We went to a Valentine's banquet at our church this weekend and the story of how Austin and I met came up, so I thought I would share my favorite love story in honor of Valentine's Day...
In August 2006, I was attending a technical college about an hour and a half away from my parents home. I lived in the town where the college was during the week, but usually came home on the weekends. My parents would most usually go eat with my grandma after church and on this particular August day, my brother and his family were along also. So our whole bunch walked into Pizza Hut...
That same summer, Austin left Pennsylvania and came to Kansas to work on a harvest crew (they travel around the mid-west harvesting wheat, silage, corn and milo). The crew he worked for didn't work on Sunday's and would eat out to give the crew owner's (the man that owns the equipment and the guys work for) wife a break from cooking. So they were at Pizza Hut eating on this August day.
I remember walking into the restaurant and seeing a table full of young guys. (I was 18 at this time, so I of course noticed this) I took a look around their table seeing what all the guys looked like and then started contemplating if they were all a family or what. One of the guys caught my eye and I noticed that every time I looked at their table, he was looking at me (we were facing each other from across the restaurant). Anyway, they were there when we arrived so they finished before we did. As they got up and went to pay, I saw that he was still taking glances at me and even pointed me out to one of his friends and they were obviously talking about me (I later found out that he was consulting his friend on how old I was, he figured I was either old enough or 12!!! I do look quite young for my age). Then as they started walking out, he walked back to the table and gave something to the waitress. Then he quickly walked out of the restaurant. Then I saw that the waitress was walking towards me and she said, that guy from over there wanted me to give this to you. She handed me a napkin and when I opened it up, it simply said Austin with a phone number above it. I was dating a guy at this time, but I was realizing that the relationship wasn't what I wanted in a long term relationship. But since I was dating this other guy, it took me some time to figure out what to do. In the mean time, my sister got the number somehow and called him and "checked" him out. She would tell him that I was just about to call and would call and tell me what a great guy this was, I should call him. Well about a month after seeing each other in the restaurant, I finally decided that the guy I was dating was not what I wanted and decided to give Austin a call. The first time we talked (on the phone), we talked for 2 hours. I'm usually a shy person around new people, so this was crazy because we didn't have any awkward pauses or anything. We had many things in common, came from similar family backgrounds, and he truly sounded like an amazing guy. About 2 weeks later we decided to meet at my sister's house and he brought a friend. It wasn't really awkward, just a little weird since we had my sister, brother-in-law and Austin's friend there...kind of seemed like we were just being "watched". After our first "real" meeting, Austin would drive the 4 hours from where he was working to my parents house, very early in the morning, to make it in time to go to church with us every weekend. Then he would leave around 10 pm and drive the 4 hours back, to get up super early and work again on Monday. He did this for about a month and then he stayed with my parents for a week in the beginning of November before he moved back to Pennsylvania. I saw him over Thanksgiving and Christmas and then at the end of January, he surprised me and came out to propose to me.
By surprised, I mean really, truly surprised!!! When we were together for Christmas, I kept asking him if he was gonna ask me, but he kept saying he would ask me when I least expected it. I couldn't understand this since I was thinking that I'M ALWAYS "EXPECTING" IT!! But this particular weekend, he was supposed to be going on a ski trip with his church, he even talked to me on the phone about how they were getting ready to leave and what not. But actually, he was in air ports on his way to Kansas! It was a Friday afternoon, I had just gotten out of school for the weekend and quickly went to my apartment to get my things to go home for the weekend. When I opened my door I saw a trail of rose petals and candles leading to my coffee table with poem on it. I knew it had to be from Austin, but he was after all in Pennsylvania skiing....after a few minutes I heard a knock on the door, so I went to the door, but didn't see anyone. So then I stepped outside and there he was in a suit and tie, on his knee and holding a ring. He asked me if I would marry him and I some how muttered out a "yes"! It was the most amazing moment!!
He was already planning to move to Kansas the beginning of February, so my parents and I went out to help him move. He bought a house and we began working on it, so that I could move in after our wedding on August 4, 2007 (just short of a year after we first saw each other).
There were so many ways that we saw God working in our lives to bring us together and as we would talk about our past, we could see how God was working to prepare us to meet each other. Now this summer we will celebrate our 5 year anniversary and I don't know where the time has gone! God has truly blessed me with such an amazing man!