Natalie and Rand

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How We Met

Our love story truly began when Rand and I first met in the sixth and seventh grade when I moved into his neighborhood. We quickly became best friends by going to the same school and participating in the same activities. Almost every weekend all of the kids from our neighborhood would get together, but I always joined them just to see him. After four years of friendship, Rand asked me on my first date. We started dating in high school, and it has been history ever since. We both had the same friend group and we spent a lot of time walking around our neighborhood together (which we still do even today).

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We got really close with each other’s families, and pretty much spent every waking minute together. He was recruited to play college basketball in Pennsylvania, however, as he was getting ready to sign the contract he said he could not leave me. He sacrificed his dream just to come back and attend community college to be with me. A year later, I graduated from high school and decided to pursue nursing at Liberty University. He followed me to Liberty where is obtaining his business degree in human resource management. We have loved being able to share the college experience and be able to grow together. We have been dating for the past six and half years and through every pivotal moment in each others lives. We have had our ups and downs, but nothing could ever keep us away from each other. Any time before we leave one another, one of us will say “forever” and the other will say ” and always.”

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How He Asked

On April 28th, the day was planned entirely with birthday celebrations for my friend, Carrie. My other friend, Christina, and I took her to get her favorite breakfast, went to get our nails done, and went shopping. Our final stop was going to be at Cole Mountain because she wanted to take pictures with us alongside the beautiful scenery in the background. So, we got dressed up and headed that way. When we arrived at the top of the mountain, Rand was standing off in the distance with decorations. He had pictures hung, tiki torches lit, and “In Case You Didn’t Know” playing in the background. He met me and we walked to his setup. He began describing how much he loves me and how these past six years have been the best of his life.

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He explained how he did not think that he could live without me. He talked for a long time, and I honestly do not remember everything that he said because I was so surprised and shocked. My exact words the entire time were, “I think I’m going to throw up.” He, then, got on one knee and asked me to marry him with a diamond from his great great grandmother. Of course, I said yes, and he told me to turn around. My sister, her husband, my best friend from home, Jordan, and the photographer, Amanda Sommerville, were all standing there along with my friends that I had came there with. Everyone was crying while we took pictures and simply just lived in that perfect moment. Afterwards, he planned for all of our friends to meet at one of my favorite restaurants where we all celebrated together all night long. The next day, he surprised me again by taking me home and having a huge engagement party to celebrate with all of our family members and friends. I could not have been more happy or excited! I still wake up every morning thanking the Lord because I am so blessed to be able to, now, call this amazing man my fiancé! We are both graduating this upcoming May, and we are so ready to start this new chapter of our lives together.