Ingrid and Austin

How We Met: Austin and I met our freshmen year of high school. We both had the same English class and I distinctly remember him correcting my mispronunciation during a popcorn reading session. It wasn’t until the second semester ended that he looked me up on Facebook and from then on, we spent countless hours talking with one another. He made me giddy and laugh like no one else ever had. Way past midnight on July 27, 2009 we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend.

Five Guys was our first date. We took a seat on the tall stools near the soda fountain, waiting for our little cheeseburgers and fries to be made. And boy, we were giggling fools with googly eyes! I remember the way he looked at me, those gorgeous blue eyes nearly completely hidden by those cute cheeks of his, and feeling butterflies in my stomach.

My cheeks were aching but I couldn’t stop smiling – there was just something about Austin. To this day I have no idea what we talked about but the way I felt, that’s something I couldn’t possibly forget. The best way to describe that feeling would be one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs “I’m wonderstruck, blushing all the way home.” As cheesy as that sounds, I was very much enchanted by him.

How He Asked: The restaurant where Austin works closed Saturday, given that it was Independence Day, and it was such a sweet surprise to get to see him. When he came over he had a bouquet of budding flowers, which he told me were lilies and that he remembered how much I loved watching them bloom.

My mother was kind enough to take them out of my hands so we could go to our reservation even though it was at eight o’clock, giving Austin and I nearly three hours to kill. Before heading out we took a quick picture together, something we like to do any time we get to be with each other.

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Along the way to the PF Chang’s in Sugar Land, Austin made a turn on a street we would usually take whenever we went to the movies. That’s when I noticed the little neighbourhood park. Nearly every time we come from that road, we always suggest that we go there one day and we finally did!

We parked in the lot for the neighbourhood swimming pool and I was just taken away by how beautiful and serene it was. There was a slight breeze and the sun wasn’t burning us to a crisp, just perfect weather for once given that it had been raining in the earlier days. It was romantic.

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We walked hand in hand until we found this little spot, what he referred to as a “shade cover”. He pulled me in and in silence, we just stared at the beauty before us. It took me by surprise when he wrapped his arms around me and just gave me the tightest squeeze. When I looked up at him I knew something was up but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

It wasn’t until he started speaking, voice shaking and eyes gleaming, that I was starting to put two and two together. I can’t remember word for word but this was the gist of it: He told me that we had been together for nearly six years, with lots of good times as well as bad times. I was the only one who could put up with him and his weirdness, that he loved me, and I was the only one he wanted to go through life with. That he wasn’t going to wait any longer to start.

He got down on his knee and I was crying-laughing. He could barely keep his excitement together as well. “Ingrid Ramirez… will you marry me?” To say I was shocked and over the moon would be an understatement. Some normal people would give their response right away, but not this girl. I couldn’t stop the cry-laugh thing for several seconds. I’m sure it felt like several minutes for him. He said “I’m still waiting for confirmation here!” I was finally able to control myself and I said “Yes! Yes! A million times Yes!”

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We embraced and kissed and just enjoyed being together. Austin pulled out a selfie stick and started snapping a few pictures here and there since it was just the two of us.

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We found a nearby bench and just held each other. After some time he adjusted the time of our reservation to half an hour earlier and celebrated, our first meal as fiancé and fiancée. And on the drive back we watched the sky being filled colorful fireworks. Everything about it was just perfect!

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July 4, 2015 is a day I will never forget.