Madline and Parker
How We Met
Madeline and I went to the same high school, Southside Christian, in Greenville, South Carolina. The first time we actually met was at my Sophomore homecoming dance (Madeline’s freshman year); two of our mutual friends went to the dance together and suggested that we share a dance. Share a dance was about all we did, I don’t think a word was uttered between us in the short time that we awkwardly danced with each other. Fast forward three years and I’m getting ready to go to college, and with the help of social media I reached out to Madeline on Snapchat. Those Snapchats led to sending a lot of texts about school and advice from me to her about senior year of high school and preparing for college.
Madeline’s family are big Clemson fans so Madeline asked me to come to their tailgate. A few weeks later I asked Madeline if I could have the pleasure of escorting her to her Senior Homecoming dance. We had a blast and that kind of kick-started our relationship. We continued to grow as a couple through college. Madeline is awesome! She cares so much about me and what I love. I love that she wants to love and enjoy those same things with me (she now knows a lot more about football and construction than she ever could have imagined knowing). She is such an encourager to me when I struggle with things in my life and always brings a smile to my face through her silliness. She is always willing to listen to anything and everything I have to say, no matter the circumstances. – Parker Howard
How He Asked
Feb 24th: Today I woke up and went downstairs to make my morning coffee. Each weekend I make Parker a homemade meal that he can take back to his house with him for the week. I was busy cooking for Parker and my mom kept cleaning my pots and pans very quickly. I thought this was a bit weird, but I did not think much of it. My mom and I had plans to go visit my sister in Clemson. We picked up my sister from her college dorm and went to lunch. Once we finished eating we did some shopping and ended up at my favorite Clemson boutique. My mom said that she would buy us each one thing so naturally, I filled my dressing room to the brim. While trying on clothes my mom was rushing me and eventually snatched the jeans I wanted out from underneath the curtain and checked out. I asked her why she was in such a big rush and she said it was because she wanted to go to the lake house to show Mary and me our new couch before Mary had to go back to her dorm. (We actually did get a new couch!) Anyways, on the way to the lakehouse, I called Parker and asked him how work was going. I had no clue he was at my lake house on the dock waiting.
When we got to the lake house the door there was a large yellow arrow on the glass pointing up. I was so concerned why there was an arrow on the door! I was looking up and searching for a hidden wasp nest or something! I kept asking my mom why she was not more concerned and she said because she thought it was there either because of the people who delivered the couch or because of the construction up the street. Both of those were bad lies, haha! We then walked down into the basement and the first thing I saw was another big yellow arrow on the sliding glass door but this time it had a picture of Parker and me on it. At that moment, I knew. Cue the tears! I looked at my mom and Mary and said, “Mom, REALLY?! No way!” while already wiping my tears. My mom responded yes and told me that her and Mary are headed back to Greenville. I then walked outside to another yellow arrow and picture pointing to the dock. I made my way down the big hill to the dock. I never liked that hill but this day it felt worse than ever.
When I got to the bridge of the dock I saw my Parker standing there next to a table with pictures of us on it and a flower arrangement of fifty roses. All I could say was, “Oh Parker!” I made my way to him and I could not stop hugging him. I am talking probably close to ten hugs, haha! I was crying, smiling, and a big mix of happy emotions. Parker then asked me if I knew why I was there; of course, I did! He proceeded to propose in the most beautiful way by telling me why he chose the location – the dock has been a place that is very special to us where we have grown closer and have had many deep life talks.
He then quoted scripture and got down on one knee. When he opened the ring box and asked me to marry him my eyes were full of tears and I couldn’t even see the ring. Naturally, I went in for the hug! I do not even know if I said yes but it was definitely implied! He then said, “Madeline you have to put the ring on!” After he put the ring on my finger I was floored. It is by far the most beautiful ring I have seen, he killed it! We then stood on the dock talking, crying, smiling, and laughing.