Lauren and Stephen

imageHow we met: We met in college in 2009, set up through friends. Stephen played football for the University of Memphis and I was in Nursing school. I saw him at a friends house one night after a football game and told my friends that I thought he was gorgeous. They said “oh that’s just Stephen” as if I knew who that was. The next day I called my friend and said how I just could not stop thinking about this “Stephen” person I had seen the night before. By the next weekend at a party I knew some scheming had happened when my friend dragged me up to meet this gorgeous man. Stephen and I met in September and started officially dating October 12th. On October 13th Stephen called me saying he broke his ankle during football practice. I immediately got in the car and rushed down to see him. I drove him home that night and met him at his surgery the next morning (where I met his family for the first time). Over the next few years Stephen had three surgeries total. He still has nine screws, a rod, and a plate holding his ankle and leg together. This was the first and most serious injury he had ever suffered during his football career and unfortunately it prevented him from returning back to how he used to play. We both believe that everything happens for a reason. Maybe we met at the right time so that I could be there during the hard times to come. Maybe he had to go through hard times to bring us closer together. We don’t know why things happened the way they did, but we are so thankful to have been blessed with this life together. We have persevered through 5 years together and after all we’ve been through, bogging can tear us apart.

How he asked: Last year we went on a family beach trip to Santa Rosa Beach, FL with my dad, aunt & uncle, and cousins. It was pouring down rain from a tropical storm in the gulf the first three days we were there. Finally on August 19, 2013 the sun came out for the first time! We played in the ocean all day with all the family until the afternoon when it was time to get ready for dinner. When I was finished getting ready, I went downstairs to find that everyone was gone except for my dad. He said that everyone went down to the beach to take pictures, including Stephen. Stephen had been hanging out with my cousins all day and acting so quiet towards me. I thought he was trying to avoid me. As my dad walked with me down to the beach lookout I became frustrated that Stephen had left me all day. When we got to the top of the stairs at the lookout I saw all of my family holding up painted signs that said “Lauren will you marry me?” with Stephen down on one knee in the sand in the center of them. I was shocked! I started crying immediately as my dad walked me down the stairs. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I could see tears in everyone’s eyes including Stephens. My dad walked me to him and he said “Lauren, will you marry me?” Of course I said YES! And grabbed his neck to hug so fast! I think that was the first time we ever kissed in front of my dad! I was so touched by the thought that he put into the proposal. My family means so much to me and having them involved made it the best proposal ever!

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We are getting married on June 27, 2015 at Carahills II in Galloway, TN. I can’t wait to marry my best friend. I love you Stephen.