Jenna and Austin

How We Met

Austin and I met teaching second grade Sunday school back in 2010. I was a sophomore and he was a junior in high school. He was a tall and lanky runner, while I not not find running enjoyable in the least. I was busy with other things going on in life, so I quit after a few months. Flash forward to about a year later in the Spring of 2011. It was a normal Sunday in church service and I remember seeing him turn around during a worship song and yelling, “Hey, Jenna!” I did not recognize him at first, and yelled a quick hello back. I didn’t even remember Austin’s name!  After the service we ran into each other again and talked for a bit. In that short year he had gotten a TON cuter. Thank you puberty! We started hanging out some with mutual friends, and I even went to one of his track meets. One day, went out to eat with some friends at a Thai restaurant and decided to split a meal. One of Austin’s friends yelled, “Austin and Jenna, text it!” We both looked at each other and chuckled, slightly embarrassed. He somehow knew we had a thing for each other! Our future foretold, we ended up dating and going to both junior and senior proms together. Miraculously, he even convinced me to start running my senior year of high school!  For college, Austin and I both went to Mercer University on a Division 1 running scholarship.  You can say running is a big part of my life now thanks to Austin! After almost five years of dating, we almost feel like an old married couple. He is my best friend and soulmate. I could not have gotten through high school and college without him!

The view

The beach

How He Asked

Austin and his family had been planning a trip to Hawaii for more than a year. I was so excited when they invited me to come with them on this dream vacation. I had a feeling Austin would be popping the question soon, I just didn’t know when. It was driving me absolutely crazy! Hawaii was absolutely amazing. The water was so many shades of blue, and the mountains were so lush and green. We had so many adventures hiking through the mountains and snorkeling in the crystal waters. Halfway through the trip on December 16, 2015, we got up early to take sunrise photos on the beach where our cabin was located. I remember not wanting to get out of bed, it was so early! I threw on a shirt and skirt and we headed out the door. Austin’s parents were already on the beach and told us it would be a few minutes until to sun would rise. Austin and I sat down on a bench and watched the sun  come up slowly over the horizon. I remember getting so excited when I saw the sun peaking over the horizon. I pointed it out to him with a smile across my face. He chuckled at my (usual) over excited-ness, took my hand, and led me away from the bench. I knew something was going on because his sister and dad starting taking pictures of us. Austin felt around the sand and located a marble sea turtle he had hidden earlier that morning. He opened it up, and the ring was NOT inside! His eyes opened wider and started feeling around the sand. A few seconds later he located the ring and asked me to marry him. He was so shaken up, he forgot most of the words he wanted to say! I remember laughing about the whole situation and saying yes to a my dream man and dream ring! It could not have been a more perfect proposal. To make i even better, I later found out that a wave had crashed over the hidden turtle and His mother had to sprint over and pick it up before the turtle and ring were washed away! It had plenty of bumps along the way, but I am so happy to spend the  rest of my life with the love of my life.

The sunset

The proposal