Jessica and Caleb

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How We Met

Caleb and I attended the same high school in the small town of Blythewood, South Carolina. Caleb claims I was in his PE class freshman year, but I don’t remember, but it just so happens all of the same people that were in my class were also in his class! Both of our childhood best friends started dating and soon after, we all started eating lunch together in Mr. Curry’s classroom. More than anything, we spent that time rolling our eyes and laughing at them. Little did we know what was in store!

We would regularly text about The Sing-Off, but he now knows I was only watching to keep the conversation going. I have always said I had my eye on Caleb, but he didn’t notice me until college. He has always had the best temperament, had a big heart and what initially got my attention, was he was well dressed, well-mannered. I met up with Caleb at the Clemson orientation over the summer of 2011, but nothing much came of that – just a few monograms by his mom for my college dorm. His mom told him then that I had “eyes for him,” and that’s when he says he first realized I liked him. I texted Caleb once I moved in and got settled in my dorm, but I just got the typical guy response back (little or nothing).

It wasn’t until we both went to FCA in Tillman Auditorium one Thursday night that he finally noticed me. I was walking down the aisle to my seat when I heard a guy scream out my name. I looked back and much to my surprise, it was Caleb waving and smiling. We caught up and after that night, we started texting almost every night. That then progressed into quite the friendship over the fall semester and all of the girls on the hall started asking when it was going to be official. He would come over and visit, but always sit a few inches away and never lead me to believe this could go anywhere.

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Let’s just say he took his sweet time! I would laugh and put them off, because I knew neither of us were in a hurry, but especially the one who had to do all the asking. During the season, I did manage to snag a photo with him, but that was nothing shy of a miracle and of course, the perfect photo-bombing opportunity for a friend.

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That fall we would hang out regularly, attend games with friends, but you’ll notice Caleb never came too close. In early January of 2012, several of our friends met at Caleb’s lake house to watch Clemson’s post season game. That’s when we all realized it was getting serious! It wasn’t long after that he officially asked me out to Brioso, in downtown, Clemson for dinner (with a Clemson basketball game to follow) on March 1st, 2012. I guess you can say the rest is history!

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How He Asked

Caleb and I have a Bokyin Spaniel named Watson (after Clemson’s Quarterback, Deshaun Watson). I got Watson for my birthday in December of 2014, while we were both still attending Clemson University. I was about to graduate early and start graduate school and Caleb was finishing up his senior year. After getting Watson, we spent several hours every week on Bowman Field playing fetch, in fact, it’s the first place we took him the night we picked him up from Anderson. There are several large trees on Bowman, which made for quite the pile of leaves for ear-deep puppy frolicking.

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Fast forward almost two years – this weekend, after a huge win against Louisville, Caleb and I got up Sunday morning to go meet his grandparents for lunch. On our way to Anderson from Lake Keowee, we rode by Bowman Field and Caleb turned in to the loop at Tillman Hall. I mentioned earlier in the week that I would love to go back to Bowman Field to let Watson play. When he pulled in and told me that we could play for a second, and I hesitantly said we wouldn’t have time, but agreed to throw the frisbee a couple of times. Before we left, Caleb suggested that I go up to the bench beside Tillman and take a photo with Watson.

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This wasn’t all that suspicious if you know me and my love for photography. As I was smiling for the photo and trying to get Watson to look at the phone, Caleb was slipping the ring out of his pocket. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!!!

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I was silent for what felt like an eternity, before saying YES!

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The entire time I could hear the camera shutter, which made me a million times happier. I LOVE photography and I have a thing for having photos of every occasion.

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I was thrilled to look over and see one of my mentors and professional Clemson Athletics photographer, Carl Ackerman, snapping photos of the occasion.

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Just when I thought it couldn’t be more special, Caleb motioned for my friends hiding to come over to celebrate!

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We spent the afternoon in Anderson with Caleb’s family and soon after headed to Columbia to celebrate with my family, making for the perfect day!

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Our Video

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Special Thanks

Carl Ackerman
Photography