Sarah and Dustin

how we met

In 2009, I graduated from high school & started at Auburn University in the Fall where I played trumpet in the marching band. It was there that I first met Dustin. He too played trumpet in the marching band. he was a few years older than me, and I always remember looking at he and his friends cutting up and having so much fun, acting a fool. I always wanted to go stand near them in the stands and all, but my girlfriends were all “uh no, boys are annoying, blah blah” . Considering I was 1 of about 6 girls in the trumpet section, I decided to hang out with the girls. I was new and I wanted new friends, so I stayed with them. I never got to know him or really hang out with him. I just remember thinking he was so cool, I just never had the guts to say much to him.

Time went on, and then, in December 2011, I got home from work around 1am, and was winding down before I went to sleep, just playing around on Facebook and such. A message pops up from someone named Dustin Tyler Smith. I thought, who …? And then it hit me, ohhh it’s that guy from band! He had graduated already and was working in TN. From there, we began catching up and getting to know each other. We exchanged numbers and began texting. Auburn was playing the Chick Fil A Bowl in Atlanta on NYE and the band of course was too. He actually travelled to that game with his parents to watch his little sister twirl in the band. On the bus ride home, right at midnight, he sent me a text that said “Happy New Years! :-*” . I was so giddy sitting in that charter bus seat heading back to Auburn. I sent one back that said the same, except I made my kiss a bigger one. :-X” He sent one back though that said, wait, why don’t you want mine? I was so confused! He was too! I told him, no you doofus; it’s a bigger and better one. He thought I was blocking his kiss. Silly guy.

A few days pass, and he tells me that he is coming to Auburn that weekend and wants to see me! I was so sad that I had to work. He was so great though and actually came to my work, I was a waitress at a restaurant. He and a couple of his friends came the first night on Friday and I was so freaking nervous. I hadn’t seen this guy since like, 2010. I saw him at the door when they got there, and I immediately got butterflies and pretended to be punching orders into the computer. I hated so much that the first time he was going to see me, was in an all-black uniform and smelling of grease and food. But he didn’t seem to mind. It was so great getting to talk to him in person. He and his friends definitely gave me a hard time and picked on me the whole time, being funny. The next night, it was just him that showed up to eat. I was so happy to see him again. We enjoyed another night hanging out. He went back home to TN and we continued to text and talk on the phone. He kept coming back to Auburn on the weekends staying with friends and hanging out with me at work and after. We made plans to have our first real date and hang out time, not at work since I had some time off that weekend. We went and bowling the first night, and then on Saturday, we went Geocaching at Chewacla State Park. It was so fun! It was like treasure hunting. I definitely made a lasting memory that day that we will never forget. We were hiking all through the woods and came to a stream, a really big one though, trust me. There was a log laid across it that we had to cross. He went first to make sure it was ok, and walked right on over it and hopped off. It was my turn. I was working my way across, and about half way through, my left foot slipped and half of my body is submerged in this water. I was hanging on with my other leg and arm and managed my way back up with his help. I was pretty embarrassed, only I would do that. But we laughed all day about it. Every other step I took after that was a big loud squash. It was an unforgettable day, we found such cool things and had a wonderful time, regardless of my little incident.

Another week was here, and he asked me if I wanted to come to Chattanooga that weekend to see a Monster Truck Show with him and some of his work friends. I had never done anything like that, and of course wanted to go! I drove up that Friday, with a raging fever, I was determined to go though. (Sorry Mom) We went to a dinner show the first night and I was freezing the whole time. But I was having such a great time. The next night, we went to the Monster Truck show, and I was feeling much better. I met his work friends and we had a lot of fun that night. It was such a cool and different thing to do!

I headed back home to Auburn and we made plans for me to come back the next weekend. We wandered all over the city and enjoyed exploring and hanging out by the water, looking at the mountainous landscapes. Each night, we stayed up, until the wee hours of the morning, just talking… about life and everything under the sun. He asked me to be his girlfriend that Sunday that I was leaving. I was so happy. We became Facebook official as soon as I got back in Auburn. From then, we have dealt with long distance, a move to FL by him, I graduated from Auburn, moved home for a little while, and then I too packed my bags and moved to Orlando to work. Life has been such a great ride with him so far. We have made so many memories together and I absolutely cannot wait to spend my life with him making more.

how he asked

We had planned a trip to Colorado, since I finally had enough time off to go on a vacation. On the last day, we packed up and left from the ski lodge in Keystone, and headed even further up the mountains, to Camp Hale. We had a snow mobile tour that day that we were on our way to! We arrived at Nova Guides finally, after an hour stall because of a wreck on the mountain that they stopped all traffic for. It was no big deal in my head that we were delayed, I had no idea that Dustin was secretly freaking out about getting there.

The views were absolutely incredible. Breathtaking. Nature like I’ve never seen before. Raw pure, and real. Untouched beauty. Dustin drove the whole time, I was a little scared to try, and I knew I wanted to enjoy looking at all of the scenes as we rode up. We made our way, slowly & diagonally, down back to our snow mobiles. We had another mountain view that was on the list to go see, so we were on our way. We got off our snow mobiles, and immediately walked to the edge as far as we could when we got there, and holy smokes. Talk about a view. I couldn’t think about anything other than holy cow I’m on top of the world right now and just look at the amazing world that God has made for us.

I snapped a few photos on my phone and Dustin says, “hey why don’t we take our helmets off and take a picture so people can see our faces!” Duh, Great idea!! Why didn’t I think of that?! We walk back over to the mobiles, lay our helmets down, and walk back to the edge. We both were staring into the distance, or I was at least. He says to me, “Hey Sarah, do you know what today is?” As I’m still looking into the distance and out across the world, I say, “Ummm Wednesday? Snow mobile day?”

He said, “It’s the 8th.” I had no idea where he was going with this. I said, “Yep, it’s the 8th…” I was wondering why he was talking about this, just be quiet and take it all in like me! The next thing I know, he’s taking my hand, and saying these words, “Sarah Elizabeth Jackson, I don’t want to go any higher in life with anyone else but you, will you marry me?”

Everything stopped. Time stood still. We were in our own world, on top of the world. Our souls looking into each other like we never have before. There was no wind, no sounds, except for Dustin and I. We were on top of the world. God was there, and it was so apparent that He was.

I was dumbfounded. And immediately, I had the most waves of emotion come over. I was the happiest I had ever been. Of course of course! My best friend was asking to spend forever with me! At 12,407 feet in altitude! WOW! After moments of exhilaration, of crying and laughing and hugging, I finally snap back to real life, and look around and see the other couple that was in our group, all laid out and taking photos! I remember saying, “wait, you’re not just normal people in our group??!” Dustin had arranged for us a private tour with secret photographers! They were exactly what everyone wants in a photographer; they were able to capture our real emotion.

Trent, Stacey, and the guide, all went on and on about how still and quiet the earth was when he kneeled down to ask me. They said it had never been that serene and perfect before. The guide goes up to this very spot daily, on tours and just for fun, and he said that it had never in his career been so calm and perfect. Stacey and Trent said the exact same thing, that all of their photo shoots they’ve done, have never been as perfect as this one.

It was destiny. It was fate. It was God working in our lives. Everything about the day was absolutely incredible. This whole journey has been such a dream still. I absolutely cannot wait to spend forever with my best friend and soul mate. He is who God intended for me to have.

Special Thanks

Gillespie Photography
photographer