How We Met
Austin and I met in August of 2014 during a summer pool party at Arizona State University, where we both went to school. This was five years ago already… man, does time fly! If there was ever such thing as an instant connection (or “love at first sight,” as Austin says), this was it.
We danced and laughed and played and talked and it’s as if no one was in the room. We’re both pretty loud, charismatic and confident individuals, so our friends definitely noticed the immediate attraction (in fact, this day will have been talked about for years until we rekindled this spark). It was the best first day of meeting someone EVER. So fun. so easy. so freeing.
I left the pool party without giving him my number, so he made sure to snag it from his friends the next day. That same week, he texted me and asked me out on our “first date” and I said YES! Little did I know, that answer would mean so much more years later. We saw Blake Shelton for our first date in September 2014 (picture attached – little youngins), which was amazing because we both love country music and it was the perfect happening that proved our connection was something we both had never felt before – it was real and we had an incredible time together.
From this day on, things got… complicated (*insert crying laughing emoji here*). We “dated” in spurts for a while, but I just wasn’t ready and I would always do SOMETHING to steer it in the opposite direction. One of the many things I’ve always admired about Austin is his determination and perseverance – his willingness to never give up on the things he wants and loves. And lucky for me, he never gave up.
Three years ago, September of 2016, our reluctant friends purposefully brought us back together (well, to the same bar on Mill Ave.) and from that moment forward, we’ve been completely inseparable. The rest is history.
How They Asked
For Labor Day Weekend this year, we made a plan to drive out to San Diego to meet up with all of our friends. I lived in San Diego for the first year of our relationship, and we made it through long distance before I moved back to Arizona in 2017. San Diego is one of our favorite places in the world because we have so many memories there; the hard nights of handling long distance, the mile long walks on the beach during visits, the spur of the moment drives out when we couldn’t bear to not be with each other for another week, and everything in between. San Diego is our second home.
The first couple days of the trip, we were brunchin’, beachin’, bar hopin’ around the town – just doing what we enjoy with our friends. It was a BLAST, as always. Some of our friends joined us from Los Angeles and Scottsdale as well, so we had the whole gang with us!
Sunday, September 1st finally rolled around, and we decided to make it a ‘chill’ day. Grabbed a bite to eat, laid on the beach, and made dinner reservations for a rooftop bar to get some light drinks and take it easy.
While us girls were getting ready for dinner, the boys were hanging (and waiting on us) and all of a sudden said that one of our other friends needed help with something in their apartment down the street and that they needed to go help while we were finishing up. Austin and the boys then left and said they would be back in a few minutes. Once I was ready for dinner, the girls let me know that the guys just needed to meet us at the restaurant because it was taking too long and they didn’t have the time to come back first. I thought nothing of this.
I got in the car with my two best friends who were driving us to dinner. One of my friends, Flo, said she needed to pick up her date on the way to the restaurant. I sat in the back seat and was just playing on my phone. Side note, and funny story, my other friend Nikki who was in the car was trying to turn on the radio to play some music, but it wouldn’t work. She all of a sudden slams the radio off and yells “it’s not working, let’s just talk about our feelings!” I just laughed that off and thought to myself ‘what in the world are you talking about, Nikki?!’ – little did I know it was a nervous twitch for what was to come.
We pulled up to the beach where we were “picking up Flo’s date” and all of a sudden Nikki get’s out of the car to pull her seat forward so that there was room to get out and says “Alisa, you need to get out of the car.” I said, “what? What are you talking about? I can just scoot over and he can get in the back.” She looks at me dead in the face and says “no really, you need to get out of the car.” Flo just sat there silently staring. I said “Nikki?! What in the world are you saying – why would I need to get out of the car, this makes no sense!” She started laughing (in panic) and softly said, “there’s a surprise for you Alisa… you need to get out of the car” with the cutest grin on her face. I looked over at Flo in complete confusion and disbelief. Flo started crying and says “don’t look at me…” I turned back to Nikki and she smiled, helped me out of the car, and told me to take a deep breath and walk down to the beach.
Once I got out of the car, I looked down the ledge at the water and as it hit the sandy beach and saw Austin standing there on a white blanket and rose pedals with his hands held in front of him, just staring at me and patiently waiting for me to meet him where he stood. In that moment, my heart dropped to the floor and my soul actually left my body. He was the most stunning man I’ve ever seen in my life, and I was lucky enough to be the one to walk down to him waiting there while the sun set over the ocean. I thought to myself ‘could this be it? Is this it? Is this happening? No, Alisa stop overthinking – but what is happening?! Why is he down there?! How did he do all of this?! Oh my gosh… OH MY GOSH.’
I walked down the path, knees trembling and tears starting to build, and I could feel him just watching me with each step I made. I finally made it down to the beach and we locked eyes with each other as I walked over to meet him where he stood in the sand.
Finally, when I made it to him, we hugged and kissed and started to cry as we held each other. And then it all happened – he spoke perfectly about our love and asked me to spend the rest of life with him. I screamed/cried YES and we embraced each other as we never have before. Tears poured and I could swear my heart stopped for a moment in time. The LOVE of my life and my BEST friend asked me to marry him!!! It was better than my wildest dreams.
People came out onto their balconies to clap, cheer and scream for joy – we were surrounded by love and support. As we held each other closely with kisses and a warm embrace, we watched as the beautiful purple & orange sun set and soaked all of it in, just us two. It was the best night we’ve ever experienced.
From there, all of the secrets spilled out. Austin told me that he asked for my dad’s blessing in person when he was visiting us over 2 months ago – and he even took him to the jewelry store to see the ring. More tears. He told me he called everyone in our family and all of our friends to let them know. More tears. He said that everyone knows that it’s happening right now and are waiting for us to call. More tears. He explained how all of our friends that were there have known, and that they’ve all had their own part to play in the secret and big day. More tears.
Leaving the beach, Austin said he had gotten us a hotel room downtown and that we were going to grab dinner just us two to celebrate our special night. We got downtown and went up to The Nolen (our favorite rooftop bar in San Diego). When we got upstairs to the restaurant, all of our friends were sitting at the table with champagne and gifts to celebrate US – Austin threw us a surprise proposal party! More tears! We all laughed, cried, celebrated and told the FUNNY stories behind all of this secret keeping. All of the little slip-ups, awkward moments and nervous twitches came to fruition and I was overcome with gratitude. We spent the rest of the night rejoicing in our engagement.
I still feel like I am dreaming. The fact that I get to marry this incredible, remarkable and spectacular of a human is surreal. Austin is the most loving, thoughtful, genuine, courageous, strong, determined, loyal person in this world, and I am lucky enough to call him my best friend and now fiancé. We’re getting MARRIED!!! ?