Tara and Austin

How We Met

At seventeen we both came to the same mountain town to spend our summer. We only really saw each other from afar, me watching him throw away trash and him watching me eat cookies and sing karaoke. The next summer we both came back & ended up staying for the next four years. As completely different as two people could be (ask any personality test), we forged a friendship. At the beginning of 2017, Austin spent four months in Africa. While he was off riding camels and spending the night in the Sahara desert, I continued living and working in Andrews.

While he was away, some of my closest friends began to ask the repeated question, “What about Austin?” I would deny again and again…and again that we would ever be anything more than friends. But after much counsel and encouragement, I began to ask myself, “Why not Austin?” Through continued prayer, seeking the input of others and minor/major freak outs, and the Lord breaking down so much of my stubbornness, I finally came to the realization of my own feelings…and the unknown stood before me.

Austin came home and one week later, with a knock on my car door window, we finally started dating. We kind of (definitely) stumbled through the first few months of dating. It took time to shift the direction of our friendship that we had for so long and for the longest time it felt like our differences were going to be the thing that drove us apart. Austin, again and again, showed grace and patience towards me as I struggled through this new season. And bit by bit we came to realize that our differences were actually the things that continually brought us together. And that bit by bit our friendship turned into love.

How He Asked

When Austin asked me to marry him, I was completely surprised. I remember walking down the path to where Austin was standing down on that lake dock and being so surprised that he was standing down there, waiting for me. It’s such a picture of our whole relationship. But then I remember it turning into, “of course, Austin is here. Of course, this is happening.” Because through it all, that has been my returning thought, “of course, it’s Austin.” It was always supposed to be him. It was always supposed to be us.

It’s such a beautiful thing to be with someone that sees both the good & the bad parts of you and chooses both. In September we will vow to do life together for the rest of our lives (wherever that may take us) and enjoy all the sylva rolls and reality tv shows and new cultures and new music Fridays for the rest of our days. Who knew it would be us? …oh, everyone except us? Right.

Special Thanks

Caroline Ellis
Photographer