Baylee and Austin
How We Met
Austin and I met in pre-school at Small Blessings in Orlando, Florida where we also lived down the street from each other. Small Blessings has now turned out to be our biggest blessing…
We went through pre-school and elementary school together and in 5th grade we were put in the same class again- this is where it all began! I was standing at my safety patrol post at Shenandoah Elementary school when one of my girlfriends ran up to me to tell me how word had spread that Austin Hogan didn’t just like me, but he “like-liked” me. I’ll never forget that rush of excitement and of course I said for her to go tell everyone that I liked him too! Later that week, Austin called me on my house phone (back when those were a thing) and asked me in his then squeaky little voice if I would “go out with him.” I said yes and after the shortest phone call of our lives, we had our first girlfriend/boyfriend that turned into being our only.
We went through all of middle school, high school, and college only growing closer together and loving each other more and more. Austin is everything that at 5th grade I didn’t really know I wanted, but the Lord knew I needed. Apart from how well he loves me, he doesn’t know a stranger, cares about every person he meets, and is so intentional in his relationships. On November 15th 2006 when my house phone rang, I had no idea what we would grow to be. I think that’s the best part, the innocence of it all, and the fact that we never stayed together just because of how long we had been dating. We just love one another the best way we know how and these 10 years have flown by.
Loving Austin is easy. He is my very best friend, my hardest laugh, my biggest smile and the literal love of my life. We both have a strong faith in Jesus, which we believe is the sole reason we are here today- because of the Lord’s plan for us. It has been over 10 years of never getting tired of one another other. We grew up loving each other but always stayed true to who we were individually, which has made a huge impact. I have been able to see my childhood crush, my only boyfriend, and my soon-to-be HUSBAND grow up to be the greatest man in the world!
How He Asked
We have been together for ten years and Austin’s determination to surprise me (no matter the occasion) has never wavered. Chivalry is not dead my friends! Because of Austin’s incredible thoughtfulness and the way he is always trying to out-do his previous surprise, I knew he would go big. However, never in my wildest dreams did I suspect anything like this. We were set to meet my family for 4th of July weekend in Naples, Florida. I am oblivious and didn’t realize he drove to the Miami airport and not Naples (same distance from Orlando but a different side of Florida). My mom and sisters packed a huge suitcase with everything I needed in the trunk. I made quite a scene in the airport crying and loudly calling each one of my friends over FaceTime. We got on our plane and woke up in ITALY!
After a day of exploring, I was met with another surprise and we boarded our Mediterranean CRUSIE! WHAT!? More tears and a few hours later, we were in a car headed to the Amalfi Coast. Then the moment I had imagined for 10 years was unfolding in front of me. Austin, my greatest blessing, got down on one knee, with Positano, Italy in the background and I lost it. I had dreamed about this moment but never did I think it would be as touching as it was. I hadn’t wrapped my head around the fact that I was on this trip and then he was saying the sweetest of words with a ring in his hand! Everyone knows I always have something to say, but in that moment I was absolutely speechless.
The photographer and videographer pulled around in a separate boat cheering and I was surprised yet again! He really had it all figured out and has now told me he was so relieved when his plan fell into place flawlessly. We rode around the coast, jumped in the Mediterranean Sea to celebrate, ate lots of pizza, and NEVER stopped smiling. It was the most perfect day. We then spent the rest of our trip making memories of a lifetime and calling each other “fiancé.”