Emily and Tom
How We Met
Emily – Tom and I met in our second year of high school. And to be honest he was a bit of a jerk back then, some of my first memories of him include Tom pulling the chair out from under me (even though he still claims he didn’t), laughing at me and just purely being annoying. So when classmates told me that Tom had a crush on me, I distinctly remember laughing at them, because I honestly thought Tom hated me and just wanted to have a laugh at me. After school one day, Tom actually pulled me aside and told me that he liked me, I’m fairly certain I walked away and couldn’t believe what he had just said.
There was a pivotal point in our friendship, where Tom came back from a youth camp completely different. It was like his whole character had been softened and changed, it was then that I realised that I really liked this guy. For a long time our friendship was completely Jesus-based, with Tom asking me questions about Jesus, about the Bible and how to be in relationship with Jesus. One of the first things I told Tom about was that my Dad had a very strict dating rule, I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 18… and we were 14. With that established, I so clearly remember Tom saying that he didn’t care and that he would wait. Although we weren’t technically dating, we both knew and everyone around us knew that we were unofficially dating!
After I had turned 18, Tom officially asked me to be his girlfriend, with no hesitation, I said yes. We have been together for nearly 5 years and it’s incredible how much someone can change your life. In those years we have seen the best and the worst of each other, we have grown and learnt and encouraged each other through it all. Tom is my best friend and in my opinion, the funniest person I know, I couldn’t really imagine life without him!
Tom – I was always a bit of a trouble maker growing up, consistently finding myself in the principle’s office throughout my teenage years. I had a habit for saying horrible things to people and reputation for doing the dumbest stuff until I met Emily and it all changed. Although we were polar opposites I just couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. In 2012 our year level went on a school trip and I was lucky enough to be in the same group as Emily and even better still, on the same bus for the 16 hour trip to Canberra. Although boys and girls were not able to sit together, on the way home I sat in the row behind Emily and we stayed up all night together just simply talking and laughing about the silliest things, but all I can remember is her beautiful smile from that night.
As a couple of young teenage love birds without a car or money our first date was to our school’s musical production and then McDonald’s for ice cream and home before 9 pm, super romantic right? But I promise it does get better! Over the past 5 years it seems that all my favorite memories involve Em, whether it be the countless road trips to beaches, waterfalls and lookouts or continually getting lost while hiking or all of our date nights where I’d have to pretend to be cultured and not do a very good job at it. Emily truly changed my life for the better and it was only right for us to take the next step…
How He Asked
Tom – Planning the engagement was the most stressful yet enjoyable few weeks of my life so far. I had so many different ideas going through my head of what to do and it wasn’t until the last week before the day that I had finally set plans. With 4 days to go I met with Emily’s dad and was so nervous about asking for his blessing because I had no idea what he expected of me so I just shared with him how I felt about his daughter and that everyday I would do my very best to protect her. He responded as though he knew it was coming, he paused for what felt like an eternity and then finally gave his answer and prayed for me going into this next chapter of my life. Things all seemed to be going well until 2 days before I received a phone call cancelling my dinner reservation as the restaurant would be closing early on Christmas Eve. This caused me a lot of stress and left me with a huge hole in my plans but with some phone calls and rearranging I was able to sort it all out again.
Emily – In the week leading up to Christmas Tom asked me to not do anything Saturday (Christmas Eve) so that he could take me out during the day as his present to me for Christmas, for a moment I thought it was a bit suspicious, but I didn’t think anything of it. On Christmas Eve we got up early and set off to one of our favourite hiking spots where we were able to see the sun rise over the hills and check out some waterfalls. Being in nature is one of my most favourite things as this is where I feel closest to Jesus, closest to Tom and where I feel most comfortable, so to take me to nature was the perfect start to the day!
Once we were finished Tom took me to my favourite cafe, Mister Sunshines; I am someone who is continually hungry (and gets grumpy when I haven’t eaten enough), so to take me to my favorite cafe made me pretty happy! After brunch, we went back to my house where Tom surprised me with another gift, some new bathers, and not just any bathers… sunflower bathers!
I’d wanted them for so long, so to get them as a present… well you can imagine how delighted I was! We spent the afternoon at Henley beach eating ice-cream, frolicking in the water and walking along the shore line. After the beach Tom took me back home where he told me to spend time with my family and relaxing, there was a part of me that thought that tonight was going to be the night. I asked what we were doing that night and Tom said to be ready by 7:30 pm and to be wearing something nice, my mind couldn’t help but wonder at where the night would take us… Tom came to the door with flowers and with a heart full of anticipation we got in the car and set off for the night. Tom seemed to be going quite slow and trying to buy time but we finally got to a winery in the Barossa Valley. We pulled up next to a beautiful rose garden where Tom had planned a picnic for us and watched the sun go down over the vineyards and hills.
Throughout the night Tom kept telling me how proud he was of me for getting through the year and Merry Christmas in an effort to make me believe nothing was happening. After the picnic and watching the stars appear in the sky we went back to the car to go home. But when we got in the car Tom told me “I’ve got one more surprise for you.” We drove around the corner to another part of the garden where Tom, holding my hand, lead me to a rotunda covered in fairy lights. As soon as I saw the fairy lights I started tearing up because I knew this was it.
Tom – Once we got to the rotunda that I had cleaned up, fixed and decked out in fairy lights I had a thousand thoughts flying around my head. I was worried, anxious, excited, nervous and overjoyed all at once. I had so many words to say but just couldn’t get anything logical to come out so I told her how much I loved her and that I wanted to spend forever with her, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.
Emily – And without doubt I said YES!!!!!