Hayley and Payton
How We Met
Paton and I met at the end of our senior years of high school, so you could almost call us high school sweethearts! We went to rival highschools in small towns. We did not have the most romantic first meeting, but thanks to Facebook, we connected for the first time. After a fun summer together, we had to go our separate ways for college. After an emotional night saying goodbye, we knew we wanted to stay together through long distance, despite having intentions of our relationship only being a summer fling. Paton attended college in Illinois and played football, while I danced and studied nursing in Tennessee. After our first year of college, Paton ended up switching his major, and was able to transfer to my school in TN.
How He Asked
Fast forward to April 16th, 2017 (Easter)–the day Paton popped the question! We headed deep into the mountains of Colorado to his family ranch; Paton’s favorite place. The plan was to hang out by the pond and go shed hunting. (Side note for city folk: shed hunting is when you look for elk/deer antlers that have been shed/fall off each season, when they grow new ones.) We hopped on the back of the four wheeler and took off. Paton suggested we get off and walk farther down the road. As we turned the corner, I saw a huge antler in the middle of the trail and ecstatically ran to it. Encouraging me to keep looking, Paton said, “Keep your eye out now because the elk usually drop the pair close together.” I spotted another huge antler down the path. Paton had to run after me so I did not reach it before him. A small box was tied to a horn. When Paton opened it and got down on one knee, I started crying. The answer was obviously “yes”! It was a beautiful moment for just the two of us. We hung out by the pond together for a while practicing using the word “fiancé/fiancée”, and then headed back to town for weekly Sunday dinner at my house, where my entire family was waiting with a champagne toast! It was a perfect day and night!