met us in the driveway and then we made our way to all of our friends and siblings. The backyard had a big screen set up with a slideshow of us, and there was a banner that one of my best friends made that read, “Here’s to forever.” And I have to say, that pretty much sums it up. I am still in awe that Andrew and I get to be together forever. The love and support from everyone was so overwhelming, and we are beyond thrilled to begin this journey together.