Lucy and Austin

How We Met

Austin and I met in 7th-grade science class. Because of the way our school worked, we ended up with many of the same classes for the next two years. We joined the same friend group and grew really close as friends, mostly through texting in the early evenings. We talked about school, movies, books, music, and practically every other topic teenagers are interested in. We never ran out of things to say.

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I developed a crush on him in November of our 8th-grade year. It hit me all at once because I thought of him solely as a friend up until that point. I started dropping not so subtle hints, and eventually sent him a text meant for my friend Amelia. It said something along the lines of “Do you think Austin knows I like him?” I was mortified. But he took it well and we remained friends. Another girl liked him at this time, and over Christmas Break, he asked her out, even though he knew I liked him. They had been talking for a while, so I was crushed but not surprised. The months of December through February dragged by, but luckily we avoided any awkwardness and remained friends.

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His girlfriend decided to break up with him in the middle of February when she discovered he would be attending a different high school than us. Then around March 11th he and I entered what I fondly refer to as “The Guessing Game”. Every day after school we would both take turns guessing who the other liked. Questions like “does she have blue eyes?” and “does he play the violin?” were exchanged. Finally, on March 12th before an orchestra audition, we figured out that we liked each other. He asked me out the next day in person, and I was so excited.

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We attended different high schools but remained a couple through all the trials of being apart. We both decided to attend the University of Georgia, and that is where our relationship really strengthened and developed past just being high school sweethearts.

How He Asked

Ever since the beginning of our relationship, Austin and I had discussed getting married and agreed that was our end goal. After we both graduated college we moved back to our hometown to live with our respective parents while we figured out how to “adult”. We were blessed to find jobs close to home. Once things began to settle down, I knew that a proposal was coming eventually, but the way he did it completely surprised me. Our friends got engaged in October, and shortly after we went to look at rings together. I loved the oval shape, and he agreed. Over the next couple of months, I kept expecting a proposal at any moment, but it never happened. I got a little impatient, but mostly I was just excited.

When we discovered that our alma mater, the University of Georgia, was traveling to Pasadena, California for the Rose Bowl, we immediately called his aunt to see if we could stay with her and go to the game. She said yes, and we began planning the trip of a lifetime. On December 29th we traveled to Burbank with his brother Tanner and one of our best friends, Austin. We spent the first day exploring the Getty Museum and driving around all the famous parts of LA. The next day we hopped on a train all the way out to Santa Monica to see the coast. We walked around the boardwalk, ate tacos, and shopped at the Promenade. Then we traveled back to Burbank to ring in the New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood. I kept thinking that if Austin was going to propose this trip, that it would happen during the fireworks in front of the Hogwarts Castle. But nothing happened.

The next day was a whirlwind. We left the house at 5 a.m. to drive to Pasadena to see the Rose Bowl Parade. This had been on my bucket list forever, and I was so excited to see the beautifully decorated floral floats. The sidewalks were packed with people. The parade flew by in a blur of bright colors and upbeat tunes from the various marching bands. Next thing I knew we were on a bus, driving to the stadium. I started talking to Austin about how I wondered the night before if a proposal was coming, and he laughed about it. I knew I was way off the trail at this point and gave up thinking about it to focus on the game.

The game brought on so many emotions. I laughed, screamed, and finally sobbed when we won in double overtime. Everyone around me kept asking if I was ok because I couldn’t stop crying tears of joy. I chalked it up to the measly four hours of sleep I got the night before. The next day we had a flight back to Georgia at 7 p.m. The airport was a good drive away, so we finished seeing the sights in LA before heading down the Pacific Coast highway. We made it to Huntington Beach right as the sun was setting. Austin said he wanted to go down to the water to take some pictures before we headed to Ruby’s Diner to eat dinner. I didn’t want to walk in the sand because I was wearing my brand-new suede shoes I got for Christmas. Austin begged, and I agreed to walk out there barefoot.

It was so cold that I was done after three pictures. I told Tanner, Austin’s brother, that I would snap a few shots of him and Austin before we left. But Austin grabbed my hand and said, “No. I have something I want to tell you.” He proceeded to get down on one knee – right in the sand! – and told me some of the sweetest things about our relationship. When he asked me to be his wife, all I could do was kiss him and nod. I had no idea it was coming! He couldn’t have asked in a better way, on an empty beach at sunset. I’ll never forget that moment!