Since I'm a little slow getting started, we'll have to do a bit of catching-up and summarizing. However, you should still know that we really did have the BEST wedding and BEST summer ever. Don't let the lack of detail and explanation fool you!
To give a little background (for those who haven't heard this story a million times already), Austin and I met at a Tri-Stake Youth Activity during the beginning of our senior years of high school. I had been reluctant to go, but my Dad really put the pressure on, so I went. I was so grateful I did! (You'll see that my Dad had quite the role in us getting together:) The first activity required all the kids there to put both feet into hula hoops on the ground, while they removed the hula hoops one by one. The brilliance of this game was that there were eventually 30 kids trying to cram their feet into one hula hoop in any way they could! I wasn't really excited about climbing into that mess, so as I stood on the outside, a cute guy sitting on the ground looked up, saw me, and offered to let me in where he was. How could I say no?? So, I sat on his lap and introduced myself (Santa Claus style, right?;)... and that's how Austin and I met!
We both enjoyed getting to know each other better during the activity, and he asked for my number at the end. Well... while running off to catch his ride, the number failed to save, and we never saw each other again....
Or at least maybe we wouldn't have, if it weren't for my Dad. :) A week or two later, I was talking to my Dad about Homecoming. He asked if there was anyone in town that I was hoping would ask me, and I said no. I had told him about Austin after the activity though, so Dad asked if I would like to go with him, and again, how could I say no?? If any of you know my Dad, he can really take initiative when he's on a mission! So he took it upon himself to first do a background check on Austin (calling his Stake Presidency) and of course Austin got raving reviews, which only made Dad more gung-ho about his mission! From there, he decided to call Audra, Austin's mother, and ask if her son would like to take his daughter to homecoming. I was so embarassed that it had gone so far! But when Austin called me, he was so sweet about it all. (And thankfully not overly weirded-out.)
We went on several dates during our senior year after that, and it was easy to tell that Austin was the most impressive guy I'd ever met. I didn't know they could come like that! We stayed good friends over the years and kept in touch as both he and I served missions. He went to Argentina, and I went to Kirtland, and returned home within about three months of each other.
I actually saw him again for the first time only a day after arriving home, and although I felt like an awkward, nervous returned missionary, it felt so good to see him again. We started dating from there, and things just got better and better as we went!
Several months later, around Christmas-time, we had decided that we wanted to get married. We started planning and ring shopping, and although he kept telling me that it would probably be a while, he surprised me when he proposed on January 25th, the day before his sister, Mikesell's, mission farewell.
We had decided the night before that we were going to do some homework in the morning before everyone started playing, so he woke me up early that morning and told me to get ready and meet him downstairs. So down I came, homework in hand, and instead of stopping in the living room or at the kitchen table, he continued to march me outside to the car that he had already running. He blindfolded me, and drove me to the park where we had first met all those years ago... (or at least we thought it was the right park:) He took off my blindfold, shared some things from his journal about when we met, and then asked me to marry him. Again, how could I say no?? It was a sweet and exciting moment... that got dragged out for the rest of the weekend as we shared the news with our friends and family. :)
We set several dates, actually... but finally landed on a date for May 17th in the Twin Falls Temple. Let the wedding planning begin!!!
Four years ago:
Our Engagement Picture:)