Lauren and Hayden
How We Met
Hayden and I met freshman year of high school. He had the locker above mine and would drop his books on my head. Little did he know that I was already hooked. He was in a relationship and I was busy playing volleyball, so we became best friends. Our friendships changed the next year when we both got out of bad relationships and realized that there was something more than just friendship between us.
We went to sophomore year homecoming together, and one week later on October 8, 2011, we started dating. Our relationship was met with huge challenges when he changed schools the junior year. We broke up for the summer until we realized that our lives were better together. We got back together and have been nothing but happy ever since. We have faced many challenges together, but they have made our relationship stronger.
How He Asked
Hayden and I decided that we wanted to spend our senior year spring break together at one of the most beautiful places in the United States, The Grand Canyon. We packed up his car and started our 17-hour journey from Tulsa to Page, Arizona, driving through a blizzard and taking many fun stops along the way. Our first night in Page, Hayden told me that we were going to a fancy dinner and that we needed to get dressed up for it! While getting ready, he told me that he wanted to go see Horseshoe Bend at sunset and thought it would be so cool if we went dressed up, and I did too. We got there, and one step into the half-mile hike, I fall down and I was so embarrassed but kept going because I wanted to see the canyon.
We get to the overlook and it is more gorgeous than anything I have ever seen. I am trying to get a photo lined up when Hayden tells me that I should move locations. I begrudgingly agree and move over to him. He then says that he wants to take some selfies, but wouldn’t look at the camera in any of the photos. I ask him what’s wrong, stop looking away and my life was changed. He pulls me close, after what I learned was him signaling our photographer, and says: “here we are at the most beautiful overlook in the United States. I love you, and have an important question to ask you.” After fumbling with his pocket, he pulls out a box and I knew what was inside. He gets down on his knee and says “Lauren Alysse Atherton, will you marry me?” After I said yes, he asks me to meet Jessica, our photographer and tells me of the months of planning that he put into this moment and I honestly could not have asked for anything more.