How We Met
Eli and I had gone to school together for our entire lives, but it wasn’t until 7th grade that I noticed him! He sat across from me in my English class, and every day he flexed his muscles across the room (like a total dork!). These muscle flexes were aimed at my friends (but he says they were to me). I always thought he was adorable, he had super light, almost white, blonde hair and he played football and baseball! 7th grade ended, and during the summer I worked up the nerve to send him a text message- that resulted in the driest and shortest conversation I have ever had! We began 8th grade and I honestly can’t remember if we had classes together or not, but I do remember that Eli Watkins was still on my radar, and I was not ready to give up. On a Friday night at the end of September we were at a high school football game. My mom had dropped me off and handed me a $10 bill to buy supper with from the concession stand.
I am a pretty organized and responsible person, but on this night I happened to lose that $10 bill before buying any food. I was sitting in the student section with Eli and a lot of our other friends; we had talked some, but he was basically ignoring me- like most 13 year old boys would do. I remember finally giving in to what my brain, and super dry throat, was telling me and asking Eli for a drink of his Mtn. Dew. I will NEVER forget the look of bewilderment he gave me as he handed it to me. After I guzzled down half of his drink (5 ½ years later and I still do that) I boldly (also somewhat out of character for me) told him that at the dance after the football game I was going to dance with him! He nervously laughed and said, “uh okay”. Roughly two weeks later he became my boyfriend, my 13 year old self was already falling in love, little did I know he would be the man I would marry.
how they asked
Growing up, my grandparents played a huge role in my life; in fact, I grew up living on the same land with them. During my sophomore year of high school my granddaddy passed away, 5 months later during my junior year my grandmother followed. At the end of my senior year, my grandparent’s house and land had to be sold; this of course took a huge toll on me. Eli knew just how special this land and house was to me. Luckily, we knew the precious family who bought it. This family did some remodeling on the house and invited Eli’s mom (whom she worked with) and me to come look at the renovations. From the time we hit the top of my grandparent’s gravel driveway I began to sob. This was the first time I had been back since we moved, but I guess the tears were a blessing in disguise because I didn’t notice the pictures hanging from the big tree by our pond. We went inside and looked around, I cried plenty more, and after we had finished it was time for Eli to pick me up from there. We had plans to go out on a “special” date that night.
Special meaning he told me to get pretty dressed up. He arrived to pick me up, and then he suggested that we go take some pictures by the pond. That’s the moment I knew. It had been about 2 ½ months since he took me ring shopping, and I know he isn’t the type of person to wait too long to do something- so I had been expecting it every since- literally, I had my nails painted every. single. weekend. for 2 months!!! We began to walk down to the pond, I was already crying, and then I noticed the pictures around the base of the tree. The pictures ranged from a birthday party “date” for a friend from 8th grade to the Christmas card we made last Christmas. Every aspect of our lives was covered in these pictures! As I was looking at all the pictures, I felt Eli moving behind me. I heard him speak and I remember whirling around to find him on one knee! It wasn’t until Sunday morning that I knew what he said- everything was a blur- I remember just crying my eyes out and him laughing and saying, “So is that a yes??”
As I cried and nodded my head he slipped the most beautiful ring I have ever seen on my finger! What was so special to me about our proposal, aside from the location, was what he said to me as he asked, “I think it’s about time we start living the dream I’ve had since we were in 8th grade.” After our proposal, he told me that we were still going to have dinner, but he conveniently forgot his wallet at home, which was fine with me since I needed to fix my makeup! We walked into his house, and shortly after arriving our families popped out to surprise us! It was, hands down, the best day of my life!